Slow Living – Month 12

This is very late and as I’ve already done a yearly review I’ll keep it brief, but I though it would be a shame to miss the last month altogether.

As December is the official month of eating for most people I know there was plenty of food going around.  However as I was not hosting anything myself, my contribution was somewhat limited.  I did make a few Christmas gifts including chocolate candy cane cookies and Christmas brownies with cranberries, pistachio and white chocolate.  I also made my best ever pavlova (using Mum’s recipe, I should have stuck to this one in the first place) and experimented with broad bean aranchini balls.  These worked really, really well and we’ve since had them for dinner with a salad.  Of course they used my broad beans frozen from earlier in the year.  I will offer one piece of advice though, if trying aranchini balls for the first time… don’t make with when hung over (my first ‘big night out’ in over four years was not well timed).  The balls which were supposed to be truffle sized with a little piece of feta in the middle ended up quite large because I just did not have the mental or physical capacity to stand at the bench rolling dozens of tiny balls.  Thankfully I have very understanding friends! (I will share the recipe for these shortly.)

Absolutely nothing…. in fact December was such an insane month for me that it was all I could do to get myself up in the morning so the idea of preparing something for a later date was an absurdity I did not contemplate at all.

The worms have been well fed with the food scraps this month, but still without a compost (Santa must have missed my letter on that one) some is still ending up in the bin.  I was pleased at being able to repurpose the copious amount of artwork coming home from child care as wrapping paper for all of our presents.  It’s usually done on quite large sheets of brown paper and looks really effective tied with ribbons I’ve saved from gifts we’ve received over the years.  Plus the relatives seem to get a kick out of seeing some Miss Three and Miss One originals!

Some things are going absolutely gang busters in the garden over December.  The tomatoes grew and grew and covered themselves with flowers and fruit slowing ripening.  The corn shot up to great heights and started forming cobs, the beans reached the top of the frame within a matter of days and then headed over the fence until they were redirected and the pumpkins started taking over any available ground space.  In fact getting around in amongst all of this is quite the challenge.  Sadly whiteflies really did some damage, particularly to the beans, but I have since managed to get on top of these so hopefully we’ll start to see some recovery.  The most frustrating thing was the complete lack of rain, some thing that has continued all of January as well.

Nothing really new in this category, but lots still going on.

With the winding down of school at the end of this month and with Mr Good home over the public holidays I did eventually find myself with a little time to myself (I have to say this was such a saviour as I had been feeling completely suffocated with all the things I was trying to fit into each day.  That tight chested anxious feeling disappeared and I could breath again).  With that time I read…. an organic gardening book my mother-in-law gave me as an early Christmas present, a couple of new cook books, Ahn Do’s The Happiest Refugee (delightful and very funny), A Guide To Birds of East Africa by Nicholas Drayson (another very enjoyable read) and The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection by Alexander McCall Smith (part of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series).

I think we’ve finished the squares for our knitted blanket this month and it just needs sewing up.  Must get around to sorting that out.  Other than that and some very quick ‘rustic’ looking gift tags (which one of my work friends thought Miss Three had made…. you get the idea, I was desperate, it as late at night, it was the best I could do), nothing else got created.  But I did get a sewing machine for Christmas so look out!  Speaking of which I need some simple patterns to get me started, any suggestions?

Quite frankly I have really sucked at this category all year.  I did take the girls to a Christmas Party at their child care centre (it was not on one of their days so we could all go) and brought a plate for that.  It was lovely, the 3-5 kids did a dance which was very funny and Santa came.  This was the first time Miss Three would go near the big man and she actually sat on his knee with the biggest smile on her face.

And I’m going to cheat here and add one extra thing that I actually did right at the start of January, but have been trying to make an appointment since September (I had to postpone it twice frustratingly).  I gave blood.  I would love to do more things on a community level but am limited with time and availability.  This, however, is something I can do every three months, in the evenings and even get a little reading done at the same time.  I have already made my next appointment and plan to make it a regular thing.

Oh so much, but especially spending Christmas with family in Glen Rowan and watching the girls revel in the festivities of the whole month.  I also thoroughly enjoyed the chance to finally slow down once Christmas was over.

Photo: Finally.... Success at the Santa photo thing after three years of bring absolutely terrified of the big man. Still won't talk to him though.



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4 Responses to Slow Living – Month 12

  1. Linda says:

    Giving blood is a great enhance activity. I’m overdue by about six months so thanks! You’ve reminded me. Those aranchini balls sound interesting. I’ll have a look now to see if you posted a recipe.

    • Barbara Good says:

      Just posted the recipe now Linda, hope you enjoy it. And glad I could give you that little reminder for giving blood. I pre-booked my next visit so I wouldn’t put it off as I knew I would.

  2. Christine says:

    I always seem to coincide remembering to give blood with being on medication that means I can’t donate blood! I’ve only managed to donate twice in the last seven years or so! You’ve prompted me to try to remember to get there over the Christmas/New Year break.

    • Barbara Good says:

      Yes, well I got quite run down about half way through last year and ended up with very low iron levels and having to take a high dose supplement, so I’m banned until the end of January. Then I have to get the okay from the doc before I can donate again. Having said that I am feeling a whole lot better than I did then so I think I’ll be back on the wagon soon.

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