slow living – september

I’m not sure what we did slowly this month – it went by so fast it blurred. September is always more like the start of the year for us; everything begins at the same time and none of it feels particularly slow. The beginning of the school year was the biggest event.

I’m following the example at Slow Living Essentials again this month, and using her categories to summarize my month and list some things I’d like to accomplish.


This has been a month of rushed meals as we try to adjust to hockey practice on two nights a week. Meals are simple, quick and easy. Occasionally we even eat at the arena, but next month I would like to do some advance cooking to avoid that bellyache. There is not much you can say about food cooked in a hockey arena. Their high-end menu item is sugar coated donut holes called Beaver Balls. Yep, you read it right.

I wrote about trying a kohlrabi slaw and a honey lemon ginger tea mix that is nice for colds and sore throats (or even just mixed into a normal cup of tea for a pleasant drink on a cold evening).


We tried hard to keep up with the last of the garden this month, continuing to freeze tomato sauce – roasted, passata and marinara. And then I gave up and froze a bunch of tomatoes whole, gave some more away and let the rest just go. I just can’t look at another tomato and want to do something with it. We’ve also made fermented jalapeno hot sauce, hot pepper jelly, roasted red peppers and caramelized onions that we put in the freezer.

We braided onions from the garden to store them longer term over the winter, froze a mountain of beans and cut up and froze more peppers. Our freezers are pretty much full.


There was a lot of reducing going on this month. Unfortunately most of it had to do with our bank balances. New school shoes, school supplies, piano lessons, hockey equipment and hockey fees. Ouch. We did manage to find most of the equipment that we needed at a used sports store – otherwise the impact would have been much worse. We are able to take the outgrown equipment in on trade to offset the cost of new (used) equipment. And when you consider that every inch of their bodies are padded to play hockey, that is a lot of equipment.


I made a natural essential oil febreeze-type spray to deal with some leftover onion cooking smells in the house and attempt to tame the monster smell in the hockey equipment bags. We’ll see how that goes. Those bags really do have a life of their own. The tall kid won’t let me wash anything – it might spoil her team’s current winning streak. If you can call 3 games a winning streak.


The tall kid grew half an inch this month. My 11-year-old looks down at me, and I’m 5’6″. It must be something in the tomatoes.

We’ve harvested beans, tomatoes, pumpkin, kohlrabi, squash and potatoes. We missed the boat on the cabbages; same as the broccoli, we didn’t pay any attention for a few days and they split and turned brown. Apparently they can’t wait like I thought they could.


I’m still working on the sweater for the tall kid. I haven’t picked it up much this month, but have at least finished the torso and have started on a sleeve. I hadn’t thought about this when I started knitting with a patterned yarn – but the pattern repeats slower in the body than it will in the arms – will this make it look odd when it’s finished? Should I quit now?


I read a couple of books this month and picked up a few more that I’ve been flipping through. My book club has started up again, but I’ve decided to give it a pass for this year. We are already out of the house several nights a week and I am looking for an excuse to uncomplicate my life.

{Enhance – community}:

The dad has taken on the bulk of this category this month. He is co-coaching the tall kid’s Peewee hockey team and is volunteering once again with Ducks Unlimited.


We’ve been enjoying the company of friends and family again this month. Even with the busy-ness of school and sports, we’ve managed to fit in some visiting and dinners with company.

We attended my brother’s wedding just this past weekend. It was a beautiful day and a lovely wedding in a conservation area setting. The girls had a blast feeding birds out of their hands on the hiking trails, then schooling a bunch of grown ups on the dance floor afterwards.

We had a death in the family this month – not something that would normally go in the enjoy category, but he was young, fun to be around and my husband, his mom and his sister were able to enjoy a visit with him a few weeks before his death. He is missed, but will be well remembered.

Another busy, alternately happy and sad, but interesting month.

Linked to Frugally Sustainable, GNOWFGLINS

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62 thoughts on “slow living – september

  1. jmgoyder says:

    What a great post!

  2. Another incredibly productive month Heidi. Well done.

  3. Thanks for sharing your journey through September and sharing a glimpse into your lives…….my September was a frenzy of activity and I am looking forward to a slower winter at this point.

  4. Wendy says:

    Lovely month – the jalapeno jelly looks amazing!

  5. I really love these roundups and may adopt some form of it–but that would entail remembering what I did, which may be difficult – such a nice peek into your family and activities

  6. Ever notice how sometimes the slow living lifestyle requires a few months of fast paced living just prepping for the slow living months? Ah, but those days of not having to run around, can and cook like crazy, they will be so worth it!

    • The whole slow living thing is a big misnomer. There is pressure to get it all done quickly. Hopefully we won’t be too tired to enjoy the hibernation period..

      • No doubt! I’m totally looking forward to the hibernation period. All this canning and food preservation on top of all of the other daily tasks has left my house a total disaster. There are empty mason jar boxes scattered on two floors of the house, pepper seeds and tomato sauce splatters found at random, and jar rings overflowing from their bag to the point that they are now just plopped on an open surface area. Order must be restored! Just in time for holiday baking. The things I’d get done if I had those 10 extra hours a day that are work and transit time to and from!

  7. Somer says:

    I love these beautiful snapshots of your month Heidi. Thanks for sharing the highs and the lows, love to you and yes, keep knitting that sweater. She’ll love it.

    • I hope so – I don’t know if it shows in the picture, but the stripes are happening a lot faster on the arm than they did on the body of the sweater. I hope it doesn’t end up looking completely awkward.

  8. Ange says:

    Of course three games counts as a winning streak! It has to start somewhere!
    I remember commenting a month ago that I should try to keep track of my month since I feel that I never accomplish anything. I didn’t keep track, but I can think of a couple of things that fit into the categories you use.

    I enjoy these posts. 🙂

    Its funny how you start to feel that you “know” someone through blogs. I found myself wondering if you were around when I went into town while visiting my mom’s cottage a couple weeks ago. Then I remembered that you are not in Mom’s part of the county! I’ll remember that and I WON’T look for you when I return in two weeks. 😉

  9. I like how when you sum up a month, it sort of “crystallizes” and becomes something bigger than the day-to-day living of it!

  10. kiwirach says:

    mmmm…beaver balls…perhaps i might make some this month!!. lovely post, and its lovely to read what others get up to while living with the same types of goals as i.

  11. Sounds like you’ve had a very busy month! Hope you get the advance cooking done so that you don’t get bellyache rushing to get to hockey. I know how it is with rushing to things in the evening – did try to do some swimming earlier in the month but have gone back to the weekends for that.

    • I usually get some extra soups and stews, chili, taco meat, etc. cooked up in advance so I can just thaw quickly and serve. I should get out my slow cooker too, but by the time I get home from work I’ve been gone close to 10 hours some days and that seems like too long to leave it on. Although someone at work today suggested plugging it into a timer. I might have to buy one and try that out.

      • My parents put their slow cooker on a timer so that they have porridge ready in the morning. It also depends on what you are cooking and how slow your cooker is. For example, I did chickpeas on low in my slower cooker and after nine hours they were still quite hard.

  12. Chrystal says:

    Aww thanks for including us in your wrap up post. I love reading these each month. 🙂 Glad the girls had fun at the wedding and it was a spectacular show they put on for everyone on the dance floor. 🙂

  13. shoes says:

    What a busy month you have had! It sounds like you have enough good eats in the freezer so that you should not have to resort to Beaver Balls for dinner. I try hard at meal planning for a week or two but always fall back to my slackish ways of scrambling for a good dinner plan fifteen minutes before we should be eating.

    Oh, and I would totally call three games in a row a winning streak. Although I am not sure I am on board with dirty game clothes being the reason behind the success.

  14. I’m glad you finally gave up on your tomatoes, I seriously think you prepared and saved enough to feed an army and will probably still have plenty left over when next years harvest comes in. I don’t envy you all the fees and activities that comes with the school year. I hated that time of year, summer off was much more to my liking. I kept my boys to one sport/activity per season which worked out well, but was still busy with practices and games. Since you live further north than I do, I hope you get your wish to be snowed in, as I don’t want quite that much.

    • I’m always surprised at how many tomatoes we end up using, but I am happy to be done with freezing them for now. And I think I might have exagerated when I said I’d like to be snowed in, but a little snow would be great. Last year was a little too mild for much winter fun around here. We’d like to build our own rink this year and would need much colder temps than we had last winter.

      • The college here used to have an outdoor rink every winter, wish they still did it was lots of fun for the kids. I’ll take a mild winter any year, the cold really gets to me and I hate trying to shovel the snow.

  15. A great post Heidi. I enjoy reading your monthly round-up. Stirs me on to do it myself and as it’s the beginning of October (so I can keep notes) it looks as if this is the month to start.

  16. Heidi, I love this recap of your month. It’s a good reminder of what I need to give myself credit for when I think I’m not doing enough volunteering or housework – and spending too much time on my blog – but we just had a big fundraiser at the local school and now it’s done. It feels good to recognize the accomplishments! Great work in your family, too.

  17. Sarah says:

    I love these posts, Heidi. You are such an inspiration….and I’m not just saying that, I really mean it. You make me think, you give me ideas and bonus! You’re just a whole lot of fun! I love reading the “digest version” of your slow living accomplishments. Congrats on an amazing, productive month!

    The yarn you’re using for the sweater is so pretty! I love those colors! I don’t think you should quit, lol. I’m sure it will be fine 🙂

    Now, I have to go check out that tea post. How in the heck did I miss that one? Ugh!

  18. Laura says:

    Love the structure of this post! We too gave up on all but the paste tomatoes…I just couldn’t take it anymore. I totaly hear you on looking forward to winter. However, we went on a mini vacation this past weekend and I seemed to have arrived back at the the farm feeling rejuvenated, might I dare say, relieved to be home and out of the crazy pace of city life!?!

  19. That’s what mini-vacations are for – to make you appreciate home that much more. I hope to have a little getaway soon too.

  20. Linda says:

    I have never grown so many tomatoes that I got sick of them! Well done! And I think the jumper will look great regardless of the difference.

  21. Cath says:

    I love your style of writing. Although we are waiting for our first tomatoes to produce something edible, I can truly relate to your end of season tomato burnout. I am still using up the last few bags of frozen cherry tomatoes from last Summer. In retrospect, I wish I had dried more of them.

    • I wish I had dried some more too – we use a lot of sun dried tomatoes, but it takes so long to dry them that I never could find a whole day to hang around and watch them, plus I had other uses for the oven. Next year, definitely. Or I might look for a dehydrator.

  22. Claire says:

    In the beginning, I was a little envious of your tomato glut. Now, I’m sort of grateful for my two handfuls of stubbornly green toms (plus one orange anomaly) and in awe of your efforts! I’ll be trying your tea mix – I like to have something to hand for the first signs of a scratchy throat.

  23. I’ve had a rough year with tomatoes. We got a whole bunch of tiny ones, but none worth making sauce with. Happy to hear you are tomatoed-out. 😉

    The Beaver Balls actually sound like a nice treat… but certainly not dinner. 😉

    Happy October!

  24. It’s nice to see your month in review…at least you know how much you’ve accomplished..I remember those years of hockey routine…sure keeps you busy! We just returned from our daughter’s and family in Illinois and we watched the 12 and 14 year olds for a few days and every day there were practices or games for one or both of them. My daughter apparently feeds them pasta or chicken and rice for some standard meals and energy before games…Just something she does! Anyway, it sure brought back memories of those days we had with 2 in hockey…Diane

    • Last night I managed to get my act together and got the rice cooker going as soon as I got home from work. I made some quick butter chicken and the dad even had 10 minutes to eat before they had to run out the door again. If I just had some pre-made meals set aside, the scant hour we have before hockey would go a lot easier.

  25. Lynne Ayers says:

    Doesn’t sound too slow moving. With kids September is always such a hectic month trying to get the well-oiled gears of routine started up again. I don’t miss that crunch time. With kids at home summer is reduced to the last week in June when school’s out until Labour Day in September – nothing so much signals the end of summer as a school bus rattling down the road. Now, with kids out on their own, summer lasts from that first warm touch of spring until the first snow flake flies.

  26. oceannah says:

    Beautiful Heidi! I’m glad it’s not just my eyes tricking me…you daughter LOOKS more grown up in the shot where she’s looking over the water. Uber-mater growth compound 🙂
    I love how you manage to post the amazing quantity of stuff you accomplish with utter grace and style and float it out there in on a web of slow livin’!! Just wonderful.

  27. MrsYub says:

    Loved your post. Very easy to read, and the photo’s gave it a very finished feel.
    I must know – how do you feel being a ‘little’ mummy? My Mum is a little on the short side, but she doesn’t mind us all being taller than het, but I am the same height as you, and I just KNOW at least two of mine will be taller, lol!

  28. I always knew they would outgrow me. I am the shortest person on both sides of the family. At least I still have a few inches on the 9 year old.

  29. Kerry says:

    Always good, Heidi. Always good. I love these recaps.
    (and thank you for visiting me like you do… You are so sweet. I appreciate you.)

  30. Lots happening this month. I relate to the expensive month too. Our fridge died and as it w wasn’t planned and it was a bit of an ouch.

  31. I enjoyed reading your post today. The link is great, I also enjoyed her blog. Thanks for that.

  32. Shira says:

    Fabulous round up Heidi! You always make me long to live in the country… day 🙂 I need to check out your kohlrabi slaw now…! Exciting!

  33. Tammy says:

    This was a beautiful post. I usually do one at year end but you’ve summed up an abundant month pretty well.

  34. Roar Sweetly says:

    Love the feel of this post. You sound in control. Very impressive.

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