slow living – October

October went by quickly, but I am happy that it has been the start of the slow season for us. Once we get all of the vehicles that have been dropped off in the storage yard put away and our place starts looking more like home again and less like a used boat and trailer dealership, we will start to settle down for the winter and enjoy the quiet.

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.


We’ve been eating too well around here lately. Which means that we should probably try eating lighter, especially since I put on my protective layer of winter fat early this year. Like, in May (I know, I just said like. I’ve been spending too much time around tween girls. I used to have perfect grammar – similar to perfect pitch, but without the talent. Now I talk in sentence fragments. A lot.).

I wrote about Pumpkin Granola, Pumpkin Pie Muffins, Apple Pie Spice, (Almost) Buttermilk Drop Biscuits, and some Halloween Chocolate Spiders to make for a sweet Halloween treat.


I spent a weekend this month doing some advance cooking for hockey nights and stocked the freezer with bags of hamburger cooked with onion, carrot, zucchini, green pepper and garlic. They make it easy to make a quick meal of nachos, spaghetti or baked pasta – only a little extra assembly required. We even like the hamburger as a pizza topping on occasion. I also made some soups and chili to fill up the freezer. The only problem with doing the advance work is now I feel like I need a good excuse to raid my stash. I want to hoard it – and the husband has to provide a suitably hamburger worthy reason to take some from the freezer.

I managed to cut the last of the jalapeños in half and put them in the freezer until I can manage do something with them. I’d like to make some Louisiana style hot sauce, but I kinda came down with making-things-with-stuff-from-the-garden fatigue halfway through the month and just gave up. That also led to the rotting of several cabbages from the garden. I feel guilty, but I’ll work through it.

Fortunately, the rest of the pumpkin and squash can wait until I have time to do something with them.

Before I hit the garden produce wall, I wrote instructions for making and canning some easy applesauce and an easy way to roast and puree pumpkins, plus some pumpkin pie spice to use with the puree.


We had plans for a new efficient furnace for this month, but we are at the mercy of the furnace man (who hasn’t shown up yet), so I guess it will be put off until next month. Not much else has been done along those lines, but then, nothing really was needed. We weren’t in need of anything new, and things continue to be used and re-used around here.


This is where I am supposed to write about any new green practices, cleaners or health and beauty products that I have made this month. I continue to use laundry powder that I made (though I also used store-bought when I ran out) and I attempted that cleaner that people seem to be making by leaving orange peels in vinegar for a few weeks, but the smell of it put me off so much that I’d rather just use plain vinegar.

I did make a cinnamon, orange and brown sugar body scrub. I’d like to make some other scrubs that would be suitable for Christmas gifts, but don’t require any refrigeration. Maybe in November.


We’ve harvested cabbage, red jalapeno peppers, the last of the tomatoes and the pumpkins and squash this month. I also managed to use the last of the basil just after the frost hit. One part of the plant remained green, so we picked the rest of it and enjoyed it in a baked rigatoni and again in some tomato basil pesto for on top of pizza. The garden is now pulled up and plowed under. Whew.


I’m still working on the sweater for the tall kid. Actually, no I’m not. It’s gathering dust in my basket at the moment, but I did finish a cowl to keep me warm this winter, and I am currently working on my first ever pair of socks.


I’ve been doing a bit more reading this month, though I didn’t take any photos this time around. I’m currently browsing through the Ina Garten Back to Basics cookbook that a co-worker thought I might like. I’ve got a bunch of sticky notes marking pages to try.

{Enhance – community}:

The dad continues to volunteer as a hockey coach and as a member of the local Ducks Unlimited committee. We continue to purchase locally when we have the opportunity – some apples and a pumpkin from a local orchard (yes, I know that we grew pumpkins, but none were big enough to carve).


We’ve had some time to visit with friends this month, we had Thanksgiving over at my in-law’s farm with the city cousins and we’ve spent a couple of weekends with the girl’s friends here on sleep-overs.

This time of year is busy for our boat/RV/trailer storage business, so someone is constantly at the door or calling about drop-off times. Once the dad gets it all put away for the winter, we will be able to settle down and enjoy the peace once again. I’m looking forward to a little bit of hibernation.

Another busy, but interesting month.

Linked to GNOWFGLINS, FOY Update, Frugally Sustainable

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39 thoughts on “slow living – October

  1. I thought I had replied to this – but maybe not–love these round ups–am thinking I should take a page out of your book. Your girls look adorable

    • Oops – I accidentally hit publish early yesterday on a half finished post – if you commented on that one, it probably disappeared when I unpublished it a couple of minutes later. I shouldn’t type when I’m tired..

  2. You always make me laugh… “the husband has to provide a suitably hamburger worthy reason to take some from the freezer.”

    It feels great to have the garden put to bed, but I am kind of missing my daily walks out there to “see how things are going”

  3. Katie Glenn says:

    Here in Florida October means a break from the humidity and reason we all live here!

  4. Wendy says:

    Those chillies look almost too perfect! Lovely.
    Autumn leaves in that first pic are gorgeous.

  5. Kathryn says:

    I always enjoy reading your summary for each month. It’s inspiring and heartwarming. Thank you so much for sharing. And BTW, your pictures are beautiful!

  6. I had to laugh too about needing a “suitably hamburger worthy reason to take some from the freezer.” I have sliced local strawberries in the freezer which I am saving for the dead of winter, but my spouse keeps trying to raid them!

    Your month seemed really busy; this time maybe “slow living” could be replaced by “intentional living”?

  7. Sarah says:

    I love these posts…and I think I say that every month. But it’s true, I feel sort of unworthy after I read them, but at the same time, I’m inspired. I say I’m going to slow down and pay attention to these kinds of things (I love the categories) but I seem to have a problem slowing by brain down. Must. Try. Harder. Thank you for posting these every month, they must be a great source of accomplishment for you to revisit all you’ve been able to do.

    I had to laugh (like I usually do around here, I love your sense of humor Heidi) at the talking in sentence fragments. I swear I’m now talking in tweets. LOL!

    Terrific post. Me loves! (see, tweets)

    • These posts are a bit of a boost to me. Believe it or not, I often think I didn’t accomplish anything in a month. Now I’m finally beginning to see differently. You would too, going back through your posts and looking at the beautiful food and knitting projects that you create.

  8. Heidi………I get tired just reading what you’ve accomplished…I remember the busyness of hockey and the money it cost for our two sons to play….but on top of that you have the MS and you must have fatigue at times…I don’t know how you manage…but it all sounds like fun…maybe ‘fun’ isn’t the right word…lol Diane

    • Some days I’m not sure I am managing, and it isn’t always fun, but I do have extra pairs of hands around that I rely on when the fatigue hits. Probably the same as you, I just plow through it when I can and quit for a while when I can’t.

  9. The picture at the top of the page is beautiful…I love autumn.
    I know exactly what you mean when you have to have a reason to use the things you have stored….I have to make myself use things in my freezer as I need more room, otherwise I too try not to use things…I don’t know why I do this lol

  10. Love the picture at the beginning of your post. Sounds like you are finally getting to live at a slower pace, which must feel good. I would definitely have had garden burnout long before you did, especially after all those tomatoes.

  11. I thought the picture with your girls was going to be another singing video…I am so disappointed girls!! But loved your post – definitely gives me ideas.

  12. Christine says:

    Your body scrub sounds intriguing! Re the vinegar cleaner, we just use straight vinegar too..but more out of laziness than anything else! Lovely looking yarn, all the best with the socks. 🙂

  13. Kerry says:

    Wow, monthly recap… it’s that time already? Enjoyable and impressive, as usual!
    My post tomorrow? It’s just for you. 😉

  14. Claire says:

    After all your tomato-flavoured efforts earlier, it must be such a relief to have put the garden to bed for another year! Also, I am in awe of anyone who can knit socks – looking forward to seeing the end product 🙂

  15. Somer says:

    I put on my protective layer of winter fat all in one month (shame on you Vegan MOFO) It usually takes me several. Curses. I love reading these, you’ve accomplished heaps in the last month my dear!

    • So have you. So, even vegan cheez can be fattening? It’ll probably come back off quickly for you. Me, it might take longer for.

      • Somer says:

        Um, it’s lower in fat than dairy cheese, but when you’re testing recipes for MOFO and you make 5 failed batches of smoked coconut gouda, you’ve gotta use it up somehow. We ate way more cheez than we normally do this month, plus testing other recipes for the site led to way more treats and indulgence then is normal around here. Had to make sure everything was right 😉 Plus I was so busy, I wasn’t getting as much exercise as a I normally do. A few raw days or high veg and green smoothie days should do the trick 😉

  16. Katie says:

    That first photo of the autumn colours is divine, and your home cooking photo makes me want to make a casserole! But alas it is 30 degrees here today so we will have to do with salad and BBQ 😉

  17. Barbara Good says:

    I too find myself talking (and writing) like a tween/teenage after spending many hours with 13 year olds at school.

    Loved your monthly wrap. I know what you mean about not wanting to raid your stash in the freezer. I’m the same, but end up filling them up to capacity and then finding we have more food than really need so we eat out of the freezer FOR WEEKS.

  18. Fiona says:

    Heidi the silverbeet I mentioned is also known as swiss chard or chard. It is a type of spinach that you only eat cooked.

  19. Such a beautiful tree laden drive in that top picture. Makes me look forward to autumn already….hmm, think I have a while to wait!
    Lots of lovely things going on in the last month Heidi.

  20. That scrub look divine – Im going to make that this afternoon! Looking forward to the “look at my new sox” post – I have sock envy as I cant knit (or read music or add 3 digit numbers in my head -Im sure its all linked) but LOVE my sox as I always have cold feet! Its heating up here in Queensland Australia so Im not expecting to wear many pairs between now and April next year! Love reading about your kids and their explots! -Kara xx

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