December – a month and a year of slow living

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Another year is behind us. That’s almost a whole year that I have been writing about my life in this space. I’ve been surprised by the people outside of family members that stop by to read and leave a comment and have “met” many interesting people.

WordPress has made a summary for each blog that nicely sums up the most popular posts, stats and commenters (Click here to see the complete report.). Thanks to everyone who visited and commented in the past year.

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. I started doing this partway through the year, and for my own end of year summary, here are the links to the other months:

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{Nourish}:

This month was all about eating with family and friends and coworkers. And turkey. We cooked two turkeys for Christmas Day this year to ensure lots of leftovers. Lots and lots of leftovers. I’m over turkey now. Well, mostly. We’ve had curried turkey and rice casserole, turkey in our baked rigatoni, and turkey on our pizza last night.

I wrote about the 3 kinds of goodies that I make at Christmas to give away – 5 minute fudge, white chocolate party mix and dark chocolate/ginger bark. Unfortunately I think I ate nearly as much as I gave away. Unless I can blame my incredibly shrinking waistbands on the tall hormonal kid doing the laundry.

I also tried an easy and delicious thumbprint cookie recipe from LouAnn and learned a neat little trick for making the thumbprint holes from Carolyn (I’d like to try her cookie recipe too).

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{Prepare}:

The preparations were mostly just of the Christmas baking and present making variety this month. We do have a good stash of cooked cubed turkey in the freezer as well as a few casseroles made by my father-in-law (he is great that way) that will get us through some of the hectic moving days ahead of us in January.

{Reduce/Reuse/Repurpose/Repair}:

We (and by we, I mean ME) continue to organize and pack for our move to the farmhouse in a couple of weeks. As much as I hate to admit it, it is a good opportunity to weed out unused/unwanted items that I would have continued to ignore in hidden corners and closets. I have one bedroom full of bags of stuff to be donated to charity and I am afraid I am far from finished. How did we accumulate this much? Never again.

My plan to blow up the house by giving the small squeaky (evil) kid a chemistry set for Christmas doesn’t seem to be working out for me, so I will continue until it is all sorted and dealt with. Sigh.

In a similar vein and for the same reasons, our garbage creation for this month is way out of control. I am recycling as much as I can by donating useful items and handing down some pieces of furniture to my brother and giving other unwanted items to a neighbour who resells furniture and household items, but some things just end up being trash. Once the move is done things will improve significantly.

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{Green}:

I made a spiced chai sugar body scrub this month. Other than that, I continue to use some homemade cleaners, but have also found that I’ve been relying on store-bought stuff because of time constraints or laziness. It’s something to work on again in the new year.

{Grow}:

I killed my houseplant this month. Oops. One less thing to move.

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{Create}:

I made several quick and easy dish cloths for teacher’s gifts this month, finished a top knot toque for the mini-nephew and started but (again, oops) didn’t finish a seaman’s toque for my brother for Christmas. Maybe I’ll pick it up again tonight.

{Discover}:

There hasn’t been a lot of time or energy for reading this month, but we got a few new books for Christmas that I will be getting into soon. As a tongue-in-cheek gift for the dad, I bought a copy of the new Janet Evanovich bounty hunter book (we don’t usually admit in public to reading them, but they are quick and funny, and we both enjoy them), a bottle of the Bvlgari body wash used by the male character in the book (I had to have it shipped within the States and brought back by my co-worker’s snowbird mother on her way home for Christmas – my husband saw an email she sent me about “the package” coming across the border and briefly wondered if I had turned to a life of crime) and an all-black outfit that the same character would wear. My coworker’s mom says she is going to call him to see how it all worked out for him.

Anyway. So, I haven’t been doing much mind-expanding reading – though I continue to enjoy and learn from other blogs that I read. I’ve also just started watching the first season of Downton Abbey – another Christmas gift. I’m hooked.

{Enhance – community}:

I’m not sure if this counts, but my husband has bought another business in our community and is now even more firmly entrenched. Fingers crossed that this one works out as well as we hope.

We also had a hockey tournament, a few Christmas get-togethers and visitors to the house as out-of-towners come home to visit relatives.

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{Enjoy}:

Christmas was the big celebration in our home this month, but the end of year birthday of the oldest child can’t be overlooked either. There have been lots of opportunities to tickle the mini-cousins and visit with family.

New Year’s Eve was a quiet night at our house with homemade pizza, leftover birthday cake and a movie (Paul Blart, Mall Cop – hey, the kids liked it) and everyone tucked away in bed before midnight. We’re in various stages of recovery from the flu and needed the rest.

Another busy and enjoyable month. Happy New Year!

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39 thoughts on “December – a month and a year of slow living

  1. Love your end of the month round-ups; your Christmas table looked beautiful; love the cork idea for thumbprint cookies–my son who helped me make them this year said his thumb was too big (he is well over sx feet tall) so this should solve his problem; and once again–thanks so much for the knitted cloth–it is too pretty to use. Happy happy Heidi

  2. Happy new year Heidi. May you and your family be blessed. Keep up the good blogwork!

  3. Fairy says:

    Thanks for the round-up, Heidi. I am so glad I found your blog in 2012 and I’ve really enjoyed reading.

    I am definitely joining in the slow living round-up each month. I just need to remember to keep notes through the month.

    Best wishes for the New Year.

    • My month end summaries mostly come from the posts that I’ve written, so it’s usually pretty easy to look back on what we’ve done over the month. I will enjoy reading your month end posts when you start them.

  4. jmgoyder says:

    I love the way you have done this.

  5. Simple Farming says:

    I think stuff breeds in the dark and that’s why there is so much accumulation.

    In riding a horse, we borrow freedom

  6. Bobbie says:

    Happy New Year to you I have enjoyed reading your emails and I will continue to do so. I have not tried the recipes yet but I have them saved so I can and I am going to make that body scrub you put up now that Dec is over with. I hope you have a wonderful New Year with your family and friends.

  7. Sarah says:

    Yes, buying a business in the community counts! Congratulations and good luck! Something tells me it will be very successful. 🙂

    I’m so happy to hear that you’re decluttering in prep for the big move. It feels great doesn’t it! And yes, never again. I’ve started that here. Well, not prepping for a move, but de-stuffing of the house.

    Thank you for this, Heidi. These are always so inspiring for me. New year, new opportunity to DO these things here too. It must be done…

    Happy New Year!!

  8. What a FUN post! I’m so glad to have met you this year!

  9. I don’t envy you your move. I used to move on average every 2 years, it was always my “spring cleaning” the one good thing about moving was the forced purging that resulted. I too adore the Stephanie Plum books but I think the first 3 were the best, probably because I was so unprepared for the humor and Mall cop is enjoyed here as well.

    • We just watched the movie that they made of the first book the other day – not bad. It’s easy entertainment. I think moving every 2 years with a house full of stuff would pretty much kill me..

      • It was a job to move everything, but I had never had a home growing up for much longer so it was how I knew to live. Settling down I realize I need time to do that kind of thorough cleaning or the clutter seems to grow.

        I didn’t know they had made a movie of the first book, I’m going to have to check that out!

  10. I love the way you broke down the year. I really envy you, you sound so relaxed with all that is going on in your life. Good luck with the new business, may it prove to be prosperous. I like the idea of giving the chemistry set to the squeaky one. Probably better that he doesn’t. I think it’s good for people to move at least every ten years, just to clean out the closets. Good luck with the move. I hope it all goes well.

    • What sounds relaxed in writing is pretty much anything but. I’m going slowly and have most of January off to accomplish the moves, but the stress is high and I can’t say that I’m enjoying the process. I will be happy with the end result of the decluttering.

      • We are in the process of cleaning out my mom-in-law’s apartment, what a job. They’ve lived there about 30 years and the clutter is unbelievable. I don’t envy you the moves. They are tough.

  11. I can’t even imagine preparing to move and hosting Christmas at the same time. 😉

    Happy New Year to you all.

    • We were lucky this year – the actual Christmas dinner was over at my in-laws for the first time in 15 years or so – though they are the first to move, so the stress was high for them. My husband and sister in law did the cooking, so that was a help. We’ll all be relieved when the moves are finished.

  12. Kerry says:

    Happy New Year, Heidi! Kudos to all you’ve accomplished in 2012!!

  13. Heidi..I don’t know how you keep up the pace that you do….I know with the M.S. you sometimes have to slow down but your ‘slow down’ is still pretty fast…But I can tell that you love what you do and I guess that is the motivation you need…

    .I know the de-cluttering is hard but it’s surprising how much we hold onto that we hardly or never use…and yet someone could get use of as you’re finding out…Hope all goes well…Diane

    • Thanks! I’ve been taking it pretty slow so far, at least I think so. I’ll get there. We’ve been hit hard with the flu over the last couple of weeks, so that brought things pretty much to a halt for a while. It’ll all get done eventually.

  14. amy b. says:

    Beautiful dishcloth/soap gift. I make those, too… Happy new year to you, and thanks for your comments on my blog.

  15. Somer says:

    I have so much clutter in my home, that’s one New Years resolution I’d like to nail. To get rid of it all, and to stop accumulating more!

  16. Wendy says:

    I just have to try those 5 min fudge brownies and your knitted clothes with the soaps are lovely gifts. Well done!

  17. Tammy says:

    Great post. I love the summary and your categories and that your husband makes paw print cookies.

  18. So much fun! Love the Christmas table! Just think how much more stuff you would have if you didnt move for another 5 years!?! Good luck! – K xx

  19. I have enjoyed reading your blog all year!

  20. We had crackers on our Christmas table too! But don’t know where the tradition comes from… do you? Did you all wear your crowns afterwards too? We spent hours in ours!

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