Slow Living Update – February 2013


One more month of winter finished, as of yesterday. I am not yet sick of winter this year. I’ve liked the snow and the cold and have been more than happy to hibernate a little bit. Now that it’s March I know it will start to melt and warm up, so I guess hibernation is over.

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 haven’t done much of anything this month, or at least I think I haven’t. By the time I have finished these posts, I generally discover that I’ve done more than I thought.



I spent most of the month wishing that we had someone to cook for us – I find this time of year tiring, especially after working all day. And although the dad is a much better cook than I am, he comes home later. In an effort to be fed before 8pm during the long dark winter, I do my best. We did ok, though occasionally I resort to eggs and bacon or grilled cheese and soup when inspiration fails.

I wrote about Bacon and Cheddar Muffins and Baked Rigatoni and tried out a couple of new recipes that seemed to go over well and will be tried again.

This last week will be remembered as the week of “the roast that wouldn’t quit”. Last weekend we invited the immediate grandparents over for Sunday dinner and the dad purchased a roast on his way home from hockey (never let the dad do the shopping – he believes bigger is always better).  It was spectacular, I will admit (he is a very good cook). However, that roast fed 8 hungry people, gave us lunch for a week, made Shepherd’s Pie, hot roast beef sandwiches, and beef and barley soup. It also blew most of my grocery budget for the month. And either I am suffering from something my brother-in-law calls “meat sweats” or I am entering into a new phase of life. I’m going with the former.


We are in reverse preparation mode right now. We have been eating out of the freezers, trying to empty one of them out in order to fill them back up this summer.


I can never remember what we have done in this category because it is something that is done everyday. Our household is kept running by the dad, who seems to repair something every week. He has fixed the pump on the well, pulled another pump out of the well in the barn after it fell to the bottom, and of course, the manure piles continue to be moved and added to old piles to rot and become fertilizer.

There have been some minor clothing repairs and the dad even did an invisible repair to a leather jacket that his dad gave him after a closet clean-out.

{Green – cleaners, body products and basic herbal remedies}:

I made another body scrub this month to stop the dry skin itch – nothing exotic this time, just sugar, oil and some peppermint essential oil. I’ve also started to use white vinegar as a laundry rinse. I hang as many clothes as I can and I don’t buy dryer sheets or liquid fabric softener, and the vinegar seems to make the clothes a little softer – whether they are hung to dry or put in the dryer.



I refer you back to the first photo for this category. Not much is growing here this time of year (except the tall hormonal kid – I had to buy her 4 new pairs of jeans this month). We are browsing the seed catalogue and making plans for the garden.



I pulled out the knitting again and finished one sock. It’s comfy and slouchy and I can see these being good lounging socks, feet up in front of the fire.  I also wrote about sewing up some swaddling blankets for a baby gift.

I have plans to get the little sewing room unpacked, but for some reason that keeps getting put off. It’s something to put on my list for March. First, I would like to get some carpet down to warm up the cold floor up there. Fortunately, I know a guy (the dad owns a flooring store).

And I have to mention the stable that the kids made last weekend. I’m still impressed. They had their dad make two cuts for them, otherwise they built these themselves.


My pile of books to read continues to grow faster than the pile of books that have been read. Over the past year I have gone from reading two or three books a week to one or two books a month. I open a book when I climb into bed, read three or four lines and fall asleep. It’s probably just a life stage thing or MS fatigue thing, but hopefully I get back into my reading groove soon.

{Enhance – community}:

As far as being involved in the community, the dad is still coaching hockey and we’ve attended a community church lady ham supper. We live outside a small town where there is only two or three degrees of separation (four, maybe, if you are from away) and if you also live nearby, my father-in-law probably knows you, your parents and their grandparents. It would be hard not to be a part of the community here. We buy locally, I work locally and we own two businesses locally. The dad was also recently talked into acting as MC for another local fundraising dinner – he apparently is known in the community for his ability to talk. A lot.



We’ve entertained a few times in the new house already. Because it was already a home that held a lot of memories for us, the settling in has been pretty seamless. It feels like home and this space works well for our family.

We spent a fun weekend in Toronto visiting the ROM and staying overnight with friends. It was nice to get away – nice enough that the dad and I are making plans to go away soon and spend a weekend by ourselves. It’s been a couple of years since we went away for a weekend on our own.

Linked to Wildcrafting Wednesday, White Wolf Summit Farmgirl

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35 thoughts on “Slow Living Update – February 2013

  1. A weekend by yourselves – yay- have some fun. I always love reading your month end round up and have thought of doing something like that too – but I think you have to be someone organized to do that–
    By the way, I thought that roast was big – every time I see it I salivate – my husband is the same as yours–send him to the grocery store and prepare for BIG

    • What is it with them and grocery stores? I recklessly sent him into the store with a list again today, but with the warning that he is to buy no meat. The roast was good, but by day 5 there really is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

  2. I love your monthly slow living roundups and agree, when you look back, it’ s really quite amazing how much we pack into a month. I too read less than I did falling asleep after a few pages and the next night having to re-read most of them!
    Magnificent stable and the roast looked delicious.
    All the best to you and yours. 🙂

    • Thankyou! As usual, I was a little surprised that I did more than I though I did. I also like that you can see a contrast betweeen the slower winter months and the frenetic summer months. The work has slowed down a little and nobody seems to mind.

  3. Tammy says:

    What a great post. I love these categories – need to check out the essentials site!

  4. Lynne Ayers says:

    I liked your vinegar suggestion as I hang as often as I can and never use softener products – how much vinegar do you use and when do you put it in?

    • I just fill up the fabric softener spot in my front loading washer – I’ve read that you can use anywhere from 1/4 cup to a full cup per load. When I do a load of towels, I use about a cup – it also helps keep that musty smell out of towels when the get wet. The vinegar smell is gone as soon as the laundry is dry, too – so no worries about smelling like salad dressing.

  5. Hi again – featured you in a post today – thanks for the inspiration!

  6. Kathy says:

    Ahhhh, simplifying. Just came here via LouAnn’s post which featured you and had to come see. I admire many of these values! Thank you for sharing.

  7. oceannah says:

    Heidi it looks like you are totally settling in to the new house!! That roast looks AMAZING.
    Great monthly roundup!

  8. Amber says:

    Mmm I bet that roast was delicious!!

  9. It is hard to imagine that your husband is a better cook than you are. I’m glad you are settling in nicely and looking forward to a weekend away. It amazed me that you would accomplish so much so soon after moving.

  10. thebeadden says:

    I have been browsing that same seed book. I can’t wait for winter to be over!

    • That seller was recommended by a friend last year and we had really good results with the seeds. I’m looking forward to the garden again this year and trying out some new veg that we haven’t planted before. Are you in Ontario too?

  11. Kara says:

    Left over meat usually freezes ok… although didn’t you say you were trying to empty the freezer… I had the same problem with Ham at Christmas after my boss rang on Christmas eve and said come and get your Christmas present and presented me with a 5kg ham! Yay – but since I already had Christmas ham, it was a bit of a problem – So I froze it and I get some out every few weeks and enjoy it. I have frozen a fair bit of roast meat too and made it into new meals when its been defrosted (or rediscovered after 18 months!) and its ok. Love those snow photos! – Kara

    • We generally do that too, but this week we just kept at it until it was gone. I like to keep leftover ham, pork and chicken in the freezer, but for some reason I don’t keep leftover beef in the freezer. I guess I don’t have a lot of ideas about what to use it in afterwards.

  12. I like your phrase “reverse preparation mode”! It wouldn’t be so good to look in your freezer next October and have “green beans” and “green beans 2013”!

    • By emptying one freezer totally and reorganizing the remaining one (we keep one for vegetables and fruit and one for meat, bread, etc), we can usually avoid the petrified vegetables at the bottom. Though there is always a surprise or two..

  13. sharechair says:

    Love your philosophy! I’m here for keeps. 🙂

  14. The journal is nice …I’m afraid there wouldn’t be much to put in if I did one…as there is just the two of us..and with winter haven’t gone out much….

    ‘Reading’ is a real issue for me also right now…With the fatigue factor and the cognitive difficulties…when there are a lot of characters in the story I have a problem remembering who is who…and sometimes lose the story…ah well, I shall persevere…

    I will not be sad to see spring come and winter end…as I love the warm weather and all that entails…flower gardens etc…Anyway, it was good to see how you’ve been settling in (or not at least in sewing room lol) Diane

    • I have a bit of a problem with too many characters in a book too – I find my memory gets hazy quickly.

      I’m setting in very nicely. Which means I feel I can go on ignoring the sewing room for quite some time to come..

  15. Hi Heidi. While you are clearing out your freezers to make room, mine are filling up fast with the summer harvest. It has been a good summer, but the autumn is definitely welcome, especially the rain – when it comes.
    I understand your struggle with the MS fatigue thing as this is something I also struggle with from time to time, however, what doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger, and in my experience fresh air and country living are an awesome tonic.
    Have a great week.
    Cheers Sarah : o )

  16. Claire says:

    Ah, I keep meaning to make some of your body scrubs. I think now might be a perfect time to slough off the winter skin an d polish up in time for spring/summer 🙂

    That roast sounds magnificent!

  17. Somer says:

    Although hibernation is fun, I’m so ready for a spot of sunshine. Winter gets dreary for me. Hope you are feeling a bit better 🙂

  18. Kerry says:

    Good wrap up! (Although you’re making me feel like I haven’t accomplished much lately! : / )

  19. I LOVE your snow photo! Living in GA we rarely get to see any snow. Thanks for linking up with Wildcrafting Wednesday. 🙂

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