slow living update – March 2013

early morning April fools

early morning April fools

Happy April Fool’s Day. I was going to write about March going out like a lamb this year (it did – we had beautiful weather this week). However, this morning we woke up to a bit of snow falling. At least this snow won’t stay. It’s above freezing outside and most of the snow melted away this weekend. Things will start to green up shortly, which means that there will soon be a lot more work to do on the weekends. There are a lot of flower gardens here at the farm as well as lawn. Luckily the tall kid learned to mow lawn last year. We’ll keep her busy and out of trouble.

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.



Easy meals were the focus of this month – mostly because the time change halfway through kicked our butts and we were all dragging by the end of the day. There was a lot of breakfast for dinner in the evenings. We made up for it on weekends, even trying out pasta making for the first time. The dad tried his hand at homemade lasagna. Now he wants a pasta roller. One small success and it went to his head.

I didn’t write much about food or recipes this month (actually, I didn’t write much this month at all), but I did post about making ginger syrup and homemade gingerale.


We are still in the process of emptying out the freezers in order to fill them up again this summer.


I’ve got plans for some projects that would fit in here, but they didn’t get accomplished this month. Some closet clean-outs have some sweaters and ripped jeans stacked up in the sewing room waiting to have a few things made out of them. I have an old corner shelf that would make a great stable for the small kid’s horses with a little paint and a few additions. I’m just waiting for warmer weather and for the dad to clean me off a workspace in the woodshop.

We also bought a new (to us) vehicle to shuttle me back and forth to my new job in the city. My old car was ok for driving back and forth to my job in town, but wouldn’t be reliable enough for longer distances each day. We found a vehicle that is in very good shape for being almost 10 years old and should be able to get me through some good snowstorms for several years. We always buy used and the dad keeps the vehicles in reasonable running order. This one is a little bigger than the rest and feels a bit like I am driving a house, but I will be safe and the mileage is the same as my old vehicle.

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

I made a hair mask to help tame some of the winter frizz in my hair.

I’ve also made some more of the dishwasher soap – and I forgot that I am supposed to leave the lid off for a few days or everything will clump and harden. I put it all in the food processor, whirred it up and let it sit to dry out again on a cookie sheet on the counter for a day and the problem resolved.


Nothing is growing here at the moment, except the pile of books that I need to return to the library.



I finally unpacked and set up the sewing room, but haven’t as yet done anything in it. I put a small old oriental rug of the dad’s grandmother down on the floor, scored an unused rolling desk chair from the dad’s shop and am ready to go to work. Soon. I can feel it.

I did finish the pair of socks, finally (which the tall kid tells me are going to be hers) and have started a Lady Kina sweater for myself. It it works out well, I can see making more than one of these.



I’ve finally got my reading groove back. I finished a couple of books in one night (Before I Go To Sleep and The Glass Castle) and have been working my way through the rest of the pile. I found a couple of Harrowsmith Magazine cookbooks that have been great to read through – I miss that magazine now that it is out of print.


{Enhance – community}:

The hockey season finally wrapped up last weekend, so the dad’s coaching obligation for this year is at an end. His gig as Master of Ceremonies at a local dinner went well, but hopefully we will have a few quiet Saturdays coming up before the next busy season starts.

I went to a Talents of Our Town sale last weekend as well and found a great hand loomed locally made rug for our freezing cold upstairs bathroom floor and bought a new supply of handmade soap from a local island resident that makes great soaps. I also found a local supplier for lye, so I am soon going to try making my own. I just need to get off my lazy behind.


My husband and I just got back from our first weekend away by ourselves in a couple of years. We try to do that every year or two, but I think three years had passed since we last went away. This year we stayed in downtown Toronto at the Royal York and spent a few days walking around downtown and eating way too much.

Linked to Frugally Sustainable, GNOWFGLINS

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23 thoughts on “slow living update – March 2013

  1. Kerry says:

    Great update, Heidi! Love that stitch book – have wanted to check it out for a while : )
    Got super warm here (warm for us) yesterday then pretty chilly again this morning, too. Fingers crossed for spring to stay soon!

  2. Somer says:

    I made your ginger syrup and tried to make it stronger for ginger beer. I messed it up somehow. Back to square one 🙂 I also made a recipe for homemade dishwasher detergent (off another site) that was an epic fail. My dishes came out dingy, and dirty and with a film on them. Looks like I need to try your recipe, but we have VERY hard water and I’ve only found the gelpacs to really clean our dishes, so it might be a hopeless endeavor.

  3. I think you always do more than you realize and a whole lot more than I do… The last thing you did is the ‘bestest’ thing of all….Hope you are feeling good as I know you don’t let your M.S. get too much in the way …..Diane

    • The weekend away was the best thing we could have done for ourselves. Now that we are home it feels like it was too short though. We’ll plan again for next year. And thanks, things are going pretty good health-wise, just the normal ups and downs as I’m sure you experience too. Most days are good. 🙂

  4. PJ says:

    You’re so busy Heidi – I feel like a lie down now I’ve read what you’ve been up to! The soap making will be interesting and I’ve always wanted to try this.

  5. A new job? Sorry you will have to drive further and it sounded like you had a terrific co-workers. Hope you like this job as much. I had no doubt your food would last you all winter, you put up quite a bit of it last year, how are the tomatoes holding up? 🙂

    I too lost my reading mojo this winter and just got back to books this month.

    I’ve heard March comes in like a lion it will go out like a lamb, but no one ever said April 1st would be winter again, like you it’s not sticking but it’s really cold out. I’m going to hold the weathermen to their promise of 50 degrees by Thursday.

    • I’d be ok with it warming up by Thursday – the wind made the house feel colder than the middle of winter at times today. I’m now officially sick of winter.

      The new job is just for a year – same organization, different job and office. I’ve worked with the new coworkers before and will enjoy working with them again. Sometimes a change is as good as a rest. I was starting to get a bit bored and frustrated in my current job, so hopefully things will settle a little in the year that I am away.

  6. too close to the falls is just an excellent book, and I am reading the Unlikely Pilgrimage right now. always enjoy your month end round up–I am supposed to do the same but have not got around to it yet–you inspire me
    did I know about your new job? good luck!

    • I’m partway thru Too Close to the Falls right now – I don’t usually read memoirs, but I really like this one – and The Glass Castle too. I might have to try memoirs/autobiographies more often. The Harold Fry book I started and put down, but keep hearing good things about it, so it’s next in the line-up.

      The new job is just a one year posting to a different office (and different job altogether) in the same organization. Im looking forward to a change.

  7. jmgoyder says:

    That is a lot of accomplishments!

  8. The new job sounds like a good move, even if it had to come with a new-to-you car! I used to love reading Harrowsmith; do you like Mother Earth News?

  9. That first photo just cracks me up… especially the kiddo on the left…LOL!

    Congrats on your new to you car, we’ve started thinking seriously about getting one of those for us… oy.

    It’s nice to hear that you and the Dad got a little respite together. 🙂

    To answer your question about the Neti Pot… after you get used to using it you won’t have the water-in-the-nose/post-nasal-drip thing going on. But it can take a few tries to get things cleared out and the process down. I usually use it over the sink after my chores but before a shower, then any remaining drip is resolved in the shower.

  10. Susan says:

    I found your blog from a comment on Pyjama Gardener. I’m so glad I was intrigued enough to click on to your blog. I’m starting a new garden, as soon as I can find one. I loved Harrowsmith magazine and have a really useful book they published which I dip into all the time. I’m only just getting into food preserving and reading back over your posts have already picked up a lot of useful tips. I will be visiting often.

  11. I have really enjoyed reading this post. It gives a lovely insight into your family life. Lovely photographs of the children.

  12. Geraldine says:

    Great post, love your blog name btw.

    I noted Superstar Knitting in your book pile, I love that book. Reviewed it recently at my review blog too.

    If you’re a yarn-lover, make sure to stop by to enter this month’s contest too:

    so glad I stopped in. Happy Week, G

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