slow living update – april 2013

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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.

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{Nourish}:

We’ve eaten a lot of large extended family meals this month. There has also been a few meals provided by friends and neighbours, for which we were very grateful. I wrote about Butter Chickpeas, since butter chicken is a quick dinner at our place and when I am out of ideas at the end of the workday, it’s an easy dinner to put together. We like to add peas or chopped spinach to ours for a little extra colour.

{Prepare}:

I’m not sure if this counts as food preparation, but the dad’s aunt and uncle gifted us the entire contents of their food cupboards and freezer because they were moving out of province and didn’t want to haul food. I guess that cut down on food needs for a while and filled the pantry (and then some!).

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{Reduce/Reuse/Repurpose/Repair}:

I made a few gift bags using worn out kid’s jeans and even the sleeve from an unwanted sweater. I’ve been accumulating quite a few items of clothing that I will keep using up in similar ways. Nothing else really to report here.

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

I also inherited the entire contents of the aunt and uncle’s cleaning closet, so in the interest of using up what we have, I will make my way through all of it before I make my own again. I know some of them might not be as environmentally friendly as I might otherwise use, but it seems wrong to waste anything.

{Grow}:

The grass is growing quickly enough that the horses are being kept in the barnyard and out of the field to avoid getting colic and the dad is getting up early in the morning to pick up the lawn mower from the repair shop in order to mow the lawns before the weekend. There is a lot more lawn over here at the farm. I’m just happy that the tall hormonal kid learned to drive the lawn mower last year.

The garden isn’t planted yet, but we did place a seed order which should arrive any day. We will still have to buy a few plants for the peppers and tomatoes. There is a greenhouse here at the farm but some wildlife has been in and out of it over the last few years, so a clean-up this spring will be necessary to get it ready for use next year. In the meantime I don’t mind purchasing some plants that have already been started.

{Create}:

Nothing to write about here this month.

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{Discover}:

I read a few books this month while the dad was staying overnight at the hospital with his dad. Eighteen years must be the magic number of years that it takes to get used to the snoring, because I found that I missed him when he wasn’t here.

And who knew Pierre Berton wrote a cookbook? There’s a long-winded historical explanation of each recipe, but I guess that’s to be expected.

{Enhance – community}:

The tall hormonal kid has been babysitting at the school during Parent/Teacher council meetings. It has given her a little taste of the working life (she’ll get a bit more when she finds out that she is going to be picking stones for the neighbouring farmer who leases and plants land here at the farm).

We’ve also hired a friend’s 15-year-old son to help with the clean out of the flower gardens and general lawn raking. He has been an awesome help – he has the work ethic of the dad, but the back and arm strength of a 15-year-old. He makes some extra pocket-money and we get a lot of work done that we couldn’t accomplish otherwise. Everyone wins.

I’ve also hired a local woman to clean the house twice a month (her name is Dusty – I figured it was meant to be). She does a lot of work that it would exhaust me to do and I am able to spend some of my weekends resting. Again, everyone wins.

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{Enjoy}:

We had a lot of family around in April, we had mini-cousins, cousins and the dad’s aunt and uncle as house guests. We had many weekend meals together while my father-in-law was in hospital and family was down to visit. He passed away in April, but we will continue to remember him this weekend at a Tribute of Life that is being held at our local community hall.

Linked to Wildcrafting Wednesday, Frugally Sustainable

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27 thoughts on “slow living update – april 2013

  1. As always -l love to read this month end write up–

  2. I’m glad you’re back. I miss you when you’re away too long. So sorry for the loss of your father-in-law. Sounds like he was a great man.

  3. Bobbie says:

    I am sorry for your loss I know how hard it is to lose someone so close to the family. I’m sure your celebration of life for him will be very nice. You are a lucky women to have such a wonderful place to live.

  4. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    Take lots of time to recuperate and gather yourselves together. Lord knows how hard this last while has been on everyone… Meanwhile, sending lots of positive energy to help keep you going. Hugs, Deb
    P.S. Nice score from Uncle and Aunt – you’re so right, “Waste not, want not!” (and I totally have greenhouse envy; )

  5. I would guess that since you have such a big vegetable garden you will be very busy getting that going … and then the processing and freezing etc. after…So it’s good that you have some help with the house and time to rest. I’m fortunate in that we don’t have a large property to look after or house for that matter since we’re now in a mobile home so my husband does most of the housework that I can’t do… I know your husband has many other things to take care of…. While there is no landscaping or flowers we are looking forward to doing them…again I can’t do too much but some I can… So glad spring is finally here!..take care Diane

  6. What did you think of the Julia Child book? I had no idea what her background was, so I was surprised. I think it’s great that you got some house and yard help!

  7. Reading your accounts and describtions of your family keeps me smiling. I have a tall hormonal child too. He also knows everything although you wouldn’t know it looking at his reportcard.

  8. Subtlekate says:

    Loved the Tale of Halcyon Crane.

  9. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    For the Tall Hormonal Kid: Lee Valley Tools has a wonderful back saver for rock picking
    http://www.leevalley.com/en/garden/page.aspx?p=10526&cat=2,44821

  10. shoes says:

    I enjoy your month review.

  11. It’s good that you have a focus for your life. It always makes things better.

  12. Wendy Meijer says:

    Sorry to hear of your loss. Beautiful photos and I love your gift bags!

  13. Christine says:

    Great to hear about your month, Heidi! Loving the sound of those butter chickpeas and your gift bags are really clever! At times we’ve thought about bringing in a local teen boy to help with all our yard work – good to know it’s working out for you.

  14. Linda says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your father-in-law. It’s tough to lose someone close.

    I hope you don’t mind but I really want to steal your gift bag idea! Fantastic! And I would love to find a cleaning lady called Dusty!

  15. Somer says:

    I add peas to my butter chickpeas as well! I love these sort of roundup thoughtful posts my dear.

  16. My first thought was, “That’s a handsome horse!”

    I’m sorry to hear about the dad’s dad. But happy to hear you’ve had so much family around and much help.

    Happy May!

  17. Awesome updates! I especially like the idea of picking rocks out of the field. We had our 13 year old neice in town who thought picking strawberries was slave labor and the look on her face when I told her she could be picking rocks out of the pasture later with us. Priceless!
    Thanks for sharing on Wildcrafting Wednesday.

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