Category Archives: simplifying

slow living update – December, January & February

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This has been a long, cold, snowy never-ending winter. Even the dad, who likes everything about winter, says enough already. It was so cold this week that the rear window on our car spontaneously smashed. I’m really looking forward to seeing some green on the ground again.

I have gotten behind in these summaries the past couple of months, so I will attempt to remember what we’ve been doing for three months this time around. I am again using this monthly summary to help me to remember the small things.

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{Nourish}:

We ate a lot these past few months and are going to have to spend the spring taking off the winter padding. The dad has been reading about the Paleo diet and we have been talking about it a bit. I’m not sure I am quite ready to give up all grains. We’ll see. Maybe. It is supposed to be helpful to people who have autoimmune or neurological diseases, so that might be a motivating factor. That, and a bit of diet might help the dad’s snoring situation. A friend of mine commented that if I can still hear him snoring with the pillow over his head, I am not pressing on it hard enough. I reminded him of that comment and he now sleeps with one eye open.

I wrote about chili dip and brownie cookies, and have thoroughly enjoyed eating both while I am still allowed.

{Prepare}:

There are no preparations going on around here at this time of year, unless you count stockpiling salt for the walkway after the ice storm. We are still working our way through last season’s frozen vegetables, sauces and jams.

{Reduce/Reuse/Repurpose/Repair}:

Just about everything that can break in our house has broken recently. Once again, we are keeping the dad and the local repair people busy. The dad has replaced the sump pump, fixed the wood stove, drilled holes in the cement basement floor to help with some early thaw flooding, and we’ve had the oven and the car fixed. Our dishwasher is still awaiting parts, but it has given the kids a month of learning how to wash and dry dishes. I don’t see that as a bad thing. I quite enjoy seeing them work away at it. Until the bickering begins, but then it just sounds like it did when my sister and I did dishes together when I was growing up. It has nostalgia value.

I even had a try at fixing the washing machine when the dad told me that it wasn’t working. It turns out that all it needed was a few harsh words and to be turned off and on again. Problem solved.

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

There is nothing new to report in this category. We still hang most of the clothes and use the heat from the pellet stove to dry them, although on the days that I am not able to make it down the stairs to the basement, the kids are more apt to take a short cut and put them in the dryer. Aside from a severely shrunk pair of my pants (that is the story I am sticking with – there couldn’t be any other reason for them to be that tight), I am not too bothered by the change. Whatever gets the work done.

We also continue to have only one vehicle on the road while I am off work. I’d say it has saved on gas, except that the tall kid’s extra hockey teams and practices have us on the road just as much.

{Grow}:

The snow banks have grown exponentially around the house. The tall kid continues to tower over me and the small kid is turning into the medium kid. Other than that, the only green things around here are bought weekly at the grocery store. I have, however, requested a seed catalogue and am looking forward to it arriving. I also have some seed left over from last year that I will soon test to see if they are still viable.

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{Create}:

I’ve pulled out my knitting again and I’m working on some unfinished projects. So far I’ve finished a stack of dishcloths – mostly because they are a quick and easy project that gives an instant feeling of accomplishment. I can finish one in a couple of hours while watching television or the birds from my spot in front of the fire. I’ve also finished a toque (just in time for the weather to warm up) and am working on a pair of socks that I started months ago.

{Discover}:

I managed to spend time by the fire reading. I also continue to spend time in hockey arenas learning about the game. I’ve never been a hockey fan in the past, but this is the tall kid’s first year playing with a girl’s team and I’ve been enjoying watching them play. Girl’s hockey is a lot of fun to watch; it’s fast and they have a cooperative spirit that I didn’t always see in the mixed team that she played with previously.

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{Enhance – community}

The dad joined in a community chili cook-off competition in January and won first place. He was surprised and impressed with himself. He loves that he has bragging rights over several restaurants in town as well as the local fire hall. Friends that came to visit (thank you Sara and Mike) had a commemorative picture made up to hold him until his plaque is presented by the town. It has pride of place in the den and amuses everyone who comes to visit. They borrowed a photo of him (trying to grow a mustache for Movember) from this blog to make the print. I love it.

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oops, we forgot to buy birthday candles

{Enjoy}:

We’ve had lots of visitors, plus a large family and neighbour gathering around our Christmas table. We had a few extras to accommodate neighbours that couldn’t travel due to the ice storm over Christmas, and it made for an enjoyable Christmas Day. The tall hormonal kid’s age finally started to catch up to her height – we celebrated her 13th birthday right after Christmas.

There have also been a couple of hockey tournaments that we attended and a few overnight visits from friends of the girls. As a family, we like to entertain and have friends and family around, so there is rarely a dull moment.

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a quiet Saturday in pictures

Today we have a quiet Saturday. That means no extra children running around, no hockey tournaments, no big projects on the go, just a normal everyday quiet Saturday. The girls have already been to the barn to clean the horse stalls, cleaned up their rooms and vacuumed, we’ve made a quick trip to the village to pick up a short list of groceries, and now we are taking a break. There is a hockey practice this afternoon, but that is a quick in and out and we will all be back around the dinner table together and make time for a movie and some popcorn afterwards.

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You've got to love 10 year olds that are willing to make lunch. It might be just Kraft dinner, but it's a start.

You’ve got to love 10 year olds that are willing to make lunch. It might be just Kraft dinner, but it’s a start.

Watching some Olympic coverage while eating lunch.

Watching some Olympic coverage while eating lunch.

Time for a hot chocolate.

Time for a hot chocolate.

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Off to hockey practice.

Off to hockey practice.

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I have been quiet here lately, so I am trying this format to try to get back into the swing of things.

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Outside my window:

It’s sunny and there is no sign of snow falling, but that could change. It almost always does these days. The snow is thigh deep on the dad – and he is 6’3″. I haven’t tried going out in it.

There are blue jays fighting at the bird feeders and a bunny is hoovering up the fallen seeds underneath. The cat remains glued in his front row seat to the goings on. Occasionally he moves to another window for a better view, which we call “changing the channel”.

I am thinking:

That I should probably get myself in gear and clean up and get dressed. Or maybe just pour another coffee and finish watching Coronation Street.

I am thankful:

For a lot these days; helpful family members, a handy husband (he’s been in a non-stop fix-it and repair cycle around here these days), well mannered kids that I get compliments on from strangers, and neighbours with big snowplows.

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In the kitchen:

There are tins of muffins and chocolate chip cookies packed and ready to go with us to today’s hockey tournament games. The small squeaky kid helped me bake most of the morning yesterday so that we could have snacks for the driving this weekend. Add to that a few apples and we are ready to go.

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I am going:

To enjoy watching two more hockey games today. The tall hormonal kid’s hockey team is the top team in their league, but will have to play hard to make up for the loss of the tournament game that they had yesterday. My grandmother was able to attend yesterday and should be there again today – which is a nice treat for all of us. The tournament is on her home turf, so we were able to have a visit.

I am reading:

The Imposter Bride by Nancy Richler. It was last month’s book club selection. I missed the meeting, but the book is good and I want to finish it anyway.

I am hoping:

That it doesn’t snow today. We have enough.

I am looking forward to:

Getting over the current MS exacerbation and getting back to work. It’s been dragging on for a while and I am tired of my own company. The rest and recovery period is necessary, I understand that, but it is more than a little boring.

A few plans for the rest of the week:

More of the same as the past few weeks. I’m sure it will snow some more. There will be visits with the physiotherapist, the occupational therapist and the doctor, and probably a hockey game or two.

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