Tag Archives: preserve

a month of slow living – July

July went by so fast, it hardly seemed like slow living at all. So far this summer I’ve enjoyed 3 weeks of holidays from work and I’ll have another week off in August. I had grand plans to reorganize the house and accomplish so much, but instead I’ve found that just sitting still sometimes can be more productive. When I don’t run myself into the ground we are all much happier. So I’ve relaxed most of the time, with a few brief periods of intense activity mixed in.

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.


We’ve been eating out of the garden as much as we possibly can this month, plus enjoying some other local fruits and vegetables as they come available. It feels like this time of year you can make a whole meal of peaches, cherries, tomatoes and cucumbers. Sometimes I do. I wrote about making German Pancakes, sauteed peas with bacon, and tomato, cucumber and basil salad.


I made a gallon or two of marinara sauce this month to use up the last of the frozen tomatoes from last year. It’s all been frozen in baggies and stored in the freezer. I hope to add several more bags of sauce, plus some whole frozen tomatoes in August as the tomato plants ripen. I froze some peas from the garden this month before the heat killed them off and also froze some basil and garlic in cubes to use later in soups and sauces.

Oh yeah, and I made pickles too.


The garbage reduction battle is ongoing, but this month it seems to be easier because we are eating so much from the garden. There is not a lot of packaging waste when the food is brought directly into the house with dirt still clinging to it.

One lesson learned the hard way; we’ve always thrown our fruit and vegetable scraps in the field to compost on its own but will be moving our compost area well outside the range of the dog’s security collar. Apparently we attract skunks with the food scraps. Ask me how I found out.

We keep missing recycling day around here, so when my husband finally got around to taking everything to the big recycling bins, he had the back of the truck filled with boxes of it. The garage looks so much emptier now. Actually, I think it’s great that all of that was recyclable, because otherwise that amount of stuff would have been trash.

The girls and I also spent an afternoon sorting through their clothes, packing away the oldest kid’s outgrown clothes for the smaller kid, and the smallest kid’s outgrown clothes went to a friend. That friend in turn gave back several bags of clothes to pass down to my neice (be warned, Aunt S).


We’ve been using the air conditioning during the humid days, but the rest of the time we have it shut off. I don’t mind the heat, but the humidity makes my joints stiff and achy, just part of the fun with MS. I avoid going outside on those days. I also haven’t been very good about hanging out the laundry to cut back on dryer usage, because hauling heavy baskets out of the basement and hanging out laundry for 4 people is a huge job, especially when you have to carry it all upstairs afterwards. I find it much easier to do this in the winter when I can just hang it all in the basement in front of the woodstove. I’ll make a bigger effort this month, but the sore back often gets in the way.

As far as homemade products go, I made a Mojito sugar scrub with mint and lime. Both have cooling properties and are nice this time of the year in the shower to keep skin moisturized.


Our garden is all set to either go crazy or die. We’ve had one day of rain in a month and we are reluctant to water the garden using up well water. We could possibly look into filling up a tank at the lake, but first we’d have to find someone with a tank they weren’t using themselves. Mostly, we’ve adopted a wait and see if it rains approach coupled with occasional brief watering.

We’ve got lots of potatoes, though the plants themselves have crisped up and died, but we still have five rows of small potatoes that we can continue to dig and eat throughout the rest of the season. We’ve planted another 5 rows, but if it doesn’t rain more soon, who knows if they will produce anything. Our tomato plants are heavy with green tomatoes, the occasional one ripens each day, so we’ve been enjoying those with each meal. Same with cucumbers and zucchini. The onions are also doing nicely, but the lettuce is done and the late lettuce that we planted probably won’t grow any further without water. I also don’t think our late peas and beans will do anything. The cabbages seem to have become a meal for worms. At least someone is enjoying them. We seem to have lots of beets, but I’ve forgotten why we planted them. We don’t like beets. Would anyone like some beets?

The kids were excited to find teeny baby watermelons and pumpkins starting to grow, so hopefully the vines will continue to thrive.

My flower beds have all gone into survival mode – absolutely no colour, just green, brown and dust. Oh well, they were spectacular in June for a few weeks.


I finally dug out some knitting needles and my first project was some wrist warmers to wear while reading in bed this winter. I’m starting small to use up some leftover yarns that I found while rummaging through the trunk looking for the knitting supplies. I also made a few dish cloths to use up a couple of balls of cotton that I found. The tall kid has grand plans for a sweater that I should be making her and I bought some homemade cherry wood buttons at the farmer’s market last weekend that I am going to use on a wrap pattern that I’ve found.


I read a pile of books this month while at the cottage and sitting out on the deck, mostly fiction and mystery, just something to escape into and enjoy. I can’t honestly remember any of them, but currently I’m reading Steve Berry’s The Third Secret and enjoying it so far.

{Enhance – community}:

We’ve been buying lots of local fruits and vegetables this month – it’s easy to do this time of year, we are in a great spot for it. Other than that, most of our community has been busy doing their own things. People are always stopping in for a visit or to borrow the dad to help fix this or that, or over at the farm for a good old farmer gossip.


We had a great 4 days away at the cottage on the island this month. It is a private (tiny) island with just one cottage on it. No running water, no electricity, just a propane stove and propane ceiling lights. It was wonderful over there. So quiet, and you fall asleep to the sound of the waves on the bay. The only thing I didn’t enjoy was 4 days of outhouse in 30+ celcius weather. I’ll let you guess why not.

We had some friends of the girls come and stay one weekend, the city cousins came and stayed again another weekend and the small squeaky kid won a couple of ribbons with her pony at a local fair. The dad had another birthday, we went to a bridal shower for my future sister-in-law, some friends camping nearby stopped in for a visit and a cross-dressing transport driver stopped in (in full drag) to drop off some rent (one of my personal highlights of the month).

As always, another busy, occasionally strange, but always interesting month.

Linked to Frugally Sustainable, A Delightful Home, Simple Lives Thursday

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