Tag Archives: simple living



Outside my window:

The dad is cutting the broken branch off of the crabapple tree. It was so full of apples that it broke off during the last big storm. It’s cool and cloudy, a typical late summer/early autumn day.


I am thinking:

That it seems like it should be later in the day than it is. It feels like we’ve done a full day’s work already. The dad and the tall kid have been to hockey, we’ve been out in the garden and have dealt with the resulting harvest, the girls have gone with their grandma to plant bulbs at the cemetery and the dad has mowed the lawn. Now we are relaxing a bit and waiting for some friends to swing by and accompany the dad in to his store to pick up some DIY materials that he ordered for them.

I am thankful:

For Keith’s Cider. It makes dealing with tomatoes a little more pleasant.


In the kitchen:

I’ve been busy today. I’ve made a batch of pesto; two jars to freeze and one that will be part of our dinner tonight. I’ve used the Foodsaver (it was a recent present to myself) to package three bags of chard for the freezer and three bags of zucchini coins. There is also a big bag of washed lettuce in the fridge for work lunches this week and a big pot of tomato basil sauce cooking on the stove.

I am wearing:

Among other things, a sweater. I love sweater weather. I really don’t miss the humidity of earlier in the week. Within two days, we went from 28C down to 12C. It’s wonderful.

I am creating:

Nothing right now, though I was thinking that I should make a pouch to hold my Kobo reader so that it doesn’t get scratched in my purse.

I am going:

Back to work tomorrow. I had a few weeks off again because of a new MS flare-up. Hopefully that is it for a while. I’m sure my workplace is hoping the same thing. I have a bit of a lasting speed wobble this time, so I have a new cane to help with that problem, but hope not to need it too much.

I am reading:

I just finished a John Sandford mystery last night and am trying again to pick my way through some library books.

I am hoping:

That we have a frost soon so we can stop dealing with tomatoes.

I am looking forward to:

Winter. I know I complain about it when it’s here, but I like having the fire on, the quiet that goes along with it and I don’t mind bundling up a bit. I hope it’s a cold enough winter that we can build an ice rink here for the girls.

A few plans for the rest of the week:

Now that we are back into the school routine, it goes like this: school, work, laundry, hockey and horses. Occasionally we throw a little something extra in there, like visits with family and friends, but we’ll see how it goes. I’m often one of the last people to know about our plans. Somehow, that works for us. The dad lives by the theory that it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than for agreement.


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slow living update – July

I’m following the example at Slow Living Essentials again this month, and using her slow living format to summarize my month.

For most of the month of July slow living was the only way to combat the heat and humidity. It was just too oppressively hot to accomplish anything. The last week and a half have been wonderful, however, and we are finally enjoying being outside, eating our dinners in the covered porch and making plans to visit the cottage on the island for a few days.



I love that I can come home from work, grab a bucket and a knife and head out to the garden to pick dinner. Last night we had a fettucini primavera made with shallots, green peppers, cherry tomatoes, zucchini and swiss chard picked from the garden. All we added was some homemade pesto and some cream and dinner was ready. The dad thought I should take a photo of it because it was so pretty (I didn’t – I was hungry). Most nights have been like that. I did write about the homemade pesto that we made in a big enough batch to freeze a few jars for later.



I spent a couple of days early in the month making strawberry freezer jam. In the end, we had somewhere around 30 jars to keep us going until next spring. Sadly, with our sweet cravings, they won’t make it that long. I had plans to pick and freeze beans and peas, but we gave ourselves a bit of a pass on that this year because of heat and general laziness on my part. I did freeze about 5 bags of beans and a few bags of peas, but we have since eaten most of the frozen peas already.


The dad and I are working away at a list of jobs to do around our place (mostly him – I’m Planning, he’s Development). On the list still are cleaning out the greenhouse and cold storage to make them useable again, fixing our old playset/swingset to be repurposed for the mini-cousins and repairing an endless list of equipment (usually after the dad breaks or mangles it himself).

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

Nothing new here.



Our garden is doing great. I might have mentioned before that we have a limited amount of time and interest in weeding, so in some cases we have to know where to look for the plants. We have a bumper crop of weeds this year, but the veggies are holding their own too. Every now and then the dad sparks up his rototiller and runs it between the rows, but the stinging nettles are trying to take over the world and all of the rain we’ve had this spring and summer is making that possible. Any further weeding will need to be done with the string trimmer instead of a hoe.

We’ve been eating beans, peas, tomatoes, swiss chard, basil, lettuce, chives, onions, zucchini, peppers and cucumber and look forward to at least another month of grocery shopping in our own field. Last week I went to the store and only had to buy milk and bananas. I can’t complain about that.


I’ve started a new pair of socks, finally, though I am finding knitting and watching television difficult at times. I went to the optometrist and was told that I am now officially old enough that I need progressive lenses. Perfect. I didn’t feel old enough already.


I fell out of the habit of reading this month. We seem to be busy in the evenings, and when we aren’t, I am happy to hold down the couch and watch something mindless on television. It’s summer and I’m feeling lazy.

{Enhance – community}:

The dad moved his business to another location in our town, hopefully to improve traffic into the store. He was asked to join the local Rotary club this week, so he will be getting involved a bit more in the community again.

We have been able to once again get a few dumptruck loads of (free) woodchips from the town to use on the flower gardens and around the trees. Our only cost the the cost of the dumptruck and again, it is great to be a part of a small community so that you know the local people that can be hired to do the jobs. The tall hormonal kid is has had her first outside of school babysitting gig this week and is enjoying being the boss for a change. I’m starting to get inquiries about her schedule at work, too – so I forsee a busy future for her.

We’ve also been able to buy vegetables and fruit locally this month and look forward to continuing to do that through the summer.



The dad turned 44 this month and we watched as his last brown hair turned grey. I find it endlessly amusing that customers constantly think his business partner (who is 3 years younger) is his son.

We’ve had some family dinners, visited with friends, attended an Eagles concert and have been mostly taking it easy. The tall kid spent a week at a hockey day camp run by former Olympic women’s hockey players Lori Dupuis and Jayna Hefford and came home very proud of a bruise she received from a slapshot by Lori Dupuis. She figures she learned some new skills and hopes they will help her make the local girl’s rep team. The small kid has been having weekly riding lessons at a riding stable outside the city and is gaining confidence and learning to jump. There have been lots of sleepovers at grandparent’s and aunt’s houses and we are doing our best to stay cool in the heat.

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slow living update – May 2013


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. Once again, it doesn’t feel like we did a lot, but once I got started writing, I could see that we really did.



We’ve been enjoying lots of local asparagus this month, mostly marinating it in balsamic vinegar and olive oil and grilling it on the barbecue. I also wrote about Butter Tart Mini-Muffins, which I made with great hopes of freezing some for lunch pails, but they were all gone too quickly. We cook our meals at home, but a current MS flare-up has made me tired and we have resorted to a few dinners out and take-out a couple of times. Prepackaged cookies and lunch snacks have been sneaking back into the grocery cart again, but I’m hoping to get back to making more from scratch again soon.


We’ve been busy preparing the flower gardens, lawns, and the vegetable garden. That has taken up pretty much every spare minute of time this month – though mostly for the dad and the young lad that we hired to help with the flower gardens. There are so many flower beds here at the farm that we could probably keep him employed into adulthood. Or at least pay for his first car and university.



There is an ongoing list of things for the dad to repair around here – he keeps the tractor, lawn mower and cars going and then helps out friends, neighbours and storage customers when a little extra expertise or an extra hand is needed.

The girls took an old unused shelf, painted it and added a few extras to make themselves some more horse stalls to house their toy horses. They’ve already gotten hours of play out of it.

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

I made some linen spray with essential oils – just to leave a nice smell behind on the bedding when I make the beds. I’ve also been using cornstarch in place of body powder and would like to try adding a few essential oils and maybe some baking soda to it to make it more like powder.


The garden is mostly planted with the exception of a few packets of seeds and the raspberry canes. I haven’t been out to look since it was planted, but the dad says that many seeds have already germinated and are poking through. We’re well on our way. We’ve even managed to get the pots around the patio planted with flowers and once we get the flower beds free of weeds and mulched with some wood chips, the place should be looking good. Right about in time for the wedding ceremony for some friends that the dad agreed to have on the grounds.


Nothing to write about here this month.


I found a new on-line magazine and blog called From Scratch, and have been reading through their first few issues. I wouldn’t call us homesteaders by any stretch, but they also have some articles on gardening and cooking and DIY that are quite interesting.

We’ve also made our way through the first season of Breaking Bad on DVD – I bought it for the dad at Christmas and it’s been addicting enough that I will need to go in search of more.


{Enhance – community}:

The dad started off the season by hosting a skeet shoot and lunch for his local Ducks Unlimited committee members. I love that the high score of the day went to a female investment banker. The local rural guys who are all quite cocky about their shooting prowess didn’t stand a chance.

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It was a little quieter around here this month, which was all right with all of us. The girls are getting back on their horses and enjoying some riding lessons from their grandma – and I may even work up the nerve to get on the big horse soon to go for a short walk.

We are enjoying the nice weather when we get it, the dinners in the porch on those nice evenings, and watching the girls chase each other around the yard while having water fights.

Linked to Frugally Sustainable, GNOWFGLINS

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