Sunday, April 1, 2012

Slow Living Month 3 - March 2012

Can March be over so quickly? In 4 days time I will be flying with my son to the Northern Hemisphere to visit my sister and her family. March has flown by in the many preparations that have had to be are some of the highlights from this past month.

My Superman was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes some while back and we had to make some changes to his diet. This past month he heard an interesting discussion based on a no-carb eating lifestyle (don't you hate the word DIET!) which he wanted to try. March has seen me implementing a new way of cooking but has deprived me of all the yummy carb rich puddings, cakes and cookies. I have however lost 3kgs in the process which makes me feel quite good. I needed to take this diet that was presented to him and make it as healthy as I could possibly make it. This meant staying with fresh living organic vegetables and free range protein sources. We have been eating a lot of sustainable fish, free range pork, beef and chicken. Our chickens are giving us their beautiful eggs which are used daily for high protein breakfasts...omlettes, scrambled, fried, poached or in frittatas...delicious.

The only preparing that has been going on is to make sure that the trip to the UK was well organized and that the 4 left behind have everything they need to run the home. I feel so blessed that Superman is again making it possible for my son and I to travel and that my older girls are equipped to pick up my slack at home.

I decided that I needed a new wardrobe...well not completely, but I am tired of being frump mom because I just never have time to clothes shop. And in fact I don't like trying on clothes in shops...those changing room mirrors...grrr...need I say anymore? I wanted to stand on the shores of Loch Ness and feel good about my I used a book called "What I Wore" to plan mix and match outfits. I took all the older clothes that I will no longer use to a missions shop to sell to raise funds for their projects. Win-win!

Last night we again took part in the annual Earth Hour. Superman and 2 children were at the rugby so my younger two and I lit candles and placed them through the house. We watched a movie earlier in the evening so that at 8.30 we could power down the home. The lovely candle lights danced across the ceilings and walls and my littlest one said he wished we could live like this always.

I have also been looking for a way to protect my daughter's heirloom quilt made by my mom. We have placed dried lavender in its folds and then in the cupboard we put sprigs of Bay and Tansy. No yucky mothballs here!


My garlic is growing so beautifully - I am so excited about this! We also planted our peas today as well as Calendulas, Chives, Butter Lettuce, Red Onions and more Beets.

I took part in an apron swap and used a pair of old jeans to make two aprons. It was great fun to see something new take shape out of something old.

What I share here is very particular to South Africa. In this country we have such a great need due to the extreme poverty that most people live in. We cannot escape it as no matter where we go there are people begging. At the traffic lights our cars can be surrounded with a mother begging for small change to feed her family, a man selling the Big Issue magazine or Funny papers for donations, you can have Northern African immigrants selling their beaded wire work, guys holding out black bags to take your rubbish that collects in your car for a couple of cents. The need is so great that one can become overwhelmed and not know where to start helping. This is a personal thing for each person, some drive by not even acknowledging the person standing there who has chosen not to steal, not to do drugs but to try and scrape a living together begging at traffic lights. Amongst other things, we set aside a certain portion of the grocery money to buy for the "poor box". Cans of baked beans, tuna, bully beef, spaghetti, bags of pap, samp and rice...all these go into the box for those in need.

My sister encouraged us to try the deep litter method for our chicken coop when we made the girls a new one. This involves much less cleaning than the traditional style. So we have had shavings down for 6 months now and it needed to be cleaned out. The boys raked and picked up all the old litter today and redid the new layer. The old shavings with the poop is now lying in heaps on the fallow beds to compost over winter. These beds are in the shade for the season. In spring we will turn the shavings and manure directly into these beds before planting.


One of the things that brings me great joy is the walks that I take with my dog, Lucky, and any of my children who join. One of the walks we do every week is to Dreyersdal Farm. This is a private farm that allows dog walkers. The bird life is fabulous to see. As we have walked their all year long we have watched the changing seasons like none other. The dam is completely dry now, the birds have moved on, the dam bottom has cracked and dried. But we know that soon with the rains everything will become lush again, the birds will return and the cycle of the seasons will continue.

Linking up to Christine @ Slow Living Essentials.


africanaussie said...

I enjoyed reading what you have been dong this month. I really enjoyed doing the challenge -it just makes you stop and think and assess your goals doesn't it? It is hard to know what to do to help the poor, and I like your idea. I hope you will share some diabetic recipes, there just always seems so many different ideas out there.

Kathryn Ray said...

My Hubba gave up gluten and anything that looks like something that has gluten in it... so essentially he's living a lower carb lifestyle. He's a professional athlete and did it to loose a few pounds for track season.

We used to eat a lot of sandwiches and quesadillas as well as other bread-like things. Now we've discovered that most things can either be turned into a pretty good lettuce-wrap or go nicely over rice or quinoa. Also there's oatmeal, which I love and quinoa flakes, which I don't love, but he does.

I hope you enjoy your trip to the UK.

Linda said...

Hi Wendy, It's the first time I've visited your blog and I enjoyed reading about your month. We love the deep litter system but we don't ever seem to do it in an organised fashion. We need to get it revolving constantly so that we always have some available compost. Enjoy your overseas trip!

Christine said...

Hi Wendy, it's so nice to have you joining in :). Your enhance section really touched my heart, it was very eye opening. Wishing you a wonderful trip with your boy..he must be so excited! (and you to, of course!). xx

city garden country garden said...

The deep litter system really makes sense. Unfortunately I don't have the space to do it, but it's great to see it in action, not just read about it in books. I'm sure your garden bed will thrive next season.

Wendy said...

African Aussie, I would hate anyone to think I was a fundi with regards to diabetic recipes...there are two books I can recommend thoguh" Diabetic Revolution and The Dukan Diet.

Kathryn, thanks for popping in to say Hi.

Linda, nice to meet you.

Christine, right now I feel like I am inside out and upside down with this trip but tomorrow when we board I know everything will be alright.

City Garden, we have a very small property - 900sq m and only about 1/3 is for garden. Anything can be done, even if only on a small scale. Thanks for popping in.