Thursday, May 31, 2012

Slow Living Month 5 ~ May

A day early, I know, but as we go away tomorrow I thought I would do the month's wrap up now. Joining up at Christine's Slow Living Month 5 and Simple Lives Thursday at GNOWFLGINS

NOURISH: Slow Roast Sunday has become a standard in our home. Around 3pm I will put on a lamb leg, pork shoulder or two chickens to cook slowly for the afternoon until dinner time around 6. The smells of the roasting meat and herbs waft through the house teasing us mercilessly. We add some smashed veg and leafy greens from the garden for a delicious no stress Sunday night meal.

PREPARE: I am preparing to learn to make soft cheeses again from the raw milk that I can get locally. We visited a small local home dairy last week and the owner kindly shared her skills with us. She also gave me enough rennet to make the first cheese.  

REDUCE: This month my younger daughter started her little business of creating useful items from old jeans. We received donations of old jeans from friends and through free-cycle and she has been busy making art aprons for the local Waldorf School. She has made bags from the left over parts which she cleverly sold to older sister who needed a gift for a friend.

I am still in the process of reducing clutter in my home. Anything that I can repurpose is kept but my goal is to stay ruthless and not be such a hoarder. In fact “hoarder” is not a true reflection of my nature, I am very happy to get rid of things, but time to declutter is the issue. What I do not need is taken to charity stores or to the poor community that my domestic worker lives in.  

GREEN: I am almost out of my biodegradable cleaning liquids that I bought at the beginning of the year in bulk. I am determined not to buy them again as they are pricey and I can learn to use homemade products instead. So it was with great aplomb that we started making our own laundry soap again.

This week we also made a batch of this citrus cleaner. Seeing it is winter it makes sense to use the fruits of the season. I also want to make this natural dishwashing liquid, but it will have to wait for next weekend. Soap making was on the agenda again this month. I always make a new batch of soap when we start the first of the previously made one. This way we never run out. When I started soap making I made Rhonda-Jean’s basic soap recipe which is lovely and I will be making a batch of this next. But this month a friend had allowed me to get some of her lavender flowers so I decided to use them in some soap.  

GROW: Sweet potatoes have been planted. In between my now pruned asparagus plants and garlic I have sowed loads of peas. We have also been sowing seeds in newspaper pots. In those we have chives, baby dash spinach and chard.  

CREATE: I have been knitting whenever I can. All my dish wash clothes are now threadbare and ready for the floor stage. I have knitted 3 waffle weave dishcloths for now but will continue to keep some more on my needles. I also found an almost finished boys beanie from 2yrs ago which I quickly finished and sewed up. The funny thing is that it was intended for my little guy and he has grown so much that it is actually too small for him.  

DISCOVER: My plastic free life is a website that I stumbled onto and it has got me really thinking about how dependent I am on plastic as it is all around me, packaging the food I buy, in some of my clothes [gulp], in my cupboards and more. I am going to be making a list of how I can reduce this dependency.  
ENHANCE: I have also knitted some prem baby beanies for two little twin girls that are eagerly expected. The mommy is a recently recovered TIK addict and she is 7 months pregnant with two tiny little girls. We are praying for a safe delivery and really hoping that she will make full term and that she will stand firm in her new found faith in the Lord Jesus. 

ENJOY: You know as I got to this I had to ask myself what have I really enjoyed this month? Well, in a couple of hours I will be leaving with my family and dear friends to a cabin on an apple farm up in the Grabouw Mountains. I know I am going to enjoy the weekend.

But for this month past I have really enjoyed my walks with my dog and son and sometimes a friend. We chat and catch up and share what the Lord is doing in our lives.

I have enjoyed our fires at night now that the weather has turned cold.

I enjoy watching the vegetables grow even though it is winter, with all their promise of delicious meals to be made.

I enjoy my warm bed on a cold night heated by the bean bag my daughter made me. I have enjoyed reading some heart stirring books to my children – in particular “Cry Beloved Country” for the third time.

I have enjoyed and looked forward to our fellowship meetings on Tuesday evenings although we are all tired the next day.

There are so many simple things around me all the time that stir my heart and make me feel so grateful for where I am right now.


Cath said...

Lovely to read about your month. Le me know if you need any cheese tips. I've found some great, easy recipes.

Kathryn Ray said...

Isn't it amazing how much plastic there is. The one that bugs me the most is that at our grocery store the organic produce is packaged in plastic, but the conventional is not packaged at all.

Chez said...

I love that so many of us hold to the same ideas and values but yet live so far apart. The citrus cleaner was a winner in our house.

Christine said...

Beautiful update, Wendy, it's always so nice to hear what you've been up to. Enjoy your weekend, it sounds like it will be just lovely! x

Enchanted Moments said...

Thank you for stopping by today Wendy, enjoy using your lovely orange cleaner in a few months.. :) Suzanne

Fiona said...

I love the Colours of your dishcloths, and the photo of your son running in the sunshine ... Sounds like a very productive month!

purplepear said...

Sounds like a great month you've had. Good luck with your plastic bag challenge. It's always a big one for me. How to live in this world where just about everything comes in plastic.

Crystal said...

After reading this post I have started my own batch of citrus cleaner. I am using grapefruit as my husband has half with his breakfast every morning.
The plastic thing as been bothering me too. We went to the plastic factory shop last week and I had a long list of stuff I needed. Well I couldn't bring myself to buy any of it. Now I'm searching for a glass factory shop in Durban ;)

Anonymous said...

I'm loving all these Slow Living updates, introducing me to a few new and delightful blogs. I'll be checking out that link for some plastic-free tips too.

Wendy said...

So nice to have all you ladies from around the world pop in here. Thanks for your great comments!