Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Slow Living 2012 ~ October

Cucumbers trailing along

I am sure that I am not the only one who feels like the year has flown by, but here we are at the beginning of November and I can feel the beginning of summer in the air and I long for the time when we can just roll along through our days with no extra murals and do special things together like picnics, swimming in the dam and going to the beach. Roll on Summer!

Here is what last month looked like in our household, joining up at Christine’s slow living month by month 
NOURISH:  This month has seen us again adjust our eating. We have all felt a little low on energy, fuzzy brained, achey in tummies and decided to do a detox. Our elder daughter kicked us off with it and her dedication has had such fabulous results that we are all doing a 17 day detox. This has been hard for my carb loving husband (although he has been eating low carb for a long time) and for the other three kids, but it’s ok and not for too long. 

This has meant that our meals have been light and quick to prepare with lots of veggies and salads with organic, free range, sustainable fish, meat and chicken options. I am preparing to add venison into our diet when we can get it via our meat supplier and am quite excited to learn how to cook venison.

Red Onions
We have also upped our kefir drinking and have at least one smoothie a day made with either blueberries, strawberries or raspberries. Our kefir plant turns 1 liter of milk in about 24hrs which is just right for our needs. I also am back into the weekly yoghurt making which is all part of this detox gut healing plan.

Needless to say, my most favourite thing – baking – is on hold for now, all treats and bread have to wait a bit…sigh.

From the garden we have been eating onions, broad beans, spinach, asparagus, broccoli, peas, herbs, strawberries and celery.

PREPARE: Not much in this department as we eat fresh items from the garden as they come however I am discovering how to correctly harvest and save seed from the garden and have a stash of dried Calendula now too for soap and salve making through winter.

REDUCE: When needing to plant my herbs in the back courtyard I scrounged around in the hidey holes of my garden and pulled together about 10 pots of all sizes for the herbs. A great money saver!
New corn shoots

GREEN: Not new to me, but I thought I would share how I deal with a smelly bin…it’s the same way I deal with my drains – bicarb and vinegar. First I rinse it with a hosepipe. Then I sprinkle bicarb on the bottom, sides and lid. Then I spray it with my citrus cleaner. I leave in the sun for about 2 or 3hrs then rinse again with fresh water. It works every time!

GROW:  As the days warm up we are seeing the garden grow overnight and it is exciting to see the little leaves of corn sticking through the soil only days after planting. The courgette plants have their first flowers out, as do the potatoes.

Corn 3 weeks old

We planted more corn this month as well as tomatoes, courgettes, potatoes and beans, cucumber and melons. Into pots I have planted loads of herbs like majoram, thyme, celery, oregano and basil. 

My little one asked for a patch for himself so we demarcated an area and he has planted carrots, coriander, baby dash spinach,

radishes and watermelon.

CREATE: Still working on face/disch clothes for gifts…and then I’ll stretch this category a bit by sharing this: about 14 years ago a friend and I listened to a teaching called “The heart that makes the home” and it was full of help for me as I began to embrace my homemakers role more in this time with 3 little children. Over the years my life has gotten busier and busier but I have always had a heart to create a home that reflects my personality and a place of comfort for my family.

To some degree I have managed this, but finances, time and other deeper issues have not allowed me to focus on this as much as I would have liked to. I recently read a blog post by a friend that reminded me of this teaching from years back and have been laying my heart bare before the Lord.

Hence my decision to sign up again at to get back into the habit of doing a little everyday in a room or zone. I have also decided to take one room at a time and “redecorate” with a little squirreled away money. It will take a while as I rediscover what I love in style…which leads to the next point.

DISCOVER: About 5 years ago another homeschool mom contacted me about how to build a website like the ones I have. All these years later she has an amazing website which has come back to help me in my home. As we have a little cottage style home, her website will be from where I will be drawing much inspiration!  

This is the co-op where the residents have transformed the river
ENHANCE: This month my younger son and I went on an outing with the Centre for Conservation Education where he visited the Liesbeeck River at three spots. In it’s natural state near Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, at Bishopscourt Cooperative where they are carefully managing the river to rid it of alien vegetation and allow the river to regain its life and then to where it has been canalized lower down and is devoid of all natural life. 

A wonderful hands on way for him and other children to learn about caring for the Lord's creation.

ENJOY: Definitely the winner this month…we had lots to enjoy! 

~My elder daughter wrote and enjoyed her Grade 12 Afrikaans exam (she has 6 months left of homeschooling!)

~A weekend with my parents in George where I was a vendor at the Homeschool Convention for our Footprints Program. It was great to encourage other homeschoolers, catch up with a dear friend and spend some time with my folks. 

~ A visit to Kleinplassie outside Worcester to learn about sheep shearing

~ A whistlestop visit to Happy Hog to see new pink piglets and pick up our order

~ Visting the free range chicken farm where my son gets the chickens from which he sells to the local community. 

~ A superb visit to the Plettenberg Bay Elephant Sanctuary where we were able to get up close and personal with some gorgeous creatures.

~ And then joy of joys for my children – two new additions to our household…two little 8 week old rescue kittens from TEARS…Meet Toby and Tiffany!

Little Tiffany a.k.a. Soft Paws

Toby the Terrorist (but sleepy here!)
How was your month?


Kathryn Ray said...

I love the brand new shoots in your garden.

Thanks for the tip on the bin cleaner... sounds like my kind of cleaning. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Busy month for you - and thanks for the link to the cottage decorating site.

Christine said...

The elephant experience sounds amazing Wendy, and your two new additions are totally adorable!

Thanks for sharing, I do so enjoy your updates! xx

Claire Davenport said...

Elephants AND kittens? You've had a great month! I look forward to seeing your decorating results :)

Katie said...

Your garden looks inspiring and those kittens...adorable!

Fiona from Arbordale Farm said...

Such cute kittens and yes your enjoy category does seem to be very exciting this month. The granola bars I showed a picture of this month are know as bird seed bars in our house and the recipe is on my recipe page.