Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Slow Living 2014 - March

And we blinked then March was over. It was time to take out jerseys in evenings and warm slippers at night. The rain we have had this month is winter rain - days of drizzle - not Autumn wind. But there were lots of highlights to March, even though it whizzed by in a blur. Linking up with Christine at Slow Living Essentials for her monthly review.


I have really trying to work on my wastage (and waist-age :)) and use up what we have in the garden. As it gets seasonally wetter and wetter from now on I know I will loose a lot of my herbs. Basil is finding its way into lots of meals as is thyme. We have started working through our huge pile of butternuts and the best way to do this was to simply roast one every now and again when the oven was on. One large butternut can be split into two meals - our favourite is a gorgonzola and butternut pasta and another a chickpea and roasted butternut filling for rootis (chapatis). I also pureed one and made it into flapjacks and served with a fried egg and sage for breakfast - so yummy.


Nothing in the bottling jarring way...chilies need to be picked and pickled this weekend and I need to make two batches of soap.


It is cupboard cleaning time in our home. With a week (only) of school holidays each kiddo needed to clean out their cupboard (3 have) and give me old clothes to give away.


Two things come to mind...flies have been a never ending pest this past summer. A friend told me about Ecomist which is a spray that you can get which once installed releases a natural pyrethrum spray which repels flies, mosquitoes and other pests. We had one installed and have reduced our file visitors by 90%.

The other thing she told me about was Triple Orange's Wonder Gel which we now use for all our cleaning and dishwashing. After years of vinegar and bicarb I have made a switch. I love the fresh orange smell and it really does a good job of cleaning our home.


Quite honestly, if it wasn't for Sam, right now my garden would be bare, however, I have turnips, carrots, brinjal, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, lettuce, spinach and beets growing. My garden plans are done and this Friday when Sam gets here he will sow our seeds in newspaper pots for our winter garden.


The other day I took my one and only hand knitted socks from the cupboard and longed to get back into knitting. The moment passed in a flash {grin} was I know I just do not have the time to dedicate to any project. I create food (as I have said before) and I need to be content in this season.


Well...allow me to bend the boundaries of this category a little - I have discovered the power of social media i.e. Facebook and how it can be used for wise purposes. I tried it out in 2012 and hated every moment there. 2014 saw me needing to reach a wide audience for our Franskraal Ferals and I sucked in my breath and tried it again. I will share the success of this in the enhance category. But through Facebook I met up with my cousins who I hadn't seen in over 20yrs and we got together for lunch. I have reconnected with old church buddies and been able to peep into their lives. This time Facebook has been a pleasure. Will I be there forever? Not sure, but it has certainly done what it needed to do.


Last month I shared about our fundraising campaign for the feral cats. The project is a go ahead and the massive trap, sterilise and release program will run from the 7th - 11th April. We have raised over R25 000 for this and the community that has sprung up around this need has been astounding.


So much to enjoy this month...In order of happenings:

Watching my son waltz through the first phase of his Gr 12 and passing with everything above 80%.

My 15 year old daughter dressing up in a glamorous evening gown and attending one of her closest friends Matric (prom) dance.

My younger son's 12th birthday - this turned into two parties! One a pizza evening making pizzas in a wood burning oven an the other swinging from treetops at Acrobranch.

My Mom and Dad visiting after not seeing them since October.

Picnicking at the gorgeous Bishops Court Community Garden where they have reclaimed the Liesbeeck River from its polluted canalised state.

My adopted feral cat allowing me to pick him up and hold him.

When I write this out I have a sense of needing to take another deep breath, but while busy and a whirlwind, I am alive and kicking and very very grateful for this week of school break. How was your month?


Lois Evensen said...

A very busy month for sure. Your garden is so neat, tidy, and healthy! Your daughter is gorgeous. :)

Kim said...

Sounds like a busy month. Love your garden and am intrigued by the 'eco mist' . Even though we all sound busy in our slow living's a good kind of busy !

EMMA said...

6.45 am and I haven't had breakfast yet - now what ever I have is going to pale in comparison to the idea of your butternut flapjacks!!!
Love your raised beds, I do our garden with my f.i.l and he just won't go for them.
Beautiful picture of your daughter.
Happy April.

Linda said...

Hmmm. Do I hear a hint of burn out? So much to do do, isn't there? We have over two weeks of school Hols starting and it will be lovely. Enjoy yours!

sustainablemum said...

I too have used Facebook to find long lost cousins it has its place for sure.

You are right about there being seasons for different projects, we are coming into Spring where I live so my garden will take up much more of my time. The sewing and knitting that I have done so much over the Autumn and Winter will take more of a back seat. We can't do everything!

Evi said...

Oh yes, March did indeed pass by in a blur! Must be something about the beginning of the cold times that gets all this frenetic activity happening!
Lovely to have the time to stop by this month - I had plans to visit everyone last month but was too busy…hahaha!! I agree with Kim though, it was a good kind of busy!

Kathy said...

I too am now thinking about your butternut flapjacks. We are just moving into spring here and starting our gardening, yours is lovely!

Christine said...

So many wonderful events in your month, Wendy - congratulations on the feral cat program. Your daughter looks absolutely beautiful in her gown and my youngest would love the sound of the acrobranch group! She is always up a tree. Wishing you a beautiful April. x