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Slowing down the Slow Living Essentials way - August 2012

I have been following Christine at Slow Living Essentials for a while and in January she set a challenge to record on our blog, monthly, how we have "slowed down" under nine categories - I have been doing this for the last seven months and really got a lot out of it. This is my August reflection on Slowing Down - the Slow Living Essentials way!

Here's what I did...

NOURISH: Make and bake as much as possible from scratch. Ditch over packaged, over processed convenience foods and opt for 'real' food instead.
 We tend to cook from scratch each night, not surprisingly, there are eggs on the menu a fair bit now all the chooks are back on line and laying regularly. We make all our sauces, gravies, stock and bases from scratch too. I just had a quick look in the pantry and discovered that we only have ingredients, no pre prepared packets of anything. Biscuits are about the only thing I don't make (due to working six days a week) and come in a packet and they mostly come from the lady at the markets who makes them and sells them. If I want to make a lasagna, I will have to add the onion, garlic and seasonings to some tomato paste, wine and... - damnit, we'll be having lasagna for dinner now!

Chicken thigh wrapped in bacon cooked on the BBQ with some vege skewer, sweet potato mash and a salad - Yummm!

PREPARE: Stockpile and preserve.
I'm trying to get some of my stock in the freezer down at the moment. We have two freezers and not enough in them to justify having the two on. I want to get it down to one but have I have one and a bits freezers worth of food stored - I can see a $21 challenge coming up in the next week or so!

REDUCE: Cut down on household waste by re-using, re-purposing and repairing.
Managed a bit of this this month! I have fixed my watering can and my peg hanger thing that goes on the clothes line. I have re purposed old mower catchers into nesting boxes for my chookies and turned stale bread rolls into Chook Porridge for a warm breaky for my egg layers!

GREEN: up our lives. Start (or continue!) using homemade products.
I think Ive more or less greened most things in our house these days. All my cleaners are homemade green ones. All my face and hair products are home made green ones. I've got a years supply of soap made. We sweep rather than vacuum the wooden floors, use home made washing powder and citrus vinegar for the hard to get off stuff. I think we have this one nailed!

GROW: plant/harvest. What's growing this month?
I have fortified the garden and put in more seedlings... Now it's a case of waiting and seeing who gets the harvest, me, the possums or the weather!

However, all my chookies are back on the lay and the two new bantams have started laying! Their eggs are sooooo cute! Bantam eggs are perfect for lunches I have been told by the husband! Two bites is, apparently, the right amount for boiled eggs in a lunch. I am about to give some eggs to the neighbours as we have about as many as we can eat at the moment!

All six chookies are laying!
CREATE: to fill a need or feed the soul. Create for ourselves or for others.
I haven't created much for myself at all this month. Working six days a week has put a bit of a stop to that recently. But I'm hoping I will have enough money saved for a new bathroom soon - There's a big create for December/January coming up!!!

DISCOVER: Feed the mind by reading texts relevant to current interests.
My local council library is still my source of most things discovered! If you make friends with a librarian, they will turn over Heaven and Earth to find you the book you require. They seem to be trained that way - long after closing time we have still been on the computer searching databases of other libraries and ordering them in on inter library loans. Don't buy a new book ever again - Just ask your friendly librarian to track it down for you! 
ENHANCE: community: The rewards for your time are often returned tenfold.
Same old same old - basketball that I play badly but so enjoy, working in the canteen for the Blue light disco, giving blood, chatting over the fence with the neighbours - chatting to complete strangers when I get my mail, having the neighbours over to make soap, cruising over to various blogs to see what my blogging pals have been up to  - its great, I love my wee community!

ENJOY: Life! Embrace moments with friends and family.
The month the Ekka was the big thing for me! I took a friends teenager and he ditched me at the gate so I spent the whole day doing what I wanted to do instead of compromising and looking at what other people wanted to see as well - very selfish - but Oh So Wonderful!

Birthday parties were also in the diary this month. My starcard went down a treat with my friend, who rang me to say her hangover was much worse for lying in bed and reading all the tags and laughing the next morning! Aunties turning 79 and my brother having his first baby appear early were also wonderful days!

IMPROVE: Change or create a habit, work on an aspect of mind, body and soul that needs a wee tweak.
Last month I set myself the challenge not to eat chocolate that I had bought myself. I managed it - but there were a few moments of "Well... I could.... and no one will know" in the supermarket isles and the petrol station counters. But I managed to quell those desires in the interests of being honest and completed my month without BUYING chocolate. My husband took me to a chocolate restaurant for dessert one night OMG, (I believe that is the current teenage phrase for - "That was amazing!") I have now been introduced, for the first time in my life, to the concept of almost too much chocolate in one sitting!

This month I'm going for drinking a litre of water a day - I know its meant to be two but I figure if I can do two litres, great, but if I cant, then one litre is a good start and better than none at all... I have a vague plan to fill up drink bottles and leave them in my bag, car, on my desk, beside my bed etc to remind me.

I love this check-in at the end of the month! I love cruising over to other blogs and catching up on whats been happening for others and enjoying reading about every ones exploits, thoughts and ideas. I do always leave comments but have noticed that sometimes they don't come up on the comments page or I can't get past some of the 'security' devices ("type in these letters" thingys). So, even if you can't see my comment - know that I have been visiting!

Thanks for the opportunity to share again Christine!!! Have a great month everyone! - Kara xx


Anonymous said…
Loved catching up on your month. I looked at the links for your card - what a wonderfully personal gift, and the tags are too funny!
Barbara Good said…
Great month! I love that you have a years worth of soap, having that stock pile must make the time it takes to make seem so worthwhile. That's usually my problem, I make something once and then forget to do it again before the supply runs out so end up going back to buying it. I'm finding the balance of wanting to cook from scratch and make cleaning products etc in the limited time I have since going back to work quite tricky.

I too love the library and my local librarians... as does my three year old.
Kathryn Ray said…
We have also been working on eliminating the pre-packaged food from our stores. I think I only have a couple packages of ravioli left. Although we do still enjoy the Grocery Store Sushi, but we always eat that right away. ;-)

Funny that you're trying to eliminate one freezer. I'm thinking we will need to add one... at least if we decide to buy part of a beef or hog. The turkey and now lamb that we usually buy keep ours pretty full.
Practical Frog said…
If I have a 1/2 beef or Hog to put in the freezer, I will certainly keep it on but a quick inventory showed me that I have a package of bacon (dated December last year) a whole raw lobster given to us by the neighbour, 1/2 a bag of ice and a chocolate barvarian dessert - not quite the stockpile needed to justify the power! So maybe I need to buy a decent amount of meat instead...

Hi Heidi! The card was great fun - huge amount of work, but then she is special and I didnt photograph some of the more personal ones that cracked her right up... not all were G rated! ;)

Hey Barbara, I just go with the flow these days. I make hay while the sunshines. When the universe gives me the time and resources, I make soap or what ever I have an urge or need for. The rest of the time I buy it the best way I can and hope that the planets align and I can spend the time doing/making/creating the things I want to sooner rather than later!

Thansk for dropping by ladies! - K xx
Christine said…
Oh dear you make me laugh, Kara - almost too much chocolate in one sitting? !! :))
Very thoughtful of hubby though.

The water sounds like a great plan and looking forward to reading about your bathroom renovations down the track.
Practical Frog said…
Hi Christine! Im absolutly certain there is no such thing as too much chocolate - not in one sitting anyway! - K xx
Linda said…
I'm always amazed at how much you achieve in a month! And I know what you mean about the library. I love ours and better still so do the kids. The librarians know them by name. Oh.... Hang on..... Is that good or bad?! Maybe it's a case of "here come THOSE kids!"
Practical Frog said…
I know what you mean!!! I wonder if our librarians go, "Oh no, here they come again. What obscure book will she want us to find THIS time!" (Im assuming its a good thing that they know you by name!) - K xx
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