This update is sooooo over due - but I would still like to participate. I'm going with the "better late than never" theory for this check in. My plan was to use the long weekend to make a leisurely post, then register on Christine's site and spend part of the day in the hammock with a cuppa and the laptop visiting all my bloggy mates and generally spending the Queens Jubilee holiday on my backside. As it turns out - I did spend all of the Queens Jubilee holiday on my backside, but at the hospital! Our latest student got a huge festering abscess in a sensitive place and I simply couldn't abandon her to the bureaucracy of Queensland Health - the Health Professionals, absolutely (they were more than wonderful) but the forms, the questions, the paperwork, the change of shift, all the different departments and the sheer volume of ink needed to get a young international visitor through the bureaucracy - Never!!! We were there for two solid days... But she is fit healthy and smiling again now the pain has gone!
Then I had to work my four jobs, have a birthday, have a small gathering to celebrate, run a wedding reception, clean the house, do a grocery shop, update my First Aid certificate, look after my chookies and - well you get the idea, blogging ended up being the thing that didn't get done until today!
Anyway - Here's what I did over the last month...
NOURISH: Make and bake as much as possible from scratch. Ditch over packaged, over processed convenience foods and opt for 'real' food instead.
This is always fun in our house. Our student made us Spaghetti carbonara, a Baked Salt Pie, Pizza and Calzone (no points for guessing what country she is from!) all from scratch and under instruction direct from Italy via skype!
We will reciprocate with Crocodile and Kangaroo later this month!
PREPARE: Stockpile and preserve.
Not a lot in this category this month. Although I was at the supermarket at the right time and managed to get a fair bit of meat for just under 1/2 price...!?!
REDUCE: Cut down on household waste by re-using, re-purposing and repairing.
We are pretty good at this category these days. Doing this check in reminds me that we do a lot of this stuff automatically, its a chosen lifestyle that just happens now without a lot of thought.
GREEN: up our lives. Start (or continue!) using homemade products.
Hardly any commercial products left in the cupboard under the sink - which I guess is the objective of the exercise!
GROW: plant/harvest. What's growing this month?
Now, this category I can actually report something positive for a change! I have finally managed to grow something and get it all the way to the plate!!!
Ok, so its only a lettuce and some spring onions, but its a lettuce and spring onions that I grew all by myself!!! I am super pleased as we have huge "green thing eating critter" problems and I have spent more on fortifying my garden than anything else in recent months. So much for a frugal homegrown, environmentally friendly meal - my husband calculated that my chicken Cesar salad lettuce cost me some where in the vicinity of $100 in wire, about 3 hours of labour to build, 20 tons of greenhouse gas getting the wire in about 5 car trips, 4 or 5 temper tantrums and about 250 litres of tank water...
Hopefully, I'll get a few more lettuces out of the same plot to reduce my cost per lettuce...
CREATE: to fill a need or feed the soul. Create for ourselves or for others.
I made a rag quilt at the beginning of the month for my new nephew! Ummmm....
Does making up checklist for new staff at work count? It was a beautifully laid out document! Conversely, doing this update also shows what I don't always get around to doing...
DISCOVER: Feed the mind by reading texts relevant to current interests.
Am loving my latest Uni subject - the anthropology of healing and illness. Its about the difference between disease (the pathogens) and illness (the experience) and how different cultures view these two states. We were given a book to read called "The spirit catches you and then you fall down" (Anne Fadiman). Its about a Hmong family living in the states after fleeing from Laos and their epileptic young daughter - or more to the point, what happens when a Strong shamanistic culture come up against the American Health system. Absolutely fascinating - Excellent story, even if you aren't studying a uni subject. I got my copy from the local library.
ENHANCE: community: The rewards for your time are often returned tenfold.
For a few days this month, I got to join in with the local medical community. I wouldn't say I "enjoyed" my time with them but it was very comforting to experience lots of real compassion, sensitivity and professionalism from all the staff involved in the couple of days I spent at a bedside at the local hospital.
I'm still attending Yoga (work permitting) and really enjoying a new group of like minded people!
ENJOY: Life! Embrace moments with friends and family.
This has been a great month for celebrating! We've had a couple of babies born into the family (Welcome Oliver and Eli!) Picked up the baby Barnevelder Chickens, been to a friend child's bowling birthday party, Caught up with some old friends over coffee, celebrated our wedding anniversary and had a birthday as well! Great fun!
Hmmm, I haven't given this months 'Improve" much thought as yet - I have done fairly well with the chocolate. Ive bought maybe 3 things in the last month since my first challenge - much better than every time I got petrol or groceries! I am conscious about drinking water and managed to get at least my litre a day - much, much easier than I thought it would be. More often than not, I was well over the litre I had set myself - this is a good habit to get into as its getting very hot here in Brisbane already...
So back to this month... As its getting lighter earlier, I tend to get up as the sun rises. So that means I have been waking at 5.30am in recent times. So this months challenge is to go to bed at 9pm each night that I am actually at home to do so! I have two jobs that have me out till all hours of the night once or twice a week, but the rest of the time, I shall endeavour to stop what I'm doing and go to bed at 9pm so I get enough sleep.
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 (whats left of the) month everyone! - Kara xx