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Slowing Down the Slow! Living Essentials Way - November 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 eight months and really got a lot out of it. This is my November reflection on Slowing Down - the Slow Living Essentials way!

NOURISH: Make and bake as much as possible from scratch. Ditch over packaged, over processed convenience foods and opt for 'real' food instead.
This one has come together over the year. We have our regular library/takeaway night and the fish and chips wrapped in newspaper at the beach to welcome jet lagged students to our city, but other than that, it has to be cooked. I have a few cans of "teenager" food for the one who would rather starve than cook toast (and he eats them all cold??!!?? Blech!) Recently I have even got bits and pieces out of the garden which has been a fun addition to the dinner table!

Lebanese eggplant growing, growing, getting bigger!

PREPARE: Stockpile and preserve.
Only the Christmas sauces have been made. I made a batch of herb and garlic tomato sauce to go with the smoky BBQ tomato sauce I have already made for Chrissy pressies for work mates, neighbours and the like!

REDUCE: Cut down on household waste by re-using, re-purposing and repairing.
I have this one sussed. I'm happy to make do or reuse something. The Husband is much fonder of ducking into Bunnings to get "what ever" he gets from there, rather than look around the yard or ask the neighbours if they have a spare "what ever" they could donate to the cause. I made an isolation pen for one of my chookies who has a cold for a whole $5 out of bits lying around and 20m of chicken wire I got from the Tip Shop. (Have you ever heard a chicken sneeze? I didn't even know they could) She hates it but I need her to eat/drink her antibiotics and to stay away from the others to make sure she doesn't infect them all.

Storms isolation pen - I'm happy with it, she doesn't seem quite so enamoured with it...

GREEN: up our lives. Start (or continue!) using homemade products.
A new use for tea-tree oil for those who use it - its great for killing scaly mite on chicken legs!!! Made another batch of boric acid cockroach killer as I noticed a few big 'uns fly through the open doors and windows over the last few nights. Its been a whopping 35.4 degrees here in Brissy over the last few days! The paper had a picture of a 6 foot carpet python curled up in a dogs drinking bowl trying to get cool on the front page yesterday!

GROW: plant/harvest. What's growing this month?
Oh oh oh - I am growing things!!!! Its so good to be able to post in this section something other than trials and tribulations!! I got two aubergines (eggplants) out of the garden last night! We had them in a pork and aubergine risotto with sun dried tomato's, spring onion and parsley ( both also from the garden) Its so much fun - not saving me anywhere near a cent but much more fun than going to a big supermarket!

Lots of eggs still coming out of the chooks. My Aracana's are showing a lot of interest in the nesting boxes and seem to be "playing house" in there. Hopefully that means my green shelled eggs are on their way!

Drizzle has gone broody over the last few days. Boy does she give you the evil eye if you try and lift her up to get at the eggs she thinks she is hatching.

CREATE: to fill a need or feed the soul. Create for ourselves or for others.
Not much of an opportunity this much for creating but I have made the labels for my Sauce and I'm quite pleased with them. The tree has finally gone up and the house, while not decorated as much as usual, looks festive enough! I'm typing with totally irreverent Australian Christmas carols in the background!!

My Husbands a big birthday coming up in January so I have had fun going to town on the invites for his shindig. Its only a fortnight or so after Christmas, so I will have to get the invites out in the next few days before I get swamped with students over the festive season - we will have three of them!
Invites still in the making...

DISCOVER: Feed the mind by reading texts relevant to current interests.
I'm into cook books at the moment. Reading a Jamie Oliver cookbook for the first time. I never quite got into him the way the rest of the world did but my first foray into his world (cooking from his garden by the seasons) is going down well with me. I cant remember why I chose not to look into his books before... Got a Kylie Kwong in the wings as well.

On an overnight trip to Albany, Western Australia, a few weeks ago I managed to knock over a Jodie Picoult (Plain Truth) and a Monica McIrney (House of Memories). One each way on the six hour flight to Perth. Pity I didn't think to get a talking book for the five hour drive each way from Perth to Albany! I went to Albany to appear in court for one of my ex foster children who is intellectually disabled and had managed to wind up imprisoned. It took me two weeks to track him down and another month or two to convince the authorities across two states that he shouldn't be there. And so the magistrate decided that if I put my money where my mouth was and made the appearance in her courtroom she would commute his sentence to a community one. So after an exhausting trip across the country (damn this is a big place to live) he is back with us and doing ok - so far.
ENHANCE: community: The rewards for your time are often returned tenfold.
Other than my recent experience with the court system and goodness knows how many different Government departments I don't feel much like I had much to do with my community this month! I quit one of my jobs which reduced a huge amount of stress (along with my bank balance, but you cant always have your cake and eat it too!) and that gave me back my Mondays at the neighbours doing craft and a chance to go to Yoga more! I also started walking in the evenings with one of the neighbours too!

Origami type flowers!

ENJOY: Life! Embrace moments with friends and family.
November isn't a big month for celebrations for us, more of a preparation month as December has a few birthdays as well as Christmas in it. The only celebrating I did was on the other side of the country in a courtroom - it wasn't the most festive but probably one of the more emotionally charged ones!

You'd think the stocks would be a deterrent wouldn't you??
IMPROVE: Change or create a habit, work on an aspect of mind, body and soul that needs a wee tweak.

Oh Blimey - boy did I so NOT manage this challenge this month!!! I was supposed to be doing my meditation/guided imagery thing or going to Yoga at least twice a week this month. Neither of those things barely happened. I may have managed Yoga four times for the month and the meditation... Once... I think! I kept missing the yoga while on the phone to WA and then didn't even remember to do the lie down and relax while being taken to a wonderfully peaceful place later in the day.

For December, I think I shall try Just going with the flow for Christmas this year. We aren't hosting any celebrations at our place this year and so I will be a guest at various relatives and friends gatherings. I shall be a wonderful guest and just enjoy what comes my way. Normally I host some part of Christmas at our place and go all out which I enjoy and really get a kick out of,so this time, I will just turn up and let it all happen to 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 

Merry Christmas Everyone!


Kathryn Ray said…
I can't say I've ever heard a chicken sneeze... I'm guessing it would be quite surprising if you didn't know what it was. ;-)

Nice to hear that your foster kid is doing better.

Your origami flowers are beautiful.

Thanks for the tip on the 'roo mince. I will definitely let everyone know what we do with it. :-)
Practical Frog said…
Nice to hear from you! Must be cold in your part of the world at the moment! Please, I'd love to know what you end up doing with the mince. If you make it into sausages you can call them Kanga Banga's (whick is Australian for Kangaroo Sausages!)Storm coughs as well as sneezes moment. I can hear the rattle of phlegm in her chest as she breathes sometimes too. Definitely worrying. Oh by the way - LOVE the new Alpacamundo logo! - K xx
Anonymous said…
I thought I was the only one having trouble with some of the security when trying to leave comments.

What a wonderful thing you did for your foster child. I hope he can appreciate your efforts.

I love boric acid for pests. I had a problem when I first moved here, management wanted to spray and all that seemed to do was make them hide till he was gone. I wanted to leave so badly as roaches are the one bug I can't stomach. But I went out and bought the boric acid and passed it around to neighbors. Gone in just over a week and no return in over a year.
Practical Frog said…
It drives me nuts not being able to leave comments on blogs that I read and enjoy a lot! Mine is open and I dont get enough spam or weird comments to bother with all that security myself...

I doubt he will appreciate what we do for him due to the social and emotional issues he has - but I know I did the right thing and thats enough.

Ah - another boric acid convert! Welcome to the sisterhood! Dont know why I ever persevered with anything else!

Thanks for dropping by! - Kxx
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