Slow Living – May 2013

5 Jun

SLOW LIVING UPDATE – May 2013

Heidi over at Lightly Crunchy has been posting these Slow Living updates each month, and I find them rather interesting. It gives you a chance to look back on the prior month with a sense of accomplishment. There are days that I feel kind of lazy, lounging around and not really getting anything done even though there are mountains of laundry to be washed and put away, dishes to be done, floors to be scrubbed. Then there are days, even weeks, where it feels like my head is spinning from all of my to-do’s! I know that I’m not right on top of posting, but figured you gotta start somewhere!

Nourish:

The month of May was an opportunity to clean out the freezer so nothing goes to waste, and save some money on groceries in the process. I didn’t do a whole lot of recipe posting, even though I was getting creative in the kitchen (those recipes will be coming soon!). I made flax bran muffins, “fried rice”, and my own Sweet Cream Coffee Creamer. I did manage to post a recipe when I whipped up a healthier alternative to mashed potatoes with a Garlic Cauliflower Mash.

Prepare:

May was spent prepping the garden for veggies, as well as some landscaping around the chicken coop. A whole day spent pulling rocks out of our creek to keep the flowers up nice and close to the coop. It helps create a little more shade, and will also make the area around the coop look nicer once the flowers grow and fill in.

flower bed

Reduce/Reuse/Repurpose/Repair:

This month was a great cleansing month at our house. During April and May, I scoured the house for things to donate to charity. I’ll never understand how 2 people can manage to end up with so much stuff. It was mostly me donating my items, but over the next month or 2, hubs is going to go through his things and part ways with duplicate and unused items. For the scheduled pickup for the VVA, I had 4 big bags of clothes, shoes, coats and purses, 2 boxes of books, and one box of miscellaneous kitchen items. I’m happy I was able to pass along so much gently used, well taken care of stuff so that someone else could enjoy it!

Green – cleaners, body products and basic herbal remedies:

I’ve slowly been using up all of our chemical laden store-bought products so that I can replace them with more earth friendly ones. I’ve been using a homemade citrus vinegar spray that smells lovely and cleans great. It cleans up the chicken coop, counters, toilets. The recipe is too simple to deserve a whole post. Basically, soak citrus peels – lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange – in white vinegar for 2-4 weeks (I did 4) strain out the peels, mix 1:1 with water, and place in a spray bottle. Green cleaner with about zero effort. The hardest part is remembering to save the peels!

Grow:

We managed to make our garden the nicest looking it’s been since we started. This is our fourth year with the garden, and hubs created nice rows for all the veggies. We – meaning I – scaled back on the amount of plants because I tend to overcrowd the garden, making it hard to harvest tomatoes before they are overly ripe. This year, that won’t be a problem. All that’s left to do now is fence it in to keep the chickens out. They enjoy tomatoes.

garden2013

Create:

I created a front porch herb garden, complete with mint, parsley, oregano, basil, pineapple sage and dill. It’s nice to look at and makes it easy to have fresh herbs on hand for recipes.

Discover:

A friend had been talking about the show Mad Men. When I realized that all but one season was on Netflix, I started watching. I’m hooked. I want Betty Draper’s clothes. We also discovered a bicycle trail near my little brother and made use of it on my birthday. We did 10 miles that day, and while the first 5 were a bit rough and all up hill, we did it and it was awesome!

image

Enhance – community:

Now that the hens are laying pretty regularly, we have a big surplus of eggs. Many more than the hubs and I can eat. So, I’ve started sharing them again with my gram, and allowing coworkers to put in an order for some. The only thing I ask for is for them to give me back the egg cartons, and to donate towards the chickens feed. It’s been working out for everyone!

eggs!

Enjoy:

The hubs and I have rediscovered our deck after it’s winter hibernation. We’ve pressure washed it, busted the cushions out of their prison tote, and entertained some family on it. I was able to share a meal with an uncle whom I had not seen for almost 20 years. We plan on spending many evenings on it, eating dinner, having an adult beverage or two, and sharing the space with family and friends.

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5 Responses to “Slow Living – May 2013”

  1. Heidi @ lightlycrunchy June 5, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

    Isn’t it great to lay it all out like this? It makes the days with laundry piles and unfinished chores recede into the background.

    I love your chicken coop – we’ve only had meat hens in the past, but if I can convince the husband, I would love to get some laying hens. It’s not like we don’t have the space.. Though what we do have is coyotes.

    Your garden is looking so full of potential already. I had a little visit to ours last night – I’m eager to get the potatoes billed and start the eating.

    You should link up with the others at Slow Living Essentials too – I’ve gained a few ideas from others doing this same monthly update.

    • seasonedwithsarcasm June 6, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

      It really is Heidi! It makes you feel like you actually accomplished something, instead of running around like crazy with no end result!

      I highly recommend having chickens. We have ours just for eggs, but the brown ones will most likely hit the freezer for soups or stews when they stop laying. I’m not particularly attached to them in any way, but I do take great care of them! These guys are fairly easy to care for, and they are great at eating up many of the spiders, ticks and other various bugs all over our property. And they are great garbage disposals! We feed them a lot of our kitchen scraps, which makes it feel less wasteful because those chickens are turning those scraps into eggs. We have coyotes around here too, so we have a double layer of protection for our birds by having the coop within the fenced in run. The chickens only get free reign of the yard from roughly 5-9 during when it’s still light out since they are less likely to become a predators meal.

      I can barely wait for the garden to start producing veggies. I went a bit overboard with zuke and yellow squash plants this year – I have 8 plants of each – because I want to can or freeze a bunch. We love eating squash and the stuff they have at the stores in the off season is so sad looking. Plus, they are so easy to grow! Once those are done producing, I’m going to do a secondary planting (first time for me to do that!) of a replacement crop of butternut squash. That freezes and cans beautifully so it will be nice being able to make butternut squash soup, raviolis and sides with it when winter hits. Are potatoes pretty easy to grow? We don’t have room in the garden for them, but I have a flower bed on the side of our house that doesn’t get a huge amount of sunlight and I could plant them there for some additional veggies!

      And thanks for the link up suggestion – I did!

      • Heidi @ lightlycrunchy June 6, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

        We’ve never had a problem growing potatoes – they take a little extra labour because you have to hill the plants once they start o grow, but they taste so much better fresh than store bought that our kids complain when we run out at the end of the year – this year we are planting much more. We’re also trying out some succession planting for the first time, to draw out the season for our favourites.

  2. Christine June 13, 2013 at 11:51 pm #

    Wonderful to read about your month and lovely to have you joining in! Your chicken coop is great and will look so sweet once the flowers start to bloom. I’m really impressed with your veggie beds, too! All the best for an abundant harvest!! 🙂

    • seasonedwithsarcasm June 14, 2013 at 8:39 pm #

      Thank you Christine for your lovely comments, and for allowing others to participate!

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