Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Slow Living Diary - Month Seven (July)

It's that time again!  The beginning of this month is the time to review July.  I'm joining in with Christine at Slow Living Essentials for her slow living diary.

Nourish - I've still been going nuts on the bread and butter pudding.  My mother came to visit one day and I had promised her a Quiche for lunch.  There wasn't much in the garden to put in it.   Somehow a spring onion and silverbeet quiche didn't appeal.  So I fed the poor woman bread and butter pudding for lunch!  T'was yummy though! ;-)  And we've been using our rhubarb a lot.  YUM!

We also had a wonderful month for gifted fruit.  We received fruit from the back of a truck ; ) and a friend gave us grapefruit.

Prepare - Mum brought me some jars she had saved which I gratefully accepted!  I like to have them on hand in case I become miraculously self sufficient in fruit.  (I think I only had three or four stone fruits last year)  I have also been sorting out my jar collection because it was a HUGE mess in the bottom of the pantry!  I bought some racks at a second hand store and they work well.

Reduce - The usual of washing our bread bags for food storage, using the packet our powdered milk comes in to put our rubbish in, the school lunches made at home and no plastic wrap in sight!

Green - Made comfrey tea to fertilise the garden.  I ran out of lots of my makeup ages ago and this month I bought some lippy coloured with carrot (No it's pink, not orange) and some rice powder foundation.

Grow - My broad beans are growing exceptionally well though I have no broad beans that have set.  They look healthy and have heaps of flowers so I am hopeful.  My rhubarb looks wonderful.  I have read that they don't grow well in winter but I have never found that to be the case.  I have mini cabbages that have grown beautifully and spring onions and marigolds everywhere!  The garlic seems to be plodding along and peas are nearly ready.  I can't master carrots but somebody should warn them, I am determined and I will keep trying until I win!!!

Create - I plied my first ball of homespun wool!  Then a lovely lady at my spinning group brought in a large fleece for anyone to take, so I have begun spinning some of that.  I think it would make a nice beanie for hubby.  What do you think?

Discover - I have been shown how to cast off two pieces of knitting together on a shoulder seam to achieve a flatter seam.  I was also shown how to cast on using your thumb to get a nicer edge but I will need to be shown again before I can master it.  I discovered there is such a thing as a cittaslow (slow city) and that Yea is a  cittaslow !  I taught Pumpkin (five years old) how to knead sour dough.  Yes, by herself!

Enhance - I attended a council launch regarding life for children around here.  I hope to be chosen for a working party because this is an area of passion for me.  I think it is fantastic that they are taking a long term approach and that they are consulting with the community.

I am personally enhanced by the amazing women at my spinning group.  They are so happy to offer advice to a beginner knitter and spinner and I just love their company.  Most are older than me and are such wise and settled women with so much knowledge to offer.

Enjoy -  As a family we usually just camp in one spot every year.  This month we were able to travel around holidaying for the first time in ten years.  We had a ball!  Also, this month my eldest turned 30!  Now before you do the maths and make it worse than it already is, I'm forty six.  I have a huge child rearing span of the first at sixteen and the last at forty one!  Lou Lou's 30th was a lovely relaxed affair and I really enjoyed giving her Rhonda's book and some essential oils.

My children at Lou Lou's birthday celebration
Have a lovely August!


Natalie said...

I love that you are teaching your daughter bread baking so early. My youngest loves baking as well, and that is about the same age that he started bread. We haven't done any in a little while, but when the fall returns, we will be right in there.

Kathryn Ray said...

That fleece is gorgeous! You'll be able to do a lot more than make one beanie. ;-)

Mrs B said...

I had to laugh as I made bread and butter pudding last night. It's so yum and more-ish.

Yay for teaching your daughter to bake bread. I've always let Little B join as well and he loves to have a go at kneading and shaping.

Anonymous said...

I think bread and butter pudding would be a wonderful treat. I loved reading about your month.

Fiona from Arbordale Farm said...

Who said bread and butter pudding was not for lunch. I am so envious of your rhubarb. Love the photo of all the kids.

Christine said...

Aww, happy birthday to your daughter, Linda!

You have comfrey growing? I think ours has vanished for the winter, bleak thing.

Bread kneading by your daughter, camping, bread and butter pudding for lunch and spinning a fleece, love it all! Thanks for joining in. :)

Wendy said...

Beautiful children and love the idea of casting off two pieces of knitting for a flatter seam!

Practical Frog said...

Such a busy month!
These racks look great - thats given me an idea for the mess at the top of the pantry - Thanks! If its any help - my broadbeans have flowers but havent done anything that looks remotely like produce a bean yet either...
Look forward to seeing what you knit that fleece into! - Kara

Lois said...

We didn't have any luck with carrots this year either But it looks like your garden is doing well.

I have never spun or knitted, but crochet quite a bit, around here it seems to be a lost art as everyone wants to know how to knit.
Happy birthday to your daughter, my youngest just turned 25 last Friday and my oldest will be 28 beginning of next month how time flies.

Linda said...

Hi Natalie, I didn't actually choose to teach her to knead. She just kept hassling me to let her until I gave in. I couldn't believe how well she picked it up!

Hi Kathryn, I hope you're right. I'm so new to spinning that I don't know how far a fleece might go.

Hi Mrs B, That's great to know there are so many kids out there learning to make bread. And yes B&B pudding is so quick(apart from the baking time)and sooo yummy!

Thank you Lightly Crunchy. It's fun to read about what others are up to, isn't it?

Hi Fiona, hey Mum wasn't complaining! ;) And thanks, they're pretty lovely!

Hi Christine, You are so clever. I'm loving this slow living diary. It keeps me in touch with what I'm achieving (or not) and there is so much to read about what other's are up to. Ideas everywhere! The comfrey's not looking too pretty, but it's still there.

Hi Wendy, the double casting off worked so well. I wonder if everybody already knows these tricks? So much to learn.

Hi Kara, I was surprised to see how much we got up to because we were away for half the month. Let me know how you go with those broad beans. I hope we end up with some!

Hi Lois, I NEVER have much luck with carrots! I would love to learn how to crochet. I bought a book on beginners crochet last year. I want to get more of a handle on this knitting caper first and then I'll start on crochet.

city garden country garden said...

Your rhubarb looks delicious, I can't wait until mine gets to edible size! Sounds like you've had a great month.

Kirsty @ Bowerbird Blue said...

That's some serious mothering experience under your belt, what a gorgeous lot of kids you have there. I'd gladly eat desert for lunch. Looks like a really productive month.

Barbara Good said...

You sound like you've been getting a good supply of rhubarb, I've had trouble getting it this year at the farmer's market - apparently it's been a bad year for some people. I really should get around planting my own.

I too am determined with carrots and just keep trying, surely one day I'll manage a decent sized and coloured specimen. I do love the anticipation of pulling them up!

Good on you for taking on learning the art of spinning and knitting. I've just been teaching myself to crochet and it was much easier than I thought it would be. I think if you can knit, crocheting is even easier.

Linda said...

Hi Cgcg, Thanks! I love my rhubarb. It's one of my most successful plants.

Kirsty, Thank you. Yes I am a mum first and foremost! It's been a looong career.

Barbara, Yes! Plant rhubarb! Plenty of manure and a reasonable amount of water, then it looks after itself. And yes, I must get onto the crochet but I'm still working on a HUGE (for me) knitting project!