Sunday, 4 November 2012

Slow Living Diary - Month Ten, October

Well here we are in November already!  I can feel a nervous knot in my stomach as I start thinking about Christmas.  Last year, I swore that I would be organised for Christmas by this time of year, so that I could sit back and enjoy the season.  Of course, part of the plan was that I would home make every gift.  Do you know, I haven't even started!  Life just kept getting in the way. 

So that's where I'm at right now.  Let me tell about October.  I'm joining in with Christine at Slow Living Essentials for a monthly recount.  Have a look - it's lots of fun reading what others have been up to.

NOURISH: I've been making pasta, we've had broad beans, kale and sourdough bread.  Plenty of silverbeet was eaten.  Mum gave me lots of spinach which was enjoyed with pasta or with scrambled eggs.  Yummm!

 I didn't bake cakes and biscuits as much as I would have liked this month.  The kids survived with lots of fruit.

PREPARE: Froze some broad beans.  Pickled some beetroot for the first time.  I hope it works, because I have had trouble learning to preserve food.  I made some apple leather and also some apple cheese.  It was beautiful, but the bulk of it, which I put into a container between layers of baking paper, went mouldy.

REDUCE: I've been madly trying to reduce STUFF around the house.  Going through the children's clothes and the books on our bookshelves (our books have outgrown the bookshelves and are currently taking over our house!) and taking them to the op-shop.  I have to force myself to only look at the women at the counter, for fear of spotting some thing that I simply have to have!  No point madly clearing out the house if I'm going to bring more STUFF home!  Op-shops are so tempting!

And to illustrate my point..... I did visit one op-shop this month!  I bought some boots, and a skirt that I love, and..............

GREEN:  I have made calendula soap this month.  It is so pretty to look at!  I ran out of the shampoo bar that I bought at the farmer's market so I've been washing my hair with the soap I made last time.  It works pretty well.
GROW:  I can't believe how well the orchard is doing this year.  We have little fruits setting and growing larger week by week.  We are harvesting peas, silverbeet and chard and have more broad beans ready.  We've put in some tomatoes, more kale and I am stubbornly trying more carrots despite repeated failure.  The potatoes look amazing!  I'm going to try bandicooting some this week.  I reckon they might be nearly ready.
Do these guys come under the category of grow?  They started life in an incubator but it broke down so we chucked them under the clucky bantam.  Aren't they lucky to be alive?!  Unless they're roosters because we all know what their fate will be then!
CREATE: I made a couple of thank you cards and I also made calico party bags as take-home gifts for Buddy Boy's party.  They held a biscuit man wearing a pirate eye patch in black icing.  Buddy Boy had a pirate theme.

DISCOVER: I was given three amazing books for my birthday from my wonderful friends!  Don't they know me well.  These books complement each other perfectly and contain most of what I need to know to achieve our simple life.
ENHANCE: Oh dear!  Knitting club was my main one here, but I'm off to a poor start.  I had a very messy month for various reasons and missed 3 weeks.  I hate to be seen as unreliable and really hate letting the kids down.  They embraced knitting club with more enthusiasm than I expected but it has morphed into a sewing and craft club.  There were too many children to be able to teach knitting to, so they've been making stuffed teddies and cushions, and making wrist bands from wool.  I love seeing how excited they get about our lunch time club and hope this month will be more settled.
ENJOY: .  I enjoyed a family weekend away in celebration of my mother's 70th birthday, Buddy Boy's joy in turning seven and having his first party with friends from school, and my own birthday.  Mum and Dad gave us tickets to South Pacific and looked after our kids.  We had an overnight stay in Melbourne, dinner out and the show which was fantastic!  I also loved receiving the dish cloths that my daughter, Lou Lou, gave me.  She has only just started knitting this year and found the instruction in the copy of Down to Earth that I gave her for her birthday.

Buddy Boy's cake

The wonderful dishcloth Lou Lou made for me

I hope you've had a great month!  Why don't you pop over to Christine's and have a look at what other people achieved in October?


Urban Homestead South Africa said...

Happy birthday and enjoy the reading! The op shops sound like such fun, none here for me!

purplepear said...

You certainly have had a great month. October is big for birthdays in my family too.And I'm not as far ahead as I would like to be for Christmas either.

Kathryn Ray said...

I had to look up "bandicooting." Sounds like it should work... I'm curious to hear how it goes.

That treasure chest cake is awesome!

Linda said...

Hi Wendy, thank you. You poor thing, having no op shops near you. I love my second hand bargains!

Hi Kate, it's funny how families seem to have peak months for birthdays. In June we have four within one week.

Hi Kathryn, Bandicooting must be an Australian term then. I hadn't thought about it.

And thanks, Buddy Boy loved his cake.

Fiona from Arbordale Farm said...

Wow what a great cake. And yes growing chickens does count.

Linda said...

Thanks Fiona, it was easy to make too!

And I have to laugh! You lovely polite people. I've been calling October month NINE and nobody pointed it out to me. Fixed now!
Must have been my answer to slowing the year down a bit. LOL

Christine said...

Oh, Linda, a happy belated birthday to you!!

And of course to Buddy Boy, his cake looks amazing, you clever cookie. I really enjoy reading your monthly happenings, thanks for sharing them.

(and I soooo hear you about having big plans for handmade Christmas gifts..but haven't even thought about them yet..eeeek!). x