Friday, 1 August 2014

Slow Living Monthly Nine - July 2014

How exciting!  I'm hosting the Slow Living Monthly Nine link-up today.  Christine, at Slow Living Essentials, began this link up early in 2012 and I have regularly been taking part.

It's a lovely way for people to record their months and share their ideas, acheivements and news.  If it's inspiration you're after, you will love reading through these posts!

It has been wonderful to watch a connected online community form throughout the process.  I have got to 'know' many new people and formed some great connections.  I'm often amazed at how thoughtful bloggers can be, even offering assistance and advice to each other via email outside of the link-up.  This little group of people have become friends!

I am honoured (and a little bit amazed) that Christine has gifted me the custodianship of this link-up!  I hope I can do it justice.  While I will really miss popping over to Slow Living Essentials to join in each month, I totally understand the point Christine has arrived at with needing to blog less.  I am glad that her idea will continue on and the community can continue to grow!

 Thank you Christine for choosing to keep this forum alive.  I hope to hear about your happenings often and hope that one day you will decide you are in a position to take your blogging baby back.

The Monthly Nine format is perfect as it is, so you will see little change.  I will probably rename it but am reluctant to do so without some thought.  So for now it remains the Slow Living Monthly Nine.

Please join me and many others as we relate our achievement and joys. I look forward to reading your posts.

If you are new to this link-up, welcome!  You will find all the details here.

Slow Living Monthly Nine - July 2014


We've been enjoying continuing on with winter warmers.  There have been plenty of casseroles and soups appearing.  I've been making a conscious effort to choose meals that I can cook in huge amounts so that I can freeze some.  It has paid off BIG time!!  Do you know how good it feels to go to the freezer on a disorganised evening and find a precooked meal waiting.  It's even better if you have a terrible memory like mine.  I am often surprised by what I find in there; it feels as though someone has gifted me a meal!
Rhubarb Pudding
While our lemon tree has not been at it's best this year, lemons are something that are often shared by others at this time of year, so we've been enjoying lemon slice, pancakes with lemon and sugar, lemon cordial and lemon and vinegar to soothe colds and sore throats.


Ah ha!  I've already covered this in the last category.  My frozen meals are serving us well.  We've also been dipping into the preserved fruit that we bottled in summer and autumn.  The kids are loving eating fruit on their puffed rice, puffed sorgum or just in a bowl with yoghurt.


I participated in Plastic Free July.  The aim is to reduce and track the amount of single-use plastic that enters our homes.  To be honest, I think we did worse with reducing plastic this month than we normally do.  We always shy away from plastic when we can, but July saw lots of plastic sneaking into the house while we weren't looking!  The best outcome this year has been the kids involvement.  They have been very aware of the challenge and have shrieked, "PLASTIC!" whenever we accidently acquired some.  They treat it as though it is poison entering our home, and so they should!!

The idea was that I would be telling you all about the soap I made in July but I never did get around to it.  Again. 

I've been using a little bit of castor sugar mixed with some lovely, local olive oil as a facial scrub.  A couple of times I have used honey or yoghurt as a mask, much to the children's amusement.


My garden has been sorely neglected of late, yet I am still enjoying broccoli and plenty of rhubarb.
Buddy and I have begun the task of weeding and making compost in preparation for spring.  We've had a lovely time.  His favourite job is shovelling and it works well for me.  He carts compost and manure wherever I want it!

I actually have stuff to report this month!  Yay!!  I made Rosie a belated gift for her birthday.  The intention was to have it ready on time but I was too preoccupied with organising the party.  So early in July, I finished the book I was making her and popped it in the post.  The photo's from Rosie's phone because I forgot to snap it!
I made some draining board cloths too.  I hate using dish drainers because they harbour so many germs.  Now I drain my dishes on the cloths and at the end of the day I can use the cloth to wipe over my sink before I throw it in the washing basket.

I have a jumper on the go for Buddy and am half way through a sock for me.  Wow!  I hadn't realised I had done so much (for me) in this category!

I have a great group of like-minded friends and we work together with trying to source food outside of the major supermarkets.  Sometimes I receive a phone call offering me excess fruit from a glut (yes, I know....  It's only a dream here too!  I've never had excess yet) or someone might contact me to see if I have spare flour to see them through until the next bulk food day.  Together we co-operate and share where we can and it feels lovely!


I attended a course on beekeeping and how to put together a bee box.  The presenter was a very experienced bee keeper and I learnt so much!  Some people just love to share knowledge.  I have volunteered to work alongside him in spring.  I can't wait!
Photo of a queen bee cell - courtesy Clare Watson
I even received a book to take home.  Storey's Guide to Keeping Honey Bees.  It's fascinating!  The children and I had a bit of a giggle over the mating process.  I had no idea!!  Apparently he pops with "an audible pop" and part of his doodie falls off!

Hmmm.  Who want to be a boy bee??!  It's also amazing how each type of bee has an individual role for the good of the hive and, if the need arises, can reactivate past functions to keep the hive in good health.  I'm looking forward to getting back into beekeeping in spring.


While I didn't lay eyes on my older girl's in July, I enjoyed great chats on the phone and saw some lovely photos on facebook.  Aren't we lucky to be able to communicate in so many ways?  I was also delighted that my parents had the children to stay a couple of times.  It's so nice to spend time with Hubby without feeling like parents.  Nice to remember that we are people in our own right.
A photo of my granddaughter that I was able to enjoy via face book
I really savoured the cool weather.  The contrast between the biting cold outside and the cosiness of sitting near the fire, reading a book to a child, enjoying warm meals and the occasional hot pudding, drinking hot chocolate and even doing a bit of knitting if time allows, is just wonderful.

I particularly enjoyed milking time with the goats.  Belle has taken over this task most nights so I do the manual work of feeding and watering and then sit on the hay and listen to Belle chattering happily away.  All in all, July was a fantastic month for me!
Did you have a lovely July too?


Barb said...

From what I've read of you Linda, you're a natural fit for this. Well done.

Christine said...

Gorgeous month, Linda - loved reading about Belle with the goats. The 21st memory book sounds really beautiful too. Thanks ever so much for taking over the reins, you're a natural. I hope you enjoy hosting as much as I have!! Hoping to get my post up soon. xx

Kathy said...

Good on you Linda....will have to put my skates on and do a post in the next few days. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

Linda said...

Thanks Barb! Should be fun.

Looking forward to your post Christine! Did you see the linky list worked!! LOL

Can't wait to read it Kathy! If you get it done soon, you might be the first for the month.

EMMA said...

Hi Linda,
Glad that the Slow Living Monthly 9 is to continue - thank you for hosting.
You have had a busy july - freezing meals in advance is such a good idea I need to do more of that too.
Gosh life as a male bee sounds harsh!!!
I'm going to try soap making for the first time this month - do you have any tips?
Have a good august!

Christine said...

All linked up, Linda - I can't tell you how weird it feels to actually link in..but in a good way!! Thanks for hosting. xx

Linda said...

Lovely to have you joining here Emma! I've been enjoying your monthly posts. You will love making soap. My only tip is a caution. I try to make soap when the kids aren't around; be very careful while you are doing the caustic-to-the-water stage! Can't wait to hear about it!

I'll bet it felt a bit strange Christine!! Thanks for linking up. I'm off to read the linked posts now. What a lovely way to spend my early Sunday!

Loving Learning said...

Lovely month and thanks for being the new host :)

Kathryn Ray said...

I'm so happy!

I had thoughts of offering to help, but know I don't have time to host the link up.

Thank you for hosting! Slow Living is one of my favorite posts to write each month (not that I always write it)... and I'm delighted that this community will continue. :-)

Fiona from Arbordale Farm said...

Thanks for hosting this Linda I am really glad we get to keep this going. I like hearing what everyone has been up to. It sounds like you are really building a strong community with your bulk buying and sharing I am very jealous. Not much excess at my place either except for eggs and silverbeet.

Kim said...

Oh Linda what a lovely post ! I just loved the photo at the end with your daughter and the goat. x

Winkel's Crazy Ideas said...

I had to smile at the bit about the plastic. My children yell "plastic" too, when it tries to sneak in our home. Amazing what a huge amount of plastic there is in circulation in society.wonder what they are going to replace it with when the oil ends. Love the picture of your daughter and the goat. Greetings from Pam in Norway

Linda said...

Hi Wendy, Kathryn and Fiona. So glad I'll still get to read your posts.

Kim I love watching her with the goats. I had never realised how wonderful goats are! They are so affectionate and love kisses and cuddles.

Hi Pam, It's nice to hear of other kids that are so aware of the issues with plastic. I wish I was better at avoiding it!

Kathy said...

Thank you for stepping up! I would have missed this little group so am appreciative of the work you will dedicate to us!

EcoGrrl said...

Glad to be back reading these and posting! We are contemplating the beekeeping thing as well here in Portland - husband has so many projects up his sleeve!

My Melbourne-born husband digs this as well now that he's over here in America (and managing to avoid winter for a few more months!). Sending some summer warmth your way!

Practical Frog said...

Finally got here! Looks great Linda! Had a busy month but not a lot to report! Glad this link up is still going. Looking forward to reading about everyones month! - K x

Linda said...

Thanks Kathy, it should be good fun!

Eco Girl, you will love bee keeping. It fascinating and you get honey!!

Hi Kara, I'm glad you joined us. I look forward to popping over and reading your entry some time today.