Monday, 1 December 2014

Monthly Nine - November 2014

November can't be over!  It can't!!  This was to be my year of The Organised Christmas!  Somehow, because I had decided a couple months ago on the presents I wanted to make for people, it was a fait accompli in my mind.  Hmmm.  I'd better move faster.  I certainly know how I'll be spending my December!

I'm looking forward to hearing what you've been up to during November.  If you're new to this link up you'll find the details here.  Please join in with us and share your achievements under the nine slow living categories created by Christine from Slow Living Essentials.


I find I go through stages where I choose my meals depending on the food available to buy ethically and then stages where I look to our place first.  Then there are the stages where I'm not organised so I do the best I can from the supermarket aisles.  The old organic pasta sauce is a fall back in this house.

Anyway, November was a reasonable month for providing from our own place.  We've snacked on lots of peas straight from the pod.  We've had spinach to cook with, and lots of home made cheese.  We enjoyed eating quiches.  The peas are a great thing for trips.  We pick them and throw them straight into a bag.  Then we enjoy snacking on their sweetness as we travel.  The kids love being allowed to throw the pods out of the car window in the rural areas.

We've also eaten a lot of cheese and lettuce and egg and lettuce sandwiches.  I have so much yummy lettuce in the garden and also eggs in abundance.  Though I do believe the children may have removed the lettuce from their sandwiches while I wasn't looking!


I was lucky enough to get some elderflowers and made my first ever batch of cordial.  I was surprised at how delicious it is and I'm trying to get a cutting going now so that I can make this yummy drink every year.


I'm astounded by the amount of washing we create!  No matter how often I wash clothes, there are always more at the bottom of the basket.  I'm nagging encouraging the kids to wear the same pyjamas for a few nights before selecting a new pair.  I haven't decided yet how many nights I can stretch it out before it's unacceptably gross!  I'm also thinking I should cull some of their clothes so they don't  have as many to collect around the place.  Buddy in particular is a bit of a show pony and will wear more than one outfit in a day if I'm not watching.  He'll decide he wants to change his look from 'farmer' to 'footballer' and hang his farmer shirt on a chair or the end of his bed to wear the next day.  Then he forgets and get a new shirt out instead.  I would really like to reduce the amount of water we use.
My lovely mother helping with Buddy

I enjoyed a day of soap making with a friend.  It was wonderful!  Our children enjoyed each other's company and kept out of our way while we played in the kitchen.  We managed to make five batches which translated to about sixty bars of soap.  We tried adding food colouring for the first time.  I usually just leave my soaps fairly plain.  The colouring worked beautifully and I've decided to stop making the same old, same old and start experimenting a little more.  It's fun!!

The garden is having it's best year yet.  The spring garden always grows nice and green but this year I have finally learnt some basics and everything is growing quickly.  I had not been using enough compost over the years I have been gardening.  Somehow I missed the point.  Possibly that was due to my frugal nature and inclination to stretch everything out.  Anyway, I now heap the compost on and my friend told me about potash.  I guess I've read all this stuff before but didn't realise the importance.  This particular friend has an amazing veggie garden and grows enough to preserve for leaner times of year so I figured listening to her methods would be a very good idea!  My tomatoes are looking so healthy and large.  They are covered in flowers and I'm regularly checking to see if any have set.  Hopefully it won't be long now!
 I've really squashed my veggies in to make the best use of water.  I love the result.  It's a delightful hodge podge of lettuce, dill, peas, carrots (yes, you heard right - I've finally had some carrot success), zucchini, rocket etc.


Everything in this category is a big secret at this time of year!  I've been on the sewing machine, I've had the crochet hook out and we're hoping to get crafty with paper today.

I found a fifty cent copy of Lord of the Flies at the op shop so I re-read it.  Such a well written but disturbing book!  Possibly because we all know people with these personalities.   I suppose some people really do have a very dark side when you look at historical events during war time.  The up side is, the people in my life are people I really like and admire!

I also discovered some welcome and some not so welcome wildlife visiting in the garden.  I would much rather the snakes hung out in the bush outside our garden.


I'm really glad that Christine dreamt up this category!  It's one of the most important, in my mind.  Though some months I find this a hard catergory to fill, it's the process of doing things for each other that gives life meaning.  It connects people and improves our lives.  Loneliness is something I can only imagine at this point in my life thankfully, but I'm sure it must be awful for people who don't have connections.  This month I was able to make soap with a friend as mentioned above, I was linked in to a manure collection through the same friend, I was able to donate goats milk for a cheese making workshop and I cooked a meal for a friend who needed a hand.  I've enjoyed being mentored in my gardening by another friend who really wants to see me succeed.  Aren't I a lucky person!!


I attended a fiftieth birthday where I walked around most of the night with a silly smile on my face.  (Nothing to do with the delicious cocktails, of course)  I felt ridiculously gooey about my friends and even their friends that I was meeting for the first time.  Everyone was so real and open and my children and husband had as much fun as I did.  How wonderful to have down times in our crazily busy life to reflect on the fun and friendship in our world.
I would love to hear about your month!  Please join us for the Monthly Nine.


Caro said...


Cheryl said...

I know what you mean by the washing!
My kids change their PJ's twice a week, unless they spill breakfast or something on them, if that's any guide. They've never worn a new pair every night. I mean they have a bath almost every night of the week, so its not like they are dirty!

Lynn said...

Glad you have had a productive and happy month and it's terrific to hear your garden is doing so much better!

Jenna the Pig Lady said...

I'm forever trying to limit the number of pjs we go through in a week - my aim is one pair per person per week, and at the end of the week, all pjs, towels and sheets get a wash. Sadly, reality is not amounting to the same. I find it hard with the 2 smallest boys, and if their pjs are within reach, it's a new pair each night. I forever imagine a world, very Little House in the Prairie, where we do the same thing each day of each week. Real life is more chaotic :)

Farmer Liz said...

Hi Linda, welcome back and I'm glad that blogging isn't your number one priority or you would have nothing else to write about :) Your soap looks wonderful. I wouldn't have been hanging around to photograph that snake, so you much be getting used to them or something! I'll join you on Wednesday, just need to take a few more photos myself :)

sustainablemum said...

We have clean pjs once week here on the day that I strip beds and wash the bedding! My children have never been the sort to change clothes often during the day, I know I am lucky. How about putting the clothes taken off during the day away rather than at the end of the bed so they are the top item when getting dressed the next day?

I have never tried making soap, I have always been wary of the warnings to use different pans......

I hope you get your christmas makes done in time. Thank you for hosting!

Fiona from Arbordale Farm said...

Glad to hear that your gardening techniques are working for you. And you sound like you have been very busy and productive. My lettuce has all bolted to seed but I have some others that are nearly ready to have the seed collected so hopefully they germinate.

Linda said...

Caro, Thanks!

Hi Cheryl, interesting to read here what others do with the pyjama situation. I'll certainly be monitoring them closely. I'm thinking I might make pyjama bags if I get time. Maybe that would interest them than under the pillow?

Thanks Lynn, gardening is so satisfying!

Jenna, yes. I too dream of an organised, revolving schedule! I agree with you. It's never going to happen.

Hi Liz, hadn't thought of it like that. I'll hold on to that thought. More blogging equals less to blog about! Looking forward to your post! Ps. I used zoom. I was a good couple of metres away. Lol

Hi Sustainablemum, I like the clothes idea but sadly he thinks it's grown up to hang clothes on furniture (not that I want to dob his dad in) and do try soap! You'll love it! Just organise for kids and pets to be out of the way. Glass, plastic, ceramic or stainless steel should all be fine. It washes off at the end of the process.

Hi Fiona, I'm going to let one of my lettuces go to seed too. I hope they'll just self seed.

Kathy said...

Wow, what a busy month! I too am going to do soap "one of these days". I have been rereading the classics that I was forced to read in school and didn't have the experience to appreciate, glad to see someone else does this! We both have lots of work to do in December to get those gifts done! Good luck!

Evi said...

Oh my goodness! I didn't even think that some people would change their PJs every night! Really? we must be grots because the kids sleep in the same ones for two weeks and change when the sheets change (or when they were little and wet the bed)! With 7 of them and usually a baby, I was making life easy for myself…..and they still all had/have good immunity!!!!
Thanks for hosting this now Linda, its always a nice reminder of whats been achieved each month.

Evi said...

I just had a thought …..maybe if they don't wear knickers under their jammys, they might want to change each day? I don't know. I'm amazed though at all the washing that must produce!

Louise said...

Those soaps look good enough to eat!
Look forward to hearing what the sewing projects are maybe next month?
Best wishes for December.

Phil Pogson said..., how did the organised Christmas go? Loving your blog BTW.