Tuesday, April 3, 2012

:: Slow Living :: March 2012 ::

I am a bit slow for Christine's SLOW LIVING - Month by Month 2012 this month! March has followed on from February's busy streak, with some changes going on in our family, but all positive. Let me tell you all about what I've been up to...

SLOW LIVING - March 2012

NOURISH:  A mix of mostly good, sometimes bad, but in general I feel like The Year of Eating Nutritiously personal & family challenge is slowly-but-surely helping my energy levels and my general well being. I feel like the Evening Primrose supplements I started last month have really helped my rosacea a lot. It could also be the fact that since January we have really been eating more real/ whole foods, like pastured butter, organic meat, gravadlax salmon, pate, kefir, greens, coconut oil and backyard eggs. Plus, I have gone back to eating gluten free most of the time too (the occasional Easter Bun may have snuck in one morning when I didn't have any gluten free bread ready for toast!) I've also had a coffee or two this month at work, and a little splurge on FT Cadbury chocolate, and I really notice my skin plays up, either itchy psoriasis/ eczema on my feet, or the rosacea bumps on my forehead flare up (or both). Stress doesn't help either. Honestly though, treats for me are actually a big plate of fresh vege's, yummy fresh dips and crudites, big crunchy salads, sushi, apple pie and cream, fresh crunchy apples... just sometimes I tell myself I need a coffee or chocolate, when I really don't. Also, I guess because my family don't share my idea of 'treat food', I don't tend to keep those things on hand as much. Must rectify this!

PREPARE: I haven't found time to use our pressure canner, but I do need to make another batch of stock very soon, so that will be a good starting point I think. Our stockpile pantry is full of home preserved goodies, and I've been doing a bit of rotating... checking expiry dates, using those items up that need it, and putting them on the shopping list. I was spurred on to do this, as I had opened a pack of vermicilli noodles the other day, which had expired in Dec 2010, I think. While I am sure the noodles wouldn't have killed us, they had a stale odour when I cooked them. Asian noodles are not something we eat much of, but they are very handy items to have in a stockpile, as they last ages and cook easily. I also signed up for a Beekeeping Couse in October. It's not the Warre/ Natural Beekeeping one I would like to do, but it is a start, and will cover all the basics.

REDUCE: We've done quite badly at this one! There have been a lot of necessary purchasing (with my husband looking at changing jobs and not being able to work from home anymore), and I am sure some not really necessary ones too. We did a big sort out of our garage and donated a heap of stuff to the op shop. There has been some online window shopping where I've resisted the urge to buy things, like handknitted bed socks on Made It, or a whole list of books I can't get at the library (does that count)!

GREEN: Again, like last month, I am not sure if listing the many (possibly trivial) things we do that are 'green' each day is very exciting, and I am not sure I've started any new ones. I am reading Sleeping Naked is Green, which is funny and interesting take on going green!

GROW: In Our Garden at the Moment, pretty much the only thing coming out of it... is raspberries! I have almost all the Autumn/ Winter vege's in, though, with a few second plantings due to non-germination (garlic) or pests nibbling(brussels sprouts) and will have some more seeds to put in a few weeks too, once we clear out the remaining beans. The Bowhunter and I (mostly me!) sorted out one of our garden beds put in during our Permablitz, and planted a heap of Winter greens in it. Still waiting on the soybeans (Edamame), and have other beans now filling up to be picked & dried (or dried on the vine).

CREATE: Oh my, have I been clicking up a storm with my new camera that I got for my birthday this month. We upgraded from a Sony Cybershot point&shoot, to a Sony NEX 5N, which is a Compact System Camera with Interchangeable Lenses. I am on a steep learning curve, but having fun... and some frustration. I am researching, reading up and practicing to improve my skills, with a focus on food photography at the moment (it's much easier to control than children!) I also have been creating recipes, or recording the family favourites I usually make, and testing them out, including this one I posted for a competition Choku Bai Jo were holding (I didn't win). As you may have been able to see, I've also been adjusting/ upgrading/ improving my blog, though it's not really creative... more organising and deleting! I wanted to design a groovy logo for this blog, but I just haven't had time to focus on it for long enough.

DISCOVER: I have put Real Food by Nina Planck to the side for a little while, as I soaked in the knowledge I had so far read, and will pick it up again soon, when my brain settles down from all the changes we are making. I took The Toxic Avenger by Deanna Duke back to the library, as I got overwhelmed by the stuff I was absorbing, and then suddenly it was due back and I couldn't renew because someone else wanted it! Again, I have discovered new blogs and websites to read, and I also discovered that by Pinning articles to come back and read later, doesn't mean it will happen.

ENHANCE: I don't know what I've been enhancing lately. I am trying to enhance myself, I guess, my well-being and my appearance too. I am never really too concerned with my appearance, I mean I am happy enough with how I look, and how I dress. I like comfortable, flattering, easy and as eco/ ethical as I can. But sometimes, I think, you know with just a little more effort I could look and feel better. Eating better is a good start, but adding in more regular exercise, getting rid of unflattering clothes, a touch of light mineral make-up every now and then, considering a shorter hairstyle (still didn't do it). I always say I've got more important things to do than be vain, but in between all the other 'enhancing' things I do for my kids, the planet, the community, there is nothing wrong with spending some time on myself too!

ENJOY: Apple Day was an enjoyable highlight of the month, as was my birthday and finally getting my hands on my new camera! Really, even when I am having the garden-is-a-complete-mess dramas, or will my-husband-get-this-new-job-and-will-the-changes-all-work-out worries, or the I-feel-fat-old-and-ugly pity party... I know how lucky I am, how wonderful my life is, and how many blessings I do have.