Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Slow Living Essentials - November/December

December always goes by so quickly and I seem to have issues slowing down and enjoying it!  I love the Christmas season and hate missing it in all the hustle bustle of the getting ready.  Today I braved the Post Office (could have been worse) and mailed all my packages for family, now I breathe a great sigh of relief and relax and enjoy!  This monthly review has become a really pleasant activity, so I am starting here.

Nourish -  It is cold and soups and stews are de rigueur, I am enjoying using the product of the garden in the kitchen now that the garden is covered in snow!  Homemade bread and rolls are a wonderful way to help heat the house!  (OK that may be an excuse for homemade bread which I love) Those onions that I cried over in August are in little baggies and are wonderful soup seasonings and no crying now!  :)  I froze them in ziploc bags and made them thin so I work out of a bag and break off a chunk and throw in the pan - hubby's idea actually and a good one.

Prepare -  We are preparing for a long hard winter now, the cold started a whole month earlier than usual and seems to be settled in, the wood is loaded on to the back porch so that we don't have to walk to the shed but about once a week, the quilted curtains for the kitchen are making a difference and it just feels warmer when it looks warmer!  (playing head games with yourself and  Door curtains are in the works now that Christmas crafting is done.  Oh and we leave the water running just a trickle to keep it from freezing!
The scotch broom covered in hoar frost!

Green -   This year we felt we made real strides in keeping down the waste - our compost pile is happily steaming in the back yard and we very rarely fill our trash barrel.  Our wood stove is so efficient that we hardly get any smoke at all and there is no smell of smoke in our house.  We hardly use paper towels and paper plates and plastic water bottles at all these days - they are saved for trips and the like. 

Grow -  Still no actual growing but seed catalogs are out and garden planning is getting done.  I picked up the complete set of "gardening made easy" binders and all the cards that went with them at a yard sale (these were about $60 new and I bought them both for $2!) and am having too much fun reading all the good advice and clever ideas.

Reduce - I almost spent more on shipping my Christmas gifts than I did on purchasing materials!  I knew shipping would be about $50, I planned accordingly and using coupons and material from my stash I did all my Christmas gifts for about $100!  That's 3 sons, 2 daughters in law, one husband and my Mom and Grandmother.  I am very pleased.

Create -  All of the family got homemade gifts this year and there were days here recently that I did nothing but craft to get it all done.  Pictures of projects cannot be shown til after Christmas!  (family members do read the blog!)

Enhance -  Another year here in our community and deepening of friendships has taken place.  I look back on the quality of  and criterion for friendships over the years and am amused and interested in the differences as I age - there were the friends who all had kids the same age, the work friends, and now the friends who are done with children, enjoying grandchildren, getting together for quilting circles and I am blessed by the strength of these friendships - mostly through the church - which gives us all a deeper connection I think.

Enjoy -  At the tail end of my Christmas prepping my friend and I went to the mall (Sees candy store and Hickory farms!) It was fun to see the decorations and hear the music, and now that my preps are done I am enjoying the sights and sounds and smells of the season.  We will have company for Christmas - others like us who have no family in the area and are not traveling - everyone is bringing a dish and a board game!

I have also enjoyed this blog activity and am grateful to Christine at Slow Living Essentials for the forum!

Hoar frost on the big pine tree by the house!


  1. You have been a busy little vegemite, Kathy. I can't wait to see your gift photos after Christmas. Yes, it sounds like it is going to be a cold winter while we have a very hot summer here.

    1. I have to say I prefer the cold - I can put on enough clothes to stay warm but can no longer take off enough clothes to stay cool with out causing folks to run for cover! :) You have my sympathy!

  2. So nice to have you link up, Kathy. Stay warm in all that snow..and you are absolutely right - fresh bread baking is a most wonderful way to heat up the house!: )

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