Home, Sweet Home

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The past few weeks have slipped by. I have been sick, on holidays and busy at work.  Not all at the same time!

Despite consuming more than my fair share of vitamin C, thanks to all of our home-grown citrus, I managed to succumb to a rotten cold nearly 3 weeks ago.  It really laid me low for the best part of a week then we headed off to Melbourne to visit our daughter.  Although it was cold we managed to rug up and get out and about and enjoy ourselves.

The break from work was most welcome but unfortunately it was all waiting for me when I went back to the office yesterday.

Meanwhile, it is lovely to be home and I am trying to catch up with the washing we brought back.  Yesterday afternoon I made a quick foray to the garden and picked some sweet potatoes which I used for dinner as well as a large bucket each of grapefruit and oranges.  These have all been juiced and will be drunk in an attempt to stave off any further colds.

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I am looking forward to the weekend and having time to prepare some meals for the week ahead as well as getting a bit done in the garden.  This will include the fairly rare activity of watering unless the rain promised for the next couple of days really does eventuate.  We live in a relatively high rainfall area so we are not drought-affected like so much of the country but it is quite dry nevertheless.  The lavender is enjoying the drier weather and is in full bloom.

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Other than that some sewing should round out my weekend quite nicely.  What are your plans?

Slow Living – June

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Another month has flown by and it is time to review it in the spirit of the monthly round-up at Slow Living Essentials . {nourish*prepare*reduce*green*grow*create*discover*enhance*enjoy}

Here are the Slow Living categories:

{Nourish}  More gluten-free discoveries this month.  I have successfully made gravy, stuffing for roast beef and cheese sauce.  For the gravy I used the pan juices and potato flour to thicken it.  The cheese sauce was made using equal parts of potato and chickpea flours.  I had previously tried making stuffing using well-cooked rice instead of the soft breadcrumbs and although it tasted good enough it just crumbled as we carved the meat.  This time I used chickpea flour, almond meal, flaxseed meal, finely diced onion, chopped parsley, mixed herbs, salt and butter.  I was able to create a texture very similar to the stuffing I used to make using soft breadcrumbs, it cooked well and stayed in place as we carved the meat so I was very happy.

{Prepare}  Citrus harvest is in full swing here so I have many the first of what will probably be several batches of lemon syrup cordial.  I also diced up some chillies that we were given and stored them in oil.

Lemon cordial

{Reduce}  Another blouse gone from my cupboard.  I continue to be vigilant about reducing the ‘stuff’ that seems to insidiously creep in while we are not watching.  The fabric stash reduced slightly when I made a cot quilt.  It is not yet finished but you can see it under ‘Create’.

Blouse

{Green}  For many years I have worked on reducing our reliance on single-use plastic items.  Many of these habits are simply second nature now but it never hurts to be challenged and reminded of what else you can do.  I have signed up for Plastic Free July and will be tracking my success (or otherwise on my blog).

Picture

{Grow}  The garden beds are filling with green.  The seed potatoes are growing apace and need earthing up if this rain ever stops.  We planted garlic in the top bed and I counted them yesterday – we have 99 garlic seedlings poking their heads skywards.  Judging by a couple of gaps, I think there are 3  that have not yet come up.

Garlic bed

{Create}  I started making a cot quilt with some fabric from my stash.  I have the binding to finish attaching and some hand quilting.

Quilt

I am working on refashioning a skirt for myself.  This is the before photo.

Grey patterned skirt with ruffle

It is now too big and too long so I am making a simple, knee-length skirt.  I love the fabric and did not want to part with it.

{Discover}  I am spending time reading and researching about making liquid soap.  My mother gave me this book for my birthday and I am finding that there is so much to learn.  Perhaps next month I may be able to report on my first attempt??

{Enhance}  This month most of the things that fall into ‘enhance’ have been in my head.  I am mulling over ways to encourage closer ties and co-operation amongst our neighbours.  It is most definitely a challenge as there are many ‘weekender’ properties that are only inhabited intermittently.  The other complicating factors include distance between homes (most are are on small acreage) and a clear reticence by some folk to have any real rapport at all with their neighbours.  But it is a matter of small, incremental steps.

{Enjoy}  A couple of weeks ago my mother came to visit for the weekend and we enjoyed a day out at  ‘Gardening on the Edge’ which was 6 local gardens oren to the public.  I certainly enjoyed what they had to offer but it also made me realise that ours is pretty darned good in its own way. 

The last day of the month and we took ourselves off to see ‘The Great Gatsby’ with some free tickets that The Duke had been given from work.  We took our own snacks and drinks so were set.  Our treat was fish and chips on the way home.

Leonardo DiCaprio, as Jay Gatsby and Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan in <i>The Great Gatsby</i>.

Now I am off to check out some of the slow living blogs.

Til next month………..

Slow Living – May

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Another month has flown by and it is time to review it in the spirit of the monthly round-up at Slow Living Essentials . {nourish*prepare*reduce*green*grow*create*discover*enhance*enjoy}

Here are the Slow Living categories:

{Nourish}  Apart from the everyday cooking I discovered that I could make very acceptable gluten-free cupcakes by simply substituting gluten-free flour for regular wheat flour.

Cupcakes

{Prepare}  I retrieved several kilos of cherry tomatoes from the freezer and made some more tomato sauce.  I gave some to Missy and restocked the supply in our pantry.

2013-06-03 02{Reduce}  When I look around our home I can see how much ‘stuff’ we do not have.  It feels so much lighter not to have excess in our lives.

Bookcase

{Green}  Another raised bed made which brings the total to 3 so far.  These have all been created entirely with salvaged or leftover materials.

2013-06-03 05{Grow}  This is the time of the year when we harvest with seemingly almost no effort on our part.  The citrus are all producing luscious fruit – oranges, grapefruit and lemons as well as so many avocadoes that we can almost eat them at every meal.  We have planted more seeds and the bok choy seedlings are poking theirs through the soil.  We planted seed potatoes in another bed.

2013-06-03 06The harvest…………….

2013-06-03 07{Create}  I made a dressing gown for Miss O.

2013-05-14 03{Discover}  I am discovering some more family history snippets as I keep working on my family tree.

{Enhance}  We have applied to have our home included in the Sustainable House Day in September.  It was interesting to write the application and really think about all of the things that make our home sustainable.  Many of them are things we now simply take for granted.

2012-08-05 02I also made enquiries about joining the local Friends of the Library group.

{Enjoy}  We enjoyed having visitors.  Our daughter who lives in Melbourne was here for a weekend – she managed to tack it onto the end of a work trip so that was good.  We enjoyed her company and dined at a local restaurant one night.  Miss O came to stay for a few days before she went back to school after having had her tonsils removed.  She and I had lots of fun and you can read about it here and here.  Taking time to savour afternoon tea with friends is special.

Afternoon tea

Now I am off to check out some of the slow living blogs.

Til next month………..