I can’t believe August is over and we are already into the beginning of September, where has the summer gone? I have been following the lead of Christine at Slow Living Essentials, click here to read each of her month’s posts, and reflecting on what I have accomplished each month in my efforts to live more aware of life.
NOURISH: to make and bake from scratch avoiding processed foods.
I have been purchasing nearly all my food from the farmer’s market purchasing plenty to share with guests and family who visit. This past week I over bought, or maybe I didn’t have the same amount of visitors, because some of it went bad before I could eat it. While I was disappointed, I am trying to tell myself it didn’t go to waste as it went into the compost for the gardens next year.
I also shared how I use my rice cooker to make just about any meal I want to eat or process foods like batches of applesauce since I don’t have a stove.
I have been busy collecting seeds from the various fruits and vegetables and drying them to cut down on having to buy as much seed for the garden next spring.
REDUCE: to cut down on household waste by re-using, re-purposing, and repairing.
I have mastered this quite well, if I say so myself 🙂 My household waste is very slight, but I have been saving other items from ending up in the garbage bin as well. This month alone I rescued:
- Large television which was being walked to the dumpster and is now in my son’s new home in their family room
- Two very large boxes of books which I have been sharing with neighbors who want to read them. The rest have gone to my DIL to sell on Amazon or at the local used bookstore.
- A fiberglass planter we dug out of the dumpster and repainted with leftover paints from other projects which is currently in the “Little Cove” filled with fall mums
- Several vacuums which have been repaired by a retired neighbor and given or sold to people needing a vacuum.
- 6 beautiful outdoor chairs which are now in the “Little Cove” for everyone to use, again just being in the right place at the right time saved these from the dumpster
- Finally, a wooden cradle I repaired and gave to my grand daughter for her dolls, Why would any one toss out a wooden cradle, wooden items can easily be repaired?
I also shared how I have reduced and am close to eliminating all paper products from my home, sorry can’t come up with an alternative for toilet tissue, which is the only paper product I still have to buy.
GREEN: up our lives.
There are no chemical cleaners, sprays or insecticides etc which come into my home, but I made one change this month which has made a huge impact on my life. Instead, of owning a car and not really using it, I have given the car to my son and his wife. This was a hard decision as I still need a car to visit my youngest son who lives a couple hours away and also held on to the car in case my dil needed something for the kids and didn’t have the family vehicle available.
I decided to sign over the car and in exchange I can borrow it when I need/want to visit my son (which is about 5-6 times a year) . While I wasn’t really spending much in gas, I will now be saving plenty of money on inspections, registration, upkeep, and insurance. I feel much freer without the car than I ever thought I would. I always believed not having a car would make me feel trapped and isolated. But it’s all in where you live and your mindset.
I have also decided on a new criteria for what I purchase. I never thought about the cost of workers health in what I buy or the extent of cruelty to the animals we kill for the items (including food) we “want”. After viewing the movie Earthlings and listening to the story of my neighbor who has cancer and the jobs she has held I don’t want to contribute in any suffering of humans or animals if I can to have things.
GROW: Planting and harvesting your own food
This was the first year of our gardens, the amount of food we collected was small, but it was a year of experimentation with the local wildlife to see what would work and wouldn’t to keep the gardens safe.
This month we still had a few strawberries, a couple bowls of peas and some tomatoes (which are slowly ripening) and I’ll be pulling the last few heads of the cabbage this week.
Thins are definitely winding down in the gardens.
CREATE: To fill a need or feed the soul, for ourselves or others.
I’ve been kept pretty busy this month
- I’ve restored and decorated a beat up wooden tray with my grand daughter using left over paint and paint chips.
- We collected rocks that will be turned into gifts the grand children can give to relatives so they have an opportunity to give. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to have them do until I read this post by Pillows a-La-Mode where I saw rocks as picture holders with a little wire. By December I don’t want to have to think about gifts so I’m starting early.
- I started/completed two alphabet samplers for my grand children to be added to their new rooms. The kids love them, being 4 this month they are proud to show they know their “letters”.
And finally I have had a little time to get started on the chair I saved from the dumpster for my son, I’ll show you the before and afters as soon as I’m done.
DISCOVER: Feed the mind by reading texts relevant to current interests.
I read several books this month. I find myself reading a lot of books on green living out of curiosity and my desire to do even better in my life. I have finally come to the conclusion that all of these are basically the same and many are downright disappointing.
I did find one book at the library which contained a few wonderful crochet patterns I would like to tackle this fall and winter. Since I hear we are supposed to have a long drawn out cold winter I need to have projects to keep me busy till spring.
I also found the cutest book for young children, same place as all my books the library. The book is called Press Here and is educational while being very, very interactive. I highly recommend this for anyone with young children around.
Currently, I am reading something I have put off for years due to small print and a huge number of pages. I’m not far in maybe 150 pages, but am enjoying it. I’m reading Atlas Shrugged. Has anyone else read this?
I mentioned I have been purchasing all my food at the farmer’s markets. But that’s not all. I have made friends with several of the vendors and found they have other talents and businesses as well. I now have a nearby business I can buy threads and yarn for less than the super stores sell it for and at the same time support a local business and family.
I recently took a morning to head to the local thrift shop where I purchases warm clothes for fall and winter for my grand daughter to keep here so he mother doesn’t have to pack a bag of clothes to accommodate the changing weather on a regular basis. I’ll be taking my grand son as well soon. All items are 25 cents and the proceeds go to support low income families with clothes and school supplies.
The community garden is still expanding. We went outside to find a new statue in front of the stone which we learned was made by a neighbor and added to the area we call the “Little Cove”. Another neighbor just completed a bird feeder and set it up so we can continue to feed the birds this winter, along with an invitation attached for the birds (we are getting used to his sense of humor)
With college open again for another semester we have been meeting more of the new neighbors who have moved in. The most frequent question is who created the clearing, gardens and the seating area, followed by can we use it too. One neighbor has a pet skunk who routinely uses the field to walk his skunk.
Living without a car has given the grand children an opportunity to see the trash that gets littered around. They want the town to look good so we have taken to picking up the trash as we go. They also grab weeds and pull them whether at playgrounds or in a yard (after checking with me that it is okay), and my grand daughter has taken it upon herself to be the unofficial caretaker of the potted plants in the nearby cemetery, up-righting them and collecting flowers that are strewn about by animals to put where they belong.
ENJOY: What’s not to enjoy about life?
With my son and his wife buying their first home I’ve had the children most of this week. We had time to read stories, go to the library, play at the playgrounds, play games, and enjoy the outdoors.
There was a new addition to my son’s family with a new kitten. She now comes often to visit, while she’s beautiful and I enjoy her antics the allergies keep me from playing with her too much.
There were no special celebrations this month, but will make up for it with 4 birthdays in September!
How was your month of August?