I am again following the efforts of Christine at Slow Living Essentials by reviewing how far I have come each month in the direction I want my life to go.
I’m not sure where September went, it seemed to fly by faster than any other month this year. There were 4 birthdays in the family this month, my son bought a home, and the gardens have been puttering out. I’ve spent quite a bit of time with my friend who is undergoing treatment for cancer, and the library has been a favorite spot with the cooler temps.
PREPARE: I did very little preserving this month. I did get a batch of apples dried for winter snacks and cut and froze the corn my son and wife were given by neighbors as a housewarming. I tried to buy extras each week at the farmer’s market, but it seemed to get eaten before I could dry it.
Note to self: Just because you live alone doesn’t mean people won’t be stopping by and drawn to the fresh produce sitting out. I have been good about saving seeds this month. I have quite a bowl of green pepper seeds drying out along with pumpkin and melon seeds. At least I won’t have to buy them next year.
I did pull out the blankets just in time for the cooler nights, I was able to find a dry enough couple of days to get sealer around the window which should keep the apartment a little more comfortable, not that it wasn’t before.
Our heat was turned on this morning. The building is heated by a boiler and it’s turned on October 1st and turned off May 1st. After a really cold night it was nice to realize the apartment was warm from added heat when I woke up this morning.
NOURISH: With cooler temperatures it’s soup time here. There is nothing more satisfying than a pot of home made soup. I have my standard soups such as potato, french onion, split pea, and a vegetable or vegetable bean soup.
Today I noticed the Williams Sonoma Soup-for-supper book I just had to pick it up and already found a few new additions to my repertoire. The Williams Sonoma caught my eye after Lili at Creative Savv mentioned just the other day how she loves to look through their food selections in the catalog to make herself as she was sharing her monthly grocery journal.
I tried a couple new foods this month, some I liked others will need another try or two. I had brussels sprouts for the first time this month. I thank everyone for their ideas on how to cook and enjoy it, but after trying a few I think I will need to resort to adding butter to really learn to enjoy this. But on the flip side, I learned I do like raw carrots when bought locally. I have never enjoyed the aftertaste of carrots but found there was none with the locally grown. They were sweeter than any carrot I’ve tried before as well. Guess you live and learn.
GROW: The gardens are winding down. We haven’t had much more than a snack each day from them. I had two green peppers for a snack while my grand daughter found 5 strawberries yesterday. I may still get 4 more green peppers and have 2 strawberries almost ripened and several still flowering, we also have 3 more cantaloupes almost ready to pick but the rest of the garden is done for and I am busy pulling the annuals, covering the beds and will be planting the bulbs for spring flowers later this week.
REDUCE: Having purchased most or all of my food each week from the farmer’s market I had no waste to toss out. I did have a few cans which were recycled but for me I reached my goal of a zero waste month, now to eliminate the recycled items.
GREEN:I have this covered pretty well. If you follow me along regularly enough you will know I am on a mission to save the landfills of anything I come across that still has life in it. I created a page on my blog where I list the items I have saved by year and it’s growing quickly. This month alone I kept 2 end tables, large entertainment center, panty/cabinet, 3 dining room chairs, clothes rack, two large boxes of books (some we sold, some we passed around to friends and the rest went to the local used book store for a $118 in store credit), a bag of yarn, some plastic canvas, a partially finished crocheted panda bear (my grand daughter wants to have me help her finish it and gift it to her little cousin), three stuffed animals, a large TV, a suitcase, and a large picture frame. I think that’s it for this month.
Each and every item already has a home (no I’m not keeping any of it) and as I complete each one, updating it and giving it a new look to match the personalities of the new owners I’ll share pictures with you.
I also shared my secret to eliminate arthritis pain this month for those of you who suffer as I did.
CREATE: I did find some time to be a little bit creative this month. I finished two samplers for the grand children’s new bedrooms, made a bag out of a Mickey Mouse tee shirt, some fabric scraps and some ribbon.
There were plenty of refinished pieces I saved from ending up in the dumpsters. I completed the sanding and staining of a chair and it now getting plenty of use in a new home. I am partway through with the first end table and have several more projects just about to begin. I just repurposed a couple of boxes from bars of soap into toys for the little ones as well, which only took about 10 minutes each but are being played with regularly.
DISCOVER: One of the greatest things about the cooler temperatures and the shorter days is I find more time to curl up with a book. This month I read several books including The Happiness Project, $100 Start up, Grandmother’s Council the World, and a few non fiction books. I’m currently reading the latest Sandra Brown book and just found Beautiful no-mow yards. I’m hoping to find a few gem ideas for incorporating into the field next year.
ENHANCE: We had several new neighbors move in with the new college semester starting, but also have several who have left and will be missed. One neighbor has a pet skunk who enjoys visiting us. One evening a neighbor had their inside door cracked open for airflow when Patches walked right in. The owner came by shortly asking if she could get her skunk. The neighbor who had the late night visit thought it was hilarious. It’s great to meet new people who blend in and enjoy similar things we do.
I have been spending time each day with my neighbor and good friend who is undergoing chemo and radiation for cancer. She’s doing well, little sick during the nights but isn’t complaining. She was even given the opportunity to pick out her free wig for when she loses her hair. We had a blast styling it and trying it on each of us Saturday afternoon. I’ll do almost anything for a laugh.
ENJOY: This month, as I mentioned, we had 4 birthdays. I surprised my grand daughter with (wild) flowers, only to find I wasn’t the only one with that idea but that’s okay she loves getting flowers and appreciated each and every one. It’s great to see people you don’t see on a regular basis and to enjoy the company of the extended family if only on these special holidays.
Labor day is a special day for us. I gave birth to my eldest son on Labor Day weekend, so the weekend is a time for me, and now us, to reminisce about that day and the events of his childhood.
A NEW MONTH BEGINS: As I move into October I am hopeful that things will actually slow down this month. There is a little more to do outdoors. The field needs cut one final time, the strawberries need put to bed but I just can’t bring myself to do it while they are still giving us a snack every couple of days.
Next up will be the holidays and I have joined the ALL DONE BY DECEMBER ONE challenge at Happy Simple Living to have a stress free Christmas this year.