Slow Living Month by Month November comes to an end

It amazes me how fast the months fly by.   When asked why I moved to the location I did my answer was that I wanted to be closer to nature, have less time cleaning, and in essence have more freedom.  Well, I have that, but it wasn’t until a few months ago when I started to follow Christine at Slow Living Essentials and keeping track of each month that I noticed how much more productive I have become.

Just like a watched clock seems to stand still, so  having fun and being productive makes the time speed up.  While for the most part this is fine with me, I really don’t want to see the years go by so quickly as I’m old enough as it is.

This month has been productive in some ways and less so in others.  This week my son had surgery, so I have been watching his children quite a bit to give him time to rest, and today watched the kids so his wife could get a nap.  At the same time that means things I would have normally gotten to have taken a back seat.  But that’s okay with me, the cleaning and other jobs can wait as people are more important than any chore could ever be.

November marked the one year blogoversary (did I spell that right?) of this blog. I am so lucky in that you have embraced me. I have over 100 followers, and 21,000+ hits. Thank you so much for making me feel welcome.

Recap of November

New chairs and Thanksgiving feast. Aren’t the chairs perfect here?

Nourish: Make or bake as much of my own food as possible.  This was easy being that we are entering the colder months.  I love a good pot of soup dried beans and veggies take center stage now.  I eat less salads and more cooked vegetables in my soups.  A warm bowl of cooked oatmeal is the perfect breakfast food as well.  The slow cooker has been pulled out of the cabinet and is used to make most meals, the rice cooker now being used to warm leftovers.

Reduce:  This is where I am supposed to cut down on household waste.  My waste is pretty slim, so I move on to saving other peoples trash.  This month I completed an end table redo for a neighbor, a narrow shelf for my bathroom, a stool for my kitchen, added a pantry shelf (slightly modified) for bathroom storage, and finished the chairs I was giving to my son and his wife for their dining room.  These were all saved from the dumpster.  This week I began repuposing old incandescent light bulbs into containers for plant cuttings and tonight made a couple of Christmas ornaments out of a few more.  Hey better than tossing them out.  I have also been using empty toilet paper rolls for the little ones to craft with rather than tossing those in the recycling bins. Sure recycling is good, but repurposing is better in my view.

Greening up my life:  The biggest change I made this month was to convert all the existing light fixtures in my home with LED and CFL bulbs.  I had put off changing the ceiling fixtures because I can’t climb to do it myself, but this week I asked for help and now have all energy efficient bulbs through out the apartment.

Grow:  Nothing new is growing here.  I have a couple of cuttings of house plants I will be giving away this Christmas and I can report that my very old aloe plant is finally giving me a new plant.  Does that count.

Create:  Creating and saving items from the dumpster seem to go hand in hand.  In addition to the furniture and the little projects I’ve done with the children, I’ve also saved some yarn that I was able to make scarves out of for the two little girls in my life.  I’ve bought yarn to make a hat for my grandson, and am working on a  hat for my daughter-in-law.  I am working, but not yet finished making a couple of ornaments for the kids for Christmas.   In addition, I gave a very old and peeling clay pot a new life with a little sanding and paint, hung the branch I saved this fall for my Christmas tree, and added embellishments to a boys hoodie for my youngest grand daughter to make it a bit girly.  My grand daughter learned to give the birds a treat by coating pine cones with natural peanut butter and sprinkling birdseed on it.  We hung these in the trees for the birds for Thanksgiving.

Discover:  I haven’t had much time for real reading.  Today I brought home a few new books on simple living from the library.  I have found a new blog, The Micro Gardener which is very informative on small space gardening and have been busy reading everything I can from there to help me next summer in the garden.  This month I’ve probably read less than any other point in my life, from books that is.

Enhance: Community.  There isn’t much here.  I’ve been visiting my good friend and neighbor who is suffering from cancer and other health issues in a nursing home trying to keep  her spirits up.  But overall, the community has taken a back seat to family this month.

Thanksgiving dinner

Enjoy:  This month we celebrated Thanksgiving.  Since I drive down each year to spend time with my youngest son and his family (he works retail and has to be at work by 4:30am each Black Friday so it makes sense not to ask him to come up here)  I took the Tuesday before to make a big dinner for my eldest son and his family who live nearby.  My visit with my son was a wonderful one.  I was able to finally give them the chairs I had redone, spend time with my youngest grand daughter, and enjoy good food and football. My daughter-in-law gifted me with some samples of Nutritional yeast, a used book of quilts she picked up at her library, and a piece of art my grand daughter (21 months old) made.  What could be better?

Two kinds of gratitude; the sudden kind we feel for what we take; the larger kind we feel for what we give.  ~~ Edwin Arlington Robinson



  1. Congratulations on your 1 year mark! Love the idea of heating in the rice cooker! I never thought of doing that. I agree with you, the chairs look GREAT! I hope your son recovers fast as a bunny.


    • Thank you. Yes my son, who isn’t as concerned about what his chairs look like even liked them. As for my eldest son’s surgery. He went in to have a biopsy of a lymph node done and woke up with a 5 inch scar, turns out he had a hernia instead. I feel badly for his wife who has to deal with him, he can be such a baby about pain. 🙂


    • Thank you, I enjoyed the change of pace working on the hoodie and it was nice to see my grand daughter run her fingers over the little hearts on the pockets as if she were trying to figure out how they were on there. It seems other than planning for Christmas lately there hasn’t been too much planning going on here at the moment. I do enjoy reflecting back on the month and am considering continuing this habit in the new year, just for my own reflection.


  2. I’m glad your son’s okay. They must love having you to help while things are so tough! Your photos of your grandchildren are beautiful! And like you, I find life speeding by. I wonder if this monthly recount is making us more aware of passing time?


    • My son will be when it really starts to heal. But then again his doctor doesn’t want him working for three months and if he starts to feel better but has to sit around the house all day a new kind of monster will emerge 🙂

      Is the monthly recap making us more aware of the time? I don’t think for me that the recap is making me more aware of the time flying by, I notice that without the recap, but rather how much I have accomplished or rather how full the days have become.


    • They sure due Laura, my grandfather had saved all the little boxes that his drill bits came in. My kids enjoyed those more than Legos even though the drill bit boxes didn’t stick together like their Legos. And don’t forget any box!


  3. Yes – sometimes life takes abackseat to family doesnt it! The house can always be cleaned later, they dont seem to clean themselves no matter how long you leave them! Love going through other peoples junk. One mans trash is definitly anothers treasure!! – Kara xx


    • Kara, when you said: “they don’t seem to clean themselves no matter how long you leave them” I could only smile. If only that were true, house cleaning is my most dreaded chore. As a good friend told me years ago, I have no problem getting dirty working on a car or concern for breaking a nail (which I used to wear very long), I do enjoy work just not indoor chores.

      I will always let family take center stage to any thing else on my list of things to do, I am so fortunate to have the family I have and never knew there was so much love.

      As for other people’s trash the only thing I have not repurposed or restored that we found was a straw hat, just not into hats I guess.


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