03 March 2014

Moments...

It is the beginning of the month so, once again, I have a slightly different Moments post.  This is a reflection on the month using the goals suggested over on Slow Living Essentials, so here are mine for February and head on over to see what others have been up to.

nourish some time before Christmas I started to buy raw milk from a local farm to make yogurt.  I had met the farmer at our local farmers market a few years ago but had yet to take the plunge and buy the milk.  I was given a cheese making book and a few items to make cheese with by my mother for Christmas.  It was the perfect present and she was unaware I was already making yogurt.  I have made several different cheeses, including cream cheese, feta, mozzarella and the best, for me, Halloumi.  I am not sure I will make feta that often again it was fiddly and tasted odd, the cream cheese was great but made too big a quantity, the mozzarella I have made several times and is very quick and easy, but the Halloumi is just wonderful.  It tastes nothing like the stuff I buy in the shops but nonetheless it has a wonderful taste.  I suspect that this is down to the milk I am using, it is probably not the same as they use in Cyprus where this cheese is usually made.  Making my own works out so much cheaper and as the milk has only come from five miles down the road the distance it has had to travel is considerably less!


…prepare in the Winter months we love to eat soup.  It makes a welcome addition to our picnics.  Last year I started to batch cook a large amount for freezing with veg I have bought from our local Farmers Market, our market is monthly, this year I have been doing the same.

…reduce early in the month my husband went to our village recycling point with our recycling and returned with a child's bike that had been abandoned there.  He spent a couple of days working on it, buying a few small pieces that he did not have, and we now have a bike that my eldest can ride.  We bought him a bike last year which is a little on the big side, that too was secondhand and a very good price.  For now he will ride the smaller one, until he has grown a little.

green we have lived in our house for eleven years.  Slowly, over that time, we have been redecorating each room.  The most recent one to be decorated is a bedroom for my youngest.  We finished painting it and building furniture for it a while ago and it is in real need of a new carpet.  Our income has been precarious over the last year so we did not want to make any large expenditure, now that my husband has returned to being an employee we are confident in our income.  We visited a local carpet shop and came home with some samples.  The choice was between 100% wool or a wool and acrylic mix.  We spent some time deciding and researching which was the better of the two.  We knew that we really wanted the 100% wool carpet but had to be sure that this was the best option for the room and not just based on our desire for natural materials.  We have opted for the 100% wool.  The carpet in the room is a very old and worn wool one which has now been cut up and put in the compost bin to assist the decomposition by keeping the contents warm.

…grow I finally got round to buying myself a new calendar for garden planning.  Last year I gave biodynamic gardening a go for the first time.  It was in the main successful.  It was an unusually warm summer for us last year, the hottest in the eleven years I have been at my house.  I would like to give this method a few more years before deciding whether it really does work.  What I really love about it tho is the framework it provides for me to ensure that I make time and spend time in the garden.  As you only do particular tasks on particular days it does not feel onerous and overwhelming.  A gardeners work is never done!  I have spent some time planning, and buying seeds and am all set to go for the this year, here is hoping it will be a good one…..

…create we made a wee felt snowdrop fairy for our seasonal table and lots of birthday cards.  The first part of the month, for me, was taken up with a shawl that I knitted for my mother for her birthday.  This was my first shawl and I was really pleased with how it turned out, my mum loved it too!  The pattern is Guernsey Triangle.  I have also been knitting up two cardigans which are still work in progress.


…discover last month I posted about my quandary regarding the future of my eldest's education.  At the moment he is home educated and I was unsure if I should continue once he reached the age, in the UK, where he as due to start at Secondary School.  I have spent this month reading and researching about education from the age of 11 both at home and in a school.  I have talked to friends, had some wonderful comments from fellow bloggers and talked to my family.  I still have more thinking and reading to do but I feel a little clearer now as to what my options are and how I feel about them.

enhance regular readers of my blog will now that I occasionally post about home education and what that means to me and my family.  One of my biggest worries about home educating was how I would feel with the adults, the parents of any children my own children made friends with.  I had always considered myself to be someone who finds it hard to be part of a big group, who doesn't make friends easily.  I have come to realise that this is not actually true, yes I am not keen on big groups but I do make friends.  It takes time and effort to build a true friendship.  I now have a small group of people who live near to me who I can truly count on as friends.  I really feel that I am part of something, I am really comfortable with all these people and want to spend time with them.  This last month I have managed to do this, and it has made me realise that if you really value a friendship you have to work hard to make it work but it is worth it.

enjoy the absolute highlight for me this month has been spending a few days with my whole family.  I have two younger brothers, one lives near my parents, the other nearer to me.  We are spread out, busy people who rarely come together and spend time together so when we do it is really special.  This is the first time we have all actually been together since the birth of my nephews last year.  It was my mums birthday, a special one, her only request was for us all to come and spend a weekend with her, how could we refuse?

**********

...continuing from my usual moments posts...

...reading these picture books*, with a short review here, 52. Sparkly Shoes and Picnic Parties by Sophie Tilley, 53. Grandma and Grandpa's Garden by Neil Griffiths, 54. When Dragons are Dreaming by James Mayhew, 55. Going Swimming by Frances Lincoln, 56. Bop's Hiccups by Joel Stewart, 57. Friends by Eric Carle, 58. A Big Operation by Richard Scarry, 59. Peepo by Janet and Allan Ahlberg, 60. Oliver and the Noisy Baby by Nick Maland, 61. I am not sleepy and I will not go to bed by Lauren Child, 62. Jack and the FlumFlum Tree by Julia Donaldson.

* Joining in with 300 Picture Book Challenge

10 comments:

  1. Lovely post - you sound like someone I'd like to get to know as a friend as we share so many ideals! I always think that making and more importanlyly keeping friends is something that needs effort on both sides and as I used to tell my daughter one must go just a bit more than halfway towards each other so that there is a small overlap otherwise you will never actually make contact! I must have a go at hallumi cheese as I too buy raw milk from a local farm - it tastes of childhood summers in a way that pasteurised milk never does.

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  2. So glad you joined in!! My husband often goes to the 'tip' and comes home with the most amazing finds!
    Good luck with your garden this year - hope all the wet has not water logged the soil too much.

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  3. What a wonderful present to give your Mum, that shawl is just beautiful. I have never had a go at making cheese, but yours looks fantastic and all the better for being able to source your milk so close to home. Good luck with your garden and hoping for bountiful harvests.

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  4. So much in one post - you have been busy!
    Your shawl is stunningly beautiful and the cheesemaking sounds wonderful. I haven't progressed much further than curd cheese from my yoghurt so far.
    We have just come back out of secondary school to home educate again. If you ever fancy someone to bounce questions off do drop me an email and I'll be happy to help if I can.

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  5. I just LOVE that shawl! You are so clever! And I think you income description is fabulous! I think I'll borrow that term. We often have a precarious income! When I get time, I'd like to have a good look around your blog. Nice to meet another home schooling mum. :-)

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  6. oh i am so envious of you making yogurt and cheese! My dear mum used to know how and there is nothing tastier than homemade yogurt and i loved her homemade cheese too. I am clueless about where to start but would love to learn one day. I reckon there is probably lots online to get started if i ever find the time. So glad you have found some good home-ed friends. I regret not getting involved in the home-ed big group stuff for the 3 years we home-educated because it was mainly my fears of making friends in a big group that held us back. We still had some amazing home-ed times though so at least we had no regrets about home-educating. Popping over from picture books challenge. x

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  7. Gosh, your shawl is absolutely beautiful! Lovely to share in your month - I enjoyed reading of the bike transformation and your carpet options. We have wool carpets in our house and while the patterning is very bold (New Zealand Axminster), we're reluctant to change them because the quality is so beautiful. Your new floor coverings will be well worth the investment. All the best with your schooling pathway. :)

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  8. Your halloumi looks delicious. From the lovely creamy colour, I am guessing you are using Jersey milk. I have been making cheese for just over two years now and have found some great recipes and tips at Ricki Carroll's online site - The Cheese Queen. Just google it if you like. Your shawl is so pretty too.

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  9. What a fabulous post. I am full of admiration for all that you're achieving. A lovely list of books too, we really must try some Abney and Teal books. Thank-you for linking with #300PBs.

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