It is always lovely to look back and reflect on what you have done over the previous weeks or months, taking stock, observing changes and celebrating achievements. Even better if you can join together and see hat others have been doing too in their part of the world, blogging is a wonderful way of making the world a smaller place. Christine over a Slow Living Essentials started this wonderful reflection and has now passed the baton onto Linda at Greenhaven for the monthly link up here are mine for January...
...nourish I have felt a desire for pies this month. Warm, nourishing food after time outside in the cold. Each week we have had a least one meal if not two. A lentil pie with mash potato topping, a spinach and feta filling wrapped in puff pastry, a leek and squash pie, are just a few that have made it to our menus.
...prepare we seem to be spending more and more days of the week having lunch away from the home. This means I have to provide a nourishing lunch that will keep us warm and full. Most evenings whilst cooking the evening meal I have also been making a pan of soup to eat, on some occasions I have made a large enough quantity to freeze some ensuring that I have a supply for 'emergencies', you never know when you might need soup.......
...reduce I have a small pile of clothes in a drawer that are beyond repair but the material could be put to good use so I have kept them. An old pair of linen trousers have been transformed into mats for hot drinks with a piece of old towel in the middle they are the perfect thing to protect our tables from being marked. I shared a how I did it here. I also started on a pair of trousers for my youngest from an old pair of mine.
...green we have been visiting and staying with friends and family quite a bit over the last weeks/months. It has been lovely to spend extended time with the ones we love but it has created a lot of washing for me. A skin condition that developed a few years ago has meant that the only washing powder I can use is one I make myself. There are times when touching items washed in other cleaners can make it worse so I usually take my own bedding with me! The powder I make is a simple combination of borax and bicarbonate of soda, equal amounts of each. We keep a jar of the mix on the kitchen counter as we use this mix in the dishwasher too. I use a tablespoon and a half to two tablespoons per wash depending on how dirty the items are. I add two tablespoons of white vinegar and seven drops of lavender oil as a fabric conditioner. I have noticed that using the lavender oil has really reduced the amount of moths I have been finding in the house.
...grow it is also quiet on the growing front for me at this time of year. We are in the middle of Winter now and it is too cold for much to grow. The hardy herbs are still providing me with their leaves for cooking and I still have a small amount of salad leaves growing in my polytunnel which provides a welcome bit of raw green to my meals.
...create January is often a quiet month for me after the busyness of creating for Christmas. Perhaps because I managed to make everything in good time that has not been the case this January. I have been knitting a lot, a cardigan that now has sleeves attached and the beginnings of a yoke, a scarf that I am writing the pattern for as I knit, a sock which is growing slowly and a shawl which I cast on a few days ago and is growing very fast. I have also made some more fabric bowls as a birthday present for a friend, the start of a pair of trousers from an old pair of mine and the project mentioned under reduce.
...discover I have been keen to observe more of the old traditions and festivals this year. I have been writing them into my diary for a while now but not actually finding out about them and adding them to our week. This month we have been finding out about Plough Monday and Wassailing, both very similar traditions based on the type of agricultural practiced in the area.
...enhance I am an assessor for the D of E Award, these award, there are three levels, is started at age 14 and includes an unaccompanied expedition which is what I assess. Although I have not assessed any this month (they have to be completed between Easter and October when the weather is usually less serious) I have added four dates into my diary this month for later in the year. This is the most I have ever completed in a year and some of them are in places where we can take a short holiday when we are there, I am really looking forward to them all!
...enjoy we have two weekends away this month one to stay with my brother the other with an old friend they have both been filled with fun.