02 March 2015

Slow Living

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 February...

...nourish I have porridge for breakfast every morning in the winter, complete with some mashed banana and a teaspoon of slippery elm.  I have been meaning to soak the oats for some time now as I was sure that I had read somewhere that the oats were more digestible if you did.  I was intermittently remembering to soak them until I read an interesting blog post about soaking your oats and I knew that I had to try and remember.  I have taken to setting an alarm on my mobile phone to remind me to do this, until it becomes part of my evening routine.  The porridge tastes so much better for it, I soak mine in water and a dash of cider vinegar, but I am yet to be convinced that it makes me feel any better but maybe the benefits take a while to be felt?

...prepare I have a second alarm on my mobile phone to remind me to do something each evening and that is to feed my sourdough starter.  A few years ago when Alice was small I had a sourdough starter which I managed to keep going for a number of years.  Sadly, for reasons that I can no longer remember, that starter died and I had to throw it away.  I have been meaning to start one again for some time now but to get one going you have to feed it every day for a number of days, we were away quite a bit in January so it became a February job.  It is is looking and smelling good and I hope that in March it will be ready to make and bake bread with it.

...reduce my small pile of clothes that I mentioned last month got a little smaller this month.  I made a pair of trousers for Alice from an old pair of mine.  You can read how I did it here.

...green I have posted before in these refections about my uses of bicarb, I make deodorant, washing powder, dishwasher powder, carpet deodoriser, and wash surfaces with it.  I also use it to wash my hair in place of shampoo.  I started by using a recipe that I found on the web, a few months later I tweaked it slightly, then when I started swimming regularly it all went to pot and I had to add a Vitamin C rinse at the start.  There are many websites that give you advice which is based on the individuals findings but I have found that these don't really work for me.  There are so many factors to think about that it is likely that every person who washed their hair in this way would use a slightly different method.  So if you have ever tried it or are considering doing so then the only advice I would give is to persevere and keep trying different quantities of bicarb and water (and cider vinegar and water to condition if you are doing that too) until you find the one that works for you.  If you live in a hard water area then the bicarb will not dissolve as well in the water so it will not work that well. If your hair is getting very dry, reduce the amount of bicarb, if your hair is getting very greasy then reduce the amount of vinegar.  It is important to remember that what you eat effects your hair too!  I wash my hair once a week using this method, I have long hair ( a couple of inches below my shoulders) and I can wear it down all week.

...grow we have a few edible plants growing in the garden at the moment.  The snowdrops have been delighting us with their presence for a few weeks but no other bulbs have made an appearance, yet.  My rhubarb that I split late last year seems to have survived the hacking and all three plants have started to sprout.  I have cleared the polytunnel of all the plants that have died over the winter and it is now ready for Spring sowing, there are a few salad leaves that have survived the winter which we are enjoying with our meals.  I have bought all my seeds for the year now and am ready to go when the weather warms up.  Inside my sprouter is providing us all with some crunch to go with our winter salads.

...create I always do more of this in the Winter when there is nothing to do in my garden, so I have been trying to think about some of the Spring projects to make for all the birthdays coming up at a time when the garden is also pulling on my time.  I have made the pair of trousers mentioned under 'green', I made a skirt for Alice, some more coasters like those that I share last month and a shawl that I cast on last month is now ready for blocking before being sent off as a gift.  I also ripped all the stitches out of a cardigan I had been knitting for myself and cast on a different pattern with the same yarn.  I knew that I if I carried on I would be knitting something that would not be worn so despite it seeming like a lot of effort for little gain I knew it was the right thing to do.

...discover I have been planning a topic based on the solar eclipse that we will have in our part of the world in March.  As well as thinking about learning for the children I have also been finding interesting books to read for myself.  I have started a trilogy of books which are fiction based on historical facts. I have really enjoyed reading the first one this month and look forward to reading the other two books in March.

...enhance several people have mentioned in the last month or so that it would be lovely to have a home ed camp this year at some point.  We have been talking about doing this for a few years now, so I decided it was time I did something about it.  I have been making enquiries of various campsites to see whether they will accommodate such a group and hope to advertise it to my fellow home edders soon.

...enjoy we have been to a new home ed group this month, it has been running for a while but we haven't been as I wrongly thought it was going to be a really long drive.  We have made several new friends and hope to make this a regular commitment in our week.


  1. These are all such lovely things, every one of them. i love the fabric you used for the skirt, very pretty. so glad the home ed group is working out.
    have a great week.

  2. sounds like a wonderful month x
    just read the article about the oats, very interesting x

  3. I'm itching for the new gardening season to start, I've got most of my seeds too so it's just a matter of waiting for the weather to warm up a little.

  4. I so enjoy reading your slow living posts. I will have to look up that oat-soak idea - oats were one of the foods in the Nourishing traditions that I was really loathe to give up (so I didn't). Good for you for frogging that knit you knew wasn't quite for you - You're giving me courage to jump ship in a newer project that is giving me that kind of "not-quite-right-for-me" feeling in my gut. Have a lovely week! XO

  5. I always get so inspired by your posts...
    (I wish I could slow down, but I think I am the opposite- I stop breathing and speed up, the opposite)
    Your words and images are lovely.

  6. Oh my hat is off to you for the sourdough starter work! It is one of those things I keep wanting to do and just let slide - good for you! We too are getting a touch of spring fever and trying to resist setting out something only to have it freeze (as has happened before!), I like that skirt fabric!! Enjoy your March!

  7. Great post! Looks like you have found your groove in many life areas. Have you tried cooking oatmeal in a slo cooker? It is delicious! Like you state it is well worth soaking as it makes the oats more easily digested. Hope the hone ed camp works out x

    1. Thank you! Have just advertised the Home Ed Camp, eek!

  8. Just wondering, do you soak other grains(rice, barley,quinoa etc) before you cook them? I do soak quinoa because I read that it was important but not rice or barley for no other reason than I never have! I suppose all grains are similar, I'll have to do some research.

  9. I also struggle with the evening routine. By that time of day, I'm so tired that I just don't care! That's great about your home ed group! We haven't managed to find a good fit yet. Enjoy!

  10. Lots of good things going on in your life! I may need to try your way of eating oatmeal. I love the "refrigerator kind" of oatmeal, but have not tried soaking it yet. I've had a sourdough starter in the refrigerator for several years now, sourdough bread is my favorite!!

  11. Wow lots going on in your world. Love the snow drops they are so pretty. The camp sounds like a great idea, surely there would be no objections as long as there are plenty of adults. I can only eat porridge if it has been soaked or it causes me no end of discomfort.

  12. Good luck with the sourdough starter...haven't given sourdough a go as yet but would love to give it a try. I have also read that soaking the oats make them more easy to digest...you can even do it overnight. ;-0

  13. Oh I love Alice's new skirt!! And good luck with your starter - i've made them before but they always eat more flour than just making a loaf the old-fashioned way!

  14. Thanks for the link for the oats - I never soak mine but I will tonight. We have porridge every morning with coconut milk, almond butter and chopped fruit. I've been wanting to try a starter for ages but have never got around to it, another thing I need to try.
    Do you know the wellnessmama blog? she has some great 'shampoo' recipes for all types of hair and lots of other lovely ideas for cleaning and beauty products.
    Love that skirt!

  15. I have enjoyed the whole post, really good and interesting.

    Have a nice weekend!

    Lluisa xoxo

  16. What an amazing list! I have to pick your brain about your sourdough starter. I've tried SO MANY TIMES and am yet to have a starter not turn to hooch within days. How do you do yours?

  17. I'm a bit late to be stopping by as well as late to have written my Monthly 9! Oh well, its lovely to see what has been happening in your part of the world! It always fascinates me when we are having autumn and hunkering down for the winter, that the north is stirring and waking and springing forth into the warmth!! Love your snowdrop pic!!!


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