Thursday, October 9, 2014

Let's go do the HOP

Fingers crossed...
...last week Sustainablemum invited me to join in a blog hop that was going around.  Unfortunately my computer has not been very co-operative these last few days, ( it's shuts it's self off when ever it feels like it then won't switch on for again for ages) so without further hesitation, I'm going to press publish before it drops off into the land of computer nod again.

What am I working on?
Well on the needlework front - socks for Tino, a Favorite Things Infinity Scarf for me and a Ripple Blanket for the house.
In the kitchen, today, along with dinner, some gluten free brownies.  I like to think of the kitchen as part of my 'creative work' - planning meun's, cooking healthy meals, serving them up nicely  - the table set with candles and cloth napkins - I have to do it everyday, may as well approach it as an artistic endeavor rather than a chore.

How does my work differ from others?
It's been said that 'No man ever steps in the same river twice' (Heraclitus).   What ever I make, even if it's been done before and will be done again by others or myself, each time it will in essence, be different.
(Tough question that one!)

Why do I create what I do?
It keeps me sane!  I create, in some small way everyday.  Cooking aside, I find time to knit or crochet daily.  I've made it part of my routine (wish a could be so faithful to my running!).
I enjoy creating immensely, especially so when it can also contribute to the management of the family budget - cooking from scratch, gardening, making my own washing powder, deodorant etc.
But deep down I think there's other reasons too.  Like control!  I feel empowered when I make things that I would otherwise have to buy.  And handmade always seems so much more 'pure', more environmentally conscious, so maybe I create as my part in trying to fix what wrong with the world or a least in an attempt to not 'damage' it anymore than I have too...

How does my creative process work?
Rather erratically when it comes to knitting - I'm a multi project gal!!  All those lovely blogs and web sites making things look so easy, I just can't help myself.  I'd like to say that what I make I make out of necessity but that's not always true.  However, the difficulty of buying yarn here, without ordering it on-line, means that my wooly impulses are generally kept in check.
In the kitchen it's rather more military style - my 'creations' are planned in advance to cover all the right food groups, seasonal offerings and personal preferences, and there are few, if any deviations to the weekly menu!!!

Thank you to sustainable mum for including me in this.  I'd like to invite Kristina and Meredith to join us.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Slow Living Monthly 9 Link Up - September

Time to link up with Linda over at the Green Haven for September Slow Living Essentials

I did the Whole30 again this month, which turned into a whole25ish, when I decided to re-introduce chick peas and oats to my diet during the last week.  I still abstained from all the other non-approved foods for the 30 days and think I will continue to keep my gluten and dairy intake to a very occasional minimum.  As with when I did the 'diet' back in November, again this time I have found myself with much more energy throughout the day. I've even got my running mojo back and am enjoying regular early morning runs to the lake with Ringo.

Pickles -  my garden finally produced enough cucumbers at the same time to make three jars.

Knitting socks at the moment for Tino but thinking of new hats and mitts, we're enjoying very warm days here but the mornings are starting to have a distinct chill to them.


A bit of spit and polish and this old toy box - which itself was originally used for something else - became my new nightstand.

Running hot and cold with the baking soda/ACV hair washing and conditioning method.  I stick with it for a few weeks then my hair starts to get very dry and I end up going back to shampoo.

We're coming to the end of our garden here but Kim, who's climate seems much like ours, is still growing away on her plot.  I'm following her methods attentively to try and prolong our growing season next year.
Here's a great link for autumn gardening tips.

Since the beginning of the new school year, the boys have had school on wednesday mornings.  Up until now  schools in France had only a four day week with a 1 1/2 hour dinner break. These new school reforms were brought in as it was decided that the school day was too long 8.30 am - 4 or in some cases 4.30 pm.  Now they start school at the same time and finish at the same time but have a 2 hours and 15 minutes lunch break, thus making the hours that they actually study, shorter  (and wednesday mornings 9 am - 12 noon). It's all going great at the moment with the lovely autumn weather but in the depths of winter when temperature go between -10° and -20° this super long playtime is not going to be so much fun.  With this in mind I have agreed to be part of the school committee who are trying to put in place some kind of plan to occupy the kids for part this long break with opportunity for inside 'creative and fun' activities on those days were it is very cold or for the kids who don't want to freeze (on an almost zero budget).

Deliciously Ella Despite feeling great after the Whole30, I don't want to follow this eating plan full time.  Ella's website proposes great plant based, gluten and dairy free recipes which appeal more to my taste buds than the 'Paleo' style of the Whole30.  I'm still going to eat meat when I can get good local or organic produce and obviously as I keep chickens I'm not going to give up eggs either.
Thoroughly enjoying Ella's gluten free muesli every morning with home made almond milk or coconut milk yogurt (even if mine keeps coming out a little too runny!)

Fantastic autumn weather here, very welcome after a rather wet and cold summer.   We're doing lots of hiking with the kids who are always very willing participants provided they get ice-cream at some point during the day.  Two sundays ago we visited the Lac du Verny in Italy so they got to enjoy some delicious 'gelati'.

We also have a new arrival - Bunny, she's called.  As expected, the kids love cuddling her but are no where to be seen when it's time to clean out her droppings!!!  Ringo likes her a lot...he manages to sit nice and calm next to her for a few minutes before launching into his favorite game of 'you bite my ears and I'll bite yours' - Bunny doesn't share his enthusiasm for this!!  She stamps her hind legs on the ground when it gets to much for her and he seems to understand that this means 'go away dog'!!!

Hope you are enjoying a great autumn/spring!