I’ve had this on my to-do list for so very long, and this weekend am committed to participating! I’ve loved the Slow Living Essentials blog for some time now and her monthly check-in of sorts is something I particularly adore…so here goes a look back at August 2013 in my world…
Being summertime here, August cooking is usually centered around the garden. With my dairy-free life now, I had originally mourned the loss of my beloved caprese salad, but with the discovery of Daiya’s soy-free, dairy-free, GMO-free jack cheese, I cut that into cubes and toss it into a big bowl of fresh roma tomatoes, basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar and am happy again. No, it’s not the same as true bufalo mozzerella but hey, I adapt. And, as usual, on the hot days it means cooking out on the grill, with my favorite being catfish seasoned with my homemade cajun seasoning over a bed of spinach or greens from the garden, and a cider to sip.
Canning is at a healthy but not frenetic pace this year. This month I’ve already canned vanilla clove pears, sweet tomato jam, whole tomatoes, chopped tomatoes, ginger pear preserves, and pickled/canned cherry bomb peppers and red onions. And today, as a treat for my sweetheart, I’m making him some bread and butter pickles from the overage of cucumbers I’ve picked from the garden (I’m not much of a standard pickle gal so this is my love in a mason jar, heehee). The focus is definitely more on savory this year.
Having been bequeathed the keys to my neighbor’s car during the two weeks of dogsitting, I was really amazed at how lazy it made me, and was so glad to give it back! While it got me out of the city (as a Zipcar would) with the pup to places like Sauvie Island and up the Sandy River and out to Chimney Park, I also coincidentally found myself in grocery store parking lots with the station wagon, and realized how I truly love living car-free. The stress of driving, my god! Having to buy gas, yuck! So I suppose that’s not truly a “green” accomplishment but a moment of gratitude that my regular life IS a pretty good shade of green. As for real green, I’ve been enjoying having my clothes out on the line – but am curious, does anyone have any tips to make sure the clothes aren’t stiff and scratchy? I always have to toss them in the dryer for 15 minutes to fluff the scratchiness out, but would love to avoid this…
Picking the last of the tomatoes and cucumbers, and watching the pumpkins truly try to take over the world. Not terribly pleased with the taste of the credit As the green beans are coming up randomly, I’ve been collecting them in the freezer until it’s time to try my hand at dilly beans (my first time!). Harvested and cured all my onions, and figuring out what’ll go in there next. Planted kale, spinach and two colors of chard for the cooler season that beckons (although it’s hard to believe it as it was 86 today!).
Every month I make a run to drop off a bag to Goodwill, this past month saying goodbye to an unused hand-vac in my basement and some clothes. I like to keep a bag by the front door so that every time I see it, it reminds me to find something in my house I don’t need to help fill it up. Also joined paperbackswap.com to get rid of books I don’t need while getting an awesome used book on my to-read list. Woo hoo!
Just started doing some initial outreach to several folks in the know when it comes to book writing and publishing, to get my mind prepared for December when I’ll be putting some serious time into writing my first book. So it’s not exactly to the creation phase, but I’m dealing with a lot of my insecurities around this art form and so the first step is surrounding myself with people who are also either writers or involved in publishing, who have connected me to some awesome resources already.
This month was about focusing on stillness in my yoga practice and with it, improving my flexibility. I have a wonderful group of yoga instructors who combine the physical of yoga with the mental of meditation. It’s a beautiful stress release, bringing me back to center so I can concentrate on what I want to happen next in my life.
In my desire to always keep learning, even if in bite-size portions, I signed up for another online class through Coursera on global health along with a local workshop next month taught by my acupuncturis entitled Food as Medicine: Eating with the Seasons. And on the writerly side of things, a friend reminded me of October’s Wordstock Festival, which is now on my calendar 🙂
I had the most fun all month spending two weeks dogsitting my neighbor’s pup, Roxy. As it’s been over a year now since my baby girl Daisy died, every time I get to have a dog hang out with me it heals me a bit more. While we went on all kinds of doggy field trips, just sitting on the couch working with her li’l self snuggled up next to me or stretched out full length on her back, goofy dog smile while she slept, was the best.