Slow Living Essentials: March 2014

lilac

A bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives roses.
~ Chinese proverb

Loving spring and enjoying the chance to make another contribution to Christine’s Slow Living Essentials project, and sharing some of what made March stand out…

{nourish}

With so much going on, I’ve been terrible about trying anything new in the kitchen. So I’m really glad to have some tried and true recipes on hand, like this one for Baked Dijon Salmon which takes just minutes and is a great use of our salmon share from Iliamna Fish Co. And in squaring away the last minute details for our wedding dinner, I’m incorporating gluten-free into our little BBQ which will include Dan’s favorite sweet potato cornbread.

{prepare}

Spring isn’t a huge preservation season, but I sure am grateful to enjoy what I preserved last fall, including my blueberry apple jam and marinated roasted red peppers. And with that, I’m also learning as I do every year what I made way, way too many of in prior seasons (brown sugar & cinnamon cherries, anyone?).

{green}

Continuing along the wedding planning theme of last month, this month we finalized the remaining logistics of our big day, focusing on green travel, simplicity, and sustainable eating. With the weather giving some nice days here and there, it was also great to get back to bike commuting to more of my client engagements rather than taking the bus or carshare.

{grow}

The greens are off to a great start (arugula, spinach, butterhead and romaine) in the pots, peas are going strong, and the carrots and onions planted a couple of weeks ago in the beds are peeking out of the ground, with the latter ready for thinning as soon as I get my kneepads on and go out there with the tweezers! And as is lovely in March, the daffodils and tulips made their lovely displays as the lilac bushes and irises remind me that their appearances will be coming along soon enough. There is nothing more soothing than seeing things grow in one’s garden, I do believe…

{reduce}

Personally I’ve not done much reduction this month beyond the standard bag I give to Goodwill each month, but my fiance sure has! He’s gone back to Oz to finish getting the rest of his personal property sold and attend his immigration appointments in Melbourne and Sydney, and I must say I am so proud of him for how much he’s accomplished in such a short time – selling all of his furniture, giving away so many of his treasured books along with household items to the wonderful Sacred Heart Mission, and of course the mental preparation of leaving one’s country for a new adventure here in America as we set off on life as an old married couple :).

{create}

I’ve been working haphazardly on my writing and going through the internal drama of how this book I want to write will look, staying motivated, not letting the dark clouds unfairly shade my potential. Decluttering, streamlining, and allowing the creative juices to flow throughout this process has been enough to throw me headfirst into avoidance at many stages this past month. So much so that it came to a head while talking to my fiance, the tears flowing as I questioned my validity as a writer, a storyteller, a sharer of self. Gotta love this man of mine who knows just how to comfort me, when to hold back on offering solutions and to just stay “it’s gonna be okay honey, you’ll find your way through this.” I scheduled time with my mentor/coach/friend who has that kind soul and objectivity I needed to help me work through things on paper, asking the right questions that force me to answer honestly about why this is so damn important to me. And through conversations on books and writing and why I love to do what I do, the answers have started to emerge. Isn’t it amazing when they are so simple? Isn’t it amazing giving yourself permission to do exactly what you want to do? So while I have not felt particularly creative, per se, the creative process has been one I’ve been focused on working through this past  month, and will continue to work through. And with that, I’ve also found inspiration through a few bloggers, old and new, who remind me of the heart and soul we pour into our words through the experiences we walk, run, and stumble through. Particular props go to City Girl at the Edge and Southern Belly, for their immense inspiration this past month.

{enhance}

Love love love volunteering with SMART (Start Making A Reader Today) at my local elementary school. It’s the highlight of every week!!! My fiance has applied to be a reader as well which will be so much fun for us to do together – he’s triple the bookworm I am 🙂 And with that, March was the month SMART was allocated 2% of my income as one of my 12 nonprofits I have chosen to support financially in 2014.

{discover}

In my resolution this year to try new things, my friend Pam and I enrolled in a beginning ceramics class at Georgie’s Ceramics & Clay not far from my house, where I’ve discovered that it, well, is just not something that gets my creative fires burning. After a month of classes, I’ve realized I actually have much more fun at the paint-your-own-pottery studios than in the wheel throwing that creates those pieces! So hey, it’s not for me but zero regrets – I’m glad I tried it so now I never will have any romantic notions around working with clay anymore, heehee…

{enjoy}

Happiness is definitely all around me – there is much to be grateful for. Turning 40 has definitely suited me far beyond my wildest expectations. Time with self, time with friends, time with the man I love, time working with my clients, and time volunteering in my community – there’s not much more I can ask for. Life is damn good.

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

5 thoughts on “Slow Living Essentials: March 2014

  1. WHAT?! :)Thank you! Here I was reading along thinking, which link shall I try and brown sugar and cinnamon cherries(?!), when I saw my link :). Well, you’ve kept me inspired. You’re why I found my way back to blogging!

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  2. Hi there! Lovely to have found my way here! It’s funny reading about your excitement over daffodils and such when we here in Australia are madly trying to bring in the harvest!! I’ve discovered the same with too much plum jam and didn’t even make any this year as we are still eating last years and some from the year before!
    PS I LOVE your header pic…really stunning!

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    1. Thank you! The painting is by Tamara Adams, a Portland artist who made a custom version of my favorite painting of hers for me. Google her – her other work is gorgeous too!

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