Slow Living Essentials: May 2015

Here we go! While the majority of my fellow Slow Living bloggers are in the Southern Hemi preparing for winter, up here in the North we’re amped for summer…and a bit ahead of schedule in my fair City of Roses!!! We’re known for rainy springs and the joke that summer begins on the 4th of July, but we’re in near-drought conditions with weather in the 80’s all last week and expected to hit 90 this weekend (that’s over 30C, my Aussie friends…). Eek!

So anyhoo, here is what the lovely month of May looked like for the Levens family…



With gluten back in the diet in moderation, my husband’s plea of “teach me how to make bread” (I’m serious) was finally answered. We started out with the above braided herb bread, then went to a simple whole wheat (my man can knead like a rockstar, y’all), and now has designs on rye. Being a chef on the “cook” side, realizing how important ingredient measurements are and using his hands a lot more to work with dough, he is coming around to see why I love baking so much. After a year of marriage, we’ve gotten a pretty darn good rhythm in the kitchen after a bit of an evolution from the “taking turns” that we used to. Sweet!


(image source)
(image source)

This month we had the greens but not a lot of preservation. However, we did put in our order for our annual salmon CSA from Iliamna Fish Co here in town (the above image is borrowed from a magazine article a couple years ago – click on the link to view it, it’s a great read and the photos are phenomenal!). And realizing that we only have two fillets left in the freezer, we’re going in with another customer to get a half share extra to ensure summer of 2016 is not without these tasty wild Alaskan beauties! It’s my third or fourth year doing this and a great investment – just like buying from your local farmer, buying from your local fisherman is the best plan! (Right, Bill?)



Having a ton of scrap wood from old projects, our big repurposing fun was when my husband made this trellis for me! These skinny pieces were from my old wooden tomato “jail” trellis system (which had by the way worked great but visually divided up the garden in a way I didn’t like) I’d created several years ago, and knew they were destined to support this climbing rose that we rescued last year (when they tore the house down next to us to build two awful “tall skinnies“).




With our early spring, we got everything planted by the end of May. Yep, even all the peppers are in along the back fence (4 beds, 10 plants, you do the math – it’s going to be a banner year for roasting and marinating!) and growing happily. This is a view from early in the month, and let me tell you it looks much different as I write this! Already thinking about the next sowing of greens by the blue corn (not shown). Dude.


2015-05-09 15.41.18
Haha well I’m getting creative with this month’s “Create” category, as we are working on trying to create a family these days, so there’s been a huge focus on that, from dealing with fertility challenges to working on the mass of adoption paperwork (…which btw is way more complex and crazy than buying a house, y’all…). For those who don’t know what this picture is, it’s an ovulation predictor kit, NOT a pregnancy test (thought I’d mention I had to correct someone who saw this photo on an earlier post, didn’t read the blog, then congratulated me, LOL). So this stick has been my BFF every month this year. Crossing our fingers that this month my poor AMH and FSH won’t get in the way of getting a BFP (big fat positive, as the forums love a good acronym)…


(image source)
(image source)

This month began our journey into learning more not only about the adoption process, but what it looks like with the agency we are working with and much, much more about the history, culture and people of our chosen country, Ethiopia, where we are applying to find a little one of our very own!


The last month of the 2014-2015 school year for SMART means I had to say goodbye and give a great big hug to Micaela, one of my two kiddos. But with many vacations I did get to be a sub and volunteer extra hours with some of the other K-2 kids in the program – what an honor! They have a great program coordinator at the school who has really set the bar high and has an avid following of SMART ‘grads’ who remember her long after they’ve finished it. Awesome.


Our anniversary was awesome, spent primarily at the beach!!

And yes, May was also about truly enjoying life, in particular celebrating our first wedding anniversary with our crazy silly sweet pup at the Oregon coast. This is her making a weird attempt to run, as it’s more of a funny awkward canter due to her early onset arthritis in her lower back. Pure joy watching her, and pure joy to have my wonderful partner and pup I call my family.

“Strike an average between what a woman thinks of her husband a month before she marries him and what she thinks of him a year afterward, and you will have the truth about him.

~ H. L. Mencken

7 thoughts on “Slow Living Essentials: May 2015

  1. Wow look at all your veggies. Yep we here in the south are heading into winter however where I live it can be a frost in the morning or below freezing and then get up to 22 degrees celcius during the day. It is not really cold enough for most of the brassicas so I stick to kale and chard/silverbeet.


  2. I can’t believe you are already at your one year anniversary. Boy how time flies, it seems just a couple months ago you were sharing pictures of the wedding. Your garden beds look amazing I’m way behind here and nothing but carrots and tomatoes are planted.

    Good luck both with the pregnancy and the adoption. A story you might like, a friend of mine tried for 12 years to get pregnant then resigned to adopting. Just as they got word they would be adopting fraternal twins they found out they were finally pregnant. Now they have three boys six months apart in age.


  3. Congrats on the anniversary! Love your garden layout, ours is more open dirt and a couple of beds, yours looks efficient. Good luck on the baby front, any way they come they are very cool to have! (til they are teens then you walk around wondering what you were thinking! ;)) The name change is interesting, it’s a different feel! Have a great June!!


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