02 September 2012

Slow Living August

Why do we call it slow living?  My life is so busy that time is going by too fast!  I can't believe August is gone, but I'm very happy to say good-bye to winter!  It's been such a long and cold one.  Anyway, here's what we've been up to during August.

After reading 1000 days in Tuscany by  Marlena de Blasi,  I simply had to make Tuscany flatbread with olives, rock salt and rosemary.  What a hit that was, 2 flatbreads were devoured straight out of the oven.  I'll try to include the recipe here once I've figured out how to add it to a separate page! 

Lemon cordial for the coming summer months, is what we've been making.  Sadly, my last bottle of lemon curd went off in the cupboard.  Lesson learnt... lemon curd must be refridgerated or frozen!  With butter being such a terrible price, I doubt I'll make any more this season.  I intend to make more marmalade before the oranges become pricey.

Not much extra done this month besides the usual.

My first batch of homemade soap made with olive oil is still busy curing and feels a little soft to the touch even after 6 weeks.  I guess it has something to do with the cold, damp weather we've had.  (I'm hoping so!)

With the cold weather we've had (did I mention that before? ;-) our community garden has not been producing much besides lettuces, spinach, rocket, coriander.  However, seedlings are starting to appear and we can look forward to the summer harvest once again. 

Started beanie for Matt (son no.3) with a skein of beautiful charcoal, 100% wool from Denmark and hope to finish it within the week (yes I know I missed his birthday deadline, but I was waiting for the wool to arrive ;-)

Busy researching Permaculture methods for the community garden.  We were approached by a local NGO (non profit), who wanted to show us how to do it the permaculture way.  Only problem was, they wanted to take over the entire garden and scrap everything we had going already.  It was a pity to turn the offer down, but we have invested too much to let it all go.  That led me to investigating further how to implement their methods.   Found a great blog that has helped to show the way.  I'll be writing up our progress on the community garden blog.

I think I mentioned previously that hubby and I are on the committee of a Scouts group.  The group is on the verge of collapse due to lack of boys and I have spent much time creating flyers, advertisements and planning social events.  Hubby and I were asked to become members of the board of Soil For Life and have accepted, hoping that we can be a benefit to this wonderful organisation that invests so much into local communities.  Attended a volunteers orientation day at our local SPCA with Sarah (daughter no.2) who wants to volunteer there, and was surprised to find out they have a horse unit as well as a farmyard and a wild life section (for snakes & baboons!).  I was so impressed that I wanted to volunteer too!  No, I didn't but I really want to... maybe someday.

Surprisingly, there were quite a few really enjoyable events during August (besides a few bad ones, see below).  Sarah turned 16, Aunty Annie turned 105 (yes, it's true!), Matt turned 27 and Ruth (daughter no.1) turned 29.   Our dear friends asked us to house-sit for them over a long-weekend, and although their house is only a few kilometers from ours, the change was as good as a holiday.  Unfortunately, we discovered that our own house had been burgled while we were away.  Nothing too serious, they didn't manage to get into the main house, but broke into an out-building where we have yet to find out what they took, besides breaking a window!  Sadly, the koi and goldfish were stolen from our fishpond over the same weekend.   Strange, but true!
We attended a shakespeare play by a small homeschool group and had the good news that David (son no. 4) has been accepted at Oude Molen Academy of Science & Technology next year for grade 9.  This is a BIG step for us, as we have homeschooled up till now, but realised that he needs more than we are able to give him in technical education.

Well, that was some of our month.  How was yours?


  1. Hello!

    What a lovely idea with the different topics that we should focus on each month! I am going to do just that! Time for new beginnings and fresh starts!

    Ma, you simply have to send me that flat bread recipe - just reading about it made me wish I was part of the crew waiting for the oven doors to open :)

    My 'nourish' focus this month will be on detoxing, fruit smoothies and to cut white bread and sugar out of my diet (sugar's going to be a toughie!)

    Johannesburg has had the most beautiful weather this past weekend, Spring has certainly arrived and I agree - this winter was exceptionally long, cold and miserable!

    Very sorry to hear about the goldfish and Koi being stolen, must be a horrible feeling to know that someone in your very own neighborhood would do something like that, but there must be a lesson learnt or some sort of gain from the experience and I am sure you will write about that in your next issue.

    Lots of Love
    Daughter No. 1 :)

  2. Lovely to read your wrap up, Amy. Don't give up on the soap just yet..I had a batch that was ridiculously soft and it eventually dried out.

    Fantastic to read of your Aunty Annie. Huge congratulations to her. :)

  3. Yes - congradulations to Aunty Annie! Thats a fantastic age to get to! As Christine said - dont give up on the soap. It will dry out eventually. Or you can dislove it in a bit more water and make a liquid soap to use in the meantime...
    Looking forward to catching up with you next month! - Kara

  4. Hi, our local cubs folded this year. Due to lack of adults helping as much as dwindling numbers. Good on you for being involved. That's great that you're learning about permaculture for your community garden.