Where did the rest of October and November go?! I always feel like Spring should be a gentle slide into Summer, but it never is. Not weather-wise and not in life either. There are so many work commitments at the school I teach at in November that it always feels so crazily full and then eerily empty once they are all over. Of course throughout all the fullness and work commitments our commitment to our lifestyle stays. I have to say though, thank goodness for S. I don’t know how we’d do it otherwise.
It’s been a while since our last Simple. Sustainable. Frugal. round up. So here it is for the past 2ish months. When I sit down to write a Simple. Sustainable. Frugal. I always find myself looking back at the ones before, seeing what’s changed and what we’re still doing. It’s also just nice to pause and reflect on where we are at at the moment too. Although since it’s been so long, I’ve definitely missed things. You can see more Simple. Sustainable. Frugal. posts here.
Slow. Simple. Well.
Knitting – Oh have I been knitting lately, so much knitting. I am really enjoying the immediacy and portability of cotton dish and face cloths lately and have recently been knitting these in some beautiful colours. Even though cotton is quite resource intensive in its production it does have the distinct advantage of being 100% biodegradable in a home compost bin (of even buried in the earth) at the end of it’s life. It’s also super absorbent which is ideal for bathroom and kitchen use. I am hoping to have enough to sell sometime soon as well as making sets for Christmas presents.
Promoting Wellness – I have been suffering from Hayfever lately and seem to be fighting of a bit of a cold too. I have been doing everything in my power to fight this off – including resting as much as possible. I’ve been drinking HomeGrown Raw Lemon, Ginger and Honey Juice which is seriously potent, as well as taking Echinecea drops and Garlic, Olive Leaf and Vitamin C combination tablets, all of which seem to be helping.
Music – I have been really enjoying relaxing with music lately and as I have Spotify Premium for my dance teaching – I’m able to access a huge range of music and explore new artists too, which has been really enjoyable and something it’d been ages since I and really done.
Time outside – while this lapsed a bit for me in the last week or two as I have had to focus on getting some computer-based tasks done and this has kept me inside, we managed to get outside lots in October and enjoy spending time in nature together as a family. S. and T. are great at doing this every week, but as I am working most of the week I have to make a bit more effort.
T.’s birthday – we had T.’s 5th birthday last month (which totally deserves its own post). He wanted a woodland animal themed birthday party and S. worked really had to ensure that not only was it beautiful it was also super sustainable too. We used lots of natural decorations and the plates and cups from the playcentre (where we had his birthday). She also managed to do this on a quite a frugal budget too.
New Compost bin – while not exactly frugal (except that it was because S.’s parents gave it to her for birthday), this was very necessary after S. found rats living in our old one. The new one is a tumbler (sealed and raised) to prevent the rats.
Food scraps – As well as feeding our chooks our foodscraps (anything they won’t eat ends up in the compost bin), S. has started collecting the foodscraps from T.’s playcentre sessions and bringing them home for our chickens. We also had a big food festival at the school I work at and I managed to bring home a whole lot of scraps for the chooks from that too.
Sustainable gift giving – although we don’t really do Christmas as such, our families do and of course we do do Summer Solstice, so this year we are trying to be really conscious of what we give – thinking about it’s entire life cycle and not just the actual product as it is intended to be used. We are looking at experiences over things as we think about giving gifts as much as possible or things that people have requested so that we know they are wanted.
Chooks – S. and T. have been moving the chooks around the garden so that they can eat some of the weeds that are trying really hard to get a foothold in the garden. They made a temporary and movable fence out of chicken wire and have been systematically moving it around over the past few weeks. They still have their main coop and run but this gives them a change of scenery since our yard isn’t properly chook proof.
Buying Secondhand – I went into an op shop (one that I don’t usually visit) in town looking for some photo frames for T. but came away with a whole lot of clothes for myself (which was entirely unexpected but I guess why they’re called opportunity shops!) including an as-new condition dress for my sister-in-law’s wedding next year for just $8. I spent $53 and for that managed to score a chambray shirt (which I have long desired), a beautifully made checked shirt, a funky showerproof jacket that doesn’t really look like a rain jacket on, the dress I mentioned above, an as-new pair of jeans and a really nice high necked hoodie. All of the clothes were in almost new condition and really good quality. This should do me for the next year and for a fraction of the price of buying new and so much better for the environment.
Shopping sales – I made the most of some sales for a few items I had been needing – singlet tops and socks, a new pair of flat shoes for work and my dance teaching tshirts which saved me some money.
Using the Library – S. and T. make regular and enthusiastic use of the library, but I’m often at work when they go, so I’ve been making the most of opportunities to visit the library when I’ve been heading into town for physio appointments in the past month. It’s been great for finding some wonderful introductory resources about Waldorf Steiner Education too as we start to consider what Homeschooling with T. will like (likely to be a combination of lots of things but definitely some Waldorf-Steiner ideas thrown into the mix – I love the way they approach maths).
Choosing not to spend – as the Christmas tress go up and the consumerism attached to this time of year go into overdrive we are trying hard to make conscious choices not to spend on things we don’t need to – or at least to not buy new.
Raising seeds – this has been more of a frugal fail than a success – after buying heirloom seeds I was really keen to get them going, but they just didn’t sprout and I was really too busy to give them the time they needed. I’m planning to have another go over the Summer once we are back from our trip up North.
Buying bulk – S. has been continuing to buy in bulk for lots of our pantry staples and although it is a bit out of the way to go to the bulk store, she is able to combine it with other jobs and make it much more cost effective than buying in packets.
What simple, sustainable or frugal wins (or failures) have you had this month?