Sunday, November 3, 2013

Slow Living Essentials - October

Linking up with Christine for Slow Living Essentils - October 2013

"The north wind blows and you shall have snow", but thankfully the south wind came, and melted it all again!
The chicken ladies were none to amused but the little people got stuck right in.

Despite the snow we are still enjoying the fruits of our labors.  The potatoes and squash are up and the carrots, leeks, kale and beets are as ever unfazed by the cold white stuff.  The cabbages are safe and warm inside a wee deer!  We couldn't believe the hide of him, one day he just swaggered up to the garden, in plain daylight, looked us over and tucked in!!
Didn't get the last of the corn though, that was for Titi

I'm so enjoying having a freezer at last.  Apart from jams and chutneys I've never been one for canning.  I don't have a pressure canner and my last attempt at processing dilly beans in the pressure cooker involved me dropping two big jars.
I have been making lots of fruit sauces and freezing batches of them.  Also made a mammoth pan of Bortch and have frozen half of it.  I love this dish but it takes so long to make.

Also I've been slow roasting tomatoes with garlic and herbs and freezing them as well.  I've already defrosted one bag to see how they taste reheated - they were thick, sticky and sweet, Yum!
The chaps are still chopping and stacking wood, something which Rémi enjoys immensely.

With a lot of help from Rémi we turned this old bit of furniture (the manufactures stamp in the draw says 1951) into my new sewing table.  Richard picked it up years ago when a local hotel had a clear out and it's been sitting amongst 'junk' at his parents house ever since.  I figure I will get more sewing done if I can leave my machine out.  Up until now I have been using the kitchen table and then packing my machine away in it's box after use.

Pretty much done on the garden front. We are planning on decorating some terracotta pots and planting Jacinthe bulbs in them to give as christmas presents.
Going to plant some crocus and tulips in window boxes to brighten up the spring (what little of it we get)

Lots going on here.  We celebrated Tino's 5th birthday with a Sponge Bob cake and home made candles...

We've also been doing lots of autumn activities - making leaf prints in autumn colored play dough, leaf  door/window art and leaf dipping in beeswax.

As ever I am still bordering on computer illiterate.  For some reason my yahoo mail account bugged and shut down our computer every time I tried to open it.  My paypal account and my telephone then decided they didn't like their respective passwords and thus slammed their 'virtual' doors in my face.   After three weeks of being AWOL my yahoo account is back, no explanations to it's absence, and is up and running quicker than ever.  I called paypal in a panic thinking someone had pirated my life and was holidaying in the Bahamas at my expense but everything was in order!   I really don't like being dependent on things that I don't understand.

This month I joined my s.i.l and 100 or so other volunteers in helping out at the Trail des Aiguilles Rouge  For our part we were up at 4am and providing pre-race hot drinks and snacks to the runners.


We started the month with snow but finished it in the sun of San Lorenzo al Mare on the Italian riviera.  The boys enjoyed being at the beach again and we spent a fantastic - worth every penny of the entrance fee - day at the Oceanographic Museum  in Monte Carlo, Monaco (but that's the subject of a whole other post)!
This was also second time the boys celebrated Halloween.  It's not really done here in France but last year we were in the UK so they went trick or treating.
The little village of San Lorenzo had decorated it's narrow arched-covered-cobble stone streets with all manner of ghostly things and all the cast of Scooby Doo!!
The kids were then treated to a Halloween buffet of fruit, pizza, spinach pie, cookies and blood (which I suspect was red Fanta!).

So how was your October?  Are you slipping on layers of fleece or slathering on the sun cream?


  1. Wow, looks busy! Are those candles made from dipping rather than pouring? I've not seen anyone else trying that, might have to have a go...

  2. Oh my word, your home and its views are SPECTACULAR. Just breathtaking. Your sewing table looks gorgeous. Your boys are beautiful. And, um, your home is incredible! (Am I repeating myself?)

  3. Wonderful sewing table, lucky you. The very best kind - a free find. I know exactly what you mean about technology, it really frustrates me as well. I am always struggling to do things with the computer. I really enjoyed your slow living essentials and reading some more of your blog.

  4. awesome post emma, i really enjoyed every photo, and your commentary. i agree with w-s wanderings, i always love seeing your views and where you live. yay for your sewing table, it really will make a big difference. happy birthday to your boy and can't wait to hear about the museum in monaco!

    p.s. i heard it was yahoo's problem! so discouraging when you don't know though.

  5. Oh your house and views are just wonderful, what a beautiful place to live. I love these posts Emma, they are so lovely, to see and hear what you and your family have been up to. Yay for a sewing table wish I had space for one!

  6. That sewing table turned out so nice, and what a beautiful window to put it under.

  7. Wonderful photos and stories, as always! Two things: 1) you don't need a pressure canner to do dilly beans and other pickled items. Just a stockpot that's deep enough to do a normal water bath is fine! With tomatoes, add 1 tbsp lemon juice to each quart and you can water-bath those as well! We've been doing that for years :) 2) Did you know that your horseshoe is upside down? It's considered bad luck to have it hanging down (as the saying goes "your luck will run out")...just a little tidbit I learned :)

  8. Lovely post. Are those beeswax candles? If so they will burn with a gorgeous scent.

  9. I love reading your posts and especially the photos - you are so blessed to live in such beautiful surroundings! The technology gremlins visit my house now and then as well - you have my sympathy! :) And congrats on the sewing table, it makes a difference I think to be able to sit down and just continue without all the set-up and clean-up.

  10. You won't know yourself with a sewing table set up, Emma! It will completely change the way you'll look at sewing!! Thanks so much for sharing your month, it was lovely to 'visit'. :)

  11. Snow already!
    I saw your question about the edge for a ripple elsewhere - wanted to show you what I did, as I didn't want to fill up the valleys to get an even edge! I decided to begin and end the blanket with the same strong colour, and then I just added an even number of rows in the same colour on the straight edges...was happy with that. have a look here..

  12. A beautiful post with so much happening. Lovely photos too!

  13. Snow! All we have here in the Pacific NW (US) is rain...but we're thankful as we had a long, dry summer. Everything is green again and, Lord willing, we'll enjoy some snow soon enough. :) What an awesome October your family enjoyed! Those hand-dipped candles look like a lot of fun...we always buy sheets and roll ours. Blessings, ~Lisa

  14. You live in such a beautiful place! Lovely crafts and I like your sewing table.