Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Is there an ethical option?

As I progress in my journey to a slower more simpler way of living, I've become more aware of the following important aspects of my everyday life.

The source of the food that we eat
- My vegetable garden is just in the beginning stages therefore we buy the bulk of our fruit and vegetables from local and organic producers. Where possible I buy organic/local dairy products and dry goods, same for eggs. I make all our bread and cakes etc, cook all meals from scratch including, jams, preserves, cordials, yogurt, soft cheese, the list goes on and on. I've also become a bit pedantic about buying fair trade chocolate, tea and cocoa, still working on Tony and his coffee.

Orange marmalade

My partner Tony is a meat eater. Fortunately TV programs by Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall, Jamie Oliver and a report by Animals Australia shown on 60 Minutes, has changed the way Tony looks at meat. For the most part he now only eats free range eggs, chicken, pork and lamb. I guess I can live with that.

The first real harvest from my garden

The garments I wear - Apart from 4 pairs of undies, some socks and one handmade t-shirt, I've not bought any new items of clothing or shoes for over 12 months. My aim is to make my own clothes or re-purpose current clothes, purchase items from thrift shops or when necessary to only purchase ethical garments and shoes.

Cotton bolero knitted this year

The bag I made from an old pair of jeans

The food my pets eat - This is an issue I have struggled with for years, both morally and financially. As a vegetarian I do not believe in imposing my lifestyle choices on my pets i.e. feeding them a vegetarian diet. The option of feeding them a raw diet based on free range meat and bones was just too expensive. Thankfully in recent years the price and availability of free range meat has changed and it's now a viable choice. I was also very fortunate to meet Jenny, owner of The Complete Pet Company. Jen is a remarkable person who created a raw food for dogs, that is free from factory farmed animals.

Pure bliss for a dog

Reduce everyday purchases - On this topic alone I feel I've achieved so much, I've reduced the amount of stuff that I/we buy. I try to make all our personal and household cleaning products. Alas I do fall off the wagon occasionally when it comes to "must have items" in the thrift/opp shops or the odd gardening/green living magazine. I've banned myself from fabric and craft shops, god knows I don't need anymore.

Recycling, energy consumption and water usage - We are working on this area, looking at solar hot water and energy, water tanks (I know we're a bit slow on this and have missed out on most of the government handouts). As for recycling, I really try hard in this area, however there is still work to be done. Transportation is another issue that I need to look at and change the way I get around. Baby steps.

Gosh this has turned into a bit of an essay...sorry bout that, just me rambling really.

Correction - The Complete Pet Company was created by Jenny and two other equally dedicated women. Jenny is now the owner.

Hope you have a lovely day

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A quick spin around my garden

My little container garden is growing in leaps and bounds. Its mostly herbs, tomatoes, a variety of lettuce and asian greens. I have a passion fruit vine and a black mulberry tree in amongst the pots waiting to be planted out.

I'm particularly excited about the strawberries that have started to appear. At the moment I have five strawberry plants in hanging baskets and pots. I hope to plant some more soon.

My ever faithful gardening companion Tana, just checking to see if there is anything to eat.

If only my garden beds were ready, then I could really get started.

Hope you have a lovely day
Cheers Lisa

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Go away rain

Crazy I know, why would I want the rain to go away. We are in the process of having new guttering installed and the job cannot be finished while it's raining. Some thing about sealant not being able to dry or cure in the rain. Goodness knows when it will be completed as it looks like the rain will be here till Thursday. Maybe we should have had our water tank installed first!

After I got home from work yesterday, we spent the afternoon removing ancient worn out fly screens and washing the windows. We have a high set house, so up the scaffolding we went. It's a bit scary trying to climb up a very large ladder, hauling a bucket of soapy water and a squeegee.

Today Tony finished removing the screens, alas I didn't get to clean the rest of the windows, maybe tomorrow.

Tony and Tana preparing for some fly screen removal

Hope you had a lovely weekend

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Happy Sunday

We had a beautiful spring day in sunny Brisbane.

Did the usual Sunday morning market for fruit and vegetables. Then we decided to take a trip to the local tip shop for a nosy. Well things have certainly changed there I must say, not the good old tip shop that it use to be. It's become very expensive and they had hardly any stock. Oh well, better to keep the money in my pocket anyway.

After lunch I started on a backyard tidy up whilst Tony mowed the grass. Spring has sprung in our backyard, my mandarin tree is in full bloom again after its last crop of fruit.

This lovely shrub is bursting with flowers

The construction of my vegetable garden is moving very verrry slowly. Not to worry I'm making do with container gardening. I think I'll pot up some baskets and broccoli boxes with herbs and salad vegetables and then start some seeds off in the shade house. Hopefully Tony will feel bad and get his ass into gear!

A group of ladies on the Down to Earth forum are helping and inspiring each other with menu planning and I've decided to join in. This is an area that I really need to focus on. Usually I decide what to cook just before dinner or on the way home from work, not very organised I know.

Fingers crossed I'll stick to the plan, its got to be better than my current system!

Hope you have a lovely week

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Little weed

'Weed' - wild herb growing where it is not wanted

Some pretty weeds from my garden

Actually I've just been playing around with the macro setting on my camera.

Hope you have a lovey day
Cheers Lisa

Sunday, September 5, 2010

I love to sew

Back again after the technology glitch earlier in the week. Thank goodness for computer geek friends like Matt. I'm not sure what we'll do when he moves back to Bundaberg.

I recently took part in a pin cushion swap on the Down to Earth Forum. Its always fun and a bit exciting participating in these swaps, the generosity of someone that you only know in the cyber world always touches me.

The best part of taking part in this swap is that my enthusiasm for sewing is finally returning, hurray at last!! Also the fact that I have hardly any summer clothes is enough motivation to get me sewing again, more about that topic later.

Photographic evidence for you non believers that I have been sewing :)

The pin cushion I made for my swap partner Juds

Another pin cushion I made, they're a bit addictive

The lovely pin cushions and other goodies I received from my swap partner Mandy, who lives in the Outer Hebrides.

Thank you Mandy you are very generous. I can see the lovely bird going on a new bag I have planned.

Hope you're having a lovely weekend
Cheers for now