Often gazing at our surroundings allows us to truly appreciate the world, one of the amazing gifts of living here in the South of France. The beauty of nature can have a profound effect on our senses. We have magnificent starry nights but during the early spring days and certainly in summer, we do encounter little “pests”, creepy crawlies or flying little wonders. It’s the stingy ones, we’d rather not encounter in our private little haven or on our dogs. Let’s not try to ward them off with chemical products but give some natural DIY products a go.
We live in the countryside, have 9 (of which 8 rescue) dogs, so when the weather is awful we often bring mud from the fields inside, whether we try to avoid it or not. So yes, cleaning happens here a lot, hence loads of cleaning products! We’re not the magazine white impeccable household, we have a home where we live and thrive. I do want to make important non-chemical, preferably zero waste changes, but I need changes that work and are doable!
My immersion into the Zero Waste lifestyle included deciding to make my own body wash based on bar of soaps, I read everywhere that Castile soap was the best. So I ordered two bars of soap (Brand: Dr Bronner) online only to find out that I should have taken a closer look at its ingredients (it contained palm oil which I do NOT want to use in any of my household products as it causes orangutans to go extinct), so I started to look up info about soaps. Moreover, I discovered a local new shop selling homemade soaps where I would love to go and buy my soap instead of ordering it online. OMG what did I learn about soaps!
The picture of an ice bear on the last small piece of floating ice in the ocean, might be something we can block out and pretend it isn’t real, but we all know that our earth is in trouble and that this is our last warning to turn the tide. But how come that people just stubbornly refuse to do so, although they have children, grandchildren and wish them all the best…. A world to live in, clean air and water seems to be the most important gift one can give to one’s children so I’m trying to make every effort to make a difference on my way to going zero waste!
You can’t go out into the forest or the fields and find endives, because they aren’t around in nature but farmed in complete darkness! “Belgian Endives” in the US called “chicons”, in French and Europe, “witloof”, in Belgium (also called white gold), “chicory” in English, is a vegetable low in calories (17kcal per 100g), try to find less calories in other veg! The red-leaved, white veined, varieties are frequently called “radicchio”.
Living in a rural community we chose to enjoy the benefits of supporting local businesses, locally grown food. Not only does it stimulate the local farmer economy, but small-scale, organic farmers are fueling the sustainability of the land. It saves jobs and it is good for the environment (less pollution). It is “the” time, right now, to reduce our carbon footprint. And just financially speaking: what grows, is the most abundant and the least expensive.
Nothing as good as the new year to look back at the old one and check your expenses, I thought. I couldn’t have been more in shock. Just counting our steady monthly and yearly steady costs (and that is without any fancy spending) turned out to be a massive sum due each month. We all know life has become quite expensive, but lately money seemed to go even more down the drain. Time for some penny pinching and a new written budget, the right attitude is half the battle!
Christmas traditions and Christmas customs, two millennia of worldwide religious and secular celebration, yuletide is celebrated around the world in lots of different countries. Merry moments are just around the corner! It is indeed the most wonderful time of the year.
Last Saturday was our big day: we could fetch my early birthday present from my kids: our Orpington chicken! We got 7 large, fluffy hens and a magnificent rooster we called Lancelot, they are top-notch reliable chicken. Of course we want to keep them for eggs, but they are known as wonderful pets too (and many see them as excellent meat providers or fair table fowl). Yep, fallen in love!
We’re still chopping up wood for our wood stove. In France they say “having a wood stove warms you up three times”: chopping the trees, sawing the trunks/splitting them and the heat of the fire of your wood stove, real thermal comfort.