I am only writing this post now because I have spoken to so many people and we have all had the same questionable moments of following an active blog and then suddenly, they stop being updated or just disappear completely. You, my readers, have given me so much time by reading and commenting on my articles, that it really seems only fair that I should take the time to share the current situation honestly with you.
I have spent so much time here on the blogosphere and made so many friends, that I have always wanted to continue my blogging here as long as was possible. However, it seems that timing and circumstances have come to a moment where I may have to say farewell to the blog. I knew myself that when I made the decision to end my affiliate marketing with large companies and to stop my promotions from affiliate platforms and instead to focus on encouraging others to shop locally and frequent the small businesses near to them, that any income from the affiliate marketing would stop and I most likely would not be able to pay for the website when the time came to do so. While many would cite this, and my refusal to ask for reader donations (it’s just wrong…) as bad business decisions, I do not. I wanted to encourage others to help small businesses, and I did. I was so horrified by highly successful influencers begging followers for money when the pandemic hit that I wanted to maintain some dignity myself. I was able to do both those and because of that, I do not feel a failure or anything of the kind.
So I just wanted to inform what is happening and that there is a high chance that I will be saying farewell to Lifexperiment Blog. It has been an amazing 5 years here and I thank you all so much for making these years so much fun! I wish you all happiness in your lives and success in your journeys. Thank you so very much for all of the support, friendship, ideas, encouragement and laughter!
I did a little potato planting experiment last year. It was late autumn when I was able to clearly see the results of my little experiment so I decided to wait and write about when planting season began this year. As many of you know, I have access to a small space where I can plant some food plants during the planting season. I had tried a put some potatoes to ground, but it required so much digging and preparing the ground that I had been looking for maybe easier ways to plant some potatoes that were a bit easier on the back.
I found so many information filled youtube videos from enviable homesteaders and I decided that I would try something simpler. So, I planted ‘no dig’ potatoes at the small outdoor planting space and at the same time I tried planting potatoes in a planting bag on the terrace to see which one, or if either, might work for me.
It wasn’t such a big surprise to see that neither really worked as well as the traditional planting method. However, I do want to try the ‘no dig’ planting method again because it seems promising, the only problem being that I am an amateur.
This is how each method worked for me:
‘No dig’ really should be ‘no till’ method because you can’t just put the potatoes on top of grass. The area must have a layer of earth, but no grass so if it is a previously undisturbed area, you will have to do some digging. Fortunately for me, the area I have for planting is in a space which is specifically used for planting so there was already a layer of earth without the grass for my use.
The process is quite simple. Put the potatoes for planting on the top of the layer of earth and cover with hay, compost or more dirt. I covered mine in a loose hay. Leave for growing and uncover in the autumn for your lovely potato harvest!
Results: Many potatoes were found and they were larger than I have ever grown before! (Not to be too excited, all the potatoes I have ever grown are all quite small. Think: new potato size) The bad bit is that the birds were attracted to the hay I used for covering and the little thieves stole much of it. I know now that I should have put a much thicker layer on the top because at least half of my precious potato harvest had green (toxic) spots from being exposed to sunlight and so had to be composted instead. 😦 In total, I retrieved 1 3L bag of edible potato. I would recommend this method to anyone with a small allotment for planting or if one has a planting space of their own at their home, and has access to covering material such as hay, dried grass cuttings or compost.
Planting bags have been quite the trend recently and I can understand why. Planting bags are perfect for use in small outdoor spaces such as the terraces or balcony of a flat as long as there is some exposure to sunlight. They might even be suitable for a sunlight-filled area indoors of a small flat, but I have not tried that because the planting bag I purchased allows for the water to drain through the fabric.
The process is even simpler than the ‘no dig’ method. I used one 15L bag of mixed earth and compost. I put half of the 15L bag into the planting bag, and then placed the sprouting potatoes in a layer with a few cm space between and when those were all played carefully with the sprouts up, I poured the rest of the 15L bag on the top to fit the planting bag. Then I just placed the planting bag in an area with good exposure to sunlight and let it be. Watering is necessary and it can really be more or less depending what climate you are in. I gave quite a bit of water when the earth on the top of the planting bag looked dry.
Results: This method is for certain the easiest one and recommended for the person who doesn’t have the time for entire days spent on planting. Potatoes did grow in these planting bags, though they were quite small. Smaller even than the new potato size I had previously grown with the traditional planting method. The good thing about planting potatoes using the planting bag method is that they can be started earlier in the season. As potatoes even begin to sprout in the refrigerator, I find that it is ok to put them out if the weather is still a bit cold. No problemo! Being able to begin the growing sooner and leave until autumn may result in larger potatoes. If you like the small potatoes, this is really a perfect way to get those!
If you have plans for planting some kind of things this spring, I hope that you have found this post helpful. I have hope that people will try to keep some kind of food plants this year, wherever you are and what kind of home you live in because having the ability to grow ones own food, even if it is 1 small tomato plant or a bag of potatoes, is an important skill to have.
Read more here about why potatoes are a recommended food for always having in the budget-friendly kitchen.
I am making a new phrase… ‘Pandemic Minimalism’. (Or at least I think I am!)
Speaking seriously though, it is time to redefine the context of the term ‘minimalism’. When one considers the term ‘minimalism’ usually the image that comes to mind is that of space living areas with only a few pieces of basic formed furniture, or a specific number of clothing items one is allowed to have (by the rules, you know) and the methodology of giving away all ones’ belongings until there is nothing but what is necessary for daily living + maybe 3 books on the shelf for those sentimental moments.
After watching endless amounts of people compete with each other to see who can live with less, perhaps it’s a good time to move into a more realistic form of the minimalistic lifestyle. In my mind, the just mentioned aesthetic is no longer practical for the lifestyle we are living this year.
How does the pandemic have anything to do with minimalism?
It’s simple: We want clean space for living and our spaces / items need to be appropriate for the life we are living now.
What my meaning is that well, take economics as an example… Globally, we find ourselves in a situation where we can no longer spend irresponsibly. Those lunch breaks from the office or time spent waiting for the train while walking through the shops is no longer an option, which has probably made a noticeable difference in spending habits because the urge to purchase the item when it is in one’s grasp is much greater than when it is not. Due to this separation and the need to be more careful with our monies, we have an opportunity to make more thoughtful purchases and to be happier with the purchases we do make.
What makes ‘pandemic minimalism’ different from ‘minimalism’?
Answer: Maximalism. It’s weird, no? But still, it is logical. Lush fabrics, beautiful and comfortable clothing /items and luxurious living spaces can be (& really should be if you are living in anything other than your own large estate) minimal.
As we are spending so much time in our spaces, it seems just logical to me that we would want them to be comfortable, welcoming and perhaps even luxurious. And as guests in the home are a luxury of the past, why not take the opportunity to make your space all about you?
In regards to clothing, at the current time, purchasing new party clothes is not so necessary nor is it needed to have a new different suit for the workplace every day of the week. By eliminating these purchases and focusing more on what feels good and is appropriate for life now, such as jeans and a nice sweater or a work blouse and trousers for online meetings, we are able to easily reduce our additional spending and the percentage of wardrobe space of these items.
Did you just invent this name?
Yes. Yes I did. However, it is a real concept. Also, I should really stop writing to myself in multiple person format.
How does one do pandemic minimalism?
Remember this statement: Use what you’ve got, replace what you need. This applies to all things from eyeshadow to furniture. Clothes wear out, items are used away and furniture reaches a point of no longer functioning for the need or aesthetic. While using your items, save some money towards your next purchase. A small jar for coins or cash is always a good way to save for a much appreciated new addition to the home. During that time, research, research, research! Look for the items you like the appearance of. Discover the fabrics and patterns that make you smile. Bookmark the designers websites or small shops which carry those high quality crafted items so that you can revisit it when you are ready. And, most probably, by the time you have saved the money to purchase the item, the item(s) you are replacing will be ready for retiring.
Purchasing high quality and well crafted items may have a heavier price, but the quality will last so much longer and look beautiful while doing so. And remember, that as you are purchasing less, one luxury purchase will be preferred to 100 small unnecessary purchases, and this is how minimalism is achieved.
Break the perceived rules of ‘minimalism’ and make your items work for you.
Does the idea of Pandemic Minimalism appeal to you?
When a household is working to get their finances in order, ‘luxury’ purchases are always the first to go. But what about those of us who have long ago removed the ‘luxury’ from our budgets and are still left searching for creative ways to curb our spending? Well, we begin to seriously reconsider our purchasing priorities.
I have decided to write this post because I see quite clearly that so many people in the world (myself included) are feeling the economical effects of the previous 13 months of the pandemic and the associated restrictions. In times like these, people must reevaluate their spending and consumption patterns. This doesn’t mean that one has to change lifestyle completely. But it is worth reconsidering those convenience meals for hardier and healthier home cooked meals which may just be a bit less expensive too.
Enter the humble potato.
The potato has a long history of thousands of years and is now one of the top 3 staple foods.
Ironically, with all this potato-y goodness, this food is highly ignored as the filling food that can be the base of a variety of simple, few ingredient dishes, that it really is. In my mind, potatoes are that kind of base food that we tend to ignore because we are so accustomed to seeing it and they can feel a bit boring when compared to shelves of convenience foods in the shop.
Below listed are just a few of the many dishes that can be made with potato:
Potato Bakes (There are many varieties)
Roasted Potatoes with Spice
Frittered Potatoes (or Homemade Hashbrowns)
The list is never ending, but the above recipes only call for a few ingredients. Speaking the truth, if you only have potatoes, butter or oil, salt, some herbs and maybe some cheese in your kitchen, it is possible to make at least half of the dishes on this list. This is why I like to have potatoes available in my home because it is really easy to make something, even when that feeling is that there isn’t so much food variety available in the cupboards, there is always what is needed to cook potatoes. Also, potato can be eaten raw if you are busy. I enjoy snacking on raw sliced potato when I am busy, although I admit that my husband is quite horrified by it.
Potato is also a filling and healthy food! I always eat less when I have potatoes. It is really filling for the appetite.
I would recommend, especially if you are currently living on a very small budget, to substitute some of your normal meals or ready foods which may cost more money, with potato dishes. The savings are such that it will be immediately noticeable on the food shopping bill.
Brought in Dead by Jack Higgins is my Recycled book reading challenge book, even though I quite much discontinued the RBRC, apparently I am still reading the books. This is the 2nd book of the Nick Miller series.
Set in London in the 60’s, this suspenseful book provides a real look into police procedure of the era. The detective (Nick Miller) comes across a young suicide victim, who is not a suicide at all but is actually a murder victim. And the story continues in the search of Justice. It is difficult to discuss this book in depth without giving away the entire story. I very much dislike it when someone tells me all the suspenseful bits and then there is really not so much left for me to discover myself by reading. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it as a good read for you also. I would say that it is a medium level suspense read. Not so difficult as to easily fall of the wagon and get lost in the characters plots, but complicated enough to keep the readers interest.
As with any series, it is always best to start reading from the beginning and forward in the correct order. This is one of the points that frustrates me with this challenge. If I find a book in english that I can read for this challenge, I only purchase the one – as most times it is all you will find in a used items shop – and I never purchase books that say on the cover that they are part of a series. Then I find myself reading book 5 out of 12 and I never really know the backstory or the in depth characterisation. So I am always missing that important information.
I have found myself getting lost in the labyrinth of WordPress settings at times and I made an interesting discovery days ago. Where there was a page of comments waiting approval and spam comments, which has always been those bot comments filtered out, I discovered a hidden treasure pile of comments. Actual comments, from actual people that I have been interacting with for a long time in some circumstances. Some of these from many months ago and these comments never showed themselves for approval. So, I have been replying to ages old comments recently. If it was a comment of yours, I am very sorry for the delay!
I just hope that no-one feels that I have just been ignoring people. Sori sori!
If you are someone who can tell me why comments from people who had been approved for instantaneous posting of comments previously, are suddenly in my spam comments folder, it would be good to know so please tell us!
I think many of you will agree with me that these last months, almost a year, being so much time indoors and watching the walls has been…well, there’s many ways to describe it. One thing is for certain though, and that is the thing that when one watches the walls for a long enough time, the walls get boring.
So of course, when I was given the opportunity to select a canvas from Photowall and review it, I was happy-happy. 🙂 You see, I have spent an incredible amount of time recently searching online for nice design ideas, inspo and the like. I know myself that Photowall has some truly beautiful designs and I cannot stop looking at my canvas now.
I have been wanting a large detailed world map, as I travel often and it fits with my lifestyle. But, I’m not so in love with those classroom maps which can be purchased in the book shops. I wanted something….special. Now I have it! As you can clearly see, I prefer vintage, earthy items in my living space as it works with my love of natural building materials such as wood and stone. Also, this wall is situated in an ideal location across from windows so the natural light really brings out the vividness of the colours in the canvas.
The canvas was customisable so I got a large sized about 150 x 110 cm with the request that the canvas and image wrap around the inner framing. The canvas comes rolled and nicely packaged inside brown paper so that it prevents it from being damaged and the inner frame is packed with it and needs to be assembled.
I was a bit nervous about putting it together because it is not something I am skilful with. However, even my brain was able to process the simple and very clear instructions and so I was able to annoy my husband greatly while telling him what he should be doing. (Hah!) Speaking seriously though, it is surprisingly easy.
The frame has an adhesive and the canvas has cut edges for marking, so we just laid the frame along the edges and peeled away the adhesive tape, smoothed along the edges, then rolled the wooden frame inwards and repeated on all sides. Then its really just reinforcing the edges and tightening the screws. The piece for supporting the canvas on the wall is thick enough that it doesn’t give that feeling that it will fall away. I told you that it was easy! 😉
This map is actually ideal. It’s a vintage map with all of the vintage imagery and detailed artwork on it, but the actual country lines and area names are those that we use today.
It’s quite easy to see why I am so fascinated by this canvas. Overtime I look at it, I have nice memories from past travels. It is a good reminder of happy moments. Something that is much needed during these isolating times.
Photowall has a variety of beautiful designs ranging from vintage, artistic, fantasy gardens, sports, cities and so many more.
The variety is great, as not only are their own print designs are available as canvases, feature walls and prints, but it is also possible for having a canvas of an image of your own that you love.
If you are bored of watching your walls and are ready for an addition to adore, I recommend taking the time to scroll through some of the offerings at Photowall. You won’t regret it! The cool people at Photowall offered a 25% discount code for my readers: “lifexperimentblog25” This code will give a 25% discount on any product from the Photowall website and it is valid for one month. Ie; through the end of February.
After 12 months of closures throughout the world, an unprecedented number of businesses are closing their doors for the final time. Large corporations are suffering, but small businesses seem to be taking the damage most severely. People need to do something to help support small businesses. Now.
I have always had a focus on small businesses here, but in the interest of being able to pay for this beautiful website, I have also represented large corporations – because that is where most sales go. However, now it is showing that while small businesses are closing permanently at a high rate, large corporations such as amazon, have profited many times over during this year. This heavy shift in profits to singular entities made me reach a point where I really needed to consider my priorities.
There are times in everyone’s life when we must make decisions between what is comfortable and what is needed. This is one of those moments for me. I have spent much time considering the current situation and I have decided that I will no longer represent the companies which are making such high profits while small businesses suffer. I will promote small businesses only, instead. This was not an easy decision, because I do understand that it will not be profitable and I most likely will not have the funds to renew this website when the time comes. However, I feel strongly about this as my conscious will not allow me to do otherwise.
In representing small businesses, I also ask that you, my dear readers, might take a pause and consider your own purchases for a moment. I feel strongly that if all of us shifted just 1 purchase away from our convince file and made rather the same purchase but from the small business, that would in itself make such a big change in the current situation. We have become so comfortable in our convenience that we seem to forget the significance of our small shops. It is understandable that certain services are most necessary while we are in the middle of a pandemic, as a whole, we still need a shift in our thinking.
I worry a bit to say this (because I already receive some *interesting* emails at times) but… If you are someone you know owns a small business, you can contact me and we can discuss if there are possibilities for promotion and what may work best.
Please note the following before contacting:
Most of my readers are in EU, USA & UK.
Businesses must be verifiable with registration & info accessible via online search. I have a level of liability here and I take that seriously.
No businesses with political or religious affiliations. This is neutral territory.
I have given much thought to the human condition, as of months recent and considering the current circumstances and restrictions, I thought today would be the day to write about it.
Love, in all its chemical laden abundance, seems to be the most significant bonding emotion in the world today. Be it love for family, love for friends or compassion for others, love is a very important binding factor which connects us all in our humanness. It is a connection which everyone of us (even the green grinches) strive to achieve with at least one other.
In my mind, we all contain that part of us from youth in which rejection from others (be it real or perceived) hurts so deeply. Although so many are isolated from those they love, we should all consider ourselves fortunate to have a strong connection with others in our lives. And even though the shiny packages will be so much less this year, it is more important to reinforce that the human connection is there, than it is to make purchases.
So many have suffered heart ache and loss this year. Loss of those loved, loss of businesses, loss of homes, loss of workplace, loss of human connection and even….loss of motivation. The luxury of being selfish, staying angry or being complacent exists no longer. People need to know that others care. If you aren’t already, please, make a call, send an email, post a card, send a text or take the time to help another – even in a small way – this holiday season and beyond.
This part of the human condition, love and compassion for others, is something which has carried humankind through crises throughout history. In my mind, forming a community, helping others, caring and contributing – even through a kind word or friendly gesture – is something that each one of us can do to help brush away the pervasive sense of loss and reinvigorate those around us.
Happy Holidays to my friends here in the blogosphere. I appreciate all that you do and for sharing your valued time to read, comment, share friendly ideas and dialogue with me on this platform which have brightened many cloudy days and I’m hoping to share many bright days and laughter with you on this platform in the coming year, 2021.
This is truly embarrassing and I do apologise. I needed to downgrade my website because…economy. Support told me that I may lose some content and I was prepared for that possibility. It seems that the resetting of my website resulted in the system going peanuts and apparently sending out more than 30 notifications for both random published posts as well as some drafts that had been just sitting unfinished in a folder for a very long time.
So please, if you see many emails from me in your inbox, this is what it is. Just delete it and continue on with your day.
I wanted only to ask how you are doing? With less than 2 months still of 2020 – the oddest year I have ever experienced – I feel that many of us find ourselves in similar circumstances of wait and worry.
I have found that in my own life, spending too much time online leads me to obsessively looking the news and other media outlets, which helps me – not at all. I instead try to set my focus on other things…happier and less stressful things.
Also, being unable to just go to places and parties…visiting friends or family frequently and without restriction has resulted in weight gain. I am still able to go places and visit with people, but I had not realised the frequency that I was on the move before the restrictions until I found myself feeling quite lazy with the altered pace of social life during restrictions. I have gained more than 10 kgs (about 20 lbs?) this year, and although it disturbs me that even my too large comfortable clothes are now a very tight fit, I am surprising myself with the smallest bit of acceptance. I do truthfully hope that I will fit comfortably into my clothes again soon.
I am very fortunate in that I am able to spend time in the outdoors and to see others when it is suitable circumstance. I have thought about you, my readers and friends in the blogosphere, quite often. I do hope that you and those close to you are doing well.
I am usually quite excited about Halloween. As many of you already know, I have been trying to make Halloween into a big thing here with dreams of hosting large Halloween parties filled with costumed people and fun decorations. Not this year, it seems. To be truthful, it feels a bit disappointing – not being able to have excitement about a holiday which I am usually excited about – because… Covid-19 restrictions. I do sometimes wonder if I will still have friends when the world is able to safely see each others again. Do you ask yourself the same?
We did have a nice holiday. We decorated a bit (just for ourselves) and ate candies and pizza. Then in the evenings, people visit the cemeteries and light candles or leave thoughtful fresh wreaths for their loved ones sleeping there. It is really quite beautiful and peaceful. In the nighttime, we watched many Halloween movies and ate more candies until we could not eat candies any more.
I would enjoy hearing from you, how you spent your holiday. It is a comfort to be able to communicate with my friends here on the blogosphere and chat about all of these things!
Also, I let it slip by this year without making a big noise, but… Lifexperiment blog just celebrated it’s 5th blogaversary! I cannot believe it.
In June, I began an experiment where I had the goal of eating only foods purchased from area farms or that which I could grow myself in our small space. In these months, I have learned some valuable lessons.
#1 – Beginning this challenge in June was a horrible idea. Had I asked real people instead of looking online, I would have realised that nothing is ready in June. Even the grow houses looked at me like I was stupid when I asked about it. Seems that even the sun is shining brightly, really the only thing growing in our climate in the month of June is butter flowers and rhubarb…
#2 – You cannot eat rhubarb every day. Rhubarb contains a certain chemical which can be bad for the kidneys. As rhubarb can be very tart, it is always best eaten with some kind of cream or custard (which can also work to balance out this bad chemical).
#3 – While it’s a freeing feeling to forage butter flowers for food, they can also be quite bitter. Do not take the largest leaves. Those are the worst tasting and it doesn’t matter how much spice you put on it, it will not improve the taste. I learned that those small leaves, the beginning ones in the spring are the best tasting. Also, the flowers can be fried. Those first flowers in the spring are the best ones though.
#4 – If I had to trust my own grown food to feed myself, I would starve. I was excited to put lots of seeds to pots and watch them grow. They grew. And grew. And grew more. But nothing came beyond being a flower. We got about 2 small cucumber and a few mint-sized tomato. The squashes and aubergine made many flowers only. Kale is growing, for the first time. I have been able to take a few leafs for mixing with salads. It makes me happy 🙂 Chilis are the one plant that grow nicely. I have heard that the weather has been unpredictable all over the world, so I am trying to not dislike myself too much about it.
#5 – Farmers need sales this year. Something I had not considered, is the affect that the Covid-19 pandemic would have on small farms. I quickly learnt that many small farms have contracts with restaurants or their distribution. I always had in my mind that it would only be the large corporate agriculture which would carry these types of contracts, but I was mistaken. A side issue of the pandemic restrictions and closings of restaurants worldwide is that these farms do not have the sales they had planned for when planting. What this means is that farmers find themselves with an excess amount of food items ready for harvesting with nowhere to go and no pay for them + limited access to workers to help in harvesting. In this circumstance, many farmers are happy to sell their harvested items to customers visiting the farm.
#6 – In the middle of a global health crises, is the worst time to restrict one’s food sourcing ability. I re-launched the experiment this year because I wanted to stay out of the food shops as much as was possible. I did and purchasing larger amounts from farms in surrounding areas helped me to eat healthier and to stay away from the food shops for longer. However…. when I did visit the food shops I did not restrict myself. I tried, the first few times. But then I realised how stupid it was to not take home affordable food items like pastas, rice and porridge. Okei…. and maybe a few snickers bars for mental happiness 😉 (I have a snickers addiction. If anyone works with the Snickers business, please remember my appetite for the treats) So I purchased those.
#7 – Learn foraging from a person who has spent their life foraging foods. Going into the forest for searching berries, mushrooms and other wild edibles is really nice in theory until you realise that you aren’t certain if that plant is poisonous or no and then the whole thing goes to compost. Berries look very similar and if one is not well educated in natures plants, the result of eating these toxic beasts can really give you a night to remember. Best to learn from someone who knows it, and to doubt yourself until you are certain.
#8 – People will remember you. Visit a farm many times for purchasing food items and explain that you are trying to eat more sustainably – and people will remember it. Some looked at me as a crazy person But others began to try to help me. Example; one farm began to offer me possibility to purchase the second or third class vegetables. Those are which cannot be sold in the shops because … its that ugly fruit thing. That nobody wants to just buy ugly looking foods. So, I got them for discount and they taste just as nice. + I got to give myself a sustainable award (in my mind) for reducing food waste and for saving money.
#9 – Fresh food is seasonal. We all know this. But I more like mean very short season because no refrigerated trucks or those things. Want fresh strawberries? Okei, but you have 2 weeks when can take those. All berries seem to be the same. Some foods have longer times of constant harvest, others do not. So have plan with what you want to do with those and purchase them while it is possible.
#10 – Many people are planting this year! This is something I am very happy about, although it did frustrate my own plans. I am happy because I think quite often that if each of us – every person that has the capability to do so – could have at least one food producing plant on their terraces or windows, then it would increase our individual possibility for food sourcing by at least that much, that it could help with the current global food security issues. This is not a ‘let them cake’ moment, so don’t be angry. I do understand that in many places, growing anything is an impossibility. I am more meaning those of us who have the possibility to have some herbs growing or a tomato or child plant, even a salad plant, that overall it would help to lessen our dependence on food shops and online food orders – as well as the money spent on those. If there is any one lessen that I have learned in 2020, it is that disruptions happen and the way we usually do things in our lives may not always be that way.
Have you been planting? Do you have any wisdom for sharing? Please share with us in the comments!
I haven’t been blogging as frequently as I usually do. There is so much happening in the world, that I feel quite the narcissist thinking that anyone would be interested in what I’m reading, or my thoughts on products. Especially since companies seem to be falling into bankruptcy at such an astonishing rate that it is difficult to even keep up with what companies are relevant from day to day. I do hope that the small businesses are able to maintain through these difficult months. Or, as it seems to be – difficult year.
I have been around, I just don’t know what to say, really, without seeming like I’m living in my own little delusional bubble where nothing is happening. Hah. I think maybe I am not alone in this feeling.
I have been seeing news about these mystery seeds. Can anyone tell me, have the agricultural organisations in any of the countries which are receiving these – have they found what these are or any information about those?
I have been continuing with my challenge to myself to try to eat only locally sourced or own grown food. I made a few mistakes, such as beginning in June – when nothing, from anywhere was growing yet – not even in grow houses. So the month of June didn’t happen with the challenge. More on that later.
I am doing this experiment…again. I tried this 2 years ago, and did not last long with it. I have been thinking it often due to the coronavirus restrictions, that we should try to have some food plants here for eating if there is another wave of cases and businesses close again, that we have something here. Then I thought that well, I am thinking foolishly, just do the experiment and look that can I even manage 2 days on the few things I am able to grow.
My goal in this experiment, is to reconnect with the source of my food. 100 years ago, people lived in a way that they knew how to grow and produce, preserve their own foods. There was a basic connection to food, a respect for it and a need to master the process oneself. In our current society, we have everything we could possibly want. We can access summer harvested foods from the other side of the globe, in winter, in the food shops. Not only is this very unnatural, but the fragility of logistics and supply chains in order to make such luxury possible is something that must be considered. As the coronavirus restrictions have exhibited; manufacturing, logistics and supply is not always reliable. This is when I had my ‘eureka!’ moment and that knew if I am ever going to make this local food and growing food work, I needed to do this experiment again. I want to share with you the possibilities for someone who is quite helpless with growing, cooking, baking – basically all things food-related (I’m quite nightmarish) – to learn and see that is it even possible to do. I have 2 goals in this experiment. Goal #1 is for me to learn & to be able in the future to not be so dependent on the shops for my food. Goal #2 is to motivate you to think about these things. For you to hopefully, even with small changes, to also feel a sense of independent ability and a closeness to your food as well.
So here we are, launching this experiment…again. If this is the first you have read about this, I will share the basic things:
If I can grow it, forage it or purchase it from local farms, I can eat it.
If it is produced locally by small producers/individuals, I can eat it.
If it is gifted to me, I can eat it.
Aside from these, I have 2 circumstances which could be variable. #1 – Although I am trying to avoid visiting the food shops, I will have to go. Some of the things I will need to purchase are items for food preservation such as: sugar, jam sugar, oils, vinegars, spices and salt. I will also purchase dog food (of course. For the dog, not I) and I am allowing myself purchases of both fish and cheeses, wheat powder & eggs (for baking) and salad sauce – as my luxury purchases. But that is when I do go to the food shops, which I am trying to avoid. So probably not making those purchases for some time. Circumstance #2 – food & my husband. Doing an experiment like this can be complicated when the person doing it, does not live alone. Last time I did this, meal times were difficult. We adjusted to eating seperate foods, which was not difficult. The problem came when my husband wanted to surprise me with a nice meal and I was unable to accept. It was not a regular happening, but it did happen. As my goal is to make use of what we have, I do not wish to waste a good meal or a thoughtful gift from my husband. So I have decided that this time, if he makes a nice meal for the both of us, I will eat it. Before you get the idea that he will be cooking for me every evening, he will not. I am quite certain that he will make good use of the opportunity to eat all the delicious foods that I don’t like.
I do have some things I am uncertain about. I am hoping that you will share your thoughts about it, so that we can together decide that are these acceptable or no:
! Food items, example; late season grown food items that I purchased from farms outside the city, but still locally and had frozen or preserved in some way. myself for it to last longer. These are the foods I can purchase when they are available, so it does fit the experiment. These were purchased months prior to this experiment though, so I am unsure that is it ‘breaking the rules’ or not if I eat these vegetables?
Ice-cream auto: small local business, but not grown or locally produced food. How does it fit into the experiment, or does it?
I have little doubt that I will lose some weight during this experiment. My weight at the beginning of this experiment, 31 May 2020: 74,4 kg / 164 pounds.
I am nervous and feel ill prepared. Local food experiment a go-go!
This challenge/experiment is something I have created for myself. I tried it 2 years ago as a back-to-basics sustainable challenge. I spent much time thinking about how different our relationship with food is, than it was example, 50 – 100 years ago.
As the economy is suffering greatly, and I try to avoid visiting the shops during Covid-19 as much as I just can, it seems to be that this could be an ideal opportunity to again challenge my relationship with food. I have been thinking quite often about trying my back-to-basics sustainable eating series that I challenged myself to two years ago. I challenged myself to eat only those items which I was able to grow myself, purchase from local farms or buy locally made or produced items only. Aside from that, I did have set limits for myself of what I was ‘permitted’ to purchase at the food shops. As I was also trying to learn how to bake more in so to limit my need for prepackaged, mass produced, chemical laden ready food. I learned how to bake 2 items: Flat bread and current muffins. It got me through, but 2 options is not enough for any extended time.
When I did the challenge last time, I was ill prepared and I was not able to keep with the challenge for long. This time, I am a bit more familiar with some of the challenges I will be facing and I hope that I can use this knowledge to better prepare myself. I understand now that locally made items will cost more, that just because you plant something does not mean it will grow food for you, that most recipes need too many ingredients (where are the simple recipes?!), that actually a lot more plants are needed to feed a person than one would think, and that eating berries instead of cakes makes me cranky.
I am waiting until the 1st June to start this challenge. That allows for a few days time that I can look up and contact some farms in the rural areas outside of the city and ask that are they even selling to people with the current Covid-19 restrictions. If I am unable to purchase grown food items from the farms, this challenge will be impossible. Rhubarb is growing, and I also can find dandelion easily. However, a diet of rhubarb and dandelion sounds quite awful. I will order also few hanging planters of small tomato and strawberry plants. Also, as it takes time for the food to grow, it will take time that I can purchase the items from the farms also even if they are using grow house.
I will be setting limitations on my food shopping, same as the last time. This time though, I really need to think more about it because last time, it was only about the challenge. This time, its about pandemic, bad economy and the challenge. So makes those purchasing decisions a bit more important this time. I will announce the food shop limitations on the first day of the challenge. I will be purchasing fish though. As much fish as I just can. Cheese & coffee also, for certain.
There are two exceptions I am making for myself. #1 – Last time, I ate meals separately and it seemed a waste. My husband is liking the thought of eating locally, but I am not asking him to do this strict challenge with me. I have decided, due to trying not to spend money, if my husband makes a meal enough for both of us, I will eat what he makes. This was not something I allowed for myself last time and it seemed like unnecessary money was being spent to eat those meals separately on the occasions there was enough extra food for me. #2 Food gifts are allowed. If I find myself opening a package of food items or husband buys me an ice cream on a day out (Hah! He will remind me of this post instead), I am probably going to eat it. And enjoy it 🙂
I am not confident in my ability to do this. This will be incredibly difficult, more so than last time, and I can’t cheat with food shopping because well, what’s the purpose of doing this if I don’t do it? (Besides, I have some friends who found their way to this blog & I know that I will hear about it with quite loud voice.) I will, of course, be blogging about it. I will also share any new recipes (the simple ones that don’t ask for 30 ingredients), info about what kinds of food items I’m eating (no worries, I will not be sharing a list of meals), I will also share if it has helped me in losing the extra weight and probably a bit (more) of complaining also.
Thank you for reading and I hope that you will gain some interest about this journey.
Good wishes for a lovely week’s end! I promised I would relaunch the RBRC and share my 1st book post on the 15th. As today is 15th day, I am here, as promised.
This month, my challenge book was ‘Nights of rain and stars’ by Maeve Binchy. As you can see by the image, this book has had some use before I found it for sale on the old books shelf.
This was a good book. The author clearly put much effort into characterisation. The characters, their personalities, trivialities were carefully considered. As this book is based on the characters interactions with each other, starting in a time of crisis, the personality clashes and reactions seemed very realistic. This personification is what kept me reading.
With seventeen chapters, this book was readable within the month. Somedays I was able to read a few chapters, other days I read none. In my mind, this book would be a good read while on holiday. Maybe not if one is planning to embark on a tour by boat, though. It is not something I would save to read more than once, but the one time, it is good. This is a book for reading and sharing.
Would you like to join the Recycled Book Reading Challenge, or RBRC? The guidelines are simple, you can find those here!
I have been reading much about the sudden improvements in the environment, due to the coronavirus restrictions. The air is cleaner than anyone could have imagined would be possible in the time of a 4 months, marine life is returning to places long-thought to be absent from, and many good happenings are taking place. The world will most certainly not return to all of the daily habits we had pre-covid19. Keeping physical distance will certainly become more important than before.
There is one aspect (from many) to our lives though, which is currently facing the opportunity to change entirely, and that is the tourism sector. Tourism has stopped. Completely and simultaneously. This creates a never before seen opportunity for the global travel & tourism businesses to adapt better policies and create a system wide improvement. This is what I want to discuss with you today. Do you think that the industry has an opportunity for change, or no? What changes would you like to see implemented if it were possible?
Please leave your thoughts in the comments and let’s discuss this!
Influencers. Instagram, blogs, tv personalities… We see them everywhere!
What makes an ‘influencer’? How do we know those? Well, we know them by the amazing numbers of follows, array of product reviews and promotions, and generally the amazing content that is shared.
Influencers come in a variety. For example, some might consider me as an ‘influencer’ because of this blog and the fact that I do sometimes share promotions or reviews. However, I do not consider myself as such because speaking the truth, I am not making not one cent of profit from this blog. And the fact that I more feel like I am having a nice chat with friends here, as opposed to writing at you and expecting you to adore me for everything I say. *Hah! It would be so odd if that happened!
The influencers I am referring to particularly today though are those highly popular influencers who are publishing that kind of content that makes us all envious and long for a lifestyle that’s similar. You know the ones – the ones making many thousands in a month and traveling, shopping, eating and visiting the spa all for free + big pay! The person who is able to make this kind of luxury living a profitable job, is rare. And these are the influencers to which I am talking about today.
I have been disgusted to read that influencers have taken to asking their readers for gifts and donations. There is no nice way to say it. This is not something that should be happening! Especially when these influencers have been making far more money than the average person who has helped to make them famous, the thought that they would actually expect more from people than they have already given, is difficult to understand. Even more difficult to understand is how their followers aren’t making A LOT of noise about it.
Whether one is a highly popular influencer or just starting out, asking others for financial help when the world has found itself in an anxiety-inducing downward spiral of economic depression, is not acceptable! I truly think, that especially in times like these, asking for money is one of the most selfish things a person could do. We understand, we all need to pay the bills. But if you weren’t able to save enough money from your 10 000- 50 000 monthly pay to keep you continuing for many months in a situation when money is not coming in, then that really isn’t anyone’s responsibility but your own.
Maybe I can’t be objective about it because I never had a pay coming from the site, so I don’t expect anything different now. But in my mind, I would rather have no money but a genuine relationship with my readers, as opposed to begging people who are quite many of them, having very bad money situations of their own.
There is benefit in appreciating what one already has.
I wanted to re-launch (or, actually re-re-launch) the Recycled Book Reading Challenge! This was quite a popular challenge for the 2 x 12 months I ran it. I was reminded by a friend in the blogosphere that given the current conditions in the world, it could be a good time to run this challenge again.
The rules are simple:
Blow the dust away from a book you’ve had sitting on the shelf for some time, waiting for that ‘perfect moment’ to read it.
Share about it! On the 15th of every month I will write a post about my chosen book.
If you have a blog or webpage, post about the book and leave the link in the comment section of the post (so I can link to you in a follow-up post).
If you do not have a webpage for sharing, leave a comment in the comment section about your book and if you liked it – so that others can use your review to make future reading decisions!
It really is quite simple, is free, and will take away some of the guilt for not reading those long maintained books in your home.
While spending some time online today and reading quite many unusual comments, I found this in a random comment section. Apparently, it has been found in a variety of places online so I do not know who the original author of this is. But I will share it here anonymously and hope that you enjoy it as much as I do!
‘This is my life right now. Actually I’ve been talking about this with the microwave and toaster while drinking my morning coffee and we all agreed that things are getting bad. I didn’t mention anything to the washing machine as she puts a different spin on everything. Certainly not to the fridge as he is acting cold and distant. In the end, the iron straightened me out as she said everything will be fine, no situation is too pressing. The vacuum was very unsympathetic, however and told me to just suck it up, but the fan was more optimistic and hoped it would soon blow over. The toilet looked a bit flushed when I asked its opinion and didn’t say anything, but the door knob told me to get a grip. The front door said l was unhinged and so the curtains told me to, yes, you guessed it, pull myself together!!!’
Now is the time to drop the weight of all the expectations, the anger and the trivial. To leave it behind and be the person you are. Tomorrow is not a guarantee. For us, or for others. Be your ideal self – Today.
When you finally install the update on your phone, after many months of ignoring it, and see all the messages you’ve missed. Ah, ok. Now I understand why I thought my friends weren’t speaking to me. I’ll make myself look like a crazy person trying to reply to those messages now