Weekend Coffee Share; About Self-Sufficiency And Our Ecological Footprints

The weather is still nice enough to have our weekly coffee date outside. What would you like today? Some hot coffee? Or tea? There is some homemade kombucha as well. I’ve tried the raisin/cardamom, and the vanilla kombucha. I am very happy with how they turned out. I haven’t tried the cinnamon kombucha yet, but it should be ready. Maybe you want to try some? In case you missed the post about how to make your own kombucha, here is the link to the recipe.

How is your week? My week have been a bit different, since I have been at home with a sick kiddo. They called from my daughter’s school on Monday around lunchtime, informing me that she has a fever. I picked her up as fast as I could, and have been at home ever since. Yesterday (Thursday) was the first day she was completely without a fever. We are going to stay at home the rest of the week, hoping  that she is fit to go back to school Monday morning. 

I’ve spent a lot of time reading out loud to her in Swedish. She prefers English, and we speak English at home, but she attends a Swedish School. Since she did not go to school this week I saw it fit to replace her regular Swedish lessons with some Swedish at home. She is actually doing really well, and I’d say that she understands at least 99% of what people say to her in Swedish, but she feels somewhat uncomfortable speaking Swedish. At home she can pick up a chapter book in Swedish and read it without a problem. She thinks the book they have their reading homework in is for babies. To be honest, it’s the kind of book we did for kindergarten, but that was in English, and I keep telling her that she should see these simple books as an opportunity to perfect her Swedish. Motivation is our biggest challenge at the moment. 

We’ve had many great conversations this week, among other things we’ve discussed ways we could lower our ecological footprint, and what things we do in our every day life that affects our ecological footprint, in the long run affects the wellbeing of this planet and everyone on it. It’s been very interesting. We decided that we are going to try to live without a car for a while longer. Maybe we don’t need a car? I sold my car in July 2019, so it’s been more than a year. Yes, it would have been more fun and convenient to have a car, but we have been doing alright. I know that if we had a car we would use it, probably every day, and we don’t need that. I’d rather rent, or borrow a car for special occasions/trips. Many destinations in Sweden, and Europe don’t even require a car. You can take a comfortable train to most cities and small towns, you can even take a train to the mountains and go hiking/skiing right from the train station. As a young adult I loved having an inter-rail pass during the summer, a pass allowing you to go by train wherever you wanted in Europe (or for the area you purchased your pass,) making stops wherever you felt like, sleeping at a cheap hostel (or go camping) and continuing to the next city the next day, stopping a few days here and there, maybe renting a car to explore if a place seemed extra interesting. 

Under the same topic of our ecological footprint we talked about consumerism, where we both thought we are doing pretty good, having lived a minimalistic lifestyle for several years now. We also talked about food, thinking that we are doing pretty good, but agreed that we can do better. We do grow some of our own food, and want to grow more. We do not waste much food (hardly any,) we make something out of our leftovers all the time and are good at composting, using vegetable scraps to grow new vegetables. We save seeds of our favourite heirlooms. My daughter agreed to be brave and try more new vegetarian dishes. She has a few she LOVES, but are often hesitant in trying new ones. We are not vegetarians, but our diet is mostly plant based. We purposely eat less meat, and try to eat only local, organic meat when we do eat meat. Eating local, organic and by the season is a priority. We are pretty good at it when it comes to meat, and vegetables. We are going to try to be better when it comes to fruit. It can sometimes be challenging and very expensive to find, and purchase fruit that are locally sourced here in Sweden. One way to get around this is of course to grow fruit yourself, something we definitely want to do. 

Stubborn old me need to challenge my gardening skills to the max and grow figs..naturally.. I put these containers out in the weather on purpose, they need to loose their leaves before I can ‘tuck them in’ for winter. If you keep figs indoor, and they don’t get any chill hours at all, you’re not very likely to get any fruit next year. I will put blankets around them during the coldest months, and they will be in a protected area then. Speaking of growing. I’ve been washing my pots, and containers, and organised them a bit this week. It’s a little sad that the growing season is over here. To make up for that sadness I’ve been watching inspirational YouTube videos about container gardening in small spaces. There is so much you can do! My head is full of ideas of garden spaces I want to create, both indoors and outdoors. 

Do you need a refill on that coffee? Do you have any fun plans for this weekend? What’s your two cents about ecological footprints? If you are interested in calculating your own ecological footprint you can do so for free here. I calculate my footprint on a regular basis. The first time I did it, about 13 years ago I wasn’t very happy with the result. To be honest, I was a little embarrassed. I am happy with the result now. Take the test! Go ahead and tell me about your thoughts in a comment.

Love,

Maria 

Published by Sagittarius Viking

It’s all about experiences, and the healing power of nature. Life is about choosing happiness. I entered the magic world of photography when I was five years old. My gypsy soul have taken me to many different countries, and definitely taught me to be more humble. I believe that you are what you eat, body and soul. I enjoy growing my own food, and spending time outdoors. Above everything else is my daughter. A Sagittarius loves to travel, have an open mind and, and a philosophical view. It motivates them to wander around the world in search of the meaning of life. Sagittarius is extrovert, optimistic and enthusiastic, and likes changes. A lot of that perfectly describes me. The fact that my ancestors, on both parents sides, were vikings, doesn’t exactly lessen my desire to explore. Maybe a slightly more mindful exploring, compared to the average viking. My blog, and my art prints is a results of my (inner and outer) explorations. Love, Maria

53 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share; About Self-Sufficiency And Our Ecological Footprints

  1. I’m glad your daughter is feeling better, and doing so good learning her Swedish! Life without a car here would be more difficult than where you are, Maria. If you can do without, great. Saves you lots of money. Be well, you two!! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad to hear H is on the mend. It is wonderful that her Swedish is nearly fluent. By next year, I’m sure she will speak Swedish perfectly!
    I’m feeling a bit sad about the gardening season winding down, too. There maybe light frost Sat. night, but already the annuals are feeling the cold weather and shorter days. It is hard saying goodbye to all that color and beauty. Sigh.
    Hope your weekend is lovely. Ours will be chilly!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m glad to hear your daughter is recovering.

    I’m slightly envious that you can manage without a car. I live on the outskirts of New Zealand’s largest city and would still find it very difficult having to rely on walking or public transport. Outside of Auckland, and maybe Wellington and Christchurch, it’s even worse.

    Thanks for the kombucha link; my partner has made it in the bast, but his is dire, so I will try your recipe.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much! I have lived in places where having no car would have been impossible, but here it is doable. Yes, you will have to plan more, and sometimes not be in a hurry.

      I would be delighted to hear what you think about the kombucha recipe if you decide to try it 🙂 Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Hahaha – I forgot that the Big T made it. And we no drink so much plain “soda” – I forgot about kombucha – the hubs bought a CO2 tank and we use chilled goitered water and actually use our six kombucha bottles to fill with club soda – we birth all natural flavorings with stevia – like “cola” but sometimes have it plain or add berries or lemon – not sure if the carbonation is the best – but these daily drinks have been a gift! I take some supplements – good with dinner – or sometimes just chug almost a whole bottle at a time – been very satisfying

          Liked by 2 people

  4. Glad your treasure is getting better, you must be so proud of her learning the homeland language, she is a clever chicken. Lol i took the footprint challenge & didnt score well haha i dont think the questionaire understood our life.lol we dont really have public transport here & i only shop once a month,buy local, we have solar & water tanks. Its a great questionaire though i’d definitely recommend it.
    People have amazing ideas dont they & if you are creative anyway the creativeness can get carried away. This weekend for us i think will be pretty relaxed still letting my body recover. Have a wonderful weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. I agree with you about the questionnaire. The first time I took it I also lived very rural. Like you I shopped for groceries once a month, and I also ate meat every day. The meat was wild game that my neighbour caught, but there were no place to indicate that. Still it made me think. I remember cutting down on air travel after taking the test for the first time. I used to enjoy taking a last minute trip to Greece, or Spain with my friends. I don’t know how it is now, since I haven’t done it in a few years, but it used to be like you could go to the airport and wait. If someone didn’t show up for their flight you could purchase their seat for about $20. It was very exciting not knowing where you were going to spend your holiday! Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hope your daughter is feeling better. Was it the virus? Here we are having more restrictions placed on us and people are now tiring of it all.
    As for cars-my Dad got me a provisional licence when I was seventeen. Thirty one years later and I’ve still not had a lesson!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Andy. She is much better. I doubt it was the virus. Back in June she was really sick, I think she had it then. This was probably just some back to school germs..LOL. I’d say that people here are tired off staying at home, and keeping their kids home when they are sick, other than that people are pretty good at keeping distances. We never had as many restrictions as you guys, but I can understand that it is hard. How is your family doing?

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  6. You are such an inspiration!! I so admire all you do and I took the test and didn’t do very good. But I’m learning and I didn’t know they had this free test. So I can work on things and check back to see how I’m doing, that’s really cool! 😀

    I’m glad your daughter is feeling better and is really grasping swedish. That’s awesome, and inspiring too! You are such a wonderful Mom! I’m going to have to go buy some kombucha before I try and make it to see if I like it. And it’s so great you have those figs! Have a great weekend! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Diana! I am here to inspire 😉 ..and to be inspired. I think internet have been more awesome than usual in these strange days. I love getting inspired by blogs, Youtube videos, and inspirational speeches. I listened to a live, inspirational speech hosted by the Swedish Teacher’s Union earlier this week – I love that kind of stuff! On Monday evening I’m attending an online seminar about minimalistic living. I am super excited about that! My daughter gets lots of ideas for her crafting projects from Youtube. Have a wonderful weekend my friend ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This is going to be a challenging school year for attendance I think. We are 2 weeks into the school year and both my boys are home sic as well. I do worry about what the long term impact of this missing school learning is going to be because although I do try and keep them learning at home it just isn’t the same. Anyway, glad to hear that your daughter is feeling better. Hope you have a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is interesting. I’ve played around with container gardening for fruit and vegetables for about 6-7 years. I’m intrigued by everything you can do. The only big no no I’ve noticed so far is that trees with tap roots don’t do well in containers, and you can not re-plant them easily when they grow big. The tap root is just too sensitive. Besides that, I believe you can grow mos things in containers. So far I successfully tried growing; tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, zucchini, eggplant, grapes, cherries, apples, pear, strawberries, all the kitchen herbs you can imagine, figs, oranges, limes, lemons, pomegranate, olives and probably other things I’ve forgotten about. I have grown around ten big (more than 5-6 ft) avocado trees in containers, but they never fruited. Someone told me that can take up to 8 years.. Date palms also grew very big, but died when I transplanted them (tap roots.) I enjoy the process of growing edibles in containers very much.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Good for you Maria – not only being environmentally conscious but also raising your daughter to be so as well. Hopefully the next generation will do a better job on that front than we have. enjoyed the update on life there and hope your daughter is fully recovered by now!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Maria. I so hope that by the time you read this, your gal is back to full health. You are on such an interesting patch with her and I love that you are helping her both with English and Swedish. You don’t need anyone to tell you that she will grow to appreciate this sooner that she likely thinks. I’m looking forward to hearing how you manage with your food independence now that the growing season has expired. More things to learn has never slowed you down.
    Blessings

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Maria, Glad to hear your daughter is feeling better and becoming more fluent in Swedish. I’ve been living a car-free lifestyle for about three decades. I walk, bike, or use public transit. When I need a car (e.g. on a road trip), I rent one but that hasn’t happened for a long time because when I travel, I also choose destinations where I can walk, bike or use public transit. If you can do it where you live, go for it. Thank you for the coffee. Have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Natalie, that is so inspiring to hear! There are so many places you can go without a car. It’s inspiring to hear that you’ve managed for so long, and seeing your beautiful photos I know that you are living a very fulfilling life. Thank you for sharing that! Have a fabulous week!

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  11. I will have a lemonade, the temperatures are hot and rising outside, seems we in for a bit of a hot dry spell.. Met department had predicted some afternoon thunder showers, but there’s not a rain cloud about guess they were wrong… Or climate no longer behaves the way it does I guess we really need to take care of our ecological footprints
    ~B

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love this! I think it’s great to have a balanced, reflective approach to living well – recognising where there’s room for improvement but giving ourselves credit for what we are doing and not beating ourselves up about the imperfections! Very cool to hear you’ve been a year without a car; in some ways a lifestyle choice I aspire too but we are doing well with one car between two people that we don’t often use – though the train system not being what it was in this country it does feel more ‘necessary’ for us than perhaps it is where you are! – and an electric cargo bike as our second vehicle (see my blog for more on this!)

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