Slow Living {And Why I will Probably Never Own a InstaPot}

“The brambled cares of everyday,
The tiny humdrum things,
May bind my feet when they would stray,
But still my heart has wings
Clear DotWhile red geraniums are bloomed against my window glass,
Clear DotAnd low above my green-sweet hill the gypsy wind-clouds pass.

And if my dreamings ne’er come true,
The brightest and the best,
But leave me lone my journey through,
I’ll set my heart at rest,
Clear DotAnd thank God for home-sweet things, a green and friendly hill,
Clear DotAnd red geraniums aflame upon my window sill.

-Margaret Haskell Clark



Resting the clay pot against the windowsill of the kitchen, I stepped back to admire the new-to-me plant.

Every September for the past few years, my parents have given me their old red geraniums from their front porch, as they switch to their fall flowers for around their home.  I poured a small amount of water into the new soil and turned the little plant to the warm Autumn sunshine.


One reason I appreciate the red geranium in the windowsill is I have noticed it in old movies and mentioned it in vintage books – a cozy home always seemed to have red geraniums blooming in the windows. And so I do the same. It speaks comfort and “home” to me. It speaks of a house that is filled with a family, warm memories, tea by the fireside and slow days together. Truth be told, I probably have too many geraniums, but maybe others would see the beauty in it and would appreciate geraniums as little, encouraging gifts throughout the winter months…?


I made my way to the pantry in the kitchen and choose my stained and worn garden apron – it was time to head outside with the girls and collect the many walnuts falling so heavily from the large black walnut tree in our front yard. Years ago, when we lived in town, we did not appreciate our black walnut tree, as it made a mess of our driveway. I also did not know the benefits of collecting free food or the health benefits of black walnuts 10 years ago. Now, I see a yard full of wonderful walnuts as a blessing – a gift!



What a great season we have had, now that summer glories have faded and Autumn has fully set in. The leaves scattered around me as I walked down the now barren aisles of finished vegetable rows in our garden. A Provision Room stocked to the brim, home grown potatoes curing in the back shed, nearly 800 cloves of garlic already planted for next year’s season …. various soups and preserves, bright red and purple jams and jellies … all laid up for the long winter ahead of us. Breathing in the fresh Autumn air, I felt so grateful. The garden is work – it takes a lot of time, sweat and effort, but it is so worth it.

It is also a slow process – starting seeds indoors in March, waiting for them to grow and filling up every space of natural light in the house with seedling trays … watering them every day … waiting patiently for the frost to end and the soil to warm up enough to plant outdoors … transitioning all the plants to the outdoor world … weeding, watering, taking care of the gardens- flowers and vegetables – it is work but it is slow work. Daily work. I truly believe it is healthy for the body and mind.

Slow work, slow living … the other day, my husband planted another apple tree on our property. Each fall, I try to find a few trees on sale and plant them together with hopes of bearing fruit one year. It’s will be slow growing – a slow process – but we plant a tree for tomorrow, not for today. It was the last apple tree in town, the local greenhouse told me – I was grateful for another tree to add to our one-day orchard.

Indoors, my little rosemary plant – do you remember this story? – is growing slowly, but steadily. I have high hopes that it will survive the winter, nestled up on the windowsill of a bright window. I have noticed we care for things we grow ourselves in a different way. Indeed, I could just go out and buy a rosemary plant, but it is more rewarding to watch this little sprig grow into a healthy plant.

{the little sprig of Rosemary from our dinner plate at a fancy restaurant}

{The sprig has grown!}


This slow living – sowing and waiting – trusting and working steadily – is somewhat of a peaceful life.

My wood-fired cookstove is part of the slow living – it takes much longer than a regular modern stove to get going … there’s a kindling to gather, a fire to build, the slow process of having the heat build up in the firebox … but I would rather smell dinner cooking slowly all day at the back of the cookstove – or in the crockpot, in the summer months – than rush through dinner preparations with an Instapot any day. The comforting smell of a delicious, homemade dinner simmering away in the warm kitchen brings a sense of order to the day, knowing the meal is cooking away, prepping for the end of the day as a family gathers together.

What joy would it bring to have dinner instantly, without much thought or preparation, by just dumping it all into a instant-cooking pot? It would seem a little like a drive-through-dinner style for me.

But I know I am an odd person – and not everyone will think like me – and that is okay. 🙂 We are all different.

I will prefer to wait and have a slower life …

One good weather days, the girls & I have planted a huge box of various bulbs around the gardens …. we are dreaming of what it will look like in a few months … what will the ground look like as our bulbs come to life once the winter snows have melted and the promise of Spring is in the air?  Yes, it will be a long winter – and hopefully a snowy one! – but I don’t mind. I will wait patiently to see those sweet, pastel flowers make their humble appearance admist the melting snow.


This slow living in a busy world is intentional. However, this does not mean our days are boring or hum-drum. Quite the contrary – in our large family, something is always happening – the difference, I suppose, is that is is happening here, within our home, on our little piece of property and involving all the family members of our little/big clan. It means more time to be outdoors, whether it is working, planting hundreds of bulbs for a future spring day of blooms or just laying underneath the big evergreen trees and listening to the wind whistle through their needle-filled branches …


It means having time for a cup of tea in the afternoon … for setting out a new tablecloth on the family kitchen table or playing a game of chess with my seven-year-old.


The slow lane may seem dull to others but perhaps it is more exciting and rewarding than speeding through life in a blur jammed up in the fast lane.

P.S. Here is some music for your slow day at home.




October 23, 2019 - 3:13 pm

Ourhomeofmanyblessings I would also love a post or two on time management. And more large family simple recipes!!

October 23, 2019 - 1:21 pm

Regina Shea I confess I’ve always wanted an instant pot but I know I don’t really need one. I have a pressure canner/cooker named Little Bertha( I know it’s weird naming a canner) that I just love. I have a slow cooker and an electric roaster. So in reality an Instant Pot would only take up space.
Thank you Gigi for this lovely post.

October 21, 2019 - 5:38 am

Gigi Teresa, I have been told they will go into a dormant, resting stage (mine seem to do the same from January on until spring) and then will bloom again in spring as they see the light coming. It might be prudent to try some extra fertilizer and see if that will help them bloom. I’m sure you have more light seasonally compared to our homes here in Ontario. Hopefully you can get those lovely red blooms when you would like them the most – in winter!
I love that big cast iron pot. Yes, slow paced is not always happening but it is the aim here, as well. Have a great day!

October 20, 2019 - 11:26 pm

TERESA @ SF I have a question about the red geraniums. I brought one in doors to enjoy this winter. It was blooming and they soon fell off. Do you have any hints on how could I get them to bloom again? I love bringing in annuals for the winter. I have a cast iron pot like yours above, that I cook all my soups and other meals in…all day on low. I love a slow pace life, it doesn’t always happen but when it does I find some much peace in a slow day.

October 20, 2019 - 6:17 am

Gigi Kristal, the year certainly did fly by, didn’t it?
I would love to write a blog post about time management. I’m still learning and every day is different in that area. I will see what I can write up. Have a great day!

October 19, 2019 - 11:38 pm

TERESA @ SF *have it any other way.

October 19, 2019 - 9:23 pm

Teresa @ SF Gigi, as I read through this post…you described our home and our slow pace life. I would not have it any of the other way. Lovely post.

October 19, 2019 - 12:08 pm

Brenda (Gigi’s proud Momma) Love it so much. I too do not have an insta pot and have refrained from buying one even though my life is in the fast line right now. But the future looks bright for retirement and hopefully I will be in the slow lane soon I look forward to making bread and simmering soups and tea time. Thank you Gillian for encouragement to live life and slow it down. xo

October 18, 2019 - 5:59 pm

Kristal Gillian, I truly admire and appreciate your slow and intentional life. It gives me much encouragement and inspiration to slow down and enjoy each and every moment. Especially now that November is almost upon us. It truly feels like we just celebrated Christmas, how is the advent season almost upon us again already!!? I am curious if you might share some day your tips on time management and how you plan out your day? Your days seem very full (in a good way!), but I would love to hear your encouraging words on how you do it. God bless! P.s. your little rosemary plant is darling. I’m so glad to see that it is starting to thrive and grow. 🙂