I've written before about the work involved in living simply. There is a lot of it because you stop using money to buy convenience. That's okay when everything is going according to plan, but when your home is turned upside down, that, my friends, tests the patience of Job and makes even the simplest of living, complicated. But now all that is behind us and we can live as we choose again, taking each day with what it offers us while trying to stay true to our values.
So how did I spend my first return to normal day? I worked and enjoyed the familiarity and gentle rhythms of it. After finishing my post yesterday, I made breakfast for us both. Hanno had been sitting on the sofa talking to me and commenting on the news while I sat typing. By the time I'd made us tea and toast, he'd fallen asleep on the sofa, so I left him to regain his strength after a busy day on Friday. He took the community bus into Brisbane and collected a full load of food from the food bank for our emergency food relief program at the Centre I work at. That's a tough job. You go around a warehouse with a big steel trolley and collect food which is packed in the bus, driven back and packed onto shelves at the Centre.
So as Hanno snoozed on the sofa, I tidied the kitchen, made the bed, cleaned the bathroom and then made him another breakfast when he woke up. I tidied the kitchen again, made bread and cut up and salted cucumbers and eggplants for preserving later in the day. I visited Mary on her nest and discovered she's been eating eggs! Not the 12 precious Wyandotte eggs, but I think she's been laying an egg and then eating it. She had egg on her beak and I found her going back to sit on her eggs. It's almost impossible to stop chickens eating eggs when they get the taste for it, but I'm giving Mary the benefit of the doubt and thinking that she needs extra protein for her mothering duties. She's not eating properly, nor drinking, and I suppose her own eggs seem like a quick pick-me-up. I'll have to keep an eye on her and make sure she doesn't start pecking on the Wyandotte eggs or those the other chooks lay.
I did a bit of work in the garden, had a cool drink while I answered a couple of emails and checked in here, then vacuumed a floor rug I'd started cleaning the day before. The rug was then set in its place on the floor again, almost as fresh and clean as the day we bought it.
I cleaned the rug with bicarb soda and a splash of fragrant oil.
With a stiff brush or broom, rub the bicarb into the rug pile.
After lunch of freshly baked bread with salad and lemon cordial, I washed off the salted vegetables and made bread and butter cucumbers and eggplant relish. I had neither the time nor the desire to process them in a water bath after they were done, so that is a job I'll do this morning. The relish will take a few months in the stockpile cupboard to develop it's true flavours, most of the cucumbers will be given as Christmas gifts.
BTW, in the photo below, I also feature one of the lovely beeswax candles Niki made and sent in a box of goodies as a Christmas gift. I always have a candle sitting on the table with matches nearby, during our storm season. There is the possibility of a blackout with every storm so the candle is our first means of light when the power goes off. I will light both the Niki candles when we have an early Christmas dinner with our sons soon. Thank you for your thoughtfulness, Niki.
Hanno painted a cupboard for me last week. It's gone from greyish green to white. I like the idea of adding these painted layers and hope in some future time someone in my, as yet unborn, family will be tending these shelves, uncover the colours laying one under the other and wonder the who, when and why of their painting. Yesterday I replaced some of the things that usually sit on the top shelves; my cooking books and magazines will have to wait for another week as I want to make sure the paint is rock hard before replacing them.
It's very satisfying caring for my home and replacing these things. As I worked I went back and forth, outside and inside, and at day's end I was pleased with what I'd done. Our home looked right and that always makes me feel I've done my best and respected our choice to live as we do.
We had a light dinner of eggplant omelettes, green bean salad and tomatoes and when I went to bed I slept like an old log. This deep and sound sleep is the reward for the work of a simple life. As I drifted off, I felt content with my day and looked forward to getting up and doing it again. Today will be different, each day has its own gentle rhythms where one thing leads to the next and the work is punctuated with periods when we sit and relax, talk and make plans for what will come to us in the future.
Thank you for visiting me again. I hope you enjoy what you do today.