DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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3 June 2014

Solving the quiet, gentle and simple problems

Before I start my post, I just have to say this to the world: Sunny and Jamie will be home again next week! I have missed them so much, I can't even begin to tell you. So there, it's on the page, I am breathing easier now................and waiting.  :- )

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I turned an invisible corner on the weekend and yesterday got back to my "normal" routine. My season of hectic work schedules and deadlines is behind me now and I'm settled in my home again, not just physically but emotionally as well. When I was so busy, even though I was here at home, my mind constantly wandered to the work I was doing and rarely to what I needed to do in my home. Consequently I cut corners, stopped doing some things, became a bit of a sad sack and yearned for the day when I could get back into my true rhythm. I wanted that daily familiarity again.



So yesterday I changed the bed linen, opened the bedroom windows to let in the light and fresh air, put a few whites on to soak, tidied the laundry and washed the hallway floors.  Hanno did some renovations last week and the floor has been quite dusty since then. The weather is warm and sunny so I wandered around the garden looking at what needs to be harvested or tended to. When I came back inside Hanno was performing one of his winter rituals - washing and sorting a bucket of kale ready for his big annual pork and kale pot. It's one of winter's high points for him. And yes, it is winter here, and still 25C/77F. Sigh. I am hoping that as we move further into June, the weather will be colder, I'll need a shawl and we'll warm up with hot chocolate and tea instead of cool down with cold water and cordial.



Mid-morning I cleaned my desk and put aside the fabric I'll be using for my quilt. I still haven't started it but yesterday afternoon, I sorted through the pieces and have come up with a random non-pattern that I'll be working on today. I'm no patchwork expert by any means. I tend to focus less on the pattern and more on the practicality of piecing together some scraps to make a beautiful and warming quilt. I might hand stitch some of it, simply because I enjoy hand sewing a lot and I fancy the idea of sitting with needle and thread with the quilt over my legs.

Lunch for Hanno was his pork and kale dish and for me, ham and eggs. We both had a glass of homemade orange and passionfruit cordial made with sparkling mineral water. Morning tea was pikelets with black cherry jam and tea, and dinner for both of us was just a little snack. Easy.



The only thing I didn't do that I had planned on was to make bread. Now that we have our main meal at lunchtime, we eat less bread, so I'm still not sure when I'll make the bread, whether I'll make it every day like I used to or what form it will take - bread rolls, small loaves or free-form no knead bread. That, my friends, is what I'll be working out today and I have to say that it is good to be back home solving such quiet, gentle and simple problems.

Have you too discovered that daily routines and rhythms help you get through your work?  I hope you have a lovely day and that it's not too hot or cold where you are. xx

Yesterday's ABC Radio talk on vegetables is here.


30 comments:

  1. What is normally the low temperature range for you in winter? Have listened to both your radio broadcasts now. I don't know what I was expecting from your voice, you sound so young and yet so wise, sorry if that sounds a little daft.

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    1. Usually it gets down to about 5 - 8C at night and always rises to about 20C during the day. We never get frosts but occasionally it will drop to 1 or 2C. It's okay to be a bit daft. I like that trait in people. :- )

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  2. It made me smile ~ I am in the US and your winter weather is exactly what we are experiencing in our spring/summer weather here! ;) I know after a busy season how nice it is to really get back to the normal busyness of home! :)

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  3. Oh Rhonda, how I enjoy your posts. June here is the last month before the long summer break and most of the times it is filled to the brim with last minute school work and deadlines. What you write here reminds me to cling to the daily calm and sweet things I enjoy, like filling the freezer with the produce that hasn't been eaten last week, our pureed fruit in little portions for smoothies in the hot summer months. I desperately hope for a nice, sunny summer here, even if we didn't really have an actual winter (more like what you describer here) Enjoy the time with your lovely family!

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    1. I like how those productive tasks that fill our days can ground us and make us ready for the more complicated parts of life. I hope you get your sunny summer.

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  4. Yay for Jamie and sunny coming home! I know you can hardly wait to squeeze that sweet boy!

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  5. I do love a rhythm and like you yearn for it when I get busy and distracted.

    Your winter is warmer than our summer! No wonder you have such a bountiful garden.

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  6. Aaahh yes, I know what you mean about getting back to what you love, it's like pressing a switch and the lights come on and the machinery starts to purr, you feel like rubbing your hands together, checking the apron is tied on well..... Now, what can I produce from my own little world today, with a smile of contentment.
    So happy to hear Sunny and Jamie are on the way back, so much catching up for you, lovely times ahead.

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  7. I totally agree with you. I went through a similar thing this week where the kids had a virus and my timetable was disrupted. Even when everyone was well, I felt a bit frozen out of my routine and had to push myself to get back to normal. Routines are so good for you !

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  8. I guess I'm trying to find a new rhythm that accommodates my pregnancy and everything else we've got going on. I'm at that stage I wish I could put the world on pause so I could catch up on everything else I've got to do and squeeze in some time out. Of course the world keeps turning and I've just got to keep up as best I can. I'm a bit sookie at the moment too. It can be overwhelming. On a positive note I just enjoyed some lovely toast (from homemade bread) with butter and homemade marmalade, and hot cup of tea. Sometimes you've got to focus on the simple pleasures.

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  9. Good morning Rhonda, I enjoyed listening to the podcast. Thanks for sharing the link.

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  10. Rhonda, if you have space in your fridge maybe you could try refrigerator bread. It's similar to no knead bread but lives in your fridge, and you just get out what you want each time and bake it... I didn't want to put a link on as you prefer ppl not to do that but if you email me I can send the link or you can probably find it easily online.

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    1. Thanks han_ysic. I have tried that bread but I never got it out of the fridge in time for it to return to room temp properly. If these breads don't work out, I'll give it another go. xx

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  11. I can imagine how much you are looking forward to having Sunny and Jamie back home, Rhonda. You did sound like you had a busy week last week so it must be so nice to just be back into your regular routine once again. I look forward to seeing how your quilt turns out. I have only ever made the ones where you fray the seam edges as I am a bit straight line challenged! Have a great day.

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  12. What are pike lets? They look delicious.

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    1. Pikelets aka drop scones or American flapjacks.

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  13. I had this same thought a few days ago. Life is so crazy with uni work, exams coming up, sick children, ripping up old flooring, having no furniture until the new floor is laid and feeling sick myself. I just crave a day in the tired veggie patch, baking a few loaves of bread and talking to the chickens. Oh well. It's not forever (at least that is what I tell myself).

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  14. That promises to be a rather striking quilt, Rhonda. I look forward to seeing it finished.

    Glad you are settling down now.

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  15. I look forward to seeing how your quilt progresses as your choice of fabrics is lovely. I do wish I had one of your wool winders as I've just taken delivery of several hanks so it would be a great help. Happy stitching, Elizabeth in Damp England.

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  16. Your quilt colours look lovely. Quilting is my lifelong passion. Here in Brighton, (the one not far from you), I have only closed the house up completely 3 nights so far. I am enjoying being more comfortable, but winter seems to be lost this year. I am at the age where hot flashes visit often, so I have even had the fan on lately! The pikelets look yummy. If I were still in Texas, we would call them "silver dollar pancakes". xx debbie

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  17. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this at the start of my day in the office now, almost like a little meditation session, thank you!
    It sounds like you are settled back into your routines again, and that is great, one definitely feels a little calmer if you are prepared for what the day holds. I also do like to improvise in my day to day life, but find I do need some sort of a frame. Having just moved flats a month ago, I have been knocked out of my routine for a few weeks now, and it's starting to take its toll. But I aim to be back on track come next week, with my Sunday shopping and all that comes with a new week *smiles*
    Hanno's pork and kale pot sounds great! And it reminded me of a Norwegian traditional dish we have called Får-i-kål, whick is simply "mutton-in-cabbage" a simple one pot meal with laters of mutton and cabbage, salt and whole peppercorns, a perfect and simple meal packed full of natural flavour from the cabbage and protein.

    I hope you enjoy the rest of your week, and I'll be looking forward to (hopefully) seeing you sharing updates on the quilt, I am sure it will look beautiful! x

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  18. Ahhh, so THAT's the ball winder. Where should I look for one Rhonda?

    I have to tell you, I came "this close" to licking the screen when I saw the cherry jam on those pikelets.

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    1. I bought this one in an antique shop, Rose. You can buy newer ones on ebay or amazon.

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  19. Transitioning to winter rhythms here: the fireplace is on all day and night and making slow cooked tagines. It's so cold and will get colder! Rhonda I was wondering why you and Hanno are now eating your main meal at lunch. Is this for health reasons or just better time management so you can eat simple left overs for dinner? Kind regards

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    1. It just suits how we live now. All the big work is done in the morning or middle of the day and as the afternoon progresses we tend to relax more.

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  20. How lovely to read that you're getting back into the rhythm of your home, Rhonda. I, too, turned an invisible corner on Sunday. Sunday was our first weekend day home in a month, as May was filled with three trips out-of-state and many commitments around town. Even as my little garden languished (still haven't had time to plant my veg plants!!), the laundry piled up, the refrigerator got dirtier, and my sadness at not being home deepened, I had a friend of mine ask me if I wanted to go into business with her and a niece tell me that I should open a shop. No thank you!! I get sad when I'm not given the luxury of doting on my home, and my home gets sad, too. My husband and sons' schedule for June is still quite busy, but thankfully it's with things that don't require me. Yesterday was my first day home in a month that wasn't filled with panicked catch-up and chaotic preparations, and it found me hanging my laundry out, making bread by hand, tidying here and there, re-connecting with my community, and potting my hanging baskets and flower pots for the front porch. What a gift we have been given in our homes. I'll never understand how so many women don't see it and won't accept it. It's pure bliss!

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  21. Loved reading this post Rhonda made me feel all calm and peaceful. Also just realised I have the same dishrack as yours and didn't think to use the glass holders on the inside too...silly me has only used them on the outside and almost lost a few mugs in the process!

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  22. Hanno will probably live to a ripe old age, in good health due to his like for Kale. According to Peter Cundall (the ex ABC Garden Australia presenter) Kale has given him his vim and vigor and he attributes drinking the water that kale has been cooked in for his excellent health in his 80's. He even makes kale fritters.

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  23. Hi - I love the gentle, slow moving description of your day. I'm not a fan of housework - especially when the sun's shining - but there's a definite pleasure to be had from sorting clean laundry or seeing a newly washed floor.
    I agree with you about hand sewing patchwork as well. I once heard piecing and stitching a quilt by hand described as something like a meditation, as a form of prayer in a way. Certainly it always makes me feel connected to generations of women that went before us.
    Best wishes
    Valerie

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  24. Daily routine - is what keeps me going now with a newborn at home. It makes me feel good when I remind myself that surviving the day is the process of many tiny steps, and even if I only manage to put the dishes away or put the washing in my machine, it gives me sense of some sort of accomplishment on that day and I do not feel totally useless :)

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