DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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5 October 2015

Daily housework

Finally the book has been sent to the printer and I'm back to concentrating on living this good life. Spring is here, the elder tree and wisteria are full of flowers and many of the migrating birds have arrived and stopped off for a rest. There is a feeling of calm here, housework awaits.
We're in the fortunate position of being able to care for one of our grandchildren and over the weekend, Jamie was here. I love looking after him and seeing him grow. We help him learn and show him the significance of family. Knowing that our help allows Kerry and Sunny to work and establish their life together is the icing on the cake. They're renting at the moment but I have no doubt they look forward to the day they move into their own home. We all know home ownership doesn't come easily. 
Homemade fruit loaf.

Over the weekend I did a some baking and made jelly/jello and coleslaw, cut out my Maggie rabbit pattern and started writing notes for the workshops. I also wandered around watering the garden, did some knitting and cleaning. It was a loose, slow weekend with a nice balance of work and play.

I've just started mentoring a local woman, something I'm thoroughly enjoying, and this week she brought me this beautiful bouquet from her permaculture garden. It's silver beet, kale, garlic chives, calendulas, lemon myrtle and various herbs. The bouquet was very much at home in this old preserving jar until it was picked apart and used in various meals.
Last week I was interviewed on ABC Canberra radio for a program about frugal cleaning and it reminded me to write about soaking and brush cleaning again. It's great when we make our own cleaners but there are effective ways of cleaning without using any chemicals. I think we sometimes forget about them because we've been programmed into thinking cleaning always requires a product.
This gentler form of cleaning can be done on clothes just by soaking them before washing. Soaking loosens dirt which is then washed away in the normal wash cycle. It's best done in a top loader but if you have a front loader like I do, select the dirtiest clothes or a garment you've spilt something on to soak in a tub overnight before washing. It does wonders without adding to a chemical overload on your fabrics. The same principle applies to dishwashing. By soaking the dishes for 10 minutes in the sink before washing you'll use less detergent. The other non-product cleaning involves brushes. Using a soft or a stiff brush, depending on the surface to be cleaned, will allow you to get into crevices and remove spills much better than wiping it with a soft cloth. With the cloth, you usually need some form of soap or cleanser. Of course you can add your normal cleanser to your brush for a thorough clean but often it doesn't need the cleanser.

I'm looking forward to the week ahead because I have nothing and everything to do. I'm sure all the homemakers here will know that feeling. There will be a mix of the routine work such as baking, cooking and cleaning but there'll also be sewing, gardening, writing and sitting in the garden under the umbrella. All is good in my world. It doesn't take much.  ♥︎


20 comments:

  1. Nothing and everything to do - love that. Enjoy the week Rhonda.

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  2. I certainly know the feeling, and I find it both glorious and frustrating :) When people ask what I've been doing it doesn't seem 'enough' to reply "I haven't stopped but I couldn't tell you exactly what I've done." I love home-making, but I find the only people who truly "get it" are other home makers. I'm very grateful for this space to bask in it :)

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    1. That is so true. I have banned my husband from asking me "what have you done today?". He now asks if I have had a good day instead :)
      I knew I'd done loads, but couldn't then list all of the little things I'd done!

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  3. Your week ahead sounds perfect and lovely. I hope my week contains some of the same. I am going to be there for my grandchildren too someday. I wish my children had grandparents who took an interest in their lives, it means the world. I had a wonderful Gran and Grandad so I know. You and Hanno are doing a great job. Blessings, Pam in Norway

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  4. Good morning, Rhonda. I have one load of washing on and am just about to make a list of things to do today. It will be hot so not too much outside work will get done I daresay. However I could pick mulberries in the shade of our big old tree I guess. Not much to complain about if you can do that eh? :-)

    By the way my elderberry is starting to get its first flowers!

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    1. Although my tree produced flowers in the first year, it took about 5 years before we grew enough berries to make anything. Although with your climate there Chel, it might be faster.

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  5. What a lovely, calm weekend you've had. I smiled at your pleasure in having Jaime this weekend, what a lucky little boy to have such a strong, loving family. Congratulations on getting the book sent to the publishers!

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  6. Rhonda I have been making your soap, following your recipe religiously, for years. Recently in Phil HOS and Nana Chel's blogs I saw them making soap, using all the same ingredients, but pouring the oil into the lye solution rather than the other way around. I tried this method today. The copha melted in the lye solution and then I added the olive oil. I reached trace really quickly. It was so easy. Just thought I'd let you know.

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    1. Hi Jane. I'll have to read their methods when I have time. Pouring lye into the oil is a safety measure and as far as I know, it's how most soap makers mix lye and oil together. I wonder if Chel and Phil are making a different type of soap. Thanks for letting me know.

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    2. I have experiments heaps with this.... using your copha and olive oil ratios Rhonda, I now pour the lye over the broken up copha and mix with a spatula till all the copha has melted. I then add the liquid oils. In another recipe I slowly add vegetable oil to the lye stirring all the while. The results have been 100% each time. Adding oil slowly stops splashing of the lye.

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  7. What a lovely bouquet. Thanks for the tip on soaking the laundry. That does make a big difference, and I forget to do it. I used to try to comment under awakenedsoul, and I couldn't get it to work. Let's see if you get it this way. (it's under my old business name.)

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  8. Oh i had my 3 grand daughters this weekend to and it was lovely. Your wisteria tree looks gorgeous as does your fruit loaf. Enjoy your day xoxo

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  9. That fruit loaf looks so good! May I have the recipe please or point me in the direction of it.
    Thanks and good luck with your book. Spring is such a wonderful time in the garden and your wisteria is lovely.

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    1. I'll write it up later in the week, Janet.

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  10. This post kind of sums it all up for me, this idea of simple living. Making what you can, finding better ways of doing things, giving back to community and recognising the beauty in the simplicity. Reading your book earlier this year set in motion a whole string of changes for me. I was raised to frugality and resourcefulness so was nodding in agreement with most of it, but your writing reminds me to take pride in what I do and to enjoy it. And I made my first batch of soap, which I have been wanting to do for years but have been too daunted by the caustic soda aspect. It was so easy and so much fun, thanks to your instructions. So really, this is my thankyou letter to you. Thank You!

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    1. Hi Meg, thank you. It means a lot to me. You've given me an idea for a blog so watch out for tomorrow's post. :- )

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    2. Oh good - That loaf instantly made me want to sit down with a cuppa

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  11. Really helpful comment about soaking using a top loader versus a front loader - I currently leave a tonne of my laundry (I have a baby who's eating solids!) soaking overnight in water, in my top loading machine, before washing them the next day. We've been talking about updating to a newer machine, since I'm washing every day and my manual is very time consuming... and you've just added another "pro" tick in the top loader column. :)

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  12. The homemade fruit loaf looks delicious! You have a lovely blog. Warm greetings from Montreal, Canada. :)

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  13. Hi Rhonda! I so enjoy your post today (all days, actually) and I would like to have your recipe for Homemade fruit loaf. I tried searching your site, but no luck, I love baking gifts for Christmas giving and would like to try this. Thank you, Shirley

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