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. ♥︎