13 June 2011

Catching up with the family

We had a quiet weekend with a good balance of work and leisure. Some of the family came over for Sunday lunch - we had roast lamb and vegetables and Shane brought one of his lemon meringue pies, which was delicious. Jens and Cathy have just come back from a trip to the US so we heard bits and pieces about that. Shane and Sarndra are eagerly awaiting the arrival of their first baby, due in July. Sarndra was uncomfortable sitting for too long so she was jigging around the place trying to get rid of her backache. Those last few weeks of pregnancy can be so uncomfortable for some mums.

The rest of the time I read my "first pages" - that has to be returned in a couple of days, knitted and read. Hanno's been busy in the garden trying to catch up to where we usually are at this time of the year. He was on our roof for a couple of months, replacing rusty bolts and painting with a special sealant, in preparation for our solar panels. If we can catch up in the garden, it will save us a lot of money and we'll have fresh organic vegetables instead of the other stuff we have to buy.

Some time this week I'll make a few batches of soap and some liquid soap. I'll put some of it in my shop and I want to make up a little gift for my new grand babies - I'd much rather them have my soap on their beautiful skin than commercial soap or castile soap that is way too expensive.

An update on the vinegar - mine started bubbling and then died when it got very cold, so I'm leaving my next attempt for later in the year.  I'll get moving on some cheese making soon, a good wintertime activity for our sub-tropical climate and when I collect all my bits and pieces, I'll post about what I do.  I was going to buy a kit but if I can source all my equipment, I'm sure I can do it cheaper another way.  How is your vinegar going? If you started when I did, many of you may have good vinegar by now - depending on your climate of course. I'd love to know how it went for you.

Another week lays ahead of us. I'm looking forward to it and hope I'll come out of it with the projects I have planned all done and dusted. Do you have a busy week ahead too?



  1. I have a final exam for my course tomorrow, but after that I will actually be having a less busy week than normal! I am looking forward to spending some quality time in the kitchen and doing some baking. We are hosting my dad's 50th birthday party at our new house in a couple weeks, so I will be trying out some recipes for that. As usual, I love to read your updates. Your posts are always so calming and warm! Hope you enjoy your week.



  2. It sounds like a lovely weekend Rhonda.

  3. This week is our first week of homeschooling after the annual moderator visit. So it's probably not going to be full on. I tend to slack off after he's been to give the girls and myself a break. It's also my birthday this week, so another reason to reduce the workload and have fun. Some fun will include peaking into the tubs of sweetpotatoes we planted mid-march. Then possibly getting some rain, so today will be wash, wash, wash day! Thank you for sharing your weekend. I look forward to your other posts as they come. I did your trick today and woke up at 4am. I discovered why you do it - time! What a gift. I've been sleeping through the best part of the day for years! :o)

  4. Such a lovely thing to have a good mix of business and pleasure. Your weekend sounds just right.I was feeling a little down but now after reading a few blogs I'm feeling much better. I sometimes need reminding that all you wonderful people are out there doing such wonderfully simple things in a world gone mad with consumerism

  5. Good luck with your exam, Brenna, enjoy your time after that.

    Hi Tammy!

    Larissa, did you get my email about the sweet potatoes? 4am! Yay! another convert. :- )

    Kate, it helps me too knowing there are all these other people doing what we're doing. Enjoy your day.

  6. Hi Rhonda, Good to know you had a lovely weeekend. I think my vinegar may have died as well. It had started to bubble and brew and since it has gotten cold it just smells off. I tried wrapping it up to keeep it warm and placing it near the stove, don't think it helped. Ah well, better luck next time.

    Will be watching your cheese making adventures with interest. Our big boy turns five on Thursday so we have a week of birthday prep and fun ahead of us.

    Hope you have a wonderful week.
    Cheers, Deb

  7. It's been raining constantly again and the temperatures have been quite chilly. My vinegar hasn't bubbled at all yet. It is smelling very lemony but it's a fresh smell not an off smell. I think the mid north coast in Winter is not a good climate for vinegar production though so if nothing else happens by Thursday out it goes and I'll try again in spring/summer.
    Lol, the word verification is quing and sometimes I feel that is all winter is - queing jobs up waiting for spring!

  8. I started my vinegar and the sugar water was too tempting for the ants! In the spring here for about 6 weeks the ants come out and are a nuisance but once it gets warmer they leave. I will try again soon as I'm eager to see what REAL apple cider vinegar tastes like!

  9. Ack! Don't leave me hanging re: the vinegar! Mine is still going strong and has a vinegar smell to it now. What do I do with it now? Strain it? Anything else? Thanks Rhonda, I read your blog almost daily but have never commented before.

  10. Lesli, do you have mother in your vinegar? It's a slimy looking blob. If you don't, check the smell, it should be a VERY strong vinegar smell. If it smells like vinegar but it's not a strong smell, it's not ready. Make sure you stir it every day to incorporate air into the mix and leave it to sit again. If you see mother forming, check the smell again. It is possible for mother not to form and still get vinegar. Go by the smell, if it smells very strongly of vinegar, taste some. If it has a strong taste it should taste of good vinegar. When you get to that point, strain it through cheesecloth or a coffee filter and store in a bottle ready for use.


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