The knife edge of happiness

8 August 2016
I took my time last week. I had a list of chores as long as my arm but I stood back, took a deep breath, and then worked out what my priorities are. I won't bore you with the list, it will probably be played out on the blog in days and weeks to come, but I've started it and intend to work slowly.  I have no deadlines to meet and I want to experience every day in its true sense. Having housework to do - work that will make our lives better - always makes me want to put on my apron and get started. I'm motivated when I see others working in their homes and even reading about housework makes me want to get my own house in order. I wonder if it does for you too.

I've broken my work activities into three separate areas - general house work, craft work and gardening.  I try to do a bit in all three categories every day now because then I feel I'm doing all I need to do. And with the work there is always relaxation. Cups of tea with Hanno in the garden, a sleep in my chair after lunch, a stroll around the garden. But the truth is that just living here on this piece of land makes me relax. I feel safe and nurtured here and peace comes along with that. I walk outside to winter smoke from local chimneys, white cockatoos flying high, chickens clucking, the fragrance of alyssum and roses, the distant dull drone of traffic. Here within these fences, life is being played out to a slower rhythm but that doesn't mean it's any less significant, creative, intellectually stimulating or exhilarating. Running a home, cooking, shopping on a budget, mending, gardening and the rest of my particular mix makes a calm and rich life and I feel grateful to experience it all.

At the moment I'm creating a few dishcloths that will be teamed with home made soap for Christmas gifts and on my circular needles, I'm knitting this beauty for my grand daughter. I think I'll make two versions - one with long sleeves and one that ends at the yolk. I'm using EcoYarns fabulous eco-cotton, the ideal yarn for our climate, so I think both cardigans will serve her well.  When I was looking through EcoYarn's website ealier, I noticed some new O-Wool O-Wash Fingering 4 ply suitable for baby and toddler knitting. It's washable and the skeins are in a range of very pretty soft modern colours. I might knit something with that soon.

Portuguese custard tarts.

Today Hanno will be weeding the garden and planting out more seedlings while I make up a hearty bone marrow, barley and vegetable soup. I love this soup, it's my mother's recipe and one that Tricia and I grew up eating numerous times every winter. I cook many of those recipes from long ago and feel privileged that I grew up in the family I was born into. When I finish making the soup, I'll clean up the back verandah and do a bit of repotting in the bush house. After lunch I'll nap for a while and then knit. At some point I'll make tea and we'll sit in the fading sunlight watching the smoke rise from neighbours' chimneys. It doesn't take much to make me happy. I'm on the knife edge of it all the time. Life's been good to us.

Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.   Joseph Addison