Housework and how it changes

9 October 2017
Like you, I put a fair bit of time into my home. Doing the housework here allows us to live in relative comfort and to invite our family and friends over to enjoy our home as well. I've grown to understand that the work I put into my home pays off handsomely. But our housework is going through a transition at the moment, we're reassessing and reorganising ourselves so we can continue to live here well into our older age. My intention is to stay active right up until the end and then to be carried out feet first.  There will be no retirement village, no over 50s living, no nursing home for me. I will do my daily chores as they change over the coming years and enjoy life here breathing this fresh air and listening to countless wild birds who have chosen to make this place their home too.

If we are to stay here we have to be smart about what we do now that we're older. We've removed a couple of garden beds (I'll write about soon) and I don't do nearly as much baking or preserving as I once did. I still do it, but not as much. I have few problems with the housework now but I'm starting to struggle with things high up and down low, so does Hanno.

I'm pleased to tell you that in Australia, our government provides assistance for older folk who want to stay in their home in their final years. They assess you and then provide a range of services that might mean the difference between leaving your home or staying in the place you love. We have to pay for these services but they're subsidised and are within the means of most older Australians.  Hanno and I underwent our assessment a couple of months ago and were approved to receive 90 minutes of help, per fortnight, both inside and outside. As we get older, the range of services will change from the simple ones we start with, to having help with shopping, being driven to doctors appointments and general in-home nursing if needed. I have to tell you that it makes me feel quite confident that with that extra help Hanno and I will still be here in our home on our last days.

I used the normal Anzac recipe for these but replaced the coconut with almond meal. 

But in the meantime, my housework continues much as it always has. Along with the general daily tasks, this week I cleaned the oven, did some ironing, made cordial and biscuits, cooked, gardened and sorted out our winter jumpers, cardigans, scarves and shawls. They'll be washed and dried in the coming days and then put away until the cold weather returns next year. Most of them can be done in the washing machine on the wool cycle. I'll use my homemade washing liquid with a teaspoon of eucalyptus oil added. That good old washing liquid has saved us hundred of dollars over the years.

As usual, I'm cooking enough for two or three days when I cook our main meals, so there are only two or three big cooking days a week. I've stopped baking cakes, except when we have visitors, because now we can't get through a full cake without giving half of it away. I'm baking biscuits or slices in a half tray now and that seems to suit us much better. The rest of our food remains the same although we have smaller serves. One task that might change in the next five years will be the grocery shopping but I think we'll just move to home delivery then.

I have a self-cleaning oven but I have to remove the side rails and wash them separately.  I do this by filling the laundry sink with hot water to which I add Aldi Di-san oxy-bleach. I let it soak overnight, which loosens any burnt on food or fat, and then just rinse it and wipe down.  It works like a dream every time.

Hanno and I continue to work as a team. We discovered tiny black ants in the house last week, they were trying to invade the honey pot we keep on the shelf near the tea making gear. We got rid of them but then they turned up in the pantry cupboard, near the golden syrup. This week we'll work together to empty the pantry cupboard, check everything in there, wash the containers, clean the cupboard and return the food.

Lemon cordial made using lemon juice I froze a few months ago.  All I did was make a light sugar syrup and mix it with the defrosted lemon juice.  Fruit cordial recipes are on the blog.

All through our lives we've worked according to the circumstances we faced at that time. The two biggest changes have been when we had babies and growing children and now in our older years. Housework is an important part of life because it gives us a clean and comfortable home. I've found that by giving it the time and thought it needs, and working in an organised way, we've been able to move through this transition period without too much fuss. The changes we've made in recent years have certainly helped in this process, and by keeping up our home maintenance over the years, we're now able to adjust as we need it with small, simple changes.  I look forward to being here for a long time yet.