Yesterday, today and tomorrow

Here at our place Mondays are the same as Thursdays, Thursdays the same as Sundays; each day we get up and usually know what we have to do. If you don't live this way, you'd probably think it's a bit slow and possibly dull. But when I tell someone what I'm doing on any given day they're usually surprised and I think they wonder why I bother.

 Hanno and Jamie sorting out the phonecards Kerry used to collect when he was young.
 Sunny's birthday lunch on Saturday.

Above and below: a recent lunch - stuffed capsicums/peppers and corn.

When we were in Tasmania last year, Hanno bought a pair of cashmere and merino gloves from the wool shop at Salamanca. They're so soft and light and very warm. Hanno has had a problem keeping his right hand warm since he had an accident a couple of years ago and gloves help a lot during winter.
During a recent clean-up, I found the gloves and noticed they both had a few moth holes. I didn't have wool that matched exactly, but I had grey wool, so I set out to darn the gloves so they could be used in years to come. Darning is simply a matter of providing a surface to work on under the hole - I used a darning mushroom - and then with a darning needle, threading the needle through the threads that are still there and slowly rebuilding stitches over the hole.  If you want to learn this valuable skill, there are many videos online but I like this one because it clearly shows the process.
You can see the repaired hole above right in the middle of the glove but you can't see the other five holes I repaired. Finishing off the repair with a damp cotton cloth and a hottish iron, helps the repair blend in a bit more because it flattens the stitches.  Now I'm storing the gloves in a plastic bag and hopefully, every time they're brought out to be used in winter, they'll be ready to wear again. And again.

Most people now throw out clothing that might be saved with a small repair. And yes, I used to be one of those people, but now I'm more prudent and I understand the reason for spending a little bit of time to keep using what we have for as long as we can.  For me, it has very little to do with economics. It's more about doing as much as I can and investing my time and effort into activities which enrich to our lives here without adding to the increasing burden being shouldered by our planet.

If you visit us on any given day, we'll be repairing things around the house, cleaning, cooking, baking, growing food and generally taking care of ourselves and what we own. We could go to the shop and replace what is broken or torn but there is an exquisite art to life and I don't think consumerism is part of it. I think the art in all our lives is developed by exercising our creativity, developing our techniques and using the talents we have to sustain ourselves, even when the force of modern life tries to break through to disturb the serenity and simplicity of each day. It is an incredibly satisfying way to spend the life hours we have but a great shame that not nearly enough of us are doing it. 

25 comments

  1. Good morning Rhonda,
    I am reading your blog this morning not from my home but in Proserpine, we are on our way up to visit our daughter in Cairns. We are driving up and are enjoying the experience. We usually live a very low key life preferring to stay at home and do very similar things like you to keep the home humming along. Cooking, baking, washing, sewing, making do and mending occur everyday, it’s just the way we have decided to live. Only buying what we need and using everything up. It’s an ordinary, simple life and we love it. Sunny’s birthday lunch looks wonderful, I hope she had a lovely day. Have a lovely day.
    Fi

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  2. A very Happy Birthday to Sunny, Rhonda. I am sure she had a lovely day with you all. That's a shame about Hanno's hands and I guess feeling cold is a result of the chainsaw incident years ago. At least he has a nice warm pair of gloves to wear for a few years to come thanks to your mending skills.

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  3. My grandma taught me to darn very many years agoand I still do it. I use a lrge cowrie shell she handed down to me instead of a darning mushroom. A family heirloom. I enjoy darning and the satisfaction it gives me to have repaired something. I make all my own socks and am not hard in wearing them. However, a tiny hole sometimes comes and I darn it. One son has a very expensive woollen jumper which I have darned a few times. He caught soe threads and ahole developed. Amazingly I had yarn which matched perfectly so that is now in a drawer where I can find it immediately. He lives quite distance by train from me but makes the trip the minute he sees a tiny hole. I enjoy using skills which others would call old fashioned. Saves the garment and resources.

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  4. What a wonderful blog post today. I always feel that your blog is so warm and welcoming, and today's was no different. My life feels like a crazy rollercoaster at the moment. I have two young boys, my husband works away sunday - thursday each week and I study full time and work part time. I often wonder if it's all worth it. But coming here to your blog makes me stop, take a breath and just be for a moment. Its calming and peaceful. Thank you for sharing these parts of your life Rhonda. I do read and I do appreciate you. Von

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  5. Hi Rhonda, What a beautiful post. That dinner looks incredible. I love stuffed peppers! Hanno's gloves sound like they're very good quality. How nice that you darned them. I do the same thing with my sweaters, hand knit socks, and gloves. Don't know if you've tried storing your woolen items with rosemary or lavender. It works for me. Like you, I was taught to take care of my things. It's such a rewarding feeling. It does take time, but it's worth it.

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  6. Sunny's birthday lunch looks delicious. I'm sure you all had a wonderful time. Have a lovely week Rhonda.

    XX
    Nil

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  7. The birthday lunch looks wonderful!! Your darning skills come in handy...I can do it, and have, but down here in South Florida we have no woolen clothing :)I so look forward to your entries...thanks for sharing your life and encouraging others!

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  8. It is much the same here but we do go out to church on Sundays. In January we plan to volunteer to deliver Mobile Meals to shut ins and elderly. We find that we do need to do something specifically for others.

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  9. Congratulations on another exquisite post Rhonda. I especially enjoyed the last paragraph. There is indeed 'an exquisite art to life' and I also believe that consumerism is not a part of it.

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  10. i found that moths particularly like alpacca yarn, having made myself a jumper, it only took one summer for the moths to get at it. I have cut it up to make fingerless gloves from the sleeves and a warmer for my coffee pot and one for my teapot with the body part, waste not, want not.

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  11. After my own mother had passed, a high school friend's mother darned the knee of a favorite pair of slacks I wore in high school. This woman re-wove the fabric, and you had to look with a magnifying glass and know the repair was there. I kept those slacks for nearly 40 years, not that I could have fit into them any longer. As I told this friend after her mother's funeral, it was the repair that made them so special to me.

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  12. Like my grandmother taught me. I have always had a mending basket. But now I’m older and going slightly blind I tend to only fix the easy mends and throw out the others.
    When I say throw out. If they can be used as rags at hubbies Work they go there or if they can be recycled in the garden or around the house. Otherwise I guess I just chuck them

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  13. great post rhonda as usual; have mending piles completely covering a single bed, almost there are also some bags of wool on there too; a lot is clothes that are no longer worn, waiting to be turned into something else useful.
    sounds like you need to make some lavender bags or something to put in the woollens draw to keep the moths at bay.
    thanx for sharing
    selina from kilkivan qld

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  14. Thank you for this lovely post.

    I keep thinking that I need to learn darning (its been on my to do list for a while) so that I can keep socks and jumpers that can still be worn.

    I hope that Sunny had a wonderful birthday

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  15. I particularly enjoyed this post Rhonda, and your phrase "there is an exquisite art to life" struck a chord with me. Just when I think that perhaps what we are doing each day could be considered a little bit humdrum by some, it is reassuring to know that many people share the same values as us. Thank you, Pauline

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  16. As others here, I get that warm fuzzy feeling when I read todays post Rhonda. The rythme of life in later years comes through so clearly. I am a bit older than you so I should be in the same situation. In many ways this is so but despite my age, I still find it very hard to stick to routines. I am very much impulse steered. Things get done but not in any set pattern or time schedule. Very often I feel I would like to get more fixed routines into our lives but deep in my heart I know this just isn´t me. Ah well...we are all different. The main thing is to be able to live with a sense of peace and harmony.
    Best wishes to you and Hanno
    From Uppsala/Sweden where the first light covering of snow has arrived.

    Ramona

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  17. What a lovely post. My mother darned my cardigan the other day and showed me how to do it. I can now pass this skill onto my daughter when she grows up. Little things that can be passed from generation to generation are so important.
    Nia x

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  18. A darning mushroom! My mum had one; and I miss it. I have not seen one in years. The only problem I can see Rhonda is that socks nowadays are almost too cheap to repair... those cotton ones deteriorate at a fast pace; much earlier than they used to, I believe. But for the knit ones it is still a viable option to replacement.

    It is a great looking celebration dinner you have there!

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  19. Great, great post Rhonda! I. like Ramona above in comments have a hard time sticking to routines., (except bed time)...hehe. I see how it would or could make my life easier but for some reason it's not in my DNA. I like trying new things and this includes new to me cleaning routines, plus when my routine is interrupted I have a hard time getting back on track...ugh. But, your blog gives me hope-thank you.

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  20. First of all, Happy Birthday to Sunny. The food looks so delicious.

    Repairing is something we do over here too. Simply because the budget is very tight and we hate throwing things away which can still be used.
    I used to watch my mom and grandma darn socks. Last week I took the basket with socks to repair and threw myself in it ;)
    I have darned, but also knitted new toes on several socks, which went great. It was such a satisfying job. The socks have gotten a second life. There are new ones on the needles too.
    Greetings ftrom The Netherlands.

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  21. We live a very predictable life as well and it is quite comforting and certainly helps us to keep on top of things. Especially as we age
    and with health issues.

    Routine may sound dull to many people but I have always found that it makes the work go so much faster. At any given time during the day my husband can phone and almost always know what I am doing. Of course I do schedule a lot of free time to relax and do things I enjoy and this is possible because of my work routines. Just now - it is 10 am my time and I am on the computer reading about my friends. I am nearly always on a break at this time.

    SunnyMidnight

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  22. The weekend reading you linked to about consumerism being bad for the planet and often bad for our wellbeing really struck a chord with me as does this post. I need to brush up some skills and am looking forward to learning - your blog is an encouragement to focus on what really matters in life. Many thanks.

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  23. That table full of good food surrounded by family does it for me Rhonda - it does not get better than that. I think having a big thriving family in your home again is a welcomed and positive challenge - you are relishing it by the looks. It is great that it is for a purpose too. My grandmother encouraged all her married children to stop renting and return home once WWII was over to save their pennies and buy a house. She could see the economy shifting and knew that her family needed to act decisively to benefit, so one by one she took them in for a full year each and did everything for them while her children and their partners worked and saved prodigiously. They all ended up in their own homes by the mid 50's. She was rightfully proud of her contribution. Her children were all in their own homes whilst most of their friends were still renting post war.

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  24. It looks you prepared a wonderful meal for Sunny on her birthday - I always like to see what people serve. However, my favorite food picture is the stuffed pepper - it looks SO good! I'm glad Hanno is feeling better and that you are enjoying this time living together as an extended family. Some special memories will be made! Thanks for the darning video - I haven't tried darning anything knitted yet, but have made progress on my clothes darning ability. Wanted to mention, have you heard of a book called "A New Path"? Heather B. at Beauty That Moves mentioned it in in her Instagram feed. I went to the author's website (Arthur Haines) and I think you would find it really interesting. I found Heather's blog because of you and it is the only one besides yours that I visit almost daily. I'm thankful for writers like you and Heather who share their lives and knowledge freely.
    Beth in MN

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  25. Oh, how I enjoyed this piece, Rhonda. Even among my sewing friends I am the oddity that enjoys mending. I find it so satisfying to extend the life of garments, gloves, etc. It also satisfies my desire to be thrifty and eco-conscious. This reminds me I need to darn Matt's favorite alpaca fiber socks! The snow and cold are here already! Thanks!

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