Photos of our home

Now that Jamie has gone back to school I'm getting back to my regular routine. I still do most of my housework in the morning and the slower tasks, like mending, sewing and knitting, after lunch. I try to beat the current heat we're having and first thing this morning I was out watering the garden. I'm really just trying to keep the perennials, herbs and trees alive now. It's been a savage summer and luckily we have ample rainwater to use on the garden but it's a hopeless case with some of the plants. The only way to save some plants was to take cuttings and save seed so we'll be able to replant when the weather is milder. The sun is scorching and it seems more intense, last year was the same, and I have some plants that usually stay out in summer tucked away in the bush house. I'm currently planning this year's garden and with the combination of this deteriorating climate, age and dizziness playing a part, I hope we'll have herbs, garlic, tomatoes, chard, kale, lettuce, beetroot, small pumpkins, sweet potatoes and potatoes growing. I'll start looking for someone to weed and replant soon but it probably won't be until late April, when it starts to cool down, before we start. 

It's been a long time since I took random photos in our house. Some things stay the same, others, like the new kitchen tap, change. 

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Bread and butter cucumbers, from scratch

Preserving small amounts of fruit and vegetables is a good way to minimise food waste, cut the cost of providing interesting food and a good way to introduce new, delicious food to kitchen table. Of course, you could buy bread and butter cucumbers, tomato relish or a spicy chutney from the supermarket or local co-op but nothing will be as good as what you prepare in your own kitchen. You can make your preserves exactly to your taste.  


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Gracie in the wild

I've been out working on the front verandah this morning. Gracie was with me, I went inside and when I came out again I could see her staring at something in a tree. I went inside and got my camera. I crept into the garden without making a sound because I really wanted the photos. Well, when I got over there I realised nothing would have distracted her, she was focused in like a laser. 

What's that up the tree?
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Crafting away on the needles

I read this article about the downside of microfibre cloths a few months ago and started looking for a new set of dish cloths that I feel comfortable using.  Microfibre is out, there are some water problems with cotton as well, so I rediscovered the knitting hemp I had in my stash. Last night at midnight, I started knitting a new set of diagonal kitchen cloths while I watched cooking videos.

I thought the hemp would be stiff but it's easy to knit with.  I love that the dishcloths won't stretch out sideways. 

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Homemaking and getting back to normal

It feels good to be starting a new year with a clean and well organised house. If I was still writing for a living I'd also have daily schedules, to-do lists written out, my calendar marked up with birthdays, special events and various appointments, as well as a daily writing plan and monthly chapter list. Being organised makes things easier. It gives you a starting point and an end for each day and if you're smart, it will include family time and short breaks during the day. It's important that you take that time away from work because it helps maintain your mental health. If you're looking after babies or small children, even though it's difficult at times, you must have time to rest and relax whenever you can manage it. Child rearing can be intense and usually you have no one to step in if you get sick - it makes good sense to take care of yourself, so plan it into your days.  January is the ideal time to think about this kind of organising and to work out how to establish or improve daily routines.


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Summer holidays

Summer holidays usually means grandkids to us. We're lucky enough to be close to them so they're often here during the holidays.  Now that they're older - Jamie and Alex will be eight this year and Eve will be four, they don't present me with the full time care they once needed and usually now it's just talking to them about all manner of things and keeping the food coming. However being the person I am, I like to throw in skill building whenever I can.  

Jamie has a grandma in Korea too, I hope she sees this photo.  Hello Sun Ja! We're thinking of you and send much love from Australia.  ♥️

Today Jamie made his first Irish soda bread. It's a simple recipe, it's fabulous for morning or afternoon tea and it can be on the table in under an hour. If unexpected visitors drop by, this is the ideal offering - along with butter and homemade jam.
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Easy budgeting


The Christmas feasting is over and we've all but lost the cricket test match so it's a good time to get back to real life and start organising. In the past week Hanno has put in some time going through our ongoing insurance bills. A bit of research on the internet and a couple of phone calls and he's cut $164 from the home and contents and $124 from the car insurance. It can be a boring task but if someone asked you if you would like to earn $288 in 30 minutes, you'd jump at the chance.

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