Housework, it's never-ending

22 January 2020
I've got a good job. I rise when I want to, work and rest when I feel like it and every day I look after us and our home. Hanno does the same thing but generally, his work is outside; we also share a lot of tasks. Although I do the same thing every day, each day is different. I try to make as much as I can from scratch - that includes our meals, bread, biscuits, cakes and drinks as well as cleaning products such as soap, laundry liquid, cleaners for the kitchen, toilets, bathrooms, furniture, glass and floors. 

I start every day by making the bed. This is an extremely important symbolic gesture that reminds me to look after myself. Slow, simple tasks play a big part in my life.


I enjoy every day and am satisfied by the work I do, but nothing is perfect. I never expect (or want) perfection. If you're living a low impact, simple life, you know that things change all the time and sometimes we make mistakes. I think that's good, it's how we learn.  I've learnt more from my mistakes than I have from anything else.  Over the years we adapt because our tastes change, we need more of some things and less of the others as we move through the various stages of life. Now we're older and we're letting go of some of the things that were extremely important to us - like growing vegetables in the backyard.  It's a process, I tell you. Who would have thought that all the hard work of backyard growing would be so difficult to let go. 

I'm replacing our annual backyard March planting and nine months of growing, with other things that are less strenuous and don't make me dizzy. I still have the cottage garden to tend and I've been sewing and reading more. Soon I'll be resuming my family genealogy and hopefully be able to produce a book of our story to share with all our family members.  

But today I have photos taken over two days of what I do during a normal day here. It's nothing out of the ordinary, and possibly similar to your own daily routines. But I think there is a uniqueness to all of us, so here is a brief part of our unique life in pictures.

Look at the tiny egg there with six of our girls' eggs. This is a fairy egg - an egg with no yolk, I don't know which of our ladies produced it.
I made up a new batch of laundry liquid.  Recipe here. It's very effective, costs a fraction of the price of commercial laundry liquids and contains only a few ingredients that you can buy at the supermarket. It takes about 10 minutes to make and will last for months, depending on the size of your family
I'm making another bread bag, this time using recycled linen from an old skirt of mine.
And I finished off this blouse I started months ago.  It's a bought cotton top with added embroidery.
Made a new cotton sheet for Gracie's bed using an old doona/duvet cover.
I helped Hanno clip Gracie after he washed her in the laundry sink. She is a big part of our lives and we like to keep her clean and comfy.
Homemade pizza for lunch. We eat our main meal at midday now. It's easier on the digestive system and I don't have to cook a meal from scratch in the late afternoon when my energy level is on the decline.

Above a date and walnut loaf and below a small batch of orange marmalade biscuits I made yesterday for morning tea with a visitor.

Above and below are two vegetables I'll never grow again- the candy stripe capsicum/pepper and Blue Berry tomato. Both are small varieties, have average taste and are more show vegetables rather than something you'd plant in a productive garden where every plant is expected to produce good flavours in abundance. 

House maintenance continues throughout the year and two days ago I started cleaning out the pantry. This is my main shelf - a collection of goodies used often and with the potential to spill and drip. True to form, the upside-down bottle of molasses had oozed out of the closed lid and started to spread.  ๐Ÿ™„  Above the bottles are starting to go back in, below is what it looks like now.

Some people believe the work we do in our homes is dreary and not worth the time we give it. But I think that without this work our lives would become chaotic and messy. This is very personal work, it involves our personal hygiene, the places we sleep, what we eat and how we live as a family. This is the work we do to make ourselves comfortable and to be at our best at work and school. Everyone has their own routine and some do what they can in the time they have available.  I reckon that whatever helps you get your housework done is the right way for you. Don't expect perfection, don't think you'll do your work and you'll be finished because housework never ends.   But I know this for sure, housework helps you live well and will transform you into a different person.  




46 comments

  1. I, too always make my bed first thing when I get up, it helps me start the day more organized. I enjoy my home and enjoy making it comfortable. I do enjoy your blog, even though I don't comment too often.

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  2. What a wonderful post. I am always thankful for my mom, who was an impeccable homemaker. She worked on our house all day long. I am not as perfectionistic as she was, but I do spend hours a day on mine. It makes such a difference to have a clean, neat, and organized home. I prefer the cooking and baking, though. I enjoy hearing about your changes as you age. I am right behind you. I have been shoveling lots of snow up at the cabin, but at some point I will have to hire someone.

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    1. It makes such an impact when we see our mothers housekeeping. Like you, I was lucky enough to see my mother working in our home and I still remember many of the things she did to this day.

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  3. I always enjoy reading your posts, Rhonda. I spent today making split pea soup, rolls, and giving the house a good tidy. I really enjoy housework and my husband is wonderful at taking care of the outside. We have a neighbor who worries about being able to afford her home mortgage yet she has a housekeeper, yardman, pool cleaner etc. I would love to tell her how much she could save doing things herself, but her facade is so important to her, it's very sad.

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    1. Thank you. It sounds like a good day at your place.

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  4. We love home made pizza...so simple and so tasty not greasy like shop bought ones.

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  5. Thank you for the lovely reminder that the work of making a home can be as beautiful and as meaningful as we choose to see it. Sometimes the endless nature can be discouraging, but you always provide a fresh perspective.

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    1. It is endless but you don't need to keep going. Just do what you can each day and know that it will be waiting for you when you get back to your tasks. We should all be easy on ourselves - not to the point of not doing anything, but doing what we're capable of doing, and being happy with that.

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  6. I love this sort of simple post about what other people do in a day, such as housework :) Thank you for sharing your day. I loved the embroidery on the blouse and also the bread cover. Sewing and handcrafts brings such a lovely personal touch to a home and or clothing.

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  7. Oh that pizza looks so very delicious! Remember my sweet Gran cooking in our farm kitchen, I was just tall enough for my eyes to reach over the counter. Always think of her when I use her cooling rack and her old ironing board. Pam in Norway

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  8. My mother is not a great housekeeper, she is wonderful in other ways and I love her dearly but I have had to find my own way of doing the housework. I realised at the end of last year that the way I was doing it was not working for me, I needed a new way. Luckily for me one fell into my lap through a link in a blog post, I do love it when that happens. Now, when I think about it, I cannot believe I had not thought of it myself. I am a few weeks in and the house feels like a different place to me and yes I make the beds at the start of each day too.

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    1. Would it be possible to share the name of the blog that helped you organize your housework?

      Thank you

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  9. Your photos record such a fulfilling and satisfying simple life at home. Grooming Gracie, fresh eggs, sewing and linen. Better than jewels. Thank you Rhonda.

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    1. Yes Penny, when we're fulfilled by our daily work, it's better than jewels. xx

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  10. Your embroidery is lovely, Rhonda. I am in a good rhythm with my house keeping, but lately keep feeling as though the cooking is never ending. Maybe I shouldn't eat so much ;-)

    Madeleine

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    1. The cooking is never ending, Madeleine, but you're an intelligent woman so I think you'll work your way through it. How about trying a few new recipes? xx

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    2. Yes, great idea Rhonda, I'm probably in a bit of a rut!

      Madeleine.X

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  11. I truly struggle with housework and tidiness. I would love to be organised. I keep trying.

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  12. Yummo, I love date and walnut cake and slice.
    Interesting when we make our beds. I pull the covers back and have brekkie then make the bed. My friend makes hers soon as she gets out. Either way I can’t do other jobs until the bed is made.

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    1. I do the same Jude. I crack open the windows and throw the covers back before brekkie to air the bed, and make it after breakfast. I always think of Rhonda each morning as I bless and make our bed.

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  13. I thrive on routine and being home most of the week is simply a delight. I find there is a great balance right now of home tasks and working outside the home at something I adore and I remember how very blessed I am.
    Making my bed each morning is an homage to my late momma, who always encouraged the domestic side of me. ;0D

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    1. We live charmed lives, Daisy. I think your mum would be proud. xx

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  14. Beautiful post. I have been struggling with doing daily routines and you post has given the drive back for me, my house is important to me.

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    1. I'm glad the post boosted your spirit, Eileen. Stay strong. xx

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  15. This is what I read your blog for, Rhonda. Love the home pictures and advice. I leave my bedroom to air out for about an hour with bedclothes turned well back and a window open; then come back to make it all up again. There is something very satisfying about taking care of your own home. I love white cotton sheets and pillow slips as they are easy to wash and so pristine when properly cared for; I like my sheets crisp and do not understand this passion for sateen bedclothes, but to each his own. Love your quilts, and am planning to make a bread bag like yours.

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    1. Everyone needs a linen bread bag, hopflower, and it's such a lovely project to work on. xx

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  16. Such good advice here. At 65, I'm still working outside the home. But all the things you mentioned are very important to me and I try my best to work as much as I can into my usual schedule.

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  17. I contain drippy things in the pantry by standing the bottle or jar on an upside down lid that is slightly larger. It acts as a kind of saucer to catch the drips and can be quickly washed out, meaning that I don't have to wipe the cupboard out just because one naughty container has misbehaved!

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  18. Thanks Rhonda for the gentle reminders. With school holiday grandparent fun ending this week it's time to work on some tidying up, checking the budget and planning for the next season in my tiny garden. Our Victorian weather has been so changeable,tomato crop is very small,but of course 2 zucchini plants may sink us in them. It has rained all night here, and it has taken me a lifetime to realize perfection is overrated๐Ÿ™ƒ

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    1. Great emoji selection, Jenny. Good luck with your garden this year. We have Jamie coming over for pizzas and movies tomorrow as a kind of goodbye to the school holidays. They went by fast this year. xx

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  19. I find cleaning cathartic and satisfying. I spent my day yesterday sugar soaping the walls and scrubbing the floors of the entire house and still managed to make chicken and mushroom pies, a batch of cookies for the children's lunches, when they go back to school and a full roast. Husband spent the day painting one side of the house. We both looked absolutely knackered, but the house looks like a million bucks. I love reading your blog, everything you say makes sense to me. Pam

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    1. Hi Pam. That sounds like a full day's work for you and your husband. Sometimes it's surprising how much we can get through when we work with a target in mind. Keep up the good work. xx

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  20. I was taught to unmake my bed every morning, I fold down the duvet, use a lint roller( the reusable kind) to get rid of hair and whatever then spray the bed with a spray of water and lavender oil, it lets the bed dry out ( everyone sweats at night) and keeps it fresh. I also copied my Korean friends by using a bedspread as a bottom sheet because it doesn't need tucking in, my mattress is heavy and making the bed was a real chore but now I just have to tuck the bedspread in at the top and bottom without having to lift a heavy mattress.��

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  21. Housework isn't work at all - it's an act of Love.

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  22. My Mother was a wonderful housekeeper and had a set routine for tasks. Even when she was sitting down her hands were always busy mending, knitting, stitching etc. I find I am very much the same and like the routine, which adapts to suit my ability and is also very therapeutic. Of course there are always those days when things don't quite work out but that's just part and parcel. Lovely day to you Rhonda and Hanno, hugs for Gracie x Kate from Tassie

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  23. As much as i hate doing housework i always feel better once its done. Cleaning the fridge and cupboard out give me a simple joy of having a clean organised space and a sense of control. Getting the laundry done and washing the sheets and floors is a great weekend ritual that sets me up for a more relaxed week.

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    1. I get that sense of control and order too. When I do my general housework it makes me feel like I'm taking care of what matters most to me. When it's done I can relax and do whatever I like, knowing I've taken care of the important stuff. We're singing from the same hymn book. xx

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  24. Hi Rhonda--
    Loved your post today. My mother always had a cleaning person, once a week or every 2 weeks, for as long as I can remember...(so did my Grandmother). But her house was always tidy and she was a great cook. She never set foot in the yard!! My Dad did all that. Or brothers!

    I have never had a cleaning person. We raised 3 sons, so there was lots of everything to do! Not sure how I did it all, but I so enjoy homemaking. I was a stay-at-home mom for 20 years, then worked for 25 outside the home, and now have been retired for 6. SO glad to be back home!

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  25. What a beautiful post Rhonda ... I feel the same way about the things I do around the house and garden and it's a pleasure now to do these things at my own pace after decades of racing off to work but still trying to fit everything in at home in too. I was always determined to do everything I wanted done but mostly ended up exhausted and never quite satisfied with the results.

    I'm about to make some rolls for dinner tonight using your recipe (I'll be starting them in my bread machine).

    Happy days.

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  26. Hi there Ronda. So love your blog and have been reading it for years now. I always start the day with making the bed. I can't imagine not doing it! I love pottering around our home and we always love to come back to it at the end of a busy day out. It is our little haven.

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  27. I agree! Home is where you relax and replenish your body and spirit! I also like to think that cleaning/maintaining your home (or anything) is a ritual to show appreciation for having it!

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  28. I think making the bed in the morning after my cup of tea sets the tone for the day. Once this happens my day can begin. Lovely photos of daily life Rhonda ๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒผ

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  29. Great post, Rhonda! I love that I can be home and live life how I see fit. Your blog reminds me that it's okay to do that! :-)

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  30. My job involves a lot of head work and ambiguity, so the methodical housework I do in my little home on weekend brings me a lot of peace. Washing my clothes has a solid beginning, middle and end. Cooking for for my next week makes me slow down and is a signal that I’m taking care of my health. Mending clothes and other things makes me appreciate what I have. I love my simple existence.

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  31. I am enjoying glimpses into living simple, abundant lives like you share :) Several months ago I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis as 41 and have had to adjust with quitting my work-at-home job and now focus only on homeschooling our 14yo and keeping our home as best I can. I have found that I am more at peace and enjoy being able to focus only on being a mom and homemaker rather than doing that around being an income earner as well. I'm better able to focus and really enjoy the daily homekeeping!

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