29 October 2021
Organising your time and creating routines
22 October 2021
Weekend reading, change of seasons, garden
ADDED LATER: I'm having computer problems, I'll be back later this week or early next week.
Melbourne comes out of lockdown today - the most locked down city in the world. I'm celebrating with you Melbourne! Stay safe everyone and have some fun, you deserve it.
With the weather moving from cool to warm during the week, I cleaned the back verandah and moved our table and chairs towards the house where it's shady 24/7. We have shade blinds that protect the verandah from the sun during the afternoon so when I moved some plants onto the verandah I pulled down one of the blinds to provide shade and a bit of protection. I love the feeling I get when I clean up a big area like that when the seasons change. I feel I'm doing the right thing and it opens new opportunities for me. When things are a mess, I don't want to do anything because I have to rearrange everything before I even start.
It's gardenia time! Here are a couple of sprays of them with the Queen Anne's lace.
The Taproot magazine edition I'm in was published this week and that resulted in a lot of new people visiting my Instagram page and here at the blog. Hello everyone and welcome. I hope you all find inspiration here or on Heather's beautiful blog - Northridge Farm, or Alyson's at Alyson Morgan or Farai's at Farai Harreld. We all have ideas and information that will help you transition to a more sustainable and simple life.
This weeks baking was a date cake from the Grandma's Cookbook website. It's an easy to make cake, undecorated in any way and so delicious with a cup of tea. Jens and Cathy called in during the week (they moved up the Hervey Bay two weeks ago) and I was delighted to be able to offer them some fresh date cake with their tea before they headed home, another 2.5 hours away. Other food I served this week included mushroom omelettes, pork fillet with potatoes and red cabbage, Atlantic salmon with salad and kartoffel puffers.
And of course you know I've been out in the garden doing this and that. Everything's growing well and it's providing a safe habitat for the wildlife that wander or fly through.
This is a tropical vine growing over the garden arbour.
These St Anne's Lace have grown to over 9 feet tall! I love picking the flowers for the house.
Over near the neighbour's fence is this scene - comfrey, foxgloves, a bee a hotel, mauve trumpet creeper and a huge pink salvia.
- Something good every day and Hungry Hungry Pippo are two newsletters my friend Pip Lincoln is writing. If you know Pip's books you'll know what a fabulous writer she is. Check out her newsletters - the first is free, the second with a small fee. Both are interesting and entertaining!
- 12 gifts and Making my own sewing tools by the ever wonderful DinLife
19 October 2021
Homemade - sewing my household linens
I don't work nearly as hard as my mother or grandma, or, no doubt, their grandmothers. I'm fortunate to have appliances that make housework easier so because I know that and always have a fragment of it in my mind, I don't complain about housework. But I don't go overboard with appliances either. I don't have an air fryer or coffee machine or thermomix, I have a good fridge and freezer, both ten years old but energy efficient and still working well. I have an excellent self-cleaning oven, an induction cook top, a microwave, stick blender, hand beater, food processor, mini processor for processing nuts and small vegetables, stick vacuum cleaner, excellent washing machine and dryer. All these appliances are the best quality we could afford at the time, they were bought with cash, are energy efficient and they give me the extraordinary gift of time. Time to do what I want to do instead of house work.
This week, premium flannelette 147 cm is six dollars a metre at Spotlight. That is what I used and it's working better than I thought it would. If you're not in Australia, just buy lightweight cotton flannel from your local fabric shop. If you decide to try this, cut your cloths to the size you want and either hem them on the sewing machine or overlock them if you have an overlocker. As a guide, my cloths are 35cm x 35cm and the paper towels are 45cm x 35 cm.
15 October 2021
Weekend Reading, baking and lemons
I don't remember if I told you about the American magazine Taproot's latest edition. The current edition features four simple living and minimalist bloggers and I'm one of the bloggers 🤔. It's a truly lovely magazine that focuses on family, food, crafts and the values we hold dear. Welcome Taproot readers as you come through. I hope you look through my older posts too as there's a ton of information there that will help you simplify and live well. Taproot is available in Australia from Lauren and Oberon at Spiral Garden.
It's been a busy week here but it's moved along calmly with most things falling into place. I always get more done when I work slowly. I drove Hanno over to see his eye specialist on Monday. He had another bleed into his eye recently and although it required a minor op, during Covid, the doctor is well set up in his rooms to perform these small operations. Hanno's eyes are still not right so I'm hoping another day or so will see improvements.
In my home I've been baking, cooking, putting up a single batch of lemons and making more 'paper' flannel towels, more on that in a few days. Readers sometimes comment that I do a lot of work in my home and I guess I do. I want to live simply and that, to me, means doing most things from scratch. I work to my routine, it all flows smoothly and the work is done without resentment. I'm in my mid-70s now and housework gives structure to my days while creating a warm and comfortable home that is a joy to live in. The alternatives for my age group of travelling around in a caravan, shopping and joining clubs I did when I was younger. Now I want to enjoy what I worked all those years for - my simple home at the end of a dead-end street, with chickens and a creek in the backyard. Bliss!
I also made up a jar of preserved sweet lemons to add to drinks over summer. Generally one jar does us the whole season. It's a quick and easy job that takes about 15 minutes. I used four sliced lemons, scrubbed clean with bicarb water. When I added them to a sterilised jar I poured hot simple sugar syrup over them and sealed the jar. They sat on the kitchen bench overnight and are now in the fridge. If you make them, when the lemons are all gone, use the lemony syrup in icy water for another refreshing drink. With the addition of lemon to the syrup, this lasts at least six months in the fridge.
Have you had a good week too? I hope you enjoy the reading list this week. xx
- Folding and storing blankets and quilts - Don't forget to turn on the captions
- Taking care of home - I love how Donna modifies her housework to make it meaningful to her
- Ten Simple Microgreens & Sprouts Recipes 🤤 | Seed to Table - Don't forget to turn on the captions
8 October 2021
It's been a good week for me working at home, with a trip out and mostly lovely weather. I'm not doing more than I usually do, I'm just slower than I used to be so it all takes longer. At the moment I'm taking a break from reorganising the back verandah. We move the table and chairs closer to the house in summer to keep most things in the shade but as it's not had a deep clean out there for a while, I'm cleaning as I go. I'm also keeping an eye open for snakes as we had a brown snake on the front verandah a few days ago. Gracie saw it first and ran at it but as most Australians know, brown snakes are aggressive and one of our most dangerous snakes so we called her back and went inside so the snake could move on at its own pace. The same day Hanno found a large python skin in the flower garden so they're on the move again. I'm not scared of snakes and I respect their right to live here as we do but I have to train Gracie to stay clear of them because if she's bitten by a brown snake she'll die and I think a large python could swallow her.
Earlier in the week, Hanno was assessed by a woman from My Aged Care, a government department who help older people live in their own homes. We're already getting a few of their services and this assessment was to see if Hanno needed further help. We'd already talked about him getting a walker to move around and we eventually found an all terrain, lightweight walker, so yesterday, we went out and bought one. So far, it's been a great help to Hanno, both in and outside. He's still walking around and doing many of his jobs but with the dizziness, the walker ensures he doesn't fall.
I've cleaned and reorganised a few more drawers this week and my next job it to tidy up my work room. It's not my favourite job but I know that when I finish, I'll love working there and when I look at it, I'll feel like an angel. 😇. I have a few more plants to go into the back garden which I ordered online. They are hardy geranium Roxanne, a penstemon, a couple of salvias and a Japanese anemone. I'm pleased to tell you the citrus trees are currently growing tiny oranges and lemons for our next harvest and the roses and foxgloves continue to be truly beautiful.
You can subscribe to my blog by email again. The area is in the side bar. When you subscribe, each new post will be automatically emailed to you. And if you're looking around for Christmas gifts which they say are going to be scarce and slow on delivery this year, on Amazon (Australia) my books are on special! Down to Earth paperback is $26.94, the hardcover is $33.50 and the hardcover of The Simple Home is $34.66. Both books have 4.5 star ratings and both are available as ebooks as well.
I hope you're well and happy and doing things that make your days joyous and satisfying. If you haven't been vaccinated yet, please do it soon and stay safe in these troubled times. We don't hear about the Covid figures much now, it's more about vaccinations, but I just looked it up and so far there have been almost 240 million Covid-19 cases reported officially world-wide and sadly, 4.8 million deaths.
Stay safe and well, everyone. xx
- Nippers training made his kids confident in the water and out. He wondered if he could follow their lead
- Purl Solo - If your creative juices are flowing but you don't have a project in mind, here is the beautiful Purl Solo page full of knitting, sewing, patchwork and small works.
6 October 2021
Main meals cooked from your rotating list
- The meals you like eating
- Your recipes
- Your budget
- Where to shop - markets or supermarkets
- How much time you have to cook