It was a dark day yesterday. It had rained overnight and there were showers all morning. As I passed through the kitchen, it was too dark so I lit candles and brought some gentle light in. Breakfast was grilled cheese on toast with black tea which I enjoyed on the verandah while Gracie explored the yard. It was a good start to the day.
Then the dishwasher was emptied, sink scrubbed, the stove was wiped over and benches cleaned and dried. I had the radio on, listening to Australia All Over, and I was quite happy to discover the microwave needed cleaning - more time to be spent in the kitchen. I set a bowl of water and vinegar in there (I often use half a lemon instead of vinegar), turned it on for 10 minutes and wiped it clean again. Ready for another week of defrosting and reheating.
With the kitchen finished I made my bed, wiped the bathroom over, opened up all the windows at that end of the house, folded up a couple of quilts and put them back in their original plastic covers and stored them in the wardrobe for next winter.
Two photos above: the back garden at this time last year. Just before Hanno got sick.
All work stopped then for morning tea. I got a drink and a biscuit and went back to the front verandah. Grace and I shared a stem ginger biscuit, I turned off the radio and listened to my Sunday morning neighbourhood. I looked around the plants accumulating on the verandah and made some plans in my head for cuttings and seeds, and then had to edit my over-enthusiasm. I identified the plants that would guarantee my mental health as well as the ones that would help add beauty to this odd side-verandah garden and ditched the rest. After watering all the plants. We went inside. I'll have a post about the new garden soon.
We've been growing food here for 25 years. I think that's why I find it so difficult to give it up completely. On the verandah garden I now have roses, salvias, foxgloves, yarrow, lavender, gaura and have added more flowers and some herbs and vegetables - capsicum, tomato, chives and parsley. I have cleome and nasturtium seeds too and I doubt I'll resist the urge to plant them. 🤫
The photos above, up to the chard, are all photos of gardens in our past. We grew almost all the vegetables we ate which saved us a lot of money and gave us both wonderful hours spent in the gardens over the years.
We also kept heirloom chickens, which, like heirloom seeds need backyard gardeners to keep them alive and thriving. If you are thinking of buying chickens, check out the heirloom varieties and not just the old red hens which are bred for the caged eggs industry.
So, back to yesterday's step-by-step ... phone calls from Tricia and Kerry.
Sunday lunch was a mushroom omelette with salad. After lunch I watched an episode of Vera. I love that show. We have an older woman in her green cloth hat and overcoat overseeing a team of detectives and giving them a bit of a hurry up when they don't work as fast as she does. It's a breath of fresh air because we don't often have such a scenario. If we went on the usual TV formula, you'd be forgiven if you thought older people, men and women, were only capable of portraying victims or pensioners doing their shopping. 🙄
This is the developing garden on the front verandah.
After Vera, I picked some lemons and rearranged the outdoor furniture on the back verandah. I pulled the table and chairs back towards the house because if the weather reports are true, it will be another wet summer, with the possibility of floods ... again. While this was happening, Gracie discovered a cane toad under a sheet of metal in the old vegetable garden. She tried to get it out but luckily it was too far in. Cane toads are dangerous animals. They secrete poison on the top of their necks and if they get caught by another animal, which is usually by the neck, the dog or cat is poisoned. We had a cat in that situation years ago. She foamed at the mouth, got very ill and ended up at the vet's. I threw a ball around the backyard for Gracie to chase to get her away from the toad and when she went inside, I removed the metal, exposed the toad and saw it hop down to the creek.
Not every task I do here is rewarding or fulfilling but doing the unrewarding things gives me a feeling of achievement as well as the knowledge that I'm doing what I need to do to look after me and Gracie. I realise now that Hanno did a lot of those unpleasant tasks and I probably didn't thank him enough for what he did. I did bake a lot of his favourite cakes though and maybe that was enough. Now, each time I do something difficult or something I don't want to do, it makes it easier the next time because I know I'm stronger than I think I am.
I went inside at fiveish drank some water and thought about making toast. Instead I saw the one blood orange I bought last week and had that. I LOVE blood oranges and this one was dark red and absolutely delicious. If I see any next week I'll buy them to make blood orange marmalade.
As it was getting dark, I went around the house closing all the windows and blinds. I put some stained tea towels and dishcloths in to soak, cleaned the laundry sink and folded what was in the dryer. I watched ten minutes of news and some YouTube before having a shower and then read till I fell asleep.
Another day full of all the ordinary things that make up my life now. It's not exciting, I think those days are behind me, but it is fulfilling and meaningful. Today I've been sewing, reading and drawing and the only housework was cooking. I think that's the key really. When there is no one else to mix things up a bit, you have to make sure you don't get in a rut and just keep repeating the same thing most days. Satisfaction comes from living a life that is slow and has depth and I think I have that. The depth is provided by my ever-loving family and maintaining a level of productivity that keeps me engaged and interested. I think I'm pretty luckily actually.
Hello to all the newcomers, there are quite a few of you. Welcome. Thanks to all my readers who take the time to comment. It lets me know who is out there and while I don't answer every comment, I do read and appreciate each one. I hope you're doing well and the troubles of the world haven't caused too many problems where you live. xx