12 December 2023

Decluttering is good for the soul

Summer hasn't been too bad here so far this year. We missed the very high temperatures experienced down south so it gave me a chance to weed the garden, declutter, do some Christmas preserving and deep clean various cupboards and drawers. I also had a looooong talk with Grandma Donna on Skype last week. We have so much in common and it feels as if I've known her for many years.  

Decluttering is so good for the soul. When it's been done it reduces the amount of time it takes to do the daily chores because there's so much less to look after.  Moving stuff around from A to B "because I might need it later" kept me from doing my decluttering effectively.  Since Hanno died, I've given away and recycled about 50 percent of what I own and boy, does it feel good! I still have a few things to go but they're items I'll sell - lawn mowers, whipper snipper, wheel chair etc. They're all in good nick so I doubt I'll have a problem moving them on to new homes. I wish I’d been more focused on real decluttering years ago. It can change how you live and how you view your life, and I know now that it's too important not to do it properly.

This is four sliced cucumbers that had been salted for an hour. I wrote about them previously and you can find the full recipe and instructions here. I saved the leftover spiced vinegar because I use it as my salad dressing. I don't like dressings containing olive oil.

I bought two new toys for Gracie yesterday - a stuffed pig and a ball on a rope.  She loves them a lot and took the pig to bed with her last night. It was still beside her this morning when I woke up. 😊

The garden is coming along well. I'm not doing any major work on shaping or remodelling until the plants spread out and cover all the soil they're growing in. When that's happened, I'll move a few things and hope I end up with a wild garden that reveals hidden beauty as well as the more obvious kind.

I had a few hours of sadness when I heard Shane MacGowan died recently. He and the Pogues are favourites of mine and I've spent a lot of time listening to their music. I'm expecting to hear Fairytale of New York a hundred times over the Christmas holidays. It's one of his fabulous songs that I never tire of. If you haven't heard the song before, look it up on YouTube but be aware it's not your traditional Christmas song - it's much darker. It reminds me of the value of embracing imperfection in music and people. As Leonard Cohen put it: "There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in."

I hope you'll spend the holidays with loved ones and friends and rest enough to give yourself a good start to the new year. I'll be sharing Christmas lunch with my family - Shane and his children Alex and Eve, as well as Kerry, Sunny and Jamie. We're having what has become a traditional Christmas lunch for us: Cold glazed leg ham, spicy chicken wings, prawns fresh from the boats at Mooloolaba, potato salad, green salad, various homemade pickles and sauces, and for dessert - homemade pavlova and cheesecake.  What are your plans?

Thank you for your support during the year. I'm glad to say I've moved through the grief of losing Hanno and come out the other side, give or take the odd moments that I hope never leave. I know now it's a big deal to live alone, much more of a task than I'd imagined, but I'm doing well and enjoying life.  Of course, my sidekick Gracie helps me a lot and together we're pretty happy. 

Happy holidays everyone!  🎄

And here are a few links I thought you might be interested in:

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