Sunday, June 28, 2020

Fun bargains in winter

Last weekend we celebrated Solstice with a bit of a family party. The grandchildren came over the day before to help decorate. We talked about longest days and the way the earth moves around the sun -all sorts of things, and they decorated small trees and we spread candles and greenery around.   The next day DGS1 turned up with his stuffed toy from the Frozen movie -Olaf the snowman! Great idea, as this is the closest we will ever get to snow during out winter! 

Due to the restrictions in place to keep us all safe during the pandemic, we couldn't have our friends over for a Winter Feast but we still had a lovely day. As it happened, it was sunny day and we were able to be outside. Our DD helped the grandchildren to a long painting session -I think DGS2 must have painted about 14 pictures in about an hour. I had made beef cheeks into a pie, and we had an apple and raspberry crumble to follow. 

The weather has been a wonderful mix of rain and sunshine. When we can we get out the bikes and go to the park. All of the kids' bikes we have here have been found at our Tip Shop, which is a social enterprise employing vulnerable people and saving things from landfill. DGS2 loves his balance bike.

DGS1 now has a big bike at our place with trainer wheels -it was $15 at the Tip Shop, and DH just tidied it up, oiled it and made sure the bell worked! He was delighted with it -"it's perfect!" he declared.

In the same vein, we have noticed that we really like the kind of ambiance you get from table and floor lamps on a winter's day when it is grey and cloudy outside. I got the idea that our lounge room could do with a standard lamp, and went online to see what was available to fit our 'traditional/cosy' decor. That meant that we didn't want any modern lights, nor anything too fussy. I found a wooden lamp secondhand on marketplace, and bought a new shade.  The whole thing cost $105 which was a third of the price of new lamps which look like this.

The sunshine and rain have been great for the garden. I have continued to make compost, and am pleased that the new mulcher I got for Mother's day has improved the quality of the mulch a great deal. I have moved some roses and planted some native plants like this one, for the birds and the insects. It is part of my on-going campaign to add flowers to my edible garden, and to ensure that there are mid and lower story plants among the trees. The garden is by no means full! 

I have been working on a quilt, using some gifted panels with a gardening theme. It is almost at flimsy stage -I have found one of the border patches has a hole so I have to take it out and replace it. It is a generous single bed size. 

We continue to experience the house, following our insulation upgrade, to be a bit warmer overnight and less in need of extra heating, although there are of course days when a glass of wine and a fire seems just right.

My state of Western Australia is doing very well so far in the COVID19 epidemic, and we are moving out of restrictions for everything except interstate travel on July 18. As a result, my choir is working on a regime to enable us to sing together in a very modified way, and we are now holding small dinner parties in our homes. This is a wonderful feeling: today I can go to my library and get some new books! 

If you are still in more resticted times, I hope you are coping well and staying safe. None of us can go back to normal yet, but life is still good. 

Thanks to all who leave comments -I love to read about your responses and your different lives. 


Nil @ The Little House by the Lake said...

Sounds like you had a great time with your grandkids.
I’m glad to hear that COVID cases have gone down and your state is slowly opening up. The opposite is happening here.

Stay safe, earthmotherwithin.

TheAwakenedSoul said...

How wonderful that you can have gatherings and use the library again. Our numbers have spiked in California, so I am still being very cautious. Thank goodness for the garden. Going to the lake at the country club has been a Godsend, too.

sustainablemum said...

Sounds like you have had a lovely winter solstice and that you had more sunshine than we did for our summer solstice which was wet and wild!

Second hand bikes are the best ones, all the bikes I have ever owned in my life have been secondhand!

We are moving into things opening up a little here but I am not doing anymore than I have done for months. I am enjoying being at home. None of our home educating groups are starting up again and it will more than likely be months before they do, so home is the best place for us right now.

TheAwakenedSoul said...

We have been able to go to the library again, too, and I was overjoyed. Your quilt is lovely. My neighbor's little son has one of those balance bikes. They are such a great invention! I always buy my bikes second hand, too.