Sunday, June 27, 2010

Fire and Ice

Fiery colours of nasturtiums in a tiny crystal vase. This one survived the 'great vase de-cluttering" of last week. It is so handy for tiny flowers and they always look wonderful in it.

I like this thought from the ALS website thread on de-cluttering:
"There is clutter and storage. Storage is stuff with a known and expected use, placed sensibly in such a way to make it readily available when its time comes. Makes you happy to look at.
Clutter is disorganised, unknown or unlikely use, and makes you feel slightly queasy to look at. In severe depression there is no part of the house which makes you happy to look at. Clear it back to bare boards if necessary, you will be surprised how much of it you will never miss, and even feel good about the loss of."

And this is the ice! On my car, this week. We people in Perth are not used to such cold mornings. It should be raining -if it was raining, it would be warmer. As it is, there have been two mornings we have had to deal with ice on the cars in the driveway this week.

The exciting thing is our new free-standing carport is due to be constructed next week. Watch out for pictures!!

I like the colours of cumquats as they ripen. I have several new recipes to try out on this year's crop, including preserved cumquats and cumquat biscuits! We plucked up the courage to try my preserved apples (faithful readers will remember this is my first attempt at preserving things using the water bath method) and I am pleased to say they tasted great.

This is a view of my front garden in the winter sunshine. In the middle of all of this profusion of winter growth my DH found space to plant a Quince tree.

We are looking forward to summer shade, winter sun from the quince, and lots of ruby red quince preserves in due course.

DH grubbed around in the potato bed to check them -and found some tiny taters. I think they need a bit longer yet.

And finally, I have been sitting near the heater sewing the binding on my Dark Nightz quilt. Soon it will be on the wall.

Hope you are all keeping well and warm during this southern winter time.

Monday, June 21, 2010


I have been on a silent retreat, at the wonderful Nathaniel's rest.

No talking for 40 hours.


As my DH said, it is a great relief not to talk for a while.

Time to rest.

Time to read.

Time to think.

Time to walk.

Time to notice how lovely our winter bushland can be.

We saw 4 kangaroos on the hop -bounding through the bush.
Didn't get a picture, but how glad it made me!

These horses were still enough to photograph, however.

Now that I am back home, we are thinking about how we can include at least some quietness in our lives.
We could drive without the radio or music playing.
We could spend one of our morning walks together in silence.

Silence helps us to notice what is otherwise hidden.

One of my readings this weekend said:
"Why should creation play to an empty house?"
At least some times, I intend to be in the audience, quietly watching the show.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Three visit rule!

It was like this, you see. I had this lovely mug given to me some years ago, by a friend who knew the potter. She had him add my name to this mug. I have an unusual name and so I have never been able to buy anything with my name on it -and I was delighted to have this mug.

Then I saw this tray with more of exactly the same mugs as my name mug, in an op shop near where I work. They were in excellent condition and for just $25 or less than $2.50 per piece -including sugar bowl and milk jug-a real bargain. The only problem was that I really didn't need any more mugs. Have lots of them in the house.

So I left them for other lucky shoppers. And a couple of weeks later they were still there.

And then a month later they were still there!

That is when my DD's 'three visit rule' came into play. If it is still in the op shop after three visits, you get to buy it! Well, obviously I was the only customer for these mugs -the only one who would really appreciate them -and the op shop needs to sell its stock doesn't it!

So they came home and we are all delighted with them. We had coffee on Saturday with home made peanut butter and chocolate biscuits -and we all said what a nice set it was. Unlike some pottery mugs these have a nice feel to them.

The way that I make room for such purchases is to take back to the op shop some things I don't need. I now have a boot full of things such as glass vases, which I don't use very often. I have included some china too. I don't want to clutter my house (some people would say it is already full!) so this is the way I manage this kind of thing. I love op shops and the thrill of finding something special or unique, or just loving something no-one else wants.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

I Like My Small House!

We bought our first home when we had been married for 20 years. I was tired of living in other people's houses and I wanted to have a home of my own. For many years this seemed an impossible dream. My DH and I had shared one full time job when our children were little, and as a result we had a great relationship with our two children, but no savings. As they grew we took on more days of work and started to save.

Eventually we had a moment -throwing every resource we had, including converting our long service leave to cash, we bought the best house we could afford - a 25 year old three bedroom, two bathroom home. It is not large by Australian standards, but palatial by the standards most of the third world experiences. It has a 'family room' -a new feature when the house was built-that is about the size of a bedroom. It does not have the standard four bedrooms. It does not have a games room or a theatre room or any of the rooms Australian families have been told that they need to have a good life these days.

Over the years we added a patio out the back, and with clear plastic blinds and a patio gas heater it is a comfortable space for a lot of the year. My DS invited his friends over last night and there were ten of them enjoying each other's company in the patio whilst the rest of us were happy in the family room.

This article sums up what I like about small houses. What is suggested is that if we can not be sucked in by the consumerist culture of our society, which tries to convince us that we need more and bigger and newer things all the time, then we can enjoy what we have rather than what others tell us we should want.

Yesterday evening my DH and I were sitting in our lounge room at about 5pm. We both had good books to read, and a glass of wine. We were warm and comfortable, there was jazz on the radio, and the rain was softly falling. We were both well aware of what a luxury a comfortable home can be, and are grateful for it.

Sorry that I have had to add another level of moderation to the comments section of this blog. Please feel free to leave a comment anyway!