Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Ordinary Arts

“The ordinary arts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest.”

~ Thomas Moore

Honestly, I don't find the ordinary arts simple, and from what I read there are many others like me. After all, if it were simple would we have to "practice" every day at home? 😉  Firstly I find it hard to find the time to practice the ordinary arts. Secondly I don't find cooking, baking, sewing etc. simple, (definition " easy to do, not complex or fancy",) but I do find them very satisfying. Nor do I find cleaning and dusting without their challenges. I do agree though, that these activities are important to our souls. Many people find carrying out household tasks therapeutic (though they may be loath to admit it) and a home that is tidy, clean and well-provisioned is a source of security and comfort for those who live under its roof. 

It was only two or three generations ago that family traditions differed very much from today. It was not uncommon for families to have chooks and to grow their own some of their own fruit and veggies. Less refined and processed foods were eaten, and more family activities were carried out together.

I know my Great Grandfather tended his vegetable garden into advanced old age - not because he had to, so why would he have done so? Was it because it was important to his soul - did this activity nourish him as a person?

Baking is an ordinary art that nourishes me. My father was a baker so perhaps that has something to do with it, perhaps it is in the blood so to speak.

 I am on a journey,  learning how to make my home increasingly productive and discover how to better manage and conserve my resources. I want to discover more about household traditions that have been used by previous generations in the management of their households. Not just from my own Anglo Saxon background but the home caring traditions of women from other cultures. I want to learn how they conserved their resources and made their homes the centre of production, supplying many of their own needs through their exercise of thrift.   At the moment I have a fascination with French, Italian and Native American Traditions.  

Some examples of household traditions practiced by families:
Tomato sauce making
Grape harvesting
Wine making
Sausage making
Raising pork
Keeping chooks
Reusing or re-purposing items rather than throwing them away
Making and mending clothes
Making Jam

I remember reading a story regarding my Great Grandparents and their children making jam together as a family.  I am always impressed by families working together to create a self-supporting household.

Do you know of any household traditions did your family practice in past generations?

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Here Comes Debbie!

"Preparedness is the only way we can combat a natural disaster"
~ John Quinlan

Keeping a well stocked pantry is an important
part of being prepared.

Queensland (the state in which I live) is about to start feeling the effects of the first cyclone crossing of the season. This cyclone is coming late in the season and I had begun to think we might have managed to finish the season without any cyclones crossing our coast. The last tropical cyclone to cross our coast was Cyclone Nathan back in 2015. 

A wind up radio come torch come phone charger can come in handy when
the power is out.

Many people in the cyclone's path are being told to evacuate their homes. Grocery stores have run out of some items. Residents are being told they may need to cope with several days without electricity. 

I hope everyone in the affected areas remains safe and well. 

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

A Bitter Pill

'You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lines. You may trod me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I'll rise."

~Maya Angelou

Hello, that was a longer break than I had anticipated when I
wrote my last post. Thank you for the encouraging comments.

Well I have swallowed my bitter pill and I
am learning to move on. I also experienced another couple of set backs since my last post, which is another reason why it has taken me so long to return to blogging. Life's lessons can be hard at times but I keep the story of the Taoist farmer in mind; reminding myself it takes time to discover whether events that happen are good or bad. As things that appear to bad at the time can turn out to be something that has happened for one's best and highest good. Only time will tell. I hope to return to regular blogging soon and to catching up with all the blogs I usually follow even sooner. Cheers!

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Sucker Punch

I have not posted this week due to dealing with a situation that is taking up all my time and energy.  😞 Hopefully I will return to posting again next week. 

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Ringing in the New Year

Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, 'It will be happier.'  ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson

A new year comes with the promise of gifts as yet unopened.

In the New Year turns my mind to I improvement. Improvement of self, of home of life. Do you feel this way at the start of a new year?

Going to bed earlier is something I want to do this year.

My new year's resolution is perhaps one of the simplest though one of the most difficult to keep - to enjoy life. Someone shared the comment on my blog last year that time spent doing what you love is never wasted. According to researchers the body has a chemical response to joy.

 In order to keep my energy levels up so that I can pursue pastimes I enjoy I intend to go to bed early enough to give me 7 to 8 hours sleep a night and to walk for around 30 minutes four to five times a week.  Aches and pains and an over active mind can stop me falling asleep. A light snack before going to bed helps many drift off to sleep. For me a glass of milk or a cup of chamomile tea can help. Milk is said to speed tryptophan to the brain where it is converted to serotonin. Years ago a work colleague gave me a going to sleep tip that works really well, when sleep is avoiding me. I close my eyes and just watch the patterns behind my eyelids at play. Try it, it works for me and it might work for you too. I also spray my pillowcase with a lavender scent to help me drift off to lavendered sleep.

Do you have any New Year's Resolutions? What are they?

Wednesday, 4 January 2017


"Life is constantly providing us with new funds, new resources, even when we are reduced to immobility. In life's ledger there is no such thing as frozen assets"
~ Henry Miller

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

What Sherri Did - December 2016

Try to live an authentic life that feels true to yourself - which means living as yourself, not as an imitation of anyone else, and not the reflection of yourself in anyone else's eyes.

~Maria Shriver

For me living an authentic life is living a life that expresses my values. Is that what living an authentic life means to you? Life can be so busy that it is easy to become distracted and it is good to have this space as a reminder of what being authentic means to me in this consumer mad world.

In General

We have been doing some maintenance and re-painting inside and outside. The guest bedroom walls have been repainted. I wish I had remembered to take a photo of before we started. Anyway the walls had a purple over pink sponge effect before and now they are a nice restful beige - the colour is called Romantic Chintz. Don did most of the work, though I helped with some of the cutting in. It has been hot weather for painting. Don also took down the light fitting and updated it by spraying part of it black. We also fitted a new curtain rod. I moved some decor items out of the room and others in.

Repainted guest  bedroom

Don also finished painting the window sills in the main bedroom, as he didn't get them done when he painted the walls in that room.

As I write Don is outside painting the front gates.

I have been doing lots of de-cluttering, and have said good-bye to clothes and books and other sundry items I am no longer using.

Same room, different angle.

What I have been reading

This month I managed to do a bit more reading than I have for a long time.
Before the War by Fay Weldon
The Golden Door by Kerry Jamieson
The Hot Flash Club by Nancy Thayer, - I first read this book about 10 years ago and I held onto it because I knew I would want to read it again.

Here it is again from a different angle, you can just make out the built in
wardrobe at the left of the photo. The doors have been painted the same colour
as the walls
Best of the web
Considering retirement? Them maybe living a life on the sea might be something that interests you.

Here is an article that explains what your choice of plaid says about you. (I think mine says "doesn't like to iron in the hot weather.")

So, stagnating wages growth is not just an Australian problem, Britain is experiencing it too.