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!