Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Simplifying

Hello friends,

I have a confession to make!

I have too much stuff and it is really annoying me!  

A dear friend once told us that we spend the first half of our lives collecting stuff and the last half getting rid of it! 
How true this is...

Why do we hang on to things? Does it remind us of happier times in the past?  Does it hold us back from moving forward? I am referring to vintage items that I have been collecting over the years. They do feel special. Is this a good thing?  Can I part with some of my collection? I am not sure, we will see.


It could be because of Spring, but lately I have been feeling the urge to purge (as in de-clutter).

After browsing minimalism and de-cluttering blogs, I have put into action what I have learned. 
YouTube also has a ton of helpful videos to keep me inspired.


The first thing I tackled was my clothing. 
I don't wear fancy name brand articles, so it wasn't really that hard to cull. 

Gone is the clothing that I haven't worn for a while or no longer love. 


Have you heard of Marie Kondo from Konmari fame? 
She is a young Japanese woman, who has a fantastic method for clearing and organising the clutter in our homes.

So after taking some inspiration from Marie, I now have very neatly presented drawers. Marie has a special way of folding clothes to make them fit nicely into drawers. 
The good thing about this method is you can see which shirt or item you want without rummaging through and messing up the whole drawer. 

First mine...


Then hubby's.



Too many emails was another problem. I found I couldn't keep up with them all. So I have taken action and unsubscribed to most of the emails I was receiving. I now have only a few of my favourites coming in, and it feels so much better. I have also cut back on social media.


The cupboards have been getting a good sort out too.  I have thrown out a lot of items that were no longer used. My cleaning gear now consists of just a few things that I use all the time. 


You may have noticed that I have simplified my blog. It was becoming too cluttered and not a place I enjoyed anymore. It is still a work in progress and there may be more changes as I attempt simplify further.


Books have been culled too. No need to have so many collecting dust, never to be read. Someone else can have the use of them, so off to the op shop they go. I have kept just the ones that are important to me.


I am longing for a really simple rest of my life. I don't want to do all this busyness anymore.

I come from a family of hoarders. Both my parents and grandparents hung onto things for years and years. Just in case.
So I have a battle on my hands.


In my kitchen I use a few vintage items. I wont be parting with these. When I use them it is a gentle reminder of simpler times. 


I think hubby may be getting a bit worried. He will be hovering over his possessions, just in case I decide to start on his.


What I have done so far;

~ Our bedroom
~ Most of the laundry room, cupboards and drawers
~ Our sons drawers
~ Most of the bookshelves
~ Cupboard in the entryway
~ Sorted email
~ Started cleanup of my blog


Still on my list to do;

~ Spare room drawers and wardrobe.  These have been used for storing "stuff"
~ Sort through DVD's, we don't watch them
~ The rest of the bookshelves
~Sideboard cupboard, another storage for "stuff"
~ Kitchen dresser, meat-safe and icebox
~ Finish last cupboard in the laundry
~ Linen cupboards (I have been putting this off)
~ Pantry
~ Kitchen
~ Sons bedroom
~ Main bathroom
~ Finish off clearing out the rumpus room
~ Go through boxes of stuff in storage
~ Sort out plants outside
~ Outside front garden.  I struggle to grow things mainly because they need a lot of water, so I am going to put down rocks and grow hardy plants instead.

I am sure to add more to this list.

I have a way to go yet, but I will continue on...I am also wanting to give the house a fresh coat of paint, as the colours of our walls are very outdated. They have not been painted since we moved here. I am going to go neutral all over, away from the variety of different colours the previous owners chose.




Do any of you have the same problem with letting go of things? Maybe you are a minimalist already or on your journey to become one. Or perhaps collecting things makes you happy. Let me know, I would love to hear your stories.

I will leave you this video to watch. Please do yourself a favour and watch it if you haven't done so already.



I have enjoyed seeing the beautiful flower displays this year.  I have shared some with you in this post.
The large amount of rain has changed the landscape into a sea of colour.

Have a wonderful day!


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Spring Storms

Greetings dear friends,

You may have heard that we had major storms recently and the whole state of South Australia was thrown into darkness with a state wide blackout. Could this be because our local coal fired power station has closed? I think so, but the government are making all sorts of excuses as to why this happened in this day and age. Absolutely ridiculous in my opinion.

We were without power for 25 hours and my parents for 48 hours. Other remote places are still waiting for it to come back on and it is over a week since the storms went through. Phone coverage was also out.

Here is a photo of the now defunct power station. This was taken on the day they demolished one of the small stacks on the right.

Down it goes...

One by one the stacks and infrastructure will disappear and the land will be returned to its original vegetation.

Back to the storms...
We had to venture out in the bad weather to pick our grandson up from school.
This was taken on the way.

And this is what we encountered when we reached the school.
Because of the gale force winds, a tree had fallen and it knocked over power lines and they were blowing around in the wind with sparks flying everywhere. A car had accidentally driven over a live cable and the occupants were stuck in the car.  Hubby told the lady to sit tight and not get out of the car! He phoned emergency numbers and the school to warn them of the danger just outside the school grounds. Hubby parked our car in the middle of the road with hazard lights on and redirected traffic until the police and emergency services arrived.

The conditions afterwards while driving home were quite scary. The wind was so strong it was blowing the rain horizontal across the roads, it was like driving through a cyclone. It left trees down and lots of other damage around the town. Thank goodness our place received no damage.


More photos of the storm can be seen here.

A few days later we went with the old ute, chainsaw and trailer to chop up some wood from the fallen trees.


It is so lovely to see the beautiful fields of green everywhere. We have had so much rain during Winter. Normally it would be dry and brown at this time of year.



Next we went to a nearby town where a tornado had ripped through the outskirts of town.  You could track where it had gone, there was debris everywhere.  It plowed through the caravan park up rooting trees and turning caravans on their roof!  We drove down the side road and there were fences down on properties with trees, branches and leaves strewn everywhere. It also brought down a power pole and cut electricity.

This is what the wind did to power poles nearby. And this is what caused the whole state to lose electricity.
Image result for power lines at melrose
image source

Anyway back to our wood cutting expedition. We pulled up where a farmer and his wife were cleaning up along the road and asked if it was okay to chop up some of the wood. Because my parents have just moved to the district he said yes, so hubby got busy!




We had a full load to take home.
The next day we found another tree locally and chopped that up too. We now have twelve months worth of wood for the fire.

We coped well with the blackout.  Hubby bought fuel that day because the warnings were out on the radio. He tested the generator to make sure it was working okay. We ran it to keep the fridges and freezers going and to charge our mobile phones. We have a gas stove so was able to cook meals and have teas and coffees. My freezers are full and so is my pantry. We had plenty to eat if needed.

The local supermarkets were thrown into turmoil and one did open its doors but the shelves were pretty bare. They lost lots of stock from the fridges and freezers.

Did you get storms in your neck of the woods?   Were you able to cope without electricity if it went out?


Wishing you all well,

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Spring Time in the Garden

Hello dear friends,

It has been a while I know, but I thought it was time for an update on the vegie garden.

Spring has been a long time coming with cold nights still around and lots of rain falling.  There has been a lot more rain than usual for this time of year. Because of the colder days and nights the plants have been rather sluggish in taking off. Normally this time of year it would be getting quite warm to hot.

This silver beet is from last season and is starting to go to seed. Hopefully the seeds will spread and come up by themselves. The chooks love to eat the silver beet leaves, this is why I grow them.

The strawberries have sent out runners and established themselves along the edge of the bath. I am really pleased at how well these are growing considering I have neglected them terribly through winter. They are loaded with strawberries.



I decided to plant more kale this year. This is great added to smoothies during summer.



The silver beet has been neglected too but look at how well it is growing.


I am wanting to grow apple cucumbers, but couldn't find any seedlings so have planted these ones for now. They are cucumber spacemaster and are dark skinned. I am going to look through my seed collection and see if there are any apple cucumber seeds I can plant out.I pulled out the old capsicum plants.  I was going to chop them back but thought starting with fresh plants was a better way to go.  The ones I planted last season produced good fruit right though winter.


 With all the rain we have had there are celery plants popping up everywhere. This is one of the easiest plants to grow.


The rhubarb I transferred to this wicking barrel is looking very healthy. The rain has done wonders.

I am waiting for my tomato seeds to come up.  I buried some of the old tomatoes from last year and hoping they will germinate soon. 
In the meantime I found these Stupice tomatoes at a farmers market recently. Apparently these grow well in cooler weather so I am going to give them a trail run to see how they fare.

The spring onions grew well in a wicking barrel.  They have gone to seed and once dry I will spread the seeds over the soil so some new plants can grow.

I was very pleased to see some native bees buzzing around the flowers. Last year there didn't seem to be many bees around.


This is how the vegie garden is looking.  It is early days yet, but I am looking forward to having a bountiful season.



I am going to get hubby to help me relocate these baths to the other part of the garden. Then the plants will be all contained in one area.  Not sure what I will do with this side yet but have been thinking maybe cover over and make into a green house. Hint,hint! 

 This is where the baths are going to be put. We have started removing the soil from this old bed and then will take the posts away and place the baths along the fence.

The weather is warming up this week.  This past week we have had terrible storms and power outages. Hopefully there wont be much more of that sort of weather. Our power was out for over twenty four hours, but other places were out for much longer. The strong winds brought down trees and flattened power poles. It also brought more rain for some areas and caused flooding.  Mother nature is grand isn't she?

How is your garden preparation going? What are you attempting to grow this season?

Take care everyone,