21 August 2022

The Week that Was 21/08/2022

Another week over. Looking back, it was busy, although during the week I knew there were things to do and things getting done. It wasn't until it was time to upload this blog post that just how much was done hit me!

We had visitors for five days. 

We had the 50th annual exhibition of the Victorian Branch of the Australian Model Railway Association.

Hannah (and Lacey) came to stay for a few days. 

And of course there was all the usual chores to get done. 

So here's a trimmed down list of what was accomplished last week.

This week I am grateful for:
*Strong walls and roof - the wind blew strong on Wednesday and Thursday and I was praying our house wouldn't blow away. It didn't!
*A friend who knew I was so busy, and dropped off an order rather than me having to find the time to pick it up.
*Happy customers! I sold some of the new style of dishcloths and both customers emailed to say how happy they are with them.
*Sons who understand I am technologically challenged and go out of their way to help me fix glitches with videos and our You Tube Channel, without rolling their eyes or grumbling.

 Here's how I saved money, time and energy this week:
*Called on everyone in the house to help with chores when I was overwhelmed, stressed, tired, upset and just generally enjoying a little pity party.
*Made up the guest room for our visitors.
*Showed Tom how to make a caramel slice from scratch - another recipe to his repertoire.
*Cleaned the showers with Miracle Spray.
*Sprinkled citric acid in the toilet bowls overnight and next morning gave them a quick brush and flush and they were sparkling.
*Used powdered milk in baking and kept the fresh for our cuppas.
*Cheese was back in stock, so I bought six blocks and portioned them out to stretch them to last three months.
*Followed up on a refund that was over a month over-due - $979 was returned to my bank account.
*Filled the thermos each morning and used it to make my tea during the day.
*Dried some bread crusts and whizzed them into crumbs.
*Used frozen bread crusts to make a bread and butter pudding.
*Planted seed potatoes in bags.
*Dried the washing on the clotheshorse on the wet and damp days.
*Caught the shower warm up water and the warm up water in the kitchen and tipped it into the washing machine.
*Made sandwiches for lunch, packed morning and afternoon tea, water bottles and a thermos for Wayne and his father on Friday.
*Packed lunch for Hannah and I on Saturday and Sunday when we were at the AMRA exhibition. When a cold drink is $5, a very small bucket of hot chips is $8 and a salad sandwich is $9, that just makes sense.
*Used the fuel app to lock in the price of diesel for a week.
*Gratefully brought home some leftover cake from the exhibition. Some went into the cake tin for the week, and the rest went into the freezer.

*Received a beautiful kitchen towel as a surprise gift from an aunt. She taught me to crochet the tops of the kitchen towels before we were married, and I'm still following her instructions :)

14 August 2022

The Week that Was 14th August

What a busy week!

Wayne was on call last weekend, so it was a home weekend for us. He worked on things for an exhibition he has coming up, and I fiddle faddled around doing lots of little jobs that needed doing that don't really have a wow! factor.  Things like feeding the fruit trees, harvesting turnips, dehydrating turnip greens. Catching up with ironing and refilling the salt shaker.

They don't have any Wow! at all, but there is a lot of Woe! if these things aren't done.

This week I have been grateful for:
*A washing machine.
*Hot showers at the turn of a tap.
*A comfortable bed.

Here's how I saved money, time and energy this week:
*Joined the Every Little Bit Counts challenge to preserve something every day and use up every little bit of everything.
*Used the meal plan and prepared ahead so we could eat tasty meals on time, using food we had on hand.
*Picked two more lemons off our little lemon tree and zested then juiced them, and used the lemon halves to clean the microwave and dishwasher.
*Pulled my vacuum apart, bit by bit, to find out why it was losing suction. I put a white sheet on the floor and as I took something off I put it on the sheet, in order that they came off, so that I could put it all back together again. I found the tiniest sliver of wood - about 1.5cm long, that had wedged in a hose. It stuck out just enough to cause a dust bunny build-up and so the vacuum was losing suction. Easy fix, and saved at least $200 on a service fee and a six week wait.
*Washed the outside of all the windows using just one bucket of soapy water and a squeegee or broom (to reach the high windows).
*Caught the shower warm up water and tipped it into the washing machine.
*Filled the thermos every morning for cuppas during the day.
*Opened the cereal box liner, washed and dried it and folded it up to use as freezer film.
*Saved the dividers from the new box of tea bags for a friend who uses them to make bookmarks for her students.
*Used some lemon juice from the freezer to make Overnight Ginger Beer that we enjoyed on the sunny days. It was still cold, but a fizzy drink on a sunny day was nice.
*Pulled scones, brownies and biscuits from the freezer to serve for afternoon tea with our visitors, with homemade raspberry jam and whipped cream for the scones.
*Only made two car trips this week. One was grocery shopping, one was for an appointment. Both were within 8km of home.
*Repaired a torn seam on a pair of AJ's jeans.
*Made sure I stuck to the no housework after 7.30pm rule, and caught up on some letter writing and reading.
*Shopped around for a better deal on an insurance and saved $359.40, with better benefits and a cheaper excess!

07 August 2022

The Week That Was 7th August 2022


Here's another week done and dusted, and looking back we accomplished a lot!

Monday is always a big house cleaning day, after the weekend and to get ahead for the rest of the week, and this week was no different. It was a glorious, sun shiny day, with a breeze that would turn you into a frozen moment if you stood still - a good blanket washing day as my mother would say. So I stripped the bed a day early, and washed all the bedding and the towels and bath mats from both bathrooms and then just stood for a few minutes watching them all gently wave in the sunny breeze. Made my heart sing.

Sunny days in winter always motivate me so I tackled the pantry shelves and the big freezer in the laundry too. Sorting, putting things back in the right spot, updating the inventories, scrubbing spots off the wall (how do they get there?). A big job that took almost an hour, but it's done and I stood and stared at the shelves and smiled when I was finished. It seems the oddest things make me smile.

This week I am grateful for:

*Family - I spoke to my aunty on the phone, after playing phone tag for a couple of weeks.

*Electricity! It occurred to me just how hard my life would be if we didn’t have electricity - washing, cleaning the carpets, baking, ironing, even making a cup of tea and reading would be so much harder without electricity. We are blessed to live a very privileged life.

*Books. I love to read, and read every night, so I go through books quickly, and that could cost a lot. Instead I download free ebooks to my Kindle, either from online sources or the library.

Here's how I saved money, time and energy this week.

*Caught the shower warm up water and poured it into the washing machine.

*Boiled the kettle each morning and filled the thermos for cuppas through the day.
*Used the solar charger to charge my phone and laptop.

*Stuck to the one light rule as much as possible.

*Sorted my canning jars, lids and rings ready for canning season.

*Made a double batch of brownies, cut them up and put some in the cake tin and froze the rest for later. This used up some choc chips that had bloomed from the summer heat and the last of the margarine that was gifted to us a while back. Of course I had to sample them to make sure they were good enough, and yes, after two pieces during the day, I could say they were excellent.

*Doubled the fruit cake recipe but only used half the fruit to stretch my dried fruit stores and used applesauce instead of butter. Turned out just as delicious and moist. 

*Cooked all our meals from scratch using pantry ingredients.
*Learned an new dish cloth pattern. These are our Home Among the Gum Trees shop.  

*Only used the car once this week, and that was for a very short 7km round trip. ULP is coming down in price, but diesel has stayed pretty much the same so driving is only done when absolutely necessary.

*Planted tomato, eggplant, capsicum, zucchini and cucumber seeds in starter pots so they'll be ready to plant out at the end of September.

*Pulled the last of the turnips, washed them, diced them, and put into the freezer. The green tops were washed, drained and put into the dehydrator to dry, then powdered to use in soup.

*Fed the garden with worm tea.

*The lavender is starting to bloom so I've been picking it as I see it, and hanging it to dry.

*Added some more handmade items to the Christmas gift box, all made using what was in the craft room.

*Made father's day cards ready for next month. I haven't bought a card in years, but I expect I didn't spend at least $5 on them.

*While I was making cards, I batched a few for the nursing home, ready to send in a couple of weeks.

*Picked lemons from our tree and used them to make coriander rice and lemon tea.