Two wings lift a person up from earthy concerns: simplicity and purity. Simplicity should be in intention, purity in feelings. Simplicity reaches out after God, purity catches hold and tastes. ~ Thomas A’Kempis

Monday, 16 March 2020

Cleaning & clearing Part 2

Hi everyone,
I hope you are all washing your hands :) It is silly really that people need to be told to do this, but obviously not many people were before, or at least not doing it properly. There's no worries here at the little homestead however, especially considering I'm in the soap business lol !! he he, but seriously, whoever saw all of this coming !!! certainly not me.

As we are now in Autumn here in our little corner of the world, the mornings and evenings are cooler and wouldn't you know it sniffles/colds/virus etc have arrived as well. My husband is currently tucked up in bed with a sore throat. 
I decided to make up another batch of Theives. If you've never heard of it, it's a blend of 5 essential oils: Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Lemon, Clove and Cinnamon. I'll attach a link if your interested in making it. I know companies like 'Young Living' essential oils sell it, as do other companies, maybe under a different name? I had the oils on hand anyway, so chose to just make some for my family. From my research I know it is not effective against Coronavirus, but it is still effective against germs and bacteria. I will be diffusing it to purify the air in our home and also adding drops to my homemade spray cleaner. I also purchased some hospital grade medicated wipes which I'm using to wipe door handles etc with (at the moment), just to be hyper cautious. Every little bit helps in my opinion.
Also I will attach a link to a really informative video regarding hand sanitizers. If you are at all interested in making your own their are certain facts to know regarding what will actually be effective against these virus's like coronavirus.

~ ~ ~ 0 ~  ~ ~

Other News:
I've just been super busy here at home cleaning, clearing and sorting and oh my does it feel good. I am steadily working my way through this house sorting cupboards, wardrobes etc. The last post mentioned my linen cupboard, well last week it was the Pantry. I actually have two. One is smaller and its more of a prepper style pantry where I just store extra canned goods, dry food etc. I am including before and after pantry pics. I havn't properly cleaned this large pantry out for a coupe of years. All I've done is wiped shelves down, but not properly emptied it out o clean as I've been too jolly busy...anyway you can see for yourself: (the big pantry)

 A big jumbled up mess..packets, bottles, cake tins, bags of flour..everything very disorganized. It was hard to know at times where things were and if I even had pinto beans hiding in there? I hate to be wasteful and if I end up having to throw something out because it was shoved to the back of the pantry and then has expired, that makes me upset. Food is something to be very thankful for ! 
I know with some people having to stay home and self quarantine right now, its the perfect opportunity to get stuck in and make that time work for you.  Get cleaning :)

Okay, this is where it got ugly...oh my what have I started !! ?? It took me two and a half days to empty it all out, sort what I wanted to keep, clean and reorganize in new jars. The original jars were preserving jars, so they are just going back into my canning cupboard :)

and then finally ta da...

One side contains the dehydrator, electric frypan, crockpot, cake tins..non food related items etc. and the other side is all food. The white plastic baskets contain things that are not used that often and I don't particularly want to look at all the time. I wanted the pantry to be simple, clean, tidy, and functional. Now I know exactly what's in there and it's so easy to find everything. I also arranged things so the weightier items (like large jars of bottled fruit) are all on the bottom shelf.

 ~ Of course I had to make my own jar labels. I have label paper on hand that I use in my soap business. Its water and grease proof, so will stand up to some handling. I'm pleased with the result and think they look a tad vintage too.

These other labels were made with an electrotag maker..but then it broke half way through..grrr, so that's why I made my own, and I actually like my ones better. (smile)

...then just because I don't know when to stop, I rearranged, cleaned and sorted out my spice drawer !!! That was a big job too. I didn't do a before pic (forgot), but this is the completed look. I colour coded the labels to make it easier for me to see without my glasses :). I had all the wee jars already up in my jar that's another story !!

Our garden is winding down for the year and didn't do as well as other years. Because of that I haven't been able to preserve as many jars of relish/pickle. I normally make tomato salsa every year, but the tomatoes haven't done as well either. It truly has been odd weather. We've made a lot of jam though :) And for the first year we have been able to harvest some figs. They are little, but still delicious and such a treat for me.

~ A simple lunch for me: Fresh Cox's Orange apples of off our tree, some sliced edam cheese, and a pumpkin muffin with homemade almond butter in the middle = delicious

Other baking:  'Date and Orange Scones'
Our oranges are starting to get a bit dry now, but the zest is still lovely and they do still give
 a little juice, so I made a simple scone recipe: (1/2 wholemeal flour and 1/2 self-raising white) - all up it was 3 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 cup or more of milk, I squeezed in some fresh orange juice, and grated the zest of 1 x orange. I added about 1.5 cups of chopped dates and a pinch of salt. 1/3rd  - 1/2 cup brown sugar.  I rub 50 grams of butter into the flour. Then I stir in the zest, sugar, salt, dates, sugar, and pour in the milk and orange juice. Mix to a scone dough consistency. Continue to make as you would a scone recipe. I bake them at 190 Celcius for about 15 - 20 minutes.

~ 'Kale Burgers' ~
I follow a couple of ladies on YouTube. The channel is called Jane Essylstyn. They have some great recipes for plant based eating. Her father is a heart doctor and the recipes are for people who may have a history of heart disease and need to be careful of their diet. I have just purchased their book. Anyway I ramble, I just wanted to say I tried one of their recipes. They are Vegan and it was really good :) We will eat these again !! 

 ~ I served them on English Sourdough Muffins - homemade of course ~

Here is a link to their channel. The recipe for Kale Burgers is on there. It just consists of Kale (obviously), sweet potato, kidney beans, other veges and hot sauce). I added a couple of extra tweaks and may make my own video of me making it in the future.

Well dear friends and quiet followers, that is about all for now. I just wanted to check in with you all and let you know how we are. We haven't managed anymore painting of the house and quite frankly it will probably have to wait until next Spring now...and that's okay :)  We feel we did well this summer.
 If anything I've written here has helped or encouraged you in anyway I would love to hear from you.
Feel free to leave me a wee comment. I love to receive them and will write a reply.

and prayer is for all those in the medical profession who are working so tirelessly to help those who are ill. They themselves could be at risk, yet they faithfully serve in their professions to care for others in need. Oh Lord please protect and bless these people.


  1. Hello!
    You have inspired me to take this time and use it for some deep cleaning in necessary places.
    Your pantry looks amazing!
    I join you in prayer for the medical workers, government officials, and others who are working to stop this virus.
    Have a cozy afternoon!

    1. Hi Billie Jo, lovely to have you stop by :) Thank you for your sweet comment too !

  2. Hi Linda! Oh I know how you feel, I've been doing layers of cleaning in my future sewing-hobby room...Oh my goodness, it's quite an ordeal. My pantry too needs a deep clean. You have done a great job!!! Bravissimo! I love your labels you made yourself, the vintage-look ones, so pretty!

    I'm definitely going to have to try the Kale Burgers! I have the dvd, Forks Over Knives and we eat vegetarian-vegan as well. I also enjoy Dr. Joel Fuhrman. Thank you so much for sharing!

    I enjoyed your blog and I'm over here washing my hands too. : ) It's been a little chaotic here in the suburbs and city, calm here in the Forest and smalltown though thank the Lord! Now even the restaurants in the city are only doing drive-thru if they choose to stay open.

    Psalms 91. <3 Hugs to you, enjoy your cleaning vacation and know I'm doing the same thing over here.

    1. Hi Amelia, lovey to hear from you dear friend :) Your sewing room will be magnificent I'm sure. I hope you'll share a picture of your completed work :) I would love to watch the Forks over Knives video one night. I think it may be freely available online?? not sure.

      I'm sure it would be more chaotic in parts of America right now because there are more cases of the virus. At the moment I think there are 20 diagnosed cases here...but our PM expects that will climb. While we are being careful, we are also declaring Psalm 91 each morning and standing on the promises of God in His word. So cool that you also signed off with Psalm 91.
      - Hugs to you too Amelia x

  3. You did an amazing job cleaning and organizing! I also love the homemade labels. Wonderful!
    Your lunch looks delicious.
    I join you in your prayer for the medical workers!
    God bless you and stay well!

    1. Lovely to have you visit here Mrs. White, and thank you for your kind words. God Bless and keep you too !

  4. So sorry Linda, I am late in visiting your lovely little blog.

    I hope you and your husband are doing okay in the lock-down, and that your husband's health is now good. It is the best time to get things in order especially the jobs that seem to never get done in the busy times.

    Those burgers look and sound delicious! I am going to have to look them up and give a try.

    Your pantry is looking delightful. This is a job I need to get to. My pantry is a little room with a lot of "stuff" inside. It all needs sorting and neatening. Thank you for the inspiration to do so.

    I have not heard of date and orange scones, but they sound yummy! Will save the recipe for later.

    The weather here at the moment is pleasant, with warmth and sunshine. My garden loves the mild weather although like yours it is winding down. I have gone ahead and planted some winter veggies.

    Take care and God bless,

  5. Hi Tania, So lovely to hear from you. I actually read one of your latest blogs the other night, but I
    was reading it so late I was too tired to comment (which is bad I know). I did enjoy reading it though and all the lovely baking you'd done (the little banana cake cookies etc). Your home sounds just like mine, full of 'handmade' and isn't that lovely. I'm sure we would enjoy sitting and having a cuppa together with all of our many similar interests. I don't have much in the garden right now, just some lettuce, carrots, silverbeet and kale. Everything else is just finishing. We've had a lot of apples, so I've been preserving etc. No Feijoas yet. They didn't get watering over the summer and I think they are slow because of that (poor trees). Well I better sign off. God bless, my husband is all better (thank you)- love to you ~ Linda

  6. Good Morning! Just found your lovely blog! You have inspired me to get busy on my pantry! Also praying for all the wonderful workers out there combatting this virus! Adding you to my reads, I love your blog!

    1. Welcome Kathy :) It' so exciting to know my little corner of the web inspired you ! I was just thinking on the weekend that it's been an age since I wrote a blog and I need to get focused. Yes the nurses and doctors and at home carers around the world are doing a selfless wonderful work in caring for the sick. Lord we pray this terrible plague will be gone from all of our shores soon ~ Amen (blessings to you Kathy !!)


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