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

Sunday, 31 May 2020

Stepping Back & Stepping Out


Hi everyone,
Sorry it's been so long since I've written. My last post was at the start of the awful Virus outbreak and I think as we as a country went into lock down, I sort of withdrew from a lot of social media and the internet.  It wasn't really intentional, it just happened, so I just wanted to let you know what has been happening here in our life. I continued on with cleaning and clearing and have now worked my way through every cupboard and pantry, as we have several, and most of the bookcases. Oh how cathartic it is..much less clutter. We also purchased two inexpensive white pantries to store a lot of the packaging that I use for my small soap business...just things like that :) It takes a lot of sorting through, and I find I have to stay focused on the task to just complete it properly and not try to do a whole lot of other things at the same time. 

A question: How did you feel about the Lock Down? Are you still in Lock Down? in your country?

We are out of lock down now and nearly everything is open again. I personally loved the lock down, as did a lot of people I have spoken too. Our world is just so busy these days. I found it a joy to look out the window and see neighbours at home, out in their gardens or people as families going for walks together. When the lock down was over I was saddened that for so many people the thing they missed most was shopping ?? 
We still haven't even left our small town. It reminded me how fulfilling it is to take time to make special things for our home, to go through my own fabric stash and not just order something new online or rush into town to buy something. 

It was so quiet on our streets...I felt so peaceful...like nothing was expected of me and I didn't need to be anywhere. Apart from missing friends and family, I was able to be still...to think...and to start and complete projects I didn't think I would ever get around too.

Here's pictures of some of those things:

PRESERVING THE HARVEST:
We have four apple trees and three of those produce quite abundantly, so May sees me bottling apples, making apple butter and we eat a lot of them too.









SOME SEWING: 
I made some little reversible elastic cotton covers for my sourdough. I love the pretty floral fabrics.
They were quite simple to make. Here's a link to a great tutorial on You tube that I used:
 



I made several face masks, and while the lock down was in place we wore them when one of us needed to go to the supermarket. I also made them for my parents and was pleased they actually wore them too!


...and lastly I made three new aprons for myself :) I've been alternating two shabby brown aprons for several years now and are so pleased to have finally completed them. I even added pretty lace trims and also a lining. 



My husband has been working from home for two months now (because of Covid) and will finally return to work next week. It's been lovely having him here even though I had to be very quiet :) It's been a lot less stressful for him too. (please excuse pictures of laundry hanging in every picture..he he. It is Winter here now !)

We kept ourselves entertained playing board games :)

I made more soap (of course).. Goats Milk - Lemongrass & Lavender and a special soap to encourage people during the pandemic, called the HOPE soap.




We've been continuing on with our plant based meals, even though we still include eggs, occasional fish and chicken. We've been enjoying curries with paneer or Haloumi, homemade pasta, roasted cauliflower and Lentil Bolognaise recently.



I hung some herbs to dry - Sage, Basil and Thyme..and enjoyed stripping them off the stems once dry, putting them in jars and making pretty labels. They taste wonderful in our meals and it's so good to know they are organically grown too.



H O M E:  It's such a joy for me to care for my husband and our home. I know I've said it before but I truly do love the things I do here - cleaning, placing vases of freshly picked flowers here and there, turning on a lamp to make a room feel cosier, recovering cushions to freshen up a room, using the vegetables in our garden to make our meals healthier, preserving our harvest so we'll have fruit to enjoy during the cold Winter months, stripping down the beds, washing blankets and quilts and putting on fluffy warm winciette sheets as the cooler nights come closer. All these things I enjoy. 
I found this old notice called the Homemakers Creed and just love the words:


I love to save images of  homes, especially country style or vintage, pictures of simply prepared food like bread, baking, washing on the line or someone tending their garden. They remind me of my childhood and lovely days spent with my Nana, where we would just laugh and laugh. 



........

Well that's all from me, I pray you are all keeping well and 
trying to stay close to God (the only way to stay sane in these troubled times the world is in!) 
God Bless ~ Linda


1 Peter 2: 29 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. ~ May we all remain and walk in that light.


















12 comments:

  1. Hello dearie,
    It's been awhile since I've been by for a visit. Strangely, I've been more busy than ever the last three months. This season has affected us all differently. I now am working in a doctor's office, so I'm out and about three days a week. Fortunately, it's a chiropractor, so my risk is minimized. We did stay open through everything though.
    May God bless you and keep you and make his face to shine upon you and bring you peace.
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage
    Missouri, USA

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    1. You are so sweet Laura. Your comment blessed my heart - and helped. I'm sure your smile and kind disposition will bring a peace to the doctors/chiropractors office when people come there in pain. I've visited chiropractors in the past, so I know what it's like. May God's peace shine upon you too ~ Linda x

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  2. Such a lovely posting. I feel much as you with the peace and quiet in our neighborhood during the lock down. We would sit on our front porch and see many out for walks. Everyone seemed so calm and fully enjoying the slow and gentle times that we were in. Our lock down is gradually lifting. For my husband and myself, we live a mostly homey life, so the one thing that changed for us is that we would use the 'senior' hour to shop for our groceries and essentials. The times were very early morning and we found that we enjoyed being out and about at that time of the day. There was very little traffic, very few shopping and the early morning is so fresh and pretty. Also, we would be back home early and have our shopping all stored away and could get on with our day. We live very simple, but found our lock down time to clean, organize, keep only what we use and love. We still have a ways to go on our decluttering, but every little bit helps. I love the fabric covers and your aprons that you made. Your cupboards are wonderful. I have two old fashioned cupboards and I love them. They bring back fond memories of my gramma. We have a small pantry and I am thankful that we are able to be stocked up. I love the Homemakers Creed ... heartwarming. You have a beautiful space here. I look forward to browsing your past postings. We are from Kansas, USA. Homespun Hugs, Teri

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  3. Welcome Teri :) so lovely to have you stop by. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on your lock down experience. You sound a lot like me, using the time to catch up on much needs jobs/tasks around the home. Yes it's a blessing to be able to stock our pantries. It brings me so happy that you enjoy reading my blog. Many blessings to you ~ Linda x

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  4. Hello,
    I just found your lovely blog through Roxy's blog. I just wanted to say I enjoyed my visit.
    God Bless you and your family,
    Shirley

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    1. Welcome to you Mountain Laurel :), It's always such a joy when someone stops by and especially leaves me a comment. Thank you for your kind words ~ Blessings - Linda

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  5. I found your blog not that long ago and I love it. This post is so close to my heart I feel like you are talking about me. I love simplicity, preserving, baking, cooking, cleaning and slow and quiet life. I hope you are staying safe and God bless.

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    1. Welcome Ivona :) It's always so lovely to meet a kindred spirit and new friend. So many of us woman just enjoy the simple things of life. I don't know why the media likes to portray something different? and make woman think they need to strive for so much more all the time. Other things: We are staying safe here in NZ. Life has pretty much returned to normal (the new normal), but I am aware that is not the case in so many other countries of the world. I pray you too keep safe too. God Bless you also. I'll try to get another post written soon :)

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  6. This is a lovely post Linda, filled with all the things of home. There is nothing better than seeing washing hanging to dry ~smile

    We are back on restrictions but not in lock-down like Melbourne is. I feel we may end up going back into lock-down because that virus is spreading far and wide. It is back lurking in our state. We always said we should have done what NZ did and went into complete lock down to wipe the virus out, now it has come back with the second wave.

    I eased back on blogging and social media for a while to gather my thoughts and get things in order. I am still doing that now although I have returned to posting again on my blog.

    Your soap is just gorgeous! You do a wonderful job with presentation. I am going to try soap making very soon. It has been on my to do list for years, I have gathered the method, ingredients and moulds to put it in, just got to find the courage to give it a go.

    So glad to hear you are still doing more plant based meals. We are mostly plant based, only occasionally eating fish/seafood and our homegrown eggs. I think if you are around 90% eating healthy food, you are on a winner. Your food also looks delicious!

    I just remembered that I was going to make some of those sourdough covers...it had completely slipped my mind. Thank you for the video link for how they are made.

    Your harvest and preserves are wonderful. It is great to see so many of us doing this old craft to preserve our precious food. I am going to do more of this from now on.

    Love the verse and the old photos, like you they remind me of happy times.

    Many blessings to you for a lovely weekend,

    xTania







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    1. Hello sweet Tania :)
      So lovely to hear from you !! I really must start blogging and continuing on with my youtube channel. We've had various dramas round here lately and anything like that ruffles my feathers and it takes a while for this old hen to get herself back into a peaceful space to write again. Inspiration slowly returns. I'm sorry to hear the virus is spreading far and wide in Australia :( We don't have TV, but I did hear Victoria and Melbourne were returning to lockdown. There are rumours around here too that we may go into a new level (we are still remaining in Level 1 - with border restrictions), but it may return to level 2? unsure. Anyway I am not dwelling on it, as last time I let it get me in such a state I was like chicken licken running around like the sky was falling in (not a chicken theme lol) I feel inspired now !!!. Anyway I think we all need a sort of 'prepper' mindset - not armageddon style, but just in a quiet way to have some long term storage items, such as grain, canned goods, medicines etc It's wise, as at anytime sickness or job loss or anything could happen. And Tania - yes, have a go at soap making. Initially I was so frightened of the lye I let it hinder me for many many years ! how crazy is that. It's not much different to baking. :) My first recipe I made was from Rhonda Hetzel wonderful blog (Down to Earth), she had a step by step tutorial. I followed it religiously every time for quite a while and it worked great as a basic/beginner formula. Okay that's enough of me, bye for now sweet friend xox

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  7. I just discovered your blog and have enjoyed reading it. Praying you are doing well during this time!

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    1. Welcome :)and thank you for your kind words. Yes I am keeping well, as I hope you are too. I've just been a bit too busy, but hope to take some time soon and write a little bit again. Blessings to you. ~ Linda

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