Here it was very hot and now we have rain. As we had heat and bush fires the rain is wonderful! The garden is soaked and I can have a break from watering. That is my first saving to mention. It looks like I might not have to water for a week. What a help!
Today I had a lovely day as I visited my aunt. All the following photos are from my aunts garden.
Firstly I am allowed to have plums which are almost ripe. There are not buckets of plums to pick, more like wheel barrows full. Knowing this gives me time to prepare. I am planning to bake a plum cobbler that Helen makes as I can freeze those. Along with jam and eating fresh ones of course.
I came home with Hollyhock seeds which I hope to grow. They are between a cream and a lemon colour. I would love these in the garden.
The other things almost ready are Quinces. I just adore Quinces. Cooking them is just a joy as they turn from rock like to soft and deep ruby pink. They also have a wonderful scent.
The whole garden is inspiring as it is an ordinary size really with a huge amount of fruit trees all covered in fruit.
Plus flowers! I am pretty easily side tracked by flowers. The whole afternoon did me good. And the promise of fruit is lovely. I have jars saved up and pie dishes etc now I will stock up a little on sugar and things I need to make plenty of pies and also freeze stewed fruit as I love stewed fruit in winter.
Now to how I build up our home this week...
I have nothing to brag about with finances. We are waiting on the insurance company in regard to Andy's van. So that is a big thing this next week or so.
Otherwise I used the heat to my advantage while I could. I washed the underlay on the bed. It is a very thick wool underlay. If you did this in winter it would have to be tumble dried or professionally cleaned. By doing it in the heat it is dry and back on the bed by evening. I wash it in the machine with wool mix and I add Eucalyptus oil added to the wash. This kills dust mites plus makes it smell lovely.
It came up beautifully and after the day in the sun it was lovely and fluffy. Back on the bed it smelled of sunshine. The next hot days I will do the doona and pillows. This is a big saver and no chemicals either. Sunshine is a wonderful freshener and cleaner.
Also I have found something that probably most of you already know! I bought a beautiful old tablecloth from an op shop in white and it had yellowed stains. But the fabric was beautiful vintage damask so I risked it. After soaking I washed it and I could see that the yellowish marks remained. I decided to dry it on the line and that I would cut it up and use what I could. After two days on the line in the sun the stains were just gone! So after that my whitest whites tip became to leave things out in the sun for as many hours as possible. It makes them so white! And amazingly removes stains. (For free!)
The reverse is true for colours and black. I hang all the blacks in the shade so they never see the sun at all!
All the water from the washing was used on the garden at a time when it was needed most.
I bought a cooked turkey at a wonderful mark down. It gave us cold meat during the heat without ever turning on the stove and was so good. It was too much to get through fast enough so I froze two portions enough to make two pies or some into a mornay. So that is a couple of meals taken care of later.
I made a big rice salad and added lots of things. That was really good and used up all kinds of bits and pieces.
During the heat I covered all my smaller plants with umbrellas and sheets. It looked terrible but saved everything. In past years even tough things have burned. So now I have a box outside where I keep covering materials and out they come when it hits 40. This is a big saver.
Cleaning and arranging gave me happiness and made things look and feel nice. These things are no cost ways to improve the atmosphere and just feel better ourselves.
Today I am going pram shopping with Lucy! We are off for an afternoon of looking at baby things! Really this amounts to one of those diamond days in our lives. I will treasure it.
My aunt had a bowl of blossoms in her kitchen. Just blossoms in a little water floating in a pretty bowl. They smelled divine! So simple, lovely and stylish. And free from her garden.
How was your week and what did you do to save money and improve your nest? I note we all come from different places in the world and weather is a wildly varying factor! But everything else remains the same. The things that make a house a home, the things we can do to make a difference and the Word of God, this is why I think I can feel like someone I have never met is just like a sister! Because when we meet we are all sisters in Christ and there is a certain instant understanding. Many of us will have experienced finding it hard to connect with other ladies that have the same interests as they can be thin on the ground! This is probably why when I found Laine my heart just leapt to see there was someone who was exactly the person I needed right there for me! The beauty of the internet and blogs etc is that we can widen our net and make the most wonderful friends and location is no issue!
This is how I have found so much encouragement! Thank you! xxx