It seems a long time since last Friday! It is very hard to know where to start because right now we have a fire north of us. The whole week has had the worry of fires. There has been a distant one in a national park all week and today it escaped and is causing a lot of worry. I can see there are bombers there and fire units... Luke is there fighting it ( and so is Dad I just found out.) We can see and smell smoke. So I feel unsettled...
On Thursday morning we woke up to see the whole landscape was smoke. It was like being in a thick blanket of fog... but it was smoke. This was from the same fire but then it was contained...
I will try to concentrate on the ways I managed to build up my home this week:
The first was I had a ten kilo box of Apricots. They were just beautiful. Many were soft and needed to be used right away. I made those into jam. As I handled each apricot I sat aside the best ones. Some went into the fridge to eat fresh and the rest went into jars for my very first canning attempt.
I had purchased a Ball starter kit which was only about $30. This is just to use your own stock pot and it is an easy way to start and cheap! I studied all the directions and decided to make a light syrup for my apricots. Well, I just followed the steps and ta dah! It worked!
At the end of the day this was just like soap making. I wasted years thinking it was difficult when it is easy. So thank you everyone who encouraged me! Now I can save sooo much freezer space!
So I am excited and ready for the fruit to come in over January and February!
On Monday evening we had a Christmas dinner on the deck and invited out neighbour, Chloe and Luke. It was so nice. I kept it very simple and it was relaxed and happy.
My neighbour walked through the kitchen and commented on the canned apricots. She admired them and said how she used to can and has so many bottles and supplies, perhaps I would like them?
This would be an understatement, obviously!
On Boxing Day I went outside to water the veggie garden in the morning and this is what I found near the back door..
The canner has a full instruction book and recipes...
Beautiful tall and wide mouth jars...
I was just so thrilled. But it didn't stop there. It turned out this was just the beginning and my neighbour has been back twice since with boxes and boxes of jars in different shapes and sizes.
The dish washer is on as we speak with another load going through.
Since I felt the prompted to begin canning I have found that letting everyone know has seen so many jars come my way. Now I believe the fruit will come my way too!
I recently bought a little cabinet for $15 from my local Buy, Swap and Sell on Facebook. While it was hot I painted it up as an indoor project.
It is a nice little solid wood cabinet.
I used a decal and knobs I had left over from other projects and paint left over from the house...
The drawer is going to be for storing seeds and the shelves for other gardening things. It fits the space I had wanted it for just nicely.
I have a little table to do next and as it is hot over the weekend that might be another job I can do inside quietly.
It is getting late now. Dad is home and ok and Luke is on his way home. The fire is sort of contained they say. This is the first fire that I have really felt seriously worried about. If everyone is safe and sound I might have some hope of sleeping tonight.
So much of Australia is burning. We have lived through some shocking fires but I don't remember fires going on and on for weeks as they have this year.
I hope you had a beautiful Christmas. How did you build up your home and family?
The next few days are my absolute favourite time of year. I always feel very reflective and think over the year that we have had. It was a really big year! Actually it was massive! Over the weekend I am getting out my brand new planner and the financial planner from The Cheapskates Club. I do well with goals, lists and plans! The thought of the opportunity to start a fresh new year is very exciting to me! And we are starting a fresh new decade too! But first lets count all our blessings and how far we came this year.
So this week there are two questions... how was your Christmas and week?
And what were your achievements this year that helped build up your home? We always look week by week. But looking over the year as a whole is really another thing! It is hard to do as we forget so much! But goodness a lot can happen in one year! I hope there are many ways that you were able to get ahead and many things you learned along the way! xxx