"Wisdom has built her House, she has hewn out her Seven Pillars" Proverbs 9:1
I look forward to having you come join me as we work to turn our houses into homes.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Thoughts in the Vegie Patch

It's rather cold here today, which is rather strange given it was so hot the other day and we are only a month away from the start of Summer...... however that does make it rather good going out in the garden.  I got home from a morning walk to find 3 of my hens had decided they liked digging in the vegie patch...... the beans just coming up seemed to be popular!!!  Obviously they were no longer taking notice of the small low fencing Pete had placed around it a couple of years ago.........
so while Pete was busy getting frames made so we can net the fruit trees

I pulled out the roll of wire that has been sitting in the shed and began the task of making the fence higher....... of course it was not long when I had to make the decision of whether or not to put in a couple of new posts and fence in the recently established boysenberry patch which sits to one end of the vegie garden........ the raspberry patch garden sits up the opposite end of the vegie garden, also outside of it and so I figured it made sense to put in a few new posts and enclose the whole lot!
Unfortunately I ran out of wire after making it to the raspberry patch....... so Pete helped me put up a makeshift bit of wire until I get to the hardware shop tomorrow after work to purchase another  roll.
  I have an "added" garden, as you can see above,  which I put in on the outside of the fenced vegie patch (the small black fencing) when I ran out of room....... last year it just had potatoes growing in, so it wasn't a problem with the chooks too much....... but this year I have some zucchini's, cucumbers, some lemon balm, and sunflowers in it.  I'd also like to plant a couple more things in there, so I will be fencing that off now as part of the vegie patch.   I may also put in a little gate near the raspberry patch too if I can, so we can access it from up there.
Anyhow, during my few hours fencing and digging holes and such..... I got to thinking about my blogging...... I got to wondering about the fact that I have this blog and my original blog http://countryfragrance.blogspot.com  where I still do the majority of my blogging.  Originally I was looking to use this one to head in a different direction, but the two are so closely connected because they are me, my home, my family, my beliefs............ I'm thinking I should just combine the two of them together so that I'm blogging it all to the one place........ I'd like to hear your thoughts, those of you who happen to follow me here....... or there.......or both places........ or perhaps my blogging has had so many gaps my "followers" have given up and moved on lol  I could understand that, which is part of the reason I'm thinking I should just go back to the one blog.
I pray you have all had an enjoyable Sunday,

Thursday, October 16, 2014


I'm a big fan of receiving letters in the mail, you know..... the old fashioned type that are often hand written sometimes on lovely papers and other times on whatever we can lay our hands on :)  I never open my penpal letters straight away as I like to enjoy them and  to take them to one of my special spots (I have a few, so it depends a lot on what the weather is like, just where I end up sitting),  where I can enjoy them without being interrupted, ........ with cuppa in hand I pour over the letter feeling like I've been to visit with a friend. 
I also have a penpal group that has been together for 7 yrs now and we have robins (circle letters) that we send around ......so those types have a number of letters included in the envelope.  They usually have a theme in mind like sewing, crafting, gardening... but some are just for general chit chat so its like sitting around the kitchen table with everyone telling their news........  

The group started off when I came up with the idea of making some  quilt blocks - one each month that demonstrated something that had occurred during that month.  I had 5 other ladies who decided to take part and each month we would make our block and then copy it to make 5 other blocks which we would send to each lady in the group together with a short letter telling what the block was about. 

We made the whole 12 months (some blocks were just material, some applique, pieced and embroidered)................  I embroidered some extra blocks to act as headers with each of the ladies names and where they were from - 3 from Australia and 3 from US, and then I embroidered the months of the year and pieced them together...................

I remember the tap represented we finally got water to our place by way of a bore

The birthday balloons Julie used represented the month full of birthdays they had!

And we came together through tough times like the material blocks Deanna sent that she worked on while sitting in the hospital after some of her children had been involved in a terrible fire.

 This quilt top has sat for one reason or another, and through 2 big interstate moves..... until today when I decided to have a look for it.   I was answering one of the robins and it got me thinking about this quilt that needs to be finished off.  So it seems I'll be doing some work on it over the next month in the hope of getting it finished.
Two of the ladies who took part in this quilt back in 2007 have blogs of their own which you might like to go and visit......... Lynda  from  Australia    and Deanna  from the US. There are still 4 of us from this original group who still keep in contact via our snail mail group, and very shortly after we completed this quilt we had a few more join us who have remained faithful in the old fashioned art of snail mail.  It takes time and effort and a degree of organisation, but I would not be without my very dear penpals who have become like sisters!  Of course that goes for all my other dear pen pals who are not part of this particular group, but who none the less enjoy exchanging letters.

Looks like we are about to get some rain here soon which kind of makes it nice for either sitting and sewing or sitting and writing some old fashioned snail mail!  I hope you find something nice in your mailbox soon too!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

There's more than One House Here

While it's all good and well to be working on getting our homes sorted out, it's good to remember we have 7 pillars we use for building our homes........ one of those happens to be keeping good health (Pillar No 4).  Sometimes we women tend to so busy tending to everyone else we forget we have a house of our own - namely our body, which also needs to be maintained!!  Without good health we soon begin finding it difficult to keep up.  Particularly as we move into our 40's, 50's and 60's.......... little things begin to change, or we become less active, more indulgent ...... I'm sure you have some idea of what I'm talking about here! 

We are just coming out from Winter here, which is usually a time I tend to gain a bit of weight and loose fitness........ This time it's not as bad as last year when I discovered I had gone from a size 10 in my mid 30s to a size 14-16 in my early 50s!!  I got onto it, but I don't do winter well!!!  I'd be a basket case if it went any longer....... still, I have about 5-6kg I need to loose to make things easier on my knees and hips,  and my fitness level is pretty low!!     I wonder how many of us with all the extra stresses we carry today, could honestly say we have a healthy immune system, that our bodies have a reasonable to good level of fitness?? 
So I'm on a bit of a mission this month to make sure I do a bit of "housecleaning" with my own body........ a revamp of the mealplan to ensure I'm adding in more vegies and fruit to my diet, reducing my beloved caffeine input (which I tend to rely on as a replacement at times for good nutrients ) ,  getting my muscles working again........ although I have to say they have been very busy this weekend getting the vegie patch weeded and plowed up and planted with numerous seedlings and seeds.   What do you think of our bit of paving we did at the front of the house...... and Pete put up the old wheels as a border.....
Talk soon

Thursday, August 21, 2014

What Happened to Time?

Somebody has been at my place and stolen time!  I'm sure of it....... I seem to blink and bam, the week is over and another is already underway!!  I recently stumbled upon a little quiz asking if you were a "Rushing Woman"  Given the first 2 questions were pretty much a resounding YES for me, it made me  sit a moment and reflect!  I ended up purchasing the ebook..... an interesting read that I'm currently in the middle of.
I'm well known for having several projects (if not more) on the go at one time,  I do finish things ...

like this jumper for Pete 
and I have a top on the go for me ....... (what a learning curve this one is!!) .......... things are always busy, and yes, I'm always rushing....... or at least I feel like I'm always on a deadline! 
 It wasn't that way a number of years ago......   Sometimes "life" just happens and throws things into a bit of chaotic jumble  (which it most certainly has for us this year), however I'm getting a little tired of being a mouse on one of those treadmills.........  running, running and yet never seeming to actually get anywhere
And the little mouse cries out  "Help!  Somebody Get Me Off Here!!".......... well we have to actually Stop and step off ........ maybe you already have,   As for me, I'm in the process, that lightbulb moment of startling reality!   Time to stop, take stock and change rhythm's  particularly now  before it gets any closer to the end of the year!!

I've taken a little notebook ...I decided not to question the lists I was about to make, just start by writing them........ I started by making a list of all the online stuff I try to keep up with (emails, my blogs, other blogs, Ravelry, FB etc),   then I made a list of all the things I actually enjoy doing when I have the time to do them (like sewing, gardening, knitting, walking etc)....... Then came the list I entitled  "What's Currently Taking a Drain/Toll on Me"  (things like I don't seem to be able to keep on top of the housework lately, Constantly feeling tired with no energy etc)........ 
Then came the Hard List  "What Do I Want"   I always seem to be so busy looking after other people, that I come way down and having to think about What I, myself want was quite difficult, but actually refreshing  (Funnily enough after a few other things I found myself putting down that I really want My house clean, tidy, ordered and beautiful to me...... and I want it to look like that all the time!!)  Now, I didn't say the lists had to be realistic, just to write them down....... to actually see that written down indicated why not keeping on top of the housework was creating the emotional drain on me that it is..... there is that lightbulb again!!   Now I know you are all going to shout at me saying, hey, but you have that Home Challenge going getting everything in order...... that may be so, but we had a lot of changes around here including having an adult child move back home...... originally for 3 wks, which has turned into 8 months and so bedrooms and rooms in a small house have had to be shifted around....... and the 24 yr old daughter was moving out, but that fell through so hence more changes...... items of furniture and such are living in the lounge area that don't actually belong here!!  Thus my cooking, cleaning times have increased (as you might imagine )lol  You might also have noticed I'm late in even mentioning the challenge this month....... not much of August left is there ??   But I do have a bit of a plan now........ First of all, I'm trying to make sure I take the time to notice and enjoy the small things again
I'm making a concentrated effort to reduce my coffee intake, increase my water and herbal teas and get to bed at a reasonable time.
Echidna wandering just up the road from us... First one I've seen here .
I plan to sort out my Wardrobe!!!    And work on getting the paperwork and office under control which is only halfway sorted out.  I'll let you know how I'm going......... let me know if you are keeping me company doing any of this yourself........ or perhaps it is just Me and everybody else is well under control :)

Have a great day


Saturday, July 12, 2014

8 Scrunched Tissues.....

Wearing the scarf I just finished knitting
It's Saturday afternoon, and I've spent the morning pulling the bookcase/TV  corner of the lounge room, and a couple of other spots to pieces.  You see, when I got up this morning I noticed I had a pile of scrunched up tissues sitting on my bedside table......... although that in itself is nothing too much, it kind of represented how I felt the house was looking right about now. Items of furniture and other bits and pieces have been moved around our smaller home (we downsized just over 4 years ago), in order to accommodate 2 of our adult children who are living back at home for the time being.  I've been putting off finding new "homes" for  these things as I kept thinking they would just get put back, or go to where they were meant to be going when we first moved here 4 and a bit years ago.    The 8 scrunched up tissues this morning were the tipping block so to speak.  And with a wood fire, everything becomes rather full of dust during the winter months........The lounge room was thus attacked lol........ so after lots of dusting, sorting, and rearranging........  the wooden furniture has been oiled down,  and things rearranged......... it looks and feels sooo much better!   I'm sure many of you can associate with that feeling!
There is something freeing about having things uncluttered and organised.  It makes me realise why I have this goal to achieve a more simplified, uncluttered lifestyle....... even though that goal  often feels a very long way off .   I've heard it said that it's the journey that counts more than the destination.  Moving towards a more simplified way of life is what I'm hoping to achieve.  At this time we still have quiet a decent sized mortgage, but thankfully all our other debts have been paid off.  With the next two weeks being leave from work I plan to revisit my goals and set about planning the next phase of this journey!  I think this below sums it up nicely.....

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Patience.......... and Amish Proverbs

Well what else could I call this post when I look and see my last post had a pic of the foggy morning (which really showed it looking much clearer than it was), together with a short post saying I'll be back in a couple of days to post!!!  Goodness!  Either you have been very patiently waiting (knowing that I seem to have numerous family life issues being juggled), or you've decided I must have fallen off the planet and you've given up and left.  Sometimes, life can just be plain difficult ....... I love the Amish Proverb  "Be like the teakettle; when it's up to its neck in hot water, it sings."

 On the other hand, I can't say I could blame you, especially these days with so many involved with Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Ravelry and who knows what other "instant" things are out there.  And to be very honest, I myself get caught up with some of those quite frequently ( I have several knitting projects on the go from various KALs), and because of the almost instant responses, it's quiet easy to get caught out for a longer period of time than you had set aside, hence other things get pushed back.  As I was once reminded by an old friend, we each of us have 24hrs (1440 mins) to every day, how we choose to use those minutes, or allow others to use it for us, is up to each of us.  We get out of our days, what we put in....... the old "you reap what you sow".  Or the Amish proverb "Enjoy today....... it won't come back".  I think that says a lot for itself!!  All the best laid plans are to no avail, if we don't actually carry them out!
Ovens River, Wangaratta - lots of rain around here lately

For the past 6months we've had 2 of our adult children living here at home (DD has actually been back for close to 4 yrs now). Since we had downsized before we knew this was going to happen, it's been a bit squeezy here at times, piles of stuff often occur as they wait to find new homes to live and I juggle other items.  In the next couple of weeks DD is set to move to Melbourne to a little unit, so she is currently busy learning about decluttering, sorting and packing.  I think July is going to be a month for decluttering in general as I shift things around again.  However its also winter, and time for working with yarns.  I finally finished my hitchhiker scarf, and I'll be wearing it to Bendigo to the Woollen Show which is on the 18th July!  I'll be away with a group of girls for a few days as we indulge in hours of knitting, crochet, chatting and visiting the show together.  But now, I best get using some of those minutes I was talking about to get a spot of cleaning done here and a pot of something yummy onto the woodfire to begin cooking ready for tonights dinner.
Have a blessed day,
Hugs Sharm     
My hitchhiker scarf made using Wollmeiser Yarn

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Stay tuned

This is what it's like at our place the past couple of days..... I have lots to share, but you'll have to wait a day or two for me to sit and get the post up....in the meantime, stay warm!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Welcome to Winter

With the start of June, its officially the beginning of winter down here in Australia.  Hopefully a time to catch our breath since the past seasons of Summer and Autumn seem to have been keeping us so very busy. We've already had a couple of power outs, so it's time to get the lanterns filled to have ready and waiting for our next outage!

 With winter my passion for getting out my woollen yarns become pretty obvious lol   My biggest problem is that I tend to have several things all going at once as you can see from the photo....... my lovely hitchhiker scarf in Woollmeiser is making progress - its my first knitting project in close to 23yrs, and the yarn is fine and the needles skinny lol,  so progress has been a little slower than I would have liked.  Today I've just started on a KAL (knit along) on a beginner knitting group on Ravelry knitting up a pair of slippers....... and naturally I have 2 crocheted dishcloths in the making!  It's time to get a few little items made up ready for gift giving.

Being the start of June, its also time to tackle another room in our Simplify My Home Challenge .
As you can see, much of this challenge is focused on reducing excess clutter from around us, finding ways to streamline our day to day workings and remembering to have that SOS - Spot of Simplification where we can sit and have our time out to think, plan, pray.  This month it's time to get into the Laundry.  Give your washing machine a clean over and putting it on a rinse  cycle (no clothing) with some vinegar in it will help clear the pipes without causing any damage.  Clear out those laundry cupboards and get rid of all the stuff you no longer use.  Make up a batch of homemade washing liquid, wipe down the walls.  Try to get the most from your laundry space so it works well for you!  As you can see I have a small space, but also have a storage wardrobe on the opposite wall to the washing machine which holds all manner of items.  The freezer has to here in the laundry..... there is no other place for it in our little home.  So while it was all sorted out and looking pretty here back in January, it's now time for a bit of a clean up..... as you can see lol.  By the way..... the little note on the freezer is my meal plan for the week, so I can easily grab dinner out of the freezer.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Is it Time?

Ever wondered whether you should take on a venture, new job, project?  Sometimes it happens so naturally you just look back and know it was meant to happen, but other times things just don't seem to line  up quite
so well.  I have to say after trying to get a little home made soap business off the ground about 18mths ago with lots of hurdles, I let it go....... then a couple of weeks ago I thought it might just be time to have another crack ...... but I seem to be getting various road blocks ...... ones I shouldn't be getting....... I'm guessing that it's God telling me that now is not the time!  And seriously, well, He is probably right.  I've found from past experience it pays to listen and take on board what I hear, so rather than getting my fingers in a twist with business paperwork, printing, websites, sourcing of containers, and getting ample supplies, marketing and bla bla bla................ I've decided to stop,    take a breath,     and get back to doing what we started here.......     working on turning my homelife (you know, those days that you don't have to head out to work),  back to the simple things  ........    
like craftwork for the home, family and friends
Yep, the crocheted stripey afghan is completed!!

gardening to provide food for us, and bartering for other goods
This was in April, the winter crop is growing well and we are picking silverbeat with cabbages close

enjoying watching the girls work and taking a breath.................. what about you?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mothers Day

Do hope everyone had a lovely Mothers Day today!  First off this morning, I enjoyed a phone call from my son who lives the other end of the country followed by a relaxing morning,  and our dog Scruffy (along with hubbie) presenting me with a Daphne and packets of seeds.  
Once I had the daphne potted up, and working out a good spot outside the cabin,  Pete decided it was time to start using all those pavers we've had sitting in piles...........

 Thankfully it wasn't long before our daughter Stacey and her long time boyfriend arrived with afternoon tea, and our mother/daughter tradition of chrysanthemums. 

 John took over helping Pete with the paving, and our eldest son started work on the gutterings around the house that were causing a few issues in the downpour yesterday.
I'm so happy with how it is turning out........ still a few more bits to finish off, but looking good. 

 I'm planning to have a little gathering of friends over on Saturday afternoon  since it seems appropriate to celebrate the cabins completion, together with my birthday by having  an afternoon of cake, craft and chatter lol. 

Hugs Sharm

Saturday, May 10, 2014

It's May!

Welcome to May....... Mothers Day tomorrow, which makes me think of sitting and stitching or the clicking of knitting needles :)  What a happy thought that is.   I guess this means that May should be the month for sorting out your stashes of material, yarn, craft items, patterns........ how many UFO's can you find that you started with great intentions and never got completed??  I know I have quite a few, but I'm not sure exactly how many....... yet lol  

The little cabin is completed and I'm in the process of getting things into it...... Have I really got that much yarn????  Looks like I will need to get a few afghans crocheted up during the winter months.
My stripey afghan is halfway done........ once completed it will live in here.  I'm so pleased with how it is looking and how the colours seem to have worked so well together without us actually planning it that way.  Hubbie picked out the wall colour, the floor vinyl was a roll end, the stool was actually bought from a stall at the market when we only had the frame up, and the sofa bed was a purchase from the opp shop last week....... and yet they all work so well together!   I'm looking forward to getting some furnishings made up to have in here.   I'm also planning to have a little craft afternoon to celebrate it being completed, and since it will be my birthday on Friday, I'm thinking of trying to get something organised for that  Saturday afternoon........ craft, coffee, cake and friends...... sounds good to me!
Talk again soon,   Hugs Sharm

Monday, April 14, 2014

Autumn at the Cottage

It's Autumn weather here now and so it's a time to get busy with all the garden chores......... which is why I've been kept busy!
I need edging along the front fence line to help keep the grass out
 Seems my spare time of late has been either working out in the garden fighting all the weeds and grass that keep going into the garden beds, or in the kitchen doing up produce to last us till next year........ jams and relish mostly, with some bottled fruit. 

Unfortunately our summer garden did not do at all well,  I'm hopeful our winter garden will do better.  I've dug up half the vegie garden and have some seedlings planted: red onions, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, turnips and brussel sprouts.

For those of you who have been following along with the home challenge, no matter what part of the world you are in, it hopefully will be a time when you can see to your garden areas, verandas and porches tidied up, and the outside of the house washed down. 

The crochet work has slowed down while the garden is needing sooooooo  very much of my attention!  Once the colder weather hits, the garden will slow and the time for crochet will increase.  Did I show you the stripey afghan I started on? 

Work on the little cabin continues at a much slower pace now that Hubbie is back at work.  I want to thank all of you for your patience with me having limited posts over the past few weeks.  My DH was diagnosed with prostate cancer a few weeks back, and we have been busy following up with tests etc etc.  He will be going for more biopsies in a few weeks and we will know more then.  We are thankful that routine blood tests picked it up, and this means we have caught it early.  The biopsies will let us know if both tumours are slow or aggressive types which will give us an indication of what needs to be done. 

Thankyou to those who hold us up in prayer.  May each one who visits this blog be blessed.
Hugs Sharm

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Trying a new Receipe

Yesterday I decided to make a change to the usual laundry liquid I make because although the usual one is great for sheets, towels and light soiling,  when it comes to really dirty clothes  ...... like when I've been out working in the yard, or my husbands work clothes (he works on excavators, so his clothes can be full of dirt, grease, fuel), ...... well for these times, I need something with a bit more of a boost in it.  It seems that the soap used in the American recipe may have a built in stain remover in it, so with that in mind I decided to alter my recipe a little to add in some grated  Sard Wonder Soap as well as the pure Sunlight Soap that is usually used here in Australia.  I've added a new page to my blog called Cleaners....... and this is where you can find the recipe if you want to try it out too.  As I said, its a new idea, so I'll be trying it out over the next few weeks.

Due to some family health issues, I've been a little preoccupied while Hubbie has been having lots of tests etc etc, so I realise that we are a little behind in our cleaning challenge for March.  My apologies I have been tardy, but hope to get that fixed up sometime very soon.
Sharm xo

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Progress on the Little Cabin

You may remember back around Christmas time, we had decided to build in the single carport
 (now that we have the larger double carport sitting in front of it).  The single carport sits on its own, just to the side of our cottage, where the side veranda leading to the kitchen door is.
  We purchased some very large second hand old fashioned windows and a door very cheaply.  This way it would also cut the cost of outer boards, inner walls and insulation needed, plus let in plenty of light making you feel like you were outside.  Things like this tend to progress slowly, in bits and pieces as time and finances allow.  My wonderful hubbie has done all the work himself (with just a small amount of help here and there from myself and dear daughter).  
 Having had this week off work due to a medical procedure, and getting bored to death after just a day or two sitting around, he just had to do something to keep himself busy. 

Window seals repaired and outer window painted

Plastering underway ...... a first for Hubbie and coming along very well!!! 
 We are calling it the cabin at present, but I still feel that's not quite the name .......... I'm sure once its completed it will soon get named as such! 

A night time view with a portable light on inside
 I am looking forward to setting it up inside.  I plan to have a small sink area so I can make the all important cup of coffee without having to come inside, and since we already have a "bar" fridge that is currently stored in the shed, I plan to bring that in as well.   I'll be looking out for one of those sofas that can be pulled out to become a bed.   I can already envisage some potted plants around it ........... once the area is cleaned up from the building site look that is lol    And that is where we are up to for  the moment.   
Hugs, Sharm