Comfort and function and how I get there

Things are going well here. I'm slowly working through a few projects, sorting through things I no longer need or want and each day I look back on what I've done to help create a future so different to the one I thought I'd live. It's amazing how many things I had here that just sat in a drawer or cupboard, had no purpose and just took up space. What I'm doing now should have been done years ago. Every day I declutter, the happier and more satisfied I feel.

My goal is to keep the comfortable and functional feel of my home without stripping it bare or throwing out things I'll need in the future. I brought a little trolley inside and when I fill it, I leave it for 24 hours before the items are placed in the rubbish bin, the recycle bin or given to someone I know. So far this is working well and I've retrieved only two things from the trolley and kept them.  I'll never have a minimalistic home, I love my home but I want to rid myself of things that weigh me down: old clothes, books and the appliances and items that helped me do the work I once did. I'm still living simply but I'm no longer making bread because I've found an excellent ancient grains loaf at my local bakery that serves me well. It takes about 10 days to eat one loaf. I no longer make my soap but I'm still making laundry liquid. I no longer preserve as much in jars as I did in the past but I'm still making bread and butter cucumbers, tomato relish, chilli jam, and a variety of fruit cordials. So my Fowlers preserving equipment is gone but I still have a good range of jars and bottles.

Here's my new kettle - low tech and pretty. When I found the one I wanted, I looked for the best price - I got this one at Peters of Kensington for $54 reduced from $100.

I want to use everything in my home. I don't want to keep too many things that aren't functional. To help with that aim, I've moved most of my "good dinner set" from the dresser to the drawer under the stove. The Villeroy and Boch Petite Fleur set that Hanno gave me for my 50th birthday is now used every day.  I did reverse the trend though because I bought a new kettle. My old one had been very dodgy for months. Some days it would work, some days I wouldn't. It went to the bin early last week when I had visitors and it wouldn't turn on to make coffee. 😡 I replaced it with an on-stove old fashioned kettle.

It may not look it but I've decluttered the kitchen too. Lots of glasses, plates, mugs, a slow cooker, bread machine, pots and pans have been recycled. This kitchen is 25 years old, we ripped out the old kitchen when we came here. I designed this kitchen and we got a local cabinet maker to make and install it.  It's seen thousands of meals produced and it's still a great place to work.

This is the first drawer under the stove - easy to reach when cooking. 

I'm also concentrating on building safety into my new life. As I'll be alone a lot of the time, I decided to buy an Apple watch (second hand) which will help me if I fall. The watch can detect hard falls and when it does will it will either ask: "Did you fall?" or show it on the watch screen and if you choose or say "yes", the watch will dial 000 for an ambulance to come and help you. If you don't reply after a fall, it will dial 000 immediately. The other day I was cleaning some mats on the back verandah and I was dropping a mat on its side to remove dirt and my watch asked if I'd fallen. I must have been holding the mat edge as it hit the cement. But all I had to do was say "no" and everything continued on as normal.

We also have these motion sensor night lights, Hanno bought them about 18 months ago. They're great if you wake up to go to the toilet and don't want to turn on a bright light. They're battery operated and you position them around the house in places you walk at night. We have one in the bedroom so when someone starts moving in the middle of the night, it turns itself on. It's a very soft light not like an overhead light. They're also helpful when visitors stay overnight and don't know where the lights are if they go to the toilet in the middle of the night. As soon as they open the bedroom door, the light comes on. We have them in the bathrooms and all along the corridors. You can buy them at Bunnings, Etsy and Amazon. Batteries last a long time. In the 18 months we've had ours, I've replaced the batteries once.

For those of you who ask about Gracie, here she is sitting on her new outdoor bed. She went through a stage of wandering around looking for Hanno but now she just follows me everywhere.  When I sit on the front verandah having tea, reading or listening to the radio, she's always with me. We're having a very cold winter this year so I gave her this little sponge mattress to sit on. Usually she lays on it but here's an unusual sight - Gracie sitting down.  She usually stands or lays down with her legs pushed out the back. She is such a cute and tender soul. I don't know what I'd do without her now.

I've been gardening this week too. I've planted lettuce, radishes, pansies, yarrow and penstemons, moved my Welsh onions and some roses and pulled out a lot of oregano that was taking over the herb garden.  Today I'll be adding more manure and organic fertiliser, watering and filling my new garden waste bin with clippings piled high by Tricia when she was here. It's a bit odd going into July without our big vegetable garden, it's was a big part of our lives for years, but it feels right to be keeping a small number of plants and growing all the herbs I eat.

The main thing is that I feel okay and optimistic. I want to keep working at maintaining my simply life. I never want to be sitting at the computer or watching TV all day.  What a waste! I want to live, not just watch others live. It's important for me to connect to you via my blog because it keeps me writing and provides the best record of my life as it is now. Blogs will become more frequent but I won't return to daily blog posts or the Weekend Reading list.  Instead, I'll write when I have something to say and drop in interesting links if and when I find them.  Like these:

I hope you have a wonderful weekend. ♥️