"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Wednesday, 4 August 2021

Learning something new at my age

I read somewhere recently that one can clear the glass of a wood burning stove with wood ash from the fire.  So naturally, after one of our winter fires left the glass all "smoked" up recently, I had to try it.
Dirty, smoked filled glass

I took a small wad of loo paper (I don't buy or use paper towel in my home) dampened it and dipped it gently in the cold ash of the fire and then carefully wiped the glass.
Just a dab of wood ash on some tissue (loo) paper

Wow - it works!! 😀  It works beautifully.

Previously, as it doesn't easily "rub" off, I had taken a blade to the gunk in order to carefully remove it without scratching the glass.  But this is now a breeze.

Just be careful to use the fine wood ash - not the tiny (or  bigger) chunks of charcoal which may remain in your ash tray.
Leave the "chunks" of wood ash behind and just take a bit of the finer ash

If only I'd know this since 2012 when we first had the Rosie installed and keeping us warm during winter...
The glass in front of the fire pit
is clean again.  Nothing nicer than
seeing the flames of the fire that
 is keeping you warm - it
somehow adds to the warming effect.

P.S.  The "ashed" bit of loo paper went straight onto my compost heap.

Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Thank you

This is just to reach out to all of those who have contacted me since my last post - whether through comments on previous blog posts, or through personal e-mails.

Firstly, thank you to you all - too many names to mention, but you know who you are.  I was so very touched that you took the time and trouble to contact me.  Bless you - you will never know what strength you sent my way - even through the tears.

It has not been an easy time since 17 August 2019 - and has been one of great loss, angst, misery, guilt, loneliness and adjustment.  I think I am finally coming out the other side with some semblance of sanity - I hope I am.  I still have too many "bad days" but at least there are longer periods of better days in between.

Covid-19 also hasn't helped anyone I guess - with life taking on an even more abnormal and surreal slant - if that is possible?  I hope you have all managed to weather the various lockdowns, and have successfully managed the virus if you were unfortunate enough to catch it.

Our son, RSon, or Richard as he is called, decided to relocated himself and his business to our smallholding so that I could continue to live here.  That would not be possible if I was on my own, so I am very grateful for that.  The thought of having to leave Ronnie's and my dream, and move back to a town and trying to live squashed between neigbouring houses (or even in a block of flats / apartments) seriously didn't appeal - especially after having spent 3 months in Cape Town with Ronnie when he was ill so that he could have instant and easy access to treatment.  But, I fear smallholding life is very isolated for a relative young'un and his chances of meeting with, and interacting with people of his age is now limited to clients that he may visit / work for.  That worries me.  But, he, for now, seems happy enough.

My enthusiasm for being self-sufficient and living an eco-friendlier life was completely drowned out by my loss, but I hope to get stuck into the garden and preserving, recycling and repurposing things once again this coming summer.  I am finally trying to keep busy once again - albeit in a much more muted fashion.

Without trying to lecture anyone, please can I ask you - go to your partners - hug them, tell them they are loved and show them your love in each and every small way you can.  Most of all, give and get hugs.  You have no idea how much strength, energy and warmth a hug gives until they are no more.

I will try and write a post when the urge is strong enough and I have something I think you would enjoy my sharing with you.  In the meantime, thank you all again.

Stay safe everyone.