Aprons on!

I spent time in the kitchen this morning; {you can see the results in the picture}.

I hadn’t had such a happily enjoyable time in there for quite awhile; things all seemed to go right and turn out well.

As I took off my apron I thought back to days gone by when aprons were worn almost always when kitchen duties called. Today it seems as if “working aprons” are rather “out of fashion”.

 

My mother and women of her day wore their aprons all day as their many home duties required harder work than we do today in our homes. Laundry was not as easy to do therefore it made more sense to wear an apron over the dress, the latter then would be able to be worn more days than if “unaproned”.

 

Meal preparation required the wood fuelled stove to be attended to, as well as the food prepared to cook in, or on, it. If a son had failed to fill the wood box before going to school, mother had to trip out to the wood heap to replenish the needed fuel.

Most of these stoves had no thermometer guide as to oven heat; women had to become proficient in opening the oven door, thrusting in a hand to feel the temp, and deciding if more fuel was needed to pump up the heat, or if the door needed to be left open a minute or so to decrease it. So cooking well was not just in the measuring, mixing, and making, but also in the art of correct heat for whatever the dish was that needed baking. The amazing thing is that so many women became excellent cooks using these tools.

 

I remember using a fuel stove at one time in my child-raising days, and still think that the food cooked in it was moister than that cooked in the electric oven I now use.

But I am grateful that I don’t need to nip outside to the woodheap to gather my fuel, nor gauge the heat of the oven, nor blacklead the lovely little stove sitting in the ingle, to keep it shining brightly.

 

Summer days did not enthral the user of the wood stove, as it not only heated it’s top where the cooking spaces were for the pots and pans, but it’s oven also; and the ensuing heat that radiated off those surfaces made the kitchen very hot and uncomfortable to work in. But for women of that time who managed their own homes, that was the norm.

 

A short while before my father was due home from work my mother would tidy her hair and change her apron for a clean one. This memory has stayed with me from that time until now, and I regard it as my mother’s way of wanting to be in a presentable state for her husband to come home to, even though they had been married for many years.

 

Looking back means I can learn many things about the people who filled my childhood and teen years, and see more clearly how they coped with hard tasks in less than ideal circumstances. Sometimes I need to take a look at myself and be sure that I remain grateful for all the conveniences in the modern household.

 

I took off my apron when I finished my kitchen chores today and the automatic washing machine will deal with it without me having to scrub it, boil it, and twice rinse it, before I can peg it on the clothes line.

How times have changed in doing kitchen chores, during the past eighty years!

What sort of changes will there be in the next century?Apron work

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Happy Saturday

It wasn’t really any different,
Than the Saturday before,
But somehow things felt otherwise,
As though “Happy” held the floor.
Not that I usually entertain
“Sad” or even “Down”,
Nor that I’m always laughing
Like some hard working clown.
But Saturday felt different,
In some delightful way,
Though I didn’t understand it
It stayed like that all day.
So I did enjoyable things
That gave my heart a lift;
And counted “Happy Saturday”
As a special gift.
Happy Saturday

A painting done….A jigsaw completed….A fleece rug begun.

Changing seasons

{Because I hadn’t been well for a few days I almost missed the changing of the seasons here in the southern part of our beautiful little island of Tasmania. I was reminded of a poem I wrote some years ago about this, and which I still like.}

Lady in Waiting.
Lady Summer rose from sleep, and shook her golden tresses,
to claim the day before her, as she donned her flowery dresses.
But suddenly her hand was stayed, her eyes quite thoughtful grew,
for she heard a softened rustling, that was old, but somehow new.
She laid aside her gowns, then to the window sped,
and I am sure I heard her sigh,as I watched her droop her head.
I too peeped out the window, and there to my surprise,
I saw a maid whose laughing face, held merry, clear, brown eyes.
She swirled her skirts of many colours, as she spun in joyful dance,
And Lady Summer looked upon her, as one in dreadful trance.
Till quietly the dancer slowed, and to the window neared;
I wondered then just what it was that Golden Summer feared.
But Oh! I saw the maid’s brown hand commandingly extended
And realised quite startlingly, that Lady Summer’s reign had ended.
She curtsied low, then turned away, as she shut the window tight
The room was darkened suddenly, as if the day was night.
I stumbled out to seek the morn, that I knew had just begun;
I sought the warmth of yesterday but found no Summer’s sun.
Though coloured leaves came floating on a gentle, fragrant breeze,
and everywhere the brown-gold day, brought scenes just meant to please.
I drank deep of the mellow air, then felt the soft caress
of silken panels touching me, in the maiden’s coloured dress.
She hugged me quickly to her, I returned her sweet embrace;
for suddenly I recognised Dame Autumn’s gracious face.

                                                                         {EFW}

Dianthus and seaside daisy

 Lady Summer

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Dame Autumn

 

Home again

Holidays have to come to an end and my very enjoyable one did a couple of days ago. My daughter and I were staying on a nine mile long beach, and we managed to walk the whole length of it -and back again of course- so had plenty of exercise, especially as walking was accompanied by swimming every day too.

On our last walk we left the beach to walk through what we thought was a shortcut to the car park area. How wrong we were! We discovered that soon enough
when we encountered thigh-high grassy reeds -which my daughter thumped with a stick to make sure there were no creepy-slidey things in there. These grasses were not a great problem to wade through but growing over and through them were green shrubs higher than our heads. Thus we could not actually see in which direction we should best aim to go. To add to our discomfort there were masses of dry dead shrubs, which were also higher than our heads. We had to force our way through them, scraping by some, creeping under others, and stepping through the branches that were sharply vindictive. At one stage my daughter turned and announced that my leg was bleeding, as indeed it was, where a branch had attacked me when I got in it’s way. I finally had two of those branch-bites on my leg, and on one hand, and my other arm. Fortunately they did not bleed much, as all either of us had to render first aid was my handkerchief! You can tell that we were not prepared for this bush-bash that we had blundered into! However with my daughter’s unfailing optimism, and good sense of direction, we finally made our way back to the car. If we had trusted to MY sense of direction we may have been still there, being attacked by dry branches as we felt their indignation that we had trespassed into their territory; as indeed we unknowingly had.
This little experience gave me a greater appreciation for the plight of people who are lost in the bush. Not to have any notion of how to get to where one needs to be, or wants to go, must be a fearsomely terrifying feeling.
Of course we weren’t really lost but had certainly, temporarily lost our path, which was a fairly humiliating way to end our last walk. But all was well at the end of it, and that was what counted in our opinion.

Apart from that little adventure, the worst thing that happened was that I dropped my daughter’s camera. I had taken exceedingly too many photos on mine and run the battery flat. You may well ask why I didn’t just recharge it. The truth of the matter is that I had left my charger at home as I didn’t expect to take that many photos, but the sunrises were so amazing each morning that my finger automatically clicked every few moments. Kind daughter loaned me her second camera as a backup so that I could add more photos to the already “too many” that I had taken. I used it a couple of days but disaster struck when I was standing on a rock and somehow side stepped, and to get my balance, threw my arm out and the camera flew through the air and landed in a crevasse of solid rock! You can probably imagine how I felt at that moment! I retrieved the camera but it was so indignant about the treatment I had dealt it that it utterly refused to do anything! I couldn’t blame it-if the roles had been reversed, and it had dropped me onto that rock I would have been indignant indeed, and probably have failed to work afterwards too!
The only consolation I had was that it was the second camera, and not the best one that belonged to my daughter. She generously forgave me on the spot, although she did admit she may have felt a little differently if it had been her good camera. I am sure it would not have been that one, as I would not have had that it in my hands for any reason. But forgiveness having been extended I continue to feel regretful that I accidentally rid her of her second set of lenses and zoom. When she leaves on her next overseas holiday soon, I will loan her my “best” camera for a second one. Its not as good as her second one was, but may come in handy in some situation, and if she drops it on a rock or into the water I will happily forgive her and know she didn’t mean to do it! In fact that might make me feel better about her camera!
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Here I am celebrating having conquered the nine miles of seashore.

Holiday Magic

I have spent a few days on holiday at the beach, courtesy of a kind daughter.
How magical it is to walk beside the sea, to hear the unceasing rhythm of the waves, to feel the sand caressing my bare feet, to have the breeze give me a new hairstyle, to hear the different sounds of the birds along the shoreline, to know the buoyancy of the salt water as I swim, to shiver slightly in the predawn duskiness as I wait for the sunrise to paint his wondrous colours on the patient sky.
Maybe you would like to come to the beach with me this morning and share some of the finished art work of Nature.

 

 

Wednesday morninng (15)Wednesday morninng (21)Wednesday morninng (16)Wednesday morninng (20)

 

Things

Today I played watering the garden with my 2 and a half year old grandson.
I had the hose and he had a bucket in which he dipped the small watering can and then liberally watered whatever was within his sight and reach. We both totally enjoyed the process, he from the action, and the feeling I guess, of doing something important and useful, and just plain fun, wet, and cooling on a hot summer’s day. My enjoyment came from watching his. Well, I too got a little wet and cool before we had finished!
All this made me think of a quote:
“The best things in life aren’t THINGS”

Sometimes we fill our lives with the “things” we think are necessary, the things we think may make our lives more glamorous, more interesting, maybe that will make us feel and actually be, more important. Things that will give us greater status in comparison to others, things we have never been able to have before, but can now access.Things we may feel will create happiness within us, things we imagine that will influence others to want to belong to our circle. And so on and so on. And so I repeat that adage again just in case you haven’t got the drift of this short thing about things
“THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE AREN’T THINGS

watering can

Border plant

Rain on Roses

We have had a hot, dry spell recently and then came a couple of light showers.
It wasn’t enough to get to the roots of the plants in my garden, but I couldn’t resist the beautiful sight of the raindrops on some of my rose blooms.
I hope you enjoy the sight too!

Roses in rain (3)

In Appreciation

Roses in rain (4)

Maggie

Roses in rain (2)

The Children’s Rose

Roses in rain (1)

Gold Medal