Hello Again

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I think I am finally back on track and hope to have regular blog posts for you most days.  I have finally caught up and replied to all of your comments.  There has been a lot going on and I am working on a few different projects as well as the routine stuff and a full-time job.

Since I buy a large percentage of my groceries from bulk bins and bring it home in reusable bags, I decant it all into sealed containers in the pantry.  Even though it is all in reused jars I like the idea of having matching containers.  In order to achieve this I have tried to limit myself to just a couple of different jars and I am quite pleased with how it looks.  The labelling has been a bit hit and miss though.  The Duke finds it a bit intriguing that the raw sugar lived in a jar labelled ‘Quinoa Flakes’ and so on.

Over the past couple of weeks I have been working on improving the labelling.  The catalyst was the fact that we will have housesitters staying here while we are on holidays in a couple of months.

I have not finished it completely but enough is done to give you an idea.

Pantry storage
I have also labelled the spray bottles in the laundry that have pre-wash spray, diluted clove oil and window cleaner in them.

It amazing what we just accept as the norm in our own homes but it is an interesting exercise to stop and think about how a stranger would view your ‘systems’.

Cruel to be Kind


I always feel cruel at this time of the year as I have to clip our Border Collie dog in preparation for the tick season which usually begins at the start of August.  Sometimes I have left it too late with very serious consequences for both the dog and my wallet.

Today was the day and here is the ‘before’ photo.

2012-07-28 01It is not a particularly good photo as Psycho dog was determined not to co-operate.  He co-operated even less once he saw the clippers, however, once I convince him that it has to be done he just stands still and quivers.

I used to pay to have him clipped but then eventually decided that I could do it myself.  It has only taken 3 haircuts to recoup the cost of the clippers.  While my efforts are not up to show standard I think he looks quite respectable.

Here is the end result.

2012-07-28 02Once it was all done I washed him with handmade neem soap and then dried him off with the hairdryer and he does look rather gorgeous.  I think he will be wearing his Drizabone coat a fair bit for the next month while the weather is still quite cool – particularly at night.

It was imperative that I got this done before we go on holidays as the housesitter will need to check him regularly for ticks and that is nearly impossible while his coat is long.

That is another job ticked off my ‘to do’ list before we head off.

Holiday Planning With A Difference


We have decided to try get someone to housesit while we are on holidays.  We are in the process of finding someone suitable who we trust to care for our house and animals while we are away.

Instead of planning what to take I need to think about what to leave behind.

This is going to require some planning and organisation to be able to hand over the running of the household.  It is a reminder of how much knowledge and information is carried in my head.

Things like instructions for the washing machine, location of the booster switch for the solar hot water, how much food the dog eats, what day the rubbish is collected and so on.

The upside is that the house is pretty well decluttered and organised so it will be easy for someone to find where things are.  There is also plenty of space for extra clothes and belongings.

I am determined that I am going to have all the planning done well in advance of our trip so that the last week or so will not be a mad rush.  I want to simply pack my bag according to a pre-determined list and go to the airport, knowing that everything has been sorted out.

In the past, sometimes the last week before a holiday is so frenetic that I just want to get on the plane or in the car before my head explodes.

I would love to hear if anyone has had experiences of someone house-sitting for them.  How did you choose them and was it successful?