Tuesday, October 6, 2009

To Blog or to Nest ? That is the Question!

Above A twin daughter waiting for her mum to organize her new room!

I chose nesting! For not only is Christmas coming but with my baby due in early December the nesting instinct has taken over. I have spent the last week

Changing Rooms - My oldest daughter has moved out of her room and into her new fashionable and feminine abode - the caravan that she together with help from her dad totally made over, we are talking full renovation rescue! It looks absolutely amazing and I intend to devote a whole post to the transformation. You will be inspired. It is totally her design and she rejected all my suggestions - she thinks vintage style is 'grandma' style and I'm not even a grandma! Not a pink rose in sight but if you like shiny, satin, sheer, purple, contemporary, chrome and crystal you will enjoy seeing what one motivated teenage girl achieved.
She used to share the biggest bedroom in the house with her younger sister, so we decided to free up another bedroom for the new baby by moving our twin girls in with their sister. To do this we needed to move furniture which meant dismantling their vintage wrought iron beds - help from husband and teenage son was required!
I have now put the room in order, arranged the wardrobe, hung lots of pretty dresses on hangers, attached butterfly mobiles to beams, made up their beds with their vintage style quilts... pink roses in bloom and flower fairies everywhere! I still have to hang some more pictures but I am really pleased with the arrangement of the room and how it is coming together. I promise to take some more photos of the finished result and devote a post to decorating a room for three girls.

I then moved onto the next room - the room that is to be the baby's room - I cannot show you one corner of that room - so no photos yet! If I do I will not be able to announce in December - 'It's a .........!' This room is next to the master bedroom, our new baby will room in with us for a while and I have taken down the antique cane bassinet ready to clean - the white drapes which attach to the basket are folded waiting to be soaked, washed and ironed. Darling baby clothes I have found at garage sales are already washed and folded, organized into baskets - one for bibs and singlets, another for everyday wear, clothes that need to be hung are already on the hangers. Oh, how I relished every moment of this task - this was true nesting, preparing for the arrival of another blessing, not just spring cleaning! But speaking of cleaning

Cleaning Rooms - could not stop myself. I had to clean the rooms and with furniture being moved from room to room this was the perfect time to vacuum, mop, dust and clean hand prints off walls or in the case of my youngest son should I say scrub hand prints off walls. Yes, I even tackled his room and found enough lego to restock the toy store, in every corner, behind every chest of drawers, in every drawer I unearthed lego bricks, marbles, 'Knex', money (mainly foreign coins!), stamps, rocks and even sapphires ( from our fossicking excursions), plastic soldiers, 3 pairs of missing scissors, 20 ball point pens and the entire Australian cricket team (on Weetbix collector cards!)

He now has a new room and a girl's free- standing, 1920's vintage (painted antique white by me) wardrobe has been converted into a lego closet - I just need to disguise the pair of stenciled pink roses (stenciled by me!) on the doors - I will be off to Spotlight this week to buy wooden stars to paint for this very purpose! I even organized his lego for him - now that is what I call mother/son devotion, it took ages! He also has a new bed. He was sleeping on the bottom level of an old dark timber bunk bed. Now that his sister has a new in-built bed in her caravan, he has inherited her old vintage hospital bed - there is only one problem, it is painted pink - bright pink much to his disdain but I have promised him we will be painting it blue, he's just hoping we make that trip to the paint aisle at Bunnings very soon! I have a thing for vintage iron beds and the timber bunks are going to a friend who prefers the look of timber and she has lots of boys! Perfect - the beds will be re-used rather than discarded.

After inhaling more dust inside from cleaning the boy's room, than I did outside from the NSW dust storms! It was on to other forms of nesting - such as decorating my kitchen bench with jars of freshly cut herbs from the garden. The aniseed aroma of fennel filled the kitchen. I infused some olive oil with fennel to use with fish and chicken. I also roasted fennel to accompany our fish that evening. Then I tossed our harvest of mulberries into the pan to make some jars of apple and mulberry jam. Further productivity followed - I made my all-time favourite apricot loaf, a Jo Seager recipe - try her website for the recipe www.joseager.com

The creamy blooms of the elderflower reminded me it was time to try my hand at making a batch of elderflower cordial. It was ever so easy. I found a recipe in one of my favourite 'country wisdom' reference books.

The book is actually called 'Country Wisdom'. I have owned it for many years and it is packed with advice for homemakers and gardeners with recipes for using herbs and flowers and natural ingredients from the country pantry to make delicious 'wild' food, refreshing drinks, beauty treatments and eco-friendly cleaning products. My favourite tip from this book - use a cut onion to clean fly marks from window glass - works every time!

The recipe for elder flower cordial uses about 20 flower heads which you basically steep in cool boiled water (approx 1.8 litres or 3 pints) for 24 hours together with sugar - about 1.5 kilos or 3 and1/2lbs... I cut back on the amount of sugar and found 1 kilo to be sufficient plus 50g or 2oz tartaric acid and 1 sliced lemon. I added in an extra ingredient - flowers and leaves from the pineapple sage plant which fills a corner of one of my flower beds. Did you realize you can add the leaves and flowers from this herb to salads?

The following day it was just a case of straining and bottling. It will keep for several weeks but is ready to drink straight way. It needs to be diluted of course and sparkling mineral water is the perfect addition. It did not last long in my house and disappeared before I could even take a picture of it looking lovely in a glass decanter! There are more blooms on the elderflower so I will be making another batch shortly!

Following my productive day of nesting in the kitchen, I moved onto the spring cleaning, working my way through the house from the patio, to the kitchen and dining room and lounge room. The hallway, master bedroom and bathrooms await. I began my mammoth spring clean yesterday on 'Labour Day' which is a public holiday in NSW (and the start of the school holidays) - a very apt name for I laboured, sweeping and cleaning windows - so much dust had settled from those dreadful storms last week! I am going to save the details for my next post and tell you how I clean, what I clean, what I would like to clean but dare not at the moment (involves going up tall ladders, not a good idea when pregnant!) and basically how I declutter, organize and keep my home to make it a place of rest rather than chaos. A sweet place to be!
I am grateful that my daughter has cooked dinner and dessert tonight. It gave me the time to nest and blog on the same day, otherwise I would not be publishing this today! And therein, lies a secret weapon - a well trained child who can be relied on to help out - she also painted the cupboard in the hallway which is to be our new linen closet. My husband will be putting in shelves and attaching some doors which means guess what - more nesting for me - folding linen and maybe this time around adding in some fragrant finishing touches - scented liners for the shelves, sewing lavender sachets to place between sheets - oh how I love being a homemaker!

With love and joy,


A Bite of Country Cupcakes said...

Ann....You are a powerhouse!
And a Pregnant one at That!
I got excited just reading all you have and will be doing!
Gee,Take a breath and Rest alittle soon too though.
Your Daughter sounds like a doll...Cooking dinner and all.
And I sooo Look forward to seeing the Caravan.
Well continue the good works and so glad to hear you are happy healthy and Busily Nesting.
Ain't much greater of a feeling!

SF said...

Your joy is shining through your words Ann. :) No time is more precious than preparing for a new baby! I too nest madly in those final months, it is such a pleasant task. :) I look forward to seeing the caravan!!

Fruitful Harvest said...

Thanks for coming by my blog today~
I came by your blog several times to read your long post....I was not able to comment as my teen boys were waitting their turn on the computer! Does that happen at your house?

Your drink sounds delicious!
I bet it feels good to clean and get ready for the new little one!
I can hardly wait to see what you are having!
My guess is boy! But only you know and you're not tellin'! So I will wait paciently!!!LOL

Oh~ I wanted to tell you I made some sour dough bread but I did not have extra start to store for next time.... I'm not sure what I did wrong but it did taste good.


Beth said...

I wish you COULD visit Amish country with ME! There is a large community in Indiana but not nearly the size as the one is in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and surroundings. I do love it but I have never visited Lancaster. Indiana is good enough for me! We are also beginning to see Amish communities in the western part of Indiana and the Southern part because land is less expensive and can be purchased by the Amish at a lesser price than other parts. This weekend we (my hubby and I ) are going to the western part of Indiana to have a "camping getaway" just the two of us so maybe I can see some Amish areas then, too!

It is so funny to read that you are doing "Spring" cleaning! We are getting pretty cold here and I forget that at Christmas time there, you have hot weather and we are literally freezing!!! haha!!

I am excited for you to hear about your new addition! My oldest son and his wife are expecting in January and just last night, my son Danny and his wife announced that they are...4 1/2 weeks along! They got married August 2 of THIS year so this will be almost a honeymoon baby! Yay!!!!!!!! SOOO excited...but it is a secret so don't tell anyone, ok???? hahahahahaha!!!!! Well!!! Good news can travel fast, even over the ocean and across the continents!!
My hubby and I are very seriously considering adopting from the foster care system...we saw pictures of three young siblings that need a home. However, by the time we are approved, those children might find a home...I kind of hope they do for their sakes but I would love to have them! (Ages 7,5 and 3!!!) Wow would we be a full house! There are lots of children who need a home so I am sure that if it is God's will, He will bring the right childen to us!
Hugs! Beth

Renata said...

You are nesting - what a lovely time! I love getting ready for new family members! Looking forward to your big announcement in December - will remember you in my prayers!
Would love to see your daughters new "room" - what a fun idea! That cordial sounds great & I have a tree with flowers that look just like that - will have to do some searching to see what kind of tree it actually is. We enjoy having the cordials I make with soda water also - we have it instead of soft drinks (not that we have it often, but only on special occasions - if that makes sense).
I love the beds you have there for your girls - I really like wrought iron beds & those are just beautiful!

Kelly Wagner said...

Hi, Ann! It's been so long since we've talked. Thanks for passing on your blog. We've missed Australia and our friends down there. It would be so nice to see you all once again. Blessings on your family! ~Kelly

PS. You can catch up on Dyrand by going to his website: www.wagnermissionaryaviation.com


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