Nothing matches but it works . . .

Many times, finding the right answer has led me to asking the right question… such is the case with permaculture. Learning about it has helped me understand the why of what I do. I’ve been practicing making simple life choices in line with a growing awareness of what is important for me. Coming to understand that my ecological footprint is how much it costs the earth for me to live the way I do has helped me see that those life-friendly choices are also earth-friendly choices.

It’s interesting to look at our choices through other people’s eyes. A recent visitor commented…. “this is a weird house”. I pointed them to what is intended as a helpful and succinct ‘Country Housekeeping for Visitors’ list I put up on a blackboard in the kitchen, created with reference to actual past visitor interactions.

No outdoor shoes inside.
See dirt, below. Also, outside the house yard there is the possibility of treading in chook, cow and wallaby poo.

Keep screen doors closed.
See insects, frogs, huge Huntsman spiders and occasional snakes, below.

Wash your hands.
We’re water-wise but there’s enough for basic hygiene.

Wipe up water around sink.
Where there’s water, ants will come.

Clean up after yourself.
This is our home.

Use a coaster under drinks.
Our furniture is old but we don’t intend buying new stuff.

Put rubbish in bins located in kitchen or outside.
Yes, the kitchen bin is tiny. If you didn’t buy so much stuff you wouldn’t have so much rubbish.

Because we have septic sewer and rainwater tanks, and no clothes dryer:
Old-fashioned. But we cope.

Put toilet lid down.
Not just the seat. See septic sewer system, above and frogs, below.

Use full flush button only.
To make sure everything goes all the way into the septic tank.
(There are 2 toilets: his ’n’ hers. When it’s just me and the G.O. we follow the old maxim ‘if it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down’.)

Do not flush anything other than T.P.
The buck so-to-speak stops here. The septic system processes waste onsite using healthy bacteria. For this reason, we don’t use chemical cleaners.

Do not put anything down drains.
See septic system, above. Bathroom waste water goes through it into the ground. Laundry and kitchen grey water is how we water the garden.

Short showers please.
If you don’t stink we won’t judge you if you don’t shower at all.

Turn off taps.
Those big round tanks in the yard are where the house water supply comes from after it falls from the sky.

Hang damp towels on verandah line.
See no clothes dryer, above. Or you can walk out to the backyard Hills Hoist.

Dirt, dust, dog hair, cobwebs, insects, frogs, huge Huntsman spiders and occasional snakes… are part of the deal.
We don’t use chemicals to clean; just lemon juice, vinegar (which also doubles as shampoo and conditioner), eco-friendly detergent, bicarb soda, essential oils. Nor do we get the property chemical sprayed for pest control. The barking geckos and skinks do a good job. No, they won’t hurt you, neither will the frogs, Huntsman spiders or mice.

country housekeeping for visitors
Country Housekeeping for Visitors

The list could have been longer:

You can’t put your favourite t-shirt on its own through the washing machine.

There’s no room in the fridge for all those plastic bottles of sugary drinks. It’s full of food we made to eat. There’s no spare fridge. Keep the drinks in your esky.

Yes, that ‘floor’ is dirty… it’s outside.
(Response to visitor telling child not to crawl on the pavers outside “they’re very dirty”.)

The nearest shop is in town, 30 kilometres away. No joke. But there is a pub.

There’s no home delivery.

The tank water out of the taps is safe; we drink it all the time.

There aren’t any teabags; I’ll make a pot of tea.

The eggs come from those chooks.

We don’t have a dishwasher.

The tea-towel is for drying dishes when there’s too many to fit on the drainer, the cleaning cloth is for benches, the hand-towel is for hands.

We don’t need a new TV with a bigger screen.

We don’t need a new lounge; it’s only 15 years old.

The vege garden is big enough for us. Yes, we eat nasturtiums.

Tonight’s dinner is fast food. We call it leftovers.

It’s homemade. Really.

Relax. Enjoy 😊

My youngest sister gets it.
During her first visit after our treechange she summed up our house…
“nothing matches but it works.”

Your thoughts? Comments welcome.

Between now and July 2020 I’m studying Certificate IV Permaculture via Tafe NSW and the National Environment Centre flexible online learning. Studying online, I discovered, involves a lot of writing. This year of study, I think, might lend itself to some blog posts… follow along if you are interested in learning what I learn during my permaculture journey.

17 thoughts on “Nothing matches but it works . . .

  1. I love this, I love your place! Very big difference between a house and a home, you have a lovely home. I’d love to fill our place with more not quite right stuff but Mr Conservative couldn’t cope! Nothing wrong with a bit of chook poo either!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. To which I’d add: If the shirt doesn’t smell and isn’t dirty, wear it again. Turn off the tap while you’re soaping your hands or cleaning your teeth, turn it on again to rine. Take off your outside shoes, I don’t want the dirt you’ve been walking in on my slightly cleaner floor. No, you won’t die of germs if you use the same plate for lunch as you did for breakfast; I am living proof. And so on. It’s a great list, it’s just a pity you had to write it down at all…. Your house is not weird, it’s beautiful, and it works very, very well. See you Thursday 🙂


    1. ‘Nobody has died’ is one of my housekeeping mottos 🤓 The other, which was the kitchen sign before this one is ‘if you see something you think needs attending to feel free do it yourself’. Life’s too short, I wasted enough of mine keeping a stupidly clean house. Looking forward to it.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s interesting how times have changed, once kids being outside and playing in the dirt was a healthy part of childhood… nothing a hose or a bath couldn’t fix, and spending too much time inside wasn’t encouraged. Modern conveniences like water and sewer infrastructure are now so widespread in the western world at least that many people aren’t familiar with the old ways, and can’t understand why they suit us. Nor that the modern services aren’t always available and they have an environmental cost.


  3. Love it. As we have been living the country dream for many, many years all these rules come as second nature to us. We have been in drought now for over five years. Dams are very low, so just for stock. Only gray water for fruit trees and garden shrubs, bulbs and other hardy plants. We haven’t had a vege garden for over a year, but hoping for rain soon so we can start again.


    1. On my grandparents farm as a kid in the 60’s and 70’s, I was drinking milk straight out of the cow, eating home grown/killed chickens and meat, collecting eggs, foraging mushrooms, playing in dirt, drinking rainwater from corrugated iron tanks… unless I was filthy I had a thorough daily wash and a weekly bath with plain bar soap… no such thing as hand sanitiser or wipes, the house was clean but not antiseptic. It was fine then, and it’s fine now.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “Although” <- (said in a long drawn out way and then taking a breath to cover saying the next important thing) ~ We survived and yet some beloveds in your comment didn't, the calves of the cow, the chickens… and as people all over the world have lived as vegetarians successfully and healthily to prove that for the survival of the human species we can and need to pull the reins in on eating the other creatures (sentient beings that are eating so much food to get them to the table, fodder produced by destroying the planets biosphere and (runs out of breath)


      2. (takes another breath) “Good Morning beloved daleleelife” aren’t we so fortunate to be blessed with the ability to communicate to each other such long distances our ideas and thoughts and memories. The things I recall these days of the near misses of my childhood could be the volumes of a book! Kids are becoming literally the personification of the saying “You are what you eat” as burgers and the like are produced from caged intensive farming practices that isn’t anything like during our childhood, but that even then it wasn’t all kindness and light to produce the bucket of milk. Blessings to your day. Over Soil

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I stopped short here: “Dirt, dust, dog hair, cobwebs, insects, frogs, huge Huntsman spiders and occasional snakes… are part of the deal.” I would clip this , and a few related ones, to our fridge but. Still, it’s so true. A simple everyday revelation.


    1. Thank you. So many of us tend to expect too much of ourselves and others. I was guilty as charged until I turned 50 and moved to a wonky dusty old house in the country and reset my perspective to ‘take me as you find me’… life’s too short.


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