The Three AM Rant: Flour Sifters and Fitted Sheets

You know you are getting old when things that you took for granted as part of your daily life start being ignored or forgotten. It is a bit like going into a museum and seeing things you have and use at home being displayed as curiosities.

Flour Sifters

One of the Facebook sites that come up in my feed sometimes has photos of everyday items and asks readers to share if they know what it is? Often I wonder why they are even asking.

Take flour sifters. I use a flour sifter, my mum used one, my grandma used a sieve which is more or less the same thing but not as convenient.

At the Op Shop, I was told that “people don’t use them now.” Funny because whenever we have one for sale it goes pretty quickly. I’m puzzled though about why people don’t use them. Everyone is so into cooking these days. I mean people want to make elaborate and fancy looking meals like the ones they see on Master Chef but they don’t take the time to sift flour? That doesn’t make sense. If I bake, I sift.

My old flour sifter is still in use.

In fact, it seems that flour sifters are still being made and sold. I even found a comparison of the best ones on the market. So I don’t know who decided that they were old hat.

http://www.foodsharkmarfa.com/best-flour-sifters/

https://www.thekitchn.com/is-sifting-flour-for-baked-goods-really-necessary-213894

Fitted sheets

A lot of people who come to our Op Shop looking for bed linen tell me that they don’t want flat sheets, only the fitted ones. It seems that a lot of people don’t use a top sheet anymore just the doona. You can even buy sheet sets that are just a fitted sheet and doona cover.

Well personally I don’t care for the idea but even if I did, that’s no reason to consign flat sheets to the rubbish bin.

Fitted sheets are great, don’t get me wrong. I use them myself but with a flat sheet as a top cover. I like to be tucked in.

When you buy a fitted sheet you have to make sure you have the right wall size. If you have one of those pillow top mattresses a 30cm sidewall won’t stretch over it. I’ve had 40cm ones that I struggled to fit on our king-sized bed. There were a couple of pairs of sheets we had that I could stretch over the bed by being patient but David could never do it and would just throw them on the floor and use some mismatched sheet. I like things to match so that always irritated me. I used to put those sheets at the bottom of the stack of linen in the cupboard if I was going away so that he would not need to use them. Not only that, fitted sheets are a pain in the neck to fold up neatly. I’ve read numerous tips on how to do it and I can do it but spending ten minutes folding a sheet does not rate highly on my enjoyment of life scale.

It’s hard to fold fitted sheets neatly.

You can actually use flat sheets as bottom sheets. You just have to tuck them in. I had to remind a younger friend of this not long ago when she didn’t have spare fitted sheets. What do you suppose people did before fitted sheets were invented? By the way, they were invented in 1959 but I don’t recall seeing one before the 1970s.

If you buy a sheet set with a flat sheet included and you are one of those doonas only people you have actually bought two changes of bed linen. Had you thought of that?

Did people actually forget you can do that or doesn’t anyone know how to make a hospital corner?

Here are some comments about the debate.

https://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/bedding-debate-top-sheet

https://www.inverse.com/article/42949-top-sheets-millennials-bedding-duvet-cover.

Time to wash the sheets.

I personally would rather wash a top sheet every week than struggle replacing a doona cover. I do wash that too of course but less often than the top sheet. The Millenial argument seems to be that washing top sheets makes extra work. They should have been around when grandma had to wash everything in the copper and have it hung on the line to dry before breakfast.

Have to go, it’s time to hang my sheets and doona cover on the line.

The doona cover on the line.

 

 

There’s No Place Like Home

Since I wrote my last bushfire update things have improved a lot. We had some good rains and that along with some cooler weather enabled the firefighters to do some back burning and mopping up operations, finally dropping Geeveston and the surrounding areas back from “Watch and Act” status to “Advice”.

http://www.fire.tas.gov.au/Show?pageId=colCurrentBushfires

The fires are still listed as “going” but many of the other areas around the state where there have been fires are now listed as “Patrol” or “being controlled”.

I haven’t said a lot about the fires in other areas because I was telling the story from my own point of view but they were all as serious as the one we were facing and there was some property loss. Also, many hectares of World Heritage listed forests have been burned, Tasmania’s honey industry has taken a major hit due to the loss of leatherwood trees and who knows how much wildlife has been killed.  We are extremely fortunate that there was no loss of life and so few homes burned. It could have been much, much worse.

The worst of it is we may find ourselves in this situation again next summer or any summer. This could be our new normal and that is a scary thought.

But:

I am at home. I could have come home a few days ago but I picked today as a good day firstly because it was more convenient for Naomi and secondly because of my trip to the Wooden Boat Festival yesterday.

Apart from smelling a bit stale and needing a good vacuum and dust my house is fine. I will have to get on to the cleaning bit because the real estate agent rang to ask if she could bring a potential buyer to have a look at it on Monday.

A day to laze around at home enjoying my own space would have been nice but it will have to wait, there are dust bunnies to hunt.

Photinia Hedge 2018

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Things with Engines or Motors

Motors around the house

Just for a change from vehicles and machinery, I decided to photograph things around the house with motors.

The first two are a couple of real veterans that I’ve owned for decades.

My Sunbeam hand mixer has just finished its Christmas tour of duty as I made two batches of mince pies. It faltered a little at one point and I thought I was going to lose it but it soldiered on to finish the job. This mixer originally belonged to mum. I got it for her with a voucher I’d won in a competition in 1970 when I was thirteen. When I got married she gave it to me and it’s been with me ever since. That’s nearly 50 years of service. They knew how to make them back then. For the record, I think it cost about $25 at least that’s how much the voucher was for. I can’t remember if we bought anything else with it.

The veteran hand mixer is still in use.

Mum also gave me my Ronson hairdryer. I believe I was 23 when I got it. It hasn’t had such a lot of use as the mixer as I usually prefer to dry my hair naturally now that I wear it short but it still works.

Hairdryer mum gave me when I was 23.

It has seen better days but this small heater/cooler still works and gets a bit of use on chilly evenings keeping my feet warm when I am on the computer. It’s been around since about 2002

A small fan cooler/heater about 16 years old.

The HP printer has no such pedigree. It is probably more than five years old now. I know David and I bought it in Hobart. I don’t remember when. It still works but I don’t print that often.

HP Printer.

The last item is my Hoover Dog and Cat vacuum cleaner. I bought this while David was sick in the hospital so I know it is about three years old.

vacuum cleaner with a power head for pet hair.

RDP: Home

Be It Ever So Humble

My house is not a mansion. It is a little rough around the edges but it is home to me.

The chairs in place.

I remember the day we moved in. It was a wet June day in 2002. David and I had driven from Adelaide to Melbourne to catch the overnight ferry to Devonport and then driven for another five hours to reach the Huon Valley. We hoped that our payment would be transferred that day and that we would be able to spend the night in our new home.

It was late afternoon by the time we pulled into the driveway. Someone, the previous owner perhaps, had lit a fire in the wood heater and left us a few logs to get started. We had no furniture except what was packed in the back of the station wagon, air mattresses, sleeping bags, a couple of chairs and a card table. Our dog, Tessie, made the trip sitting on top of a pile of blankets on the back seat.

The next day the rest of our things arrived and once we had our books, pictures, knick-knacks and familiar furniture the place began to look like home. The final touch was the arrival of our cat who was flown to Hobart a few days later.

Over the years this house has become a home. Everywhere I look I see familiar things, some of them were in my childhood homes or David’s. There are things that belonged to his grandparents and mine and of course things we have collected ourselves along the way.

Favourite treasures in the living room.

I think I have always had a strong sense of place so the town has become home too.  If I go to the local shops I know I will almost certainly meet someone I know, if I am walking more often than not someone will stop and offer me a lift. I think I’m lucky to have had that, not all country towns welcome outsiders so willingly.

These big logs welcome everyone to Geeveston.

 

 

Snapshot Sunday: Apple Blossom Time

The apple blossom never seems to last long, October is often windy and sometimes it’s gone almost as soon as it has arrived.

In May I planted some bluebells under the tree, I honestly didn’t know then if I would be here to see them flower as the house was on the market already but I thought that they would look nice and be a parting gift to the house.

They flowered this week in time to coincide with the arrival of the apple blossom and it does look nice.  If I am still here in the autumn I’ll try to plant a few more. A mass of them would look beautiful next spring.

 

Snapshot Sunday: Location, Location, Location

Four years ago we decided to grow a hedge to screen the house from the road. I chose Photinia as it is a commonly used hedging plant locally so I knew it would have a good chance of growing and I like the colours as the new growth is red. Jason and Brodie, the “garden guys” got the plants for me and Jason suggested buying an extra one and planting it in an out of the way part of the garden in case we needed a replacement.

Over time we did lose a couple of the plants but the hedge was dense enough that the gap did not matter too much so the odd one was left in peace at the bottom of the garden. Some people do grow Photinia as a tree it is not only used as hedging.

Well today it has well and truly overtaken its hedge based brothers and sisters and is now taller than I am while they have not quite reached five  feet.

I was chatting to Jason about this recently and he suggested that it is all about location. It rains a lot here as you know and in summer I water the hedge in dry spells but the soil is relatively dry there compared to the bottom of the garden which in winter is so damp that I nearly got my foot stuck in the mud when I went to the compost bin one day recently. I water the other garden trees but never that one. It has thrived on neglect.

The hedge has been trimmed a few times but only to tidy it up as some plants have grown faster than others and it has not been trimmed for a couple of months. The back yard tree has never been trimmed in any way. It looks untidy because Cindy broke a branch when she was jumping and barking at the neighbour dog who had chewed a hole in the fence.

Share Your World 2018 – 14 May

Sharing My World This Week

Complete this sentence: This sandwich could really use some …

You’ve got me there, I’d only say that if I had run out of cheese at home. On the other hand if we were talking about burgers my answer would be salad. McDonald’s and Hungry Jacks (Burger King) don’t put enough salad on their burgers and I like mine with a bit of crunch not just a piece of cheese, onion and a pickle. A proper burger has meat, lettuce, cheese, tomato,onion, beetroot and sometimes a fried egg.

What is your least favorite candy?

I was going to say liquorice but on reflection I think it has been displaced by the sour tasting candies that seem to have become popular and the even more popular salted ones. Just give me chocolate.

What sign are you? Do you believe in astrology?

I am a Taurus and I do think that I am true to the characteristics of my birth sign. However, I don’t take the horoscopes that you see in magazines or these days online very seriously because of course they are generalised. In order to give a more accurate reading the astrologer would need much more precise details about me than just the month I was born. So yes I do believe but I take it with a pinch of salt, just like any practical Taurian would 😉

Taurus2.jpg
By Unknown – I scanned this image from a reproduction of a (normand?) medieval book of astrology (15th century), Public Domain, Link

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

As I mentioned in my Sunday post we had three wet days last week. In fact we had a huge thunderstorm, one of the biggest I can remember and there was flooding in several places, parts of the Huon and the city of Hobart in particular.

I was lucky because I did not receive any damage, lose power or my internet connection so that’s something to smile about. On Sunday the weather was a little better and I was able to plant the bulbs I had ordered earlier. I am going to have pots of daffodils and bluebells, tulips, hyacinth and crocus and hyacinth and freesia. I also got out my kneeling pad and popped a few bluebells into the ground under the apple tree. After cleaning the shed I found a few more stray bulbs. I have no idea what they were, they were from previous years pots I think. I popped them under the tree too. Maybe they will grow and maybe they won’t. It was easy to dig the soil after the rain and there were lots of fallen leaves to cover everything with.  I love bulbs, they are so easy to garden with and you nearly always get at least some flowers. If I am not here to see them I hope the new owner will get a nice surprise.

Of course Cindy and Polly came to see what I was doing. I spent some time reorganising the shed and sweeping out dust, and other accumulated mess. Even Polly who rarely goes to the bottom of the garden came in to investigate.

The old wooden garden shed photographed on my smartphone.
Polly came to investigate
There will be bulbs flowering here in spring I hope.
Cindy and Polly head back to the house.I love the way they wander around together sometimes.