Cashing in on the spring clean

Posted September 22nd, 2013 by Claire S

Dear Summer… I know that last time we spoke I was all like "Leave me alone, you're smothering me. I need a change. It's not you, it's me." But I'm sorry. Truly I am. Come back, I've changed, I'm cold… I miss you! I just want to feel your warm embrace once more!

Ha. Ever have one of 'those' winters when you promise that no matter how hot it gets this summer, you'll love every moment of it and not complain once about it being too hot! We had an absolute corker last summer. But it really did get too hot with the green hillsides turning brown and the poor animals all desperate for water. By March we were all complaining. However, after standing at the bus-stop in the rain day-in-day-out (and forgetting my umbrella far too often), I am really to ditch my jacket, boots and wintery scarves to feel the sunshine on my face again!

Every time I walk past my kayak (which sits outside, woefully unused) I get wonderful flashbacks of being out on the water last summer (I kayaked for the first time ever in my life about this time last year… and was hooked!). I can't wait to get into it again. But we've decided we need to get a second kayak (a double) for hubby and daughter. Unfortunately, as the trees round here refuse to grow money, we've had to put our thinking caps on about how to raise the funds. But after another weekend of lecturing the kids about cleaning their rooms, it came to me. Time for a spring clean/sell off!

My youngest is at that age where she now has toys and books that are far too young for her, but they've been so well-loved that it's hard to let them go! But I also realise we're never going to read "My First Ballet Class" again, and that she no longer has an interest in that pony set that she used to love. It also occurred to me, while I was watching hubby do the usual grapple with the swing set as he mowed the lawns, that the kids haven't actually used the swing set in years! We've just become so used to seeing all this 'stuff' around, that we forget that we don't really need it anymore! But there will be someone out there who is looking for a terrific swing/monkey bar set in excellent condition, and there will be a little girl who loves reading about ballet. So this weekend, I'll be photographing and writing ads for all our 'loved, but no longer needed stuff', in an effort to bulk out our 'kayak account'.

Yep, I love spring. There's just something about all that new growth and birdsong that makes you realise that there's a sunny light at the end of the winter tunnel! I'm also chomping at the bit to get my gardening gloves on and transform my boggy, overgrown gardens and get the lawns looking decent again. Although, to be fair, this winter I did manage to keep my vegie garden in business. I planted it out with my favourite greens (silverbeet, spinach and spring onions). And I tried something totally new - kale. It seems to be the latest 'superfood' in all the mags, plus my Weight Watchers leader raves about it (oh, 9.3kg down since March by the way… not bad eh?). So I popped a few punnets in and away it went! And I love it! My fave is kale chips - just a little oil and salt on the leaves and bake for about 20 minutes. Even my fussiest child loves them! And considering it costs around $5.00 for a bunch of 4-5 leaves at the supermarket, I'm pretty jolly pleased with kale-growing self!

I even managed to keep a little salad garden going over winter. Rather that plant in the ground, I used some medium-sized plastic pots that had been sitting under the house from years gone by. They're brilliant - I can move them around in the sun, and it's much easier to keep the snails out. I'm going to plant four or five pots of salad greens this summer, we through go bags of it and it's just so expensive. I'm also planning to plant tomato plants, some green beans and some potatoes as soon as summer stops sulking and comes back (I love you summer!). There's nothing more delicious than home-grown beans and spuds with just a little butter and a nice slice or two of ham!

Summer is going to be so surprised with me when it finally arrives! Can't wait!

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January 2013