"The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest."

Thomas Moore

Friday, June 15, 2018

Gratitude in the moments...

Truly, I'll be so pleased when our house hunting days are over and life can step back into a gentler routine, a routine I thrive in and which fills my homemaker heart with pure satisfaction and delight.

There have been four very different homes which 'almost' prompted us to sign on the dotted line, but sleepless nights followed the viewing of each of them and we both agreed they just weren't right for our needs now and in the future.

That's the thing. 
We're buying our first home but it will also be our last, so it needs to serve us this year and also in twenty years from now. This means that even though there are certain styles of home we really love, those same homes will become a burden sooner rather than later and that's just not wise at this time of life. With the end of lease on our rental home looming closer it's easy to feel anxious and consider certain houses just because we want the search to end and decisions to be finalised...but then we pray and listen for that still small voice. God soothes our anxieties and suddenly we feel brave again, and even a tad more patient.

Though our winter is still quite warm with 28 C (82 F) days the mornings are brisk and refreshing so I've begun sitting out on the patio for my bible study and second cuppa after Mr E leaves for work. 




It's very relaxing out there with different birds singing a tune every now and then, reminding me that they too prefer these pleasanter winter days.

On Tuesday morning Rosie dropped by for a visit and rather than sit inside as we normally do we made coffee, filled a plate with Matrimony Slice, and took our sewing out on the patio. I do hope our new home will have a similar place to sit, pray, read and enjoy time with friends.   

I've been working on a birth notice for Rafaella...




...which is the same design as I did for Cully May's birth notice but in different colours. 
I'll have this pattern ready in July for Stitchery Club members as it's such a joyful one to stitch and looks lovely in a child's room. 

Blossom came by for the day yesterday with her little sweethearts and what a wonderful time we had! As soon as Cully May arrives she heads to the spare bedroom calling "Thomas!" and seconds later scoots passed us on her Thomas the Tank Engine ride-on. After that she found her tea set and was intent on pouring pretend cups of tea for mummy and I before settling next to me on the couch with a handful of books for story time. 

We enjoyed breakfast, morning tea and lunch together, Blossom and I chatting about homemaking, prayer, cooking, moving house and the 1950s. She'd asked to see photos of me as a baby and we imagined what life was like for my mum growing up in the 40's and 50's. I have a few black and white photos of mum (she died aged 21) taken in the late fifties and very early sixties so we spent a good hour holding photos up against Rafaella and Cully May to see the family resemblances.



Afterwards we settled down with a cuppa to watch the first episode of "Back in Time for Dinner" which was about life for a housewife and her family in the fifties. This led to much discussion about making do, gratitude, simpler meals, less ingredients, raising a family, fashion, opportunity, modesty and how it all compared with life in 2018.

I've now caught up and watched the episodes which covered the 60's and 70's, but I'm looking forward to the 1980's because that was my heyday as a young wife and mother so I have clearer memories of that era than the previous ones.

Sweet Rafaella loves my Shabby Roses quilt so I have told Bloss it is to be hers when Jesus takes me home one day...



Cully May is a girl of many expressions, all of them fun and beautiful...





Today I wrote patterns and took photos of next month's designs, but in between I took a couple of hours to enjoy some baking.

Because our weekends are taken up with house hunting and the workaday week has so much which must be crammed in to run a business, design, sew, spend time with family and keep house, there hasn't been much time in the kitchen apart from the needful simple breakfasts and dinners.




As much as my body prefers a grain free menu, it is just too time consuming right now so I decided to put up with achy joints a few months longer and return to cooking simpler (cheaper) meals with a few treats we've been missing.




We've been in need of a treat lately and unfortunately chose to buy a few bags of lollies, though we both agreed that much sugar wasn't the best idea.  So today I baked an old favourite, Blackberry Swirls, for dessert tonight, and also a Pineapple Fruit Cake to have with cuppas over the weekend and in to next week. 




Served with custard these swirls are delicious...




...and will last us four nights. Much nicer than lollies and a lot less sugar too.




You'll find the recipe here in my shop with a free stitchery inside.

Don't think I've ever shared the recipe for Pineapple Fruit Cake but its an Australian favourite and there are many recipes online. THIS is the same as the one I grew up with and the only difference for me is that I bake it in a large loaf tin for easy slicing.




I hope your weekend is not as full as mine, but if it is be sure to stop every so often and just breathe - long deep breaths of life giving air that will gently slow you down and clear your mind.

It's too easy to get on that treadmill of busyness and keep running without any thought of what this is doing to your health, your life and your relationships. I'm becoming more conscious than ever that I must make time to potter around, listen to some music, take deep breaths, sit out on the back step and watch the birds flitting back and forth...even for five minutes. 

Those small breaks from work, homemaking or scrolling through houses online, ground me in the moment. They draw my thoughts back from a tendency to run forward, and let them settle in the now, the very present and precious moment I am in. 

Every day is a gift, you know.
Receive each new morning, give thanks, and make time to really appreciate the day you have been given as it will never come again.

Love and hugs


16 comments:

  1. Beautiful pics of your grandchildren - they are so sweet! Lovely design you are working on. Hope your house hunting goes well this weekend. I remember those days and the anxiety involved till all is settled again. Always enjoy your posts!

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  2. The birth announcement is going to be so pretty when finished, such a work of art and it will be so precious for her to keep. I am going to check out the pineapple cake, it sounds new to me and we always like cake. In fact, baking is one of the things that really make me happy and which I love to do. We are all trying to eat less in the way of sweet things so when I do bake now it is extra special. x

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  3. Your babies are beautiful and so was your mother! So sorry you lost her at such a young age. I bookmarked the 50's housewife show you mentioned...looks great. YOur post is full of goodness... the baked treats look delicious. I do hope you can soon find peace about a house to call your own.

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  4. What a delightful post. Thanks for the slow down reminder. !!mary

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  5. Love this post with its pics and wise words. I have been checking every day for a new post and was a little worried that your health was not good. Glad to hear you are fine, just very busy. Girls are beautiful--and look so happy. Your mom was a beautiful lady. I know you would love to have a sit down with her and talk. Keep us posted on the house. I know a decision is coming soon. Love you, dear Jenny!

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  6. I baked yesterday too. I made a pineapple upside down cake for the first time in my 60 years! (My husband did all the cooking and shopping until I retired in 7/2016). We have only bought one house in our life, 30 years ago and it fits perfectly for us. It is a one level ranch with a good sized lot. It has 4 bedrooms (one is my sewing room now that my daughters are grown), we have room for guests and a bedroom for my granddaughters. I enjoy the birds so much too. We are having many visitors at this time of year and I put out seed every morning for them. I do what you describe, always so busy, but your blog reminds me to savor the moments. Thank you.

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  7. Hello Jenny; I enjoyed your post filled with so many delightful items and life. I especially enjoy seeing and reading about your Granddaughters and your visits. Plus, it is always relaxing to sit outside and listen to the birds singing their songs! That is something Kevin and I do every morning and evening also. The stress just melts away, I am glad that you are able to find that effect also. Thank you for sharing all that you do Jenny. I will continue to keep you in my prayers! Have a wonderful day!

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  8. House hunting really is a full-time job. You'll get there!!! Your mum was gorgeous, I see you and the girls in her. Got a kick out of Cully May calling for Thomas, my boys had one of those and they just loved it. I'm keeping you in prayer sweetie!!!

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  9. My prayers go out for your house hunting. That process can be so stressful but I'm sure God has THE HOUSE for you and you will know it.

    I was just thinking this morning how happy I was when my daughter was young and we would go places together. Life did have struggles back then but looking at life through her eyes gave it extra joy. She just turned 40 (how did that happen?). My son was a midlife surprise child and we, too, enjoyed good times together when he was young. Both kids are still a blessing but there was something about those times in the 1980s that were special. I think part of it was that I was so much younger!

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  10. Beautiful grandchildren, and your mother, definitely a beauty. How lovely your day with Blossom sounded. Little ones require energy, but they also give something in return. Your baking looks yummy, and I think you have a lot more self-control than I do! I hope you soon find the house God means for you to have. We know it's there, and the search is kind of an adventure. I'm sure the finding of it will be miraculous, too. I was a little girl in the fifties, and remember some good times with my mother before she died. There's still a bit of magic about that time, to me.

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  11. Your mother was a gorgeous lady. You and blossom and the girls favor her. Love seeing the pictures of your grand girls. They are beautiful and precious. The house hunting will come to fruition soon. You just wait and see. A beautiful home For you to dwell in on Earth. Your baking looks delicious and so yummy.

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  12. The right house is waiting for you! And, you will find it in the right time! I am loving the slices.... they look wonderful! You do such lovely needlework! I am always inspired! Have a glorious weekend!

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  13. Oh my! Those pics of Rafaella and Cully May are beautiful and the close up of Cully May is particularly stunning. Cherished photos. You are amazing finding time to bake and it is much better than buying processed cakes etc so don't feel bad about not sticking to the grain free diet for a while. When one is stressed and time poor we tend to cut corners and take the easiest path of travel. You are not alone with that. I looove Rafaella's birth stitchery. I wish it was 28 degrees C here each day. It is quite windy , cold and stormy here.

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  14. Beautiful blog Jenny and your granddaughters are so gorgeous and precious. What an expressive face dear Cully May has. She is going to be quite the charmer when she grows up. Thank you for taking the time to write this blog. Much appreciated. Your cooking looks delicious as always. Thank you, thank you for your wonderful inspiration. Please take care of yourself and good luck with the house hunting.

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  15. What a lovely newsy post. I do hope the right house comes along soon, and you will know it once you see it. It will feel right. I've been watching Back in Time For Dinner too. It's funny how in the early episodes I kept thinking of your Gentle Domesticity. Women, especially young newly married women, would have known very little other than what was the food experience on the show. They would have grown up in the depression and then the war years, so things would always have been limited. There was no mention of baking, which really hasn't changed all that much, and was always a treat. I'm also looking forward to the 80s, as that is when I started working and we were married. I digress... I love the photos of the girls. Cully certainly is a cuty.

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  16. Encore de jolies broderies pour Rafaella, les petites semblent bien s'amuser et elles sont très mignonnes, un air de ressemblance avec ta maman, j'espère que tu trouveras la maison de tes rêves merci pour tes jolis post à bientôt belle semaine Geneviève

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hugs
Jenny
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