Friday, July 14, 2017

Planning for now and then...

It's been quite a wearying week or two with an unexpected illness that had 'all hands on deck' until the worst had passed.
Little Cully May contracted measles, passed on two weeks earlier at a Wiggles concert Blossom had taken her to. I've had seven babies and not one ever had measles so watching Cully May as she traversed the worst of it was just awful. 
Dear Blossom was on call 24/7 with her little girl, the only break coming when I was around to take Cully May for a while. Ross was working overseas at the time so having Mr E and I just around the corner was indeed a God-send. 
Fortunately she's on the mend now and a much happier little dumpling again. Of course, Blossom is worn out so if you have some spare prayers for rest and refreshment she'd much appreciate them.

My own levels of weariness have increased after the energy required this past week. I almost forget the brain trauma injury and it's repercussions until I step over the 'too much exertion' line and come tumbling down in a heap for a few days. 

Mr E instructed me to rest for the remainder of the week which gave me an excuse to browse my very extensive collection of British country home magazines for decorating ideas that may find their way into our one-day home. 

I'm specifically focusing on the kitchen at present because it genuinely is my favourite room. The things I love are warm and inviting country/farmhouse styles and especially tongue & groove walls, open shelves filled with tall jars of ingredients, cup hooks under cabinets, pretty tiled splashbacks, a table in the kitchen (or a cosy breakfast nook), cookbook shelves, happy curtains, a window that looks out on the garden and oh so many other little things like a butler's sink and a rack for dinner dishes.

These are just two pages I've torn out and popped into my dream kitchen folder, there's many many more I've put aside to show Mr E and many many more magazines yet to search through going back to 2010!

It's wonderful to dream, to plan, to narrow your choices and discover exactly what brings joy in a design idea - especially in your favourite room.

But that is for 'then' which could be in 6 months, a year, or more away, so I still need to work on the 'now', the welcoming comfort of the rental home we live in today. In the big scheme of things life is about living in the moment, embracing what we already have and making any house a home.

Remember a few weeks back when I made a cover for my bread machine so I could have it out on display and use it  instead of hiding un-used in a hard to access cupboard? 
You have no idea how much of a workout this gets now and the family are enjoying fresh bread again, something I made every day when we homeschooled. 

I have a small white shelving unit (next to an old linen cupboard which became the pantry) which holds other appliance parts and the breadmaker sits atop it now. I'm still debating whether to make a curtain for the front from an old tablecloth and doilies or whether to sew some pretty shelf liners instead. 

Decision should be made soon. 
She says hopefully.

Yesterday I thought it was time to go down to the storage room under the house and bring my Mixmaster back to the kitchen for the same reason as the breadmaker - to use it. 
Our galley kitchen is tiny with barely any counter space which is why these appliances have been stored away and not in use, so I'm being creative in how to keep them handy. 

After a long overdue book culling session I was able to make room on the bookcase beside the kitchen for my Mixmaster...

...with the plan to make a pretty cover for it like I'd done for the breadmaker.

This is the fun part, using one of my 2015 orphan stitchery designs as the centrepiece and choosing fabrics for the rest. 

"Home Baked With Love" (available here) 

I really don't think there's a more appropriate design, do you?
I'd even forgotten it had a Mixmaster stitched on it!

These are my first choice of fabric...but that could change before I start cutting. I do like them, though - what do you think?

Baking is one of my greatest homemaking joys, something I'd not fully realised until recently when it occurred to me that whilst I like cooking meals in general, it's the baking side of things that puts a smile on my face and has me singing. Having the Mixmaster close by means I can return to making sponge cakes and Italian meringue, perhaps a pavlova. 

Blossom and Mr E both enjoyed home baked raspberry coconut slice this week... well as pineapple upside down cake, trifle and fresh bread. There was also roast lamb with veg, followed the next day by Shepherds Pie, always a favourite in our family. 

In the midst of Cully May's illness I found purpose in cooking meals and baking, taking my wares to Blossom's house so she could eat well even though all her hours were busy with a sick little girl. 
She's an amazing mother, giving all to her God-given role and doing so with a full heart and dedication to her family. Some women have no desire for career, motherhood is what completes them...Blossom is such a woman. 

I took a break as I wrote this blog post because my attention was drawn to the bird outside my office window, feasting on berries in the palm tree...

This very warm tropical winter has a variety of birds nesting and laying eggs in the trees around our house. They live life in the now, don't they.

That's where my head and heart are satisfied, finally. 

May your weekend be one of laughter, simplicity, joy in the ordinary.



Joyce said...

Jenny, so glad to hear that little Cully May is feeling better. I had a really bad case of measles when I was 5 years old. One of my memories from that time are the ladies from our church sitting around the bed praying. I know those prayers are what got me through. I will keep Blossom I'm my prayers. I love your ideas for your someday kitchen. I love looking through magazines and catalogs for ideas.

Createology said...

I have lots of Prayers and Healing Energy for Cully May, Blossom and You Jenny Dear. We as mothers feel so helpless when our loved ones are sick and it is truly exhausting. Love your kitchen desires, use of shelving space and putting your tools conveniently located so they can do the work. Delicious baking you have been doing. The fabrics you have selected for your Mixer Cover are perfect with your stitchery. Do take care and replenish your body and soul Sweet Jenny. <3

Baa. xxx said...

Perfect fabrics for the mixer cover! Poor darling Cully May. Measles are not nice. I hated feeling so helpless when my little ones had them, and chickenpox. Beautiful ideas for the kitchen part of the house Jenny!

Ondrea said...

Great news that Cully May is well on the mend now and I do hope that you manage to rest up a bit and that Blossom is okay. I love those British mags and my mum often buys them and passes them on to me. So many lovely homey ideas to dream about. Love your stitchery and I must admit that I am a fan of spotty fabric. Those 2 fabrics go well together. You are so clever making room for your kitchen appliances and making the place look so homey. Your home must smell divine with all the baking aromas.

Sandy said...

Hugs to you Jenny...sounds like you had a busy week.Love reading your blogs full of cooking, sewing and sharing your faith.

Little Quiltsong said...

Beautiful post again - I so enjoy it each time with my tea. So glad Cully May is better and that Blossom had help at this hour of need. I remember how alone a person can feel when the little ones are sick. I need to get back to baking bread again too. I had fine tuned it down to our favorite mixture of ingredients. Love homemade bread. Your raspberry coconut squares look delicious.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jenny i love reading your posts,so glad Cully May is over the worst now and i hope Blossom gets back her energy quickly,sending you all big hugs my friend xx

Mary in Peoria Handmade said...

Even though you had a difficult week, this post is just beautiful! Inspiring, comforting and hopeful. Thank you. mary in Az

Maureen said...

Beautiful post, Jenny. The "now" is God's gift to each of us, to live as fully as we can. I know I can waste my now by living in the past or wondering about the future. The older I get, the more my desire is to live in the gift of the present.
Praying for health to return to all. ❤️

Farm Quilter said...

I'm so glad Cully Mae is on the mend and pray Blossom will soon recover from her 24/7 nursing gig! I remember having measles as a child and I'm so glad my girls all got the MMR vaccine and never had to suffer through that. Hard on mommas and grandmothers when our precious babies suffer through things like this. I love looking through magazines and dreaming of incorporating some of the things I see into my home. I really like the farm sinks, but I want mine to be an under-mount sink so it is easy to clean off the counter top into the sink with a straight-forward wipe - so much easier to get crumbs or splashes off the counter! Now I need a raspberry coconut cake!! I'm thinking you need to add a tab to your blog with all your yummy recipes!!!

May said...

Bless poor Cully Mae so glad to hear she is on the mend... I adore your choice in kitchen designs.. so cosy!! I love your bread machine cover and the home baked with love design is just perfect for your mixer...I must try doing a cover for mine (bread machine) I say try as I am new to sewing but I have joined your wonderful club to help me learn... after 40 years as a nurse I retired on my 60th birthday a few months back... I would love to learn more sewing... Your blog and designs are so inspirational Thank you for your wonderful posts
Have a happy safe week ahead and I hope you will continue to rest May x

Anonymous said...

I love your red Mixmaster! We had one when I was young. Now I have a cream colored Kitchen Aid - because the red was $100 more, but it was what I wanted. =) This was a great post to read - well, they all are, aren't they? I like the fabrics you showed with that stitchery. The colors are all good together, and say "Jenny's house" to me. I'm so happy to hear Cully May is feeling better, and you and Blossom are both getting more rest.

All I remember about measles is having Mama keep me in a dim room, and I was mad because I wasn't allowed to read. LOL It was supposedly damaging to your eyes when I had the measles.

Winifred said...

Crumbs I remember having measles & my daughter caught them just before she was due her injection. It can be really nasty so pleased to hear the little one is on the mend.

Love your bread maker cover. I keep meaning to make one for my sewing machine!

Christine M said...

Glad to hear Cully May is getting better. I love your red mix master. It looks lovely sitting there with your cook books. Take it easy Jenny. xx

Kezzie said...

Jenny, I love your kitchen pictures! Just the sort of kitchen I would choose.
I love your breadmaker cover-what a clever use of an 'orphan stitchery'. The breadmaker with it's gorgeous cover being on display makes your kitchen look so 'homey' and welcoming.
Glad to hear Cully is feeling better.

Simply Ann said...

So hard to see our precious ones sick. So glad she is better and now Mama can get some rest.
I just finished making a recipe binder. My recipes have been scattered hither and yon for quite some time now. Your design would be so cute on my new binder!

I love the kitchen ideas. I have a dish rack like the one displayed in the first picture. I found it on E-bay. It was unfinished so my husband painted it the color of our cabinets. I really love it. I have my Staffordshire dishes, that we use daily, in the dish rack and then the bottom shelf is a display of vintage pyrex that my mother recently gave us. I have loved that pyrex since I was a tiny girl. I love the cheerful reds, yellows and turquoise. I recently found more at a hospice thrift shop for a couple dollars each. I was so thrilled!

I enjoy watching birds. I spent my morning rescuing baby robins who fell out of the nest. I put them in a hanging pot that was just under their nest. As of right now I can't hear the parents so am hoping that they will survive all the cats in the neighborhood!

My Arty-Farty Happy Place said...

I have just come across your blog/web page and absolutely love it. I was looking for some little designs to add to some mini quilt blocks I want to make for a lovely lady who has helped me to get my life in order after many many years of trauma(?), and I want to make her a gift, as a thank you.

First though, I have to thank you for sharing such beautiful designs that you have created. I too prefer to say that my stitching/sewing talent is a gift, and I enjoy creating something from a plain piece of fabric.

Once again, thank you.

My Arty-Farty Happy Place said...

Forgot to mention - my third grade teacher's name was Jenny Reynolds and she introduced me to Scripture Union way way back!! Small world.

allthingzsewn said...

Cully May just gets cuter every time I see her. Praying for all the recoveries after this wee ones sickness.
Appliance covers are a great idea and so cute, I have a couple I need to cover now that I see and admire yours.
I think I would cover the remaining shelves so as not to collect too much dust. Waiting to see what you come up with.
Would love to have the recipe for the raspberry/coconut bars.
Do you make your bread from scratch? When I looked into the mixes for bread it was way too
expensive. I'm going to try and find a bread maker on line maybe. I don't even know how much they are now.
Enjoy your week of hopefully relaxational activity.
Hugs and Blessings