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...
...as 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.