After four long years of drought where I live in the tropics of Northern Australia the rains came. It began on the weekend and is still raining. Glory be, this is a blessing and could mean we'll have a proper wet season this coming summer after all.
Funny thing though, I'm so used to it being perpetually sunny and clear now that I had forgotten about endless days of rain and the need to get washing dry. In the old house the clothesline was under cover but not so in this new home, which meant after spending the morning at Blossom's yesterday I needed to drop in to KMart and purchase a simple drying rack to place on the verandah.
Lucky me, I got the last one! Seems there's been a rush on them this week.
It doesn't hold a lot but there's only the two of us at home now, though I'll need to use the dryer (after sweeping away the cobwebs) for sheets if I can't get a sunny day in between the wet ones.
I change sheets every 4 days as they tend to 'wilt' in our hot and humid climate. Besides, there's nothing quite like slipping between crisp, clean cotton sheets, dried on the clothesline and smelling of fresh air and sunshine.
The rain has also brought cooler weather, days of around 27 C (80 F) and nights a refreshing 21 C (70 F). Those sort of temps lead me to cook comfort foods like chicken pot pie, lamb and vegetable soup, Banana Parkinson and Anzac cookies.
Mr E loves chicken pot pie...
...and I love soup and fresh baked bread.
The Banana Parkinson was for Blossom because it's a long time favourite of hers, and the Anzacs for my darling hubby who likes them crisp and thin.
There's a little story about the Banana Parkinson. Originally it was a recipe I found in an old cookbook many years ago called Banana Parkin.
My maiden name is Parkinson so right then and there, once we'd baked and tasted that it was delicious, it was renamed in honour of my paternal family.
Both it and the Anzacs are packed with healthy oats, an ingredient we all love.
Sophie is also loving the cooler weather, snuggling up to Cully May's stuffed ballerina mouse on the spare bed during the day, and snuggling up to Mr E and I in our bed at night.
What a life.
On Monday evening Mr E arrived home from work with a bunch of flowers, my first in the new home! I felt so cherished, not realising how much I needed the boost. The previous 24 hours had been taken up with doubts as to whether I should continue the Gentle Domesticity Facebook group or close it down and he'd picked up on my sombre mood without asking any questions, bless him.
If you're a member of the group you will know that out of that big question I asked on Sunday afternoon came something so lovely, and so caring. A real community of women who love home, family, sewing, and living a gentle domestic life, gathered together and began to share about their lives.
I tell you, the chatter hasn't stopped since! What precious ladies they are, all ages and walks in life, having a variety of talents and experiences, reaching out to each other, knowing they are being accepted and not judged. They have even started a stitch-a-long and a few good artisan bread recipes have surfaced too.
A sweet bonus for me is that it's not about the members waiting to hear from me anymore, which was never my intention but apparently I hadn't made that clear (message to self - be clear about the purpose of such a group), it's now flowing beautifully from their own input.
And you know what? My dear daughter, Blossom (Elizabeth) is joining me as an Admin for the group so we'll be hearing more about her gentle domestic life too. That blesses this proud mama!
If you'd like to join, or if you're already a member but have missed out on the doings of the past few days and want to catch up visit the Gentle Domesticity Group here.
I've missed sewing on rainy days so am thoroughly enjoying the pitter pattern of rain on the roof as I ply my trade with needle and thread.
Over the weekend I finished another block from Jen Kingwell's "Pollen" table runner pattern. There are five blocks and I'm planning to do one each weekend so another three weeks and I can begin the quilting and finishing, which means I could have it done early to mid November at this rate.
Block 2 prepared.
Blocks 1 and 2 completed.
It's been a while since my last Scripture stitchery, but I do wait for inspiration and don't rush those things. Recently this design for Galatians 6:9 flowed from my pencil early one morn and is now almost finished, just the wording to do...
As well as that I have been stitching new Christmas patterns for the November issue of The Stitchery Club.
I'll show you one of them today and the other four next time. This one was designed to be displayed inside a hoop...
...and can be stitched any year by simply changing the date.
The theme for this year's Christmas designs are a star. In each one you'll find a star somewhere, reminding me of one special star high in the night sky which signaled the birth of Jesus over two thousand years ago.
"Star of wonder, star of light, star of royal beauty bright..." I love that carol.
Would you like the recipe for Banana Parkinson?
Let me know and if you do I'll prepare it as a recipe sheet for your Living the Gentle Domestic Life Cookbook folder.
I'd best be off now, having avoided the mopping of my vast hardwood floors for long enough. Sigh.
Is there a chore you dislike or try to avoid? Blossom tells me hers is washing the dishes (which I love) and mine is mopping floors (which she loves).
If only we still lived around the corner from each other we could swap those chores and both be cheered.
I'll leave you today with a photo of Cully May exploring her backyard after a rain storm.
Why don't you and I take some time to stir up a childlike wonder for the simple things in our lives.
It would be good for the soul, yes?