Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The wonderful wet...

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?



  1. I love reading your blog Jenny, hope you are enjoying your new home.

  2. A lovely post Jenny. Gosh little Cully May sure is growing! Yes Please to the recipe for Banana Parkinson :-) Your new blocks & your November stitcheries look amazing as always. Beautiful flowers from Mr E. I could not live without my clothes drying rack. Just realised I have worked my way backwards today with my comments ... from end to beginning. Xx

  3. I just found your blog...lovely. I also just used the same low volume background fabric that you are using in the piece with the flower appliqued on it. Love that collection. I would love to try your Banana recipe. ....take care...

  4. How lovely, Jenny. I hope the rains continue so that you get a proper wet season. After a very dry summer here, it's beginning to rain again and the streams and creeks are filling up nicely.

  5. Wow to go so long without rain! And I still find it hard to fathom the temperatures you deal with, I just wouldn't enjoy them at all being the winter lover I am :-) Most of my kids live in Brisbane and when it's 21 it's cold for them! Your granddaughter is a little blossom isn't she! I am enjoying seeing your Jen Kingwell makes, I like her style and the mix of 'low volume' background fabrics add so much interest.

  6. Glad its a bit cooler up there. I'm sure we are all enjoying the rain - so desperately needed in most places.
    Always ready for a new recipe.
    Cully May is growing so fast...what a cutie!

  7. Jenny I was hoping you were getting some of the rain. We had a couple of inches here which was appreciated. Cully May must be wondering why the grass is wet. LOL! My grandchildren in the Outback used to be fascinated when it rained when they were little as it didn't happen very often.

  8. Jenny the rain has been wonderful. I think it's just about finished here in Hervey Bay and is heading your way now. When we lived in Darwin, and when it rains here, we place the drying clothes rack under a ceiling fan overnight. The clothes get dry this way. We line the sheets up over the backs of chairs under the ceiling fans. It works so well that a dryer is not necessary.

  9. Thank you Jane! I will do that with the sheets during the wet season. :-)

  10. Loved reading your blog as always, I would love the Banana recipe too please. Cully May has grown so quickly what a little stunner she is. We have had some rain here too, thank the Lord I was getting quite worried all my trees would die, now everything is green again. Take care, Guida.

  11. So enjoyed your blog post again! Didn't realize you had such a long season of drought. Cully May must have loved walking on the wet ground - new experience. Lovely flowers, food and projects - they always make my day. Today I am making Ham and Bean Soup - a favorite around here.

  12. Wonderful post, Jenny! I am with you when it comes to mopping; no fun. Glad you are finally getting some rain!😊

  13. Cully May is just precious! I don't really enjoy mopping either and tend to procrastinate. Then when it's done, I think "how beautiful!" lol then we repeat the cycle for next time! Your stitcheries are beautiful and I"m going to check out the domesticity group now.

  14. Mopping the floors is fine. It's the scrubbing of the shower that I dislike the most.

  15. Your projects are beautiful, and so is Cully May. Such a sweet picture! I love seeing her pictures on your blog.

  16. We had several inches of rain this past week after a month without. It sure was nice to see the grass start to get green again. I don't mind mopping floors so much as having to scrub them. Scrubbing is hard on my knees. We started washing dishes after our dishwasher broke and we have found we don't mind. My how Cully May has grown. It's so fun to watch babies and little kids explore new things. Yes, I would be interested in the Banana Parkinson recipe and the cookies too.

  17. I am so happy that you have settled into your new home and I detect joy everywhere! Cully May is adorable and will grow to remember all you do to make your house your home....the scents of baked goods, the taste of your delicious breads and sweets, the sound of your sewing machine and the sight of the brightly colored threads.
    I would love your Banana Parkinson(!) recipe as well as the Anzac. I do recall you talking about them years ago. :-)
    Best wishes.

  18. I'm so glad the rains have returned to cool and refresh you. I love to listen to the rain falling and the smell of rain on the earth. I'm with Susie...yes, please, to both Banana Parkinson and Anzac. I can now get Golden Syrup on Amazon...but what kind, there are so many to choose from??!! Cully Mae looks so happy to be out exploring her world.

  19. Having just come off a spell of damp, rainy, dreary days, I'm enjoying sunshine, lol - my mom has one of those dryers, she uses it all the time, her electric dryer is more often than not broke down. Such lovely flowers from Mr. E, he's such a keeper. Jenny, I would gladly trade ANY cleaning with you if you'd do all the cooking, lol. Although I do have a recipe to share, next blog post. I'm thrilled with the chatter on your fb group, such a lovely bunch of ladies. Your new table runner is looking splendid, girl, what a neat pattern! And the peek at your new scripture design is just breathtaking. As is the Christmas stitchery - wowzers I do love that.
    Cully May is too, too precious - so lovely to have a child in this digital age, when you can take so many pictures and not worry about developing film. She's so gorgeous!

  20. I love your settling in stories. I wish I could sew with a needle and thread by hand. I cannot feel the needle and then my hands hurt for days if I try, but I love your designs. Not part of your fb group. But it sounds wonderful. Please share your recipe as it looks delicious.
    Again, Jenny, Thank you for sharing and inspiring us all to live the gentle domestic life.
    Blessings and huggs to you, ~ Judith

  21. I love your blog Jenny. As I get older I appreciate the ‘ordinary’. A comfortable home, cooking, family andtime to appreciate what is good in life.

  22. That pic of Cully May is so gorgeous. I think that pic would be great enlarged onto canvas. We have had a muggy day here down south. A taste of your weather I think. Love your Christmas stitchery and the applique project is coming along nicely. I hope all your washing dries well. I tend to hang mine on a clothes airer over the ducted heating in winter. I know what you mean about having freshly laundered cotton sheets on the bed. I would have fresh sheets every day if I had a maid and several lots of sheets LOL.

  23. I think your husband is a keeper! :-) Your food looks delicious and I LOVE anything with bananas. Really. Your stitchery makes me dream of soft and pretty things...

  24. I quit facebook about 8 months ago. I was so tired of the junk that kept showing up on my home page. Junk that other people would post. I just recently started back up because I miss the groups that I was in. I started under my birth month and middle name and no last name because I don't really want friend requests. Is that terrible of me?? Anyway it has been nice to only see posts from groups that I want to see. I follow you and just sent a request for you Gentle Domesticity group.

    I am glad you are getting rain. Parts of the US are burning up, but here in mountains of Colorado we rarely have drought. Our property is watered by springs that well up all over our hillside and it hasn't ever dried up! Even in the rare case of drought here.

    I have a dryer but rarely use it. I love hanging out clothes. In the winter I use a drying rack out on the deck. Nothing like the smell of clothes dried in the fresh air!

  25. Just found your blog, such a way with words & with the needle, I will look forward to reading your next one. I live in Apache Junction, AS & we have sweltering summers, not much of fall & hardly any winters; but through it all clothes still get hung outside. Nothing can compare to sheets dried on a line or all the clothes for that matter. Thanks for posting, totally enjoyed all the pictures as well. In my 'spare' time I love to embroider but have not yet decided how to best show my projects. All are one-of-a-kind items as I don't like to duplicate anything, no fun in that.
    best regards,
    Shashi Bondo

  26. Finally have a computer again and I'm catching up with you. Yes, I'd like the Banana Parkinson recipe. Not only does it sound delicious and look great, but it will always remind me of you! I'm in the minority, I guess. I do NOT like the smell or feel of things dried outside. I grew up with clotheslines, of course, but the fabric always seems so rough to me when dried that way ... and it smells like dirt to me. LOL I only do a couple of loads a week - white and everything else - so I use the dryer and am glad to have it.

  27. Love to read of your days - they inspire me to keep working towards slowing down some of my daily running. I would love both of those recipes - they look delicious!


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