Monday, November 27, 2017

Monday rhythms and a free Christmas project...

With only two weeks left before the end of another school year in Queensland, I'm excited because this means Mr E will soon start his summer break and be home with me for about five weeks.
(if you could see the smile on my face!) 

We're looking forward to relaxed mornings with no timetable for being out the door, lessons to plan or reports to mark, just wonderful opportunities to hop in the Jeep at whim and head off on outback and rainforest adventures. This coming break is definitely needed for physical and mental refreshment, a boost before buckling down to another school year for him and designing year for me in 2018.

At the moment I'm working harder than usual to get the December and January issues of the Stitchery Club completed by Mr E's last day of school, so there's a fair bit of designing, stitching and writing happening. If I can manage to do this I'll only need about an hour each day to keep the business side of things running smoothly while he's on summer break. 

It's Monday here and after baking a loaf of sour dough, doing a load of washing and a general tidy of the house I sat down with Sophie and a hot cup of tea to watch a few documentaries and begin stitching the main design for January.

 New habit, I do an egg wash over the bread before I bake it. 
SO good.

Since becoming (not voluntarily) an indoor-only cat Princess Sophie is almost always nearby, sitting close to Mr E when he is home and beside me when he's not.

I've neglected our health the past few months so last week resumed my personal studies on nutrition, making good use of our FMTV subscription for documentaries on sustainability, organic farming and natural health alternatives.

I can sit and stitch while I watch, learning new things (or being reminded of old things) and expanding my ideas for eating, cooking and shopping sustainably.

Decaf tea or coffee in pretty cups are important too, and I drink quite a few.

Applique, hexies and there anything better to keep fingers nimble?

The new designs for next year will be slightly different, softer even, and each month one stitchery will be a large one that we'll finish as a complete project. 

Before lunch I took time out to refresh the water in last week's bunch of flowers and am surprised they are still bright and not at all droopy. 

Note to self, "choose long lasting carnations and baby's breath through summer."

Oh, and while I was taking this photo I remembered wanting to tell you about my Peace Lily.
A few months ago when we were living in the other house, I wrote of my despair at not having white flowers on my Peace Lily anymore, just green flowers all the time. I'd read that this is caused by the plant having too much light so the pot was quickly moved to a shaded part of the room, however soon afterwards we packed up house and moved here.

 In this home's dining room there's a darkened corner where the curtains almost hide the pot and I've kept it there for the two months we've been here, watering regularly because it's hot and very windy at the moment and both those conditions dry the soil easily. 

Success at last! A white lily and I actually shed a tear of joy.

The first white flower in over two years...

My husband thought I'd gone a bit overboard with such happiness from the appearance of a white lily but you know, when you tend something carefully for so long and try all you know to 'fix' the problem, experiencing the fruit of your labour is rather wonderful indeed.

I soon told my friend Anorina who shared the same excitement over her peace lily, as well as her carefully drought-tended gardenias which recently burst into bloom, so we had a mutual understanding of each other's floral happiness. 
Sometimes you really need to share your joy with another woman who understands. LOL!

Before sitting down to write this blog post I made lunch, using what we had on hand and focusing on making it as healthy as possible. The other day I cooked up a batch of brown rice for salads this week, but it's also great for a very simple version of fried rice.

Brown rice and vegetables, tamari, garlic, ginger, chicken bone broth...

...sauteed in a little sesame oil and finished with some egg. 

When I did the egg wash over my sour dough loaf earlier in the day there was still most of the whisked egg left in the bowl so I cooked it on one side of the pan just before serving and sliced it to scatter over my lunch.

Lunch was delicious and so satisfying I couldn't finish it all. 
Note to self, "Next time make less."

I'll bring the washing in off the line next, make some Chia Pudding for dessert tonight and start the chicken for Mr E's favourite Chicken Pot Pie, before brewing a decaf coffee while I do a little more stitching in the natural afternoon light. Mr E will be a little late home as he's working on Blossom's car after school so I have an extra hour or two to fill.

A good day by my accounts.
A blessed and relaxed day, actually, so let me bless you as well.

Last year I shared this design for Christmas and I was going to share it again on December 1st, but a comment asking about it last week made me think "why wait?".
So I won't.

I love the declaration in this pattern, and the joy which swells in my heart when I say those words lifts my spirit every time.

"Glory to God in the Highest" is a free download here in my shop.

Enjoy making it for your home or a gift!

I can't sign off today without saying "thank you".
I have cherished every comment left on my last post, hugged each of you in my heart and praised God for such a beautiful gathering of precious women who care. 

I felt your prayers...I felt encouragement, love, respect, care and concern. 
The gratitude I express today goes far beyond a blog post, it comes from my heart to yours with great sincerity.

May the Lord our God be a fount of blessing upon your precious life, every day in every way.



Jitka said...

Thank you for your beautiful contributions. Your blog is a place where I love to go!

Joanne said...

Hi Jenny,
Love reading your blog! Thanks for all that you share and write here!
Looking forward to winter here to make a few stitiches!

Sharon Wright said...

Hi Jenny. I'm Sharon from South Africa. 🌹 just wanted to say thank you for a wonderful post and lovely photographs. It made me feel very peaceful just reading it and experiencing your life. Once again thank you and sending you warm loving blessings from my home in Africa to yours ♡♡♡

DIGBY said...

You always have a way of lifting me up, Jenny. It has been that way since I first found your site many years ago. You have such a wonderful way of looking at things and your life in particular. I wish I had your faith. I have never been a Christian and I am even having a hard time finding faith in my religion. But it helps me so much when I read your blogs. Thank you for being you and for sharing who you are with others. May you and your loved ones be blessed by The Divine! Cynthia

Leeanne said...

Another thought provoking and delicious looking post! The rice dish looks sooooo yummy! I guess the brown rice keeps quite well in the fridge too. I can just about smell the bread........Always pretty stitching and peeks of your beautifully decorated home. I think only women will understand your joy over the peace lily flower, I know it's not the same but it made me think of when I cleaned out my pantry and sorted all my new Tupperware (back in the day when I use to sell it) and I was so delighted with how organised and in my eyes beautiful it looked, but I couldn't understand why my husband did share my joy and looked at me like I was mad..........!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jenny

Thanks for yet another uplifting post.
I am blessed to have found your blog.


Little Penpen said...

I love the sweet Christmas stitchery you shared today; thank you! I'm holding my breath, hoping that my Christmas cactus will bloom this year. I can imagine your excitement to get your peace lily flower! Your home is so pretty; loved the photo's.

Anonymous said...

Oh, what a glorious day! I know how you feel about your blooms. My Peace Lily hasn't bloomed this year at all. I decided it was taking a rest. lol It's 22 years old. I may have to go and talk to it and move it to an even shadier place?

Your day is a lovely example of gentle and healthy living. I,too, have realized that we have veered off the path of healthy living, and today we also start again.

Thank you for sharing your day, your life, and your gentle heart.

carol sferra said...

Your work is so beautiful...the sewing and the cooking!!! Your new place looks so homey!!!

Brenda said...

Dearest Jenny; Your blog posts each and every day brighten my day and help me on my daily path through life. Do not change anything at all about the way you write your blog; I know how much you have helped me daily and with my walk with the Lord as I am sure you help so many other people. I love you and how you share your walk through life with the Lord! God Bless You Jenny!

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Hi Jenny....your blog is such a peaceful, place to visit....I love to pop in and see what you are up too! Love also,the idea of sustainability....I haven’t used any plastic wrap since January!

Christine M said...

Lovely post, Jenny. That bread looks delicious. You will enjoy having Mr E home. I know what you mean about your lily. Earlier this year we had orchid flowers come on the plant that had been Noel's mother's. We have had the plant for about 7 years since Mum's house was sold and it is the first time we've had flowers. We were also very excited. xxx

Julie said...

Hello Jenny, Just catching up on posts as have been away down to Mums briefly. I was SO deeply sorry to read in your last post about criticism of your blog. Yours is honestly one of the loveliest blogs that I enjoy visiting & I know I have told you before, when I see you have posted, I always feel like putting the kettle on!! Your peace lily looks most happy in its new home. The sneaky peeks we always see of your home looks such a serene & beautiful place. I can just imagine you sitting there working on your stitcheries amongst all your beautifully handcrafted items. Keep on being just lovely YOU Jenny. Xxxx

Tammy said...

Thank you Jenny. I love and appreciate all of the designs you give us so freely. You have a heart of Gold. You are a blessing in my life.

Joyce said...

Thank you Jenny for all of the blessings you have brought to us. Your beautiful designs are so appreciated and I love hearing about your daily life, rather like chatting with a friend. Blessing on you and yours and a special kitty hug for Sophie.

Winifred said...

That's another lovely post Jenny.
That bread looks fabulous. Lovely with some butter and strawberry jam!!!

Thank you so much for your pattern. I've eventually managed to find a local quilting group & I'm going to my first meeting the week before Christmas. They meet in Beamish Museum which is a great place to visit as it's a living museum with examples of local heritage including Durham quilts. So hopefully it will motivate me to do more sewing again. Doubt if I'll have time to hand sew a Durham Quilt though.

Just read your previous post which is a really beautiful one. Thanks for your inspiring writing Jenny. It's lovely.

Kathleen said...

Thank you for this pattern. I think it will make an ideal gift for my bestie, and I've been wondering what I could make for her. Hopefully I can get it done by Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Another lovely post, Jenny, just filled with your spirit. I often buy carnations at the grocery store, because even the "day old" flowers will last up to two weeks. The smaller ones last even longer than the regular sized ones. Your peace lily is beautiful. It's funny, as I read your words about it, I had the feeling of God, our creator and father, having similar feelings when WE bloom in the appointed way. =) Bless you, and all your loved ones, Jenny.

Skye B said...

Thank you for yet another lovely read, you seem to bring a sense of calm that I need and love. I get a cup of tea, sit, read and contemplate how I can find the same peace, serenity and homeliness in my life. Thank you xx

May said...

Thank you for another heartfelt beautiful post Jenny, You have a gift of bringing a sense of calm to your readers and I love you for that, in this busy sometimes cold world we live in I look forward to your posts so much they fill me with joy..Looking forward to those wonderful stitchery's and Thank you so much for the shared pattern its perfect. May x

Julie said...

Jenny, I hope you are feeling better and am happy to know you are taking care of your self! Your home looks so comfy and welcoming. Have a wonderful break with Mr. E. and a very merry Christmas. Faithfully, Julia