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.
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 embroidery...is 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.