The rain. It doesn't stop.
And we are rejoicing.
Our city's dam has been at 14% for so long and it seemed another wet season had passed us by.
But rain has come, and it keeps coming.
This morning at 11 o'clock the dam level was at 33% and rising...rivers are flooded and some roads and part of the highway are impassable because it's very, very wet. There's danger in floods, but if people keep their heads and avoid the flooded areas we can all be safe and enjoy the infilling of our parched dam after many years of drought.
We live on a hill so water flows past our front door and down the street, though not down the side or back of our house where small waves were seen rippling against the base of the palm trees.
Mushrooms are popping up in the front garden too. Not the type you want to eat, though. Still, they look lovely standing tall and creamy above the sodden earth. Bob-the-dog likes to pee on them, slowly working his way from those closest to the house and on to those furthest away. He really is a funny little fellow.
Blossom is still waiting for labour to begin. At 40 weeks now she is measuring two weeks further along so the midwife and doctor have decided if she doesn't deliver in the next 24 hours she will need an induction. The baby was posterior and 'stuck' until a few hours ago so we're all praying this wee bubby decides to make an appearance of it's own accord before an induction begins.
While waiting for my next grandbaby to arrive, and listening to the beautiful music heavy rain on a tin roof makes, I've been sewing, reading, baking and staying on top of the washing.
I'd forgotten about this little stitchery. It was drawn up one lazy weekend last year and I stitched it in front of the telly while we watched a couple of old movies. Then I popped it away for later.
Mmm...a few months is definitely later.
As I'm still in my 'pocket pincushion' phase you can guess what I did with it.
The two fabrics are favourites of mine, but alas I have just a whisper of the spot left and a fat eighth of the pretty rose bunny print. I ummed and aahed about using them in this pinnie but really, it makes the whole thing delightful, don't you agree?
Once made I decided this pinnie is for me.
To be honest, I keep certain things for myself when I only have the teeniest bit of a favourite fabric left. As the months and years pass I feel a warm happy glow spread across my heart when I move things around and re-discover such a project.
Another pincushion made an appearance the other day as well...
More pretty fabric scraps, plus some beautiful cotton lace I purchased on sale after New Year.
The pocket of the pinnie was made using another of my Pink & Green stitcheries from this set...
From my one basic tutorial (here) you can make so many different pincushions just by being creative with a variety of embellishments...
I think pinnies make the loveliest gifts for fellow stitchers/quilters/seamstresses - even your child's sewing teacher.
I'm slowly savouring two books at the moment, alternating reading days as both add richness to my soul in different ways.
I purchased 'The Life Giving Home' last year but Blossom took my copy so I'm re-reading it as an
e-book on my iPad during my daily tea break. I've read Sally Clarkson's books since the early years of homeschooling, beginning with 'Educating the Whole Hearted Child' back in 1999. Sally's books, her conferences (which I purchased on audio for many years) and her example of a life lived for Jesus taught me much about motherhood, more than you can ever imagine. Her books these days, written as a woman in her mid 60's, are richer than ever in solid Bible based instruction and encouragement...oh yes, so much woman to woman encouragement.
"Finding Selah" is a burst of inspiration and when I'm finished it will also be passed along to Blossom as there is much within these pages pertinent to her young mother heart.
Kristen Kill is a beautiful mother of five, a woman who has had to overcome and live with trials and challenges through her life, but exudes grace, humility, courage and kindness far beyond the norm.
I'm also reading The Apron Book and it's delightful! My friend Margaret suggested it and after trying unsuccessfully to get a copy through my library I bought one instead.
The book has a number of apron patterns as well as stories of vintage aprons and their wearers. I'm sure there'll be a few more apron making afternoons in my future and perhaps one day Blossom will tell her girls (or granddaughters) the story of my aprons?
If you're a long time reader you know that I've many times gone dairy free or gluten free for a season in an attempt to better manage my Hashimoto's and digestive issues.
Recently dairy has given me a few more challenges so it's been totally removed from my diet now.
I do find removing dairy to be more of a challenge than removing gluten (because I love fresh milk) yet when I remove them both at the same time it all seems easier.
I don't have much of a problem adjusting our favourite recipes because a few years back I experimented with ingredients to make up a good gluten-free baking replacement and have used the same one ever since, even when not eating gluten free. It can be a little heavy so is best used with slices/traybakes/bars and cookies/biscuits.
On Monday, however, I decided to have a play with Mr E's favourite cake, a boiled Pineapple Fruit Cake, and not wanting this to be too heavy I substituted the wheat flours with a mix of almond meal, dessicated (grated) coconut, and some store bought GF self raising/rising flour.
Seriously, it's delicious! Not much different to the regular version with wheat and butter.
If you'd like my gluten free plain 'flour' mix this is it -
2 cups almond meal/flour
1 cup amaranth flour
1 cup dessicated/grated coconut
To make it self-raising/rising add 3 teaspoons baking powder.
With so much rain around my thoughts (and taste buds) turn to soup.
Chicken soup to be precise.
Mr E had his with thick slices of buttered ciabatta bread and I froze the rest of the soup so we could have it again on the weekend as the rain will still be falling.
We always eat plenty of salads as they really are a staple on our menu. Coleslaw served with marinated chicken or lamb, sweet corn on the cob and chunky pieces of avocado sprinkled with lemon, appear often at our dinner table and the leftovers are yummy for lunch next day with heavily peppered hard boiled eggs on the side.
My version of coleslaw is packed with cabbage, carrot, shallots, red onions, tiny tomatoes, capsicum, parsley, lemon juice and a very good aioli...all the good stuff!
Wet. wet, wet. Our home is surrounded by a moat...okay, slight exaggeration there. But if you walk out the back or side doors you will indeed step into calf deep water and slip through the dark depths of muddy sludge below. I had considered doing this today, wondering if a good natural mud bath would be a nice treatment for my feet before giving them a pedicure? I'm still pondering that question.
My E arched a brow when asked his opinion on this, shook his head, laughed and walked away. He really doesn't get my love of home pedicures...or was it the mud which amused him?
Aah, the washing...sorry, got sidetracked. The clothesline welcomes every raindrop that falls it's way and stands squarely over the moat so is therefore unemployable causing me to enlist help to dry our washing. By this I mean our rarely-ever-used clothes dryer has been called into commission and after a few false starts eventually remembered how to function.
It's a tiny dryer, only managing two towels or one sheet at a time, but that's okay. I have 'smalls' hanging all over the house directly under the ceiling fans and they dry overnight if I keep the fans running. This messes with my need for visual order but the older I get the more relaxed I'm becoming about the bumps of life we can't plan on or do anything about. After all, the rain can't last forever.
Hubby had clean dry clothes to wear to work this morning and that was far more important than my OCD discomfort about portable clotheslines scattered through the house.
And next on my list...
I plan to sort through our pantry with the intent of "shopping" from it for next week's groceries.
Every three months I empty the pantry, wipe down the shelves and see what's hidden at the back so old stores can be used in the next week's menu plan. This prevents food wastage and also gives me a budget friendly shopping week as I usually 'shop from the freezer' at the same time so only need to buy fresh fruit and veg.
Of course, if Blossom goes into labour overnight or is induced later tomorrow I'll be heading in to town to pick up Cully May and bring her here where you can be sure our walls will echo with laughter and the pantry plans will be postponed till next week.
Before I forget...
I finished the next block in Allie's "Garden of Contentment" SAL...
...and have the next two traced and ready to stitch on the weekend.
I have to tell you, it's been peace to my soul stitching her beautiful blocks.
Would you like the recipe for my boiled pineapple fruit cake? It includes the gluten free and the regular wheat versions.
Would you like to stitch my little "make do and mend" design?
It's a free gift from me to you.
Tell me, what have you been doing around your home this week?
I'll be back tomorrow with the next block in this year's BOM "A Year in the Garden", but if things happen with Blossom I'll probably delay that blog post till Friday...
hugs and blessings,