Wednesday, February 28, 2018

What to do when the wet season arrives (late!)...

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. 

The Sewing...

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.

The reading...

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? 

The cooking....

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!

The washing...

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.

For you!

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,


Karen said...

Ah Jenny - this was just lovely to read at the end of my day! Thanks

Nanna Chel said...

Jenny, I have been wondering how you were coping with the rain and was going to contact you tonight. Also I was wondering how things were going with Blossom so I am pleased you have given us an update. You certainly have made some beautiful pincushions.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jenny praying everything goes well for Blossom and how exciting a new baby to hold soon ,and how kind you are to share your pattern,thankyou xx

gracie said...

Have I ever posted just how much I enjoy your blog? I enjoy your blog! Always uplifting and comforting as are your designs. Thank you.

Kay said...

I so look forward to finding your post on my Bloglovin' feed, they really inspire me and make me happy. I hope all goes well with the baby, sending prayers and hugs. x

april dawn said...

I so very much love reading your posts. In a world full of turmoil and pain your words always bring me comfort and thought. I pray Blossom goes into labor quickly. I have one geandchild, a boy, who is our little miracle. I was blessed with being able to watch his birth. He was named after my dad who lost his battle with cancer just a few months before his birth. Being a grandparent is so amazing.

I am just finishing Allie's Hope block. I too am finding a calmness while stitching her blocks. When my quilt is done I plan on gifting it to my sons mother in law (the other grandma to our miracle boy). I'm loving the act of gifting these stitcherys.

Looking forward to the news of the arrival of the newest little one.

Charito said...

Querida Jenny, gracias por compartir tanto de tu vida, me da animos. Yo sere abuela por primera vez en Junio asi que estoy haciendo algunas cositas para mi niet@ que no se aun que sera porque los papas mi hija y yerno no quieren saber, asi que esperare hasta el nacimiento. Oro porque Blossom tenga un parto tranquilo que nuestro Señor siga ayudandola como hasta hoy dia, y que pronto nos cuentes las buenas noticias, disfruta de tus libros y muchas gracas por la receta sin gluten, espero poder hacerla. muchas bendiciones

Connie Kresin Campbell said...

I am glad that you are finally receiving some rain which was much needed. I hope everything goes well with Blossom and thank you for the precious pattern. Your coleslaw looks delicious, what do you use for the dressing?

Jenny said...

Thanks so much for the recipe & pattern! I was hoping you'd share the recipe & would love the others you mentioned as well. I cook low-carb for my diabetic husband & so we eat very little breads but we do enjoy them occasionally.

Lots of rain here too. We haven't been able to use our garage/driveway for over a week so every time we go in & out it means slogging through the mud & water. This only happens to us every few years thankfully because we live in the country & our driveway is very long. It would cost a pretty penny to make it mud-free.

I've had your 'find joy in the ordinary' pattern traced for a week but I need to buy stabilizer to have it ready to sew. I'm hoping to do that tomorrow.

In the meantime, I watch my grandbaby 5 days a week & he's a little under the weather today so not much time for anything else but him right now. Which is always fine for Grammy!

I so enjoy your blog & Facebook group. I'm really happy I found you.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Love the 'Hope' stitchery. I plan on making some of those pocket pin cushions for some upcoming exchanges (and maybe one for me, too). They induced my daughter in law yesterday morning. Not much happening so far (24 hours later). Hoping something starts happening this morning. Good luck to Blossom and her baby.

Jacqueline said...

Prayers and good wishes that all goes easy and well for Blossom. You enjoy your little grand daughter while you have her ..

Susan said...

I too have to be gluten and lactose free as well as absolutely no high-fructose corn syrup and be very, very careful with regular corn syrup.

Thanks for sharing your homemade GF flour mix.

Still praying for a safe (and soon) delivery for Blossom and baby.

TerriSue said...

Dear Jenny, It is raining here in Texas also. Since we have also been in drought condition it is also quite welcome. While I don't have a tin roof to hear it on our living room has a sky light that picks up the sound for me to hear it through the day and the master bath has a skylight so I hear the rain in bed at night. I have always loved the sound. I am also doing laundry as I had gotten behind. I was sick all last week and Jim finally made a doctors appointment for me on Friday insisting I go. He was right. I have pneumonia. Even with an antibiotic shot and on a course of antibiotics I can't seem to kick it. I have been getting a lot of stitching done on my Allie blocks too. I will hold Blossom in my prayers. I keep thinking of when she delivered Cully May and am praying for a better delivery. Have fun with her when Blossom goes into labor however she gets there.

Anne-Lise at Rag, Tag, Bobtail said...

The pincushions are delightful! Love the fabrics.
Thinking of Blossom and wishing her and baby a safe delivery.

Janice said...

What a nice, newsy post. I'm so pleased that it has remembered how to rain up your way. It must be a relief to everyone. Your latest creation is too cute and your cooking looks delicious. All the best for Blossom in the next few days.

Anonymous said...

Blossom first, of course! I am sharing some of your recipes with a friend who is now on gluten free. She had tried coconut flour and found it to be too heavy, so I told her I'd send some recipes. Yours, of course! Your version of Allie's block is beautiful, as they always are, and I do like that pincushion. I'm glad you are keeping that one for you! I look forward to having more time after July to do some of these, because it's a favorite from all the ones I've seen. So wonderful to have all that rain after such a long drought. I really hope the majority of the water is finding it's way into the reservoir. It must be so nice feeling that nothing is parched any more! Blessings and prayers for you and Blossom as you wait and wait.

Julie said...

Gosh Jenny, poor Blossom will be so fed up with the waiting. Hopes & prayers for a safe delivery for her & her baby. Your post today is filled with so much loveliness. Adore your pincushions. We are getting good rain here too & I love the sound of it on the roof ... hope it continues into the night.

Smily-Света said...

I like your stitching, they are so delicate!
And thank you for the recipe! It is the best option to have a tea - to have it with a cake :) Especially, when there is a lot of snow and -10 outdoors.
Best regards from Hungary,

Christine M said...

I love your Make Do and Mend pin cushion, Jenny. Thanks for sharing the pattern with us. Another lovely blog post. xxx

Martha Roberts said...

Love this post, dear Jenny! Thank you for the free patterns. The pincushions are lovely. Hopefully, baby makes an appearance soon. (((Hugs)))