Friday, September 25, 2020

Catching up and a free tea towel pattern...

Well it's been nine long days since my last blog post and even for me lately that's a long time! Hubby has been home on school holidays for the past week, you see, and still has one week left before the final term of our Australian school year begins and he has to slip back in to teaching mode for another ten weeks.

So right now we're working around home and in the garden doing needed repairs, removing spent vegetables, weeds and unwanted plants, building new raised garden beds, planting carrots, radishes and more well as fixing the unexpected problems like the dishwasher flooding the kitchen and my laptop seizing up after the latest big Microsoft update. 

My dear man had to improvise with the split dishwasher hose because there are none in the country (cause they come from China no doubt) and bought some industrial hose which he configured to the machine perfectly. My laptop on the other hand needed to have everything saved onto the external hardrive (I do this every few months anyhow) then the whole laptop wiped to have Windows re-installed along with all the various drivers and apps that keep my busy business running. This was not a smooth exercise for hubby, who is brilliant with techy computer stuff, because my laptop refused to recognise the hard drive when we were ready to transfer all the files back over - aaah, the joys of computer life. So he manually (over 24 hours) transferred them over and was rather relieved to see the back of my desk when it was complete. So this led me to be 'absent' for three days in the last nine.

Another day was spent reacquainting myself with all the updated functions (why do Microsoft have to keep changing things????) and just when we thought everything was going smoothly again our dear hen Bess died. 

When we got the two chickens a year ago we knew they were getting on in years but they still laid regularly and when Bess got a bit poorly a few months back I did everything instructed to make her well again. And she did bounce back so in the end she had a couple more months of scratching in the garden and staying close to our other hen, Daphne. But poor Bessie, it was her time to say goodbye so Mr E has buried her beside his shed and planted a tree over her grave. We affectionately call it the Bessie Tree. Daphne was lost for the first two days without Bess but she's come good today and has decided that hubby is her best friend so while he's been washing and vacuuming and polishing our old cars this morning she stayed right beside him. 

We have two new 'point of lay' hens arriving mid October and we're praying Daphne and they get along well. But in the meantime she's decided human company is a comfort. 

Late yesterday afternoon I was tidying the linen cupboard and pulled out a set of check tea towels I purchased months ago. I always refresh and decorate my tea towel supply in January as a ritual beginning to the new year, but as this has been a year which many of us would find hard to describe with a single word or phrase I decided not to wait for next January and began sketching a simple design to stitch onto a small aqua check towel. Small patterns which are cute and refreshing to the eye really brighten a kitchen and the area around it...and they're fun to stitch too. 

I'm hoping to create a few more tea towel patterns soon but first I must complete the December set of Faith in Hand designs as I always work two months in advance. However, I do find that stepping away from 'work' and just creating for pure delight is a great boost to the overall creative flow so perhaps I should sprinkle these extra projects in between the essential designs?

Use the link below to download the pattern...

Cook With Love is a beautiful phrase don't you agree? 
It's so easy to let kitchen weariness and even boredom creep in to meal making, especially when you're unwell, tired or on a tight budget...and I feel this way at times too, despite my absolute love for preparing food. I find that when those moods threaten to darken my thoughts it's time to watch a few favourite cooking channels on YouTube, recipe accounts on Instagram or old episodes of the Great British Bake-Off. Every single time without fail I am inspired and can't wait to get back into the kitchen and create with whatever ingredients are on hand.

Recently a friend, Teresa, shared photos on Instagram of a French chicken salad sandwich recipe she'd made from a recipe she'd found (also on IG). It looked scrumptious and as I had a bit of leftover roasted chicken breast in the fridge (we reintroduced a little meat back in to our meals over the past six weeks) I gave the recipe a try...after I baked a loaf of fresh bread first.

I made enough for two days of lunches and hubby was rather chuffed about that. 
The French chicken salad recipe came from the Mon Petit Four blog and just in case you'd like to try it yourself HERE is the link. 

Another delicious treat made this week was a very easy, dairy free, chocolate pudding.
The main ingredient is avocado, which you cannot taste surprisingly, and I can assure you this will be made over and over again. I served it in jars with chopped strawberries on top...

Afterwards I added some strawberry jelly as well (jello) because my husband simply loves jelly. 
Tomorrow I'll be restocking our depleted avocado supply. We go through 6 to 8 a week but this might just tip the scales over that. 
You'll find the recipe HERE at Downshiftology. 

I think that's enough catch up for today. We still have chores to do and I want to spend some time planning something special to share on the blog from October...but that's as much as I can say right now. I wonder if you have any ideas what I'm up to?? Hmmmm.

God bless your precious hearts, and may your joy in Him increase more and more each day, for He joys in you dear one...never doubt that. 

Loving hugs

PS: Before I go...almost forgot!
There's only a few days left to join Faith In Hand for the October patterns....
pop over HERE for that info. Thank you. xx


  1. Thank you Jenny for generously sharing your cute stitchery pattern, and where to find the delicious sounding recipes. We are heading into the Autumn season here so we are avoiding sweet treats (watching our weight) before the Winter season gets here ( Alaska) but the pudding sounds and looks delicious. I might not be able pass it by.

  2. Computers are wonderful when they work and so frustrating when they don't. I'm always grateful for the IT team at work.
    Your bread looks amazing!

  3. Thank you Jenny, for another sweet stitchery. I need to add this to some new tea towels.
    So thankful our youngest is computer savvy, as we often need him to fix our own ongoing issues. Can't imagine, the cost, each time we would have to have someone out.
    Enjoy your delicious looking bread, and pudding with strawberries - Yum!

  4. Oh my - computer AND dishwasher woes! I think you've had enough of flooding there, girl. I'm so sad to hear of Bess - good that you're getting a couple more hens, I'll be praying Daphne gets along with them. I LOVE the idea of the Bessie Tree.
    Your Cook With Love design is stunning! I'll have to do that for mum for Christmas. She adores your designs.
    I've heard of making chocolate pudding with avocado - apparently avocado takes on the taste of what's around it, so ideal for that. They're incredibly expensive here though, so we don't eat them often.
    Your new club designs are so gorgeous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. So sorry about your sweet hen passing :( Thank you for sharing such a lovely stitching with us. I am collecting a few to get me through winter months here in Michigan USA. Your bread is beautiful!! Have a wonderful weekend!

  6. Hi Jenny,
    Days just fly by when being creative...." Is it that late already?...just a few more stitches...:) "
    Enjoy your weekend :)

  7. Sorry about your hen, we keep about a dozen chickens here and lost our old man rooster this Spring, he was 14! Anyway, just wanted to mention that we have had good luck introducing new hens to the flock when we sneak them in to roost at night. I've been told that they "smell like each other" in the morning that way, lol! Not sure that would work with a solitary hen but it couldn't hurt?

  8. Sorry for the loss of your hen. There is nothing more beautiful or tasty than a piece of fresh homemade bread right out of the oven.

  9. O, Jenny, I've missed your heart to heart talk. =) Thanks for a wonderful update. I'm glad you've been spending time with Mr. E., and hope you have a chance for a nice drive or overnight camp out somewhere this coming week. I'd love that myself.

  10. Good afternoon, I'm from Brazil. I always follow your posts. Everything you write makes me a huge asset. I thank God that one day I found your blog. In case it is not too much to ask, I would like the recipe for the wonderful bread that appeared in the photo.
    May God bless you and all your family.

    1. Hello Marcia :-)
      I'll ne sharing that recipe in a couple of days.
      Blessings to you!

  11. I know how much you care for your chooks, so I know the loss of Bessie is difficult. I am so very sorry. Glad Mr. E is handy with dishwashers and computers!! So nice to have him at home for break. I love your tea towel...all your designs are so beautiful.

  12. Hello my friend ... so sorry to read of the loss of dear Bessie. What a wonderful life she had with you though. Gosh you are lucky Mr E is tech savvy Jenny as I cannot bear to think how I would cope with those computer issues. Thank you for the free pattern which I have downloaded now & will put in my "Jenny Folder". I have been told to try dairy free for a month due to my ongoing digestive issues so I think I will try out some of your recipes Jenny as I am finding I am having a total blank when it comes to what I can & can't eat. I bought almond milk this week then I remembered that you make your own so will look back for that blog post. Happy Weekend my dear friend xx

  13. Thank you for the adorable pattern. I really enjoy embroidering the towels. I appreciate the recipes and general conversation about food as well. So thank you for all the sharing you do!

  14. Thanks for the lovely pattern. What type of fabric is the blue checked towel? So sorry to hear about Bess. Isn't it amazing how easily an animal can get into your heart? I have had one gerbil and many hamsters in my lifetime and I loved each one and cried when they were gone. If we cannot love The Goddesses smallest creatures, what hope is there for mankind? Every time I see one of your loaves of bread I want to start making bread again. We used to make it all the time. But I just don't have the energy and Norm has so much to do as it is that I won't ask him to start up again. Don't worry about being absent for a few days. It is always good to hear from you no matter how often! Your friend across the pond. Cynthia

  15. Sad to hear about Bess but chooks succumb to a lot of things. You have been very busy in the garden and I hope the computer behaves itself now. Good that the dishwasher problem was fixed . I had the same issue with my last dishwasher . Yummy baking there. Did you make the jelly with agar? I used to make it for my girls when they were little. Lovely tea towel.

  16. Thank you for the lovely tea towel design....Im so sorry your Bess the chook died. So hard on us when we loose loved ones be they animal or human. Your food all ways looks so delicious jenny. Makes me wish I could pop over for a cuppa and have a slice or taste of whatever you have on the bench . Eagerly anticipating my back getting healed up so I can be on my feet in the kitchen and back to baking and cooking meals again

  17. It's always sad when one of your "girls" dies. We haven't had chickens for a few years now since the fox came and got them all one day. Noel is now rebuilding our chicken area (moved the chook house up to a higher spot in the yard) and is fox proofing the fence. He's even putting steel roofing along the bottom so they can't dig under the fence to get the chickens. I've really missed having chooks so it will be lovely to have them in the yard again. xx
    PS I love the tea towel. Thank you for the pattern.

  18. What is chuffed? curious

    1. It means "very pleased"...I don't hear it often these days but it was a common term growing up and I've always said it. :-)

  19. So sorry about Bess. That is such a pretty picture to remember her by. I had to get a new laptop this year and even though it is the same kind, it came loaded with so much new stuff that it's hard to figure out how to do things. And I'm also frustrated with making meals. I'm only a passable cook and not a very adventurous eater so I'm getting really tired of the same old things. Maybe with winter and cold weather coming here in the states, I can start making soups and other comfort foods. Thank you so much for the free pattern and I will be praying for good days ahead for you & hubby & Blossom & her family. Take care of yourself.

  20. Your stitching is beautiful. I have watched your tuts but will never acquire the fluidity of your work. Sorry about Bess. What is the latest news on Blossom?

  21. Oohh Jenny, so sorry about Bess, we get so fond of our pets and think they go forever. Lovely they DH gave her a lovely resting place. Thank you for the free pattern, I too like Julie( my thread bear life) have a Jenny journal of which many beautiful projects have been made, Take care and hugs. s

  22. Lovely kitchen towel pattern and fun recipe ideas!! I'd love for you to share over at our weekly Wednesday Creative Crafts Linky Party
    Have a great week!
    Creatively, Beth

  23. You gave Bessie a very good loving home and she remains grateful. Thank you for the tea towel design. I adore chicken salad and this looks delish. Stay well dear and Blessings...<3

  24. Thankyou for the tea towel design. Thankyou too for your willingness to share so generously. Mavis Schultz

  25. Thank you Jenny for your very lovely blog!as always.So cheerful and colourful xx


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