Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Block 6 of Posies and around home...

 



Well, block six marks the halfway point with this year's free block of the month! How are you going with your blocks, have you stitched the first five? 

This block's little fussy cut applique vase is a bee, perfect for a bowl of posies, right?! 


Use the link below to download block six.





Here at home, life has been a constant hum of gardening, cooking, sewing, crochet and cleaning. Sometimes I think maybe I'll take a whole day off and just sit and read or watch a couple of good movies, but once my feet hit the floor each morning I'm excited about what can be done about the place that day; then at night, after we've had dinner and the dishes are done, my sense of satisfaction soars and I'm ever so glad I chose to tend to our home instead. 

It's the first day of winter here in the Australian tropics, and finally we don't need to use the air conditioner as the days have cooled to a pleasant 28-29C (around 84F) and the nights are around 19C (66F). Having the whole house open again at this time of year is quite invigorating and stirs my green thumbs to go play in the yard and plant out new things.

On Saturday I put strawberries, petunias, lobelias and portulacas in the re-purposed wooden crate planter my husband built last year....









...as well as lettuce, cucumbers, my sprouted sugar snap peas and pumpkin plants, chilli and roses in raised garden beds and large pots around the yard. 

The garden beds have been thriving with a wide variety of vegetables, herbs and flowers for a good six weeks now and every day I find something else pushing through the soil. 




It seems I had a smudge on my camera lens when taking these photos today. Must remember to clean it!




My one year old blue rose was pruned back late April but as it just doesn't get cold here, it burst forth with new blooms the next week. Roses bloom all year round for us so I bought two more at the weekend and popped them in pots. The sun is quite fierce here for about eight months of the year and my rose blooms used to fry in the sun, a very sad sight, believe me.
Now that our almost 2yo Poinciana tree has shot up past 18 feet high it's the perfect place to gently shelter the roses with dappled sun and a bit of shade. I still find it amazing that it's grown 17 feet in just 20 months. 



The blue rose is having its second flush of blooms in five weeks, and I imagine it won't take long for the newbies to take off as well.




I also have a miniature white rose by the back door, also in a pot. So you may be wondering why we don't plant them in the ground?
We live on a water table, and our yards flood during the wet season. Even with four pumps in the yards around our house, the ground stays saturated for at least 7-14 days after the rain and this rots the roots of plants which don't like to have their feet in water for so long. Using pots allows us to move the roses into the drier areas when the weather is at its worst.



I do put my feet up for a bit in the afternoon with a nice cuppa, piece of cake or muffin, and some stitching. I've especially enjoyed completing a set of four new seasonal mini-quilts which I hope to write patterns for this week. 



All four were hand quilted with Perle 12 threads and I simply love the effect it gives. They've been designed to hang on an angle and are all the same size so if you have one spot in your home to hang a 10" square, point side down,  then you can swap them around as the seasons change. I know exactly where mine will be hung, but more about that when the patterns are written and I can show you the full set. 

I have three books put aside to start during June, and though they won't be finished within the month, they will certainly be enjoyed throughout winter when I'm taking short breaks from other activities. 



In the kitchen I'm keeping things simple. Determined to remove the extra pounds added since Covid began, I've purchased a few WW cookbooks and (because I cannot help myself) tweaked many of their recipes to suit our palette (and to make them more tasty). 
But I've also been playing around with other ideas which use up what's in the fridge, like this quiche I made for lunch today. 



The base is just two pieces of mountain bread, crossed over each other, and the filling -

4 eggs
3/4 cup fat free cottage cheese
1/4 cup skim milk
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped parsley
Saute 3 chopped pieces of fat free short-cut bacon
One punnet of cherry tomatoes halved
3 spring (green) onions chopped
1 teaspoon sambal oelek if you like a little heat (or use chilli flakes)
salt and pepper

Mix the cottage cheese, milk, eggs, parsley, sambal oelek and half of the parmesan cheese together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
Lightly spray the base of a pie plate with olive oil spray (you can even omit this step). Lay the two pieces of mountain bread crossed over each other in the base of the pie plate. 
Pour the egg mixture over the base.
Lay the halved cherry tomatoes across the top of the egg mixture, scatter with the bacon pieces, and sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese across the top. 
Bake at 180C (360F) for about 40 minutes. You'll know its cooked when it's golden and bubbling and it set. 

I served mine with a tossed salad. SO delicious!!



For tonight I have a pot of spicy dhal which will be served on brown rice and topped with a dollop of yoghurt raita. 



I've also baked a lot of butternut pumpkin to make tomorrow's pumpkin falafels, another tasty and spicy dish to be served with salad and yoghurt raita. Hubby will also enjoy some fresh bread with that meal, so perhaps I'll make a garlic and olive oil loaf. 



For afternoon treats I've baked date, ginger and choc nib (these are just the crushed cocoa bean, no sugar or fat) muffins, plus a banana, date, apple and currant cake...





I would really love to know how you're getting along at home these days? What have you been sewing, cooking, growing, reading? 

Bless all your dear hearts, and thank you for the kind and encouraging comments you leave. As I read them I imagine we're sitting across the table from each other with a nice mug of our favourite brew, something delicious to nibble on, and a million ideas to share about life, God, the garden and so many other topics. 

May the rest of your week overflow with good things, laughter, kindness and a bounty of small miracles which surprise you.

Bless you heaps,


PS: Block 5 of Simple Days is now in my shop; sorry, it took me a few days to upload it! 



18 comments:

  1. Hi Jennifer,
    So fun to read how the weather is in Townsville :)
    It's June 1st and we will be reaching 25 C today. Summer !
    Looking forward to planting Summer blooms such as geraniums, begonias, fuchsias and a passion flower.
    I have just the spot for a 10 inch seasonal quilt. Point side down will be a fun change :)
    The tall wooden hanging planter is such a great idea ! So much room for plants that needs very little garden space :) Is tath ok if I download the photo?
    Thanks for the 6th Posies block :)
    Enjoy Winter :)
    hugs, take care,
    Joanne

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  2. I always have such a nice visit when I come to your blog. Lately we've (our family) been so hard hit with illness and my energy is depleted. Your words give me hope. Thank You.

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  3. Good morning Jennifer. What a lovely post today. Your roses look beautiful. How exciting to add new plants to the garden. We held a cookout for our family's members outside on Saturday. In honor of dear daughter graduating University. I have been working in the yards, garden and on the patio and porch, And cleaning and repainting the outdoor furniture for this occasion. Wow am I exhausted. But things are looking so much cleaner and nicer around here outside. I did bake 2 loaves of homemade white yeast bread a week or so back...It was delicious. I made baked barbeque beans, pasta salad, potato salad, fresh fruit tray, and vegetable trays with ranch dip for the cook out, husband grilled chicken, hamburgers & hotdogs. It has been unusually dry here for weeks now. I have to water the garden daily every morning... We are in draught. I am way behind on my hand embroidery and crochet...Life just seems so super busy this year...My sewing room is a mess as well. I am exhausted....

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  4. It never ceases to amaze me that my summer is your winter, my night your day. The Work of God is immense and varied.
    There is really a lot of love and a lot of work in that garden. Thank you for your pattern and for your beautiful photographs. (If you hadn't said it, I wouldn't have noticed the spot, LOL). The Lord bless you.

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  5. Hi Jennifer! Your garden is beautiful. Thank you for sharing it with us! I have a few planters on my deck with flowers and 5 basil plants. I love basil in everything. There are too many deer and groundhogs to plant an actual garden in the ground. You have to put up an 8 foot fence to keep them out. (Our deck is 9 feet high on the back of the house.) It was very warm here a week ago, up in the 90's. Then on Friday it got very chilly and poured for 3 days. Today it's warming up, low 70's and the sun is trying to peek through the clouds.

    I finished stitching block 5 yesterday and will finish the borders on it as soon as I print out block 6. I am loving these little blocks. They bring me so much joy.

    Today is my 61st birthday. 61 on 6/1/2021 !!!

    Sending lots of love from New Jersey to your corner of the world!

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  6. Hi, Jennifer! :D
    Once again, your posts make me want to be a better homemaker and really feel my house, as God intended.
    Like I told you in my email, I really needed to read posts like these and the one before this and now I'm reading your blog a bit at a time and asking God to help me be a more virtuous woman.
    Here in Portugal, the weather is wonderful and althought we had a bit of rain a few days ago, our Summer is starting!
    Have a wonderful week and God bless you and your family!

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  7. You must not have very high humidity to turn off your ac when it's still that warm? Or you enjoy warmer temps that we do!

    It's been so cold & wet here that we haven't run our ac very much at all, very very unusual for this time of year.

    This morning I picked our first raspberries with my grandson. Hardly a handful so we ate them as we picked them.

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  8. So many delicious things you are making to eat! I am always in awe of your perfect stitches, Jennifer. That is not easy! You make such a lovely home and life. Inspiring!

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  9. Vakkert og delikat broderi og herlig hage du har💕

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  10. So enjoy reading your posts, Jennifer! We're have the usual June gloom right now after and unusually May gray month. Cooler than normal but everyone loves it! Days to remember when the temps go over 100 degrees. I hope you will include a photo of your blue rose - never have seen one. Days are so busy right now as we wait through the process of getting some help for my 95 year old Mom. I go there two days a week and my sister does another two. That leaves three for my brothers, and though they try it is very hard for them as Mom's progressive dementia is something they can't understand and forget that she needs a lot more help now. Little has been done in the sewing department, but the Lord keeps guiding us and for that we are thankful.

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  11. Your temperatures are similar to ours at the moment and after a cool damp start to spring it is lovely to get up in the morning and open up all the doors and windows to let the fresh air in. Storms forecast for tonight and rain tomorrow but after that back to this nice temperature. Your garden is looking good. We are harvesting at the moment - all the rain has meant a bumper crop of mange tout and some huge brocoli. Planning to sample some new potatoes at the weekend and pull a few new carrots. Have a good week and make the most of those lovely temperatures. xx

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  12. I've only gotten 3 1/2 of the posie blocks finished even though I promised myself that I would finish each one by the end of the month that it was posted. So now I am behind and must catch up as I love these little blocks. Now I am going to have to look at your Simple Days blocks as they look so bright and cheery.
    Your quiche looks tasty but what is mountain bread? Is there another name for it in America do you know? Thanks for showing your garden. It's fascinating to see what you can/have to do in your part of the world as opposed to mine. And of course there is the whole reversal of our seasons. Thanks once again for the free posie blocks

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  13. Hi, Jennifer! Lovely post, filled with things that tempt my appetite, which is hard to do these days. I'm not doing a lot - no stitching, sewing, quilting, gardening (though my son has planted a LOT of veggies, and already the tomatoes and broccoli are looking like they're going to produce just fine), some reading, some working. As I go through treatment the next six weeks, I don't expect to be doing a lot with daily doctor appts., or to have the energy to do more than nap, but I will still be reading your blog, even if I don't comment. Your words are a sermon I always need. =)

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  14. Hi Jennifer! I love to see how your winter is going - especially because it is so different to ours here in Canberra. I can't imagine 28* in June!! We've been getting a lot of frost here and they are predicting snow next week, so winter has well and truly settled in! Unfortunately in our house that also means asthma flare ups and chest infections, so I've spent time at home with my daughter who is susceptible to these ailments, this week, baking, making soup and crusty bread and generally keeping house. Always in winter I wish I didn't have to go to work and could be at home ready for these sick days. Anyway we manage and my work (also my girls' school) is very understanding.
    In the garden we have winter lettuces and spinach sprouting. The pumpkins we harvested in late autumn are now dried and ready to eat so there will be plenty of soup and roast vegetables in the coming weeks.
    As always, thanks for your inspiring messages and taking the time to share your days with us.
    Kirsty

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  15. Hi Jennifer! I love to see how your winter is going - especially because it is so different to ours here in Canberra. I can't imagine 28* in June!! We've been getting a lot of frost here and they are predicting snow next week, so winter has well and truly settled in! Unfortunately in our house that also means asthma flare ups and chest infections, so I've spent time at home with my daughter who is susceptible to these ailments, this week, baking, making soup and crusty bread and generally keeping house. Always in winter I wish I didn't have to go to work and could be at home ready for these sick days. Anyway we manage and my work (also my girls' school) is very understanding.
    In the garden we have winter lettuces and spinach sprouting. The pumpkins we harvested in late autumn are now dried and ready to eat so there will be plenty of soup and roast vegetables in the coming weeks.
    As always, thanks for your inspiring messages and taking the time to share your days with us.
    Kirsty

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  16. Hello Jennifer,
    We've had a lovely warm week for the first days of June, but now the clouds are coming and cooling everything off again. 84 degrees is a hot summer day here!
    I've been working in the garden this week - strawberries are ripe and so delicious, and the peonies and roses are blooming. The peonies will soon finish, but the roses carry on through to September or October.
    Two of our granddaughters have birthdays soon and we are having a family party this evening to celebrate a 2 year old and 9 year old. I make felt birthday crowns for the children when they turn two or three, so I spent part of this week stitching on the 2-year-old's crown. Such joy to make things for the little ones.
    For this evening's party I'm bringing along a salad and some chocolate covered strawberries to accompany the barbecue that's being planned.
    I hope your weekend is off to a good start.

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  17. That little bee is perfect on your block. Your garden is looking lovely Jennifer. I'm hoping to get into my sewing room today to start cutting the borders out for my "Lillian Elizabeth's Kitchen" (actually I've been trying to get in there all week but never managed it). Then I can start putting my quilt together! Have a lovely weekend. Hugs, Christine xx

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  18. I can't believe you have time to do all that you do! Amazing! Love your recipe, will have to try it.

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It's always nice to receive feedback on a blog post, so *thank you* for taking time to comment!
I will try to reply via email unless you are a 'no reply blogger' which means you'll have to check for my reply in the comments. Of course, life is a rather hazardous activity, isn't it? So if I don't respond to your comment that's the reason why - life simply stepped in...
hugs
Jennifer
x