Hi my friends!
How are you? What has been happening in your life these past three weeks that I have been absent and on my own personal retreat from blogging and writing?
Truly, taking this extended break was a gift to self which was sorely needed, and though throughout the past twenty-three days life had it's hectic moments, just knowing I had time to focus on family needs, regular morning and afternoon tea times, bringing the garden into order, and really seeking and hearing God - well, it was life altering in a number of ways.
My mind is rested, my thoughts and plans are much clearer going forward, and life in it's entirety has slowed somewhat...and at age 62 I am very grateful to have finally come to a place in my heart where a gentler balance of home, family, designing, writing, and that always deepening walk with Jesus, does not overwhelm my introvert nature.
Placing God above all is the key to any change, but it's hearing that still small voice speak to you through His Word, ever teaching, ever correcting, ever directing, ever chastising, ever forgiving, eternally loving...the voice which will right a detoured path, bring clarity to confusion and courage to the faint hearted.
During the July break I did a lot of re-organising, deep cleaning and decluttering around the home, but my first task was to sew this lovely table topper from pretty green and pink fabric scraps. You see I wake earlier than my husband, long before dawn, and I needed a little space with a lamp in a secluded corner of the living room where I could sit in the old leather recliner and read my Bible.
Our home is small and light travels everywhere, especially from the main living/dining area, so my plan was a small space, hidden away where a small light wouldn't cast too much of a glow towards the bedroom.
It's been such a joy to have my little morning space!
In the garden we had our cucumbers and zucchini demolished in a matter of days by an army of green vegetable bugs, but they were the only casualties.
Our spinach, rocket and sorrel greens, and various abundant herbs, are flourishing in this very hot mid-winter (average daily temps are around 30C - 86F). Oh my how I am lamenting the non-appearance of winter this year!
The lemon and lime trees are set to bring forth their best crops yet, the tomatoes which were planted late this year are all producing (though everything is green right now, so we wait for them to ripen), the passionfruit vine gave us at least 120 yummy passionfruit (some were given away, more were frozen in ice cube trays, and the rest cut in half and eaten with a sprinkle of sugar the way Nana taught me as a child), and the pumpkins, spring onions, chillies, sugar snap peas, pigeon peas and strawberries are coming along wonderfully.
This morning I picked fresh parsley, dill and spring onions to make Spanakopita for Cully May's 5th birthday lunch today. Ross is Cypriot and loves for me to make this or Tiropita for family celebrations...
Cully May will turn 5 on August 4th, but the family party is today and she's so excited! It will be a wonderful afternoon to celebrate with her.
My three new roses are bringing such beauty to my eyes each day, blooming in vibrant reds, white and pink, filling the air with such sweet fragrance. Cully May and Rafaella love the garden and spend hours 'watering' and 'tending' it, but mostly they adore the roses.
I found these lovely napkins for a dollar at the op-shop recently and it took a while, but my husband now thinks they're much better than paper towels. Ha ha!! And let's face it, they're much prettier...
Breakfasts in winter are usually porridge, but as it's been so warm this year I opted for an old favourite from many years ago. It looks (at this stage) like a Bircher muesli but is slightly different, though you do soak it all overnight in apple juice. I lay it out in a tray and bake it early in the morning and wow, it's delicious served with fresh strawberries and yoghurt...
I'm making more this week so I'll write up the recipe and show you the 'after' photos in case you'd like to try it.
Other things happening here lately are plans for an inexpensive revamp of our kitchen, and the first change will be to remove the solid green blind from the large window over the kitchen sink area and replace it with a roman blind, using this Emma Bridgewater fabric (photo below) from Blinds Online. Rosie came over the other day for morning tea and I asked her opinion about it (wonderful that the company send samples!) as my husband just said "whatever you like, sweetheart".
Well, she loved it as much as I do, so next step is have hubby measure the window and put in my order.
And I've also begun stitching next year's free block of the month, the theme being roses and books...
New flowers have been planted in the garden and also in an old wheelbarrow...
...and the Schlumbergera cactus are blooming again on the laundry window.
The cockatoos, rainbow lorikeets and black-faced ibis keep me company through the day, always noisy (and hungry), but also lovely to watch. The pair of Ibis which have begun to visit each day are no longer wary of me but go about the yard and through the back patio whilst I'm pottering around with plants or hanging washing.
I snapped this pic of the Ibis from inside the back door, which explains the exposure. It likes to march up and down the patio numerous times a day - perhaps keeping guard while hubby is at work?
Anyhow, that's enough catch up, yes?
Today I'm sharing Block 8 of Posies, so use the download link below the photo to access the pattern. You can see I chose a bird to fussy cut for the vase this month...and you're not surprised are you. Ha ha!
POSIES was free until January 1st 2022.
The complete 2021 POSIES quilt is now available from my ETSY Shop.
I'd really love to know how things were for you in July. Our country has lockdowns all over the place, though not where we are and I pray it stays that way.
And thank you to everyone who has been praying for Blossom. She ended up in hospital with her pneumonia a couple of weeks ago and we wondered if it would ever end, but she's finally recovering after two very long and ill months. Bless you!!
Till next time, may the Father's love envelop you so deeply that all your concerns wash away in the knowledge of His care and everlasting love.
July has come and gone so fast! It has been extemely hot here and no rain so in a very bad drought situation. Pastures have dried up, crops did not fill and grow to produce a harvest and ranchers are scrambling to try to find feed for their cattle. It is a sad situation for our farmers and ranchers for sure. We are praying for rain. Our area is opening up even though cases of illness continue to rise.
I hope Blossom is well on the mend now, poor love. Love your new little table mat for your little corner. It looks very cosy. Good that the bugs didn't make a feast of all your crops. It is good that you can celebrate Cully May's birthday. Poor J will probably miss out on his 2nd birthday party as well as his 1st last year. We shall see. Love the pic of the cocky but our cockies are quite destructive. A flock of them were pecking and eating our front porch and ramp! Keep well. X
I think is a healthy habit have a break, a long break, once every six month or once every year, if you don't have one other opportunity.
I'm so glad Blossom is better now. I wish a happy Cully May's birthday. God Bless you and all your family. Hugs.
A beutiful way to greet us this morning with this lovely selfie and a sparkle in your eyes !
Thanks for sharing all the good colourful creative things in and around your home :) Glad to hear Blossom is on the rebound. Cool Ibis photo !
Your new roman blinds will create such a super new look !
Here we have been having a typical dutch Summer...rain and mild temps... after 3 years of extreme heat and dry weather.
Posies Block 8 already ! July passed so fast ! Thanks for this one today!
I hope the pace you created for yourself in July continues through out August.
Hugs, take care, happy 5th Birthday Cully May !
So happy to see your shining face again, Jennifer! Also very, very thankful Blossom is on the mend - her family needs her so much. We have all been well, and also cannot believe today is the first day of August. Our burning bush which does not get red leaves till the Fall, already has changed to deep red over this past week - not sure what this means, with Summer still happening here. Love the pop of colours in out flower gardens though. Thank you again, for a lovely Posie Pattern. Enjoy a blessed day, dear friend. Love the cozy corner you have for your quiet morning devotions.
So lovely to hear from you Jennifer. Our holidays were ruined because of COVID. So back home we came. I’ve been stitching and knitting each evening. I too do an early morning Bible Study. I have procrastinated about reorganising, tidying drawers and cupboards, however tomorrow I plan to start. Down on the NSW south coast, we have also had a fairly mild winter. I’m looking forward to spring this year although I think we might have a hot summer.
I’m glad you’re feeling rested and Blossom has turned the corner with her chest problems. I’m sure the Birthday Party was a hit this afternoon.
It’s so nice to have you back.
Lovely catch up with you Jennifer and you are looking so well. Great pictures from the garden and your little morning space looks perfect. xx
Amen! Such a sweet spirit.
So happy to receive your post early Sunday morning. I also study on my computer in the early hours before my husband awakes a 8 am. Decluttering and organizing kept me busy because eye surgery prevented me from embroidery. My Logos.com app reads aloud to me so I listened to Amir Tsarfati's Book "The Approaching Day" and watched several subjects on YouTube from "Behold Israel". I'm going to look at your downloaded patterns to make Christmas presents. The scriptures, postcards and promises are my favorite.
My husband does not like pink so I will substitute blue to decorate the livingroom and dining room with stitching projects. Hugs, Gramma Caroline
Thank you for the update on Blossom. I'm so glad to know she's mending. No need to answer my note now. =) The posies block is wonderful, and I loved all the glimpses of your yard and home. Yes, loved much more than just liked. =) Bless you for having a wonderful break, showing us how it's done.
You look so lovely and rested in your photo Jennifer! It is good to take a break every now and then to rest and reflect and recharge. Here in the states Covid cases are on the rise again, with some places requiring masks. What is nice though is that our county fairs are taking place again. I have a sweet niece who is in 4H here and she sewed together a cute jean jacket with sequins and lace ruffles. She won a blue ribbon and gets to compete at the state fair. She is modeling her creation at the county fair this week and you can bet I will be there! Such fun to see our young girls sewing and creating. Thank you for the posie block! I am loving all of the blocks!
Que bueno verte tan bien Jenny. Me alegra saber de Blossom. Y que lindo tu jardín. Gracias x todo lo que compartes. Bendiciones
What a lovely photograph of you Jennifer. My goodness your winter is much hotter than our summer! If I could give you today's weather here in the UK you wouldn't really want it, only 16 degrees Centigrade! More like an autumn day. We go from heat to cold in a couple of days.
Glad to hear Blossom is recovering, such a worrying time for you all. Hope Cully May enjoyed her birthday and I look forward to your recipe for Spanakopita.
I love that fabric for your kitchen blind, lovely roses again and your little table cloth is lovely. How amazing to have those birds in your garden. Take care it's lovely to have you back again. x
so happy to see your post today. You are the only person I "know" down under. Wonderful to hear that Blossom is on the mend. Here in Florida, USA things are getting strange again. Predictions are that mid August will bring a dire turn to us in America. Praying all the time that this won't happen. Hope you will be blogging again. Your photos are always so cheerful.
So wonderful to see your smiling face again! You were missed but prayed for whilst you were retreating. So glad to hear Blossom is on the mend and that you got to spend a wonderful day celebrating Cully May! I love seeing pictures of your garden and all the birds that visit you daily. How are the chooks? It got to 45.5C at the farm and spent way to many days in that vicinity. Crops were not good, with some farmers only getting 3-4 bushels of wheat per acre. That will impact us all soon enough. Keep taking good care of you, please!! Love your table topper - definitely your style!!
You look so well rested. Can’t wait to see the blind up. What a beautiful fabric choice. My hubby says whatever you like dear too!
Hello Jennifer, I am so glad to hear that Blossom is on the mend. She was ill for such a long while. Your Roman blind fabric choice is very pretty. A rest is just what is needed at times, and listening to God's spirit so important.
Here on the west coast of Canada we are plagued with wildfires (although not on our Island). Such dry, dry weather, too. My garden is growing slowly and we should have some ripe tomatoes within a week or two. Tiny green beans are forming, and I pick several zucchini each week.
Have a wonderful week ahead.
Tanks a lot
NancyRose from Belgium
You look so lovely and at peace, Jennifer! July has been busy for you as it has for us! We finally got our house up for sale. The Lord kept saying to just prepare whenever I fretted about where we would move to next. By focusing on preparing the house, I was able to come to that "peace that passes all understanding" knowing that He will now bring the right people to buy and He already has the "cozy cottage" that we desire just waiting for us. One step at a time, when I have been so distracted in the past and leaping in all directions and accomplishing nothing! I am learning to "cast all the care" and pursue peace. As you mentioned, our relationship with God is the priority. So glad to hear Blossom is on the mend. Your garden is lovely! I would love recipes for all that you have pictured! Many blessings from TX.
You look like you are aging backwards! ❤️ All looks fresh and lovely!
Glad Blossom is getting better. I had the flu and pneumonia as Covid was starting up last year, and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. (No it wasn't Covid, they tested me for antibodies later). I love those scissors you show with next years BOM stitchery.
"Placing God above all is the key to any change, but it's hearing that still small voice speak to you through His Word, ever teaching, ever correcting, ever directing, ever chastising, ever forgiving, eternally loving...the voice which will right a detoured path, bring clarity to confusion and courage to the faint-hearted." Love this! So true and well said.
Haven't visited in a very long time - I'm so glad you are still here! Love your patterns. You are like me, flowers, veggies and birds...and the Lord. Look forward to your recipe for Muesli! I'll be back to visit soon.
What a lovely post today Jennifer. Your time away did you good. Our July has passed in the blink of an eye. It has been super hot and extremely busy. Back and forth getting our daughter moved, unpacked and moved into her school classroom which is still an ongoing process. I got the most blueberries off my bush this year for the freezer 5 and a half quarts that I can now use to bake with....I was so happy each day to beat the birds to the bushes. I am sewing a few face masks for a relative at the moment, and busy babysitting a relative as well. And theirs always lots of Dr.'s appointments to attend to and take family members to....I am so happy to hear Blossom is recovering.. What a ordeal of health issues your beautiful girl has had to deal with in 2021... Love the fabric swatch for your window treatment...and your needle work scissors are gorgeous. Be blessed my friend. And Happy Birthday to Cully May
It's good to see you again and to be inspired by your beautiful homemaking. That blessing offered at the end...it almost made me weepy. Thanks for the reminder of our Father's goodness.
That is a fantastic picture of you, girl, you look rested and healthy and gorgeous as always!
HI Jennifer, lovely to see you back on here again and looking wonderfully rested. Looking forward to your musings again.
Roses AND books - what a beautiful BOM that will be - just like this years.
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