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.
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.