Saturday, October 23, 2021

October days...

Working six days a week, month after month, really began to take a toll on my sweet man, so he's arranged with his employer to take one day off every fortnight, allowing him opportunity to catch up on things which can't be seen to at the weekend, like doctors, blood tests, dentist, hobby interests, optometrist, hair cuts...all those things which are much easier done from Monday to Friday.

This past Thursday he went off in the early morning to run his errands and then came home to clean the pool and do a bit of pruning around the garden. We have a variety of different hibiscus trees in the front, side and back yards, but there's this stunning one right outside the front door which has the most exquisite pink flowers and I often go out to admire it in the afternoons when the scorching sun has moved to the back of the house. 

When hubby was pruning on Thursday he came in with two small cuttings of that lovely hibiscus to display on my desk, and though I grow gorgeous roses and have them displayed in vases around the place, these two vibrant hibiscus blooms took my breath away...

I popped them in a white milk jug to admire as I sat quietly with pencil and paper to sketch a new design amidst a relentless migraine, aware they'd be wilting by Friday and therefore intent on enjoying them for as long as possible. (When a migraine strikes my creative ideas flow like a waterfall so I make myself sit and draw as long as possible)

Hibiscus are not a flower for cutting and keeping in vases; they thrive on the tree, though even there they have a short life - but they truly are one of the prettiest flowers in our garden.

Hubby made my day with his gift.

This is the beginnings of one design I sketched on Thursday...

...inspired by the colours of my remaining fat quarters of Tilda's Windy Days, which were sent to me a few months back by Tilda Australia to design with. 

I recently mentioned falling in love with needle-turn applique, as I've been slowly working on an old applique quilt pattern which used needle-turn to hone my skills. 

All my design life I've preferred blanket stitch applique, and I still do for those tiny little shapes which frequent my patterns, but I have grown to enjoy needle-turn for larger shapes and decided to employ this style into the new design, "Choose Happy". 

Here's how it's coming along...

Just the other day a small parcel of fabrics arrived, a rare online purchase for me, but they are so pretty that I bought four 1/2 yard cuts. One of the pieces had some lovely little sentiments written between the flowers and garden elements (I'll show you the fabric another day), and one of those sentiments was "choose happy".

Well, it was as though God was speaking right into my heart. I thought about it for a while and then realised how needful it is to CHOOSE how we feel when the world around us is full of challenges and trials, when the news does nothing to uplift the spirit, and people around us seem always so forlorn. 

This, in the midst of a migraine, spurred me into the sewing room to sit under the air conditioner at my desk and bring those words to life with needle and thread. I'll have this design in my new Club later in the year.

More than inspiring me to design and sew, though, those two words inspired me to alter my thinking and to consider how choosing a positive attitude through the ebb and flow of the week ahead could literally be life changing, especially if it became a natural habit to do so. Just food for thought, yes?

Speaking of food...

I'm back to doing meal prep once or twice a week. I followed Lisa of Downshiftology for quite a while and got loads of encouragement and recipe ideas last year, but then I dropped away from planning and for the life of me cannot tell you why. But, I've gotten back into that wonderful habit and have been enjoying opening the fridge to find much of what we need already chopped and stored or cooked and only in need of heating up. 

This morning I roasted trays of broccoli, sweet potato, red onion, carrots and beetroots - all of which can be used in salads, or heated to serve with some form of protein. I made rice in the rice cooker, enough for the week, and roasted marinated chicken breasts before slicing and storing as well. 

I also made Zucchini Bread which smells amazing!

HERE is her Zucchini Bread recipe if you'd like to try it. 

If you're after some meal prep inspiration watch some of Lisa's videos on her blog, like THIS ONE which inspired today's cooking. And THIS ONE which has the delicious (and moist) roast chicken breast recipe.

(photo below from Lisa's blog)

In the garden...

we still have an abundance of herbs, which is great because we use so many of them, but we've also been able to harvest the last few capsicums and tomatoes from our winter planting. This is the end of produce until next year as the weather now is ghastly hot and humid, and we've been warned to expect a worse than average cyclone season with a wetter than usual spring and summer. 

The cockatoos still come by every morning for sunflower seeds, but the rainbow parakeets drop by all through the day for a feast of sweet nectar from the native flowers and bits of fruit or seed we leave out for them.

I'm really surprised that one pot of pansies still blooms, but it is in the garden beds under the large pepper tree so gets shade. 

Every day I can pick a few roses, they are thriving in the heat, though need to have some shade in the afternoon or their petals burn to a crisp. 

Another purchase I made recently was a Chronological Bible as I have long wanted to read the Bible through 'as it happened'. 

I've just finished a study on the life of Kind David and it was wonderful to read it through in sequence from the books of 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles, 1 Kings and the Psalms. This expanded my understanding because I wasn't going from here to there, reading only one book at a time, but it was quite panoramic studying through events as they occurred...and I gained more insights than ever about David. (have I mentioned that Blossom's little boy, Charlie David, is named after King David - a man after God's own heart)

Anyhow, that's it for me today, and how nice it is to be back blogging proper again. 

THANK YOU for every loving, kind, and caring comment written on my last post. You have no idea how your love and expressions of care poured balm upon my bruised heart and brought an abundance of joy to my spirit. I will respond to your email comments in a day or two, but we have Blossom and the children dropping by tomorrow and I must prepare a breakfast feast tonight in readiness.

It is time to choose happy, sweet friends, and I pray that YOU know joy, and that you know peace, and that you are filled with the immense and gracious love of our Heavenly Father today. 

I'll leave you with a photo of Charlie David just waking up around dawn. He began walking at 9 months, and now runs everywhere after his sisters! He's 10 1/2 months old now...the time has flown.

Much love


Joanne said...

Hi Jennifer,
Choose Happy !
A wonderful blogpost to enjoy this weekend along with the first frost of the season :)
take care,

Lin said...

Beautiful hibiscus flowers Jennifer - enjoy those lovely veg and time with Blossom. xx

Miriam said...

Yes dearest Jenny, let’s go on and pray for negative persons too. ( I lost your previous post). Always thank you for everything you post and show us. A big, big hug to you and your beautiful family. Sorry if my English is not good for explaining what I mean.
Have a nice week end,

Little Penpen said...

He’s an early Charlie David!! Already running with his sisters!! Your blog posts are always so uplifting and pretty.

Jenny said...

I started reading a chronological Bible in September. We bought it a few years ago & my husband read it through. I'm finally getting around to reading it myself. It has been easier to read but I keep feeling like parts are left out? I keep going back to my regular Bible to double-check. Nothing has been left out but it feels like it.

Kristy said...

He is so adorable! Sure can tell he is related to those beautiful sisters of his! :-) I am so glad you felt all the love from us because you show us your love every time you spend the time to write your amazing blog posts. You are a huge blessing in my life Jennifer. I am so thankful for you. Many blessings on your time with family and especially your hubby. He is a gem. K-

Ondrea said...

Such good news that hubby can take a day off to attend to important things.I hope he finds time to rest. Love the hibiscus. Your design is looking gorgeous as always. I also sometimes enjoy needle turn applique depending on the project. Charlie is photogenic like his sisters, gorgous little boy. Hope your migraines ease soon.

Tammy said...

Good Morning my dear beautiful Jennifer. What beautiful garden photos. I love the new fabrics and the choose happy Design . It is gorgeous. Thanks for sharing the recipe. And Charlie David is such a gorgeous baby . I can see him toddling after his sisters...I'm so happy you are feeling more loved and letting that persons negative comments fall away.... I choose Happy too.

Emily Michael said...

Hi Jennifer,

I loved reading this post, thank you. Its like chatting to an old friend again!
Sorry to hear the horrible migraines have struck again. I hope its passed now but it is great you were able to see the positive and harness some of that creative energy while you were afflicted.
So glad your lovely Hubby can have that extra day to catch up on things. My husband has been doing something similar and it as really made such a difference!
We have been listening to the audio Bible in chronological order in the mornings while we are preparing breakfast etc for quite a while now. Its funny how sometimes I think, didn't we hear this yesterday? And yes we did, because many stories are recorded more than once. It always makes me take more notice because it was obviously extra important if God felt the need to record it more than once!
You inspired me to get back into meal planning again. Ironically, I stopped because life got so busy for a while there but looking back it would have actually helped so much in those busy times!
I love that your garden looks so beautiful no matter the season! I know the heat is hard to deal with but at least there is rain to keep things green and those stunning roses blooming! Stay safe during that cyclone season!
Looking forward to that beautiful stitchery design soon and learning needle-turn applique!
Em xox

KingsailK said...

Awe thanks 😊 xx

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I've listened to the One Year Chronological Bible on my phone, but hadn't seen the printed version. Great thing to get. You will enjoy it. I used to listen to it on my phone every morning on my drive to work.

Susan said...

How much all Blossom's children resemble each other! I'm so glad Mr. E. has an extra day to get things done and maybe relax a bit. Those Hibiscus were beautiful! Bless you, Jennifer, for your wonder lessons in life.

Joyce Frazier said...

Lovely to hear from you! Sorry for the very nasty, negative letter you received. You are nothing BUT the kindest, sweetest and most generous woman. I love reading your blogs, seeing your gardens, your recipes, new patterns and inspirations. Wonderful that Mr. E gets a day off now and again to do the necessary things. And I must say that Blossom and Hubby make the most beautiful babies! I have followed you for many, many years. And you have blessed my life with your wonderful spirit! Sorry you suffer from the migraines, I do too but never have inspiration while enduring them. Take care, love yourself, know you have many friends from different countries and Choose Happy!