Miss Rafaella and our adventure...
Yesterday was a definite day of ups because I had as my companion 3yo Rafaella, and we had a day of 'adventuring'. Whenever Cully May or Rafaella spend the day with me they declare it to be an adventure, so I try to do fun things with them, the kind of things us adults don't often do ourselves.
Cully May goes to kindy every Monday at the moment, as next year she will attend school Mon-Fri. These few months of spending one day a week at kindy have shown us all that her natural extrovert personality is ready and eager for school when the first term begins at the end of January. For those overseas who may not know, our Australian school year runs from January to December and is broken up into four terms.
So these Mondays of late have given Rafaella some extra time with mummy (Blossom), daddy and baby Charlie, but it's also gave her and I the opportunity to go off and adventure alone, something we've never done without Cully May present.
Our morning began at the library, because she simply loves our library trips. Being surrounded by books, and in the cool quiet space of the children's section, her little introvert self is very happy and content...
I stopped counting after reading nine books because once I'd finished a book she would replace it carefully on the shelf and bring me another. Eventually she decided it was time to leave the library and go down to the beach for ice-cream, but first I suggested we stop off at the shopping centre so I could buy her (and Cully May) a pair of sunglasses. She was thrilled! "I will get pink sunglasses, Nana!" she declared...and so she did.
I chose children's Cancer Council glasses as the sun here in the tropics is fierce on eyes, young and old alike. She choose a red polka dot pair for her big sister and then we got back in the car and drove to the beach...
We walked along the shore and collected seas shells, as she loves playing with my own collection of shells whenever she visits, and carefully put them in my pocket for her to take home later.
Ice cream was well deserved after our walk along the scorching shore line, though we had to eat fast as it melted quickly.
After leaving the beach we dropped in to visit Poppy at his work and then picked up a Happy Meal at McDonalds before arriving at my house where we could relax in the air conditioning.
Once lunch was over we played with jigsaw puzzles (she is VERY good at them), painted, did some colouring, and then I gave Rafaella her first lesson in hand embroidery. She got a little bit frustrated because the yarn kept coming out of the needle (we used a large plastic needle and yarn) but eventually got the knack of holding the needle in such a way that the yarn didn't slip out. Apparently sewing with Nana was her most talked about topic with mummy and Cully May today and she's looking forward to doing more.
After dropping her home later in the afternoon, this Nana was very tired and needed a nice cup of tea with a bit of quiet time before getting started on dinner. What a wonderful day it was!
Pantry Preparedness and utilising more storage...
Have you noticed a lot of empty shelves in your local supermarket lately? I have. In fact many of the items I regularly purchase have disappeared, and though we have seen the signs of this shortage coming for quite a while, it's still a shock when it happens.
I decided to move things around in the kitchen after Blossom offered us an old bookcase, planning to use the shelves for more pantry preparedness. I shifted the old cookbook shelves across into the hall and spent this morning compiling a fresh list of items to purchase and store in these larger shelves. I am also going to add a bit of prettiness, as you do, right? Wicker baskets too easily become mouldy in the wet season due to the constant heat and high humidity, so I have a few clear plastic baskets which I intend lining with pretty fabric next week. I also intend making shelf liners and/or edging...which will take time, but having a homemaking project on the go always makes me happy.
Once my large shopping list was written I made the order online and it will be delivered tomorrow morning, though I do wonder how much of it will arrive. Even as I was doing the online order, so many items were marked 'out of stock', and some which were in stock had limits of one or two only.
Making use of the space you have for storing extra food items is wise, even in a small house. My husband has shelving in his study dedicated to cans and jars, and that's great, but as he is at work during the day the air conditioning in the study is not used and that room becomes very hot indeed.
The kitchen however, which has the walk-in-pantry just opposite, has the air conditioning on all day so in the new shelving I will place items that really should be stored in a slightly cooler place than hubby's study.
I recently purchased two new aprons from makers on Etsy. They are lovely floral prints with ruffled edges and pockets - just my style, and they look lovely hanging in the kitchen when not being worn as I cook and do housework. I had plans to make more aprons myself, but just as you support my home-business by purchasing patterns, I also like to support the home businesses of others.
The seller of the cream apron has no more, but the seller of the blue polka dot apron (which comes fully lined!) has many aprons in her store - perfect for gift giving. If you're interested she is HERE, and believe me even the wrapping is delightful. Her parcel brightened my day, and the apron brightened my kitchen!
A Quiet Life...
Do you remember last year when I shared this pattern? I stitched it in two colourways, one pastel and one more of a 50's palette. Over the weekend I needed something simple and calming to make (I'll explain later) so I chose to turn the retro block into a wrap for our coffee plunger...
The colours work well in our kitchen, and though I've never liked the creamy latte brown of the cupboards and fittings, it does lend itself to allowing bright colours like the ones I scatter around to stand out. Even those aprons lift the gloom of the brown.
The back is tied with two bows - as I said, a very simple and relaxing project, and also a new UFO finish for November. It's gratifying to make wonderfully functional items from orphan stitcheries!
The downs of life...
I've been quiet here again because of a long run of very nasty migraines. They came in all manner - barometric migraines, migraine with aura, silent migraines which left me unable to walk and my whole body a wobbly mess...and each one came on just as the previous one was ending.
So many food triggers have been eliminated with great success in the past year or two, but it only occurred to me on Sunday that I had once more introduced chocolate into my diet, as well as a single cup of real coffee each morning (after drinking only decaf for a year). It appears those two changes have been my undoing and a hard and painful lesson learned.
I was just coming good yesterday morning in time to pick up Rafaella, as I had cancelled on her last Friday and though very understanding, her 3yo heart was sad at not spending a day alone with Nana. That's why yesterday was so important, I just couldn't bear to disappoint her again. Fortunately the pain was gone after breakfast and since then I've been careful to exclude the two nasties - chocolate and real coffee - once again. Sigh. I shall miss them, though not the pain they cause.
I am re-reading The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder and gaining much appreciation for the labours of homemaking back in the 1800's. It's been about fifteen years since I read this book to my children, so in many ways it feels 'new' again because this time around I'm reading through my homemaker eyes and not from a desire to teach good life principles to my children.
I'm also stitching a wedding memento for hubby and I as we approach the celebration of 30 years of marriage, just a few days after Christmas. It will be part of my Faith, Heart & Home pattern club next year because I get many requests for this kind of design. Most people will think of this design as a lovely gift for a new couple, but I'm looking with new eyes once more...it is a continuing remembrance of my own marriage.
Back to that "A Quiet Life" stitchery...
If you missed the original free download of the pattern, it's here again for you now. Use the link below and you can be stitching it today.
Let me know what things in your life are being viewed through 'new eyes' these days? Are you finding a shortage of grocery supplies in your own area? Have you finished any UFO's this month?
I'd love to hear from you, and as my readers have told me in emails, they love reading your comments and thoughts too.
So dear hearts, don't hold back but share your own thoughts in the comments for you may inspire others by doing so. I am so blessed to receive every comment, but I do understand why many prefer to email me privately.
Bless you lovely friends, and may the days ahead overflow with the wisdom of God so that you may make good and sound decisions. May He prepare you for all that is yet to come, and give you a heart which offers genuine kindness and grace towards others.