We've had so much rain this month that I've rarely needed to water the garden. In fact we've had so much rain that all four pumps in our front and back yards have been working overtime, and praise the Lord only one of them broke down. They kept our yards looking more like a lake than the oceans of times past. We are so glad hubby spent two weeks in May last year replacing and re-building all the pump wells and pipes because his hard work is paying off. We're still only in the first half of our tropical wet season, and more monsoons are yet to come, perhaps a cyclone (though we pray not), so knowing the pumps are moving the water out from the yards and into the council storm drain is a great relief.
Each day at morning tea I sit at my desk in the sewing room and work on blogging, writing, homemaking and sewing plans for the months ahead. On the rainy days it was simply beautiful watching the rain drops glisten and fall from the Grevillea, Syzygium and Bottle Brush trees outside the window, and the little honeyeaters darting to and fro from branch to branch.
While it's been so wet, warm and humid, my attention has been given over to a jolly deep clean of the living/dining room, kitchen, pantry, bathroom and entryway...the evidence of each day's labour being my aching muscles at night. But working hard around home brings great satisfaction, and definitely worth the aches and pains.
I got down into the window tracks one morning, after washing the inside of the windows, and was horrified at the build up of dirt and dust. Obviously it had been a long time since I did that task.
All the appliances were cleaned inside and out, and I must tell you that cleaning the dishwasher with citric acid is wonderful! Just add 1/4 cup where you'd normally put your dishwashing cleaner and run your regular cycle. When you open the door later it gleams and sparkles good as new.
I've also done some mending of clothes, some curtains, and cushion inserts. I find in our very hot tropical weather, many things become brittle, even the covers of cushion inserts. This one was crumbling before my eyes...
Just over a year ago we switched to all linen sheets, but I kept the old cotton ones because they are really good for backing quilts, runners, etc...but they also make excellent replacement cushion insert covers. I cut a rectangle from the old sheet to fit, sewed French seams along the sides, and hemmed the open end, before popping the crumbling insert inside and slip stitching the opening closed.
Now I can safely place the newly covered insert inside my pretty cushion covers without dealing with a crumbly mess whenever I want to change them.
After this repair I took my sewing machine in for a service. Blossom reminded me that our machines had not been serviced in a very long time (6 years - ouch!) and when we got them back they worked like new. We simply hadn't noticed any issues until then, as I find over time you get used to things not being perfect. Anyhow, this enthused me to get back to sewing on my machine more often, and that decision prompted a new tutorial which I'll be sharing next week.
Here's a little peek at what we will be making...
Even though it's raining a lot, the weather is still hot and humid, so cool afternoon snacks and soda water infused with frozen pineapple or citrus slices are my go to. At the moment I'm relishing grape season, and have developed a partiality for apple slices dipped in peanut butter. Oh my, it's quite scrumptious!
Did you make the bookmarks from my free Books & Roses block of the month last year? When I shared the first one last January I suggested some of you may like to use them in a quilt instead of a bookmark. Well, my good friend Joanne in the Netherlands, ran with that idea!
She's been sending me update photos every month, and here are her twelve Books & Roses embroideries displayed inside churn dash blocks...
...and the other day I received photos of the completed quilt. I think you will love it!
I have opened a new account on Instagram. The many months since I left IG were more beneficial than I can say, because though I may not have spoken or written of it, last year was (personally and for family members) a very challenging one.
Taking time out to examine my life, my character, my hopes and plans, my relationship with the Lord, my available time, and the very great responsibility of being a homemaker and the matriach of our family - those many months of social media absence proved beneficial, as they gave me needed space to sweep away doubt and cobwebs, and to become sure of exactly who I was and the direction God required me to pursue.
I actually did not think there'd be any return to IG, so making this decision over the past week surprised me...but we live in a time when the voice of conservatives, of Bible believing Christians, of homemakers, wives, mothers and grandmothers, of Titus Two women, are being drowned out. So while we're still able to speak, I'd like to encourage women in my own small way, and just as I do this on my blog, so I plan to do also on my new Instagram account.
You can follow along HERE or search for @jennyofelefantz
Well, I'll get back to my planning now, as I have a few tutorial ideas I'd like to work on for coming months, plus a new issue of The Homemakers Heart to compile...
...and with a great recipe book find from the op-shop recently I have notes to make because it's full of great advice for menu planning in the economy of today. So much of it I heard from my Nana's lips, but had forgotten. Now the memory is being jogged awake.
Bless you heaps, and I pray that whatever your season, you're finding ways to beautify your home environment and infuse joy into all your tasks. May the Lord bless the work of your hands today and every day...