Sunday, April 23, 2023

Small changes and unexpected things...

 Mostly my weeks run to a familiar rhythm, unless hubby is having a few days off work, either of us are sick, or we're working to a time frame for some project - like right now when we're preparing and planting the late autumn/winter garden. But this past week, beginning on Monday morning, it felt as though that lovely 'usual' familiar rhythm of homemaking had returned, so I began one of my favourite tasks - deep cleaning every room. 

The first to get this treatment was the kitchen, taking two full days...and I'm still not quite done with it. When I deep clean I pull everything out of cupboards and drawers, scrub inside those spaces, then consider what hasn't been used since the last deep clean and whether I should donate or keep. I also clean the oven, the dishwasher, the windows, the electric kettle, the coffee machine, inside the two fridges and freezer, under and behind the fridges, and also the little cupboard where the indoor garbage and recycle bins are. Then there's the large walk-in pantry, the ceiling fan, and the air conditioner filter. I got about 70% of all that done before vacuuming and mopping the floors. On day three I started on the living room and bathroom for a change of scenery, planning to return to the kitchen/pantry on Friday (after a rest day on Thursday)...though this did not eventuate, but more about that further along. Each afternoon I took a ninety minute break to sit and sew, and watch an old Poirot or Marple. I choose things I've already seen as I stitch so I don't have to keep looking up. Some days I simply listen to an audio book.

You know, we've had a ghastly hot and humid March and April here in the tropics, and each year most of us locals find ourselves pretty worn out around this time from the very long hot summer which normally kicks in around mid-September, eventually losing steam late April. To try and not wither away the past couple of months, I decided a new distraction was needed for those quiet times between preparing the garden beds, running the day to day needs of keeping house, helping my family, and tending to business responsibilities - so that's when I decided to start work on honing my needle-turn applique skills.

I also decided it was high time I got back to planning a very healthy diet of 'clean' foods and remove baked snacks, most bread (apart from the occasional slice of sour dough), butter and desserts from the weekly menu. Unlike in the past, I did not opt for roaming recipe sites for interesting meals to make, but chose to take advice from Grandma Donna (I love her blog HERE) and just simplify all our meals. I pondered a few things she wrote earlier in the year and thought back to growing up with Nana and Pop, and the simplicity of breakfasts, lunches and dinners - and the comfort, for want of a better word, of having a small menu that rotated with seasons, leftovers, and available ingredients. 

Like the everyday rhythms of homemaking which nourish my soul, it was enlightening and surprisingly easy to follow Nana's example these past two months to nourish my body - and a bonus to this was that hubby and I discovered we enjoyed regular 'repeat' evening meals, having the same kind of lunches all week, eating the same thing for breakfast (muesli and fruit) and swapping out baked 'snacks' for crisp grapes, fresh dates filled with natural peanut butter, hard boiled eggs, or bowls of freshly made fruit salad. 

I usually have chicken, pastrami, or boiled eggs tossed in salad for lunch, or I serve my salad in a sweet potato wrap. Grapes, dates or plums on the side, a cool glass of water, and perhaps a cup of black tea. 

Meals are so easy now, but we still enjoy the odd treat on a night off - last week we had pizza by the beach and thoroughly enjoyed it. I also enjoy occasional morning tea catch-ups with friends, when a piece of cake is just perfect with a hot cuppa. 

Blossom was so encouraged by my increased energy levels, less migraines, and improved blood pressure (down to normal!) that she decided to follow along and do this herself and is also beginning to experience some health benefits.

Finally there's a slight cooling in the temps. The days are a regular 31c now (88f) but they are shorter days as we creep towards winter, and without that scorching sting we've had for so long. I hope to hand-quilt two quilts this winter - Daisy-a-Day and The Virtuous Wife - and I also have a crochet blanket to make with yarn purchased months ago.

In the meantime I'm continuing to work on two Anni Downs patterns, a small wall quilt...

...and a larger quilt. I also have to piece together all the blocks from Gossip in the Garden, and baste/quilt/bind the small wall-quilt I finished earlier in April as I'd like to hang it in the living room through this coming winter. 

The Unexpected?

Rosie and I had the most wonderful morning together on Thursday, chatting about our gardens, sewing projects, sewing plans, life as we age, family matters, cooking and pets...and as I waved her goodbye around midday, my heart was full and happy indeed that I had such a dear friend living close by.

Five minutes later and one phone call changed the day. My husband had fallen at work and injured his ankle and thigh/hip. He arrived home soon after, refusing to go to hospital via ambulance but wanting to see his own doctor (hospital waiting times here are 'all day long'). His ankle is swollen badly and every colour of the rainbow, as is the very top of the thigh where it meets the hip. He's under medical care, ankle strapped, hobbling with a walking stick, and ordered to rest up completely. I find men are not the best patients, and the first two days were awfully trying due to his pain levels and inability to move much, but Saturday afternoon he'd accepted the situation and we've even laughed a bit since then. It's almost lunchtime Sunday as I write this, and he'll see the doctor again on Tuesday...just taking each day as a gift, because it could have been far worse. You see, he fell onto the road outside his work, a very busy road in the city. Would appreciate your prayers for his recovery and no hidden issues with his thigh (it's been getting worse). 

Tuesday in Australia is ANZAC Day, a celebration we take very seriously in our family. If you'd like to know more about ANZAC Day you can read about it here. 

Retired and currently serving military take part in the street parades across the country, as do many relatives who march in place of those loved ones who once marched but have since died. My two little granddaughters, Cully May (aged six and a half) and Rafaella (aged five) have been chosen to march with a small number of school students, and they shall be marching for my dad who enlisted in the navy at age 17 and served as a Stoker during the Korean War. 

Hubby would have loved to go and watch the girls march, but not after his fall. Blossom and I will be there and hopefully Ross too if he's not working that day.

Depending on how this coming week unfolds, I shall continue to do a bit of deep cleaning around hubby (probably the laundry and the linen cupboard) sew all the Virtuous Wife blocks together, continue to tend the garden, make chicken and vegetable soup from our leftovers, cook up the last of the season's plums into jam, and begin work on my swap partner's tea towel. Apart from that, I shall wait and see how each day unfolds because...

Bless you heaps, and may the coming week bring surprises of the delightful kind, blessings that assure you of God's care in every situation you're facing, and laughter that starts right down in your belly and spreads joy to all around you. 


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QuiltKid2 said...

So sorry to hear of Mr. E's fall. Give him my well wishes please. My husband fell last year, tripping over a ladder & some branches whilst tree trimming. It took at least a week for all of the bruise to come to the surface. The bruise went from hip to knee & was sore & uncomfortable, but healed fairly quickly. He put arnica cream (Trameel brand from the online A store), on it every day for about 2 weeks & that helped with the pain & helped the bruising to go away faster. I'm happy to hear that your migraines are less frequent. wishing you all the best!

Lin said...

So sorry to hear about your husbands fall - love and prayers for a swift recovery. Such a shame that he will miss Cully May and Rafaella marching. Your new diet sounds as though it is doing you such a lot of good, delicious too. Enjoy your cooler weather. xx

Joanne said...

Hi Jennifer,
What is it with some men ? :)
Best wishes for a smooth recovery to Mr. E !
Thanks for a Sunday blog post to start my day :)
hugs, take care,

Mrs. White said...

I am so sorry to hear of your husband's accident. You are both in my prayers.

It is wonderful how productive you have been in homemaking and cleaning. Your home must be lovely!

God bless you and your family!

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Sorry about your hubby's injuries. Praying that he heals quickly.

Susan said...

So sorry to hear about your husband's fall and injuries. Sounds painful. Praying for a swift and complete recovery.

Kristy said...

Praying for your husband to be a gracious patient and to recover fully. Praying for you to be patient with him and to continue to increase in health and joy. Thank you for your faithful posting and encouragement. Your examples of loving your husband and cleaning your home as well as caring for your physical body are such wonderful encouragements to us all! I am glad to hear it is cooler for you. We finally had a day that was in the 60's here in Oregon yesterday and saw the sun for a bit! Hope your week gets better and better and your husband recovers quickly. K-

Julie said...

Gosh I do love what you are working on dear Jennifer. I am so very sorry to read of Mr E's fall & hope he is soon feeling much better. Men do seem to really struggle to rest & recuperate but it sure does make healing alot faster. Sending love & prayers to you both dear Jen. xx

Sherry said...

So sorry to hear about your husband's fall. Will pray for quick healing and blessings for you both.

Dots said...

Hi Jennifer, Wow. Your poor husband really hurt himself. I hope he gets a good report from his doctor, and that he heals quickly. So sorry he will miss seeing his grands as they do their marching. Such fun for the girls, I'm sure. You got a lot of good cleaning done. Always feels good when it gets finished. Not much happening on this side of the Planet. Which I am grateful for. I hope it remains boring, quiet and calm all summer long this year.It's a very nice break. My newest Great-granddaughter is almost 4 months old and the most pleasant baby. Happy little Winnifred Jo. So cute and special. Well, I pray all turns out as it is in heaven for all on earth, God's will be done. Be well, Jennifer.

Susan said...

I'm so sorry about your dear husband's fall, but so grateful that it didn't turn out as horrible an accident as it could have been. I will be praying for a complete recovery, as soon as is practical, and for both of you to be comforted ... and careful. Your cleaning sounds delightful, though I would never have imagined myself saying such a thing, once upon a time. =) I glad for the breaking weather, and your time with Rosie. I know you've been good friends a long time. All your projects looks like they are progressing nicely. May God bless and keep you and your family members, and keep your health on the road to better things.

Createology said...

Jennifer Dear I am lifting Prayers and Healing Energy for your wonderful husband. Our lives can change so much in a nano-second. Bless Cully May and Rafaela for being able to march in the Anzac parade to honor your father. Strength for you dear as you take care of everyone and your household. Cherish each day we have.

Anonymous said...

As I fell April 4th, I so know and feel his pain. Tell Mr.E that I am praying for us both. I can only get around with a walker. The bum leg is the one fractured in 2015. Thank God nothing broke this time, just badly bruised. And thank God his guardian angel was watching over him on that busy street. Blessings,


Angie in SoCal said...

That was me, Angie in SoCal I'm that previous post

Kim said...

I will be praying for Mr.E's complete healing and hope that this current difficulty only leads to a deeper walk with the Lord. I, too, have been doing some deep-cleaning and simplifying of meals as we become empty-nesters in less than a week. It's being a strange adjustment after 33 years of parenting. But there are up sides, too, which includes more space for crafting. :)

Christine M said...

Your stitching is lovely as always Jennifer. That salad looks delicious. I hope Mr E is well on the mend. xxx

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for everything. Sometimes it takes me longer that I would like to get here but I look forward to catching up. I had a lot more this time to read but so enjoy finding out everything that is going on with you and your families life's. So sorry to hear about your hubby and hope he gets well very soon.
Carol O

Kay said...

So sorry to hear about your husband and his fall, sending love and prayers to you both.
I am always so impressed by your organisation skills. You really inspire me to think more about how I use my time and get things done. X

Judith said...

I pray that as time as gone by, your dear hubby has continued to recover from his injury and has rested both physically and mentally. Your cleaning has motivated me to do the same. Best wishes for a lovely day

Farm Quilter said...

I am so sorry to hear of Mr. E's injury!! Prayers for an uncomplicated recovery. Enjoy every day of your cool winter in your beautiful garden. I'm so happy to hear your health is improving with your clean eating and your blood pressure is normal!

Annabel said...

So sorry about your husbands injury Jenny... the fall onto a busy road made my heart skip a beat. That could have turned out much worse. I hope he is healing well now. I also have simplified meals, also stretching ingredients. I feel the need to do this on several levels. I need to do a kitchen deep clean as you describe! xxx

Emma Christian said...

Oh, I'm so sorry to hear about your husband's fall. I'll certainly be holding him in my prayers for a full and swift recovery. I agree that men are difficult patients at times!

I hope it cools down for you soon up there. Winter has really only just hit in our valley, with our first real wintery day yesterday which was lovely. Elsie and I snuggled on the couch watching the cartoon Heidi series on YouTube, its so sweet! I have had a rough week with things here, after making a stupid and costly error on the farm. I have been down and a bit fragile. I am trying to pull my socks up and get on with it. This morning I am trying to jolly myself along to go to playgroup with Elsie in town, despite not feeling very social. It is good for her I think.

I have found Grandma Donna's blogs about foods really interesting as well. I remember she wrote about repeating simple meals being easier for children to become accustomed to, and perhaps that's why when she was younger fussy children seemed less common than today. Also that it was easier on the digestive system. Her thoughts about simple meals often rattle around my head too and I have found myself simplifying our meals. We eat a lot more potato/sweet potato these days and far less pasta and rice and Grant and I feel much better for it.

Sending love to you and your family. Emma xx