Two wings lift a person up from earthy concerns: simplicity and purity. Simplicity should be in intention, purity in feelings. Simplicity reaches out after God, purity catches hold and tastes. ~ Thomas A’Kempis

Thursday, 27 December 2018

WONDER

Lord purge our eyes to see
Within the seed a tree,
Within the glowing egg a bird,
Within the shroud a butterfly,
Till, taught by such we see
Beyond all creatures thee
And harken to thy tender word
And hear its 'Fear not; it is I'

~ Christina Rossetti (1830 - 94) ~

Hello friends, I just wanted to share something wonderful with you. 
On Christmas morning, my husband led me by the hand and said "Come with me I want to show you something". There just outside our bedroom window, was a birds nest, so beautifully crafted nestled amongst the branches of our old Wisteria vine. And wonder of wonders, mother bird sitting their so valiantly on her eggs. I don't know in my whole life that I have ever seen a bird on her nest so close up before.

I didn't take a photo as the glass on our old windows has a funny warp to it, and the image would be blurry, plus those particular windows need a clean. But just again this morning I took a peek, and she is still sitting there doing what she's designed to do. This brings me joy. Always whether it be things growing in the garden, or anything to do with nature, I am drawn ever closer to the heart of God. His word tells us that He reveals himself to us through creation and I have witnessed this time and time again. I feel so close to Him in these moments. I need more of these moments ! 

Oh God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship
with all living things, our brothers the animals
to whom thou gavest the earth as their home in
common with us.
~ Basil the Great (c.330 - 70 ) ~
For the beauty of the earth,
For the beauty of the skies,
For the Love from which our birth
Over and around us lies;
Christ, our God, to Thee we raise
This our Sacrifice of Praise.

(Folliot S. Pierpoint 1835 - 1917)
. . . . . . . . . . . . .

As this year is about to bow out, I pray blessings and peace over 
anyone who stops by my little corner of the world wide web. 

I pray you will draw near to God and see His face in and through His creation. 
I pray that you too like I, will strive to tread carefully
 on this earth designed and created for us,
That we'll be conscious of others that walk it with us, 
be they small & furry or two legged. 
I pray for a greater awareness of what is consumed and discarded, 
knowing we are caretakers on this earth.
And lastly I pray we'll make every effort to be kind, in our words, 
thoughts and deeds, serving one another in love ~ through the strength of our Lord.
Amen  ~ Linda



Friday, 21 December 2018

Merry Christmas one and all


~The reason for the season ~


~ Christmas Lillies from our garden scenting our home ~ oh joy ~


~ It wouldn't really be Christmas without homemade Shortbread
and a rich fruity Christmas Cake :) ~

Merry Christmas friends :)
Sorry I've been absent from my blog the last couple of months. Running a small indie business where I make everything, package, stocktake, run a website etc etc is a lot of work and it takes it's toll. Normally by late December I am feeling pretty worn out..and it's the same this year. I still wanted to pop by though and post a couple of pictures and write about the last couple of months.
My husband went through a time of being unwell, a stress related pain situation where he was off work for a couple of weeks. At the time we were unsure what was wrong and had a very stressful time with a lot of doctors/hospital visits etc. It was a time of much prayer for us both. Because of all this, I got behind with my business. However my first priority is to my husband and family, so other things must take a back seat. Once my husband was well, I knuckled down and worked night and day to build up stock levels and fulfill orders. I am so thankful to the Lord that we still did well and He blessed us despite the time I was away from everything. He is so faithful :) !!!
At the start of 2018 I purposed in my heart to spend more time with my dear Mum, so every now and then I like to treat her in some way. This week I took  her out for morning tea and also included one of my grandies little 'Kora'. We had a lovely time.


   Mum ordered an old fashioned chocolate milkshake in a tall glass - so vintage :)


 
  ~ My sweet mum with Kora and Poppy ~ 

I've also been trying to spend more time in the garden, so I purchased a few new plants and planned to tidy up the front garden. Lo and behold we had a crisis. First, a pipe burst out by the front garden (would you believe it)..sigh, and we had to get the plumber in. The cheapest option was to connect up a new piece of pipe and do away with the front tap, which I connect the hose too. Thankfully we have another outside tap, which I can connect another hose too, run it under the house and use that out the front. We get very dry weather normally in the summer months, and often have water restrictions, due to drought. Our area is farming country and water for livestock and farms is a priority..even though I think my fruit trees and garden need their fair share too !! :) So we got the plumbing problem fixed, cleaned up the huge mess and prepared to plant those waiting plants. Then we had at least two weeks of non stop rain and high humidity !!! would you believe it??? So the poor plants waited and waited and waited. This week after about 3-4 weeks I was finally able to get it done, but a few of them really suffered, got eaten by snails, and faded. Anyway I am grateful just to have it all planted.

A couple of weeks ago I had a fun morning at my daughters making spiced salt dough Christmas ornaments, it was so much fun !!! (from Rocky Hegde Farm blog recipe) and those girls did good. Lots of creativity was flowing :) They made a couple of them into necklaces and wore them..funny !
~ Lily and Kora ~
~Baked for two hours and threaded with bakers twine. I modge podged 
mine to make them last a little longer ~

~ Little Bear ornament ~


Well that's about all for now. I pray everyone is well and having a joyful Christmas season. Thank you for all the joy your bogs/writing and friendship has brought to me. I look ahead to 2019 and am hoping to have more opportunities to write and get to know some of you better. Blessings and peace through our precious Lord  over you all ~ Linda 2018




xoxoxo





















Sunday, 9 September 2018

Spring at the Homestead

Hi friends and quiet visitors :)
I just wanted to spend a little bit of time writing and catching up...it's been a while. As the years go by I don't seem to do so well once Winter arrives. Each year, no matter how fit I try to keep, how warm and dry we keep our house, how many vitamins I take, or how much Kombucha I drink,  I still seem to succumb to bouts of ill health that linger. I'm trying to recover from yet another round of one of those at the moment....sigh. Being asthmatic doesn't help. However I still choose to look up and praise the Lord that Spring has arrived and rest in His love. Seasons are so faithful.

We've had a couple of slightly warmer days, lambs are seen out in fields, daffodils are blooming, but icy winds, and heavy rain is still ever present. When we had a warmer day I took a few photo's of the garden and some from around home of various crafts etc that I've been busy with.


~ Plum Blossoms ~


~ Little birds nest that survived from last year ~


~ Our trusty woodfire continues to keep us warm, even though it needs a little T.L.C ~

I N  T H E  K I T C H E N

We've eaten a lot of Soup and sourdough bread this past Winter, and still are :)
Chicken Soup in the crockpot : My quickie soup: saute onions, and celery. Add chopped carrots and kumera - chop small. I x pkt of King old fashioned soup mix (it contains split peas, barley and seasonings), dried onion powder - 1 t, chicken stock powder - 2 t, vegetable stock powder - 2 t (both Vegeta brand) 1 - 2 large chicken breasts. Throw all in the crockpot. Let it simmer all day (about 6 hours. Shred the meat. Serve hot with crusty bread - YUM




 ~ I've cooked and we've  eaten gallons of delicious creamy pumpkin soup ~

~ My Pumpkin Soup ~

This recipe has evolved over the years. When I've had a good soup at someones house, I ask
how they made it...oh a little garlic...a little curry powder...some brown sugar...and on it went. Now I consider it to be tweaked to perfection (well for our tastes). I hope you'll try it for yourself, and let me know if you do.

Ingredients:
1 Large well flavoured deep orange flesh Pumpkin or Buttercup - peeled and cubed
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil 
 1 Tablespoon Butter
1/2 cup of tomatoes chopped. 
(in the summer when they are plentiful, I stew cherry
tomatoes, in their own juices very slowly, seasoning with salt/pepper and a pinch 
of brown sugar. Then I freeze in 1/2 cup bags.)
1 large onion - chopped roughly
2 cloves garlic - chopped
1 - 2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 - 2 teaspoon curry powder
3 - 4 teaspoons of chicken stock powder. I use vegeta brand, it has the best
flavour in this soup.
Salt & fresh black pepper - be generous
1/2 cup full cream (add at the end after pureeing).

Method:
Heat the olive oil and butter until sizzling. Add th onion and garlic. Fry for about 5 minutes.
Then add the sugar and curry powder. Cook another couple of minutes. Then add the pumpkin, tomatoes, stock powder, seasonings and water to come about just over 3/4 of the way up the pumpkin cubes. Cover and cook until the pumpkin flesh is soft. Puree the mixture. Adjust stock/seasonings if required, but it's not usually (as long as a tasty pumpkin was used). Add cream. Puree again and serve in bowls garnished with chopped parsley....from this...


to this yummyness :)

Note: I didn't photograph my finished soup served. I snagged this one of the net, from Palmers Garden World site: https://www.palmers.co.nz/pumpkin-soup/  (a lovely Garden Centre in New Zealand)..and no they are not paying me at my little outpost blog site to advertise for them :)

A R O U N D  H O ME

Over the winter months I caught up on many sewing projects. There was a lot of mending to do. I don't tend to sew in summer...it's just too warm and humid to sit over the sewing machine. But come Winter I set my machine up on a small table in the old dining area and happily sew...it's also close to the fire. This time around I cut up some old white towels  to use as dish rags. I also cut some white fabric I had to make bias binding. This is the second time I've done this with old towels. The first time I just zig zagged the edges, but I didn't like the little bits of white cotton fluff that ended up on other laundry. The bias edging works wonderfully. Every day I put my dishcloths out to wash and after a few washes I soak them in some sort of whitening solution. In the summer months I soak them in bleach (yes I know thats not considered very green these days), but it's the only thing that truly kills bacteria that can make a dish cloth smell 'sour'. If anyone knows another effective 'green' method, please tell me.

~ T H E   C L O T H S ~

 Handmade bias binding.
~ Binding pinned on ~
~ Finished product: Yield about x 6 from one old towel ~

Other sewing: Napkins, for everyday use. I purchased x 2 packs of 5 tea towels (one blue and white, the other tan and white), which were large. I cut them in half, hemmed and stitched the cut edge and yielded a total of 20 napkins. They are just for us to use instead of paper towels.

~ T H E   N A P K I N S  ~

 I stack them up in this little black wire basket I found at K-Mart for about $4.00. Washing and ironing them is quite a joy actually :)

I had to put a floor lamp close by when I sew as the lighting isn't so good in this old house. The covered verandah outside is great for helping this room stay cooler in summer , but in Winter the room's always a bit dim.

~ B E S T  P U R C H A S E S ~
Since starting my sourdough bread journey I have done a lot of research on various different ways of  mixing, baking, kneading, stretching etc. Quite often a tool called a Dutch dough whisk was mentioned. I found one on Aliexpress for around $5.00, so ordered two. One to give to my daughter as well and use at her house, as I make bread when I go there too. It's' a wonderful very strong and sturdy tool, just perfect for working a dough. The other item I love is my new Kilner glass butter dish. I had pinned it :) and thought maybe I would get it for Christmas, but then I saw it advertised at half price locally and couldn't believe it, so as I had a little extra money, it is now installed in our home and used all the time. I love everything about it. 


W H A T   I   H A V E   R E A D,   A N D  A M   R E A D I N G

I absolutely loved both of these books, such great writing...and totally different stories. They were both books I had picked up at the local book fair for less than a dollar each. 

Book 1. The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman - a great read, based in Australia. A movie was also made from this book. The book was better and had a lot more detail. The movie (we rented online) tried to squeeze too much into 1.5 hours and also 'scenes' we didn't care for, or watch (we had to fast forward quite a few times) ...sigh. The book didn't really mention in any great detail that sort of thing.
I know everyone has different standards when it comes to movies, but as Christians we try to steer away from extreme violence, offensive language and sex scenes...enough said.

2. Book Two: Peace like a River by Leif Enger - a fantastic, sort of Christian based book.

3. Book Three: In my quiet times I am just beginning 'The Cloister Walk, by Kathleen Norris. I read another of her books many years ago..I think it was 'Amazing Grace' and also enjoyed that.





~ F I N A L L Y  -  M Y  P A S S I O N ~
 Soaps made during Winter

' Rose Geranium' 
 'Gypsy Moon' - a mysterious cedarwood and violet rose soap
 ~ My inspiration, was old art , dreamy, ethereal images...longong for summer, wellness 
and carefree days.
 'Sweet Pea'

 'Wild Strawberry & Yoghurt'
 'Earth Angel'
 'A sweet little lotion bar'. I made a few bars and gifted one to my dear Mother in Love (Law)
This one is scented with pure essential oils of Ylang Ylang, Patchouli, Lavender and Lemongrass..but only very lightly.

Well dear friends that is all from me for now. I pray you are all well. Thank you for stopping by and please leave me a comment if this blog inspires or encourages in some way. Blessings ~ Linda










Church Morning Tea

Hi friends, I thought I would do something a bit different today (I actually got this idea from some other bloggers), and made a series of...