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

Saturday, 17 August 2019

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 little videos, instead of writing and taking photo's like my usual blog post format.
My husband and I are on the morning tea roster once or twice a term at our church and I prepare a similar selection each time. This consists of Cheese/crackers and relish, some chocolate packet biscuits, some nice packet biscuits for the children's morning tea and maybe some fruit as well in summer. I also bake a cake (usually large butter cake, carrot cake or chocolate cake), and lastly I make scones or pikelets. I butter the scones and normally spread some raspberry or strawberry jam on them and then top them with a generous dollop of whipped cream just before the last hymn.

I thought I'd share getting ready for the morning tea in videos. I hope if you stop by and watch and enjoy these that you might leave me a sweet comment or even better, if you would like my video on youtube and subscribe to my channel there :)

 I hope to upload more videos as I have opportunity about different things I'm doing, whether that be gardening, soap making etc or even just a little bit of spiritual encouragement from something I've read during my quiet time that I think may also encourage someone else.

Blessings to you all ~ Linda








This last video I forgot to film it on wide screen, but it just shows all the food I prepared for the morning tea. :)






Monday, 22 July 2019

The Heart of God


Hi everyone,
I read this beautiful quote today and I just wanted to share it. 


'God has identified himself with the hungry, the sick, the naked,
the homeless; 
hunger, not only for bread,
but for love, for care, to be somebody to someone:
nakedness, not of clothing only,
but nakedness of that compassion
that very few people give to the unknown;
homelessness, not only just from a shelter made of stone,
but that homelessness that comes from from having
no one to call your own'.

~ Mother Theresa ~


I've always had a lot of love and respect for Mother Theresa.
No I am not a Catholic, just a follower of Christ. 
I loved her heart, her living faith and wondrous compassion and mercy. 
She still continues to inspire me. Anyone does with a heart like that.
I felt she gave people a precious gift. When she would touch them physically, even lepers, 
they felt loved and in that moment she gave them back their dignity.






~ Amen ~



Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Daily Bread


Hi everyone,
Bread :) Isn't it just wonderful !!
I just wanted to pop on quickly and share a recipe that I'm quite happy with.  I recently started using my breadmaker again, to make a small loaf of bread for my husband. I make English sourdough muffins for myself to eat for lunch and occasionally he has those too, but so I'm not constantly standing over a hot griddle I started making him a small breadmaker loaf.
One of the problems I've had with breadmaker bread in the past is that it doesn't stay fresh very long. A loaf will last my husband about 4 days. Usually by the end of 2 days (maximum) the bread would be getting dry. So I started researching and experimenting to improve the situation. I thought I would go ahead and share this even though many people may have already perfected it for themselves, but you never know someone may stop by and just have a hallelujah moment after reading this :) and give easy homemade bread another chance.


My bread maker is this model below, and the shape of the tin is like the picture above.


Anyway here is my recipe for this standard size breadmaker.

Softy Breadmaker Loaf

1 1/4 Cups Warm milk (I use semi-skim)
1 Dessertspoon - Honey
( Honey is a humectant and draws moisture to itself.)
3 teaspoons Gluten flour
2 Cups white high grade bread flour -unbleached is best
1 1/2 cups whole grain flour - freshly ground is best
(of course you could use all wholegrain, the loaf will just be denser)
1 Dessertspoon oats
1 t salt  - fine pink himalayan
3 teaspoons breadmaker yeast
2 T light olive oil

Method:
1. Place all ingredients into the loaf tin. Place into the machine.
2. Set the control to the first setting - Basic (this is the quickest cycle).
3. Set the crust level to 'Light'. Previously I had always selected medium. Press start !

~
After it's been whizzing and whirring for a few minutes I normally get in there with a spatula just to make sure everything is thoroughly combined. Then once it is I step away from the machine :) lol

After the loaf has cooled on a rack I store it in a airtight ziplock plastic bag (well as much as I can get it) and then into a cloth bag. I hope someone will try this and discover how great it is. After about 3 or 4 days I make him a toasted sandwich for lunch and he thinks that's just wonderful :)


Blessings to you all ~ Linda






Thursday, 11 July 2019

The Joys of Home

Hi dear readers,
sorry it's been so long since my last home update, but here I am again :) 



I've been enjoying some beautiful wintry days here at the little homestead. We harvested all the feijoas but I didn't bottle any this year as we were too busy with the renovations. Anyway it's all finished now and our lives have returned to normal :) We lead a very quiet, simple life here and all that disruption was very difficult.
The new bathroom is a real joy. I never thought we would ever be able to afford to do much of anything with the other bathroom, so that part of it has all been a wonderful unexpected joy. The picture isn't that clear but the walls are painted half sisal. Its a lovely pale coffee colour. We also got a new bathroom door.
We've lived at this house now for 13 years and our old bathroom was actually just an old kitchen unit with a sink..very shabby. However I tried to pretty it up with a nice shower curtain, I painted the cupboards, put fake flowers in a vase etc etc. and some pictures on the walls. I always tried to keep it very clean. I think if something smells fresh and looks cared for, its more welcoming. It's always good to accept our situation, be thankful for what we have, and then think how can I improve this room with the resources that I have, especially when you have a limited budget.

~
~
We also painted the small hallway and laundry half sisal too. My laundry room
feels so fresh now. I still have to paint a little cupboard under the sink and then it will be complete.
I added a little piece of art to the wall, it a picture of a beach I used to go to as a child when we lived in a different part of New Zealand. We moved to the North Island when I was 14 years old and the picture is from the lower South island. It's a lovely memory of my childhood and playing for hours in the rock pools with my sister.

Home Joys: Cooking 
Theme: Inexpensive, quick, easy recipes

~ Chocolate Chip Banana Bread ~
Recipe 1.


I wanted to share this recipe as its so delicious, stays moist and is good to pack in lunch boxes. It's also a great way to use up an excess of ripe bananas. My husband loves it. It's from his book 'Amish Friends' ~ Wanda E. Brunstetter. It's a whole lot of very good recipes from Amish cooks. Let me know if you try it :)




~ There's just something about fresh baking cooling on the bench that I find comforting ~

~ Recipe 2. ~
~ Trim healthy Mama style coleslaw ~

We eat this coleslaw quite a lot. Cabbages are inexpensive where we live and go a long way and if you have carrots in the garden like I do, your halfway there :)  I use a lovely spice mix called 'Italian dressing mix'. I got the recipe and the free jar top printable label from a lovely blog site called 'Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth'. Sadly Jess is no longer blogging, but thankfully she has left her beautiful blog up. It's a truly lovely peaceful place to visit with so many wonderful tips, encouragement and resources to support those who strive to live a simple Christian life as a homemaker. I've included the link to her lovely blog and also the recipe for the seasoning mix. Do try them. I made all of them and think they're wonderful. On with the recipe....


 ~ Homemade Coleslaw (sugar free) ~

1/4 head of cabbage - thinly sliced
1 med size carrot - grated
2 sticks celery - diced
1/4 red onion - diced fine

Dressing:
 3 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
1 - 2 teaspoons alternative sweetener (I use a mixture of 1 teaspoon Stevia to 1 Cup Erythritol). I think this is called Gentle Sweet substitute.
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon Italian dressing mix (thanks Jess)


Mix the raw prepared vegetables together, pour over the dressing and mix well. Place in a serving bow or covered bowl and refrigerate for later use. We enjoy this with many different meals, but my favourite is alongside chilli. I normally will have a couple of corn chips and no rice, but this time I made an exception. I usually grate over a little cheese, then a good dollop of Greek yoghurt and a garnish of parsley = delicious :)


~ Recipe 3. ~
~ Simple Quick Tasty Versatile Quiche ~
I first started making this quiche when my children were small. They always enjoyed it and I would use either a can of tuna or small packet of bacon (which I would cook slightly and chop).
This time I used tuna. It's very quick to make if you remember to get your pastry ut of the freezer in time or you could make your own, as I often do. I like homemade pastry with real butter and wholemeal flour best. This quiche is lovely to make when one is asked to make a meal for someone in need or to take to a church luncheon. I've always had good feedback about its good flavour.


~ Basic Quiche Recipe ~
4 - 6 servings

1.5 sheets of flaky pastry
1/4 red onion - diced fine
1/2 - 3/4  Cup grated tasty cheese
1 Can of tuna in oil - drained
Salt and Pepper
1/2 cup greek yoghurt
1/4 cup cream
1/2 cup milk
6 eggs
chopped fresh parsley



Method:
1. Spray oil or grease a round or square pie/quiche dish. preheat oven to 180 C.
2. Lay the pastry in on the paper, so it comes up 2 sides of the dish. Cut the 1/2 sheet of pastry in half again and use to make sides for the other 2 edges. Seal well. 
3. Spread the diced onion over the base. Then add tuna, parsley and grated cheese.
4. In a medium size bowl beat all the liquid ingredients and the eggs together. Season it with a good amount of fresh black pepper and some salt. Pour this over the base. I use a fork to make sure it runs through to the bottom of the other ingredients.
5. Bake for 45 minutes until risen and slightly browned. I normally poke the top after about 20 minutes. It lets some steam out and seems to cook better.

I served this tonight with steamed potatoes and green beans.

about to go in the oven :)



~ Other activities ~

~ Family: Our oldest granddaughter Lily celebrated her 9th birthday. When I look back through this blog I have a picture of her when she was just 1 1/2 :) following me around while I picked black currants in the garden. Now she is such a big girl who loves God, chickens, reading and her new sister Laura Joy...and eating ! She has a special gift with animals and even helped her cousin Alex hold a chicken for the first time after quite a bit of gentle coaching and a reward of a handful of jellybeans and 50 cents for his courage - lol. Such a character !
~ 9 year old Lily ~ such a farm girl :) ~

~ Laura Joy - sweet little sister ~

~Reading: I decided I'm not going to check any books out of the library for a while as we have so many books of our own. I especially love Amish novels and have quite the collection, so I'm slowly making my way through some of the ones I haven't read for a few years. I started the Rose Trilogy series last night:

~ Movies: We watched this movie last weekend and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I especially loved the child that played the part of Christopher Robin. he was adorable and his acting was just brilliant. If your a fan of Winnie the Pooh stories then you'll enjoy this true story about the author's life. 
My only critique: I didn't really like the mother (not the actress), but just the mother in general. I also didn't like the actor who was chosen for the role of the grown up Christopher Robin. He just seemed too different from what the little boy was like. Let me know if you've seen this film. It's not a children's movie (in my opinion).

 This one is for children though and is also lovely.



 I'm always busy here at home with homemaking, my family and my soap business, which sees me either making or packaging a lot of soap these days, plus all the other products I make. I feel very blessed and thankful to be able to work from my home which I love. Thank you Lord. 

~ Lemon Poppy Seed Sea Salt Bars ~

Well that's all for now dear readers. If you stop by and would like to leave me a comment that would be wonderful. I love hearing from you. Blessings to you all,

~ Linda xo ~ 













Wednesday, 26 June 2019

W I S D O M


When we desire a close walk with the Lord, 

He will provide angels in the form of wise counsel along our journey. 

Sometimes it won't be what we want to hear 

and we may even react to those words as critical. 

It will normally require us to have to do something, 

change something, or even repent. 

God reminds us in his word that His ways are not our ways. 

So often our minds/spirits and flesh desire what is pleasing to us 

and not what will glorify Him or actually benefit us in the long run. 

Everything God does and says is always for our good, because He is LOVE. 

Always keep this in mind. I look back over wise words spoken 

into my own life at times when I didn't want to hear them 

and now see them as precious jewels sent from a loving God. 

Thank you for those brave souls who let them selves be His instrument. 

Be blessed ~ Linda

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Humility


I get so weary of reading so many pop psychology motivational 'It's all about Me' quotes on social media. As christians, if you know your bible at all, it's not actually all about you. The journey to Christ likeness is actually the opposite of this, it's about denying the flesh, denying selfish ways and seeking the highest good of others. to bring glory to GOD. It's no point even reading the scriptures if they are not applied to our lives and especially during tough times, whether that be money worries, relationships, marriage, jobs, children, sickness etc. Sure their will be a period where we rant and rave, but through it all, get still with God, repent of anger, listen for His still quiet voice, let Him lead you and apply His humility to each situation, each trial. We can easily lose ourselves through trials, disappointments in life. We can build walls and create new identities to shield ourselves, but it's not authentic, and not what Christ is calling is too. I pray this will speak to someone today, it's been on my heart for a while. I share these things as I too have walked these paths in my own life at times. Don't try to justify your actions, I know we can. We can put a spiritual spin on any old thing to try and justify ourselves. Just turn, make things right, apologise..get down on your knees. Truly, Christ if we are willing and humble enough will lead us back to the narrow way, and a holy walk with Him. He will restore all things in time, with prayer. He is Love.
Imitating Christ’s Humility
Philippians 2: 1- 8
2 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

Do the next thing.

Amen..there's so many times in life this simple wisdom has kept me going  If your going through tough times..just do the next thing xo

Sunday, 12 May 2019

All Things New


(furniture moved to one end while the carpet was laid)

Hi everyone, a month or so into 2019, I felt in my spirit it was going to be a year of things happening...change..progress..interruption, upheaval. It was to be an end to procrastination..and a time to complete unfinished projects and begin even more renovations on our old house. Actually we have been trying to improve this house for about 2 years..painting, replacing the roof etc.

..and it's all happening..it's exhausting..stressful..exhilarating...tiring...did I mention stressful? dirty, dusty..and when it's done..oh my, it's so rewarding.  In about 3 weeks we will begin working on the bathroom...I am preparing myself for major upheaval.. and as I am a tidy nut and don't like mess..dust..etc, this is a real challenge. We are having to dig deep, go with the process..and accept that our quiet simple days are going to be interrupted for a time. While parts of the reno are fun, other bits just do my head in, like what colout to paint the walls..I tried a whole bunch and ended up with half sisal..a lovely soft wheat colour. We've done a similar colour in 2 other rooms. It's very peaceful and calming to look at.We've had so many weekend where the whole house was covered in drop cloths and plastic while we painted and would drop into bed late..exhausted.

Anyway here's a whole bunch of pictures showing life right now. Other parts of life have been continuing a s per normal....bread, lunch, dinner and soap are still being made etc :) phew .. You will see the lounge stripped of the old carpet. The whole kitchen/dining/lounge covered in drop sheets. We painted the ceilings, walls..and got new carpet laid. We have installed a heat pump/air conditioning unit(s) oh joy :) The house is looking lovely and we are so thankful to God. Some of these projects we have waited up to 10 years for, as we couldn't afford it before. We have new doors and moldings around them in the living room..anyway enough prattle..here are the pics. More 'after' ones to follow. Our little granddaughter Poppy came for the day when the carpet was being laid. She's having a lolly pop and sitting outside with Bruce, her grandad xox so sweet.





 {lounge emptied out, preparing for carpet..what a lot of cleaning that involved. The 
slab of concrete in the centre is where once their would have been back to back fireplaces
in this big old house - built in 1880 :)



 ..decisions ...
 ..arrghhh hated them all..went with half sisal.. :)




 ~Feijoas are ready in the garden ~
 Harvest soap
 Snowflake soap 
 Word Art I framed..scripture :)



Homemaking: now that life is getting a tad more normal at least in the living room/kitchen. I made a lovely sourdough pizza, harvested my Basil and hung it up to dry, baked bread, picked bowls of salad from the garden and all the while praised God for his goodness and bounty.

I prayed for years that the Lord would send help our way with this old house. Lo and behold the house next door sold last year and who should move in?? a builder with a lovely wife. We are so blessed. He charges us a fair price, works fast and does a great job. God's timing is always perfect.

My goal is to get back on here a lot more and share whatever the Lord inspires me with, as well as just ordinary life, soap making, home making etc.
Love to you all ~ Linda

If you stop by, please leave me a sweet comment :)




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...