Sunday, May 30, 2010

The two loves

Smoothing soft the nestling head
of a maiden fancy-led
Thus a grave-eyed woman said:

'Richest gifts are those we make,
dearer than the love we take
That we give for love's own sake

'Well I know the heart's unrest;
mine has been the common quest
To be loved and therefore blest

'Favors undeserved were mine
at my feet as on a shrine
Love has laid its gifts divine

'Sweet the offering seemed, and yet
with their sweetness came regret
And a sense of unpaid debt

'Heart of mine unsatisfied
was it vanity or pride
That a deeper joy denied?

'Hands that ope but to receive
empty close, they only live
Richly who can richly give

'Still' she sighed, with moistening eyes
'Love is sweet in any guise;
But its best is sacrifice

'He who, giving, does not crave
Likest is to Him who gave
Life itself the loved to save

'Love, that self-forgetful gives,
Sows surprise of ripened sheaves,
Late or soon its own receives

1884 - John Greenleaf Whittier
A gracious and able Poet.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Colour of autumn

Autumn is such a beautiful season. The shadows fall lovingly through the blinds and the trees bestow their glorious leaves to the compost heap. The whole earth seems to exhale and take a respite from toiling in the sun.

I love the browns...

Monday, May 24, 2010


My lemons seemed to arrive overnight. I didn't notice how many were hanging on the tree until they suddenly went yellow.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Vegetable Soup

One of the soups that my daughter loves... this makes a quick and tasty supper.
Throw it all in, then go and read for an hour.

These chopping boards look festive, almost christmassy...

1 potato, peeled and cubed
half a sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 onion, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and cubed
2 cups of finely chopped cauliflower
2 cups of finely chopped broccoli
2 very large courgettes, cubed (+- 3 cups)
1 litre vegetable stock (or chicken stock)

Cube all vegetables quite small, +- 1 cm. Place all in the pot and simmer on the stove for about one hour.

Easy Riders

Returning from a cycle around our suburb and in the bush behind our property.
They encountered a large(ish) snake on the dirt track - appropriately ignored.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Don't be in such a hurry...

I'm in a hurry, its already past 8am

I race to her school

We run through the foyer, past the Head Boy, the Receptionist, the other students... a few mom's chatting

She is safely in her class

I amble back through the passages and front doors... "bye" I say...

I reach down to button up my coat against the cold morning wind

No button

I look down

I'm wearing my coat inside out, with tags all along the sides and on top showing
How is this even possible??

Oh my! I rip it off at record speed and get in the car

Hilarious... I laugh and laugh

Monday, May 17, 2010

Keeper of the domain

"Home is a haven from the world that is swimming with challenges and difficulty. It is a school where one learns how precious life is intended to be. It provides the context of learning to know and love my Creator, the beauty of the world he made, and His Word, which guides me. And it is the environment where direction and purpose and values are passed from generation to generation, protecting and preserving all that is precious in life.

The task of building our homes into places of beauty and life that will feed the hearts, souls and minds of our children is the most comprehensive task to which God has called us as mothers... it is both a safe resting place and a launching pad for everything they do in the world."

Sally Clarkson

Thursday, May 13, 2010

(Baby) marrow

Or not! Look at the size of this thing. With all the rain, I haven't been picking the courgettes every day... so they continue growing. They can become slightly spongy at this size, but good just the same. We eat them almost every night.

Cube the large ones (little ones I cook whole) into large squares and boil in salted water until just done, with a slight bite (not overcooked). Drain. Drizzle a little olive oil over them and tuck in.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Our words come out as rain, sometimes like a rhythmic soothing rain that penetrates deep and brings life and at other times like the torrent of a storm that bruises the soul.

Yesterday morning was the latter, I lost my temper over such an insignificant thing. I spoke harshly to my daughter and there was no real time to mend before dropping her off at school - we left each other with heavy hearts.

When I arrived at her side later, I immediately got down on my knees and held her for the longest time... minutes of silence went by... hoping that an invisible thread would mend these little shards back together. Mercy creeps in. Peace follows.

I adore the account of the woman that washed and dried Jesus feet in Luke 7, with rare and costly perfume... her love was lavish because His mercy had been overwhelming. I know the feeling. Forgiveness is another word for love. Without it, bitterness creeps in and the shards become crevices.

My rare (we almost never have them) and costly (I did have to drive out of my usual route to her school - to get to Woolworths) offering was doughnuts. We finished reading Homer Price on Monday and doughnuts featured often, hence us having them for teatime yesterday.

As the day was drawing it's curtains, in a shower of rain... I thought it symbolic and fitting.

Monday, May 10, 2010

a mama like me

It's not really a compliment. Yesterday being Mothers Day and all... we (Rebecca and I) were driving home (she has my handbag on her lap) and about a minute away from our house she asks me, "May I have a sweet?"
"No, you can have some yoghurt when we get home."
Rebecca then adds, "I'm gonna be a mama just like you, I'm going to say No to my children and keep all the sweets for myself."

She had found my stash in my bag.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

He got it right

My dear husband is seldom sure of what to buy me (or so he says) and I always tell him that when in doubt buy foodie-type purchases. So when he was in France recently he brought back a bag of eight individually wrapped mini Chocolate Rolls (which I thought was an odd thing to eat before we went to France two years ago). Today I took two out the freezer and warmed them slightly... ummm it was good.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Flowering chillies

I have been trying to grow chillies for years without success. I have heard that any Ding-Dong can grow chillies, but alas, that has not been my experience. But finally a bush pops up and thrives. But where? Those blasted seeds must have blown there (as I didn't plant them) - right into my Azalea pot and now I can either have chillies among my Azaleas or none at all.

Monday, May 3, 2010

This day

I hear the animals stirring, the cock crows. I lie in the dark with my eyes closed. The whispering in the next room begins. A new day. I brew a cup of tea. The sky is dark with a pastel reds creeping into the horizon. Beautiful!

Yesterday we slowed for a Sabbath breather. Today there is much to do but I don't want it to be a blur like so many weekdays. Wayne just walked in and said "Have you seen the sky?" That is it. I want to do that, midst my daily toil.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


'World Book Day' was a few days ago. What a wonderful thing to celebrate! I have always loved books... we didn't have many books at home when I was growing up so the public library was very often my playground.

Now in my own home we have books everywhere, in every room of the house, including the bathrooms (I didn't think you needed to see those pictures), and there is a 'library corner' (just a large groaning bookcase accompanied by a chair). I read somewhere that "we read to know that we are not alone" - growing up I found this to be true. Reading books is like being a witness or friend (if the book is very good) into a season of someone's life. Words are like cups that hold precious nectar with the power to rouse the mind, grip the heart and lift the spirit.

A snatch of the bookcase...

Some of the kitchen shelves...

A reader with her face buried in the book...

Rebecca's books...

Next to my bed...

Happy Reading!