Monday, October 31, 2011

A solitary cup

When I found myself alone... it was tea for one.
Add a journal, a pen and a reading book and that is happy company.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Manuela's Rocket Pesto

As we looked at my overflowing Rocket bushes, my sister said that we should make Rocket Pesto and I said 'yes, you should'... and a few minutes later she came indoors with a big bowl of fresh Rocket.

Process about 4 cups of chopped rocket, 3/4 cup of pine nuts, 1 clove garlic and about 1/4 cup of olive oil (enough to loosen and thicken mixture) and then stir in 1 cup grated Parmesan (we didn't have enough so she added some grated Gruyere - which I love). Stir in 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice and salt (to taste) and a little grind of pepper.

This is more of a guideline because then we tasted and added a little more cheese and salt and then it was pretty perfect. If its too thick add a little more olive oil etc. Really easy... I just stood and tasted. Delicious with roast chicken.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Whatever the season, Thanks

"The unthankful heart discovers no mercies;
but let the thankful heart sweep through the day
and, as the magnet finds the iron,
so it will find, in every hour,
some heavenly blessings!"

~ Henry Ward Beecher

Whatever the season of life.. give thanks...

for piles of laundry because you have a family

the locking of hands on a slow walk

for a sister's loyalty

seeing my great-grandfather's cavern... a shelter when working the fields far from home

her hot chocolate-rimmed mouth

smiles and other extra-ordinary moments in a ordinary day

a procession of tutu's running out of class

a sore back from mountains of weeding

his white-haired crown of wisdom telling me what a great man his brother was... reminding me to redeem the time

sun-ripened tomatoes

the wondrous beauty of a new baby girl in the family

old warm slippers on a frosty morning

the gleaming floorboards laid by his own hands

yes, thank You.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Beati Pacifici

She throws herself across the bed and says that she is finally seeing change. Hope .

We've been praying and trusting. Broken people do say broken things and like so much shattered glass, the shards pierce like a sword. It's child-like things but the hurt is real to her. The foundation is important and must be laid. We must learn to forgive or we will bear the brokenness too and like a stone in the shoe, our walk is compromised. She is learning on the playground. Where games and dust and words advance. So small to learn such a big truth - that forgiveness frees and allows you to bless - to give the gift of peace. We have been coming back to this time and again lately. But today she sees a cloud of hope approaching.

I remind her... always remember, 'Blessed are the Peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God'. Bless not curse. Beautiful and full are the Peacemakers and that Jesus led the way in this truth. He made peace between us and God. And in His footsteps we must follow...

'Hey Mama, what blessing did He receive for the gift he gave?' she asks. I catch her precious face in the mirror, squinting up with question and I slip in next to her.
'Us', I whisper.
Her eyes widen with understanding.
I understand. Such a cost.
With nothing to recommend us but Him. Yes, us.

As much as it depends on you, live at peace with all men.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A little harvesting

Wondering through the vegetable patch, searching for dinner.

"God Almighty first planted a garden. And indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures"
~ Francis Bacon

Monday, October 24, 2011

A table well set

She fluttered through the garden looking for things to put in her basket to bring beauty to our table. Then she set about laying the table with her own style.

'So mama, what do you think?' I think it's generous and beautiful, baby girl.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Weekend grazing

Weekends are for slowing down and drinking in the beauty... the farmer's cows milling about and grazing in the fields next door.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Stability and freedom

One of the best things we can do for our children is give them roots and wings.

'When I think of roots, I mean providing a foundation of security and stability for my children. Just as the nourishment and stability of a plant depends on its root system, so human life is sustained by its roots... entwined with Him, they will have the best possible roots.

My relationship with God, my husband and my children create an environment that can either help or hinder the development of this good root system.
A secure, loving home is the fertile ground their tender roots need.

The height to which they can soar is dependent on their wings... connotes creativity, appreciation, laughter and freedom.
Wings come as my children reach up to God and allow Him to set them free from the fear of others, free from self-imposed limitations and free to become all God intended... from this altitude they gain fresh outlook on life.'

~ Jean Flemming 'A mother's heart'

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My family in the kitchen

Oh my gosh... leave them alone for a few minutes and viola!!

Rebecca made a small batch of 'Cookie Dough Ice-cream' like she had in Disneyland, with Turkish Delight biscuit dough - seriously delicious! We all grabbed spoons.

and Wayne made a batch of perfect Brownies (yes, all fudgy in the middle!)... Cranberry and Walnut! Helllooo!!! I should exit the kitchen a little more often.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A rugby playing Ballerina

From practice to play... all in a day's unfolding.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


she gently poked me in the chest... "You got something special in here"...
"Remember there is an inverse relationship between your head and your heart.
If your head swells, your heart shrinks"

~ Charles Martin 'Wrapped in Rain'

I've just started a new Charles Martin... sensitive and inspirational

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Easy Pickled Gherkins

I pulled out my heavy farmhouse cookbook but the process seemed too laborious for only two packets of gherkins so I looked up simpler pickle recipes.

A quick and delicious pickle

Wash and cut gherkins. To each medium-sized jar, add a bay leaf and a piece of rosemary / a clove of garlic and a slightly heaped teaspoon salt. Then add the gherkins, fit nice and tightly but not squashed. Then fill the jar about half-way up with (which worked out to about 1/2 cup) with cider or white wine vinegar and then top up with water. Seal and shake a bit to loosen the salt through the mixture. Place in the fridge.

I also added a couple of peppercorns to one of the jars. Delicious crunchy snack within 24-48 hours. So easy... well worth it!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Everywhere He walked

I am reading through the book of Matthew and Jesus is the gospel... the good news and He is the Light and He beams this into the heart of humanity everywhere He walked.

I always pause at the section with the leper... that dear soul who asked 'Are you willing... I know you can but could you for me?'

and our Lord's beautiful response... sweet to the soul and health to the bones, 'I am willing, be cleansed.' He could have just told him that he was healed but he added the the first part, that talks to the heart, the assurance to the questioning soul, yes, yes, yes... I AM willing.

Help us to trust and rest in Your promises,

Thank you Father, for Your willingness,

to drench a thirsty soul and mend bruised and besieged flesh and bring healing.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Weekend games

In a bubble...

The girls got some serious points on the board... but not nearly enough, he was crowned the day's champion.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Mushroom Lasagna

A variety of lovely earthy mushrooms...

My assistant perched on the counter doing the layering and spreading the Bechamel sauce.

The luscious end result.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


"I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends"
~ Ralph W Emerson ~

That was how I felt this morning. Yesterday I had the privilege of spending the better part of my day with close friends... women of integrity and grace, that you can talk with at the speed of light or sit in silence... about the trivial and the compound matters of life.

"whoever walks with the wise becomes wise"
~ Proverbs 13.20 ~

They always talk to Rebecca (and own children) with patience and kindness - so different from how I have seen some parents do it... make it quick, I'm busy/important/tired/uninterested.

Thank you.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The thoughts of the heart

How can we know the deep things of another heart. What they desire. We all have them... these things that we have dreamt of. My dream might not be your dream. What one man discards another treasures.

We bought large pots and a large piece of land... to be filled. To be filled.

How could the mother know... as she spoke of all the voices jostling for her attention, how the noise needed to be stilled. "One person talks at a time", she told her children. It makes sense. I nodded in sympathy, but truthfully it sounded like a beautiful sound to me. A harmony of discord. I closed my eyes for a moment and wondered what it must have felt like.

I felt a tightness in my throat and a emptiness in my stomach. Silly, yes. I hadn't thought of it for so long. That one is so solitary a number. I had passed it on. Trusting His course, knowing that He knew where my precious one would walk and what she would need. Leaning not on my own understanding - with all your heart, trust. Proverbs 3, I think with all our heart because even a little yeast...

We need to be filled with the words that matter, that heal, that really fill, that fill people - not my pots or my land. I sat in my chair while it was still dark and thought and spoke, of forgotten things and fresh purpose.

He never withholds without purpose... for our good always. Its no tactless edict. 'No' really means a 'yes' somehow... because He is for us. Deut 6.24

'Anyone can count the number of seeds in an apple, but only God can count the number of apples in a seed' ~ Robert H Schuller

Tonight I lie next to her in the dark. She warm and smelling of soap. She talks before sleep of her dreams, 'Which can I do Mommy, I want to be a soccer player, a ballerina, a home-mom, a spy?'

We talk. I tell her that He know the plans He has for her and they are good, for He is good.
Oh how can we doubt Him!

'Mommy... mom-mmmy, that's one of my favourite words' she says.
He knows exactly what He is doing. I am not empty, I am full.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Weekend fare

The hour was getting later and so burgers came on to the menu... but it turned into a whopper meal... with egg, cheese, softened onion, tomato... you can't even spot the meat under all that!

Every mouthful a bursting with taste!