Friday, May 30, 2014

May 1945

 Berlin in May 1945
Rebecca and I were talking about world war two and it was quite surreal for me to try to explain a world at war and the cost of lives, dreams sacrificed in the face of war. Family homes, deeply loved ones and safety lost, once peaceful lanes dishonoured by the horror of war.
There are moments in life where you almost want to look away because of all the sadness, but the thing to take away is to pray for our leaders.  They shoulder an enormous weight.  And be grateful.
This May, I am thankful for my family, my home, a full pantry, a car with fuel and the hundreds of other things that I sometimes take for granted!  Kiss all your people an extra time!
Have a blessed weekend! 

Thursday, May 29, 2014


 A little batch of biscuits... chocolate chip (compulsory) and marzipan & walnut.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

My mothers orchids

She has a courtyard full of diverse orchids but these are two new ones...

This pretty pink one was a gift from my sister (and her new son-in-law) for
Mothers Day and she is thrilled with it.  It's a real lady plant, don't you think?

And this interesting one is so fragrant, it makes you pause as you pass by
(this picture doesn't do it justice).
I love wandering around her garden looking at everything!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Mmmm, books

I would like to sit in that chair for a good, long while!
Two weeks ago I decided that I have way too many books and would donate some of them.
After quite some time, there was only one book in my hand! I give up!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Beginning the week

I awoke this morning feeling achy and tired.  It felt like there was gravel in my eyes...
I just prayed 'Lord meet me here', and with that the new week began!
"The beginning is the most important part of the work"  ~ Plato

Friday, May 23, 2014

Pear season

We have been enjoying poached pears quite often lately... it looks very special but is so easy, that we have even make it during the week!

(Manuela, I will make this for you when I visit next month... as well as Autumn Spice cake!)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Rebecca has started exams.  As I ask her questions, I think I'm learning as much
as she is - but thank heavens that I don't have to write the exam!
So we have a few more sombre, quiet days ahead... counting down until next week Friday!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A winter wish

A plant that I don't have... Camellia, called the Rose of winter.  Beautiful! On my wishlist!

Monday, May 19, 2014

A nostalgic fruit: quince

I am fortunate to know generous people who own a quince tree!  This fruit makes me feel ten years old again.  It simply makes the very best jam (fruity & not too sweet) to tide us through winter.  I used Tessa Kiros's recipe and it worked beautifully- made quite a few precious jars.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

like summer without flowers

'A world without a Sabbath would be like a man without a smile, like summer without flowers, and like a homestead without a garden.  It is the most joyous day of the week.'

~ Henry Ward Beecher

Friday, May 16, 2014

Muffin making

Choc chip muffins on the left and Muesli ones on the right... just what Autumn calls for.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

She flowers

 The Hibiscus buds have opened... bright and beautiful!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Choices not circumstances

"Life is not a matter of circumstances but issues of choice.. I want my daughter to build on the rock-solid foundation of Christ... and the best ways to make life choices.

An ungrateful, selfish heart always leaves us feeling miserable.  With this attitude, no matter what we have, it is never enough.  God tells us how to avoid this.. 'In everything give thanks, for this is God's will for you in Jesus Christ' 1 Thess 5.18

When we allow our joy to be stolen over something insignificant we waste our sorrows.  That's why its so critical to distinguish between what is important and what is not so important.  Galations 6.9 says, 'Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.' "

~ Annie Chapman
from her book:  10 Ways to prepare your daughter for life

Renoir's 'Girls at the piano' 1892

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Baking bread

I have made bread before but they were more like leaden experiements not lovely chewy bread.  This bread was astonishingly easy, thanks to Jim Lahey's (the New York bread guy) recipe!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Couldn't agree more...

Yesterday was Mothers Day... motherhood is a gift.

My baby girl brought me the prettiest cup of tea in bed... I thought of how precious each blessed day is and how fleeting they are, how I would love to pause the laughter in her face, her sweet hugs, her frowns, her calling for me, her obedient moments, her disobedient moments, her opening the door of her room wanting me in and her closing the door withholding my entry... I love all of it!  Moments that taste of honey and moments of bitter herbs - a wonderous journey.

"She says I shall now have one mouth more to fill and two feet the more to shoe, more disturbed nights, more laborious days and less leisure or visting, reading, music and drawing.

Well! This is one side of the story, to be sure, but I look at the other.

Here is a sweet, fragrant mouth to kiss, here are two more feet to make music with their pattering about my nursery.  Here is a soul to train for God, and the body in which dwells is worthy of all it will cost, since it is the abode of a kingly tenant.  I may see less of friends, but I have gained one dearer than them all, to whom, while I minister in Christ's name, I make a willing sacrifice of what little leisure for my own recreation my other dear darlings had left me.  Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to her time, her strength, her health, her tenderest cares, to her lifelong prayers! Oh how rich I am, how truly, wonderously blest!"

~ Elizabeth Prentiss

Friday, May 9, 2014

Home is best

We have had much rain yesterday and today.  In weather like this I am reminded of what
Laura Ingalls Wilder said...

"Home is the nicest word there is"

This is my snug reading area.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Chicken and Broccoli Penne

This reminds me of a delicious dish my sister in law made years ago...

abt 3/4 packet of penne, cooked al dente (do not overcook)

4 chicken breasts, cubed
a heaped cup of grape tomatoes, halved
3-4 cups of broccoli florets
2 1/2 rounds of feta, crumbled
1/2 cup of cider (or white wine)
1/2 cup of chicken stock

Cook the chicken in a few tablespoons of olive oil with salt, pepper and garlic to taste.  Remove the chicken to a plate once cooked.  Add the broccoli and liquids to the pan and cook for a few minutes  before adding the tomatoes and cooking for a minute.  Add penne pasta and the feta.  Adjust seasoning and drizzle with a little olive oil.  Serve!  Simple and delicious!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Monday, May 5, 2014

I call her Austy

Little Austen (Jane Austen that is) is everyone's favourite occupation at the moment...

Sunday, May 4, 2014

A special 3rd of May

Yesterday my cousin got married!!  Jose is an amazing guy and this is a much anticipated moment.

The ceremony was beautiful, with words heavy with honour and love for each other and God.
My handsome cousin looking relaxed after the nuptials.

 With his breathtaking bride!

My baby, looking pretty grown-up, with a fistful of confetti, awaiting the couple on the lawn.

Friday, May 2, 2014

My keepsake

The weather is turning and I take out our winter clothing and wash all the blankets.  I place one in each room.  My favourite thick blanket goes at the end of my bed.  My grandmother gave me this blanket when I got engaged 20 years ago, this past March (I thought it was 19yrs for the last week but it was in 1994) ... maroon was her favourite colour!