Friday, June 30, 2017

Changes and Gratefulness




















The little photo book-card above has lived on my husband's work desk for the last 10 years but now it has a place at home. We are very grateful for the 14 years which my husband was well enough to work and had full-time employment, even though his health was a constant struggle. This month, after three years of mostly being on sick leave without pay, his employer made the hard yet fair decision to release/retire/fire my husband from his work position on medical grounds. My husband's complex and seemingly unending mental and physical health issues are worsened by any level of stress. So there have been even more medical appointments and many forms for me to fill out for him along with the gathering of medical details etc etc. We are hoping and praying that over time, and with ongoing treatments, his outlook and conditions will improve so he will enjoy living each day and consistently participate in family life in a more meaningful way.

Having five children still living at home is a wonderful blessing - each one adds much to the fun and creative dynamic of our days. The younger three (15, 13 and 9) are still being homeschooled, and as they are all rather independent learners now, our school days tend to roll along without too many hiccups.

Our friends and church family have been very thoughtful and caring as we look to a future of many uncertainties. God has blessed us in many ways and we know that we are not alone. There is a precious peace to rest in, knowing that it's God who ultimately controls our futures and knows everything we go through. Choosing to trust Him and enjoy the blessings of each day while trying to make wise decisions about our future. The beautiful mauve and pink roses (above) from a friend's garden are a lingering reminder of many good things.

The other flowers above are from a visit to Flowers by Bonnie, a local florist shop. Stepping inside Bonnie's always boosts your mood and is a banquet for the senses. So pleased I am welcome there anytime.

Walks over our infamous crooked road, rail, water pipes and pedestrian bridge have the added bonus of observing the beginning stages of the construction of a much needed second bridge - a straight one! Being winter here, the days are mostly more pleasant for walking than during our summer heat.

I have thoroughly enjoyed stitching a few more Ice Cream Soda quilt blocks (design and papers by Jodi Godfrey of Tales of Cloth). I love having a small hand stitching project to work on. This month I also finished a queen size quilt I have been working on for our son and his beautiful wife (delayed due to my shoulder dislocation which continues to heal slowly but surely). Last night I finished stitching a quilt label and plan to attach it tonight. I hope to gift the quilt to them in the next few days, and will share about it soon.  :)

There is much to be grateful for, always.


* If you hover your mouse/cursor over the photos above, some will have text details to accompany. *** You can read more details about most of these photos on my Instagram feed which I add to several times a week. You don't have to join Instagram to view either - just click on the little blue square camera logo under my blog profile (top right hand corner). 

Sharing at Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

MAY


































Snapshots of May - most taken with my phone as my shoulder continues to heal more each day. One  major events was our daughter Grace being local support and opening singer for a wonderful James Morrison concert. It was a special night to remember. James is amazingly talented musician and very entertaining with his jokes and stories throughout the evening. 

My husband and I had a 24 hour visit to Sydney for a specialist appointment regarding his complex health issues. We are little closer to resolving things but every piece of the piece ought puzzle helps. (He attempted a graduated return to work early this month but he wasn't successful. He has been unable to work since early October, and has been healthy enough to work only seven months in the last three years). 

While in Sydney we had the great pleasure of catching up with both of our Sydney-based daughters. Miss N collected us from the airport and we enjoyed a meal together near our accommodation. After my husband's 90 minute morning appointment we met Miss E and had a leisurely afternoon around Circular Quay before we headed back to the airport.

While waiting for our evening return flight I noticed the last remaining Simply Mini quilt in my Etsy shop had just sold. A very pleasant surprise. The first thing I did at home the next morning was go to the cupboard where I keep all my ready-to-sell quilts to parcel it up for shipping/posting. I looked and looked, pulling all the quilts out - twice - but the littlest quilt of all was nowhere to be found! I searched in every other likely spot but still no Mini quilt! After a couple of hours I decided I may as well spend my time sewing a new one. Thankfully I had enough of the same fabrics to create a replacement. I had not tried using my sewing machine since dislocating my shoulder five weeks prior, yet here was an ideal small project to test the shoulder. Over the next 24 hours I slowly and carefully worked through each stage of production in small bursts, with the last hand stitches on the binding completed at 9:03am! A quick hand wash and drying flat in the fresh outdoors before it was packaged up and sent on it's way that afternoon. I didn't mention this story to the buyer, partly out of embarrassment. One day I may well stumble upon the original in a most unlikely location!

It's very satisfying to pick and eat fruits from trees we have planted. This year the avocado, lemon and orange tree are each bearing more fruit than in previous years. The orange above weighed over 550g/19.5oz and was sweet and juicy. 

Sunset walks are now comfortable again on the shoulder. Loving the colours and flocks of birds which make every sunset special. We have a pair of White-headed Pigeons nesting in the tree outside our bedroom window. My husband told me today he saw a small single egg in the nest. This variety of Australian pigeon only lay one egg and share the incubation.

Having a couple of hand sewing projects on the go have made my non-machine sewing weeks much more pleasant. I do love to be making something with my hands! Last week I slowly recommenced quilting the queen size quilt I had been working on before hurting my shoulder. My shoulder lets me know when I've pushed it too hard, like today. So tonight I rest it some while putting well-overdue words to my ever growing collection of photos.....

* If you hover your mouse/cursor over the photos above, some will have text details to accompany. *** You can read more details about most of these photos on my Instagram feed which I add to several times a week. You don't have to join Instagram to view either - just click on the little blue square camera logo under my blog profile (top right hand corner). 


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

April Days




 














Easter came and went with grown and flown children coming and going. It's always so good to see each one, no matter how short the visit may be. On Good Friday evening our church hosted a screening of 'Risen' (and Prince of Egypt for the younger children). Many strings of popcorn were made (while baking hot cross buns was underway) to hang over the popcorn and lollie bar. Jess and Jose made it 'home' in time to join us of the movie night.

Easter Saturday we had a family picnic at a riverside park on the edge of town. The weather was perfect and we had the park entirely to ourselves - apart from a very playful resident German Shepherd dog who chased the frisbees until he was exhausted.

My shoulder has been gradually healing from the dislocation three weeks ago and much to my relief I have discovered I can manage some gentle hand sewing. Two more blocks for my Ice Cream Soda quilt are now complete and I've returned to the shabby chic classic hexagon quilt I began over a year ago. Having the fabrics already chosen and many cut into hexagons made this a possible task while mostly resting my right arm in a sling.

I am discovering how useful my phone camera is as using my 'real' cameras poses serious safety issues to the shoulder for now. Most the photos above were taken with my iPhone 5S, with some editing - including the kangaroos in our church grounds.

We celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary in April. Our daughters surprised me with a beautiful bouquet of flowers to celebrate the occasion - they know......

As the autumn weather is now pleasantly warm and not hot, Miss O has regained her enthusiasm for gardening. As I type this the younger three girls are preparing the ground for planting. We've enjoyed time this morning examining and sketching various seeds and seed pods which will soon be planted in the soil. The poppy seed heads were saved from last year's plantings. I love the details made more visible with my phone camera. I think I'll head downstairs and see how they are going.  :)


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