Saturday, September 24, 2011

Vintage Suitcases and Leadlight

Lovely old suitcases

found at a market in Leura

plenty of character

exactly what I was looking for

plenty of storage space

... looking forward to finding the perfect spot
for them when our extension is built

and I found this beautiful wall light fitting!

This will sit between two windows above our stair landing.
Cheaper and more beautiful than any new fitting.
Perfect for our house.

Two things I was hoping to find one day ...
... found when I wasn't even looking!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Spacesuit for a Dog, and Other Things

Among other things, 
this week has included the construction
of a spacesuit for a dog.

Rana, the Border Collie
member of Australian Border Collies in Space
graciously cooperated in Emily's science assignment:
constructing a space suit suitable for visiting Mars -
the ultimate part of a term-long series of science projects.

The helmet: constructed using papier mache and fabric.

Rana will be comfortable in his heat-and cool-resistant layers;
breathing apparatus; paw grips; tail-operated location device and more;
and stylish with personalised logos.

There were times during the planning and construction of this spacesuit 
where I could have used some breathing apparatus myself, 
and a cone of silence wouldn't have gone astray, either.
But once we got over the initial stages, 
Emily did it all on her own and did a fantastic job!

Emily has had loads of assignments due in the last month
and will really enjoy her school holidays starting this weekend.

In other news ...
 we have bought a new (to us) car;
(to replace the car written off last week)
Laura has done her flute exam;
my knee is doing much better;
recent experiments in my diet had disappointing results...

... and last weekend I had a wonderful weekend here
studying Phillipians
with lots of good friends from church
and hundreds of other women;
staying in a bedroom which looked straight out to this view.
Lots of encouragement, lots of challenges,
lots of fellowship, lots of laughter.

All good.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Only upwards from here ...

The day started like this.

Not my fault.

I left the car parked at school to teach recorder and 
returned to find that a lady had somehow 
crashed into the rear of our car 
and then into the kerb in front of our car.

90 minutes 
many phone calls
2 two trucks
2 police officers
and one good friend

... I thankfully returned home to Laura, still sick on the sofa.

Jacqui, my good friend,
not only
shared the waiting with me
and provided support and calm advice,
but she also helped by collecting some much-needed groceries,
and bought these:

  ... a birthday gift.

The mercy dash to the crash site was not the 
fun get-together that Jacqui had planned to celebrate my birthday,
but hey, at least we met,
and chatted
...  sometimes with the tow-truck guy ...

Then a day of phone calls and emails, 
sorting things out.

Some brief attempts at relaxation in the lovely warm spring sunshine,
feeling thankful that my bad knee is very much better this week.

Laura recovered after Emily came home
and they must have felt Spring,
because they set up a picnic in the front garden!

Which is still continuing now, in the twilight,
despite Emily having been stung by a bee.

(am so glad my girls are not too grown up for picnics like this!)

That icepack must be working well.

* * *
It has been a crazy week for us.
almost too much,
what with sickness, knee pain,
school assignments, 
and now no car for a while ...

What's going on?

Then this afternoon I read this, from Psalm 33

6 By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,

   their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
7 He gathers the waters of the sea into jars[a];
   he puts the deep into storehouses.
8 Let all the earth fear the LORD;
   let all the people of the world revere him.
9 For he spoke, and it came to be;
   he commanded, and it stood firm.

 10 The LORD foils the plans of the nations;

   he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.

11 But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever,   the purposes of his heart through all generations.

... and I have to remember that God has everything under control,
that it's all part of his purpose of refining us
and building perseverance and hope 
within us;
and making us thankful 
for life and family and friends
and giving glory to Him 
in it all.

 20 We wait in hope for the LORD;    
he is our help and our shield. 
21 In him our hearts rejoice,    
for we trust in his holy name. 
22 May your unfailing love be with us, LORD,    
even as we put our hope in you.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Food - don't waste it.

On my kitchen bench: 
A poster dating back to 1915.
Found on the internet and printed out on A4 card.
The perfect size for a vintage frame that belonged to my Gran.

buy it with thought
plenty of that going on here - still on elimination diet
& avoiding all harmful additives

cook it with care
I am doing my best with the limited and expensive ingredients I have
trying not to burn anything, especially!
But sometimes it's hard when using unfamiliar ingredients

use less wheat and meat
currently I am on a gluten-free diet ... so no wheat for me.
Lately I've heard so many stories of people who are just 
feeling so much healthier by cutting out wheat or gluten.
As for the meat:
Emily is a vegetarian, and as a family we have been 
eating less meat in the last 18mths.
Beans are a great substitute for meat.
My current diet eliminates many vegetables, 
which makes vegetarian eating more tricky,
so we have had a little more meat lately.
Previously we were all eating a vegetarian meal 
about 3 nights a week,
and three of us had meat the other 4 nights.

buy local foods
when I can, I buy from our local markets on a Thursday,
but it's not always possible ...

serve just enough
I find this one very tricky!
The girls are fussy eaters so we don't serve them much at all
but even then it often is not eaten.
On this diet I can't keep leftovers in the fridge,
they have to be frozen.
Sometimes I am guilty of piling it onto the plate 
just to save dealing with the leftovers!

use what is left
don't worry - I mostly keep leftovers!
Every Tupperware container I own is filled to capacity
at present, my freezer has a high turnover.
I don't throw out good food!

It's interesting, isn't it, that these directives from the US govt 
almost a century ago apply so well to us today?

* * * 

Today I've tried my first gluten-free loaf in the breadmaker, using a packet mix.
I manually set the breadmaker to rise and bake the dough,
but had to finish it off in the oven.
A little more experimentation required!

And finally, a photo of my cute new casserole and mortar and pestle,
birthday gifts from Steve.
I love to have a mini casserole to microwave vegetables for dinner.

Sweet and Sour

A mixed weekend ...

It began on Friday with a funeral of a sort-of family member,
a sad occasion, although we did not know him well.

On Saturday Laura woke sick with a tummy bug,
she and Steve had to miss our big family party that afternoon.
She's doing better today, but still at home.

Emily and I enjoyed the party, 
it was good to be with family and celebrate five birthdays!

On Sunday Emily began sewing a spacesuit for a dog,
for a science project.
Something I was apprehensive about, 
but she is doing well,
Rana the floppy dog will look good.

Steve mowed the lawn - this was the before photo, 
the violets above are thriving below the jasmine.
Last week I injured my knee playing futsal,
after a pain-free two seasons.

Turns out I have psoriatic arthritis, news to me.
Am off to the physio again today.

I've been hobbling around,
glad to be sitting in the sunshine when I can,
stretched out on the sofa

... sometimes crocheting while I watch one of my new DVDs

 ... and enjoying my lovely birthday gifts,
and cards, 

Hanger (and Mary Poppins) from Mum & Dad

from Dave
from S & G, pewter native hibiscus dipped in silver
 from Tanya, have been wanting to see Wives & Daughters again!

from A & A - can you see my reflection?
from Karen

and looking forward to getting into these:

from Steve and all the family - yey for Book Depository!

I think I will need to institute an 
Alexander McCall Smith Shelf in our bookcase
- these are only my new books of his!

Our building plans have been approved 
and now we're waiting for some action from the building company 
and a start date.

How was your weekend?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Our weekend so far ...

My birthday yesterday. 
A quiet day at home.
Gluten-free, dairy-free cupcake, 
lovingly made for me by Steve and Laura
(who was home, sick)
Lovely cards from friends.

A friend dropped in with happy flowers.

I was spoilt with books, DVDs, a lovely scarf, kitchen goodies and nice pens.
Emily arrived home from her overnight excursion around 6.00pm 
and we had dinner together, happy to be together again.

Today, a picnic with my parents and nieces,
and a friendly wallaby 
(can you see the joey?)

After lunch, a walk through the bush.

We hadn't told the girls they were going to see their cousins,
it was a big surprise on both sides!
So much fun!
Although these photos look like we had a peaceful walk through the bush
we actually had a non-stop noisy commentary from a certain pair of cousins,
complete with American accents.

And tomorrow: Fathers Day
When it's time to celebrate this nice husband of mine!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Spring begins

The first day of Spring.

A day for picking flowers,

arranging them

and spring cleaning.

 Instead, a busy day for me ...

leading bible study
making invitations for a church event
going to the chiropractor
and the shops
and taking Laura to ballet ...

... all after a very early start this morning 
to see Emily off for an overnight trip to Jenolan Caves.

Fortunately I enjoyed picking freesias and lavender one evening last week!