Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Random Tuesday #21 - Dirty Dishes

~ Dirty Dishes ~

I strongly dislike piles of dirty dishes!


I never go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink because it is the most depressing sight to wake up to in the morning. Who wants to be faced with a pile of cold greasy dishes.

Not me!!!

So if you are struggling with keeping your kitchen under control, start with the dishes. It only takes a few moments to wash up and you will start to see a difference in your kitchen.

If washing dishes really does wear you down, do what I do and wash along when I am cooking so when the meal is eaten and enjoyed, there is hardly any dishes left to do. I usually dry whilst the food is cooking. Or minimise the amount of pots and pans that you use.


There are way of making washing and drying much more fun, why not:
  • rope in the entire family not only is it more enjoyable, its far quicker.
  • take it in turns who washes and dries to create variety
  • play a game, like "I spy"
  • sing songs/hymns
  • make up stories - have one person start a story, and each person adds a sentence or two as you go around the group and see where the story goes
  • have someone read aloud from a book the whole family will enjoy (I spent a week with a family who did this and it was so enjoyable listening to a book being read), or
  • simply use the time to catch up the days activities 
-- turning a dull but necessary job into one of pleasure!!  

No more dishes and a nice clean kitchen.


I have been known to wash a pile of dishes in other peoples houses!

*****

Monday, May 25, 2015

Children and TV


This is what life looked like before TV, mobile phones, computers, tablets and the like! This is what my childhood looked like and I have very fond memories. It is probably an alien view for many young people and children these days. I wonder how many children play board games with their parents (or with each other), see their parents reading in the evenings, sit and talk, do arts and crafts.  Very few, because not only are children addicted to TV and other screen devises, so are their parents. 

"The average Australian young person spends about four hours a day in front of a screen of some sort. A typical home now has three TVs, three laptops and two videogame consoles, and a child’s bedroom resembles an electronics display room". 

How many screen devices do you have in your house?

Do your children have TVs in their bedrooms, if so, these facts below are worth reading.  

Here is some facts about TVs in children's bedrooms and it isn't good news and I doubt the data is any different for American children. (source: Active healthy kids Australia - report card, 2014):

  • About a third of Australian children aged 9-11 have a TV in their bedroom and on average these children watch three hours’ more TV each week than children who do not have a bedroom TV.
  • They also get 45 minutes less physical activity each week, one hour less sleep, and spend one hour more on the computer. 
  • They snack more in front of the TV, eat more fast food and consume more soft drinks, are 10% fatter, have larger waist girths, less self-confidence in being physically active, lower health-related quality of life, and their education scores are on average 30 points lower.

If we halve their television use, as US researcher David Epstein did by using electronic monitoring devices, children will eat 400 kJ less each day and will lose weight relative to their unrestricted peers. This may be why only 15% of thin Australian children have a TV in their bedroom, compared to 43% of obese children.

I think the advice is pretty clear, a TV in a child's bedroom is not healthy for them in any way. 

Even if the child doesn't have a TV in their bedroom, they can still watch movies and TV shows via their other devices, such as the iPad and smart phone. So, who is at fault - the parents. They bought the devises and placed them in their children's rooms, whether by their own choice or due to pester power. Parents need to take back control in their homes otherwise we will have a increasing problem of unhealthy children.

Parents need to:

  • set boundaries when it comes to screen based activities
  • offer non-screen alternatives, such as games, books, crafts and hobbies
  • model moderate screen behaviour themselves
  • encourage their children to get outdoors and be creative and adventurous.

Wouldn't it be great to see more families have "no-TV" nights where parents and children sat around and play board games, read together or perhaps go for a walk, have a picnic etc.. I am sure it would create happier, less stressed, healthier families who got along so much better. 



Friday, May 22, 2015

Art Friday: Sailing Ships

by Edward Moran
Art Friday: Sailing Ships

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

~ By John Masefield ~

(A favourite poem that my mother read to me many times)

*****

Todays art has been selected for Danny who loves his sailing ships.

I do hope you enjoy these paintings.

Montague Dawson (above and below) 

Montague Dawson (above and below) 

Mark Richard Myers
Caspar David Friedrich
Thomas Luny - Warships and a cutter in a heavy swell off Harwich 1818art
Willem van de Velde II
Ivan Aivazovsky, Ship in the Stormy Sea
 Florian Prou
I will leave you with this very clever painting by Robert Gonsalves

*****

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The best things in life are nearest



How often do people search far and wide to only come home to find what they are looking for?

The dearest is generally the nearest.

*****

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

"Out of Africa" baby quilt


All my previous quilts have been professionally quilted and I thought it was time to learn how to quilt - and what better way than on a baby quilt. Knowing that a baby was on its way in the family (how handy was that otherwise I might have had to hunt down a strange unknown baby!), I decided to make one and this is the result. The mum loves bright colours so this is one cheery quilt that should brighten any room :)

Whilst I was using this quilt as a learning tool, I thought I would also learn how to appliqué as well and I have discovered that I love appliquéing and I am not too bad at it (trying to be modest!). So you are bound to see many more quilts containing appliqué!! It was so much fun doing all these animals - slow but rewarding!! 


I am only a novice at quilting and have SO much more to learn - this is far from perfect and caused a lot of grief when I had to unpick my mistakes. The one thing I learnt was to have a clear plan before starting out and not change plans mid way, which is what I did (more than once). Planning would have reduced some of the unpicking which I didn't enjoy and many of the errors.  


"Mistakes are the portals of discovery."

Wise words from James Joyce as I have certainly made discoveries during my mistakes !!


Fortunately, baby will not notice all my errors and hopefully will love the colours and animals and enjoy it!

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. 
Art is knowing which ones to keep".

(Scott Adams)


As for the backing fabric - one of my favourites - its from the "The Hungry Caterpillar" collection which is just so colourful and bright - this is what joy looks like on fabric!!  The next time I see this on sale, I plan to buy metres as its SO good for backing fabric. 


Next sewing project is to make three work skirts and then start a quilt for my eldest son which I will also be quilting myself and doing a surprise appliqué on the back. 


*****

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Random Tuesday: Lessons for Husbands and Wives



Lessons for Husbands and Wives

1. Remember your purpose and role—head of the home and helper.

2. Always ask—check in with each other, you’re a team.

3. Know your enemy and how to fight him—begin and end your day in God’s Word.

4. Forgive each other—as God forgives you.

5. Go on—everyone makes mistakes and has hard times, but with God you can keep moving.

Love for God, along with love for each other, enables you to face and overcome hard times, as well as excel in good times


~ By Elizabeth and Jim George

 *****

Monday, May 18, 2015

Being a lady

"Being a woman does not automatically make one a lady."


How many ladies have you met recently?

Probably not many because being a lady has gone out of fashion — it is seen as outdated, unnecessary, a way of holding women back and making them weaker in society. But when women reject ladylike traits, they become brash, harsh and hard, more critical, more competitive, bitter, frustrated, bad mannered, more vulgar in their language and their dress, louder and we are seeing an increase female drunkenness, drug taking, violence. 

I grew up with some wonderful examples of ladies, my aunts and mother were all taught to be ladies  as young women (both at home and at school) and as a result, they acted like ladies all their lives. It wasn't just in the way they dressed, it also in the way they spoke, walked, ate, behaved towards others, conducted their business, ran their homes and treated their husbands, children and other friends and family. I feel very privileged to have had such wonderful role models in my life, but sadly, not many women do these days. 


Interestedly, whilst modern women reject the ideal of being a lady, millions flock to watch programmes such as "Downton Abby" or rave about the Duchess of Cambridge — because, deep down, whilst many women think being a lady is old fashion, they still like seeing it. Whilst many are attracted to Hollywood stars, it is women such as Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Helen Mirren and Cat Blanchett that are see as truly beautiful because they were/are ladies in stark contrast to the ugliness of women like Kim Kardashian and the like.

Of course, deciding to be a lady, isn't only because its the right thing to do, its because the Word of God instructs women to behave in a certain such as . . .
  • Be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. (1 Timothy 3:11)
  • Speaks with wisdom and teaching of kindness is on her tongue (Proverbs 31:26) 
  • Modest apparel, with propriety and moderation (1 Timothy 2:9-10)
  • An excellent wife is the crown of her husband (Proverbs 12:4)
  • Opens her hand to the poor (Proverbs 31:20)
  • Meek and quiet spirit (1 Peter 3:4)
So how should a modern lady act? — here is my list of what I consider to be traits of a lady and to be honest, nothing on this is list is impossible and we can all do them.  The art of being a lady is relevant today as it was in days gone by and it is accessible to every woman — young and old. It doesn't make us weaker or have less power, in fact it makes us stronger and more beautiful on the inside. 
  1. Be complimentary
  2. Kind
  3. Meditate on what is pure and lovely
  4. Be respectful of others
  5. Walk in faith
  6. Smile—a lady knows that her smile is her best accessory
  7. Thoughtful
  8. Generous with your time, wisdom and resources
  9. Caring
  10. Gentle and quiet spirit
  11. Happy and joyful
  12. Positive outlook on life
  13. Sincere
  14. Discreet
  15. Well mannered
  16. Walk graciously
  17. Be in control of yourself
  18. Neat and organised
  19. Helpmate to your husband
  20. Create peaceful environment for family and friends
  21. Talk calmly and quietly
  22. Know when to be quiet
  23. Listen more than you speak
  24. Don’t interrupt others when they are talking
  25. Be on time
  26. Apologies when late
  27. Always say “please” and “thank you“
  28. Remember birthdays and send thank you notes
  29. Send sick notes and messages of encouragement to those in need
  30. Offer to help others in need
  31. Gives up your spot in the line for someone else
  32. Be a gracious guest
  33. Be knowledgeable and well read
  34. Thank the host for the lovely meal or afternoon tea, send a follow-up note of thanks
  35. Carry yourself with confidence
  36. Dress the part—don’t have to wear a suit or dress but a lady always wears clean, coordinated clothing
  37. When in doubt, dress up rather than down
  38. Dress with style and not trashy
  39. Dress with others in mind
  40. Ladies don’t wear clothes that are revealing and immodest
  41. Keep make-up to a minimum
  42. Keep jewellery that is tasteful and stylish
  43. When popping down to the shop, make some effort in what you wear
  44. Be nice to your server; not because it’s nice, but because we’re human beings
  45. If you make a mistake, acknowledge it and apologise
  46. Drink responsibly when out with visitors
  47. Tuck in your chair when you get up to leave
  48. It’s not always what you say—it’s also how you say it
  49. Extends your hand to the needy
  50. Undertakes good and godly work
  51. Understands that beauty is on the inside
  52. A lady never takes pleasure in the misfortunes of others
  53. Tracksuits and sneakers belong at home and not in public
  54. A lady will not flaunt herself, her valuables, or her accomplishments
  55. A lady is not self-absorbed
  56. Never lose your cool, a lady doesn’t lose her temper
  57. If you have nothing good to say then don’t say anything at all
  58. Actions speak louder than words
  59. Ladies don’t use their mobile phones when enjoying the company of others
  60. If you have to take a call on the mobile, leave the group for a few moments (apologies)
  61. Ladies don’t put down their husbands and children to others
  62. Ladies don’t take about money problems to others
  63. If you say you will do something, follow up on it
  64. Eat with others in mind
  65. A lady doesn’t start fights
  66. Always classy, never trashy
  67. Be refined, polite and well-spoken
  68. Keep your legs together when you get into or out of a car
  69. Don’t gossip
  70. Don't babble
  71. Don't force your opinions on others
  72. Don’t over indulge
  73. Don’t be drunk and disorderly
  74. Don’t spread rumours
  75. Don’t swear
  76. Don’t bite your nails
  77. Don’t talk loud and overbearing
  78. Don't talk over others when they are talking
  79. Don’t laugh loudly
  80. Don’t chew or talk with your mouth open
  81. Don't place elbows on the table
  82. Don’t be a drama queen. It’s unpleasant for those around you.
  83. Don’t groom in public
  84. Don’t spit
  85. Don't be wild, untamed
  86. Don't act masculine, macho, tough
  87. Don’t laugh at another’s mistake
  88. Don’t be hurtful to others
  89. Don’t leave mess where you go
  90. Don’t sit with your legs wide apart in a skirt
  91. Don't sit with your skirt up well pass the knees
  92. Don’t shout on the street, laugh noisily
  93. Don’t make fun of others
  94. No unsavoury jokes
  95. Don’t give false compliments
  96. Don’t take out your bad mood on others
  97. Don’t flirt with men
  98. Do not interrupt people speaking to you
  99. Don’t be ignorant
  100. Don't be foolish

And I would like to end with a photo of the four women who had the most impact on my life, these women (all sisters) were ladies, beautiful both on the outside and the inside. The first three are my aunts (all now in heaven), the last sister, is my mother (the youngest) and she has been an invaluable teacher and role model in my life. These christian women truly were precious. 


And the reason why they were so ladylike - their mother (below), one needs to be a role model to other women, especially daughters, nieces, grand-daughters. If they see us acting ladylike, they themselves will follow. 


*****

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