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Showing posts from August, 2010

Prioritizing our lives

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I lead a very busy life . . . I seem to be always on the run, things need to be done,  grocery to buy, parcels to collect, things not getting done when they ought to . . you know the story . . . my life isn't much different to most women.  Sadly my worldly activities can take control and I forget to prioritizing as I should.  I don't do it intentionally but with all that dashing off in all directions I loose track of what is most important - life gets out of balance.  I need to stop and think about what is important, sadly many find it difficult.  For Christian women this should be very easy.  What or who should we be putting first:
Put God first: It is that simple.  He should be our number one top priority. Our love for Him should be complete and all-consuming as said in Mark 12:30 "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment." Each day a quiet time nee…

Keeping husband happy

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There are some foods my husband will not eat and there are others that are a must - to keep husband happy, there are few things I need to remember when cooking dinner and these are: Potatoes: A meal without potatoes is not a meal . .  he isn't fussy about how the potato is presented on his plate eg the Cook can mashed, boiled, roasted, baked, stuffed but as long as there is potato dear husband is a happy man.  In case you were wondering, no he isn't Irish, he is a Welshman. Rice: Rice is NOT a substitute to potatoes, therefore a dish with rice will not be filling enough or be considered a serious evening meal. Chillies: All meals must contains chillies, however as the cook (that's me) does not like chillies, it is added later by dear husband usually in the form of a chillie sauce.  The Cook is no longer upset when her beautiful dishes are covered in chillie sauce. Pineapple: Dear husband strongly dislikes pineapple in any dish, so no pineapple on pizza and we do not eat sweet…
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The Shepard by Floriana Barbu

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. (John 10:11)
We, as God's sheep, are sometimes led by Him into the valley of darkness, where there is fear, danger, uncertainty, and the unexpected. He knows that the only way we can reach the higher places of Christain experience and maturity is not on the playground of prosperity but in the schoolroom of suffering.  Along those dark, narrow, pinching, uncomfortable valleys of difficulty we learn volumes!  We keep our courage simply because our Shepherd is leading the way.  
Perhaps that is what the writer had in mind when he exhorted us to keep:
"looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls." (He…
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(Artwork by Mark Shasha)
The sweetest things in life
The best things in life are nearest: breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet,  duties at your hand, the path of right just before you, Do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life.
~ Robert Lois Stevenson ~
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May you all have a wonderful weekend. The sun is shining and I can even hear birds singing. I plan to sit in the sun this afternoon and enjoy God's wonderful gift to us all - nature.
Dinner is in the slow cooker (Lamb shanks), the house is cleaned, washing on the line and the groceries have been bought. Time to have lunch and think about some crafty activities - perhaps tackle that crocheting which I still haven't mastered.
PS or I could lie on the couch and have an afternoon sleep and imagine that I am walking on along that path, with warm sand between my toes heading towards the sea. Sun is on my bac…

Cookbooks

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I love buying cookbooks.

I love looking at the photos - those gorgeous, tantalizing, mouth-watering picture.
I love going through cookbooks and placing sticky 'postit' notes on recipes that I would like to make, but never do.   What is fascinating about cookbooks is that people like me may never even make a single recipe from a cookbook, but will still enjoy the book and experience a sense of pleasure simply by looking through it. 
I have a bookcase full of cookbooks (around 100) and I don't use most of them.  But I do have a few favourites that I use regularly, the rest just sit quietly on the shelves patiently waiting to be read.  The list below are some of those favourites The Complete Middle East Cookbook (by Tess Mallos)Jewish Traditions Cookbook (by Marlena Spieler) Nigella Express (by Nigella Lawson)Soups and Breads (Family Circle) Cooking Moroccan I also collect old cookbooks, those written before the 1960's - earlier the better. I don't generally use these f…

Vanity

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"Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity". (Ecclesiastes 1:2)
I am very familiar with these words from the scriptures as my mother said them to me plenty of times as I was growing up.  Why do you wonder, my hair.  God gave me curly hair and all my life I have dreamt of straight hair.  I hated those curls as they never sat nicely, would bounce around and look like a mop (even worse when it rains or we have high humidity).   I would look at girls with their straight hair and dreamed of having hair just like theirs - and didn't everyone prefer straight hair to my silly "moppy" hair?
Then someone invented the most amazing machine - the HAIR STRAIGHTENER. And finally I could straighten my hair, and I did. And guess what, I looked terrible.  My face just isn't suited to straight hair.  So now I do something in the middle, I lightly straighten parts of my hair which controls the fly-away bit but keeps the beautiful soft curls that …

Art Wednesday

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Today's artist loved snow and sheep — I am only guessing this as this appears to be his main topic. I think they are lovely, I particularly like the way the setting sun comes through the trees onto the snow giving it warmth!!
Joseph Farquharson (1846-1935) was a Scottish artist who was known for his snowscapes (with and without sheep!!) and views of the Scottish countryside. Many of his paintings were completed in the North East of Scotland at Finzean. Farquharson liked to paint outdoors, however due to the rigors of  Scottish winters, he constructing a painting hut on wheels, complete with a stove and large glass window for observing the scenery. Also, to achieve as realistic a result as possible when painting the sheep which frequently appear in his snowscapes, he owned a flock of "imitation" sheep which could be placed as required in the landscape of his choice!!  I do hope this sheep didn't mind standing about in the freezing weather just to be painted!

Joseph Farq…

The laundry

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It is in winter that I really can't imagine what it would be like to be without a washing machine. At this time of the year I wash every second day and and imagine if I had to do it all by hand in a cooper!!
Washing every second day is to avoid that huge pile of washing growing bigger and bigger by the end of the week. In summer this isn’t a problem as I can put all the washing on the clothes line (we have the traditional Hills Hoist below) and the clothes dry very quickly.  In winter I dry my clothes in the house on a “clothes horse” (airier) and with the central heating it dries overnight.  We do have a clothes drier in the laundry but I only use it occasionally — I don’t like the idea of running it every second night for 90mins. I also like the smell of freshly washed clothes that have dried in the sun/wind. Finding all the clothes that I need to wash can be difficult.  My husband is fine, he creates a pile on the bedroom floor every night and I move it to the laundry basket in …

Growing older

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http://www.spencermeagher.com/Portraits.html
Last week I read a lovely story of  a elderly lady (Miriam Schmierer) who has just turned 111 (born 20 August 1899) - she has experienced three different centuries, outlived her husband, two sons, three brothers and five sisters and was born before Australia had chosen its first prime minister.  Asked about her long life, she replied:
"My main interest is my spiritual life, my faith," she said."Because of my age I have had more opportunity to spread the word about my faith and the benefits of living a Christian life. I'm very fortunate to still have my memory and be able to write."I was touched by these words, finding them inspirational in this day where people no longer wish to live a Christian life.  It is my birthday today and I am a year older - yes, I know this normally occurs and there isn’t much I can do about it.  But it got me thinking. I am in my 40’s (quite a few years before I reach 50!), my children are a…

Immeasurable Love

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We are so preciously loved by God that we cannot comprehend it. No created being can ever know how much and how sweetly and tenderly God loves them. It is only with the help of His grace that we are able to persevere in spiritually contemplation with endless wonder at His high, surpassing immeasurable love with our Lord in His goodness has for us.
-Julian of Norwich - 
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,  that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

This and that

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MOVIES
Last night I watched a beautiful film - it has been out for a while but I never got around to watching it, I wish I had. It was MISS POTTER and I loved it - it has a G (general) rating, so it contained no bad language, violence,  etc... it was just beautiful.  Even though I don't know all the details of Beatrix Potters life, what was portrayed I think was probably a reasonably accurate account.  The only thing missing that I thought was critical to her life is the letters she wrote to her governess's children which then became her published stories - this part was completed skipped over.  Not sure why. 
What I didn't know was once she moved to the Lake District permanently and bought Hilltop she went and bought 4000 hectares of farming land so it wouldn't be developed and much later she donated the land back to the British people.  She was really quite an environmentalist way before her time. 
It had sad moments that needed a tissue, funny moments that brought on …

The sun still shines

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Even in winter, even in the midst of the storm,  the sun is still there. Somewhere, up above the clouds, it still shines and warms and pulls at the life buried deep inside the brown branches and frozen earth. The sun is there! Spring will come! The clouds cannot stay forever!
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Looking forward to spring, but for us to get spring all those on the other side of the world will need to farewell summer and head into their Autumn/Fall!  Our winter thus far has brought higher than normal rain fall and I thank God for His wonderful gift of rain that is filling our dams for the first time in years.  We will enter summer with far more water than normal and my garden will feel very blessed.

* * * May you all have a wonderful God filled weekend, with joy and laughter plus time to put your feet up and relax.

My Saturday will be a little busy, with a trip to the vet at 9:30am (just a checkup), voting (for our next Federal Government), grocery shopping (my family expect to be fed!!) and a trip to the Westfi…

Marriage

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My son said to me the other day that he didn’t see the need for getting married.   It made me feel very sad, as every mother dreams of the day when their son or daughter commit themselves to their partner for life through marriage.  Sadly my son’s views are now very common with many couples living together either before getting married or remaining in a defacto relationship as long as the relationship lasts.  To give you some statistics for Australia: The crude marriage rate (the number of marriages for every 1,000 people of the population) fell from 9.3 in 1970 to 5.3 in 2001 and only increasing slightly since then to 5.5 in 2008.  Many marriages end in divorce.In 1975, 16% live together before marriage but by 2008, 78% of those who married had lived together beforehand. Marriage these days is viewed very differently to a few generations ago.  What was once considered sacred and a lifetime commitment is now viewed as something that will be “as long as it lasts”.  Sadly for many this…

Art Wednesday

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Each morning I walk past a very large painting and love to look at all the detail in the picture.  I had never heard of the artist, nor did I know of any of his other works until I did some Googling.  Today's artist is Brian Dunlop (1938-2009) an Australian artist born in Sydney known for his still life and figurative works.  Whilst his fellow artists were off painting abstract, Dunlop appears to have remained in the more "old fashion" style of art.
I found that some of his works had a photographic feel, in particular "Dancers on the Horizon" which I first disregarded as I thought it was a photo! He did a series of paintings  of windows and curtains blowing in the breeze (which I thought was a very unusual topic) - when you look at the paintings you can feel that summer breeze coming into the room and the  swishing sound made by light weight curtains.
His works can be found in the National Art Gallery of Australia, Parliament House, Canberra and other state Art G…