Showing posts from January, 2011

How good is the God we adore

How good is the God we adore,
Our faithful, unchangeable Friend,
Whose love is as great as His power,
And knows neither measure nor end.
'Tis Jesus, the First and the Last,
Whose Spirit shall guide us safe home;
We'll praise Him for all that is past,
And trust Him for all that's to come. by Joseph Hart, 1759


Week 4

"roses and shells"

My family
Everyone is doing well this week.  My youngest went and bought all the things he needs for school, including his own shoes (he just rings me to tell me how much it all costs).  Children reach the point where they like to go off and do their own shopping, it is kind of sad. DH has been busy at work and enjoyed having Wednesday off to relax.
HOT - not much else to say
Cooking Cooking tip: I couldn't work out why my bread wasn't crusty on top (like Italian breads)  . . . after a bit of research I now have the answer (and it works) - when heating the oven include a baking tin and as soon as you place the bread in the oven add some ice cubes (3-4) to the very hot tray. This creates steam which in turn creates crusty bread!!! Italian bread is cook in a steam oven so I discovered!! 

Gardening My cherry tomatoes won't ripen, I have many  tomatoes on the bush but they are all green - so far only one has turned red and when I ate it, it was v…

Should single mums receive welfare?

On Tuesday I read an interesting article in the Sydney Morning Herald regarding a single mum of two  teenage children and how she was able to budget on her Centrelink (welfare) payment - in particular feed her family on $120 ($119 US) per fortnight.   The story was about how it was possible to make healthy meals from scratch on a very tight budget.  These recipes she has placed on her blog.  
The reason for writing this is not about living on a budget, it is about the comments she received (which you can find at the bottom of the newspaper article, all 202) that were both scathing and vicious.  Why, because she left her paid employment (as a clerk) which she "hated", then couldn't find any other employment and had no choice but to remain at home and receive unemployment benefits.  Many of those who commented used words such as "leeching off the public purse" and "bludging".  It appears from the comments that there is a very negative attitude about sing…
There is many reasons why I love blogging, both writing my own blog but also reading others.  I am often inspired by the blogs I read - they provide inspiration and one of these is Val's.   Val is a sewer, she makes beautiful clothes, she also does embroidery, lace work, crocheting... and she has inspired me to do more with my hands and as a result I have decided to make as many gifts this years as I can, rather than buying them.
So yesterday while DH was on the computer I visited one of my favourite stores - Spotlight.  This shop sells anything to do with crafts, sewing and fabrics so as you can guess I had a wonderful hour wandering around.  I bought 6 pieces of fabric (see below), quite a few metres of lace and various embellishments and I can't wait to get started. The blue and white is just so pretty, I could imagine all as little sun dresses - I better learn  to sew before I have any granddaughters! The strawberry fabric was so cute! I am a fan of lace and love to buy it.  …

Australia Day

Today is Australia Day so I thought I should do an Australian story - therefore there is no Art Wednesday today.    I thought long and hard, what was very Australian that would interest people and then it hit me - I will share the story of one of our most famous foods - VEGEMITE.  Sadly I can't do a tasting!!  This is more for my overseas readers as every Australia will know all this!

Vegemite had its beginnings when a young chemist named Dr Cyril P Callister developed a new spread from brewer's yeast. Over time it has become an Aussie icon despite originally receiving a poor reception by the public and slow sales.
Vegemite was produced at the Fred Walker Cheese Company. It's one of the world's richest known sources of Vitamin B. It appeared on grocers' shelves in 1923 as a delicious spread for sandwiches and toast and to improve the flavour of gravy, soups, and stews.
In 1939 Vegemite received endorsement from the British Medical Association which allowed d…

What is a gentleman?

What makes a gentleman?  Do they exist anymore?  Did feminism kill the gentleman? Do women still like having a man open a door for them?  Is chivalry dead?

I must admit I still like men opening doors for me, showing respect, curbing their language when I am around and dashing to my aid when in need?  In today’s feminist world this is all a little old-fashion and I can see many women frowning at me for saying this.  My dad is a gentleman and he is my gauge of how I expect men to behave and the way I have tried to bring up my sons.  However my sons have said to me that when they hold doors open for women they find that some women are downright rude to them.  So they stop doing it because of the comments they receive.   It’s a sad world.

According to the Webster’s Dictionary a gentleman is defined as: "A polite, gracious or considerate man with high standards of propriety or correct behaviour".
Below are attributes that I think makes a gentleman — what do you think? 
giving up …


Here is a beautiful and peaceful painting of butterflies to get your mind off the heading.
Why am I talking about spiders today
I hate spiders
especially big spiders
If one enters my home, it dies.
But there is a purpose to this story . . . for some reason, perhaps because we have an increase in bugs this summer we have many more spiders in the garden . . . not the large ugly ones (well some only a mother could love) . . . and not nasty ones.  And what is incredible about them is their webs - they are building huge webs between flowers or trees to maximize their catch. Each evening the spiders repair or rebuild their webs and wait and see what they catch, most are doing very well - they have incredible patience when you think about it.  One particular web would be similar to me building a massive bridge on my own in just a few hours . . . it is an engineering masterpiece and I can't help but marvel at the skill of webmaker.  The only time I remove webs is if the…

God moves in a mysterious way

God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill,
He treasures up His bright designs,
And works His sov'reign will.
Ye fearful saints fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.
Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

By William Cowper (1774)

William Cowper often struggled with depression and doubt. One night he decided to commit suicide by drowning himself.  He called a cab and told the driver to take him to the Thames River. However, thick fog came down and prevented them from finding the river.  Afte…

Week 3

Sunset: taken at a family picnic in Adelaide, South Australia
Weather: Hot and dry, no rain this week. Finally starting to feel like summer.
Children: My youngest returned from the coast with a huge bag of seashells which he wants to use in his aquarium.  First though he has to remove all the sand which will be quite a job as has 100's of tiny shells. Some of the shells are so pretty - I love collecting sea shells when I am at the beach so I am not surprised that Caius does the same.

In the kitchen: I usually share with you my cooking successes, not today.  I made a chocolate cake on Thursday following the recipe accurately but when I took it out of the oven it had not risen.  It looked more like a round brownie. So I covered it in chocolate icing and guess what, it tastes great - just doesn't look anything like the picture in the cookbook!!  I will pretend it was meant to be flat!!

Pets: The 2 Dobermans have decided to dig this week and as you can imagine they don't dig smal…

Friday Trivia

Trivia to bring a smile to your face

It is possible to lead a cow upstairs...but not downstairs (fortunately I don’t own a cow or stairs to test this one) ***
A snail can sleep for three years (none in my garden appear to be sleepingas they are too busy eating) ***
It takes up to four hours to hard boil an ostrich egg (won’t be eating these for breakfast- what time would you need to get up!) *** 
A crocodile cannot stick its tongue out (it is rude anyway) ***
If you yelled for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days, you would have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee  (hardly seems worth it) ***
Right-handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left-handed people do.  (if you're ambidextrous do you split the difference?) ***
Polar bears are left handed (Who knew....? Who cares? How'd they find out, did they ask them?)
*** If Barbie were life-size, her measurements would be 39-23-33. She would stand seven feet, two inches tall. Barbie's full name is Barbara Mill…

Wise Words: Happiness

Some words in our language have natural beauty - happy is one of them.
Wise words from Girls Own Annuals, 1910
A happy state of mind brings joy and pleasure wherever you are.  However we have not been educating people to happiness, but only to unrest; to glimpses of the unattainable, and to contempt for the possibilities actually within reach.  
The constant endeavor to be like someone else in another walk of life is at the bottom of much present-day unhappiness.  It is this that makes the young woman of small means spend her husband's wages for imitations of handsome things.  It is this that makes a young girl starve herself to buy a hat with a huge plume. . . . . She has not been taught the great value of simple cleanliness and plainness; she has no sense of proportion.
I do hope that the education of the future will be better grounding in quiet morality and simple good taste.
Lets try and learn and teach our children that happiness is not a thing we are to have some time when we hav…

Art Wednesday

Artists: Alfred de Breanski, senior and junior
Father: 1852 - 1928
Son:1877 - 1957

Today I have selected two artists, father and son, with the son having been taught by his father. The father was known for his landscapes of Scottish Highlands, the Lake District and Wales.   He made his debut at the Royal Academy in 1872, where he exhibited until 1918.  Breanski drew much inspiration from the dramatic Scottish countryside, such as the Highlands, which are famed for their desolate beauty and which provide some of the most spectacular scenery in Britain. (source) Alfred Sr. married the welsh artist Annie Roberts and they had seven children of which 2 sons became artists.
The Alfred Jr, between 1905 and 1920, painted a series of beautiful English garden scenes done in a colorful, impressionistic style. The works are filled with light and color and were very popular during his lifetime.  I think these are lovely.

Alfred Sr (Father) The Banks of O'Doune Marlow-on-Thames

Alfred Jr (Son) Summer …

Wishing away the days

When my eldest son was a baby I couldn't wait to see what he would be like at age one, when he reached one I was excited about the toddler years, once they arrived I wondered about age four and five.  All this time wanting him to grow older I was missing the "now" and wishing for the future.  With my second son, I was in no hurry for him to reach one, two or three.  I was going to enjoy each precious moment as they came.
I know so many people who wish away the moment and say things like:  "I can't wait until I retire"
"I can't wait until my next holiday"
"I can't wait until my children leave home"
"I can't wait until I have won the lotto" Often the retirement is four or five year away, the next holiday is in six months, children might not being leaving for many years and lotto may never be won.  It would appear that man is not content with the now and believes that the future is going to be brighter.  That retirement is …

Motherhood and freedom

I was reading Facebook the other day and one young woman, newly married was commenting on how much she would love a baby.  Someone responded by saying "I'd give up mum hood any day to go back to the 'easy life' - don't wish away your freedom too soon".  I assume part of this comment was "tongue in cheek" but sadly this is more true that we would like to admit.  How often have you heard young women say that their careers are going to come first before having a baby and plan to wait for that "next big promotion", or the need to buy the house first, then comes the car and furniture and before long the young woman isn't quite so young any more.
According to recent research "New figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) confirm the steady rise in the average age of women giving birth, and mums aged over 35 accounted for almost a quarter of all babies born in 2008. Women aged 40 and over made up almost four per …