Saturday, June 28, 2014

The week that was...

I'm a bit late with my Yarn Along post, but here it is...

I've just finished (last night) reading Letters from Skye.  Another exceptional read!  This one is fiction, and although I don't like fiction romances (because they always seem so shallow and "...they all lived happily ever after..." type books), I do like a good love story :)

This was a love story and it had a happy ending!  But I still felt like crying when I got to the finish ... for all those lost years.

Read it...and see what you think.

I'm crocheting a poncho (yep...another new project - but I didn't have to buy the wool as I already had it...she says in justification!)

Brown 8 ply wool and a 5mm crochet hook.  Just two granny squares (whatever size you want the poncho to be), sewn together.  This is my square so far...only 11 inches across...but I wanted to show you what I mean.  Tried to find a photo on the internet, but most seem to be made differently. 

So you put them together, fold the top of the triangle down on front and back and leave open (for the head opening - you can secure the point with a tie or button if you want), then join the left and right upper sides. VoilĂ !

I might do a few rows of some sort of crochet or edging around the bottom, maybe even in a contrasting colour.  Lets hope I can actually finish this one!!

And making chicken soup...because Denver is sick.  And also it's cold and wet today...good chicken soup weather!
And made a chocolate cake (still have to ice it) because I'm on the roster to provide morning tea after church tomorrow (will also make some ham and cream cheese spread sandwiches).

Had my friend Debbie here earlier in the week for some lessons on how to do a blog, and Jefferson down from Sydney to try and finalise the settlement on my house (unfortunately there are still problems, so the saga continues....)
Had another load of wood delivered during the week so we are keeping the wood heater stoked up and burning bright.  I think winter has finally arrived in Tassie.
Will leave you with a quote I liked in the Letters from Skye book...
"We can't help who we love."
Unfortunate...but true!
PS - listening to Norah Jones and Jason Mraz.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

knit one read one

Today I had some ladies come for our monthly charity knitting morning...

(Roma, Janet and Heather)
As well as working on our blanket strips for KOGO, we watched a DVD from Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child, and over the next few months we will be working on items for the shoeboxes.  I gave them patterns for the ribbed beanie and tiny teddy to keep them busy till we meet again next month....
 And because I'm joining in with Ginny on her blog for Yarn Along, I'm also mentioning the book I'm reading at the moment... The Amish Way ...
It's a very interesting and informative read, and if you read my previous post on 'Why I'm not Mennonite', you will see, that although I have not chosen that route, I do return to it time and time again when I feel the world encroaching too much on my life and mind.
I'll leave you with this Amish quote, which I'm sure many of you have heard, but it's good to be reminded of :)
If you admire our faith — strengthen yours.
If you admire our sense of commitment — deepen yours.
If you admire our community spirit — build your own.
If you admire the simple life — cut back.
If you admire deep character and enduring values — live them yourself.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Why I'm not Mennonite.

Limiting your exposure.

There seems to be quite an interest in the Amish/Mennonite, and I have been asked previously to expand on my time with the Mennonite church, so here are some of my thoughts.  Please note...they are only my thoughts, feelings and observations I am sharing and I am in no way wanting to cast aspersion on those who are of the Anabaptist faith.

The Mennonite are part of the Anabaptist faith, along with the Amish and Hutterite.

The Amish/Mennonite limit their exposure to the world, and if you've grown up with that mindset, it's not so difficult to maintain.  It's like a quote I read recently "Getting a taste of what you long for is usually more painful than just going hungry".   Once you have tasted the world (as many of us have) it's more difficult (for me at least) to 'straight jacket' my mind.

Not all things of the world are bad or to be avoided, but in going from Englisher to Amish (or in my case Mennonite), it wasn't the restrictions of lifestyle that I found so difficult, but restrictions on my mind and what/ how I should think.

I already live quite a simple life, but my mind is far from simple - always thinking, asking questions, searching, reasoning - and those activities are not encouraged in the Mennonite church - at least in the conservative ones.  Even biblical discussions/debates are not encouraged.  This is what I found most difficult, and one of the main reasons I felt I could not continue with them. 

The restrictive lifestyle - although I did not feel it was necessary to the degree their church rules/guidelines advocated (no TV, no Internet, no musical instruments, one standard of dress/head covering) I could (reluctantly) accept.  But the difficulty was that my mind would not (could not) submit to the intellectual restrictions.

I am drawn to the Mennonite faith/lifestyle, and when the world gets too much, or my mind/thoughts overwhelm me, I go back to my head.  I read/think/act (by limiting 'the world' into my world) Mennonite.  It calms, refocuses and settles me.  But I can't stay there - my mind wants to explore too many avenues/options...not of other faiths (although I do find them interesting), but within the parameters of Christianity.

But after 'retreating' into the Anabaptist confines, I am then ready to face the world again with a more balanced, simple, re-centred outlook.

I really appreciate my time with, and  opportunity to be part of, the Mennonite church here in Deloraine.  They are lovely people and dear friends, but they have all grown up Mennonite (having come from Canada to establish a church here).  They have had some Australians come and go, and have some Australian families with young children fellowshipping with them at the moment.  But will they stay and join?  I hope so.

I can understand and appreciate their mindset, but I personally find it difficult to live it on a permanent basis.

Make of this what you will.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Hungry Birds

Free Devotional from Ellel Ministries International 

Hungry Birds

"Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty”."
John 6:35, NIV

This year a robin built a nest in our garage, just by the door. I had to pass very close to it each time I used our car, and the mother bird soon became accustomed to the sound of the car door and the engine. She laid six eggs in the nest and sat very tight while incubating them. When the eggs hatched, I peeped excitedly into the nest to greet the new arrivals. On hearing me approach they immediately lifted their tiny heads and opened their beaks very wide, obviously expecting food from me. They had not yet developed enough discernment to recognise that I was not their mother!

It made me think that some Christians can be rather similar. They can be eager for any kind of spiritual experience and ready to receive whatever is on offer. Without discernment this can be dangerous, as they can open themselves up to deceptive practices and other spiritual powers.

There is much in the Bible to encourage us to hunger and thirst after God and His word. In fact it’s the hungry whom He has promised to fill with good things (Luke 1:53), and those who hunger and thirst for righteousness who will be filled (Matthew 5:6). But we need to be careful that we’re looking to Jesus, and to Him alone, to feed us spiritually. He says in today’s verse that whoever comes to Him will never go hungry. He’s the Bread of Life. It’s a strange paradox, however, that we need to continually hunger for Him, and then we will never be hungry!

If we yearn for comfort and nourishment from other sources (from relationships, from physical food or drink, from fulfilment in work or ministry, or even from spiritual experience), we’ll never be fully satisfied, and we may open ourselves up to other spiritual powers. We need to look to Jesus, and to Him alone, as the only One who can satisfy our soul. We also need to develop discernment, which comes from the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, to recognise what’s of Him and what’s not, so that we’re not like those baby birds opening their mouths to receive anything that’s passing!

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You that You’re the Bread of Life for me. Please feed me today and every day, and help me to develop the discernment to see what comes from You and what doesn’t. Amen.

Today's Writer : Jilly Lyon Taylor Jilly Lyon Taylor is part of the Leadership Team at Ellel Pierrepont. She worked in publishing and then with children in Hong Kong before concentrating on being a full-time mother and serving in the local church. Her desire to see people healed led her to the Luke Nine Eleven Training Scheme(NETS) at Pierrepont, and now she teaches and ministers there.

Thursday, June 12, 2014



1. to speak or write vaguely, to no purpose, and at length. 

2. lengthy vague speech or writing.

3. nonsense, twaddle.

Here's the waffle bit....

OK.  So I've just finished (almost) reading this really, really, really, good book.


I love books that get inside people's heads - their feelings, fears, thoughts, emotions....

And true/real life stories are best - and this one had the added attraction (for me) of being predominately set in Alaska.

I could identify with what was going on 'inside' Leigh, even though, on the surface, she appeared not to appear like she had all this emotional stuff inside.  And I always tend to feel a connection with those who don't quite fit the norm.  Maybe that's why I like the series Northern Exposure...all those quirky 'individuals' - that, and the fact that it's set in Alaska.

(have I ever mentioned I have a fascination with Alaska?!)

And Cate Banchett's character portrayal in Blue Jasmine, how there is a fine line between holding it all together and falling apart.

I envy people who are confident and have it all together.  Whether they do or not, only they know, but they at least have learnt to appear that way to others.

Me...  I practice avoidance (as does Leigh).  If you can't face!  A good maxim to live by.

I like small doses.

I like my own company...most of the time.

Does that make me odd? 

It's easier to talk to myself that others.  That way I get the answers I want :)

And then I think...  Why am I so drawn to Alaska?  Is it because there aren't many people there?

And why do I go for my morning river walks very early in the morning?  Ditto?

Does that make me antisocial?  Or odd?

My friend Debbie loves India.  The noise, colour, people, people, people....

I would hate it!

Interesting how we are all so different.  Some normal, some not so normal.  But then...what's normal?  It's usually when you think you are that you're not. 

So does that mean because I think I'm not...that I am?

Enough for today.  I'll just go off and finish this conversation with myself....

(PS - read the book.  It's really, really, really good!)

(and don't you just hate it when people start sentences with and)

Now for the non waffle part...

Recently I won a blog giveaway on Anne's blog.  These lovely hair pins...

And because I love them so much, I went to her Etsy Shop and bought some more!  Go take a look....'s the knitting bit (because I'm linking up with Ginny for Yarn Along)
I'm knitting squares for KOGO.  Next Thursday we are having another get together of our charity knitting group and I had given the ladies a challenge last month to knit squares for KOGO (actually...they aren't squares, but rectangles, to be sewn together into blankets).  I've only got one knitted so far, so am frantically trying to get another one done before Thursday.

I'm also listening to Jason Mraz on CD.  He might just replace Van Morrison as my top man :))

Tavvauvusi (that's goodbye in Inuktitut - Eskimo)!


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Art of Art: We put the 'Art' in Arts!

Ben's been busy creating (i.e. making movies).

He gets his painting abilities from me.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Your Choice

How could a loving God send people to hell?
That’s a commonly asked question. The question itself reveals a couple of misconceptions.
First, God does not send people to hell. He simply honors their choice. Hell is the ultimate expression of God’s high regard for the dignity of man. He has never forced us to choose him, even when that means we would choose hell.
No, God does not “send” people to hell. Nor does he send “people” to hell. That is the second misconception.
The word people is neutral, implying innocence. Nowhere does Scripture teach that innocent people are condemned. People do not go to hell. Sinners do. The rebellious do. The self-centered do.
 So how could a loving God send people to hell?
 He doesn’t.
He simply honors the choice of sinners.
(When Christ Comes - Max Lucado)

Friday, June 6, 2014

Busy week

Quick Yarn Along post...

Felt like some mindless brightness in my week, so working on my rainbow blanket.

And reading this book.  It's good!

Hop on over to Ginny's blog to see what everyone else is working on and reading.