Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Betwixt and Between

 I like this time between Christmas and New Year.  A chance to reflect on the year past and consider the year to come.  New goals to be achieved (or not), plans, aims...

early morning mist at the river this morning

Bur before I get into that, here is a bit of a recap from Christmas Day.

It was lovely and relaxed.  Marnie, Phil and Denver came for lunch.  I cooked the turkey roast and vegies, and Marnie brought the dessert.  After our main course we went for a walk down at the river (to make room for dessert), in the Wild Wood...

a secluded bush area alongside the river, with meandering paths

Then back home for Marnie's delicious pavlova...

covered with cream, mixed berries and passionfruit 

And a photo in the garden before they left...
Me, Marnie and Denver - 3 generations :)

I've been back working on my shawl, and I've finished it!!  And love it!!  But will save a photo for next week's Yarn Along post.  Also just doing the border on a crocheted blanket that I started many months ago.  It's nice to get things finished up, so I can start something new :)

and reading book 2 (or 3 if you count the prequel) of the Red River of the North series

I 'aim' to get caught up with my emails and snail mail letters before the end of the year (and stay caught up!), so I'd better get busy...

And I've bought a chronological Bible (divided into 365 daily readings) which I 'plan' on reading through next year.

I'd also like to read some inspiring biographies.  And revisit some old classics.  Do some cross stitch.  And take up spinning again.  Work in the garden... 


  I should have been a cat, then I'd have nine lives instead of one!

And speaking of cats, acquiring one is also on the list for 2021 :)


Saturday, December 26, 2020

Weekend Words

 From Christmas - Quiet Moments for the Season...

When God Stepped Out

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.  For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him.   

Colossians 1:15-19

We don't have to guess what God is like.  Nor do we have to respond like the little boy who looked up at the sky and asked his mother, "Is God up there?"  When she assured him that He was, the youngster replied, "Wouldn't it be nice if He would put His head out and let us see Him?"

What that boy didn't understand is that God did let us see Him.  By sending His son Jesus to earth, the heavenly Father fully revealed Himself as He is.  Jesus was God "manifest in the flesh" (1 Timothy 3:16 NKJV).  He made this clear when He said to Philip, "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father" (John 14:9).  Theologians refer to this truth as the incarnation.

This is the good news of Christmas: God has shown us what He is like in the person of His son.  He left heaven's glory and came down to earth to be born of a virgin.  All the attributes of the infinite God reside in the Baby that Mary cradled in a Bethlehem manger.  He was the "image of the invisible God," the One by whom "all things were created" and in whom "all things hold together" (Colossians 1:15-17).

As we pause to celebrate Jesus' birth, remember who He is.  In Him we see displayed the holiness, the grace, and the love of the eternal God.

At Christmas, God did step out of heaven.

- Paul Van Gorder

Friday, December 25, 2020

So this is Christmas...

 Running a bit late with this as I was down all day yesterday with a headache, so just catching up now.  Christmas Day is almost over here, and I've had a lovely day (more in next week's post on that), but for some of you it's just starting.  Enjoy your day...

The annual family photos (from far and near)...

Brothers in arms...

Christmas Kisses - Jaya and Rafe on Christmas morning

Connecticut, USA: in their snowy garden...

Zak, Patrick, Oliver, Dylan, Natasha

Canberra: couldn't get one of the 4 of them together, but this is pretty close :))

O serious ones: Jefferson and Jaya - obviously enthralled by something...
O smiling ones: Rafe and Anushka

Tasmania - 40km away: mother and son...
Marnie and Denver

South Australia: can't keep 'em away from the beach...
Ben, Hazel and Hayley

And to round out the year, this classic...

Simple words, but much to think about.


"What have you done?"  

As you look back over 2020.

"Another year over

A new one just begun"

And what do you plan to do in 2021?

"Let's stop all the fight (now)"

Unfortunately, war is not over, but maybe one day...

We can always hope 2021 will be better...

"Let's hope it's a good one

without any fear"


"For weak and for strong

For rich and the poor ones

The world is so wrong"

The inequality continues.

What can we do to make a difference?

"For to be free is not merely to cast off ones chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others" - Nelson Mandela



Tuesday, December 22, 2020

It's beginning to look a bit like Christmas...

 But only ever so slightly as I don't have any decorations up, or a tree.

 But I did bake a fruit cake, which will double as my Christmas cake and Christmas pudding, depending on how I serve it...

and if it lasts that long :))

Today we have steady rain, which is good for the garden, but not good for my walk.  I'm hoping it will clear later so I can go...

this was not taken today, but on another day during the week when rain threatened, but did not eventuate

The other day when I was working in the garden, I thought how pretty the coriander/cilantro flowers were...

So I decided to press some.  I'll check them in a few weeks to see how they turn out, and if successful, I might frame them...

I put my shawl knitting on hold to knit this scarf/capelet for a friend.  It's now finished, so it's back to the shawl...

probably looks an odd shape, but it is very stretchy, so covers the shoulders while also keeping the neck warm.  I should have requested she model it for a photo :)


Apricot chicken

And a house I walk past each day on the way to the river...
such a pretty spot to sit 

Did you notice my new blog header photo?  

It was taken earlier this week on a beautiful calm early morning at the river.

Will leave you with these quotes (posted on my Instagram account recently) that I thought you might like to ponder...

On forgiveness:

"As I walked towards the gate that led to freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison." - Nelson Mandela

"Forgiveness is not a feeling; it is an act of the will." - Selwyn Hughes

"But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses." - Jesus (Mark 11:26)

And don't forget the 'peace and goodwill' of this Christmas season.


Sunday, December 20, 2020

Weekend Words

 From Christmas - Quiet Moments for the Season...

Christmas Choice

"After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?  We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him."  When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared.  He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search carefully for the child.  As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him."  After they had heard the King, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.  When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.  On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him.  Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.  And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route." - Matthew 2:1-3, 7-12

When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.

The glitter of bright decorations, the sound of joyous Christmas carols, the happy children, and the cheerful "Merry Christmas" greetings sometimes give the impression that everybody is glad that Jesus came to our planet.  But that isn't true today, and it never was.

The news of Jesus' birth evoked a mixed reaction.  An angel brought "good tidings of great joy."  The shepherds and wise men welcomed the Savior.  But Herod was so troubled when he heard about it that he tried to destroy the baby Jesus.  And the religious leaders of that day were indifferent.  They sent no delegation to Bethlehem to find out what had happened.

Still today, thousands honor Jesus and rejoice in their salvation.  But many others hate Him.  They make efforts to outlaw the singing of Christmas carols in shopping malls and the display of nativity scenes in public places.  Many others are apathetic.  They go along with the celebration of the season.  They join in singing Christmas carols.  But they never ask themselves who Jesus is or why He came.  They don't think of their responsibility to believe in Him and receive Him as their Savior.

Are you among the indifferent?  To ignore him and His claims is to reject Him.  Christmas demands a decision about Christ.  The choice is yours.

- Herb Vander Lugt

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Out and about

 Had Marnie and Denver staying for a few days last week, and we were out and about every day.  I think I'm still recovering!!

On one of the days Marnie and I took a quick trip to the Swiss Village at Grindelwald, after visiting a friend...

In the shopping courtyard...

And the selfie...
don't blame me...Marnie made me do it!!

Remember me mentioning a new knit project in a previous post...

Using the beautiful yarn from Charlevoix Pure Laine...
which Natasha and family sent me from Quebec City when they were holidaying there 

I've been saving it for a special project, but was undecided on what to make.  I finally decided on a knitted triangular shawl.  Very basic (I like simple) in garter stitch, but the problem was, I would end up with 200 plus stitches, and so straight needles were out, and I have a long standing dislike of circular needles.


You will be please to hear I overcame my dislike (because the desire to knit the shawl overruled) and I purchased some circular needles last week.  Now I need to confess...I really like them!!  I had only used the old style nylon cord ones from years ago and the nylon part (like thick fishing line) was constantly tangling and bending, and I also found my knitting got really tight using them.  But these new stainless steel ones are great!  So I am converted.  I may even try socks at some stage :))

progress on my simple garter stitch shawl

Which will go well with my new 'Little House' bonnet...
purchased from Koval Kreations

Not much work in the garden this week with all the out and abouting, but there is a major project in the works.  Might be able to tell you a bit more about it next week.

Meanwhile, got this early morning shot on my way to the river...

"The early morning hour should be dedicated to praise: do not the birds set us the example?" - Charles Spurgeon

"It is by no haphazard chance that in every age men have risen early to pray.  The first thing that marks decline in spiritual life is our relationship to the early morning." - Oswald Chambers

Have a good week!


Weekend Words

From Christmas - Quiet Moments for the Season...

The Shepherds

"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them,  "Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people." - Luke 2:8-10

The angel bypassed Jerusalem, the religious centre of Israel.  He didn't go to Herodium, Herod's villa near Bethlehem.  He appeared instead to a band of shepherds tending their flocks (Luke 2:8-9).

Back then no-one thought God would be interested in shepherds, or that shepherds would be interested in God.  Shepherds were notoriously irreligious, ranked by the rabbis with prostitutes and other 'habitual sinners'.  They were outcasts, barred from the synagogue and polite society.  They assumed that God would never accept them, and they feared Him.

But God spoke to them.  I think He knew that these shepherds, like so many people who appear indifferent to spiritual things, were quietly longing for God.

All of us have a longing for something more.  And no matter how hard we try to appear self-sufficient, sooner or later we run out of something essential - love, money, time, or life.  Isolation, loneliness, and fear of death lead us to acknowledge our need for a Saviour.  But where can we find Him?

The angel's words to the shepherds were simple and direct: "Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:11).  You can find Him too.

 - David Roper

Sunday, December 6, 2020

December Yarn Along

 It's beginning to look a bit like Christmas...

And the last Yarn Along for the year

Finally finished these 3 blankets...

need to get them in the mail tomorrow

Two for the boys...

Rafe and Jaya

One for the girl...

My new knit project...
more on that next post

And some sewing projects I ordered online from HERE...
doubt I'll get to them till after Christmas

Reading: from a little Christmas devotional I have, and almost finished the prequel to the Red River of the North series...

only 6 more books to go!

Slowed up again this last week with more headaches.  Very low air pressure and very strong winds.  Not a good combination for my head.

Caught this rainbow over my back fence this week...

"The Lord will either calm the storm or let it rage while He calms you" - Anonymous

Stay calm, whatever the weather :)


Weekend Words

From Christmas - Quiet Moments for the Season...

O Holy Night - Luke 2:4-14

"Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. 

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” 

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” 

According to tradition, a Christmas song once brought peace to a battlefield.  It happened on Christmas Eve during the Franco-German War (1870-1871) as the two sides faced each other in their trenches.

A French soldier jumped up and began singing "O Holy Night."  The surprised German soldiers did not fire.  Instead, one of them stepped forward to sing "From Heaven Above to Earth I Come."

For a brief time at least, peace on earth prevailed and good will was shared among men whose job it was to kill each other.

Think about the words of "O Holy Night" and see how they can bring hostilities to a halt.  "Long lay the world in sin and error pining."  Who knows about the world's ills better than soldiers who are facing the consequences of war, killing, and death?

"A thrill of hope" is what these men needed in the darkness of that winter night.  Hope is what "the dear Savior's birth" provides.  Because of Him the "weary world rejoices."

Even though we may not be engaged in physical combat, we all face the battles of everyday life.  We can let the peace of that holy night - the night of our dear Savior's birth - reign in our hearts the whole year through.     

 - Dave Branon


This is my favourite Christmas song, and I think Josh Groban's version is the best (after listening to quite a few others). He has an amazing voice!

So, as I've posted in previous years, you get to listen to it again this year... :))


Sunday, November 29, 2020

Weekend Words

 From Be Still and Know - Millie Stamm

I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob (Exodus 3:6)

This year is drawing to a close.  Soon we will begin a new year, one filled with new opportunities, new situations, new joys, new experiences of living.

With the uncertainty of these days, not knowing what the future holds, it is reassuring to know that the God of this past year will become our God of the new year.

In the above scripture verse we note three aspects of God that will encourage us as we look into the new year.  God said to Moses, "I am the God of they father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob."  He is the GOD of the PAST.  As he had been with Abraham, Issac and Jacob in the past, He promised to be with Moses.

As we look back in the past year, we recognize He has been our God of the past, meeting every need, even at times when we may not have understood how He was working.  "Hitherto hath the Lord helped us" (1 Samuel 7:12).

He said to Moses, "I AM come down to deliver them" (Exodus 3:8).  The God of the past is the GOD of the PRESENT.  He who had worked for us in the past will work for us in the new year.  He promises, "I will be your God for the year before you."  He is ready to come down and deliver us in the midst of each need next year.  The psalmist said, "For thou art great, and DOEST (present tense, today) wondrous things: thou art God alone" (Psalm 86:10).

In Exodus 3:10 God said to Moses, "Come now therefore, and I will send thee."  He is the GOD of the FUTURE.  He invites us to come to Him in the future, so He can continue to send us out to do His will and walk in the paths He has prepared for us, not only today, but in the days ahead.

He is the God of your past; the God of your future; the God of your present: the God of your today.


This devotional book was first published in 1978 and talks about "the uncertainty of these days, not knowing what the future holds", thoughts that I'm sure are still with us in these current days also.  But, remember Jesus words... 

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace.  In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." - John 16:33

Be still, my soul, the Lord is on thy side
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain
Leave to thy God to order and provide
In every change He faithful will remain
Be still, my soul, Thy best, thy heavenly friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end

Be still, my soul, thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past
Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake
All now mysterious shall be bright at last... 

- Katharina Von Schlegel

Monday, November 23, 2020

Mostly garden

 A busy time in the garden the early part of last week, then a couple of slowed down days with headaches.

Here's what has been happening...

I've been working on redoing the brick edging in my front garden.  Standing the bricks on their sides (left edging) rather than as they had been - on their flat (right edging)...

And also redesigning the new bed I made recently.  You can see how big it had been by where the new grass is growing in, but I didn't want that much garden, so made it into a narrower, rectangular bed, two bricks high.  It didn't look right as the other edgings were curved, and single brick, so I re-did it, curving the edge, and making it one brick high.  Now all I need to do is plant something in it...

An unfinished project is this side garden...
overgrown garden bed, brick paving and gravel bed

I'm moving the bricks...

And hope to eventually put it all back to grass so I can just mow it...

But then I had to find somewhere to put the bricks...
in front of the woodshed

And in my spare time?!?

Two of the Christmas blankets are finished...

And the third one is well underway...

Doing some Christmas shopping...

Making tomato relish with the last of the tomatoes in the freezer...

And banana, blackberry and white choc chip muffins...

it's the prequel to the Red River of the North series, some of which I read years ago

And on my walks...
these poppies were growing under a power pole by the side of the road 

Peace and calm at the river...

The sky is looking black, and there are ominous thunder rumblings (glad I mowed the grass this morning!).  I doubt we will get much rain, but I'm hoping enough so I don't need to water the garden.

Catch'ya next time!