I have noticed that it is 8 days since my last blog post and of course, it is only 4 more sleeps until Christmas.
The focus of the occasion certainly changes as families grow and change. This year will be somewhat poignant for me as it will be the first since my mother died earlier this year. We are all holding our breath and hoping that everything will go according to plan and our Melbourne-based daughter will be able to join us. She is due to arrive on Thursday. Meanwhile, our grandchildren are growing up (12 and 14) and will be spending the day with their father.
Our celebrations will be fairly modest and spread over 3 days to include various members of our family.
I put up the Christmas tree on Sunday and our small dog was mildly interested. So far she has not been tempted to attack the tree.
Of course, the regular shopping, cooking and housework continues unabated.
2021 has been a trying year in many respects. Whatever your circumstances, I wish you and your family a safe and peaceful festive season.
My siblings and I recently cleared our mother’s one bedroom unit. She was not a hoarder, however, she was from a generation who grew up during and immediately following the Great Depression. Waste was an anathema to her.
It was important to us to rehome things thoughtfully and not to just mindlessly donate, or worse still, dump large quantities of her possessions.
In order to consider individual items we brought most things to our homes and have spent time carefully and lovingly sorting Mum’s personal and household items.
Of course, I did not want or need to keep everything as I have a home containing my own things. Nor did I want to create a shrine to my mother. She would have wanted things to go to people who could use them and much of our energy has been spent in identifying where they could be used and/or appreciated. Some has been donated and some passed on to other family members.
I wanted honour her memory by using the items that I kept and they have been assimilated into my household.
Here are a couple of examples.
I am not sure of the age or origin of this delicate tablecloth and it is beginning to show signs of wear in places. It will not last forever but I will use and cherish it.
Here it is on the table.
A completely different item is this hand beater. It is over 60 years old and has been used consistently during that time. I also owned a similar but somewhat newer version – only just over 40 years old which was not as good so I have upgraded.
I also have books, jewellery, scarves, ramekins, crockery, vases and linen. They are all appreciated, cherished and most of all, will be used.
Dealing with the possessions of a loved one can be difficult but it is worthwhile to think carefully about the process to get the best result for your own unique circumstances.
It is less than 2 months since I wrote this post in which I committed to completing some unfinished projects in 2021. The first was a patchwork quilt for our queen-size bed.
I am pleased to report that the entire project is finished. I did not do the quilting as I have neither the skill nor the equipment to quilt such a large piece. My primary aim was to make a piece of patchwork which used all of the blue-toned fabrics and to declutter some of the bits of fabric that I had be hanging onto for far too long. All have been salvaged from one source or another, with many of them being scraps of homemade garments from various family members. What wonderful memories!
After completing the patchwork, I purchased a piece of suitable backing fabric and placed my handiwork and faith in Tanya who had been recommended to me. I was not disappointed. Tanya quilted the piece using a fairly simple design as I had requested.
Once the quilting was done, the final touch was to bind the edges. I cut bias strips from the remainder of the backing fabric. The handstitching of the binding was a bit tedious but it is now finished and I am thrilled with the final result.
Here are a selection of views of the quilt which is now an integral part of our bed linen.
I hope you have enjoyed following the story of the quilt as much as I have enjoyed creating it.
There has been a significant hiatus in blog posts and I do apologise. Real life events have been first and foremost as my mother is quite ill. Please keep her in your thoughts. My blog presence may be a bit hit and miss but I will certainly be here when I have something of interest to share.
I was looking back at the date of my last post which was a little over a week ago. Since then my focus has been firmly on my family. Even though GMan and I are the only ones living here, we are fortunate to have plenty of contact with family. Sometimes it seems to come all at once as has been the case in the past week.
Last Monday I went to Brisbane. I took my mother to a specialist medical appointment then we treated ourselves to lunch at Fuzzy Duck Cafe. I would recommend it. This was en route to visit my aunt who is in an aged care facility. Visiting has not been possible during COVID19 restrictions so it was good to be able to see her.
I stayed in Brisbane overnight and after another appointment the next day I picked GMan up from a dental appointment and we headed home.
It has been school holidays for the last 2 weeks and our daughter and granddaughters arrived on Wednesday evening. The girls stayed until Saturday afternoon while their mother went to work for the remainder of the week and picked them up again on Saturday.
During their stay we prepared meals, sorted through my fabric stash, went to the gym, shopped for shoes, went to the beach and park and checked out the garden.
Miss O making french dressing and learning the principle of adjusting the seasoning to taste.
Cutting broccoli for the soup.
A successful shopping trip to buy new sandals for Izzy.
More cooking – pizza bases ready for toppings.
The beginning of a dress for Miss O from a piece selected from the stash.
Some of the regular housework goes by the wayside when there are visitors and this time was no exception.
The refrigerator looked somewhat chaotic. There were several leftovers that I could incorporate into meals the following day.
I had invited my sister and brother-in-law for lunch on Sunday but had no specific menu planned for the meal. We did a small amount of grocery shopping late on Saturday afternoon.
Our lunch was predominately a selection of small plates and salads which worked perfectly as we sat outside in the very pleasant spring weather.
Photographing the spread was overlooked until I brought the salads out.
Homemade hummus, guacamole and sourdough bread, rice crackers, vegie sticks and brie for starters then kale salad, rice salad, cucumber and onion salad ad tomato wedges to serve with mini meatballs, vegie kofta balls and spiced cauliflower bites. Fresh fruit salad made the perfect finish to the meal.
While it sometimes works out that a particular period of time is mostly taken up by a single facet such as family events, I am trying to create more balance in the spread of activities in my week. More about that tomorrow.
We have not long arrived home from a rather extensive day out. An early start saw us gone just after 7am as we had quite a bit to do in Brisbane and it was just over an hour of driving to reach our first destination.
The prime reason for the trip was to take the frame for the mirror from this dressing table to a glass merchant so that we can have a new one cut. They no longer do resilvering as the precision equipment available today means that a replica can be produced more easily and at less cost.
After dropping off a couple of items to a friend and my brother, and picking up our saw that we had lent, we made our way to visit my mother. Or more specifically, to pick her up. We then headed to Shorncliffe, a bayside suburb, where we braved the breezy day and had a picnic lunch of fish and chips from The Shelley Inn. It was lovely that my cousin was also able to join us.
A final stop a little further along the shore to see the historic Shorncliffe Pier which was rebuilt and restored about 5 years ago. Here are a few views.
We rounded off the day with a few shopping chores with my mother.
A little pre-planning ensured that today was both enjoyable and an efficient use of our time and fuel.
Most of April seems to have slipped by in a whirl of socialising. The reason behind it all was my birthday. Not just any birthday, but my 60th birthday which is quite a milestone.
The celebrations were nicely spaced out over about 3 weeks and included lunch with my work colleagues early in the month followed by a morning tea at work for all of the April babies, 6 days in Tasmania with GMan and finally, a lunch for family and friends on Sunday.
GMan and I with the amazing cake which was a fitting finale to a lovely meal and a fantastic few weeks of celebrating.
Everything should settle down to the regular routine now and hopefully blog posts will return to reasonably normal intervals.
Well, it is nearly 2 weeks since my last post and I honestly cannot remember what I have been doing, apart from to say that I was totally occupied by my paid work in the run-up to the Easter break and I spent a most enjoyable Easter with various members of my extended family. There was not a chocolate in sight…………….however, 4 generations of my family were able to enjoy a shared lunch on Saturday.
GMan, my brother and I worked hard to earn our lunch as we positioned and concreted these 3 posts in place.
This followed on from the 6 holes they had dug the day before. It is all part of a project which has spent several years in the ‘dreaming’ pile and has now started to come to fruition. You can read about it here. We hope to have the other 3 posts positioned and concreted next weekend. I am busily working on the design of the rest of the construction and hopefully it will not take too long to complete.
There were some other fun and games as my brother-in-law extricated a visitor from the hen house. He had been there for a couple of days and we think he was looking for a warm, dry spot to digest what looked like a substantial meal.
Anyway, it was time to move along…………
And off to a more appropriate spot………………….
Today was quieter and an opportunity to catch up on some jobs at home so that I can start the working week with a clean slate. I am pleased to report that all of the washing and ironing are done as well as some voluntary admin work completed. I even made time to do a little bit of sewing.
I hope you had a safe and relaxing Easter break, too.