Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Strangest of Days

 Oh these strangest of days...
yet still the sun shines
... even in winter

 I feel a bit like this old Ted at the moment...
one-eyed, strung out & bamboozled.
I need a Hettie Brown rescue I really do feel..
 We found a funny old secondhand shop on our way to buy mandarins recently.
Quite a few bedraggled little souls to be found...
I felt right at home!
Thank goodness for the revitalising invitation to afternoon tea from a dear friend..
 amidst the spring bulbs,
carrot cake & ancient china.
China that arrived out here 100 years ago with Ruth's great grandparents.
 Look at this glorious spring bouquet..
I was so glad to take it home with me.
 I would really like to knock on this wee door & disappear inside to a sweet land of kindness, peace & health.
 We had a very long cold week recently that prompted some inside dusting & cleaning..
 The kind of fiddly cleaning that often gets passed on by.

and eventually the sun shone once again, & the polys arrived at the garden place in the loveliest colours.
  I filled up this big pot at our front door.
 Thank goodness the world keeps spinning even when we can't seem to..
 I love buying brussell sprouts this way..
I remembered about the easiest icecream in the world last week when I noticed some of our bananas with brown spots. If you catch them just before they go too brown & get really squishy you can peel them & pop them into the freezer. Once frozen, whizz them together with a little honey, yoghurt or cream & some frozen blueberries, strawberries...or anything you like really. 
It is truly the smoothest icecream you will ever eat & if you don't tell...they'll never know it's just bananas!
I found this interesting six pointed star hanger on Trade me a little while back.
Rob decided it would be great for bags in the hall way.
Much tidier.
My project using up some of my vintage fabric scraps & laces that have seen better days is really taking shape now.
 In fact, I'm thrilled with it.
 I have used a willow garden frame from the garden centre as the base. I didn't fancy the metal jobs & the willow one was cheaper.
 There's a bit more filling in to do yet but it's looking so pretty.
I ordered another roll of Cath Kidston wallpaper.
Just one.
Rob undercoated & papered one of Lucy's cupboard doors.
So sweet of him!
 Lovely colours & darling rosebuds.
 Lucy is ready & waiting for a new afternoon tea...
 in the winter sunshine.
 Thanks so much for visiting.
Love & hugs to you all.


Friday, 12 July 2013

The Useful Art of Medium

I read a little story once. It was a very long time ago, but I have remembered it ever since.
It was a very simple story...about three kids playing in their fort, up in a big old tree. 
They decided to create their own club & made up the rules all by themselves.
Actually, there was only one rule:

No one act too big
No one act too little
Everybody just act medium!

I really like that...everybody just act medium.
It's actually a handy little rule to live by,
I just wish the weather would kinda do the same.
One minute the very first blossom has arrived... 
and all is peaceful & winter serene in our park just around the corner
 then the next minute..there are wild winds & more rain falls in two days than normally arrives in a month & it is icily cold. We've even kept our firing burning all day long for a whole week.
(the birds adore ripe apples & pears on the lawn in winter & they feel quite smug knowing that cats don't like the rain!)

 Dear clever Max, from Blackbird has Spoken (& who lives way down South where they even get snow!) recently sent me these darling little acorn pin cushions. Aren't they adorable!
They look like they would be so awfully fiddly to make. I suppose I will have to find some fairy's pins to put in them now. I wonder where they keep them?
The strangest thing turned up at our local supermarket last bananas!
They taste much the same as the ubiquitous yellow ones but they are a tiny bit different & fun for a change.
After a month, one can be forgiven for getting tired of a "cough" in the house...don't you think?
More annoying for the cougher of course.
I should have done it sooner, but I eventually remembered that violets are very good for coughs.
So I looked up various recipes & decoctions & decided on this one in the end over at The Nerdy Farm Wife.  I decided to use the roots, leaves & violet flowers & followed the directions given. It's a little bit hard to tell, as the cough is probably leaving slowly anyway, but I like to feel that it has been an effective herbal assistance. At least it was taken very happily as it tastes nice & Mr Cough knows where to find it in the fridge.
Winter days are so small it's hard to squeeze enough into them, I always forget it's going to be this way. I recently went to a place that I didn't know existed.
Up in the hills with my Ruth to Blackbarn road & Sharon's kitchen tea (the bride from last week). On the way I wanted to cry "stop!! I have to look at this view", but there was no time for such trivialities & so whizzing past we went.
As soon as I could arrange it, Rob & I went back for a slow drive & an explore.. 
we found the most amazing views!

And a grove of olives with bouncy, shiny grass.

The area is known as Te Mata.
Aren't the bare vines beautiful!

When we got home we ate wonderfully fragrant chicken soup & sourdough bread.
I bought free range chicken bits & simmered them in a big pot all day long with celeriac, celery, carrots, kumara, lots of fresh tumeric & ginger & various other things.
Bone broths & soups are another one of those time honoured nourishment/remedies that everyone needs to know about don't you reckon?
Do you have chicken soup memories or special ingredients that must go in the pot?  
Tamarillos fruit in sheltered places here in the very middle of winter.
 They are friendly red & very tasty...nice cooked with apple.
Now this all brings me to the call from Hettie Brown
to consider:
To share brilliant ideas for saving our planet and our Pennies.....
Getting things for free...
Not spending money
spending less money
Up-cycling your clothes
Growing your own food
Crafty ideas
Home cooking from scratch
Up-cycling and using what we have
 any other ideas you may have

Sound like you?
 Please do join in the happy parade if you'd like to, just pop in here to find out more.

Living these things, to me, is just life practice in the art of being medium..perfect!

My Treading Gently, Being Thrifty, Living Simply ideas this week, have been:

~Exploring right where you already live & notice the beauty that you find.
~Make simple nourishing meals using all the good veges you can grow or get your hands on.
~Have a go at making a few easy remedies..just check that they really are violets first!

Right, I am off to make some more of my rose scented moisturiser. I have run out completely, not a scerek to be found in the bottom of the jar!
But I have found the cutest idea for using up all kinds of odd strips of lace & vintage fabric. It's looking very sweet.
I will give you a peek next week.
Thanks so much for visiting!!
Have a wonderful medium week!
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