I’m thankful for…

The nice things one of the girls at work said about me in a round at staff meeting.

Old friends.

God’s kindness in little things (yesterday was set to be a difficult day at work – it ended up being relaxed and fun).

My supportive, loving husband.

Time to think and reflect.

My family living so close (especially when I needed to seek refuge after locking myself out of my home).

Time with my sister.

Jesus doing the saving that I can’t do myself (studying Romans at youth bible study on Sundays and reminded that when we feel that we need to save ourselves by our works, and feel like we’re failing, all we need to do it trust that Jesus has already done it).

The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness – for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. – Romans 4:23-25.

Pinterest

I really like Pinterest. I feel like every time I talk to someone about it, I’m trying to convert them. I also know to warn people when I talk about it because it is highly addictive. Don’t join unless you have a lot of spare time (or don’t mind using all of your spare time on this) and have a big download limit!

If you’ve not heard of Pinterest, it’s a website (or app) where you “pin” things that are ‘interesting’ (P+interest=Pinterest). It’s a place where you can collect ideas and inspiration (e.g. hobbies, diy, inspirational quotes, images, fitness and health ideas, etc). You can check out my boards here. There is also a link on the right (the red ‘P’).

Plenty of people pin things and never look at them again. Not me. I quite enjoy going back over my pins (and sorting them) and attempting the ideas in them. I’m thinking of sharing them with you here. There are plenty of sites where people share or collate Pinterest ‘fails’. That may sometimes be me. Not always. But I love Pinterest because it suits my personality. I thrive on having a project (especially if it’s not compulsory). And I have thousands of hobbies, so there is always something to try, even if I’m not in the mood for certain hobbies.

Here is the pin I’m working on at the moment (click on the picture to go to the website, though I’m only using the image – I looked briefly at the site and I don’t think my squats go that low):

30-day-squat-challenge-chart

I’m on day 2. I don’t do exercise. I’m proud of myself if I take a client for a half hour slow stroll. I’ve been for one run since August (which is when I cancelled my gym membership).  So, maybe if I’m just focusing on one thing, I may have success. And I also realised that day 1 (50 squats) would literally take a minute. So the “I don’t have time” excuse won’t work. This is the first ‘health/fitness’ pin I’ve decided to actually have a go at, so let’s see how I go.

Anybody else addicted to Pinterest? What are your current projects?

Mystery Mushroom

P1000379This little guy popped up amongst my parsley and I only just noticed it. Maybe I should water my plants more often.

So here are some fun facts:

  • called leucocoprimnus birnbaumii, or “spirit umbrellas”
  • commonly found in pot plants or glass houses, and probably come in the potting mix
  • not poisonous, but don’t eat it
  • more common in summer and warm environments
  • they are not known to harm plants
  • there is no getting rid of it, unless you change all of the soil
  • fun to look at; maybe you’ll find one in your garden
  • they may grow into this and put out spores:

Leucocoprinus young and old

Resources:

http://botit.botany.wisc.edu/toms_fungi/feb2002.html

http://www.mushroomexpert.com/leucocoprinus_birnbaumii.html

Not planned, but needed

I love being home when it’s raining. I think more clearly and take more time for things. P1000288

P1000289I had planned to use this weekend to push ahead in my studies. I’ve been feeling a little anxious about the course deadline, whilst looking at how many subjects I have left. I thought with handing in two assignments last week and passing both without any trouble that I would maintain momentum and use this weekend well.

It didn’t quite work out that way. But I don’t think I’m disappointed with how it’s turned out.

I’ve had a lot on the last few weeks and have been exhausted all week. It’s been good to take time out to recover.

So instead of working, I’ve been trying to be a good little housewife, doing the cleaning and washing while Jeh is actually studying, spending time with my parents, quality time with Jeh, reading, and catching up on my bible in a year (I slipped behind after I so heroically caught up over January), procrastibaking (though I’ve shared it with my parents, neighbour and will take the rest to church), and catching up with my neighbour (even though we’ve only been able to hang out a couple of times, we get along so easily). All worth it. I even had a soak in the bath on Friday afternoon.

So while I feel a bit bad about not going to our church weekend away, I do think this was wise. Especially considering how many boxes I was ticking of burn-out symptoms not that long ago. I want to be useful this year, particularly getting back on track with keeping up with relationships.

How do you recover after busy, stressful periods?

How does your garden grow?

I am no gardener. I killed about three basil plants last year. Mum gave me a couple of plants for my birthday that are hard to kill. One is dead. The other was brought to the edge of its life.

Things are turning around, though. Mum gave me some parsley seeds and they produced a plant that has been handy at dinner time; a friend at work gave me a tip to really boost it. The latest basil plant has been thriving, and has featured in dinner the last two nights. The mint is growing wild.

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My next challenge is to get the lavender shoots from mum yesterday to grow into a flowering plant.

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All of this is turning my thumb a little green. I’m beginning to imagine having a backyard with a whole garden. And chickens.

My future dream garden:

  • Roses
  • Lavender
  • Violas
  • Orange blossoms
  • Pansies
  • Geraniums (all of these edible flowers feature in the cookbook I’ve been using lately)
  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Thyme
  • Mint
  • Chilli
  • Lemon
  • Fig
  • Mango
  • Passionfruit

What’s in your garden?

Lavender

Ever since I had a lavender scone on Kangaroo Island, I’ve been interested in trying something else, and I’ve stumbled across a few recipes lately that use lavender.

This recipe, from Love Bake Nourish, by Amber Rose, is first up.

P1000306I took a few heads of lavender from mum’s garden yesterday.

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It was meant to be a gluten free cake, but it turned out I had about half the amount of almond meal that I needed, and some weevils had taken up residence in my polenta. Devastating to have to throw out a whole packet of anything. I replaced the remaining weight with plain flour. So it took a little longer than recommended to cook through.

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I got the tick of approval from my neighbour, though. The lavender is very subtle, hardly there; the lemon is much more obvious. A nice cake to have with a cup of tea, especially on a rainy weekend.

Observe

It’s not easy to stop and observe when life is so busy and stressful. But I’ve been encouraged lately to do just that, in two ways. One, to help me not to overreact to situations, is to observe that something has happened, acknowledge it, and try to put it in perspective, rather than blow it out of proportion. The other way, which feeds the first, is to just have a moment and observe what is going on around you, even during a stressful day.

Not that today was stressful, but I had a few minutes where I and a couple of clients were waiting for the van to pick us up. We were sitting in rather a pretty area, so it was nice to just chill a bit. Taking photos probably ruins the moment a bit, but I couldn’t help myself.

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