Showing posts from November, 2012

My 'Big Sister'

My aunt collapsed yesterday from heat stroke and was not able to be revived. She was just fifty-four years old. 

My aunt was only four when my parents were married. She cried when they wouldn't take her on their honeymoon. She was six when I was born and more of a big sister - at times a bossy big sister - than an aunt.

She helped me make some major transitions in my young life: she was at school when I started and helped me settle in; at Girls' Brigade when I was there (along with her middle older sister, my mother and my grandmother who were all leaders); at youth group when I started and would drive me around and advise me about boys (usually against them - I don't think anyone was good enough for her 'little sister'). She taught me to play the piano and it is a love we have shared to this day. I was bridesmaid at her wedding, and several years later we were both expecting at the same time (her youngest son is only five months older than my eldest).

I didn'…

Catching the Fad

As usual, I'm late in catching onto any new fad. The cardigan pattern that I'm presently knitting was quite popular a number of years ago and seems to have a largish cult following (although the one I'm planning on doing soon is from this year so perhaps I can redeem myself) ... but this isn't about cardigans.

No, it's about the BBC miniseries, North and South, which apparently has not ceased to draw new fans into its club since it first aired eight years ago. It seems that thirty-and forty-something-year-old women cannot help but fall in love with its main character, John Thornton, played by Richard Armitage. Had he had green eyes and had he not beaten a worker at the beginning of the film, I may have understood the temptation for grown women to behave like star-struck teenagers. But because of these two failings (okay, one failing) I struggle at times to understand how Margaret Hale (played by Daniela Denby-Ashe) could eventually overcome her initial indifference…

Soul Moments

Sitting outside this afternoon with my hands occupied with my latest knitting project, the smell of fresh-baked berry muffins wafting out from the kitchen, surrounded by the sights and sounds and smells of the garden, and listening to Son#4 playing away on the piano, I was struck by how such moments feed and nourish the soul.

I had a headache. One of those I've-been-sitting-in-a-workshop-all-day type of headaches. I'd forgotten about the workshop until I'd gotten to work so wasn't prepared. I had no water with me and I'd left half of my lunch at home - so I was hungry and dehydrated (food and water were provided but I wasn't able to eat a lot of the food and I cannot drink cold water). I then had to walk home. And while it was good to be outside again rather than sitting in a stuffy room, it didn't do my headache any good (I probably should have had a hat on but I hate hats - can you see a theme here? i.e, I don't know how to care for myself!). But that…

This and That

1. It would appear that The Most Adorable Granddaughter in the World#2 aged 3 years and 5 months (almost) has single-handedly traumatised her entire Kindy class by informing them yesterday that Santa Claus is not real.

Oh dear. 

Surprisingly her teachers - mostly Christian - found it incomprehensible that Christian parents would choose to celebrate Christmas without the man in red.


2. The Most Adorable Granddaughter#5 is almost twelve weeks old and growing so quickly. It's hard to remember those early days on the neo-natal ward and her tiny body hooked up to tubes and monitors.

3. Sons#4 and #5 are home. It now takes longer to cook and clean ... and I love it!

4. After almost twenty-nine years of marriage, DH and I now have beside cabinets. It was rather exciting to be able to place my Bibles on the shelf and the stack of books that I am either reading or hope to read soon on top. And there's still enough room for the odd cup of tea or hot chocolate.

4. My proofs for my se…


It seems incredibly early - ridiculously so - to have a Christmas Parade, but that's exactly what we did have yesterday down our main street.

Son#2 had to work until the time the parade started so I picked up DIL#2 and The Most Adorable Granddaughters#4 and #5 and went to the parade. DH met us there (since we had to take two cars because two safety car seats take up almost the whole back row of the car) and Son#2 arrived in time to see most of the parade.

I can't say there was much to do with the Christian version of Christmas to celebrate in the parade and apart from one lone dog, there weren't even any animals, but The Most Adorable Granddaughter#4 intently watched it all - apart from the times she hid her face. The Most Adorable Granddaughter#5 blissfully slept through it all.

There are more photos of The Most Adorable Granddaughter#4 than there are of the parade but that's because - to my mind at least - she was the most interesting aspect of all.

There was another…


It was to be a first - the first time I'd finished a cardigan in less than a month and the first time I'd followed a pattern to the letter (that I can remember) when knitting for myself.

But it seems I can only claim the first distinction this time. Not that it was all my fault.

There I was, studiously following the pattern when I realised that it would make more sense to do a three-needle bind off for the shoulders rather than bind off the shoulder stitches on the front and back, only to sew them together.

But since that was only a small modification, I didn't think it would seriously affect my chances of claiming to have followed the pattern. (By the way, I have a personal method of doing the three-needle-bind-off that I think is easier than knitting with three needles. I hold the two sections together as instructed in the pattern - usually right sides together - then I slip one stitch from the front needle onto a spare circular needle, one stitch from the back needle on…