Showing posts from April, 2014

Day 18: Helpers

I'm grateful for the little helper I've had today in the form of the Most Adorable Granddaughter#4. It was lovely to have her here helping by collecting feijoa, picking beans and tomatoes and lemons, setting the table (with untold spoons and bibs), watching as Uncle#4 lit the fire, bringing a smile to the face of her Grandpa, and just being able to listen to that delightful laugh.

Later as she watched on while I caught up with news from my SIL and MIL, I was reminded once again of how precious families are and what binds them together.

Day 17 Project Gratitude: Warmth

Anyone who knows me and who knows how much I hate being cold will understand just how grateful I am that we are now able to light our fire and have some degree of warmth in some areas of our home.

In fact tonight, sitting in front of the fire, was just a little too warm but I'm not complaining. I'm grateful for that too.

Day 16 Project Gratitude: Slow Cooker

I am so grateful for my slow cooker that enabled me to write all day and still cook dinner for my family without losing any precious writing time. I even found time to re-read essential parts of my previous novels and cast on for a pair of socks (now that I've decided that a particular yarn will not suit a shawl).

Yep, definitely grateful.

Day 15 Project Gratitude: Connections II

DH and I have had so much fun going back through his family tree after the family reunion this past weekend. Names and stories and relationships all fit together now rather than being disjointed stories with no connection to the unfamiliar names on the family tree.

Now we know that a great-grandfather was known as "The Prophet" due to his love of The Word and his zeal in preaching on the second coming. DH's great grandfather died eleven years before he was born so he never knew him (unlike me who met at least one great-grandparent and our children who knew three of their great-grandparents) and had no idea that such a Christian heritage existed beyond his own godly parents.

For me, having been brought into the family through marriage my connection is through my husband and children. The family members that go before are no blood relatives of mine, while those that come after, are. An interesting concept. And yet ... a distant relative of DH's (great-great-great-gre…

Day 14 Project Gratitude: Connections

I'm grateful for a full day that included a family reunion (on DH's side), seeing two sons (and getting to bring one home), and a combined sixtieth birthday/fortieth wedding anniversary celebration where we got to catch up with people whom we haven't seen in years.

The invisible connections between generations, families, and friends, are unique and precious and it was wonderful to be reminded of them today.

I'm grateful for that reminder. I'm also grateful for that moment when you are finally able to kick your 'good' shoes off and breathe a sigh of heartfelt relief!

Day 13 Project Gratitude: ANZAC

For those who fought ... for those who sustained injuries ... for those tormented by nightmares ... for those who suffered ... for those who watched as loved ones marched off to war ... for those never able to talk about their experiences ... for those that gave up their lives ... I am grateful.

May we never forget the price paid for freedom.

Day 12 Project Gratitude: Chocolate

Today I'm grateful for chocolate.

Because some days you just need chocolate.

Dark or milk chocolate. Chocolate with almonds or macadamia nuts. Chocolate with blueberries or liquorice. Mint, raisins, chilli. Soft centres or hard.

Chocolate to share. Or indulge in secret.

I'll take it just about any way. Except with coconut.

Day 11 Project Gratitude: A Clean Veranda

I love my sons. Dearly.

I love my sons' spouses and offspring. Also dearly.

And I love my sons' dogs.

Some of the time.

Being a dog owner, one would think that I am familiar with puppies and the destruction they can cause. After all, we have had our share of puppies digging up gardens and chewing hose fittings and anything else left lying around (and woe betide the family member who left the back door open when we had a puppy that helped itself to used disposable nappies and shredded them all over the backyard).

Not so. It's been years since Kielsie was a puppy and I had forgotten. That was all about to change.

This past weekend I received a crash course in puppydom. I will not elaborate on his sins but let's just say they were many. Still, it's made me appreciate some of the things that I usually take for granted.

Like a mature dog and a clean veranda (now that I've washed it down from top to bottom and removed the shredded rope, mat, hose fittings, and bamb…

Day 10 Project Gratitude: Sunset


As I wondered this evening what to write about, I looked out the kitchen window and saw a sunset and realised that I was grateful for such a sight. Not that I struggled to find things for which to be grateful, it's just that earlier today one of my sons told me of the death of a young friend over the Easter weekend. My heart is very full as I think of all that I am grateful for right now and that poor grieving family.

A sunset might then seem like a frivolous thing for which to be grateful, but the sunset was a visual reminder that even when we're not always consciously aware of it, God is in control. He set the world in motion, and seasons and times come and go, and nothing - nothing - takes Him by surprise.

And for that I am very grateful.

Day 9 Project Gratitude: Hot water, A Cuppa, and a Cozy Blanket

I am grateful for all of the above. After a walk in the bush (you would think after last time I would have learnt my lesson but it seems I have periodic episodes of memory loss) where after the first hour my left knee decided to rebel and didn't stop until we reached the car three and a half hours later, arriving home to hot water with which to attack the mud and the aches and pains, a cuppa to soothe the soul, and a blanket to snuggle under, were all everyday things for which I was extremely grateful.

After the first few minutes, it was difficult to see the fun during the four and a half hour tramp (okay, lunch wasn't bad but I would hardly describe it as fun). It wasn't the fault of the bush. Or the rain. Or the company. Or the destination. No, it was the fault of that silly ol' knee - that same knee I was grateful for a few days ago for allowing me to walk! Hmmmm.

Day 8 Project Gratitude: Empty

I am so grateful for an empty tomb.

Without an empty tomb Jesus would just be another good man who died a martyr's death. There would be no resurrection, no victory over sin and death, no hope for eternal life, and no reason to follow Him.

That Jesus is more than just a historical figure, more than a good man, more than a martyr, is critical to the Christian faith. Because without the resurrection, we have no more reason to believe, no more reason to hope, than the person who decides to put their faith in a stone.

It is the resurrection that gives hope, gives power, gives life. The joy that His disciples, His friends, His mother and siblings would have felt at knowing He is Alive can be ours today. Because, He is Alive!

Day 7 Project Gratitude: Friends

Today, having realised that once again I was late with birthday wishes for a very special lady, I think a post acknowledging how grateful I am for friends is appropriate. This particular friend is so humble, so unassuming, so not wanting the spotlight to ever be on her, that I don't even know when her birthday is except that it's in April and before today.

This incredible woman of God is so loving, so thoughtful, so accepting of others, so godly, so patient in suffering, that she regularly (without intending to) puts me to shame. I am too quick to whine/judge/etc but not so this dear lady and I am certainly grateful that God made her.

Would it surprise you to know that I've never met her? I've spoken to her on the phone but have never spoken to her face to face. She is just one of a small group of  friends that I have the privilege of knowing but whom I have never met.

Then there are the friends in real life. Just a fortnight ago I had the pleasure of speaking to a fr…


Being a lover of all things (well almost all things) pre-twentieth century, the word "Dunmore" conjures up pictures of stately old homes, women sipping tea in the garden, and a leisurely pace of life.

Perhaps that's why I fell in love with this  Dunmore Lace pattern and wanted to use it with a very special yarn. I'm thrilled with the results.

I actually finished this scarf a few weeks ago but haven't had an opportunity to audition it since the weather has not been all that cold. I'm sure this is about to change. It's very similar to the baktus I knitted for DIL#3.
This scarf follows a similar "recipe" to my previous baktus patterns, so rather than post the entire pattern, I'll just outline what I did.

I used Malabrigo sock yarn (I was longing to have my very own scarf made out of one of these gorgeous yarns and I'm glad I started this last year because it has now become even harder to obtain these delicious yarns in New Zealand) and si…

Day 6 of Project Gratitude: The Cross

Today, as Christians remember Christ's crucifixion and all that it means, I am grateful for the cross and what it signifies.

I'm sure it was no coincidence that my reading this morning was the crucifixion account in Luke's gospel. (Remember that I'm reading through the entire Bible at my own pace and the passages haven't been 'set' to coincide with events on the Christian calendar.) I decided to leave the next chapter on the resurrection for Sunday morning, so, not having read the usual quota of pages, I turned to the Psalms, and read this:

God be merciful to us and bless us,
And cause His face to shine upon us, Selah
That Your way may be known on earth,
Your salvation among all nations.

Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy!
For You shall judge the people righteously,
And govern the nations on earth. Selah
(Psalm 67)

I am so grateful for His mercy and salvation and that He will judge righteou…

Day 5 of Project Gratitude: Break

I am so very grateful that today was the last day of term one. It's been a looooooooong eleven weeks.

I need time ...

to think ...

to write ...

to read ...

to knit ...

to play the flute ...

and the piano ...

to go for long walks ...

to spend time with loved ones ...

and catch up with friends ... and

to be.

(Image is of the beautiful lace sampler cowl I am currently knitting. Pattern will follow.)

Day 4 of Project Gratitude: Walking


I am grateful for a walk outside even if it wasn't raining at the time (I love  a walk in the rain). Soon enough it will be too cold for this girl to be walking outside.

I'm grateful that I can walk. There have been a few occasions where illness or injury have meant that I've been unable to walk for a time or not without excruciating pain, so to be able to walk is not something I take for granted.

Day 3 of Project Gratitude: Godliness

I am grateful for a husband who studies God's Word and earnestly tries to live according to it.

Actually, this wasn't the post I had planned when I sat down to write tonight, but despite what I was thinking, it must have been what was uppermost in my mind. Perhaps it's because for the last few nights he has been diligently seeking God's Heart on a topic close to both our hearts and has shared with me his findings that this post 'evolved' as it did.

I'm also very grateful to Son#4 for cooking dinner when I had a late meeting at work.

Day 2 of Project Gratitude: Feijoa

Today I am grateful for the foresight of the owner who planted not one, but two, feijoa trees in our backyard. The free produce every year is always welcome. And not just for us, but for family and friends who share in the bounty, and I suspect for our neighbours, too, who reap the harvest of what falls on their side of the fence.

And I'm grateful for two little girls who helped me scoop the flesh out of literally hundreds of feijoa so that there are now three feijoa crumbles cooking in the oven while two feijoa coconut loaves cool on the bench.
In a few days we will again have a surplus of feijoa begging for us to use somehow - it's a phenomenon right across the country at the moment - and for that, too, I am grateful (even if my hands and fingers and legs protest from standing and scooping, scooping).
Perhaps I wasn't as grateful as I should have been when we first moved into our house. I found these green fruit with the sweet flesh almost unpalatable at first. I couldn…

Day 1 of Project Gratitude: Family

As usual, I'm late to the party ... or, in other words, I'm late picking up on the latest trend whether in fashion (ha, when have I ever been on trend there), food/diet/exercise, craft, or, as in this instance, blog topics.

Inspired by the posts of a beautiful young girl whom I have had the incredible privilege of knowing since she was knee high to a grasshopper and seeing the beautiful woman of God she has become and is becoming, I've decided to follow in her steps and do my own project: gratitude. I probably won't follow the rules of the game exactly (my blog will be my platform) but I hope to share each and every day for the next one hundred days something that I'm grateful for. (Wow, that's going to really keep me on my toes!) I can't promise to share photos every day (not having a cellphone that takes photos - yes, I'm still living in the dark ages) but I will do my best, and hopefully be able to make this just a wee bit interesting.

For her blog …


The other day I received not one, not two but THREE compliments all in the course of a morning. Considering that I rarely get three compliments in a year (apart from ones from DH) this was certainly noteworthy. Earth shattering, in fact.

Now for all those beautiful twenty-somethings reading my blog, this may not seem like a big deal. But to someone who has in all likelihood passed the halfway mark of their allotted lifespan (even given that my paternal grandmother lived to almost ninety-nine years of age), this is a BIG deal.

It wasn't as if I'd even made a greater effort than usual: a red and tan floral skirt, a knitted cotton cropped cardigan, my hair up in a top knot much higher than I usually wear it (and it hurt like crazy after the first hour so I probably won't try that again), minimal make-up (if any), and sensible sandals that are comfy for work but not the type that make your legs look absolutely fabulous.

I think it was the hair that did it. Someone even went so…

Ever After

Yesterday my beautiful DIL#3 posted a message on Facebook to the effect that she has enjoyed being married to her best friend for the past year and looks forward to many more years to come. As a mother and mother-in-law - who wants the best for her children and their spouses - it warms my heart when such things are expressed and I would love to think that it would always be so.

But as a marriage veteran of thirty years, I know that the chances of it always being rosy are small. While there are some folks who may sail through marriage with few hitches, the majority of us hit some pretty big obstacles along the way. We've all seen the couples who seem to be so in-love when they first marry that some of us who have been married for what seems to be eons, feel slightly envious of their happiness, only to see the same marriage hit what appears to be insurmountable obstacles a few years down the track. There are other marriages that seem to struggle on, the couple holding it together y…