...with a little more of that... just so you know what I'm doing with myself while I'm not with you. If you're interested in how I spend my time that is...
So I am now the proud and slightly overwhelmed owner of a Kashmir Jamawar woven of pashmina and silk, courtesy of that sublimely wonderful husband of mine. It was sitting, wrapped in gold paper and with a crunchy mauve silk ribbon surrounding it, on the table when we arrived at our restaurant for dinner on Saturday night. It was accompanied by a single long stemmed red rose and a bottle of Moët et Chandon too. He really blows my mind, sometimes, that man...
Anyhow, the shawl. I think it is absolutely magnificent, but when I wore it to church on Sunday my darling sister asked me whether I was wearing a blanket, so I may be wrong.
I finally managed to get to Purl's Palace over the weekend, so I now have the yarn to crochet my granny rug. It is silk and mohair Noro Yarn from Japan, which is a little ironic since I'll be there next week, but I didn't want to have to purchase it there only to have to lug it all home. I am now a woman obsessed...
The only problem with starting a new hobby is the time it takes from the established ones. I'm reading some great books at the moment. My bookclub novel is The Robber Bride by Margaret Attwood, a cleverly written story of adultery, lies, deceit and deception. The themes of power, trust, and friendship, attraction, lust and love are explored in a fascinating way in this book.
Hubby and I are ploughing our way through Anthony Hoekema's The Bible and the Future in our attempt to unravel the mystery of Revelation for our Homegroup Bible Study. Hah, yeah!! This book is an excellent introduction into the four major schools of eschatological thought and the differences between them, and is really written for minds cleverer than mine. However, we forge onward.
Written more on my level is Susan Hunt's Spiritual Mothering - The Titus 2 Model for Women Mentoring Women. This immensely practical book is full of case-studies and sensible advice about applying God's principles to your life. I thoroughly recommend this one to all women - and not only to mothers!!
I'm rereading The Book of Tea by Okakua Kakuzo (and numerous other travel books) in preparation for our upcoming journey to Japan. I always love this book, originally written to be read aloud at Isabella Stewart Gardner's famous Boston salon in 1906. It would be hard to find a better book to explain the Japanese aesthetic and spirit to ignorant gaijin like me. Despite its misleading name, New Zen - the tea-ceremony room in modern japanese architecture is a photographic collection of chashitsu designed by contemporary Japanese architects. I'm browsing my way through this one as well. I'm really enjoying this book, although I must wonder whether they really needed to New Age its title.
Also amongst the printed matter by the bed are this year's rose catalogues. I am so weak. I pour over these catalogues with an intensity that they don't deserve, coffee always at hand, and I enjoy the time immensely. I'm so easily sucked in by a well-written description too. I ordered a dozen Souvenir de la Malmaison one year like that - from a delicious description that quite removed from my generally practical mind such things as the fact that it is one of the most temperamental of roses with its susceptibility to powdery mildew as well as its propensity to 'ball' at the merest sniff of rain.
In the kitchen we've been making pesto with the season's basil crop and freezing it in batches to last the winter. Pesto is fantastic used as a dip, stirred into pasta, added to soup, or cooked with chicken. We love it to death around our Peaceful Home. We've also been freezing the Thai basil into ice cubes with a bit of olive oil, and picking and freezing the chilis as they ripen. The rest of the apples not made into chutney we've cooked with a bit of sugar and popped into the freezer. Imagine apple and blueberry crumble in the dead of winter with lashings of custard and icecream. Yummio!
We've seem to have been practicing the Art of Hospitality with some increased regularity recently. It's been a rare week without the pleasure of house guests, and we seem to have been entertaining at least one or two extra bods at most evening meals lately. The autumn harvest from the vegie garden is not going to waste (only to waist. Sigh.)
Um, what else can I tell you? Oh yes, two new staff members at work have been taking up my time during the day in the nicest of ways. I always love the optimism of new staff members, although I must say that getting my head around new wage and condition awards has left me a little boggle-eyed and well earning my own pay packet.
We're up to week 4 of term two at school. Today Jemimah will sit the MEP End of Year (IPMA) test, which will finish up Year 3 of MEP in perfect time for our holiday. Exams are great, she reckons - especially maths ones - because they come with packets of Smarties to use as manipulatives... We're also finishing up the second book of Pilgrim's Progress - Christiana's Story. I'm feeling a little bit sad that we've reached the end of this classic book, and that Jemimah's scroll too, is complete. You should see it - it's a beauty!!
Apart from this, school toddles on much as usual. I am always overwhelmed by friends who are able to post homeschool updates every week and tell of all the new and exciting things they're doing with their kiddiewinks. We just seem to do the same stuff week in-week out. Still, we like it like that and we're happy, so that's hunky dory.
Preparation for our holiday is underway. We'll be in Tokyo in less than a week now. (Note to self: Email Sue!) I'll post separately what Jemimah and I are reading and doing in preparation for our trip.
Well, that's us. I suppose that instead of writing about life, I should go live it!
Love you, my bloggy pals.
Ah yes, life's good.