3 May 2010

This and that

...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.


  1. Sounds like you had a wonderful romantic weekend away then:) That shawl is just beautiful, imagine calling it a blanket!:) (sorry sister of Jeanne)
    I look forward to the day when Rebekah says she loves exams like Jemimah!
    Must not hold you up from your preparations for your exciting holiday!

  2. Love Attwood but haven't read this title yet; Did Revelation last year aka John MacArthur ~ At least it makes sense his way☺; love the wool & the shawl is sensational! ♥

    Heading overseas early today to shop for clothes & so Lid can sort out her car. *sigh* Go, go, go! She leaves Thurs. :(

  3. Less than a week! Will you get to see Sue?

    School was mushroom hunting and sword fights.

    Hugging you with the arms of my heart.

  4. Great to hear about what has been happening around your place. Love the yarn, just gorgeous and man you must be beside yourself with excitement with your trip to Japan next week! xxx

  5. I've been hanging out to hear about your weekend and it sounds as though it did not disappoint!!
    I am constantly amazed at all that you pack into your life, Jeanne!
    I have an idea I have read the Hunt book at some stage but might take another look at it ~ soon:-)
    Mind boggling with how excited you must be preparing to leave for Japan. Saw my sister and hubby off for two months in France today. Ah, it's a small world!

  6. i love your pashmina shawl. you will
    wear it more than you even think

    have a lovely trip!

  7. have fun in Japan. Will you still be blogging while you are there or will we have to wait with anticipation until you come back?

  8. your shawl is really lovely...your sister...sheesh :)

    I have a scarf a friend crocheted for me with Noro wool, in that colourway..it's very lovely!


  9. Lovely to hear all your exciting news Jeanne. I just love the shawl, such gorgeous colours! Blanket? I don't think so! Have a wonderful time in Japan won't you, and let us hear all the fun things you do!

  10. The Robber Bride was a very clever book and I really enjoyed it. I am not a fan of all of Margaret Attwood, some her books are a little strange.

    The Pashmina looks beautiful and nothing like a rug.

    You must be very excited about your holiday.

  11. I like reading about your life as it seems more a fairytale!
    I just happen to have the Spiritual Mothering book on my bookshelf - have had it for eleven years. Now I will finally read it, as you have inspired me to...
    Also the squares you're crocheting - gorgeous. I have some very colourful wool which my mum spun before she died...I think I will makes some sqaures with it and create a lovely throw...thanks for the great ideas yet again. I love your creativity!
    Butter Fly

  12. The shawl is gorgeous; I'm green with envy. And those yarns! Can't wait to see the end product that flies off the end of your ever-industrious fingers! I've read some Atwood, but not the one you mentioned. I'll put it on my (ever-growing) list. Have a lovely and safe trip, Jeanne!

  13. I so enjoy reading about your beautiful life, Jeanne. It's so full of His goodness. How wonderful that Jemimiah has finished up MEP 3. I checked into it, and it seemed complicated for some reason. I think the key is just finding something and sticking with it instead of switching every year. So glad to hear you're liking something this well, and Smarties...who wouldn't love those for manipulatives? :) Have a wonderful trip next week. Can't wait to see pictures and hear the details.


I'd love you to leave me a message. Tell me what you like - and what you don't. Just remember that this is what we do in our family - it doesn't have to be what you do in yours...