This Kind of Day.. .

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Trompe-l'œil

Which kind?

The deliciously girly kind!

There are deep, deep doings in the Bluestocking household, friends.   The Chicklette is having a graduation ball.  Not just any old graduation ball, but a period costume ball.

And what is extra, extra special?  We have wonderful people helping us!

Today we settled on a venue. We went to the nurture-my-need-for-pretty Tea Rooms and discussed Important Ball Details over coffee. We shopped for ball dresses.

Today, friends, was blissful!

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Shiver Me Timbers!

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The Chicklettes’s growing up.

Bloggy friends, folk warned me: they did!  They said to treasure the time while my children are little, because it is over so soon.  At the time, buried under mountains of washing, changing nappies, pureeing vegetables, and teaching ABC’s, it was hard not to look forward to when I’d see a little more independence.

Those same dear folk were just as likely to mutter dark sayings about, “If you think this stage is hard, wait until you have teenagers – then you’ll know what hard is!”  Which, I might add, is about as constructive and encouraging as those who share horror birth stories with you in the last week of your pregnancy.  (And what’s more, I so far maintain that it is not true.  Little children are hard work.  Big children are hard work.  Parenting is hard work!  But each stage has its joys. 🙂 )

What has been on my mind lately is how to make the most of the sunset of childhood for my eldest girl. Opportunities for memories I want her to have of childhood that are yet unfulfilled, need to happen in a twinkling.  🙂   I am a goal setting, list writing sort of character, and early on, aimed to create a firm sense of family, and to provide some of the experiences that I loved as a child. We’ve camped, explored creeks, been to the beach, holidayed on farms, walked the rain forests, held baby animals, planted edibles, been canoeing, read glorious books together, and had spontaneous adventures.  It’s been a lot of fun, and we are blessed to have  had family and friends who are  keen to share these experiences with the girls.

As I witness the beautiful thing that is dawning womanhood in my first born, I still long to cram in any last experience that childhood thrills to.  So… we went to the rock pools last weekend,  and this week we bought a couple of up-in-an-instant little tents.  We have a serious, heavy duty  monster one, but it makes me shudder to think of the effort to deal with it, particularly as it always seems to rain on the day we pack up and it has to be pulled out and dried at home – no mean feat.  And just as we have the new facilities for more spontaneous happenings, we find ourselves invited out this weekend for a bonfire and camp out.  Just the thing! 🙂

There is of course the obligatory stuff that needs to be accomplished before I launch her out in the world – education, domestic management, character: and all those things are important.  But it’s the delight in simple, natural things; the things that we no longer make time for when the cares and distractions of adulthood press in, those are what I want to do while I wring the last vestiges of opportunity from this period.

Here’s my list to accomplish in the next 12 months.  There are other activities I would like to do, but these I think are most likely to happen, and some have plans already in the making:

Two short camping trips

Boating

Vegetable garden.   Vegetable garden?  Yes, the Chicklette loves to grow things, and so far we have been reluctant to plough up the lawn (we have established trees all around the perimeter of the yard and only the very middle gets any sun) leaving her to garden only in pots.  But what’s a bit of lawn, yes?

Fossicking

Fishing

Medieval fair and museum

Heritage festival

Period ball

At least one trip to visit our dear friends at Marigold Cottage

When I asked the Chicklette what she thought should be added to this list, her response was instantaneous: “Bake a pecan pie!”   (Insert bemused mother face here.)  She has not long had braces removed, but who would have thought that a two year deprivation of sweet, sticky things would still be so fresh in her mind?  Stay tuned for reports of our next adventures, and .. ah.. pecan pie.

Who Has the Sweetest Bloggy Friends in the World?

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I do.

 

Yes, I do. 😀

 

I’m writing from my little powerbook today, because the swanky MacBook Pro Mr BB bought me recently has suffered a … a hiccup.

While making dinner, I heard a voice with a small quaver assert that, “I was pretending it was an oven.”

I’m making dinner.  If a remark is not addressed to me personally, and it’s not declaring a national emergency, then I’m absorbed in the job at hand. (Hint: multi-tasking is not in my vocabulary!)

Then a little louder, and with a note of rising hysteria, the same little voice wailed, “I was pretending it was an oven!”

All of a sudden there was a cluster of people around little Blossy  and my computer, and everyone exclaiming as one,”How could you?  How could you?”

I realized I was one of those asking the question.  What would possess someone to post a handful of coins into the disk drive of my laptop?  Well, she was pretending it was an oven, of course!

Mr BB growled all sorts of menacing things about voiding warranties, and naughty children and a few things that are less than edifying, though justified: we have a bad, indeed a very bad record with computers..

The next morning, while bearing the dual gloom of my ruined Mac and the disaster brewing up north, something delightful arrived.

Want to see? 😀

 

I don’t think hand-woven anything exists here, but this is, and made me marvel at the patience and skill that is required to produce it.  The image doesn’t do justice to the richness of the thread; the sides are a deep red, shot through with an even darker colour.

 

 

 

 

 

Aren’t they beautiful?  There are not adequate words to describe the feel of these fabrics, or the delight they solicited from the collection of little girls on my bed as we unfolded them.  Who could be glum on such a day?!

So, added to the shoebox treasures from our bloggy friends in Minnesota and Germany, the homeschooling-help-me-keep-records goodies from WA, the kefir from down south, and the snowy photo card from Texas, we have the most glorious scarves from… India!

Who has the sweetest bloggy friends in the world?

I know I do. ♥

 

 

p.s… don’t think Mr BB missed out, with all that girly joy happening; he didn’t. But his gift has gone off to work with him, and isn’t here to photograph!

Bang! It’s 2011.

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Hello Bloggy friends!

 

Happy 2011 😀

 

I hope you all have had a restful time over the break ( though holidays are not so conducive to rest, are they?)  We generally school straight through this time of year, but so far we’ve been.. too busy!

We enjoyed  a farm stay on the Clarence River.  It was great, despite flooding and window-licking cows, and is definitely somewhere I would go again.

It was full of pretty places,

 

and did I mention… cows?

 

 

We battled home through flooded roads, landslides, and traffic backed up for miles – an adventure I’m not in a hurry to repeat.

I know it’s blurry, but after nine hours in the car – and then only being half way home – my brain was blurry, too.

We made it through in time to  attended our first ever Regency Ball.  It was a LOT of fun!  (But more on that later… 😉 )

 

 

 

This morning our first ever Wanderer/Monarch butterfly emerged.  The three previous had all been stung, so we were extra pleased to see this one survive.

In a short while one of my dear internet friends and two of her children are coming to stay at the Bluestocking abode, and we are all looking forward to that event.  It’s an especial bonus that there is an entomology student in their number!  😀

 

That sums up our holiday activities, and then it’s plunging back to school in earnest.  But that can wait for just a bit longer… we’ve too many things to do to have time for serious study just now!  😉

 

 

Jondaryan, and the State of the Nation, and other bits…

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Hello dear Bloggy friends!

You’ll never guess what the Bluestocking household has been off doing, while the fate of the nation (politically speaking), hangs in the balance .  Of course, after my last post, I wouldn’t DARE ask you to guess, I’m just going to tell you straight up. 😀

 

We’ve been to Oakey.  It’s a freezing cold place on the Darling Downs, handy to the Jondaryan Woolshed.  Each year in (windy, freezing) August, the Woolshed hosts the Australian Heritage Festival.  Friends, it’s worth a visit!

 

There are sheepdog trials, machinery displays, cheese making, sheep shearing, heavy horse displays, blacksmithing, and all sorts of interesting things.  This is not a festival you can explore in just one day: at least, not if your family is passionate about history.  We spent several days there, and could have taken longer to truly explore, while still having adequate time for the younger members of our family to sit in the baby animal enclosure and cuddle lots of small, furry critters.

 

One of the most delightful aspects for us as a family, amidst a great many delightful experiences, was as a result of people watching 😀  We were in the baby animal enclosure, and observed a family playing nearby our own little ones.  Mr BB whispered to me, “Bet you, they are homeschoolers.”    Funny thing was, they were doing the same…. and came and asked us if we homeschool. 😛

After a good hour of conversation, we found that although they live hours from our city, and although we had never met them before, we are well acquainted with their extended family, and they have friends who work with Mr BB.  It was such a surprise!  Being lovely country folk, they invited us home for dinner.  Friends, I stood in awe.  The lady calmly whipped up dinner for 15.  Yes, between the two families, it made 15 for dinner.  Roast turkey and veggies, with home preserved peaches and custard for dessert. Being as I am the variety of hostess who has brain spasms if required to entertain with less than two weeks notice in writing, I think I could learn a thing or two about hospitality from that dear woman.

All of our children blended famously, and the entertainments included meeting the joey that lives in the house yard, the new Meremma pups, and viewing a glorious collection of eggs, and a the insect collection of an aspiring entomologist. Without a doubt, it was the high point in an already promising holiday. 🙂

My one blot in the week was going into a media black hole, with no internet, and no phone reception.  How could I know, when booking the time away, that I would be wandering off into the wilderness while history was being made with the closest election run in my lifetime?  Considering I had been glued to the ABC website for days, it positively hurt me to know it was going to be decided while I was away.  Of course, it wasn’t, and nothing had really changed when I arrived home (!) and I am grateful for all the time I didn’t waste watching for movements and results.

Lastly, with a turn toward the (ahem!) weightier matters of life, I’ve finally decided on a pair of Docs.  I was sorely tempted by the new florals, but the purist in me had to choose a pair of ten up, cherry reds. 😀  If you don’t think they’d frighten your children (or your mother, or your spouse 😛 ) consider them – truly, every woman should own a pair.  There is a reason they tout them as having “bouncing soles”.

 

And that’s it folks.  Hope your week’s been great!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shhhh…..

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Bloggy friends, this is going to hurt me a lot more than it’s going to hurt you.

I have a secret.  Not just any ol’ secret, but a Big Delicious Secret.  I can’t tell you about my Big Delicious Secret,  for, oh, .. another ten weeks.  Yes, another TEN WHOLE WEEKS.    Can you imagine? 😯

Why am I telling you about this now, then, you ask?

Well, it’s because I almost, almost can’t bear it.  And telling you that it exists is the next best thing I could think of to actually spilling the beans. Because the exertion required to hold it in could send me to glory. Because, because.. because I’m bad at keeping this kind of secret!!!!

So… stay tuned*. In just TEN WHOLE MORE WEEKS, I’ll be able to tell you.

*It’s possible, not that I plan to, but it’s just possible, that before then I may need to rave about the outcome of the election.  Can you imagine a person holding back their joy ah, strong emotion, at either result?  Imagine voting out the Woman with the Voice, and being treated to… Tony Abbot?  (Yeah, be still my beating heart, right?)

Hope you’re all well, bloggy friends. The Bluestocking household has been under the weather for a week or so, and living a life of luxury for a week before that.   I actually thought I was leading a fairly privileged life in having daily breakfast with an egg chef at my disposal, and fresh double brie with dried pear, and greek yoghurt with fresh passionfruits and… oh, all sorts of goodies, until Mr Eric Loiselle mentioned his daily lobster habit he developed during his recent trip.  There are clearly degrees of privilege 😛

Catch up with you all soon….  🙂  (you know, if I live through keeping my secret… )

12 Point Cure for Complaining – Bill Izard

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I stumbled upon this article, reproduced with permission, while visiting the Berean Wife’s blog.

Friends: may it prick your conscience as it did mine – should the need exist 🙂   (You know I decline to suffer alone! 😉 )

❧❧❧❧❧

Complaining is unbecoming of the true Christian and yet we are proficient at it. The cure is found in these verses. In Christ we are never hopeless or forsaken. Every trial has meaning. Meditate on this cure in order to change both your language and your heart.

1. GOD COMMANDS ME NEVER TO COMPLAIN.

Do all things without complaining and disputing. Philippians 2:14(NAS)

2. GOD COMMANDS ME TO GIVE THANKS IN EVERY CIRCUMSTANCE.

In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

3. GOD COMMANDS ME TO REJOICE ALWAYS, AND ESPECIALLY IN TIMES OF TRIAL.

Rejoice in the Lord always. Phil. 4:4; Rejoice always. 1 Thessalonians 5:16; Count it all joy when you fall into various trials. James 1:2

4. I ALWAYS DESERVE MUCH WORSE THAN WHAT I AM SUFFERING NOW, IN FACT, I DESERVE HELL.

Why should any living mortal, or any man, offer complaint in view of his sins? Lamentations 3:39 Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Luke 13:2-3

5. IN LIGHT OF THE ETERNAL HAPPINESS AND GLORY THAT I WILL EXPERIENCE IN HEAVEN, THIS PRESENT TRIAL IS EXTREMELY BRIEF AND INSIGNIFICANT, EVEN IF IT WERE TO LAST A LIFETIME.

The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Rom. 8:18; For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. 2 Corinthians 4:19

6. MY SUFFERING IS FAR LESS THAN THAT WHICH CHRIST SUFFERED, AND HE DID NOT COMPLAIN.

Who when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when he suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously. 1 Peter 2:23

7. TO COMPLAIN IS TO SAY GOD IS NOT JUST.

Shall not the Judge of all the Earth do right? Genesis 18:25

8. FAITH AND PRAYER EXCLUDE COMPLAINING.

I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered from all my fears. Psalm 34:4

9. THIS DIFFICULTY IS BEING USED BY GOD FOR MY GOOD AND IT IS FOOLISH FOR ME TO COMPLAIN AGAINST IT.

And we know that all things work together for the good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

10. THOSE MORE FAITHFUL THAN I HAVE SUFFERED FAR WORSE THAN I, AND DID SO WITHOUT COMPLAINT.

…and others were tortured, not accepting their release, in order that they might obtain a better resurrection; and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. All these, having gained approval through their faith… Hebrews 11:35-39

11. COMPLAINING DENIES THAT GOD’S GRACE IS ENTIRELY SUFFICIENT.

My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9

12. THE GREATEST SUFFERING, THE WORST TRIAL OR DIFFICULTY, CAN NEVER ROB ME OF THAT WHICH IS OF GREATEST VALUE TO ME AND MY GREATEST JOY, NAMELY THE LOVE OF CHRIST.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39

Copyright © 2001 Bill Izard
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