Sunday, 30 October 2016


One of my 'quilting' fingers became infected about ten days ago, so I spent this week at my sewing maching making this quilt.  Isn't it gorgeous?  I sewed the red and blue borders on yesterday and will take a photograph today.  Going to make the binding today and next Friday, baste it at Robyn's all ready for quilting.

Song for Sunday

When the disciples asked Jesus how to pray this is what he taught them. 

Saturday, 29 October 2016


We have been meeting at Kerrie's for over fifteen years.  Here's what Leona's working on...and this,

and these...



This is going to be super gorgeous.  These 'strips' with all her 'blue' work will make up a super, duper quilt.

and Kerrie J....

English paper pieceing in Civil War materials...

Dear Robyn continues working on her latest Crazy....

Kerrie K on her applique

and...dear Lynne is making this for her new sewing room...

And let's not forget moi...

Nearly finished off an old project from long, long ago.  A wee angel in need of some eyes!

Sunday, 23 October 2016


...thinking about this quote from Brennan Manning's book ABBA'S CHILD.

"...And there have been times...
when the felt presence of God was more real to me
than the chair I am sitting on;
    when the Word ricocheted like broken-backed
lightning in every corner of my soul;
   when a storm of desire carried me to places I had
never visited.
   And there have been other times...
   when I identified with the words of Mae West:  "I
used to be Snow White - but I drifted";
   when the Word was as stale as old ice cream and
as bland as tame sausage;
   when the fire in my belly flickered and died;
   when I mistook dried-up enthusiasm for gray-haired
   when I dismissed youthful idealism as mere
   when I preferred cheap slivers of glass to the pearl
of great price.

If you relate to any of these experiences, you might want to browse through this book and pause to reclaim your core identity as Abba's Child."


Saturday, 22 October 2016


Click to enlarge and get a better view of this dog's anxiety!

Thursday, 20 October 2016


Can you hear them?


...The constant challenge in this life we call Christian is the translation of what we believe into our day-to-day lifestyle.  Risky business!

This doesn't, of course mean conforming to some prescribed pattern of enthusiastic affection... Rather, it is a thing of complete spontaneity, unprogrammed and unpredictable.  It is more likely to make us feel foolish (if we are the least bit self-conscious) than to make us feel that at last we have arrived at Christian maturity.  In order to do more than adopt a passing fad, we never forget that the spontaneous affection erupting within us is the love of God poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.

The courage to risk approaching an enemy to seek reconciliation belongs in the same category.  It will expose us to very probable rejection, ridicule and failure...In season and out of season, in success and failure, in grace and disgrace, the courage to risk everything on the signature of Jesus is the mark of authentic discipleship...

                                                                         Excerpt from Signature of Jesus (Brennan Manning)

David took this photograph last year - somewhere in Scotland.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016


Two more weeks and I'll be able to get down the stairs and pick them myself!  

Sunday, 16 October 2016


The Jacaranda tree is starting to leaf.

Sunday Song from Dunblane Cathederal, Scotland


C'est moi!  Holding his big sister while he cooks!

At his Aunt's wee hoose in Cawdor

In Arnisdale

With his 'love'

Have a great day Aaron!

Thursday, 13 October 2016


in spite of that;  notwithstanding;  all the same

Last blog on Paul Kalanithi's book WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR.  Here he discusses his thoughts on belief in God and Christianity.

"The favorite quote of many an atheist, from the Nobel Prize-winning French biologist Jacques Monod...

'The ancient covenant is in pieces;  man at last knows that he is alone in the unfeeling immensity of the universe, out of which he emerged only by chance.'

Yet I returned to the central values of Christianity - sacrifice, redemption, forgiveness - because I found them so compelling.  There is a tension in the Bible between justice and mercy, between the Old Testament and the New Testament.  And the New Testament says you can never be good enough: goodness is the thing, and you can never live up to it.  The main message of Jesus, I believed, is that mercy trumps justice every time.

Not only that, but maybe the basic message of original sin isn't "Feel guilty all the time." Maybe it is more along these lines:  "We all have a notion of what it means to be good, and we can't live up to it all the time."  Maybe that's what the message of the New Testament is, after all.  Even if you have a notion as well defined as Leviticus, you can't live that way.  It's not just impossible, it's insane."

And that is the message of the Bible.  Paul in Romans 7 describes this conundrum beautifully, "I do not understand what I do.  For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do."  And the Good News is that NEVERTHLESS, God loves us.  And that 'love' is a 'love' beyond all definitions.

The beautiful quilt?  Another one of Robyn's - for her grand-daughter.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016


David went off to return books to the library when I suddenly remembered I had wanted to blog a bit more about Paul Kalanithi from his book WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR.  Quickly hobbled to the telephone and left David a slow message which I was assured by the recording would be relayed to him as a text.  "Bring   back    the   Doctor   book!"  And brought it back he did.

My little torn paper bookmarks were still in the book so here's the first one.  I'll do the other one another day.

His wife writing the poscript to the book.

"I expected to feel only empty and heartbroken after Paul died.  It never occurred to me that you could love someone the same way after he was gone, that I would continue to feel such love and gratitude alongside the terrible sorrow, the grief so heavy that at times I shiver and moan under the weight of it.  Paul is gone, and I miss him acutely nearly every moment, but I somehow feel I'm still taking part in the life we created together.  "Bereavement is not the truncation of married love," C.S. Lewis wrote, "but one of its regular phases - like the honeymoon.  What we want is to live our marriage well and faithfully through that phase too."  Caring for our daughter, nurturing relationships with family, publishing this book, pursuing meaningful work, visiting Paul's grave, grieving and honoring him, love goes on - lives on - in a way I'd never expected."

And the beautiful quilt above?  It's me reading with dear old Dougal beside me.  The little girl, bottom left is my earliest memory, standing at the gate telling everyone who passed that I was going to start school soon, Scottish background top left. Summerfield barn and red bench which we scattered everywhere we lived after a visit to Switzerland, Glasgow University where I started and didn't finish an MA - but developed a strong interest in Scottish Literature and Economic History, the beautiful MacIntosh chair made by David, the roses he has given me, each of the past forty seven years, the gum tree, symbolizing my new home which I love and the bluebird representing David, always at my shoulder and always full of love.

And the quilter?  My dear friend Robyn who is, at this time travelling the same road as Paul's wife.

Sunday, 9 October 2016


Lest I forget!

David laughed when he saw how I was getting around my housework.  Can you see the wash cloths on the handles of my crutches (click photograph to enlarge) and the bag around my neck which is filled with items that need to go home to where they belong?

David's doing the odd jobs I'm unable to do such as washing the floors, vacuuming, shopping, cooking, ironing...

Four weeks to go!

Saturday, 8 October 2016


David picked this book up from the Library for me yesterday.  I read a review on the book some time ago, took myself off to the Library and ordered it in.  There were twelve people ahead of me waiting to borrow it.  Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox and David went and collected it for me.  I finished reading it last night before I went to sleep.

From the flyleaf:

"Paul Kalanithi was a neurosurgeon and writer.  He held degrees in English Literature, human biology, and history and philosophy of science and medicine from Stanford and Cambridge universities before graduating from Yale School of Medicine.  He also received the American Academy of Neurological Surgery's highest award for research."

At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade's training as a neurosurgeon, he was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer.

This book was written during his illness, before and after his daughter was born.  Here's a 'taste'.

"...I had learned something, something not found in Hippocrates, Maimonides, or Osler:  the physician's duty is not to stave off death or return patients to their old lives, but to take into our arms a patient and family whose lives have disintegrated and work until they can stand back up and face, and make sense of, their own existence."

 And for his daughter to whom the book is dedicated:

"...When you come to one of the many moments in life where you must give an account of yourself, provide a ledger of what you have been, and done, and meant to the world, do not, I pray, discount that you filled a dying man's days with a sated joy, a joy unknown to me in all my prior years, a joy that does not hunger for more and more, but rests, satsified.  In this time, right now, that is an enormous thing..."

Monday, 3 October 2016


Greer sent this book to David for his birthday and I've just finished reading it.

The Guardian review here emphasizes the theme of, "...what happens when real life is exploited in fiction..."  For me though the major theme of the book is how the children are affected from the breakdown of their parents' marriages.

Anyone reading this book while considering having an affair or leaving their partner would, I think, think twice.

Saturday, 1 October 2016


While the leg heals, I have lots of time for reading.  Here's an excerpt from this book:

"...The second major feature of Jesus' life;  Jesus lived for others.  He was not simply called but actually was the friend of publicans and sinners.  He befriended the rabble, the riffraff of his own culture.  One of the mysteries of the gospel tradition is this strange attraction of Jesus to the unattractive, his strange desire for the undesirable, his strange love for the unlovely.  The key to this mystery is, of course, the Father.  Jesus does what he sees the Father doing, he loves those whom the Father loves.

The gentleness of Jesus with sinners flowed from his ability to read their hearts and to detect the sincerity and goodness there.  Behind men's grumpiest poses and most puzzling defense mechanisms, behind the arrogance and airs, behind their sneers and curses, Jesus saw little children who hadn't been loved enough and who had ceased growing because someone had ceased believing in them. Perhaps it was his extraordinary sensitivity and compassion that caused Jesus (and later the apostles) to speak of the faithful as "children", no matter how tall, rich, clever and successful they might be.

When Jesus tied a towel around his waist, poured water into a copper basin, and washed the feet of the apostles (the dress and duty of a slave), the Maundy Thursday revolution began, and a new idea of greatness in the kingdom of God emerged..."