Down on the Farm #14

With the change of cooler weather comes the removal of almost all that remains of the Summer/Autumn crops. We have spent a busy two days in the garden planting winter seeds and seedlings. This includes – all year lettuce mix, a mixed variety of spinach, broad beans, cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, carrots, leeks and onions. There’s still plenty of okra flowers growing so I left that in. There’s a corn cob or two left and a few cucumbers on their vines. They’ll be pulled out soon to make room for what we hope will be a bumper crop this year.

Archived in: Down on the Farm

Goodbyes are always hard…

Reverend David Curtis passed away on Friday 14th April shortly before 9am. David will be sadly missed by everyone at St Thomas Anglican Church Port Macquarie. He has been part of the pastoral care team I coordinate. David’s wisdom and experience he brought to the team has always been appreciated as too his willingness to do end-of-life and palliative care visits for me. David was also much involved with prayer and healing ministries.

Please check out his blog – David Curtis

Little White Dove

Rising, falling,
Gliding, flying.

Mantled in whispers of cloud,
Little white dove blissfully endowed.

Rising, falling,
Gliding, flying.

Softy embracing a heavenly tone,
Fly little white dove in skies unknown.

Rising, falling,
Gliding, flying.

Little white dove rise beyond the dance,
Through the power of a rhythmic trance.

穢 Chrissy Siggee

Archived in: Poetry Mix

Just a Little

Just a little
of Your holiness,
Just a little touch
of Your gentleness
Brings healing to my soul.

Just a little
of Your inward peace,
Just a little
of Your purest joy
Brings freedom to my soul.

Just a little
of Your glory revealed,
Just a little
of Your Word of life
Brings knowledge of Your love.

穢 Chrissy Siggee
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED – From my Book: Glimpses of His Glory
Archived in: Christian Reads

Courage

Psalm 27:14 says: “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.”

Philippians 4:12 – “I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things, I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.”

There have been times in my life when I felt overwhelmed by the busyness of life itself. Sometimes my health issues cause physical pain and tiredness. Being aware of the pain that family and dear friends are going through can also overwhelm.

Going through tough times needs courage. Though I don’t always feel I have enough, God is always there to see me through. His Word is true and I can do everything through him who gives me strength. I always know that… “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.” – Isaiah 40:29

Father, I am weak but you are strong. Through the struggles of day-to-day busyness, pain and weariness, I look to you for the courage to go on. Help me to do what I need to do in your strength. Amen

Chrissy Siggee 2018

Scripture Verses used are from the New International Version of the Bible

Archived in: Christian Reads

Nowhere

To the cross You went to die for me,
For every sin, You carried them all;
The heaviness and shame You paid the fee
Father, forgive them, You did call.

– Nowhere will I find a friend so true.

At the cross I laid my burdens down,
For all the wrongs You heard my plea;
The trauma and burden weighed You down
You shed Your blood for all to see.

 – Nowhere will I find a friend so real.

On the cross You took my faults,
For each and every guilt and pain;
The sadness and despair came with assaults
This bitterness of sin, full of strain.

– Nowhere will I find a friend who loved.

From the cross you paid for it all,
For my life alone I know You would give;
The man of sorrows, a death cruel and brutal
Your life you gave so I could live.

– Nowhere will I find a friend like You.

穢 Chrissy Siggee

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

From my book: Glimpses of His Glory

Archived in: Christian Reads

Jesus speaks to open hearts

Jesus speaks to open hearts
Fills them with His awesome love.
Through Him we seek a healing touch
and feel his presence near.

Father, move within our hearts
Change our lives and set us free.
At the cross we bear our all
and find an answer there.

Holy Spirit, seeks my willing heart
to hear and obey his holy word.
Let my heart be open to your voice
and heed the message of your love.

穢 Chrissy Siggee
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
From my book: Glimpses of His Glory

Archived in: Christian Reads

Mourning

Sixty days she’d walked alone,
counting memories along the way.
She stumbled every now and then
but knew she couldnt fall.
Her mind was full of images;
her heart was full of grief.
Too many nights alone,
many days that would not end.

Now she sits on her garden seat,
bought together one summer’s day.
Tears spilling down her cheeks
lost in a world without her Paul.
She knows her life must go on;
her mind still filled with disbelief.
With every breath it hurt,
alone, she cannot comprehend.

One day shell fall in love once more,
with a restored heart to give away.
For now, she lives with memories
that she cannot help recall.
His presence’s felt all around;
memories bring fruitless relief.
Worst of all, no doubt about it,
she had lost her very best friend.

Autumn leaves fall to the ground,
like her tears they do portray.
Her face stings with salty wetness
she wipes them away it with assurance tall.
Shell face new challenges boldly;
yet still, sorrow will not be brief.
Time will heal and life will go on,
and her mourning heart will mend.

穢 Chrissy Siggee – 2019

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the authors imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental

Archived in: Poetry Mix

Elderberry

If you can find my photos of the elderberry I potted when it just 40 cm high, I would be grateful. It should be somewhere in I’m in the Garden archives but I can’t see it. It’s photographed with my other potted herbs. So late last year we re-potted it and it’s growing beautifully.

Now it’s taller than me and covered in blooms. Very strange because it should flower in early Summer. It’s Autumn here in Australia.

Archived in: I’m in the Garden

Encouragement

Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one anotherand all the more as you see the Day approaching. – Hebrews 10:19-25

Have you been discouraged by someone you have respected and encouraged? Did you find this disheartening and possibly weakened your desire to continue to encourage others?

Words can either build up or pull down. We need to persevere in encouraging others in their faith until He comes. This is a basic instruction from His Word. It’s not an option nor is it a ‘when we feel like it’ requirement.

There are times I have to stop and reflect on the needs and situations of others and sometimes I dont feel like encouraging. For instance, when someone has left me less than encouraged. But in reality, it’s my responsibility to encourage others – no matter how I feel or what others may have done to me.

Dont allow discouraging words to weaken your faith or neglect the gifts God has given you. Dont allow disappointments prevent you from encouraging others.

Galatians 6:9 says “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up!

Father, help me to keep my eyes on you. Strengthen me in times when Im discouraged by others so that I may persevere in doing what is right. Help me to hold fast the profession of my faith in you without wavering. Amen.

穢 Chrissy Siggee – 2019

Scripture Verses used are from the New International Version of the Bible

Archived in: Christian Reads

Prayer

Matthew 7:7 tells us to: Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

1 John 5:1415 says: And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: and if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

Matthew 6:6 also tells us: But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

Prayer has to be my favourite topic and many related verses come freely. Prayer is an important part of my life and I wouldnt survive without it. My months of pain in 2017 brought me closer to the Father than I could ever believe possible. Prayer had a remarkable impact on my healing and recovery, and on those who prayed and believed with me.

Through prayer we have direct access to the throne room of God the Father, the almighty and living God. We can take anything to God in prayer and He hears us. Sometimes we need to wait for answers and sometimes his answer is no, but He does answer. Whether it is prayer for healing, finances, or salvation of a loved one, whatever the need, we ought to be diligent in our prayer requests.

Whatever is on your heart right now, tell Him. God already knows your need but we need to tell him what’s on our hearts and also give thanks for His answer, even before he gives it.

Father, you are my rock and my salvation. I hand all my circumstances over to you. Teach me how to pray. Give me the desire to draw closer to you so I may give all things over to you, believing your will and plan will be fulfilled in your perfect timing. Amen.

Chrissy Siggee 2013

Scripture Verses used are from the New International Version of the Bible

Archived in: Christian Reads

Where is Autumn?

Although I love the rain and warm summer days the high temperatures on the current between days of rain is not quite the Autumn I’m use to. The Poinciana is still covered in green leaves and the water in the fish pond feels more like a hot tub.

There’s one thing that I do enjoy in this crazy weather and that is the variety of green that is seen from, and in every corner of the garden. The birds too a hanging around longer than usual and as for our vegetables, they just keep growing leaving no room to plant winter crops.

I’m left wondering what I’ll be doing in the garden once the season does change.

Archived in: I’m in the Garden

Butterflies, Birds, Reptiles, Stingrays and Sharks

Today is my birthday so I decided I would have to better last year’s swimming with dolphins outing.

Port Stephens N.S.W. has a Shark & Ray Rescue Centre but now they also have a butterfly room.

Injured and surrendered reptiles are also a new additions.

There’s also an out walk-in bird aviary which also has a turtle pond. Unfortunately, the water was stirred up with heavy raindrops. So no turtle photos in the pond. However, this cheeky one decided he liked to sit on my head.

Archived in: Travel & Retirement

Evening Garden

It’s finally Autumn and it most noticeable in the evening with the warmth of the day fading with the going down of the sun.

When the phone is useless in this beautiful light

that reflects off the colours in the garden.

but it will all fade by the time I find the camera and set it up.

Maybe another evening when I’m more prepared. For now I’ll just relax in the peace of the garden.

Archived in: I’m in the Garden

Down on the Farm #11

Working on the farm can be a workout when I need to keep going to the other end of the farm to grab tools or trugs etc. Today I decided to tidy a messy corner and use it as my farm work place.

I’ll be able to plant seeds into pots. When the seedlings are big enough to handle the transplanting, I’ll be able to move them easily.

A place to keep the soil bin, trugs, buckets and farm tools.

In easy reach of the worm farm and compost barrel.

Archived in: Down on the Farm

A Striking Lot

A friend is in need of re-thinking her lack of gardening skills. A herb garden is a priority and then a low maintenance rockery around the letter-box out front. While she’s contemplating plans, I’m planting seeds and seedlings as well as striking succulents from cuttings. I’ll update as changes occur.

Archived in: I’m in the Garden

The Loss of Aguin – by Hannah Davison

This poem was written in October 2022 by my friend Hannah after the death of a nine-month-old boy who, with his family attended the congregation Hannah attends. With the permission from Hannah, and Aguin’s family, I’m honoured to share the poem on Riverside Peace.

The Loss of Aguin

Please dont say, It cant hurt that bad,
When I speak of Joy in pain.


Nor, She cant have loved him much,
When I speak of Peace the same.

No. The grief, it burns like fire:
Searing my heart.
              Numbing my mind.
                        Dulling my senses.


Dead.
My son is dead.
His body in the ground.


And off with him go fifty years
Of watching him grow,
          Making him laugh,
                 Holding his child…


Fifty years Ill never see,
For nine months in, he went to be
With the One who made him
Far from me…


Oh, help! The grief! It burns like fire,
 Searing the heart,
              Numbing the mind,
                     Dulling the senses.
                             … Dead…


Peace. Quiet, gentle Peace,
With powerful force I cant comprehend,
Trickles through the smokey blackness
And holds me.

I hurt.

Im numb.
I hurt.

By turns
Around and around, it goes.

But, never shaking,
Never changing,
Always remaining a wall around me,
His Peace never lets me go.

And Joy?
How can I think of joy,
Much less claim it to be mine?

Ach, this Joy it almost aches;
And I am sure it cries.
Its as close a cousin to sad as happy,
For it knows depth,
         It knows meaning,
                    It knows hurt…
                                  And it knows hope, of the confident kind.

Ah, the grief… it burns like fire.
Searing my heart.
     Numbing my mind.
            Dulling my senses…

Yes. It burns.
But it wont consume.
For, wrapped in His Peace
      Touched by His Joy,
          Sustained by His Love,

We know what He has promised…

     And He who promised is faithful.
                              Amen

Archived in: Christian Reads

Down on the Farm #10

The spinach just keeps growing. Even with a daily harvest there’s plenty for everyone in the street and local friends.

Little yellow tomatoes are always plentiful. There’s often so many of them that they fall to the ground in bunches. The kitchen window is just perfect for ripening of any fallen crop.

Cucumbers just get bigger and bigger. The first cucumber of the season we needed to cut it into 3 and share with neighbours.

Herbs are always on hand for indoor and outdoor cooking.

Our second crop of lettuce love the hot days and late in the day watering. Rain over night is even better.

Our quarterly water bill was surprisingly acceptable with vegetable and herbs needing a spray when we have days without rain.

Archived in: Down on the Farm

Bartholomews Adventure

‘Bartholomew? Is that you?’

pant pant

‘Bartholomew, its hard enough to get six babies to have a nap after Sunday School without you coming home late. This floor shook all the way through the singing. The entire ruckus has given me a headache.’

pant pant ‘When I catch my breathpant匈ll explain.’

‘Were you chased by the janitor?’

‘Mildred, hes on to us again.’

‘Well its no wonder. Your snooping around those Sunday School classes is going to get us into trouble one of these days.’

He ignored his wife and continued. ‘I got right up close to the piano. It was awesome. They were singing Jesus loves me; my favourite. I managed to sneak in behind the young ones going into class. Mildred, their new Sunday School teacher, Miss Cooper, is delightful.’

‘I thought you were going to find us some Sunday lunch, not check out the girls.’

‘I did. Anyway, I was captivated by the way she presented the Noahs Ark storypictures of the ark, birds, animals, even Noah. Young Tommy asked if there were any rats on board and everyone laughed. Miss Cooper assured Tommy that if there are rats around now; they wouldve been on the ark. She spoke with enthusiasm about our Maker and His promises. Oh Mildred, youd have loved it. It was a perfect morning.’

‘So why were you panting?’

‘I was coming to that. You see, Billy was about to leave the room with his Bible still on his chair.’

‘Again? His parents must have replaced his Bible a dozen times.’

‘I know, and I thought if I could get someones attention before they left, theyd see it and return it to him.’

‘So, what did you do, scare poor Miss Cooper half to death on her first morning?’

‘No, I simply marched over to the Bible and stood on it only I didnt see the janitor passing the door with his broom. He saw me about the same time as Billy did. Billy stood between the janitor and me so I could get away.’ He chuckled. ‘You shouldve seen me run. I slipped out the door as quick as a flash with that broom coming mighty close.’

‘OK, so wheres lunch? Maybe we can enjoy some of His gifts before the babies wake up.’

Bartholomew removed the pack from his shoulder and began to unload his findings. ‘I found a couple of potato crisps in the foyer. A gummy bear with his head removed in the cry room and a half-eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the Sunday School Hall. All while they were busy singing themselves silly.’ He chuckled again.

‘Oh, this is great, Bartholomew. We wont go to bed hungry tonight.’

‘ILL FIND YOU, RAT!’ A voice bellowed through the walls.

Mildred began to shiver. ‘Bartholomew’

‘Mildred, take the babies through the side door to the end of the stage. Take the underground route to Uncle Moses and dont stop until you get there.’

‘Bartholomew, dont leave us. Where are you going?’

‘Its all right. Ill distract him and meet you at Uncle Mosess later. Ill be fine. GO!’

‘WHERE ARE YOU, RAT?’

Bartholomew scurried back through the hole and across the stage. His feet skidded beneath him on the varnished boards, causing him to slide sideways and crashing into a pile of electrical cables. He scanned the stage and the hall just as one of the cables hit the floor below.

‘I HAVE YOU NOW.’

As fast as his little legs could carry him, Bartholomew scampered into Miss Coopers classroom, raced past Noah and the ark and up the drapes on the other side of the room.

There he waited.

It was dark when Bartholomew reached Uncle Moses place, tired and hungry. He listened, but there was no sound. He tapped lightly before entering.

‘Bartholomew, where have you been? Ive been worried sick. The babies wore out poor Uncle Moses. Theyre all curled up with him on his bed.’

‘Im fine. I told you Id be fine. I know that place blindfolded. We can return in a few weeks once the exterminators have gone and the air is clear again.’

‘In the meantime, Bartholomew, you can help me with the babies. When we return home, I want you to take them to Sunday School, but no more adventures.’

‘All right, Mildred, no more adventures for me.’

穢 Chrissy Siggee

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the authors imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Archived in: Children’s Corner

A Busy Few Days in the Garden..

With January being the hottest month of the year, it’s often difficult to choose the right day – a cooler day, to mulch the front garden and the garden that runs the length of the carport. Most other seasons don’t work with the front garden and after the Christmas lights a packed away for another year, it really is the best time. For us anyway. We started laying mulch this time from the rear of the drive and worked forward to the front of the house. We did this simply because we always run out of mulch for that far end of the drive when we do the front garden first. However, just as we finished along the drive it began to rain and continued most of the day. Good for the garden but not while gardening. At least it gave us a break and some time to plan how to tackle the front garden.

We started early to avoid the heat of the day and the rain that threatened to change our plans yet again. Overcast but not to hot, not to cold. The rain held off long enough to complete the whole front garden. We even had time to go to Bunnings for a few extra shrubs to fill empty spaces along the white picket fence. I also rehoused the new gnomes we bought on a clearance pallet just after Christmas. I’m quite pleased how it all looks now.

Archived in: I’m in the Garden

Thomas

The smell of fresh coffee teased my nostrils. I entered Daisys Caf矇 below the row of offices that overlooked a noisy intersection on Charter Row.

Daisys beaming smile greeted me. ‘Morning, Dave. The usual?’

‘Yes, please. Any doughnuts?’

‘Sure.’

Daisy handed me the coffee then bagged the doughnuts while I guzzled down a few mouthfuls of the piping hot brew. ‘Ah Just the way I like it. See you later Daisy.’

I stepped back out into the commotion of the busy street and headed up the flight of stairs a few feet away. There, blocking my way, sat a vagabond. A middle-aged man, down on his luck and known to every tenant on Charter Row as Tom.

‘Tom.’ I paused to calm my tone. ‘I really need to get to my office.’

‘Can I-I-I come up? I-I-I need to t-t-talk,’ he stuttered.

‘Come on then.’ I sighed. I knew the only way to pass was to allow him to accompany me. I shook the bag of doughnuts. ‘Ive got your favourite.’

Tom grinned. He followed me up the stairs and I handed him the bag so I could unlock the door. I stepped aside to let him enter. Closing the door behind me, I placed the coffee on my desk and opened a window.

‘Now, what can I do for you Tom?’ I watched him gulp down the last doughnut.

He choked and sprayed crumbs over my desk. I handed him my coffee. I would go without. Tom stuttered his thanks and drank before he explained his request.

He began by telling me his name was actually Thomas not Tom. His problem was a simple one. Thomas needed bus fare to a canning factory where his friend John worked as a packer. Thomas needed to go today, preferably before ten oclock, because the cannery was employing staff this morning. He needed me to go along to speak for him. It was true enough, I understood his stuttering and asking for a position would be difficult for both Thomas and the employer.

‘Okay, you cant go like that.’ I pointed him to the tiny bathroom and told him to strip and have a sponge bath using the sink while I checked the phone messages.

There was only one message. ‘Lord Bellamy here; I need you to find someone. If you return my call before midday the job is yours.’ I looked at my watch. ‘Ouch!’

I could hear Thomas complaining about the cold water. I gave Thomas some spare clothes I kept at the office in case I slept at the office during investigations. The trousers were definitely too long but they would have to do.

The wash, the change of clothes and a comb through his hair, made Tom respectable enough. Thankfully his thread bare shoes were hidden by his trousers. I sprayed Thomas with cologne until we both choked.

Thomas’s eyes widened. He seemed excited to be out of Charter Row. He obviously hadnt been on a bus for a long time; maybe not at all. There was a lot I didnt know about Thomas.

‘Thomas,’ I asked, as the bus neared the factory. ‘Where will you live if you get this job?’

‘M-m-my friend, J-J-John, h-he let me stay for a-a bit,’ he answered, his eyes still fixed on the view beyond the window.

We arrived at the cannery a little before ten thirty. The manager was sympathetic and understanding.

‘John would like me to give you a go’, he told Thomas. ‘Ill give you a months trial. Johns a good teacher. Im sure youll be fine.’

After handshakes all around, I left Thomas with the manager and returned to my office where Old Spice cologne still lingered in the stuffy air. I pressed the replay button on the answering machine and dialed the recorded number. I was pleased Thomas had the opportunity for a fresh start. I wondered now if I had a job.

‘Lord Bellamys residence, may I help you?’

‘Yes, this is Dave Strong, Private Investigator. Lord Bellamy left a message on my answering machine.’

‘Yes, Mr. Strong, hes been waiting for your call. Ill put you through.’

There was only a brief silence before the voice on the phone matched that of the recording on my machine.  He came straight to the point of his request.

‘Hello Mr. Strong.  I need someone to find my brother.’ Lord Bellamys voice sounded stately but urgent. ‘My brother and my father, Lawrence Bellamy, had a disagreement over twenty years ago. My brother left and we havent heard from him since.’

He paused before continuing. ‘Our father passed away a few weeks ago and regardless of their differences, Father left my brother half the estate. I need to find him. Its time to bring him home. Can you help?’

This was right up my alley. I needed a good investigation and I loved finding long lost souls. ‘Yes, I can help you Lord Bellamy. Might I have some details to help start my search?’

‘His birth name is Thomas Alfred Bellamy, born 40 years ago in Sheffield. He has one significant characteristic trait that stands out. He stutters.’

穢 Chrissy Siggee

(Perhaps the shortest investigation in history)

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the authors imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Archived in: Short Fiction