Friday, 13 December 2013

Tom, William, and Bert...Bilbo's Trolls

Biblo's Trolls: Tom, William, and Bert!
via Google Images.

'Tolkien fever' is in air and the second Hobbit movie, The Desolation of Smug, is almost here...Yay!! Though, we have to wait till the 26th before we can see it here in Australia. We're trying our very best to be patient, but it's hard!!! We're passing the time well, however, enjoying watching the extended edition of first Hobbit movie, An Unexpected Journey, and watching and re-watching all the trailers we can find!! This second one looks really good and very epic, too! 
Here is a sneak peak

I hope you enjoy this fun poem, too. In The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring book, Samwise Gamgee composes this song about Bilbo's Trolls. 

The Stone Troll

Troll sat alone on his seat of stone, 
and munched and mumbled a bare old bone; 
For many a year he had gnawed it near, 
For meat was hard to come by. 
Done by! Gum by!
In a cave in the hills he dwelt alone, 
And meat was hard to come by.

Up came Tom with his big boots on. 
Said he to Troll: 'Pray, what is yon?
For it looks like the shin o' my nuncle Tim,
As should be a-lyin' in graveyard.
Caveyard! Paveyard!
This many a year has Tim been gone, 
And I thought he were lyin' in graveyard.' 

'My lad,' said Troll, 'this bone I stole.
But what be bones that lie in a hole?
The uncle was dead as a lump o' head, 
Afore I found his shinbone. 
Tinbone! Thinbone!
He can spare a share for a poor old troll; 
For he don't need his shinbone.'

Said Tom: 'I don't see why the like o' thee
Without axin' leave should go makin' free
With the shank or the shin o' my father's kin;
So hand the old bone over!
Rover! Trover!
Though dead he be, it belongs to he; 
So hand the old bone over!'

'For a couple o' pins,' says Troll, and grins, 
'I'll eat thee too, and gnaw thy  shins.
A bit o' fresh meat will go down sweet!
I'll try my teeth on thee now. 
Hee now! See now!
I'm tired o' gnawing old bones and skins; 
I've a mind to dine on thee now.'

But just as he thought his dinner was caught, 
He found his hands had hold of naught.
Before he could mind, Tom slipped behind 
And gave him the boot to larn him. 
Warn him! Darn him!
A bump o' the boot on the seat, Tom thought, 
Would be the way to larn him.

But harder than stone is the flesh and bone
Of a troll that sits in the hills alone.
As well set your boot to the mountain's root, 
For the seat of a troll don't feel it. 
Peel it! Heal it!
Old Troll laugh, when he heard Tom groan, 
And he knew his toes could feel it. 

Tom's leg is game, since home he came, 
And his bootless foot is lasting lame; 
But Troll don't care, and he's still there
With the bone he boned from its owner. 
Doner! Boner!
Troll's old seat is still the same,
 And the bone he boned from its owner!

J.R.R. Tolkien
from 'The Adventures of Tom Bombadil,' in Tales From the Perilous Realm
This song is sung by Samwise Gamgee in 'The Ford,' in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Tolkien's Cat?? ...or Simon's Cat? ;)

Simon's Cat!
via Google Images 

I thought it might be good to have a bit of a light-hearted post today. I really enjoy watching 'Simon's Cat' little video clips. I never owned a pet myself, but both sets of my grandparents had very fun and interesting pets. My maternal grandparents had two fun pomeranian dogs, King and Queen. King was my favourite and I enjoyed playing with him very much. My other grandparents had a Siamese cat, Meenoosh. He was the most beautiful, blue-eyed, proud, clever cat I ever saw! Unfortunately, they all died of old age when I was still little, but I've still got many fond memories.  I found this fun poem by Tolkien recently. I hope you enjoy!


The fat cat on the mat 
may seem to dream 
of nice mice that suffice
for him, or cream; 
but he free, maybe, 
walks in thought
unbowed, proud, where load
roared and fought
his kin, lean and slim, 
or deep in den
in the East feasted on beasts
and tender men.

The giant lion with iron
claw in paw, 
and huge ruthless tooth 
in gory jaw; 
the pard dark-starred, 
fleet upon feet, 
that oft soft from aloft
leaps on his meat
where woods loom in gloom - 
far now they be, 
fierce and fee, 
and tamed is he; 
but fat cat on the mat
kept as a pet, 
he does not forget.

J.R.R. Tolkien
from 'The Adventures of Tom Bombadil,' in Tales From the Perilous Realm

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Treasuring Our Todays

via Pinterest

I think the last year of a university degree is usually one of the hardest.  Other than the fact that the courses and assignments generally get harder and the expectations higher, I think the most difficult part is actually being so close to the finish line! 

Lately, I've been feeling really exasperated and impatient to be done with my studies. My mind is just bursting at the seams with ideas and projects and plans of all the things I wish to do once I'm done with all those readings, assignments, and exams! 

At one point I began to notice, however, that this line of thinking was creating in me a sense of discontentment and 'boredom' with my present circumstances and duties. The other day, I was watching with my little sister, Gracie, one of theLittle House on the Prairie episodes ('No Place Like Home' extended edition). Caroline (Ma) was telling Charles (Pa) that it was time to move back to their home in Walnut Grove after their long stay in the city to help Mary to settle down in the new blind school.  It was not easy for them to live in the city. Charles, however, kept saying that things will eventually get better sometime soon and so on. It was then that Caroline said  something very important that really convicted my heart. One of the problems with people in that city, she noted, was that they're always looking for something better...'tomorrow', but they miss the joys and blessings of the today and, therefore, 'tomorrow' never really comes! It is an existence of endless 'tomorrows'. How true that is! This perfectly describes the world we live in these days, doesn't it? 

This just startled me! I realised that's exactly what I've been doing...looking for something 'better' than what I'm doing now...looking for 'something better'...tomorrow and thus missing the blessings and joys and the opportunities God has given me for today. 

Tomorrow will come soon enough if I'm contended and happy in the 'todays' of my life. I need to believe in my Heavenly Father's perfect will for my todays and trust Him for His perfect will for my tomorrows. It brings such relief and peace when I think like that. It's amazing how much of a burden we carry when we try to live only for tomorrow, missing today!

I hope you don't misunderstand me! It is not wrong to hope, dream, imagine, or plan for the future...I don't think I can stop myself from doing that anyway and I think God does want us to look forward to all the things He has in store for us, too. He gave us minds and He does put His will and desires in our hearts in order that we can ask Him to fulfil them. However, I need to have contentment with the now and know that 'To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven,' as it says in Ecclesiastes 3:1. He has a perfect time of fulfilment for everything in our lives!

I'm not there yet, but I'm asking the Lord to help me to rejoice in Him always...even in the things that I'm 'bored' with...with the mundane and common...with the 'valleys', as well as, the 'mountains'! 
'Now godliness with contentment is great gain.' I Timothy 6:6

Friday, 27 September 2013

"Music to Inspire" Corner: A Scarlet Cord

"...Bind this line of scarlet cord in the window..." (Joshua 2: 18 NKJV- my emphasis). For " were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold...but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish or spot." (I Peter 1:18-19 NKJV- my emphasis)
Recently, I 'stumbled' across a lovely Christian band of four lovely siblings who sing amazing Gospel and Bluegrass music: 'Southern Raised Bluegrass' band!
via Google Images
I really fell in love with them and their music! The love and grace of God truly shines from their faces and heard in their songs. They truly are inspiring. I would like to share two of their songs in this "Music to Inspire" post. Both of these were a great blessing to me and I pray they bless you, too.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
via Google Images

The first song is called, "Scarlet Cord". It's a beautiful, beautiful song that tells of the salvation of the harlot Rahab who escaped the destruction of the city of Jericho, was delivered from her past sinful life, became part of the people of God, and even an honoured ancestor of the Lord Jesus, the Messiah! She had hid the Israelite spies from the Jericho authorities and was told of the way to escape the destruction of the city: by putting a scarlet cord in her window! With this cord, she and her house were saved that day (see Joshua 2:1-24; 6:21-25; Matthew 1:5; and Hebrews 11:31). This scarlet cord stands as a beautiful picture of our salvation in Christ's Blood - 'a scarlet cord for me.' Beautiful!

Scarlet Cord

In Jericho, a woman weeps
Her heart consumed with fear
The city soon would be destroyed
She knew her end was near.

She thought about the things she'd done
And the way she lived her life
Would God have mercy on her soul?
She couldn't reason why.

Then the messengers told of a way
To escape what she deserved
A thread of scarlet in the window
And her life would be preserved.

The Scarlet Cord brought salvation
To Rahab's house that day
And it would stand as a picture
Of the price our Lord would pay.

If you're looking for a way out
Of the Judgement that awaits
The Scarlet Cord of Jesus Blood
Is the only way.

I tried my best but could not sleep
By doubt and fear oppressed
Death could come at any time
But after that what next?

I thought about the things I've done
And the way I lived my life
Would God have mercy on my soul?
I could not reason why.

But God's Word told me of the One
Who died on Calvary
Jesus shed His precious Blood
It's a Scarlet Cord for me.

The Scarlet Cord brought salvation
To Rahab's house that day
And it would stand as a picture
Of the price our Lord would pay.

If you're looking for a way out
Of the Judgement that awaits
The Scarlet Cord of Jesus Blood
Is the only way. 

If you're looking for a way out 
Of the Judgement that awaits 
The Scarlet Cord of Jesus Blood
It's still the only way.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

The second song is a beautiful a capella performance of the dear old hymn, "I Need Thee Every Hour".

I Need Thee Every Hour
Annie S. Hawks and Robert Lowry

  1. I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
    No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.
    • Refrain:
      I need Thee, oh, I need Thee;
      Every hour I need Thee;
      Oh, bless me now, my Savior,
      I come to Thee.
  2. I need Thee every hour, stay Thou nearby;
    Temptations lose their pow’r when Thou art nigh.
  3. I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain;
    Come quickly and abide, or life is vain.
  4. I need Thee every hour; teach me Thy will;
    And Thy rich promises in me fulfill.
  5. I need Thee every hour, most Holy One;
    Oh, make me Thine indeed, Thou blessed Son.

    *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Truly Scrumptious...Chicken Kiev!

Earlier this weekend I fancied trying out a new way of cooking and eating chicken! After a little looking around in our stuffed cookbook shelf, internet recipe sites and...uhm..yes, Pinterest..., I decided to try 'Chicken Kiev'. Here is how it turned out and the process by which it magically ended unto this plate in such fashion!!

curtsey photo:
Joy C.

(Disclaimer: This is my adaption from different recipes for making 'Chicken Kiev') 

Main Ingredient:
2 kg Chicken thigh fillets 
(This should serve approximately up to 12 people with perhaps some left overs)
Note: In most 'Chicken Kiev' recipes, Chicken breasts are used instead. I prefer thigh fillet for their tenderness

The Filling:
2 Chopped shallots 
A handful of Fresh parsley
2 Silver beets or Spinach
2 Cloves of garlic, minced
200g butter
Salt to taste

Crumbing and Frying:
4-5 Eggs, lightly beaten (or as many as needed for crumbing)
1-3 cups of milk or water (as much as needed)
Plain flour (I used wholemeal plain flour)
Fine dry breadcrumbs (I used brown rice breadcrumbs)
Parmesan cheese (grated)
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil and butter for frying

curtsey photo:
Joy C.


1.  In a small bowl, combine and blend the butter with the shallots, parsley, and garlic – create sort of a paste; set aside. Remember to add salt and pepper to taste.
2.     Keep mixture cool in the fridge.

Crumbing Preparation:
3.     In a shallow bowl stir together egg and water/milk; set aside.
4.     Place flour in another shallow bowl; set aside.
5.     Mix breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan cheese and place in a third shallow bowl; set aside.
Chicken Preparation:
6.     Place chicken thigh fillets between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and using the flat side of a meat mallet pound chicken lightly into a rectangle or use your hands to flatten.
7.     Remove plastic wrap and then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
8.     Place one-fourth of the butter filling mixture/paste onto the chicken.
9.     Fold in sides; roll up. If really needed fasten openings with a toothpick.
10. Repeat with remaining chicken

Crumbing and Frying:
11. Coat chicken rolls with flour (season flour).
12. Dip in egg and milk mixture.
13. Coat with breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese mixture.
14. Coat with flour again.
15. Dip in egg and milk mixture again.
16. Coat with additional breadcrumbs and cheese.
17. Make sure to coat ends well to seal in the butter.
18. Place coated chicken in rectangular baking dish, cover and chill for 1 to 24 hours. This is really important. It helps prevent the stuffing oozing out from chicken roll during frying.
19. In large frying pan, melt some butter over medium-high heat; add oil.
20. Add chilled chicken rolls. Cook about 5 minutes or until golden brown, turning to brown all sides.
21. Place rolls in baking dish. Bake, uncovered, until chicken is no longer pink.
22. Spoon any dripping over rolls.
23. Now you can serve with steamed vegetables, and any sauces you prefer...such as white or mushroom sauce.

So, this is how it all turned out as you see in the photos! I must say I enjoyed making it and...eating it, too, I must add!!!  

Note: This recipe was based on How to Make Chicken Kiev and Chicken Kiev.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Dollhouse Decorating (Part 1)

After a much-needed and refreshing 3 month term-break from Uni, I'm back to a full study schedule of readings, research, books, assignments, computer screens, files,...and, well, you get the idea! It is exciting, but challenging to be sure.

During my break I enjoyed doing many things I had wanted to do for a very long time. For example, one of those really special things I managed to do was to hone my singing skills and techniques (but more on that in some later post). One other thing I really enjoyed doing, was decorate my little sister's dollhouse! Since I was a little girl, I always dreamed of doing this. I love decorating and interior design. This was a great opportunity to try it on a nice, very small scale. I was also particularly inspired by Emma J.'s work of customising and decorating playmobil houses and Cherrybrook Village: A Sylvanian Families Fan Site

I thought I'd like to show you something of my humble attempts to decorate my sister's dollhouse! Perhaps, it can inspire you if you've got a similar hobby. 

Here is the dollhouse...A Sylvanian House on a Hill... It is quite suitable for playmobil figures, too.

The Dollhouse!
Here is how it all turned out...
The back-side of the house...

The side-part of the house...
The hardest to work on were both the attic and the winding staircase! 
The attic children's bedroom...
A closer look at the attic...
Carpeting the winding staircase was a real challenge...
To give the impression of shinny tiles, I covered the wallpaper and flooring of both the kitchen and bathroom with cello-tape. 

The Kitchen!
The Bathroom!
Here is how I went about decorating this nice little dollhouse!

Dollhouse Tutorial (Part 1)
Step 1 - Tools I used: 

  • Rulers
  • Pencils and eraser
  • Scissors 
  • Cello-tape (normal sticky tape)
  • A Cutter
  • A cutting board (or quilting board)
  • Paper (for creating templates)
  • Double-sided, Acid-Free sticky tape (available from Craft/Art stores or hardware store)
  • Wet Sponge and towel
  • A colour printer 
Step 2: 
Using a damp sponge, I made sure the surface of the walls was clean. Then, I made sure it was dry. 

Step 3: 
Then, using some paper, I made a template of all the walls of the room. I needed to make it as accurate as possible. This way I wouldn't run into problems and waste the real wallpaper.

Step 4: 
Making a template of the windows was always trickiest thing. (See image 4 to see how I did it!)
Step 5: 
For wallpaper, I browsed the internet for dollhouse decorating and miniature websites and found many printable wallpaper to use - all for free! 
Here are some links: 
My Obsession (Gives more links)

Choosing the right wallpaper was also a challenging step. I had to always take into consideration the dollhouse furniture, the style, the colours, and the historical era I wanted the house to be customised into.
Whenever I found a suitable wallpaper, I downloaded it (or 'Saved as') to my computer. Using a photo-editing programme (such as Photoshop or a free online one - Picmonkey), I enhanced, edited and 'mix-'n'-matched' various wallpapers and borders to create my own new styles.
Finally, with a bit of trial and error, I managed to find the print settings and scale required for printing the wallpaper. 

Steps 6, 7, & 8: 
The next step after finding and printing the wallpaper, was cutting it out (using the templates made in steps 3 and 4).
Then, I placed double-sided sticky tape on the back of the cut-out wallpaper. 
Steps 9-12: 
The next step was to remove the covering from the sticky-tape on the back of the wallpaper one section at a time and stick it to the wall, carefully, one bit a time. This is very important! 
I did this with all the walls...and here is the final result! What do you think?
Using the same steps, I finished the walls of all the other rooms and used the same steps for putting carpeting on the floors...using felt and the double-sided sticky tape.

The last step remaining is to put suitable curtains and put back all the furniture. So, keep a look out for another post from me when I finally get to finish it. Gracie, my sister, is just so excited with this project...and I must, too! 

Thursday, 18 July 2013

"Music to Inspire" Corner: How Can I Keep From Singing?

"Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us."
~Martin Luther~

Music and singing are an absolute delight for me. I can't imagine a world without them. The wonderful thing is that I believe God thinks the same way, too! He created music and gave us voices to sing. He wants us to make music for Him and to sing to Him day and night like it is in Heaven. Heaven itself is music, glorious music! The angels before His throne praise, worship, and adore Him day and night with music and song. The saints in heaven also sing a beautiful song (see Revelation 15:3). The Bible is full of songs and psalms and exhortations to sing and make melody to Him. Playing music and singing was central in the worship of the Lord in the Temple. There were orchestras and choirs. In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul exhorts us to praise the Lord  and to speak to each other 'in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord' (Ephesians 5:19 NKJV). It also says that God is 'enthroned in the praises of Israel,' His people (see Psalm 22:3 NKJV). 

Music is a gift from God to mankind. Good, wholesome music and singing can be very powerful. It sets our souls sailing to the Heavens. It gives voice to the deepest feelings and emotions of the soul and heart in ways that plain, spoken words alone sometimes fail to do. I personally find that God ministers to my heart in very special ways through music and song. I think that our inner desire for the transcendent, for that 'thing' that is greater than us...that which draws us in and takes us to greater heights, above this earthliness of us the awe and the wonder; shows us the Glory of Him Who created us and made us in His image. Yes, something that inspires us...

That's why I've decided to join Joy's 'Music to Inspire' series (Fullness of Joy). I think it's a great way to share with you my love of music and singing. 

I play the guitar...though, I'm not that good at it as yet...still working on those sticky bar-chords! However, what I love to do most is sing. When I do, I just 'feel His pleasure', as Eric Liddell  says in the movie Chariots of Fire!! So, join with me as I share with you the songs that bless me. 

[Note: The music I'll be sharing will include hymns, songs (including those that are 'overtly' Christian and those that are not necessarily so...those wholesome, beautiful 'secular' ones, too), movie soundtracks (though that does not necessarily mean I've watched or promote the movie itself), and good, fun folky music!]

For my first post, I'll share with you two beautiful songs from Libera, a beautiful boys choir in London. 

The first one beautifully expresses why I often feel that urge in my heart to sing...'The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart/ A Fountain ever springing;/ All things are mine since I am His,/ How can I keep from singing?'...Yes, how can I keep from singing? How can you?

"How Can I Keep From Singing?"
by Robert Wadsworth Lowry

My life flows on in endless song, 
Above earth's lamentation.
I hear the real though far-off hymn, 
That hails a new creation.

No storm can shake my inmost calm, 
While to that rock I'm clinging, 
It sounds an echo in my soul,
How can I keep from singing?

What though the tempest round me roars, 
I know the truth, it liveth, 
What though the darkness round me close,
Songs in the night it giveth.

No storm can shake my inmost calm, 
While to that rock I'm clinging, 
Since love is lord of heaven and earth, 
How can I keep from singing?

I lift my eyes, the cloud grows thin; 
I see the blue above it; 
And day by day this pathway smooths, 
Since first I learned to love it.

The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart, 
A fountain ever springing; 
All things are mine since I am his, 
How can I keep from singing? 

The second song is also from Libera. 
It's a song of praise.
I love this verse especially...
We hear a distant music
It comes with fuller swell
For the angels here are human
Not the shining hosts above
For the drumbeats of the army
Are the heartbeats of our love


There's a light upon the mountains
And the day is at the spring
When our eyes shall see the wonder
And the glory it will bring

Et laudate Domino in laetitia
[And Praise the Lord with Joyfulness]
Et cantate Domino gloria 
[And sing 'Glory' to the Lord]
Saecula et saeculorum
[Through Endless Ages, Alleluia]

Hark, we hear a distant music
And it comes with fuller swell
Tis the glorious song of heaven
And our fears it will dispel

Et laudate Domino in laetitia 
[And Praise the Lord with Joyfulness]
Et cantate Domino gloria
[And sing 'Glory' to the Lord]
Saecula et saeculorum
[Through Endless Ages, Alleluia]

Exsultate Domino omnis Populi
[Rejoice in the Lord, all ye nations, Alleluia]
Jubilate Domino omnis Terra
[Be joyful in the Lord, all ye earth, Alleluia]

Et laudate Domino in laetitia
[And Praise the Lord with Joyfulness]
Et cantate Domino gloria
[And sing 'Glory' to the Lord]
Saecula et saeculorum
[Through Endless Ages, Alleluia]

Angeli et archangeli, psallite et laudate 
[Angles and Archangels, sing out Your praise]
Angeli et archangeli, psallite et laudate
[Angles and Archangels, sing out Your praise]In hymnis et psalmis et canticis 
[In hymns, in psalms, and in songs]
We hear a distant music
It comes with fuller swell
For the angels here are human
Not the shining hosts above
For the drumbeats of the army
Are the heartbeats of our love

Exsultate Domino omnis Populi
[Rejoice in the Lord, all ye nations, Alleluia]
Jubilate Domino omnis Terra
[Be joyful in the Lord, all ye earth, Alleluia]

Et laudate Domino in laetitia
[And Praise the Lord with Joyfulness]
Et cantate Domino gloria
[And sing 'Glory' to the Lord]
Saecula et saeculorum
[Through Endless Ages, Alleluia]

Angeli et archangeli, psallite et laudate
[Angles and Archangels, sing out Your praise]
Angeli et archangeli, psallite et laudate
[Angles and Archangels, sing out Your praise]
In jubila
[In joyfulness]


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