Monday, 16 January 2017

Small and Wonderful Things . . .



"The world is fairly studded and strewn with pennies cast broadside from a generous hand. But who gets excited by a mere penny?...It is dire poverty indeed when a man is so malnourished and fatigued that he won't stoop to pick up a penny. But if you cultivate a healthy poverty and simplicity, so that finding a penny will literally make your day, then, since the world is in fact planted with pennies, you have with your poverty bought a lifetime of days. It is that simple. what you see is what you get." ~Anne Dillard

A few of the small and wonderful things which bring untold joy into my life. It's the small things in life which truly mean the most. Simple abundance . . . it's the best.




We watched this film on Saturday evening.   I had never seen it before.  It was really good.  I gained a deeper understanding of just how women gained the vote and the sacrifice involved, the price which was paid for our right to do so by so many women.  And yet today it is a right which is taken for granted by so very many people, and even squandered.   I came to the realization that freedom always comes at a price.  There are countries in the world today where women still don't have the right to vote or choices to make or the freedom to choose.  In the West we take our freedoms very much for granted.  Probably because, for me anyways, I have always had them.  I vow this year to appreciate what I have for what it is and to be grateful for the sacrifice which brought these things to me. Never take it for granted.


Todd tired very easily these days.   We have to get all that we need to get done early in the day.  I have always been a morning person anyways, so that works for me.   Todd, he's not so much a morning person.  Some days he struggles even in the mornings.  Other days are really good days and he doesn't struggle at all.  Grateful for those and indeed grateful for any day at all, even the ones that are struggles.  I am my love and my love is me.  We are so blessed to have each other.  He is always so grateful when I go to his appointments with him, but . . . .  where else would I want to be?   I tell him that with him is where I always want to be . . .  good, bad or inbetween.  He is my eternal companion.  I love him.   I don't just love the healthy him, or the happy him, or the energetic him . . .  I love HIM.  There is no place I would rather be than by his side.


I love seeing these two together.  I can tell they are more than brother and sister, but also great friends.  May it always be so.  Siblings are a gift.  They share something with you that nobody else on earth shares with you.   You have a history with them that nobody else can ever completely know or understand.  I am so grateful for my own sister and brother and that we are also friends.  We may not have a lot of other things in common but it doesn't matter.  We love each other and we CARE about each other.  We got each other's backs.  Having a brother or  sister or both is just the best thing ever.


It only becomes a problem when it becomes more than a little . . . . I am a great fan of dark chocolate.   I like the Green & Blacks dark milk chocolate.  It is my favourite of all chocolates.




This is a recent photo of Lucy one of my grand-doggies.  She has grown into a beautiful dog.  I love also this glimpse of my homeland, the Valley, even in the Winter . . . it is a beautiful place.    I think that Orchards give us a wonderful glimpse into the seasons.  Even in the winter you can see the promise of springtime . . .


Grateful for a heart that feels  . . .  all things.   I would rather be the way I am, feel the things that I feel, than be stone cold and heartless, even if it does really hurt sometimes.



Grateful to know who I am and why I'm here and where I am going when I leave here.  Even if I do sometimes need reminding.   I am not afraid to die.  Not really.   Oh, I know I will miss the people I love, and leaving them behind is the only thing which scares me, because I think to myself, I'm not ready to leave them.   I will never be ready to leave them, but somebody has to go on ahead.  Every adventure begins with someone who is ready and willing to take that first step into the unknown.  As the oldest of my family that position falls to me and I would not want it any other way.  I could not bear for one of them to go first, so I will lead the way, even if I do sometimes feel afraid.  I know in my heart that something much better awaits us.  When I think of that I get really excited.

 

So grateful for new days and new beginnings, opportunities and chances, fresh clean pages to write upon.   Each day I tell myself, today I am going to write the best story yet of my life!  And somehow, it happens.  Each day that passes somehow becomes magically even better than the day before!  There is always a blessing, a lesson, a joy, a miracle, an opportunity to take/make/experience.


Sometimes I think my mother should have called me Pollyanna becuse I play the "Glad Game" every day!  Didn't you just love that movie!  It is one of my all time favourites and I never get tired of it.

A thought to carry with you through today  . . .

.° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★

 *.˛.° ˛°. . 
˛*If you look for the bad in people
          expecting to find it,
                   you surely will.
                       ~Abraham Lincoln  •。★★ 。* 。


Spiritual Enlightenment



In the English Kitchen today  . . .  Sticky Maple Bangers with Irish Champ.

Hope your week ahead is filled with a multitude of small and wonderful things!  Don't forget along the way that  . . .

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And I do too!


Sunday, 15 January 2017

The art of homemaking . . .


   photo QueenAnnesLace_1024x1024_zpsf11be0ef.jpg


 I've been embroidering pillow cases lately and I quite enjoy doing so.  I sit here in the evening as the light from the television flits back and forth across the room as the pictures change . . . the flames from the electric fire flickering up and down the walls.  I feel very content as I ply my needle and thread in and out of the cotton fabric.   Every so often I hold what I am embroidering away from me so I can get a really good look at it . . . and I am pleased.  I  do so enjoy the quiet gentle arts . . . mending, embroidery, hand sewing etc.  They make me very happy . . . a happiness that gets right into my bones.

My mother taught me how to embroider.  She always embroidered and our home was filled with dresser scarves, doilies, tea towels and pillow caseswhich she had plied her arts upon.  I have a few of her pieces and do so treasure them with all of my heart.   When I was about 8 or 9 she gave me a piece of cotton fabric which she had stamped something upon it with a hot iron and one of those old embroidery transfer along with a needle and some threads.   She sat me down and taught me to embroider. Just a running stitch and then a basic outline stitch.   It was very simple at first, and so not very hard to catch on to.  It may have been to earn a badge in Brownies, I can't remember why, but I fell in love right then and there with the art of embroidery.

 photo 6735ac8577ef1869620047244564b10b_zpsc79ec4be.jpg

In my younger adult years I did a lot of crewel embroidery, none of which still exists except in the anals of my mind.  I did tons of pillow covers and wall hangings . . . I also did a really pretty Swedish Huck embroidery runner in navy and white, which disappeared on one of our moves.   It always really surprised me when things disappeared like that from our moving boxes . . . they were sealed, so how did it happen?   I will never know . . . but, I do like to think that they live on in someone else's home and are as loved as they were when they were with me.

In later years I really got into counted cross stitch embroidery.  I did lots of samplers and pictures, Christmas ornaments, bookmarks, etc.   I just adore taking a blank piece of fabric and decorating it with needle and thread.  I have not done any counted cross stitch in a number of years gone since . . . it drive my eyes wonky . . . trying to find all right the holes you know.  Old eyes don't take well to them.  I also have a problem reading small print these days.  I keep saying I need to buy a magnifying glass, and then . . . I forget all about doing so until the next time I need a magnifying glass and then I tell myself all over again . . .  I need to buy one.  Sigh . . .

Is anyone else like that?   Forgetful?   When I get all forgetful I get worried about alzheimers and such . . .

 photo 12ab5c61a9ebd942b7e43a79f902b523_zps4d74cb4e.jpg

I used to have several sets of flour sack tea towels I had embroidered  for the days of the week.  I don't know what ever happened to them.  I should do another set I think.  One day soon perhaps.  When I am done with embroidering pillow slips.

At school we did home economics.  One term was cooking.   One term was machine sewing.   One term was homemaking.   I like to think that I loved them all in equal measures, but in all honesty I do think I enjoyed the homemaking one just a tiny bit more than the others.   It was there I learned to do hand sewing and mending, darning . . . how to wash dishes properly, how to do smocking how to sweep a floor, dusting, etc.  I did not find any of it boring in the least.  I could hardly wait to grow up and have a home of my own to care for.

I was just thinking about how my mother taught me to embroider and knit, and my sister taught me how to crochet . . . my thoughts made me smile.  This act of teaching next generations is a legacy we women have and share . . . handing down the skill of the gentler arts . . . mending, cleaning, cooking . . .  homemaking . . .

 photo eb2a2d8a5edf63ff0486414dbee3b9c0_zpsdc857985.jpg


I have always enjoyed making a home most of all.  I am a natural nester.  I like that.   If someone was to ask me what my career was I would have to say . . . "Nester".  Home is where I have always wanted to be, and taking care of it is what I have always wanted to do.

It is what makes and keeps me most content.


A thought to carry with you through today . . .


.° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★

 *.˛.° ˛°. . 
˛*The grand essentials of happiness are:  
      Something to do, something to love, something to give,
             and . . . something to hope for. 
                  ~Allan Chalmers   •。★★ 。* 。•。★★ 。* 。


Spiritual Enlightenment


In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Pear and Hazelnut Frangipane Cakelettes.  Yum!

Have a blessed sabbath day.  We aren't going to church this morning because Todd has had a bad night so he is having a lie in to bed.  This happens sometimes.  I don't want to leave him on his own.   I will have a quiet morning here, reading my scriptures, etc.  No worries.  Don't forget!

═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════ ⊰✿░G░O░D⊰✿⊰L░O░V░E░S⊰✿⊰░Y░O░U░⊰✿
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And I do too!


Saturday, 14 January 2017

Saturday this and that . . . .

  

This is the time of year that the seed and garden catalogues start to fall through the letterbox.   Oh, I do so love planning a garden . . .  the paper comes out and the coloured pencils and I start to sketch what I want here or there.  In my mind's eye I see a glorious garden . . . .


 Filled with lollypop Ewe trees and  purple balls of allium . . .  towering spikes of foxglove, delphinium and hollyhock . . . rambling roses and dancing daises.   Orderly chaos and a riot of colour, smell and texture, enough to delight all the senses.

I can almost imagine myself sitting in my garden chair and enjoying it all whilst birds twitter in the background and fat little bumble bees bumble from bloom to bloom . . . it is an idyllic picture my imgination paints.



 Moss covered stone paths lead us here and there amongst the blooms . . .  to secret places, places where you can sit and reflect and daydream and relax, in hidden worlds that outsiders can never touch or see, filled with steeples of incredibly blue blooms, and rich, fat impossible-looking peonies.  Fairy story sunflowers with faces as big as dinner plates turned towards the sun . . .

Ahh  . . .  the sun.  The sun always shines in my imaginary garden.  It only rains at night and then it is but a soft drizzle, just enough to put a smile on the garden's face and fulfil its thirst.   We wake up each morning  to warm dew covered grass and the promise of another bright day . . . oh the bliss of having a vivid imagintion and a garden catalogue to while away a cold and drizzly day.


 Winter does have it consolations  . . . all enjoyed by warmth of firelight.  Though no sunlight gleams  . . .  thoughts of blooms and lovely things of comfort and cheer bring unto weary hearts a secret happiness.  We know that beneath the hard cold ground lays all the promise of an English spring, and we are content to bide our time and console ourselves with the dreams of yet-to-come blooms and garden bliss . . . .


 

 Even vegetables are not safe from my dreams.   I like to plan them also.  I only lack the time, cash and skill to make those dreams come true.  Sigh . . .

What a busy day we ended up having yesterday.   I popped out first thing to pick up a few bits for lunch.  Then the zone leaders came and we spent a great time together having lunch and we helped to train them a bit and hone their skills.  I think we all enjoyed it very much and there were cream cakes.  Then the boiler man came and serviced the boiler.  

We have a cupboard in the kitchen which needs to be taken down each time the boiler is serviced.  Todd had managed to get it down, but could not get it back up, so we called the Zone Leaders and they came back to the house and helped to put it back up again.  Todd had been really struggling with it and just couldn't do it.  It broke my heart a tiny bit to see how very tired he is at the moment.  Things which he used to do with ease are now much more difficult.  They were happy to do it for us and Todd was grateful that they were able to do it.  All was well in the end, and that's what counts.

It made me more cognizant of the fact that we really need to downsize even more.  So things are not so much of a burden and a responsability.  I talked to my daughter for a while on the messaging and we watched a bit of telly and then fell into bed at the end of the day.   Mitzie loves it when we have company (So long as it isn't puppy company.) so she was tired and happy also.




Happy Birthday today to our dear friend Sybil!  We hope you have a beautiful day filled with lots of love and blessings!  Wish I could bake you a cake and sing Happy Birthday to you in person!

A thought to carry with you through today  . . .

.° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★

 *.˛.° ˛°. . 
˛*I want to have a little house
        with sunlight on the floor,
                A chimney with a rosy hearth
                           and lilacs by the door.
                               ~Nancy Bird Turner  •。★★ 。* 。


Spiritual Enlightenment


 

 In The English Kitchen today . . . . Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake for One.  Oh my word, this is gorgeous and so so so dangerous!  You can be sticking your spoon into it in about 2 minutes time, 3 minutes max.  Oh boy . . .

 I hope you have a wonderful Saturday.  Stay warm and stay safe.  Don't forget  . . .



═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════ ⊰✿░G░O░D⊰✿⊰L░O░V░E░S⊰✿⊰░Y░O░U░⊰✿
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And I do too!


Friday, 13 January 2017

My Friday Finds . . .


A few of the things I find each week which pique my curiosity or inspire me to want to do something, create something, cook something, or become a better person! I hope they will pique your curiosity or inspire you in some way as well!

 

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Hearts.  Be still my beating heart.  These look gorgeous and my peanut butter loving soul wants to try them.  From Baker By Nature.




I love this simple scarf pattern.   It looks very easy.  From Stitch and Unwind.  I have a huge yarn stash I need to use up.

I am sorry for another Crochet pattern, but I can't resist showing you this blanket.  I love it.  From Cool Creativity.


From Your Homebased Mom, something for the kids and grandkiddies.   Bread in a Bag.   I might even give this a go!



Kiss Me Countdown.  A sweet way to count down the days until Valentines Day.  From Eighteen 25.


Valentines Garland.  No source, but it would be very easy to do.  Playing cards (cheap enough at the dollar/pound shop), a paper punch to cut two holes in the top of each card for threading through ribbon.  Torn fabric strips to tie on and knot, anchoring between the cards.  Simple.




Hands holding hearts Pop Up Valentines.  From The House that Lars Built.

 

 From the Dating Divas.  The 28 Day Marriage Challenge.   Looks like fun!  With date ideas and romance tips.  Woo hoo!


Free Printable Love Coupon Book.  I heart Naptime.  I don't personally think that either Todd or I would like Breakfast in Bed, but some of the other things we would enjoy like half hour back rubs!



 Free printable Stationary.  I like this.  From Glenda's World.  Journal Pages and stationary and a whole lot more cute free printables.  Love LOVE this page.
Twelve small changes for heart health.  Easy enough.  Well, quitting smoking is quite hard.  I know because I did that 29 years ago.  Wasn't easy, but it can be done and is well worth the effort.

 


Hazelnut Mice.  These are so adorable.  From Renaissance Revival.  cute.


 Our and about Backpack, via Love Crochet.   This is so darned cute.   I love it.


 I like this drawstring one from Lion Yarns also.


 Garter Stitch Swingy Sweater from Ravelry.  I love, LOVE this.

And those are my finds for this week!  I hope that you found something there you like.    It's cold and windy out there this morning folks and the roads are said to be icy.  We don't have any snow here in Chester (we seldom do) but they have widespread snow across Great Britain causing travel chaos everywhere.  I do hope it doesn't impact your journey to France Suzan!  Hope you enjoy Paris as much as you have enjoyed the UK.

Jose brought Dexter over to play with Mitzie yesterday.  She was not overly impressed, but Dexter was so cute.  I told Jose if he does it more often they will get used to each other.  Dexter wanted to play but Mitzie just wanted him to go.  lol  All that puppy exuberance was over the top for her and when he started to eat her food, that was the straw that broke the camels back.   She was in a real pouty mood after that.  Its not like she wanted her food (it had been sitting there since breakfast) but she didn't like him nosing around it either.  Dogs are so funny.  I love them!

I have the Zone Leaders coming for lunch and the boiler man coming around the same time to service the boiler.   Figures, coldest day of the year and the heat will be off.  Duh!

A thought to carry with you through today  . . .

.° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★

 *.˛.° ˛°. . 
˛*Each day is a day of decision,
     and our decisions determine our destiny.
          ~Russell M Nelson  •。★★ 。*


  Spiritual Enlightenment 




I was craving it so much I baked one yesterday.  French Canadian Salmon Pie.  Recipe is in the English Kitchen today.  It was sooo tasty!  I love this pie.

Have a super Friday.  Whatever you get up to don't forget!

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And I do too!



 

Thursday, 12 January 2017

A few of my favourite things . . .

 

These are a few of my favourite things  . . .

 


A blank sheet of paper.   Any kind.  So much promise is held in a blank sheet of paper.  What will I write, doodle, sketch, colour, paint  . . . when I sit down at my art table I never, never know what is going to come out.  I sometimes sketch several different things before an idea starts to formulate itself in my mind, or words start to come out.   This is such a beautiful thing to me.  A blank sheet of paper.  It gets my senses tingling with anticipation and excitement!

 

 Salmon Pie.  Oh, it is so long since I have made a salmon pie.   I love French Canadian Salmon Pie.  I am going to make one today I think.   I have been craving it all week.  I will certainly take a better photo of it than this very old one from ages ago!  Oh boy, I am excited now because I am in for a real treat later on!  Yipee!



Homemade Butterscotch Pudding.  It has been ages since I made some. The Zone Leaders are coming tomorrow for their lunch and a training. (We are going to put them through their paces.)  I think I will make them some butterscoth pudding.  That way I won't have a whole lot of it in the house to tempt me into eating it.  I might bake the cookies as well to go along with it.  And I think I will make them a nice hot pot of soup.


I love a good mystery.  In books.  In movies.  In television shows.  Last autumn we enjoyed the second series of Missing.  We had not seen the first.   So we bought the first series on DVD and started watching it last night.   I also like puzzles.  Mystery documentaries, news shows, crime shows, etc.  There is nothing like a great "Who done it!"  to get me all intrigued and well,  excited really.  I think I would have enjoyed being a forensics specialist.    Well in theory, I am not sure I could have coped with the blood and gore . . .  but I do love to try to figure things out and am thrilled beyond measure when I have gotten it right!


I love parsnips.   I LOVE PARSNIPS!  It wasn't something we had much of when we were growing up because my mother hated them, but I remember when I was a teenager my mother bought some and wanted to try them to see if her tastes had changed.  I remember her frying them because that is the way her  mother had cooked them.  She tells a story of her dad promising her the moon if she would only eat one bite of parsnip when she was a child.   I fell in love with them, but that was the last time my mother ever cooked them as she discovered that she still did not like them.  I slip them into lots of things, soups, stews, etc.  I roast them.  I glaze them.   I just love parsnips.  I have never eaten a parsnip I did not like.


 This has become my guilty pleasure.  I know that it is a real waste of time to watch these shows but I am hooked.  I just find them so compelling.  So far I am liking the Real Housewives of Miami most of all followed by the Real Housewives of Orange County.    Well really those two are neck in neck.  I have not seen the Washington or New York one.  I am so/so with the Beverly Hills one . . . but I still like watching it.  I tape them and watch them while Todd is having his afternoon nap.  They drive him up the wall.  There is so much intrigue and drama.   Most of it vapid and inane.  I can play my town game or do lego at the same time, or knit or crochet.  It's the perfect combination.


Anything decorated with cherries.  Jewelry, fabric, paper, curtains,aprons, ceramics, mugs, etc.   If it has cherries on it, I am in love.  Sigh . . .


 Ditto with Lady Bugs or Lady Birds as they are called over here in the UK.   I love them.  (The mitten pattern is from Ravelry.  I wish I could knit me some. Aren't they the cutest?)   Ladybirds make me happy.



 Impromptu tea parties and picnics.   I have been thinking of dragging out picnic basket out of the shed and packing it up and having a picnic here in the living room.  (Note to self, shampoo carpet first.)  They are so much fun.   Making tea parties for the female missionaries, having a tea party supper for just Todd and I, memories of picnics with my kiddies when they were growing up . . . something like this is just so much fun and helps to break up the monotony of Winter.

 

 Vintage children's illustration.   This one in particular tickles my fance because there is a tea table set up and there are cherries!  Three of my favourite things.  Illustration (vintage), cherries, and tea parties.   Its a win/win/win!

And those are my favourite things for this week.  What are some of yours? 

A thought to carry with you through today  . . .


.° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★

 *.˛.° ˛°. . 
˛*Kindness is like snow  . . . 
    It beautifies everything it covers. 
        ~Kahlil Gibran  .° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •


Spiritual Enlightenment

 
 Photobucket 

In The English Kitchen today  . . . .  Cabbage with Pancetta and Cream.  Lovely jubbly.

Have a beautiful Thursday.  I hope your day is filled with some of your favourite things.  Don't forget  . . .

═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════ ⊰✿░G░O░D⊰✿⊰L░O░V░E░S⊰✿⊰░Y░O░U░⊰✿
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And I do too!!