Monday, 24 April 2017

Day one of Lura and John . . .

 
Just an update on our visit with Lura and John!  They got here safe and sound, lateish on Saturday evening.  We picked them up at the bus stop in Chester and got them home here and settled, and then we all went to bed because there was church in the morning.    We had a lovely day yesterday.  Just a quiet day, nothing too frantic.  Church, naps, a nice dinner and then an evening of companionship.


This is a selfie we took of the group of us after church.  When John gets up I am going to ask him how he managed to take a selfie of us in which we all have double chins (even Todd) except for him! haha!  Its not fair!



Anyways, it is so lovely to be with my dear friend again.  We have a lot of catching up to do!  This morning we are going into Chester to visit the Cathedral and do a bit of sight seeing. The weather is supposed to be turning cold.  Blah!  Figures!  In any case we will enjoy our time together as much as we can!  Hope you are all well! Remember Me and God are still loving you!

PS - I am wondering when I started to look so much like my Grandmother!  Not the most flattering photo of my hair!


Saturday, 22 April 2017

This and that on a Saturday . . .

 


 I think that I shall never see
A poem as lovely as a tree.

A tree whose mouth whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast.

A tree that looks at God all day.
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear,
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
~Joyce Kilmer


I have always loved this beautiful poem by Joyce Kilmer.  Joyce Kilmer was an American poet who was mainly remembered for this poem, which was first published in the collection, Trees and Other Poems in 1914.  Kilmer was considered to be one of America's leading poets of his generation, but was killed in WW1 by a Sniper's bullet at the young age of 31, leaving behind a widow and five children. I can remember having to memorize this poem when I was in Grade School and it has been with me ever since.

Today the whole world shows its interest in and care for the planet. People plant more trees, recyle, take steps to prevent environmental problems and, more importantly, think about how they themselves can make a change for a better future for this very beautiful and fragile place we all share and call home.  Happy Earth Day! 


I got the most delightful package in the post yesterday from my friend Mary who lives in Georgia.  It was stogged full of surprises.  There was even something for Mitzie and for Todd.  Thank you so much Mary, from the bottom of my heart!!  You are so very kind and did not have to do that.  (Sugar free chocolate goodies! YUM!)  Look at those beautiful notecards.  I was just saying the other day about how much I love stationary!   I love everything and it was a very lovely gesture on your part.  Keep an eye on your own mailbox as you never know what might be winging it's way to you in return. 😉

Today is the day when I get to see my dear friend Lura and her husband John again!  It's been over 8 years since we have seen each other and so much has happened during that time.  Lura is a dear, dear friend that I first made contact with via my blog A Year from Oak Cottage. We just started visiting back and forth at each other's blogs (hers was called Grammy's News) and made a special connection.  I flew over to Utah in 2009 and spent a week with Lura and her family in the SLC area.  Lura and I also got to go up to Idaho and watch my eldest daughter Eileen compete in the International Special Olympic Winter Games, with our good friends Lenis and Dick McDonald. Dick was our driver for that special trip.  (He and his wife had served a Mission where we lived down South and that is how I got to know them!)


What a wonderful trip that was!  Oh how I miss the McDonalds!  Fabulous people and very dear to my heart.  I am so excited about getting to see Lura and John later today!  And also for Todd's finally getting to meet them in person! 


I just know he will love them as much as I do!  In fact, he already almost loves them as much as I do, so he won't have far to go.    If I can only give them back a portion of what they gave to me in 2009, then that will be good.  They were so kind to me on my visit to them.  Everyone was. I had such a great time.  I have a great week ahead planned.  I hope its not too cold for them.  Coming from California as they do, I am sure they are just freezing to death already.  They 've been at Sybil's for the last couple of days and will be with us for the next week. We will be picking them up at the bus station this evening.  All is ready for their arrival.  I just have to go and get some groceries today.

We have a great week ahead planned, and I hope the weather co-operates!  And even if it doesn't we will make the best of it irregardless.  Monday night Sheilagh and Ralph our friends from Runcorn are coming for FHE.  Sheilagh plays Scrabble with Lura on FB.  I know she is excited to finally be meeting her in person.   I also have a Tea Party planned for next Thursday with some of my girlfriends from church.  We will kick Todd and John out that afternoon. They can go into Chester and do man stuff.  Those are the only two definitive things we have planned, but we do hope to go and see some castles and stately homes, and some of the beautiful scenery here in the North West.  Its far too cold to do the seaside I think, although it would be lovely for them to see what a British Seaside is like.  We might risk it. We shall see.  The Great British Seaside is the ultimate experience when one comes here to the UK, with fish and chips and rock and ice creams.  Athough to be sure it is a bit early in the season to enjoy an ice cream. Brrrr . . .

 Both Todd and John have not been well.  Todd, as you know, has been battling Prostrate Cancer and John was diagnosed with Leukemia in December last.  So a lot of what we do will depend on how they are feeling also.


It is sure to be a lot warmer than it was the last time
we got together!!!

I probably won't be able to get on much for a chat over the next week, but I thought to try to at least post one photo each day of what we are getting up to and share it with you. We will see how that goes.  Wish me luck!

A thought to carry with you through the day  . . . 

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

 *.˛.° ˛°. . 
˛Your body hears everything
your mind says. Stay positive!
~Unknown.° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •

Spiritual Enlightenment 


Baking in The English Kitchen today  . . .  Golden Harvest Muffins.  Delicious!

Have a wonderful Earth Day.  Be blessed!  Don't forget!


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And I do too!


Friday, 21 April 2017

My Friday Finds . . .

 


A few of the things I find each week that pique my interest, inspire me, or make me want to create. I hope you like them too!

 

How to make a felt needlebook. A complete tutorial on Little Birdie Secrets.  This is so sweet! I love this blog!


Love, LOVING this little bee-t of inspiration here from The Raspberry Rabbit.  Love, love that blog too!


 These Sculptured and embroidered Moths by Yumi Okita are simply stunning.  What a beautiful fabric artist.


Swedish Cream Bun Cake.  In Swedish but translation is available.  This looks fabulous. Must try.



From Buzz Feed.  Tons of inspiration here. I really need to start a bullet journal.  There is no time like the present!


Doll House in a Suitcase.   Remember that little suitcase set I bought. The wheels are turning.  Laura Ashley Blog. Completely adorable.


I love these.  They are made in tin-cans.  These look about the size of small pate tins.  Windows. There are also doors. No instructions.  Just inspiration.


Little Burrow Designs.  I love this. It's so sweet.   I love this quote from Emily Dickenson also.  It is one of my favourites. I love all of this girls things.  She is so creative.


How to culture your own buttermilk.  From Reformation Acres.  Great blog with plenty of homestead goodness.



Handy Towel Holder from Little Birdie Secrets.  I love this.  Such a quick and simple project.  One of these with a lovely patterned tea towel would make a great gift for a friend.


From Ravelry.  A unique baseball cap ear warmer.  Great for the huntsman or fisherman in your life. Unique as I am.


A basket with holes to store all your ribbons.  Such a great idea.  From Good Housekeeping. 19 Smart Solutions for Around the House.



Fabric Baskets.  These are soooooo pretty. Project Basket from Secret Garden Quilting.


Sew a Day Trip bag.  A free sewing project from New Craft Works. 


Eat like a Pioneer.  A very interesting article with a lot of great ideas, insights and inspiration. From Walkerland.

And those are my finds for this week!  Hope you found something of interest here!

A thought to carry with you . . .


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

 *.˛.° ˛°. . 
˛He will cover you with His feathers,
He will shelter you with His wings,
His faithful promises are your armour
and your protection. ~Psalm 91:4  .° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •

Spiritual Enlightenment 

  

Baking in The English Kitchen today  . . .  Scottish Oat Bannocks.  An old family recipe.

Have a beautiful Friday!  I hope your day is a sweet one!  Don't forget . . .

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


Thursday, 20 April 2017

My favourite things . . . .

 


These are a few of my favourite things. Maybe some of them are your favourite things too!


Hot Cross Bun French Toast.  Seriously I made this last Saturday for Breakfast and we were in French Toast Heaven.  Here is a link to the recipe.  You NEED to make this before the shops run out of hot cross buns!


 Wisteria.   We used to have some at the back of our cottage down South. It was gorgeous in the Spring.  This is a street in Freiburg, Germany.  It is amazing.  The whole street is an arbour of Wisteria.  It is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.  The whole city was amazing actually.



Katie Alice Tea Sets, with the cup, saucer and tea plate.   I have four of them that I have collected in the Ditsy Rose pattern.  Although I don't drink black tea, I do drink herbal infusions and enjoy them.  There is nothing nicer than enjoying a cup of herbal tea and some choice morsels on a tea plate. It is pretty special. 

Mind you, I love 
Katie Alice
anything
...


Printed handkerchiefs.  They are so very pretty. People don't use handkerchiefs anymore.  Paper tissues are much cleaner I think.  But how lovely to have a cloth one to dab the corner of your eye with when the tears threaten to flow.  Very gone with the wind  . . .


A good leather shoe. Sturdy. Walkable. Classic.


Maps. I love maps. I have always loved maps. Oh, I know we have satellite navigator systems now, but you still can't beat a good map. I think the two go hand in hand.  Sometimes a map is even better because it can show you an alternate route that might be better, especially if there are road works going on.


Lace anything  . . .  curtains, linens  . . .  pockets.  Is this not beautiful?



Embroider.  Bows.  Beading.  The three all together in one item.  Bliss.


Really good bread.  I wish I was better at making my own bread.  One of the thing I loved about visiting Germany and France was the bread.  The bread back home is a lot sweeter than the bread here.  I noticed it when I was home the last time. I prefer my bread not so sweet now.



Scissors.  Especially embroidery Scissors and small paper cutting scissors. I have a thing about scissors.  I have kitchen scissors, dress making scissors, pinking shears, paper cutting scissors (big and small) and embroidery scissors.   It really annoys me if someone uses the wrong scissors for the wrong purpose. (TODD!)  I am pedantic about which scissors get used for which purpose.



Quality stationary.  With matching lined envelopes.  I love stationary. I have always loved stationary.  I don't write many letters these days, but I love stationary.

Stickers, especially pretty ones.  I love to decorate envelopes and wrapping papers with them.  They make packages, letters, etc. much nicer and more interesting.


Pretty bookmarks  . . . I love them.  Susan Branch often offers printable bookmarks for free.  I always save them. I just love bookmarks.  I read very few paper books these days, but I still like bookmarks!


Puff Pastry.  I adore puff pastry.  All of those melt in your mouth crisp layers.  When I was a girl we used to buy Vachon puff pastries with caramel and whipped cream fillings.  They were so good.  I cannot remember what they were called.  I can remember being at my grandmaman's and eating puff pastry in bowls with lots of cream and caramel on it, homemade.  It was delicious.  I have always been a foodie!

And those are my favourite things for this week!

A thought to carry with you  . . .

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

 *.˛.° ˛°. . Life is short . . . 
Buy the shoes, take the trip
             Eat the cake . . . .° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •


Spiritual Enlightenment

 

 In The English Kitchen today . . .  Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Cookies.  Seriously tasty.  Seriously dangerous!

Have a great Thursday.  I think we are changing our fish tank today.  It has been taken over with snails, more than we can possibly cope with.  I have been killing at least 20 a day and still they come.  Yesterday I noticed that the water filter was filled with them.  So disgusting.   It is beyond coping with now . . .  so we are going to start with a fresh new tank, filter, etc.  Fingers crossed we don't kill our fish and we get rid of the snails.  Hope your day is a good one!  Don't forget  . . .

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And I do too!

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Wednesday this and that . . .

 

 Do you ever have one of those days where you just feel tired?  And I don't mean physically tired, or bone weary  . . .  I mean soul weary.  That is how I feel this morning.  Soul weary.  I am sure I will shake it as the day goes on.  I always do.  Perhaps I just need a change of scenery.

Yesterday was a beautiful day.  Sunny, with a clear blue sky, nary a cloud in sight.  I decided it was time to change our beds to our summer bedding.  Take off the blankets and quilts and move to a duvet which is our summer wear.  I threw open all of the upstairs windows and let the breeze blow through and bring in all of that fresh new air.  I washed everything and hung it out on the line to dry.  I sorted out the spare bedroom, made the beds, aired it out, all in preparation for our guest's arrival on Saturday. I hung clean towels, etc.

I went through the house with Mr Sheen, buffing and puffing and polishing  . . .

 

 We went to the shops and I picked up dog food.   Wainwright's Dog's Best Friend, less fat.  A case of the wet and a huge bag of the dry . . .  for small dogs, because Mitzie doesn't like big things in her mouth, and yes . . .  we cater to her.  But then she gives so much love in return, we don't mind.

While we were out getting the dog food, we stopped at McDonald's and had a hot chocolate. They have changed things in there yet again.  Nothing stays the same.  Whereas when I was young, nothing much changed.  Nowadays nothing stays the same.  I like same.  I am a creature of habit . . .


Sometimes I think I have turned into my mother  . . .  with this love of routine I have.  With this love of sameness . . .  this dislike of change. We always knew what day of the week it was by what was on the dinner table. We did not need a calendar . . . each day also had specific chores.  Like Laundry on Mondays and Fridays . . .  hoovering on Thursdays, shopping and washing floors on Saturdays . . .

I'm not that far gone . . .
yet
...


 Sometimes I sit and wonder about things  . . . like why was I born in the place I was born, and yet others are born into mansions, and then others still again are born into abject poverty.  Is this all by chance?  How did I get to be so blessed to be somewhere in the middle?  Oh yes, I think it is a bit of a curse to have everything you want, without effort.  What do they have to hope for, to reach for . . .  how can you appreciate what you have always had if you have never had less?  Oh, and to never have had anything  . . .  to have to struggle even for one . . . grain . . . of . . . rice.  To always be, feel, desperate.

What a blessing to be
caught somewhere in
the middle
...


 

Even she has no worries.  Everything is always there for her.  A roof.  A cuddle. A safe and warm place to sleep.  Food in her bowl.  Treats.  Love. In abundance.  All of it.   We take so much for granted.   There are many, many in the world who have not even a fraction of this, or of what our dogs/cats/pets have.  Who would gave what little they do have for just a portion of what we take for granted.  That is a humbling thought  . . .

Todd had to go into town to shift some things around, move some money from our savings account into our main account.   I thought, how blessed we are to have savings . . . two years ago we did not have savings.  One year ago, we did not have savings.  Today we have savings.  And even taking some of it out and putting it into our main account, we still have savings.  That's called progress. That is abundance.


I found my brother on messenger and we talked for a bit.  He thinks he finally has a job.  I am so pleased for him.  This is a real answer to prayer.  He has been unemployed for over a year now.  At age 56 that is scary and hard.  But he has remained positive and faithful. God is good.  He is learning to fly.  Seriously.  In a plane.  Nothing to do with his job. He just thought he would like to learn and he is.  Life is too short not to pursue some of your dreams.

I have not painted in months now,
today I need to dig out
my brushes 
...


 I have stories still in me to write, songs yet to sing.  Flowers to smell and rose buds to gather. And yet, sometimes I get afraid that I will never get all the things done that I want to get done before its too late.  I get distracted too easily.  Today I have brownies to bake.  A gift for a Sister Missionary from her Grandmother.   I love to be able to do things like that.  Things like that make me happy. My paint brushes may have to wait another day, or two, or three  . . . we'll see.

So will the change of
scenery
...

A thought to carry with you through the day  . . .


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

 *.˛.° ˛°. . 
˛Kindness is free  . . .
  sprinkle that stuff everywhere.
    ~Unknown   .° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •

 Spiritual Enlightenment


 

 In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Old Time Chicken Roast.  For some reason Blogger isn't recognising pictures that I have stored in Photo Bucket. Lots of my recipe posts have lost their photos.  I am having to redownload them onto the computer and upload them onto blogger.  This is quite a chore.  This is one of those recipes whose post lost its photos.  But its a delicious recipe worth repeating.  The www is a strange place at times  . . .


Have a great Wednesday whatever you get up to!  Don't forget!


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And I do too!