Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Wednesday this and that . . .

 

 
Birthday Party Age 6
I am in the middle front. 

Its hard to believe that over sixty years have passed since this photograph was taken. I don't think I had a lot of hopes and dreams at that age.  I perhaps wanted a Barbie Doll, or a Tressy, a Chatty Cathy . . . maybe a bicycle. Most of my life stretched in front of me. I lived in a little cocoon of safety. With a mom and a dad who loved me and took care of me, a sister, a brother and we had a cat named Minune.  Mom worked really hard at keeping the house clean and tidy, and making sure the three of us were also clean and tidy.  Dad worked really hard at providing a living for his family. I don't think either of them had a lot of time for play during the week.

My sister and I were in the car driving the other day and talking about how things were when we were bringing up our children. About how a lot of young women these days, bringing up families, etc. are able to document it all on Facebook or Instagram or TikToc or whatever.  I'm not sure I would have had the time to document everything on social media back then,  and I am darn sure my mother didn't.  Or maybe we just had different priorities??

I don't know.  

As a young mum, I was busier than busy.  When I had my fourth child, I had three children in diapers.  My husband didn't make a lot of money in those days so disposable diapers were a luxury we could not afford.  I had two diaper pails and they were working overtime! Most days I didn't know if I was coming or going, but I was doing what I had wanted to do my whole life, being a mum and a wife.  I had no other aspirations, or if I did, they had been swallowed up in the minutia of everyday life!  And that didn't change when I had my fifth child.




When I did have spare time I loved to do crochet and embroidery, notably crewel embroidery.  I wish I still had some examples of the needlework that I had done back then.  I also loved sewing for my children, especially my little girls. I used to sew them matching outfits, but different colors. And I made clothes for their dolls. I loved to bake cookies and cakes and I loved making meals for my family. I tried to always make them interesting.  Simple food, but interesting food. Always tasty. I have always been a good and competent cook I dare say.

I can remember every payday we would bundle all the children up and take them out for supper to a McDonalds or a Burger King.  I was proud of the fact that we could do that. Back then McDonalds used to advertise that you could feed a family of four for under a fiver. Afterwards we would go and get groceries. I would have one child sitting in the seat at the front of the grocery cart and the others would be hanging on to the sides. They never made a fuss or whined or had temper tantrums. I think they knew there would be a treat at the end of it.

I marvel at how I got everything done back then.  I don't know how I did it really, but somehow I did. I was younger and had a lot more energy I think! 

Any crafting I did was done at night, after the children had all been bathed and put to bed. Not many men were hands on in those days, not like now, but then not a lot of women worked outside the home.  I was a military wife.  There was not a lot of opportunity for a military wife back then to have a career of her own as such. We moved around an awful lot. I used to feel like a turtle at times, carrying my home on my back. 

I used to do a few extra jobs from time to time, if we needed extra cash, mostly child minding and cleaning. Things I could fit around my own children's needs. It was pretty much the same for anyone I knew. We were all Military wives and had pretty much the same lives.  And often we did it all on our own because our husbands would often be away from home for weeks and  months at a time. We never thought anything of it. It was just the way our lives were.



I remember I made felt embroidered, and highly sequined Christmas decorations and stockings for each of the children. I think my oldest son still has some of those now.  Christmas was really important to me and I always tried to make my children's Christmas's the best that I could.  With lots of home baked goodies and gifts from Santa Claus. I made decorated gingerbread houses each year and my tree was covered in handmade ornaments, etc.  We would string together popcorn and cranberry garlands to hang on the tree. One year I baked a bunch of gingerbread men and decorated them with cinnamon hearts and royal icing and they hung all over the tree as well. Some would be missing toes and hands by the time Christmas rolled around.

I never had the latest fashions to wear. Going to the hairdressers was a rare treat. If I had a manicure at all I gave it to myself. I never ever felt deprived or lacking anything.  Life was good. I was happy. I was where I wanted to be and I was doing what I wanted to do.  Life was pretty simple back then, as busy as it was. 



I live a completely different life now. It is still busy but in different ways.  I am content. If anything, my days seem to pass even quicker than they did when the children were growing up. I fill them with all sorts. I try to stay as busy as I can, to keep my mind as active as I can.  I fill my hours with things I enjoy.  My small house doesn't require a lot of care really. There is no one here but myself and my cats,  and so I have plenty of leisure time to fill with the things I enjoy doing. 

Of course I do work still. Thankfully I am able to do it from home.  The food blog is my main form of income at the moment and that scares me sometimes because I think about what would happen if I became sick or . . .  well, it doesn't bear thinking about.  But then I remember God is good and He never closes a door but what he opens a window. 

I try to store up what I can for an unknown future.  But do any of us really know what the future holds?  If there is anything life has taught me it is that it can surprise us at the best of times. There are very few certainties in life.  Each day is a gift, a treasure  . . . I try not to waste any of them if I can help it.  And I try to find the joy in each one of them.  The light as it were.

My days are filled with light, an abundance of light.  I have surrounded myself with joy.  Or maybe it is just I have become more cognizant of the joy in life than I ever was before.  That is a very good thing I think, to look for the light in each day.

I am sitting here right now and the only sounds I can hear are the ticking of my clock, the tapping of my fingers on the keyboard, and the purrs and chirps of two furry bodies who are sitting next to me. I have filled my home with color and with love and yes  . . .  light.  What more does anyone need. Not a lot I hazard to say. Not a lot.

A thought to carry with you  . . . 

° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★
Taking joy in living
is a woman's best cosmetic.
~Rosalyn Russell•。★★ 。* 。 



Cooking in The English Kitchen today  . . .  Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas.  So tasty. No fuss no muss.

I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday! Whatever you get up to I hope it brings you  joy and light.  Don't forget! 

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


Tuesday, 19 October 2021

The Simple Woman's Daybook . . .

 

  

FOR TODAY, October 19th, 2021

Outside my window ...
Its still dark and cool, a dry day so far.  I've been awake since about 4:45.  I  have had a bad couple of nights sleepwise.  Some days are just like that I guess! 

I am thinking ...
How much longer will this Covid business go on. I would love to be able to see the rest of my family. I wish they could get a handle on it.  I have my opinions on how it started and I wish as a planet we could hold the persons responsible to task for it.

I am looking forward to ...
Halloween.  Hoping we get some cheeky visitors for Halloween treats. Its been far too long since I have enjoyed seeing lots of children on Halloween. 

I am thankful for ...
A roof over my head. Food in my belly. Family. Faith. Friends. Relatively good health.  Life is good.

In the Kitchen ... 


Creamy Hungarian Mushroom Soup.  This was delicious. It is a small batch recipe, making three servings.  Quick and easy to make, using simple ingredients.

On my "To Cook" list ... 


A Family Feast. Baked Gnocchi with Italian Sausage. 

One of my favorite things ... 
Early morning solitude. I ordered new curtains for the living room window last week to replace the sheets, etc. I just want some privacy. I don't like always feeling like people can see in.

I am wanting to create ... 


I am craving getting back into painting more.  I need a dedicated work space to do that in. I need to save up and get myself a desk for my back bedroom. I spent a lot of time in there yesterday sorting things out. Flattening boxes, sorting out stuff.  I have more work to do still. I don't think it will ever be a bedroom. For what?  I might have guests only very occasionally. I think a couple of blow up mattresses and sleeping bags will suffice.



Whistle and Ivy. Animal Ear Headbands. Cute! 



Crochet Therapy.  Cat purse. 




Crochet Baby Rattles.  Toys by Knit Friends, on Etsy.



 

Make and Do Crochet.  Furry Bear blanket/rug. 

I am reading ...




The Widow's War, by Mary Mackey 

In 1853, Carolyn Vinton is left alone and pregnant after her fiancé, abolitionist doctor William Saylor, disappears. After his stepbrother convinces her that William is dead, Carolyn accepts his offer of marriage, not realizing that she is being drawn into an elaborate ruse by her new husband and his father, a pro-slavery senator–and that William is still alive. 

 Their passionate reunion takes place in the midst of the violent Civil War, as abolitionists and pro-slavers battle over the Kansas Territory. Now only their willingness to sacrifice their lives for their beliefs–and for each other–can save them.

Have only just started this.  

Dreaming About ... 
 

Beautiful silver . . . . 

 

Pretty china  . . . 

 

Beautiful bouquets  . . .  that jug  . . . . 

 

Little crochet birds  . . . 

 

Garlic knots  . . .  

Something to watch ... 


Maid, on Netflix. Not sure if I shared it already or not, but if you haven't watched it, you need to.   

Makes me smile ... 

Nutmeg, yesterday afternoon

Can I be any more handsome? Mister Personality for sure.

Corners of my kingdom ... 


A carpet of autumn leaves  . . .  they're falling fast now. The red are the first ones to really let go  . . .  

A thought to carry with you  ... 

° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★
* "Ordinary riches can be stolen, 
real riches cannot. 
In your soul are 
infinitely precious things that 
cannot be taken from you." 
~Oscar Wilde  •。★★ 。* 。 
 
And that's my daybook for this week  . . .  
  

  ⋱ ⋮ ⋰
⋯ ◯ ⋯ Take time to enjoy the small *´¯`.¸¸.☆

  ⋰ ⋮ ⋱ blessings in life.*´¯`.¸¸.☆   
 

  




✿¸.•*¨`*•..✿✿¸.•*¨`*•..✿ ✿¸.•*¨`*•..¸✿ ✿¸.•*¨`*•..¸✿ ✿¸.• ╬♥═╬╬═♥=╬╬═♥╬╬═♥╬╬═♥=╬╬♥═╬♥╬╬═♥╬╬═♥=╬╬♥
░░░░░░░░░░░░░ ░░░░░░░░░░░░ ░░░░░░░░░░░░  
 

 
  

 Have a beautiful day and don't forget!  


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

Monday, 18 October 2021

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.  

 

Getting to live in a place which is filled with abundance.  The colours.  The community.  The peace.  The quiet.  The history.  I lived not a stones throw away from my now home to one of my childhood homes. (airforce history) When I was growing up, this was all forest.  My simple little home is surrounded with beautiful trees and kind neighbors.  I am blessed.  I would never have thought when I was a girl and living at the end of the main road you see in this photograph that one day I would be an oldish woman living just across the way. Life is so interesting with all of its twists and turns.

 

Beautiful sunsets.  I love the view of the world I have in my front window. It blesses me every day, in one way or another!

 

This daughter of mine and the easy companionship we share with each other. I love that I get to talk to her just about every day and that we can see each other as often as we want to. She is very special to me. I love her very much. I am very proud of the person that she has become, for the challenges she has overcome.  I just am plain proud of her and love her to infinity and beyond. 



This fabulous son of mine and the efforts he makes to be a part of my life.  He's a great son, husband, father, etc.  He is a kind and thoughtful person.  He is really special to me.  When I think back through the years, he has always made an effort to know that he loves me and cares about my welfare. I hope that he knows how very much I love him and how proud I am of the person that he is, and what a blessing he is in my life. I am so grateful for him. I am also grateful that he is still with us after his serious health problems over the past two years.  I pray every night that he will have a long and a fruitful life, and a happy life.

 

This wonderful firstborn child of mine.  A  good and loving son, father and husband. Of all my children, he has had the roughest time.  With a real father who seriously had nothing to do with him all the years of his growing up, and a step father who was probably not as good to him as he could should have been, he has had to struggle to find his way every inch of the journey.   He is a good and a kind man with a generous and tender heart and a good soul.  I am very proud of him also and of who he is as a person, a son, a father, a husband. I am grateful for all of his efforts to be a part of my life and to include me in his. He is the one who made me into a mother and then a grandmother. No greater gift could have been given. 

Grateful also for a mother who taught me how to be a good person.  I re-watched her funeral at the weekend. It was still on the mortuary's site.  I had gone there to read a friend's obituary and then just checked to see if mom's was also there and saw that the film of her funeral was also still there.  It broke my heart all over again, but at the same time it was a good thing to be able to watch and listen to it.  Re-watching it from over two years later was  sobering. I still can't believe that she is not with us. I think of her multiple times each day, and then some. I look forward to a time when I can be with her again, although I am not in any hurry just yet to get there!


 

I am so grateful for this best friend of mine. This sweet sister.  Of all of us (my brother, she and myself) she is the most caring and attentive.  I have a brain like a sieve. She forgets nothing.  She keeps even the most minute details of the people she cares about in her brain with a diligence which puts me to shame.  She is such a hard worker and so kind.  She has always been a great ballast, a stabilizing influence in my life.  She is very much like my Aunt Freda in many ways. You can tell her anything. You can trust her.  You can rely on her. You can go to her for advice and know that whatever advice she gives is trustworthy and good advice.  I just love her so very much.  When we were children we used to say that when we got old we wanted to be like the Baldwin sisters, living together in a big old house with each other for company.  We may not have that exactly, but we are pretty close to that.  
She is one of my life's greatest blessings, and I know you must get tired of hearing that, but its true and I can't stop saying it!  I am blessed! 


This sweet soul brother of mine has been another really stabilizing influence in my life.  I can still remember how excited my sister and I were the day he was born. I was almost five years old and I remember being so excited that I had a baby brother that I had my sister by the hand and was dancing around the kitchen floor with her, singing "We have a baby brother."  He is witty and he is kind beyond measure. He also gives pretty great advice, even if I haven't always wanted to take it, lol.  He has worked really hard to make a good life for himself and his family and has always been a great example to me of how to do things the right way.  I am sure he must shake his head at times at just how insane my life has been. I am not sure I have ever been a great influence for any of my family to follow, even though I have tried most of the time to be the best that I can be.  (I am not perfect by any stretch.) I love him very much also.


This man who is the paternal head of our family. I love him very much and feel so blessed to be able to have been given the gift of being able to spend these last years of his life close to him, no matter the difficult route I took to get here.  From him I inherited my easy going nature, and love of music and reading. Time with my father is an extra special blessing, full stop.  


These two furry little scamps and the space they take up in my life and the flavor they add to it.  Meant to be.  Meant to be  . . . 

Faith, family, friends  . . .  my life is filled with an abundance of joy and blessings. My cup truly does runneth over. My life is so good at the moment, I am almost afraid to acknowledge it for fear that the boom will go bust. It almost feels too good to be true.

A thought to carry with you . . . 

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

 *.˛Lord, let me be one of those
who sits with those whose story
is different from mine.
~Emily Belle Freeman  •。★★ 。* 。

 I need to be a better person. I don't think I give back enough . . . 


In The English Kitchen today  . . .  One, Two, Three, Buttermilk Biscuits.  These biscuits contain only three ingredients, and take only three steps to biscuit perfection. You can be enjoying them in about 15 minutes from start to finish, I kid you not!

I hope your week ahead is filled to overflowing with small and wonderful things.  Be happy and along the way don't forget! 

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