Monday, 24 October 2016

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.


This is Maryn with her daddy, Tom.  They look like they have a wonderful relationship.  Body language says it all.   I love Maryn and I love Tom.  Tom is such a gentle and caring man.  I have never had the opportunity to get to know him very well.  My daughter started dating him when she was at University before I moved over here to the UK, so they have been in a relationship and married for a long time now.   I have only met Tom a couple of times, but each time I have been in his presence, he is very polite and congenial.   I know that he treats my daughter really well and is a good husband and a good father.   I know that he works hard for his family.  I know that he loves God.  I can tell he is a really caring person because he always goes out of his way to wish me a Happy Birthday, Christmas, Mother's Day etc. on behalf of them all.   He does not have to do that, but he does it anyways.  That shows me that he is a very kind man, and that he cares for the feelings of others.   I don't think that I could have asked for a better son-in-law/husband for my daughter, or father for Maryn and Cam.  He is a blessing in my life and probably doesn't even know it, and I love him for all that he is to this little family and for the care that he gives to it.  I hope Amanda knows how very lucky she is to have a husband who is so supportive of all that she does and who helps her to be the best that she can be in the areas of her life which are important to her.  Not everyone is so blessed.


I love the opportunity I have each week to partake of the sacrament and remember my Saviour Jesus Christ in doing so.  I discovered this message on You Tube about how we can remember the Saviour past weekend and I have watched it several times.  It is touching and passionate.  It is a wonderful way to bring the Saviour into your home and to help to share this special remembrance with your family.   I love Elder Costa's voice as he speaks.  This whole video touches my heart in a special way.  I hope it will touch yours also. Please, do watch.  Its not very long, only about 6 1/2 minutes.  Its about what it means to always remember Him.

We have been well and truly fed spiritually this month.  First we had General conference, and then last weekend the special meetings with President Nelson where Todd and I were blessed to be able to listen to him and others speak not just once but twice in one weekend, and then this past weekend was our Stake Conference, where we were fed with wonderful talks given to us by our Stake Leaders and members specially selected to speak to us.


I love these special meetings that our church holds several times a year.  We live in a very secular country and most of the people around us on a daily basis are not believers in God or the Saviour.  It is nice to be able to get together in a group and be with others who feel the same about them as I do.  It is nice to be able to feel in that special spirit which is always present in these meetings and to be able to feel a part of a larger whole.


I just knew it!   This is a serious article.  It's a fact!  I had my suspicions, but now that it is in black and white . . .  well, I was right all along.  ☺


Ross Poldark  . . . .  need I say more?  Sigh  . . .

I think he is one of the finest characters to come to us in a dramatic series in a while.   With his stunningly good looks, fine character, conscience, work ethos, principles, fine (ahem) physique etc.   he embodies the perfect man.


We started watching the second series of Larkrise to Candleford on DVD last night.  It quite aptly began with a Christmas special.  Two months from today it will be Christmas Eve 2016.  I better get my skates on because it will be here before you know it!

I love that series.  I never tire of it.  Like Call the Midwife, Downtown Abby, Poldark, the Waltons, Little House, it is a classic that will never lose its appeal.


Prayer.  It changes everything.   It comforts, sustains, upholds . . . I don't know where I would be without its influence and power in my life.  It is a sacred gift and power which I hold dear.    Todd's MRI scan is today.  We have to be at the hospital at noon.   Then on Wednesday his Biopsy.   We have to be at the hospital by 8:30 am.  I will probably not write on that day, except for a brief note when we get home after it is finished.  In the meantime, during and afterwards, I pray.  Jesus prayed and He was the Son of God.  Prayer was important to Him.  How much more important should it be to us.


The world's cutest coin bank.  Oh, that I could buy one of these for each of my grandchildren.  Its so adorable.  The puppy gobbles up the coins.  Adorable.    I saw this and fell in love.



I think this is a fabulous idea.  I have a basket.  I am going to do it, except give it to a homeless shelter.  I'll let you know how I get on.


This is the best, BEST yoghurt.  I am eating some right now for my breakfast.   It is drool worthy.

And that is my small and wonderfuls for this week, although there were many, many more. My days are filled with them. A thought to carry with you as you go along your day . . .

Family are like branches on a tree.
We all grow in different directions
but we have the same roots.

Spiritual Enlightenment


In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Bumbleberry Pie Tray Bake.  It's good.  So.  So.  Good.

I hope the week ahead of you is filled with many small and wonderful things. May you be truly blessed. Along the way don't forget . . .

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and I do too!

Sunday, 23 October 2016

This and that on a Sunday . . .

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I am often asked how can I do this every single day.  I've been doing this for years in one way or another, this penning of my thoughts and feeings.   Its not because I think that anything I have to say is really profound, but I think of it as being somewhat of an online journal of the goings on in my life and my mind.  I do it more for myself than for any other reason.  The fact that anyone else wants to read it is like the icing on a cake.   I can remember way back when I first started keeping an online journal and I got my first comment.  Thrilled beyond measure.  I was positively over the moon and then some.   It wasn't long before I was getting bazillions of comments.  That never happens anymore for some reason, probably because I am somewhat boring . . .  but that's totally okay with me because for me it was and is and never was about the comments . . .  its always only ever just been about me writing down my daily thoughts and feelings 

Last night was movie night in our house and we chose to watch "A Walk in the Woods," starring Robert Redford, Nick Nolte and Emma Thompson.  Emma wasn't really in it very much, just a bit at the beginning and at the end and a brief flicker in about the middle.


It was a comedy about an older man who decides he wants to walk the Appalachian Trail. Author Bill Bryson (Robert Redford), after living for ten years in Britain, returned to New Hampshire. Now in his 60s, he has been living there peacefully for the past twenty years. A television interview reports that he has published several popular books and there is speculation he will be writing more. Bryson, however, has no such plans. Bryson and his wife Catherine (Emma Thompson) attend a funeral. Not being an outgoing person, he afterwards takes a stroll on the nearby Appalachian Trail. He suddenly decides he will hike its entire length. Catherine objects, presenting all kinds of accounts about accidents and murders on the trail. She relents on condition that he not travel alone. He agrees and searches for a friend willing to join him. Everyone declines his invitation; some declare him insane. Finally, he is contacted by Stephen Katz (Nick Nolte), an old friend who offers to be a hiking companion. Despite appearances, Stephen claims to be fit enough for the challenge. Bill's wife is unhappy with his choice, but relents.

What follows is an entertaining, lightly charming comic adventure, that we both thorougly enjoyed!  Somehow I don't think either one of us will ever be up to walking the Appalachian Trail, although when I was a lot younger is was a thought I had entertained at one point.  I am far past that now.  The scenery was stunning and it was quite funny in places.   I love the friendship between these two old guys which was a bit precarious at the beginning of the film but which deepened as the film went on.

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So Todd has an appointment on Monday for an MRI scan at the hospital and a biopsy scheduled for next Wednesday morning.  The hardest part of all of this is the waiting and the not knowing.  You feel as if you are in a bit of a "no man's" land.    I don't know which is worse.  The not knowing, or the knowing . . .  but I expect we will soon find out.   We are both remaining positive about it.  Worry never changed a thing.  I have been searching on Dr Google and I found one page which said that 98% of men with Prostrate Cancer are still alive 15 years later.  Todd said that was a good thing, because at 78 years of age, to be still alive at 93 was probably not bad odds.  However I found another page which said that one man in the UK dies every hour from Prostrate Cancer.   I did not share that news with him.  Nothing negative.   He has expressed however that he prefers quality of life over quantity of life.  We have a friend who has leukemia and he and his wife spend at least 7 hours of every day sitting in the hospital five days a week, and has been doing this for several years now.  Todd says that is not life and he is not wanting that.  We will see what happens.  Your continued prayers are very much appreciated.

But it could always, always be worse.   Another friend of mine, a dear friend, who lost her husband just two years ago, has been diagnosed with malignant melanoma.  She is only 55, and the melanoma has been on her leg for several years now.  They were treating it as keloid scar tissue.  Her name is Kathy and if you could please, please add her to your prayer list that would be very much appreciated as well.  I know she must be terrified.  Prayers of comfort and calming would be really appreciated.  We spoke on the telephone several days ago and she is putting a brave front on it all, but I know how she is really feeling inside, having been in somewhat the same place albeit for a different reason.   You try not to think about it, but it is always there niggling away at you, no matter what

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I am looking forward to calling my mum this afternoon.  I do enjoy our Sunday afternoon conversations so very much.  I used to enjoy getting her letters each week and then they went down to once every two weeks.  I saved them all because I knew that one day they would stop and they have.  I never get a letter anymore, which makes the ones I do have all the more precious.  I take one out every now and again and read it.  They always make me smile.  I appreciate the phone calls even more as time goes by.   Its not that we talk about anything profound.  We mostly just talk about the same things each time . . .  the weather, whats for supper, the cats, my father, the past . . . but there is a blessing which is mine each time that we speak, each time I hear her voice and hear how happy she seems, how much fuller her life is than it had been in years.   I don't think any of us ever realized that she was lonely before my sister came to live with her.  I don't think even my mom realized this fact.   Her life is infinitely fuller now and filled with lots of activity around her.  I think that is something which elderly people need . . .  company to keep and activity around them.  She doesn't go far these days, just to the Chemist, the bank and Wal-mart and sometimes the grocery store.  Oh and her Doctor's appointments, etc.   She still gets her hair done and permed every couple of months.  She loves it when the Avon lady calls.  I think my mom is the oldest and best Avon customer, and probably has more Avon products in her house than anyone on the planet.

She used to be an Avon representative at one time and a pretty darned good one.  My father used to help her put her orders together.   She won prizes and all sorts, and even trips.  My mother has always excelled at anything she has done.  We've always been really proud of her.  If she is only ever half as proud of us as we are of her, then we are very lucky people!

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It is Stake Conference in our Stake this weekend.   Yesterday was the Priesthood Leadership meeting and the Adult Conference in the evening.  Today will be the family session in the chapel at 10 am.  We didn't go to the Adult session last evening.  Todd was really tired and I confess so was I.  Neither one of us could face going out into the dark and the cold.  It gets like that for us when the nights draw in.  Neither one of us really likes driving in the dark.  When I was a child I loved driving in the dark.   I never got car sick when we drove at night, so I could enjoy the travel without feeling nauseated.   I loved looking out the window and seeing all the lights of people's houses, etc.  especially in the distance.   Funny that.   I used to love to go walking in the dark as well and the small glimpses you got of people in their houses from the roadway as you walked past.

People are just so fascinating.  Everyone has  a story.  Some are happy. Some are sad.  Some are inbetween.  Every story matters and has value.  I think that is why I enjoyed working at the old people's home when I worked there.   I loved listening to some of the stories the residents had to share.  All they ever really wanted was for someone to listen.  As a Care Assistant I could not often sit and listen because I had so much other work to be getting on with.  Most elderly people in these homes hardly ever have any visitors.  Not even at the holidays.   I think they should employ people to visit the ones that have no family, so that they have a visitor now and again.  Most care homes have resident cats, but I think that they need resident visitors also.

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One of our neons died in the fish tank.  I noticed him on Friday.  I dont know how long he had been dead, his eyes were missing.  (I know YUCK!  Too much information!)   We are down to three neons now.  We started with five.  I love to sit and watch the fish.  Its very relaxing and interesting.  I never thought it would be. We have three Dwarf Gourami, two Danoi, two platies, four tiny guppies, two larger guppies, a catfish and a shrimp.  They all seem to get along very well together.

And I guess that is about all I have to share with you today.   I reckon I have gone on long enough!  I shall leave you with a thought for today  . . .

Time is very slow  for those who wait,
Very fast for those who are afraid,
Very long for those who lament,
Very short for those who celebrate,
But for those who love, Time is eternal.
~William Shakespeare

Spiritual Enlightement

In The English Kitchen today  . . .   Steamed Cherry Bakewell Pudding.

Have a beautiful sabbath day!  Don' forget  . . .

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And I do too!!

Saturday, 22 October 2016

A lot about nothing . . .

Do you ever have house/blog envy . . .  that little green monster that makes a person look at all the beautifully decorated homes you see on Pinterest, television, etc. and feel like your house/home/life is not quite so nice, and somewhat lacking???

Don't get me wrong . . .  I love my little house and I really am quite happy with it, but the wealth of  inspiration that is available on the internet and the television and other media, and the glimpses we get into other people's lives can  sometime make us wish for a tiny bit more . . .  make me wish for a tiny bit more.

More space.   More money.  More time to make my house look as nice as some of the others I see out there.  I don't really think I am alone in that, do you?


I know its wrong.  Envy is one of the seven deadly sins after all  . . . and that is when I need to sit down and think about all the things I love about my little house, and my life that make it . . .  for me . . .  a home sweet home, and a beautiful life.


First of all . . .  the love within its walls.  That is a major plus.  Todd and Mitzie and our wee fishes.  I am so blessed to have a husband who loves me as much as Todd does and a fur baby who is so loyal and loving as well.

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So many people spend their lives searching for even a small portion of what I have and never find it.  I am so very blessed.  Imagine  . . .  I get to spend each day with this fabulous man.    I spent a lifetime looking for him.  I am so happy I found him . . .  He is just my cup of tea.


I love, love, LOVE our new Electric Fire.  It is a bazillion times more attractive than the one that was there before.  And it was cheap, cheap, cheap . . .  but it makes our lounge seem all cosy, cosy at night, even if we don't have the heat part of it on . . . just the flame light . . .

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I love my workspace up in the craft room.  At least I do when it is organized and tidy.   It never stays that way for very long.

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I usually mess it up in some way, especially if I am working on something . . . but then an untidy work top is a sign that I am feeling inspired and in the depths of creation.  That makes me happy.

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It doesn't take very long for me to mess it all up again.  I think most artsy craftsy people are the same.

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I love our kitchen, the way I have it sorted now.  I don't think it will ever be quite large enough.  but I kind of think that even if it was the largest kitchen in the world, I would somehow find a way to overfill it.

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I love my tea cosy . . .  even if I don't drink tea.  Just the sight of it makes me smile.

I love my sideboard . . .

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I love this little face that pops up everywhere.

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I love the butterflies which visit our garden in the summer time  . . .

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I love my Christmas tree at Christmas time  . . .

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I love our little life  . . .

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The camelia bush outside our front door that blossoms every spring  . . .  the buds are already forming for next year.

And so, so, sooooooo much more.

I think it is easy sometimes to look at the small glimpses that people give us into their lives and their homes and to feel a bit envious of what we see.  But then again  . . .  we don't really see the whole picture do we???  We only see what they want us to see, when they want us to see it.  I doubt that the Pioneer Woman's home always looks so put together, and I bet even she doesn't always look so put together.  Heck, I bet even Susan Branch's house can get messy from time to time.   We don't get to see the messy stuff.  Just the good stuff.

Even I have been guilty of that.

Nobody ever sees the laundry rack that is permanently filled with drying laundry and standing just outside our kitchen door in the dining area of the lounge.  There's just nowhere else to put it.  Or about a bazillion other things that are out of place.  You only see what I want you to see and everything at its best.

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I guess it is all just a matter of perspective.

A thought to carry with you through today . . .

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Its a picture one . . .

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In The English Kitchen today there is Halloween Bark!  Simple to make and a lot of fun!

Have a fabulous Saturday whatever you get up to!  Be happy, stay safe and don't forget  . . .

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And I do too!!

Friday, 21 October 2016

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!

A handy chart which shows you how many minutes you need to walk a day in order to lose weight according to your height and weight.  I think I might need to walk for the rest of my life, haha.  


Are you a knitter?  Here is a free Advent Calender  Garland of tiny mittens, although if you are like me it might take you until next year, if then to get them done!  From  Just Crafty Enough.


The Eleven Best Homemade Frosting Recipes.  From The 11 Best. 


Wooden Block Pumpkins.  Cute idea.   Kate Arthur.  


Sock Monkey Tutorial.  From  Wiki How.  


Sock Monkey Christmas Ornaments.  From LuullaI know a couple of little boys who would love these!


Simple Crochet Wrap Tutorial.  I love this.  From Diary of a Creative Fanatic.  Free.


I just love LOVE this shawl.  From Cherry Heart.   It's not a free pattern, but its not expensive either.  She has LOTS OF PATTERNS.  Some of them are free.

Small Batch Apple Butter, from Dessert for Two.    7 hours in the slow cooker and it makes two pints.  Just perfect for us.


From Apartment Therapy.  How to decorate an awkward space with a Gallery Wall.


I love this chair.  Eye candy.


Craft Punch Corner Bookmarks.  Confessions of a Craftaholic.

Mineco, Boxed Geometric Heart.   Cute.


Origami Paper Lantern.  In French but there are photos.


DIY Paper Ornament Advent Calendar.  From Oh Happy Day.

10 Sock Dolls.  Free tutorials from Plushie Patterns.


And finally 12 self care ideas that take 5 minutes or less.  From Jane Travis.

And those are my finds for this week.  I hope you found something of value that you can use.  I find lots more than this, but these are things I think you just might like.  I hope that you did!

A thought to carry with you . . .

Start every day with a new hope,
Leave bad memories behind,
Have faith for a better tomorrow.

Spiritual Enlightenment

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In The English Kitchen today . . . .  Sausages with Mustard and Apples..

Have a great Friday! Don't forget!

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And I do too!