Monday, 16 July 2018

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.


Mormon Channel Music.  You can access it here.  In a world that is filled with negativity its nice to have a place I can go to and find beautifully uplifting music. It is not all hymns and church music.  They also play a lot of beautiful contemporary music, with a positive message. Its calming and reflective.  Its nice to have a resource like that. We have the app on our television, which has videos and all sorts.  Mostly though we just listen to the Music channel. At conference time, we watch the conference through it also. When Todd is not here and watching television, I have the music playing in the background while I putter about.  Its just nice. 



Tea Parties.  I love them.  I feel the need to have one. Maybe soon. We will see. Maybe for my Birthday.  It sounds like the perfect excuse.


  

Every now and again I like to enjoy a drink in a proper tea cup. It is most civilised.  I think sometimes I was born 100 years too late.  Sometimes I don't feel like I fit into these modern times.  They are too loud and too hectic, but on the other hand I do enjoy the perks of modern technology rather a lot and am most grateful for them. 


 

My bi-weekly calls with my mother.  I love hearing her voice.  I seem to do most of the talking these days, but that's okay.  I just prattle on and sometimes she remembers what I am talking about and sometimes not. She likes to talk about her cat and her father. She actually went to WalMart on Saturday with my Sister. It had been quite a while since she had done that. Her feet hurt too much for a lot of walking. I was glad to hear that she had gotten out of the house.  She doesn't do that much anymore at all. I don't know if she actually knows who I am when I am talking to her.  I try not to think about that.  I think on one level she does, and on another she probably has moments during our conversation when she thinks who is this, but that's okay. I have moments when I don't know who I am either, lol.  



Wonder. Its  a beautiful movie. If you haven't seen it, you should. Its touching and funny, a bit sad in places, very inspiring.  I had read the book and loved it so much that I got it for my oldest grandson for his Birthday earlier this year.  I am not sure if he liked it or not, but I hope that he did.  I think every child should read it. I think it should be on the syllabus of every school.  Its easy to watch a film and then forget about it later, but when you have read a book, the message sticks.  I still remember every book I had to read for school.


Being able to read. Of all the lessons I have learnt in life, learning how to read is the lesson which has served me best of all.  I cannot imagine not being able to read.  It opens up worlds untold and takes you places you could never go otherwise. I cannot imagine the struggles that people experience when they cannot read.  I think it must be very life limiting. 

I am so very grateful that I was born and brought up in a time and a place where I was free from war and pestilence, famine, drought, etc.  I have never known real hunger or fear.  I have never felt truly unloved.  I had the priviledge of a free education all the years of my childhood, and free health care also. I was born into a loving home with two parents who loved and cared for me. I have never experienced true tyranny. Only peace.  I have always had the freedom to do, think, believe what I wish to within the bounds of the laws of the countries I have lived in. Laws which are based very much on the ten commandments and Godly principles.  As a woman I have always had the right to vote and a voice. I have never experienced rascism of any kind.  I never take any of these liberties and blessings for granted. I know that much of what I have enjoyed throughout my life came at a cost. A cost which I am ever grateful for. 
The beauty of every day things.  Ordinary things. Simple things. Tender mercies. Small blessings. I have a very abundant life. To be able to experience the magic in the ordinary is a gift I hope I never take for granted. 
The ability to choose the positive most days. I know that there are many, many people in the world who struggle with this either through mental illness or depression.  I have low moments.  Everyone does. Thankfully I have always been able to shake them off and move forward.  I know this is a great blessing. 
  
Right or wrong the choice has always been mine to make.  For so many in this world it is not.

 

Abundance.  I am surrounded by it. I have all that I need in this life.  Its all in the perspective. I am wealthy in the things which truly matter, and then some. Life is good.  


A beautiful granddaughter.  She reminds me so much of her mother in this picture.

There is an endless song
Echoes in my soul
I hear the music ring
And though the storms may come
I am holding on
To the rock I cling
How can I keep from singing Your praise
How can I ever say enough
How amazing is Your love
How can I keep from shouting Your name
I know I am loved by the King
And it makes my heart want to sing
I will lift my eyes
In the darkest night
For I know my Savior lives
And I will walk with You
Knowing You'll see me through
 And sing the songs You give
I can sing in the troubled times
Sing when I win
I can sing when I lose my step
And fall down again
I can sing 'cause You pick me up
Sing 'cause You're there
I can sing 'cause You hear me, Lord
When I call to You in prayer
I can sing with my last breath
Sing for I know
That I'll sing with the angels
And the saints around the throne.
~How Can I keep from Singing, Chris Tomlin

A thought to carry with you  . . . 

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

 *.˛.
Abundance is not something we acquire,
it is something we tune in to.
~Dr Wayne Dyer •。★★ 。* 。 

 

In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Creamy Caraway Coleslaw.  So good!

Have a wonderful day and week. May it truly be filled with abundance!  Don't forget! 

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




Sunday, 15 July 2018

Daisy, Daisy . . .


It's not unusual in July to see a field foaming to the brim with wild daisies.  They are such hardy . . . cheerful flowers, putting up with seemingly everything from drought to monsoon.  I love them so . . .

They don't seem to mind all the fumes of passing traffic, flourishing along the by ways and high ways of the land.  The sight of them along with the red poppy cheer the heart of the drivers that pass . . . 



Bouquets of them scattered throughout the house bring a smile to my face . . . they stay fresh for days and days . . . and days.  If they have a smell, I haven't noticed.

Noxious weed by some . . . lover's forecast by others . . . they bloom with wild abandon.   We make chains of them and crown our heads and encircle our necks.  They smile . . . they wink . . . they dance upon the fields, waving their gold centered  fluffy white heads to the tune of the wind which passes over.


They are quite happy to socialize which whomever shows up to the party . . . black-eyed Susan's, Queen Anne's Lace, Bachelor Buttons . . . they are not selfish, they share their space quite willingly.  It is a seemingly joyful companionship of ease . . . it brings me joy at any rate . . . 



I spent some time in our front garden yesterday amongst the hydrangea and lavender taking pictures of the bumblebees that are really enjoying them at the moment. Look at the pollen filled leg pouches on this one.  I would call him a bit of an over-achiever. There is nothing wrong with doing a job and doing it well! We should all be so inspired!

  

They are such magnificent creatures.  An aerodynamic miracle. Just look at the delicacy of those wings . . .  


 . . . in contrast to the size of that beautiful body.   Nature is magnificent, and astonishing and filled with surprises.  I love how the sun is glinting off of those magical wings in this photo, almost making them sparkle . . . 


I took a bazillion pictures . . .  just clicking again and again and again . . . you have to move quickly to keep up with the movements of nature  . . . if you wait for the perfect shot it is gone before you scarcely can take note.  


  

There is no time to set up shots.  You just keep clicking and if you are lucky at the end you have something worth looking at  . . . I believe this is a cabbage white.  Not the most spectacularly coloured butterfly, but the most common.  They have aerial battles with each other in the garden.  Interesting to watch. 


They seem to love the Lavender as much as the bees do  . . . 

A thought to carry with you  . . .  

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

 *
Beautiful has nothing to do with looks.
Its how you are as a person,
and how you make others feel about
themselves.  ~Unknown •。★★ 。* 。 


 

In the kitchen today  . . .  Downside Up Pineapple Cobbler.  Delicious served warm with vanilla ice cream.

Have a beautiful Sunday.  Don't forget . . . 


═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════ ⊰✿░G░O░D⊰✿⊰L░O░V░E░S⊰✿⊰░Y░O░U░⊰✿
═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════ 

And I do too! 

It is for us to pray not for tasks equal to our powers, but for powers equal to our tasks, to go forward with a great desire forever beating at the door of our hearts as we travel toward our distant goal. 
~ Helen Keller

 


Saturday, 14 July 2018

Saturday This and That . . .


I recently started reading this book by Al Carraway.  Someone had referenced it during their testimony at church and I was intrigued, and then someone on our Ward webpage was asking if anyone had a copy they could borrow and everyone was just so enthusiastic about it I wanted to read it for myself.  As a convert to the church myself, and having just recently celebrated my 19th anniversary of my Baptism, and membership in the church, I am always keenly interested in the conversion stories of others. 

I have to tell you I am gripped.
Its a page turner. 


"Naturally when you have something you love, when you have something
that makes you feel good, you want to share it, right? You want to
share it with the people you care most about in life, your friends, your
family.  So I turned to my friends. I feel like I had a lot of friends, and I did;
I had a lot of friends. Friends that I loved, friends that I grew up with my whole life,
friends that I trusted and would tell everything to. But not one friend stayed.
Not one. They all left."

When I read this paragraph in the book it resonated deeply with me.  This was my own experience. Every single friend that I had when I joined the church, who was not a member of the church, abandoned me.  Totally and completely.  I even had one tell me that I was mentally ill.  My ex pastor's wife accosted me in the shops one day and said how pleased the congregation was that my ex-husband had found himself a good "Christian" woman to be with, unlike myself, the cult member.  It was hurtful and it was lonely.  There was a point when even my own family, with the exception of my sister, wouldn't speak to me.  It would have been so easy for me to walk away from it, but I couldn't because, deep in my heart . . .  I knew that God had spoken to me and I knew that the church was true, that the Gospel was true . . . and . . .  I knew that God knew that I knew. Eventually my family started talking to me again, but I was never welcomed back by my friends, not one of them.  I made new friends.  I don't know why that happens.  Why people choose to abandon other people simply because they choose to worship God in a different way. Many of these people would be more accepting of someone who didn't choose to believe in Christ at all, than they would me, a person who not only believed in Christ but chose to live her life by His teachings. It doesn't make sense to me. 

At the end of the day it doesn't really matter I suppose . . .  but I do often wonder how it is that someone who purpotes to be your friend can just turn their back on your like that . . .  simply by you choosing a different path than the path they have chosen to walk. Especially if you are both walking towards the same destination.  It just doesn't make sense to me. 

In any case, you should read the book.  Its really good.  She also has a webpage, which you can find here


It rained quite a bit yesterday. At one point it was raining quite heavily. We didn't mind at all.  Our yard was quite parched, and it was gasping for rain. It is already looking greener this morning.  And the sun is shining, so that's good!  There is the Stake Family Fun day at the chapel today (Our Chapel is the Stake Centre.) and so I am happy the sun is showing her hat.  They have a slip and slide planned for the children, a BBQ and there is a cake contest, etc.  We will pop over for an hour or so. Its always nice to see people from other Wards that we haven't seen in a while, and catch up with the goings on in their lives. 


We started watching a new Drama this week by the BBC called "Picnic at Hanging Rock."  Its based on the 1967 novel of the same name by Joan Lindsey and takes place in Australia. It is quite good so far. I think. Dark and mysterious and hinting at something sinister beneath the surface.  We will watch the second episode when it airs and make up our minds then. We both love period pieces. 

In the meantime we have decided to treat ourselves this next week to the film Wonder, and rent it on Prime. It is only £1.99 and, having read the book, I am really keen to see the movie. It looks like a lovely, feel good, film and at that price, much cheaper than going out to the movies.  Plus we can pause it if one of us wants a drink or to go to the bathroom.  Plus our sofa is much more comfortable than the movie seats at the theatre.   



Susan Branch has a new blog post up.  Every week that there is a new blog post from her is a good week in my books.  I love all of her posts.  She is home now from the UK and writing her next book.  I so enjoyed following her visit this last time, as the I did the time before.  I was gutted that, once again, I was unable to meet her in person at the Picnic at Castle Hill.  Health scheduling and the date of the picnic conflicted and health must always come first.  In all truth however, I doubt we could have afforded the petrol to get up there, and I think I might have felt a bit out of place, like I didn't fit in.  Not with Susan of course.  I cannot imagine her ever making anyone feel like they didn't fit in.  But in looking at all of the photos of that day in retrospect, I think Todd and I are a bit too basic and ordinary for that crowd.  It seemed quite obvious from the photos that  most of those gals, if not all, were fairly comfortable financially speaking.  And I am fat, and not at all attractive and my clothes are very old and "housing estate." Maybe that is reverse snobbery?  I don't know.  I just don't think I would have fit in very well.  I could be wrong.

But I do love Susan and I know she would never make anyone
feel that way, not in a NY minute. 



I was after some Tofu at the Grocery store yesterday and can you believe they did not have it???  Not in its whole form anyways, they had some already flavoured tofu bits . . . but I wanted a whole block that I could do something with.  I was recently sent this . . . 

  

Its a  Tofu press and in order to review it, I kind of need to have some actual Tofu to press.  I have my friend Jacquie's tofu burger recipe ready and waiting.  I just need to find some Tofu! I could not believe that in this day and age of Veganism, I could only get Tofu bits.  Plenty of Quorn, but no real Tofu.  sigh  . . .  I will have to keep looking and hope that I can find some soon! 


I am in love.  Does that not look like the most comfortable chair ever?  I have always wanted a chaise lounge to stretch out on.  This one is quite pretty I think.  I do love pretty things.  Mind you, a person needs a large room for something like this, so it will remain a dream.  


My Daughter in law posted some lovely photos of the boys this week.  I love this one of Josh. He is my little red-headed grandson.  I love all my grandchildren to bits, and I really think this is a fab photo of him.  He has a lovely nature . . . 

I wish I got to spend more time with my grandchildren.  It is not very nice living so far away from them.  I am grateful however for the modern technology and a couple of sons that make the extra effort to include me in their lives.


It looks like the boys are having a great summer.  They live with their maternal grandparents and I so appreciate Mary and Calvin and all that they do for my son and his sweet family.  


Now that's what I call a big turtle!  I am not sure where they are, but they look like they are having fun wherever it is! 





Now thats a big rabbit.  I forget what its name is.  They have all sorts of pets.  Cat, dog, lizard, hamster, rabbit, etc. I think pets are good for children. I really do. 

And with that I best leave you with a thought for the day . . . 

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

 *
Nearly all men can stand adversity, 
but if you want to test a man's character,
give him power.
 ~Abraham Lincoln •。★★ 。* 。 


 

In the English Kitchen today  . . .  Easy Cinnamon Nut Croissants.  Delish of course and so simple a child could make them! 

Have a wonderful Saturday no matter what you get up to!  Don't forget along the way . . . 



═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════ ⊰✿░G░O░D⊰✿⊰L░O░V░E░S⊰✿⊰░Y░O░U░⊰✿
═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════ 

And I do too!  



PS - I meant to tell you.  I don't know why but these past few mornings the gulls are taking to the skies around my area and ruining the morning chorus with their ugly squawks.  They really sound horrendous!  I don't know how anyone can sleep through them!