Saturday 2 December 2023

All Things Nice . . .



We do not live by bread alone -- ah no
We live by love and peace and fire glow,
By gentle thoughts and small deeds kindly done,
By toil and weariness . . . laughter and fun,
By music's magic touch and love's dear hand,
And childish feet that walk in wonderland.

We live by all the beauty of the world,
Smoke from a supper fire softly curled,
Above the snowy rooftops of the town;
By a tall lady in a satin gown,
With pearls twined in the meshes of her hair;
We live by faith and solitude and prayer.

We live by toil the routine of a day,
Small humble chores . . . dishes to put away,
A floor to scrub . . . an evening meal to cook,
A little journey to return a book,
A gay excited girl to help along,
Time out, to listen to a robin's song.

We live by roses in a silver jar,
By dawn and candlelight . . . by one blue star
Shining above an airport where we wait,
By love triumphant over war and hate,
A faithful king upon a steady throne,
For no one ever lives by bread alone.
~Edna Jacques, By Bread Alone
Fireside Poems, 1950

Fireside Poems is the book that started my love affair with the poetry of Edna Jacques. I know I have told you this before, but my mother had this book of poetry in the bookcase back home.  I used to read it frequently. I was a child that would read anything. I just love to read. I read the family encyclopedias' from cover to cover, and then some, along with every extra volume that came with it. Reading poetry was a great love of mine. I love it still. There is something about poetry that stirs the heart. How a few words, written done in a simple way, has the ability to touch the soul has always been like magic to me. Those who have the ability to touch our souls with them are the magicians.


One thing I am grateful that I got to experience was the robins in the U.K. They were visitors to our garden all the year long.  Much tinier than the North American Robin, they had the most beautiful song. They were also very brave little birds and would often come near when you were digging in the garden, in hopes of a cheeky worm or two or three.

You will often see them gracing the fronts of British Christmas cards. But why?

In the 1800s, British postmen wore bright red uniforms. They wore red in honor of the crown since red is considered both a Royal color and an important color on the English flag. The postmen in their red-breasted coats resembled the much-loved British bird, the robin red-breast, earning Victorian postmen the nick-name: Robins. 

 Around Christmas time, people would eagerly await the Robins’ delivery of Christmas cards from near and far. Some greeting card artists were inspired by this to illustrate their cards with the joyous delivery of letters, and instead of drawing a postman, one artist decided to draw the Robins’ namesake, the robin birds, delivering letters in their little beaks. The trend caught on and survives to this day despite the fact that the postmen’s red coat uniforms and the postmen’s Robin nickname have long been retired to the history books.


Snow at Christmas has always been a great love of mine. It was very rare that we got one in the U.K.  In fact, I do  not recall ever having a "White" Christmas the whole time I lived there. Betting shops would take in hoards of money every year with people betting on if there would be a White Christmas or not. I saw it snow a few weeks before (as it has this week) only to be gone before the day, or on Boxing Day, but never on Christmas Day.

Here in Canada it is more of a likely prospect, although here in Nova Scotia, green Christmas's have become somewhat of a norm in recent years.  Mom did not like a green Christmas. She always said it was the portent of illness or even a death in the family. 

Oh how I miss  my mother.  I would give anything to have her back here on earth, if only for a few hours so I could tell her again how very much I love her.  It is a feeling of loss that never goes away. She visits me often in my dreams, and she is always happy in them.  What a great blessing that is to me.


December always sneaks up on me.  I have plans and wishes to get things done early and then lo and behold before I know it, December is upon us and the rush is on to get everything done.  I have already received a Christmas postcard (thank YOU Tatiana), but have not even put pen to paper yet myself!  I need to get a leg on!  I should get some outdoor lights perhaps, but how would I put them up.   

I love to see the decorations going up in the neighborhood and town.   Some people really go all out and decorate beautifully.  Other's . . .  well  . . .  you find yourself scratching your head and wondering just what it has to do with Christmas. But whatever, whether we recognize the person symbol of a person's Christmas vision or not, it is festive and to be celebrated.


Tis the season of giving and not just "presents." Presence means a lot as well.  There are a lot of lonely people about and loneliness is never felt keener than at this time of year.  It is a time we should be thinking about our neighbors and friends and perhaps giving the gift of "time."  I know many of us are short on that, especially at this time of year, but the gift of "time" costs little and really goes a long way towards cheering up another.  

My next door neighbor Sheila's face always lights up when I knock on her door.  Often if I am going to check my post box I will knock on her door and see if she would like me to check hers as well.  Oh garbage day I always ask her if she has a few bits she wants to stuff in with mine.  Quite often older people don't have a lot of garbage to throw out and will hang onto it for weeks and weeks waiting to get a bag full to put out.  She is always pleased to add to mine, and it helps to fill up a bag of mine that might be going out half empty.

I often have extra bits of baking going this time of year when I am baking a lot for the blog and they are always welcomed by others as well.   It doesn't take much to brighten up another's day.

There are many who are homeless, even in this small area that I live in.  Thankfully there are also people who go out of their way to remember them and they are always happy to receive a donation to help them help them out.  Gift cards for a hot meal.  Extra coats you don't need, hats, mittens, blankets, etc. A lady in our town is collecting refundables to turn in and exchange for gift cards for hot meals for the homeless.  There is a restaurant in town as well where you can buy a meal outright for a person who needs one.  They tack the receipt up on a board and then a person in need can claim it.   A church in town holds a "Kings Kitchen"  night once a week, where they offer up a free hot meal  to people. No questions asked. 


I may put up my tree this weekend. Its only a small one and takes no effort.  Its just a matter of me thinking about where to put it.  

I was thinking yesterday about what a miracle it was for me to get this place.  God's providence.  I saw the hand of God at work in my life so much during those months.  God uses  people here on earth to fulfil His purposes, to be His hands and feet.  I was so grateful for all of the help I had and for all of the tender mercies which were shown towards me.

This place I am in now, should not have been mine. There were 80+ people ahead of me on the list. But the Landlord was moved and inspired to give it to me.  What a blessing that was.  I will always be grateful for that.  And for the troubles that enabled me to see the hands of God at work in my life.


Joy. My life is filled with it.  I will never get tired of saying that I hope you never get tired of reading it.  My life is filled with Joy.  My sister, my best friend, who is always willing to go on a road trip with me, and who does so much for me in so many ways. A brother in law who makes me smile and is always willing to do small things for me, to help put furniture together, vacuum my car, etc.  I love his enthusiasm for all of the holidays. He makes me smile. For having family near by who are willing to spend time with me, either virtually or in person.  My faith which sustains and guides me. Church friends both near and far who add a wonderful dimension to my life.  My cats who keep me company day and night and make sure I am never bored.  My home, which is small but big enough for me and cozy too.  My blessings and joy are endless. I could keep counting forever.


Sparkle. Who can't use a bit of sparkle.  I used to have some small sparkly ornaments that I did not put on the tree, but kept in a small bowl to cheer up the viewer.  I also had Christmas Table place card holders that were little glass Christmas balls.  They made for very festive decorations. I need to gather up some more stuff like that.  I need a trip to Walmart or Dollarama. Maybe this week Cindy and I can go.  We have plans to go up to Michaels one day when the weather is fine, and maybe stop at Callisters, on the way there or the way back, for a cheeky piece of pie and a hot drink.  

The last time (the only time) we were there we saw the pies in the chiller cabinet and they looked amazing. A meal in and of themselves!  It was like WOWZA!  I had never seen such tall pies in my life!


I enjoyed taking my friend Jacquie out for lunch this week.  We went to the same restaurant that we went to the last time we went out for lunch.  Farmer's Family Diner. They have two Swiss mountain dogs (I can't remember the name) that come out to greet you each time. Very friendly and very large.  Inside there is such a friendly and cozy atmosphere.  I had the turkey dinner again. I know  . . .  I just love turkey.  They really do a great job of it however. Their servings are generous and they have a ton of vegetables on the plate.  Potato, squash, turnip, peas, carrots, corn.  Stuffing and loads of turkey and gravy.  Plus coleslaw and a roll.  And it is all delicious.   Jacquie had a piece of battered fish and a plate of salad/vegetables.  She didn't want any potato this time.   And of course we splurged again on homemade wild blueberry pie. How could we not!  Its just so good!

Best part of all however, is spending the time with a friend.  They do say a joy shared is a joy doubled!

And with that I will leave you with a thought for the day  as time is a marching!

A thought to carry with you  . . . 

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

 *Be who you are & say what you feel,
because those who mind don't matter,
and those who matter don't mind.
~Dr. Seuss•。★★ 。* 。

In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Irish Tea Cake  . . .  I had seen this on Pinterest a few weeks ago and really wanted to bake it. I am really happy that I did. It is fabulous!

I hope you have a wonderful day. My friend Glenna just called and reminded me that there is a Relief Society lunch and craft activity today and offered me a lift.  I need to make myself do things like this. It is out of my comfort zone really. I am not one who enjoys group activities like that but I am going.  How could I refuse. I will probably enjoy it and be happy that I have gone!  Anyways, you have a wonderful day!  Love to you all and blessings. Don't forget! 

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And I do too!

Friday 1 December 2023

My Friday Finds . . .


A few of the things  I find each week that pique my interest, bring me joy, inspire me to learn, create, do, become, inspire memories . . . maybe they will do the same for you!   

Polished Habitat, how to clean your oven glass. Could come in handy!  


Church Mouse Yarns.  I love this simple tea cosy. the pattern is not free, but nto expensive either.  


No source, but how to properly clean your make-up brushes!  

Midget Mama, homemade Coconut Shaving Cream. 

Stitch GaloreStitch Galore, spool pincushions.  Inspiration only.   Love these.   The hard part would be finding the wooden spools.

Gentle Work. I could spend ages on this blog, just looking and looking and looking.  So beautiful.  

Hen's Teeth, Embroidered Berets.  So beautiful.  There was a young man wearing a beret in a shawl scarf at the Big Scoop the other night. I thought to myself there is a young man who is confident in who he is.

I Love Crochet.  Crochet wreath Christmas ornament.  

Fibrelucious.  Fabric fruit.  So beautiful.  

Crazy Little Things.  25 Things to do with Fat Quarters.  

The Prayer Flag Project.  A collective.  

Clean and Scentsible.  Make your home smell like Christmas.  

Land of Enchantment.  A fairytale blog filled with inspiration.  

Strawberry Pin Cushions.  Inspiration only, but are they not pretty?

Creativities.  A free pattern for a Yarn Cozy Holder.  Love the colours.  

 Ravelry.  Churchill Mittens.  Free downloadable pattern.  They remind me of the Hudson Bay Blankets. 

Janet Carlow.  Free handtowel pattern. Knitted. 

Lee Lee Knits.  Dish cloth pattern.  Love these  colors.

Organised Christmas . . .  DIY Potholder Dish Towel.  These make great last minute gifts! 


And here is a retro set from Angela Yoster which is a bit more practical and you can use all year round.  Complete Tutorial.  

Simply Noteable Dish Discs.   Great idea! 

Knitted Wash Cloths. Chocolate Mints in a Jar. Free pattern. 

No source. Just a chart. 

 Shugary Sweets. Gumdrop Fudge.  Wish we could get gumdrops over here.  All we get is hard gums, and they are too hard to chew. 

Repeat Craft After Me.  15 minute crochet snowglobe. 

And those are my finds for this week. I hope you saw something of interest!  

A thought to carry with you . . . 

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

Faith is a real power
not just an expression of belief.
~Boyd K Packer   •。★★ 。* 。 

In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Easy Christmas Tree Cinnamon Rolls. Fun and tasty!

I had a lovely time with my friend Jacquie yesterday. It is always nice to spend time with a friend. We have been friends for about 25 years now. She lives in a Seniors place like I do, but hers is much more elegant. She pays a lot more as well. Her kitchen is gorgeous though, and her house is filled with light. I do wish I had more light in my kitchen, but not enough to move from where I am.  This suits me just fine and was a gift from God. I firmly believe that.  Who am I to question that!

I hope you have a beautiful day!  Be happy, be safe, and be blessed. Don't forget!

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And I do too!


Thursday 30 November 2023

My Favorite Things . . .



Sharing today a few things that I really love to do, eat, experience, enjoy  . . .  maybe you will enjoy them too.  

I love today's calendar quote!  That's how I try to live my life! 


Charlie Brown's Christmas. It has been a part of my Christmas traditions since my childhood.


Snowman cookies. They make me smile.

Cold but sunny.  The sun rise this morning  . . .  out front . . . 


The first real snowfall of the year.  Yay!  I know some people hate it, but it brings out the wonder in me.


Holiday music. I have been listening to Michael Bublé Christmas music on YouTube for a few days now. Very festive and you know how much I like Michael Bublé!


Brown paper packages tied up in string  . . . 


Holiday wreaths  . . .  I put mine up yesterday!  I love it!


Holiday baking  . . .  I love it.


Christmas Candles  . . .  love these  . . . 


Jacquie Lawson Christmas Cards  . . .  they are the best.


This  .  .  .  so true  .  .  . 


A gingerbread house  . . .  love them  . . . 


Snow globes . . . .  I love them.  I had a really nice one once. My sister in law had given it to us. It only lasted a day before curious fingers broke it.  Fate. 


Sparkly stars  . . . 


Candy Canes  . . . 


Hot chocolates with lots of cream  . . .  yummy . . . 

And those are my favorite things for this week. I hope some of them were your favorites also!

A thought to carry with you  . . . 

° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★•。★★ 。* 。
 *.˛.Ignorance is the curse of God;
Knowledge is the wing•。★★ 。* 。
wherewith we fly to heaven.•。★★ 。* 。
~Williuan Shakespeare° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •


I have nothing new to share today, but I am sharing my recipe for Whipped Shortbread cookies in the English Kitchen.  I make these every year. They are the best!

I hope you have a really lovely day.  I am taking my friend Jacquie out for lunch today to celebrate her birthday which was yesterday. I am looking forward to that!  Whatever you get up to, stay safe and stay warm!  Don't forget! 

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And I do too!