Saturday, 15 November 2008

Flying on the Wings of Love

"The women in our lives are creatures endowed with particular qualities, divine qualities, which cause them to reach out in kindness and with love to those about them. We can encourage that outreach if we will give them opportunity to give expression to the talents and impulses that lie within them. In our old age my beloved companion said to me quietly one evening, "You have always given me wings to fly, and I have loved you for it."
~Gordon B Hinckley

I just love this quote. For so many years I was not allowed my own freedom of expression. First, by parents that loved me and wanted what they thought was the best for me. Although I had been walking around with a crayon, pen or pencil in my hand from the day I could hold one, they strongly discouraged me from going to Art College. They had the idea that artists never ever find employment and spent their whole lives starving in attic garrets. Instead I was sent to Secretarial College . . . a profession in which I have worked less than a whole year altogether at in my entire life, although . . . to be fair, I did learn to touch type and take shorthand, and the typing has come in mighty handy! When my children were growing up I used to do typing in my home for various people that needed someone to type for them.

Although I was always very creative throughout the years, my ex husband always complained about the things I did . . . they were a waste of time, they cost too much money, etc. etc. The fact that I used to sell a great deal of what I produced didn't seem to matter much. In fact not too long before my marriage broke up my mother overheard him and my youngest daughter talking about how he had forbidden me to do crafts anymore and when they realized my mother was listening . . . he shushed my daughter up. So, whilst I did beautiful work, it was always largely dismissed as a folly and not of much worth.

One of the things I love most about my Todd is that he never tries to stifle my creativity or dismiss my talents. In fact, he has been most encouraging about each one of them since the day we got together. It was with his encouragement that I went back to school and took my chef's course. He also encouraged me to go back to school and take a Medical Secretarial course and computer courses, and do you know what he bought me for our anniversary? Why that sweet man bought me a home filing system so that I could file away my artwork and sketches and papers properly to prevent them from becoming damaged. He knows that I really don't like cut flowers. Like birds, I much prefer them to stay in the environment they belong. I'm also always trying to watch my weight so candy is a big "no no" as well. I'm not a real jewelry nut either. I have a few pieces that I cherish and that's about it . I have more cookbooks than I will probably ever be able to use (which doesn't stop me from buying more by the way, but does make it very hard for anyone to buy one for me as you never know which ones I already have.) So, after careful thought he bought me my gift, and a lovely home filing system it is too. It has a handle and everything so I can take my "portfolio" with me wherever I need to take it with ease.

From the very beginning my Todd has given me wings and encouraged me to use them to fly, and I have loved him for it, and do love him for it.

"Love creates an "us" without destroying a "me"."
~Leo Buscaglia, "Born for Love."

My kitchen is completely finished now! It's so lovely. I keep pinching myself to see if I am dreaming. Now all we have to do is paint. I want to paint the walls a lovely pale butter yellow, and then I am going to make some blue gingham curtains. They will match the ones that Sister McDonald and I made for my laundry room and back door. Oh how I miss Sister McDonald. For anyone who doesn't know she and her husband were an older missionary couple that were serving over here from Utah last year about this time. They became such good friends, and it was really sad when they had to leave. They are back in America now and we hope to one day take a trip over to America to see them. We have a lot of people over there that we will be wanting to see so we'll have to make it a really long trip when we do go! It's something pretty wonderful to be able to look forward to! My goodness, what am I like . . . I start talking about kitchens and end up talking about travel!

I had a whole bunch of overripe bananas that I needed to use up. Often when I have overripe bananas, I will mash them and then freeze them in small containers so that I can take them out any time I want to make this delicious banana bread. It's the combination of all my favourite banana breads and I think it's the ultimate!

*Marie's Ultimate Banana Bread*
Makes 1 large loaf

This is the moistest, most delicious banana bread ever. I normally use toasted pecan nuts for this, but sometimes walnuts are nice for a change as well . . . and chocolate chips are my absolute favourite addition when I want to feel indulged! Actually more often than not, I use Green and Blacks milk chocolate that I chop up with a knife. Mmm, mmm . . . good!!!

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup mashed bananas
1/2 cup chopped toasted nuts, or chocolate chips,
(or 1/4 cup of each)
1/2 cup sour cream

Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Grease and flour a 9 X 5 inch loaf pan. Set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.

Sift together the dry ingredients. Fold them into the creamed mixture.

Beat in the banana and the sour cream, mixing it all in well.

Fold in the nuts or chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, until well risen and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Allow to cool in the pan on a rack for about 5 minutes before turning out to finish cooling. Wrap tightly to store. Delicious!


  1. Wow - that banana bread looks lovely Marie! I could just eat some now for breakfast!

  2. I am so glad that your Todd encourages you to use your talents and expand them. I am sorry that it was not always so.

    I am tired and have stayed up way too late tonight but I just wanted to greet you on your Sat. morn and send you a cheerful hello. I hope that you have a wonderful weekend.

    I know that we will enjoy your banana bread...I am forever having over ripe bananas because we fail to eat them up before they get to that stage.

    I send love as always, Lura

  3. Hi Marie - I loved that quote, and so pleased you can now express yourself freely.

    Your Banana Bread looks great, but could you please just tell me what half a cup of butter would be in ounces (or grams)? I buy my butter in half pound rectangular packets - not quite sure how to measure it in a cup.

    Thanks, Miriam

  4. Miriam, a half a cup of butter would be 4 ounces.

  5. Good Morning! What a lovely post! Give Todd a hug from me. What a great person he is. And you deserve him! There are a few of "those men" out there...and we got two of them! We are blessed!

  6. I must be missing something - probably haven't read it right! When do the bananas go int the cake - before or after the dry ingredients? It's just I happen to have some bananas which are headed for the bin tomorrow but would make a nice cake today.

    Keith too is good at finding exactly the right gift. I'm useless but what I AM good at is dropping loaded hints all year!

    love, Angie, xx

  7. Lovely entry Maria we need encouragement so much I was never given encouragement by my parents but like your Todd I get all I need from Stuart. It must be great to have your kitchen finished and I am just about to start to mine Love Joan

  8. Hi, Marie! The love and joy you and Todd share is such a marvelous gift. I have a similar bond with my hubby. :o) A home filing system for your anniversary...priceless!! That Todd is a keeper! ;o) Such a sweet post...and I love that quote at the top. I like your banana bread recipe. That is the only way I can eat bananas--LOL! I just wrote a very happy post today, one I've been so looking forward to sharing. Stop by when you can. And hope we get to chat tomorrow--look forward to it! Happy weekend to you both ((LOVE & HUGS))

  9. todd just sounds awesome! i love how supportive he is of you and your amazing work. that is so important in a marriage!

  10. Your Todd is a true gem! The banana bread looks so delicious! I must try!

  11. Loved your theme of 'flying on the wings of love!' So glad that you finally have support of such an understanding and wise hubby! Everybody needs someone who believes in them. My beloved Auntie was the one who encouraged me and told me I could do anything I wanted...sadly she was killed in an automobile accident while on vacation in Florida when I was 16.
    But because of her, I have assumed that role in our family and have always strived to be there for all my cousins, nieces, and nephews. I have enjoyed seeing them blossom!

    I am looking forward to seeing more pictures of your newly painted kitchen with its new curtains - how cheerful and bright it will be! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

    Praying all is well with your daughter-in-law and baby.

    How that Todd loves you! And you him! When a man gives such thought and gives such a meaningful gift, that gift becomes priceless, doesn't it?

    Do you know that I just happen to have five over-ripe bananas in my refrigerator's fruit bin? Well, I believe I shall have banana bread this evening!

    Enjoy your week-end!

  12. Marie, you know I love Tood too!!! he is one of the most tenderness and nice man that I know!!!But Im so happy friend you have him (Ji) really seriously that you say is the man and a woman have to be each other encourages the talents and love each other, well done dear Todd!!!We love so our Marie!!!
    Have anice weekedn and rest a little, (I wil send you some pictures) xxxxxxxGloria

    I love your banana bread is so yummy!!!

  13. That banana bread looks so good, especially with the melted butter.

  14. It is absolutely wonderful to receive a gift from someone who really knows you and knows you will like!



Your comments mean the world to me, and while I may not be able to address each one individually, each one is important to me and each one counts. Thanks so much!