Monday, 29 December 2008

The Simple Woman's Day Book . . .

FOR TODAY, December 29, 2008 ...

Outside My Window...

The sky is clear and dark, but the stars are shining. The ground looks to be covered in a thick blanket of frost. Winter is indeed here. Brrr . . . January brings the snow, makes our toes and fingers glow . . . when I was a girl I didn't seem to mind the cold. We played outside no matter the weather, but now that my bones are getting old and the hair's going a bit grey the cold really seems to get to me more . . . there is nothing nicer than a warm fire in the stove on a cold winter's day.

I am thinking...
that the last year has gone every so quickly. It has just flown by and here we are sitting on the cusp of a whole new year, 2009. How did that happen? It seems only yesterday we were celebrating the millennium and worried about how the millennium bug would affect all of our technology! Could that really have been 9 whole years ago?? I look at the calendar and note that is indeed has, but my those years have just whizzed by. My life has changed massively in those nine years. Just think . . . at that time I had no idea Todd even existed, except for in a single woman's fantasy . . . I was living in a rented room in someone else's house in Canada, having only been single for a very few short months. I was trying very hard to find a job in an area that had high unemployment and I was completely unaware of any skills I might have had. I was a baby in the Gospel and taking tiny steps forward. Your life can change in an instant, a moment, a day, a week, a year . . . I have been so blessed.

I am thankful for...
the holidays. It's nice to be able take the time to pause and reflect on all that's good in your life and on the true meaning of Christmas. I've always been a Christmas person. I love the sights and smells and feelings associated with it. It seems to pass far too quickly, but then we have all the joy of it to look forward to again and it seems to come around quicker and quicker each year! I am so thankful that I can rejoice in the true meaning of this very special holiday and that I have a deep love and respect for my Saviour and His priceless gift to us. I am so glad that Christ is in my Christmas and the centre of our celebrations and I am so thankful that I now have a husband who is on the same page. It makes things even better and more sacred in a very special way.

From the kitchen...
I put the rest of the turkey in the freezer yesterday along with the ham so today I am going to cook something completely different. Not sure yet what it will be, but it is sure to be tasty. I was looking at some of my older cookbooks in bed last night and I think the by-words for the next year will be healthy and thrifty, as much as possible that is. We can all use a bit more of both of those things!

I am wearing...
Yes, pajamas. I am ashamed to say I never took them off all day yesterday. I just wallowed in my cold and a warm fuzzy blanket on my chair down here, watching Oprah and Diva TV. I know, pretty sad for a Sabbath Day . . . I used to watch Oprah all the time in Canada. I don't get the same feeling from her anymore. It's hard to put my finger on, but I feel like she thinks she is the end authority on everything. I do have news for her though . . . there is ONE who knows more, and I think she should start listening to Him again instead of scriptures mingled with the philosophies of men . . .

I am creating...
I hope to get a few more pieces done this week with my artwork and then I am going to put together my portfolio and send it off to Hallmark. It is kind of scary. Hallmark are the epitome of greatness in the card world. If they don't like my drawings then nobody will. I am afraid, and yet at the same time, I know that I must have faith in what I am doing or I can't expect anyone else to either.

I am going...
back to work today. I know . . . big sigh . . . it's always hard to go back to work after having had some time off. Good thing I love my job, eh!! I've got a lot to get done though so the sooner I get started on it, the better.

I am reading...
I am still reading, "The Heretics Daughter", by Kathleen Kent. I'm down to the last couple of chapters and already thinking about what I am going to read next. I got a really cute book for Christmas from a friend, called "How To Be A Better Foodie" by Susie Pigott. I've been reading through it over the past couple of days and it's really cute and informative as well, containing all the foodementals of gastronomy and suggestions for such things as the Ultimate Foodies store cupboard essentials. It's quite witty and light hearted and I am enjoying it, although I begin to question . . . am I truly a foodie?

I am hoping...
that the last vestiges of my cold disappear quickly. I am already feeling a lot better, and so far it has stayed in my head and not migrated into my chest. I really hated to miss church yesterday but it would have been quite irresponsible of me to go and pass my germs around. If more people stayed home when they were feeling poorly a lot fewer people would get ill!!

I am hearing...
I have a second window open and I am listening to my Christmas Play List. In just a day or so I will have to moth ball it and bring my everyday play list back out. I have added a few new songs to the list. and I do confess, I miss it, but then I love my Christmas songs as well. I guess I just love music full stop!

Around the house...
It still looks a bit like Santa's Grotto in here. It's kind of sad to have to take all the decorations down at the end of Christmas. I tend to keep them up until New Years Day and then they have to come down. It always looks a bit bare in here after that, with all the sparkle and tinsel gone. I do keep my gingerbread men on my stairs year round though. They look so cheery sitting there.

One of my favorite things...
is making lists. I am a great list maker. I make lists for everything . . . shopping, cleaning, letter writing, e-mailing . . . you name it, I have a list for it! It would be great if I was also a list follower too, but alas . . . I rarely follow them through, I just make them.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
We are having the missionaries over for supper on New Years Eve. I am planning on doing a raclette. It's a bit special and out of the ordinary and I think they will enjoy it. We have not done one of those in a very long time, so it's about time we dragged our raclette machine out! We have plans to go down to Broadstairs to visit a friend at the end of the week, depending on the weather. I really like Broadstairs. Did you know that Charles Dickens used to summer there? His house is up on a hill overlooking the beach. In the summer you can go on historic walks through the town and people in period costume will accompany you and relate the history of this seaside town to you along the way. It's really quite interesting and fascinating.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

This is a painting of the Saviour by my favourite Christian Artist, Liz Lemon Swindle. I just love the look on the little girl's face in this painting, and the look of love that the Saviour is casting down upon her. I reckon that the way that little girl is feeling, is the way I will feel when I walk into His presence at the end of my life. There is a song I just love called, I Can Only Imagine. I have the version of it on a CD as sung by Amy Grant and it's just beautiful . . . (You will have to turn off my playlist if you want to listen to it. It's at the bottom of this page)

I can only imagine
What it will be like
When I walk
By your side
I can only imagine
What my eyes will see
When your face
Is before me
I can only imagine

I can only imagine

Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel
Will I dance for you Jesus
or in awe of you be still
Will I stand in your presence
or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah,
will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine . . .

It is a beautiful song and I love how it makes me feel inside.

That that's it for this week, the 29th of December 2008! Make sure you check out some of the other Day Book entries on The Simple Woman .

Oatmeal is the perfect rib sticking breakfast for these cold winter days we are experiencing. Of course you can just grab a packet of the instant stuff for a quick, fill you up, warming experience, but why . . . when it is just as easy to make it from scratch and oh so much tastier!

*Oatmeal Marie's Way*
Serves 2

1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
pinch of salt
Heaping TBS of chopped dates
small splash of vanilla
pinch of cinnamon
1 ripe banana

Put the rolled oats, milk, water and salt into a medium size saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook stirring constantly until it comes to a rolling boil, then reduce the heat to low. Toss in the dates, vanilla and cinnamon. Continue to cook and stir over low heat for about five minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the heat.

Mash the banana and stir it into the cooked oats.

Serve hot, spooned out into bowls with a sprinkle of brown sugar and, what the heck, why not go full hog and drizzle a little cream over top. Heaven . . . pure bliss.


  1. on the BRIGHT pink blog, lol. As I said it is an "in between changes" color. I need to find a cuter one :)

    I ADORE the song you have on your blog : I can only imagine" it is one of my faves too, love the Mercy Me one. But my all time fave is an Andy Isles one, look for it on the net, it is SO wonderful!!

    Hugs and will see if I can find a nicer to the eye blog background, lol.

  2. Hello again my friend,
    I am just climbing into bed. I checked my reader a few min. ago and saw that you didn't have a new post. I got ready for bed and you popped up just as I was turning off the computer. I am glad. I enjoy this little connection we have...across the world from each other. I always enjoy this Monday post. I get a better peek into your world through your eyes.

    I am glad that you are feeling a little bit better. I wish that you could stay home from work and rest a little longer. You remain in my thoughts and prayers.

    What is raclette? I have never heard of it. I used to think I knew a lot about cooking...after all I taught foods and nutrition for 12 years. However, after reading your blog I've come to realize that there is a lot that I do not know...or else I am just getting dummer as I get older. Speaking of feeling dumb...I am completely demoralized after spending a great day at Mindy' is why---

    We spent a lovely afternoon and evening at Mindy's. She fed us all usual...she is a great cook...Lynell took our family pictures... we watched the new DVD about Pres. Hinckley I gave them for Christmas...all was great up to that point...but then we played "Are you smarter than a 5th grader" on the wii. We had great fun but unfortunately, inspite of me having a master's degree, I found out that I am not smarter than a 5th grader....and I am not alone..all of my kids are college grads, 2 with master degrees too, and some of them are not smarter than a 5th grader either... what a pity!!! We got beat by Justin our 18 year old grandson! I am upset to find out that I am so dumb...all these years I thought that I was pretty smart....I am glad that I never played this game with any of my college students...I would never had lived it down...haha..

    Have a good day. I should get to sleep. I told my little granddaughters that I would help them sew tomorrow. I am sure that they will be up early ready to get busy. I send love, hugs and prayers your way. Lura


  4. Come check my blog, it is changed again, lol. NOW I got rid of the bright pink YAY!!

  5. I agree with you about Oprah. I used to watch all the time. But her agenda has become way out of line.

  6. You must have been tuned into a conversation I had recently when I said how the millenium was so far away now ,and yet only seemed like yesterday ,I was at work and we wondered how and if the bug would effect our elderly ill residents relying on technology at that time I hope work goes down ok Jan xx

  7. Hi Marie, I love it that I can always depend on you to have a wonderful post everyday. It's like the sun coming up. I enjoyed reading about all you have going on these days. Where are the missionaries from who are serving in your area? Where in England do you live? We visited there 2 years ago, we attended the Hyde Park Ward on the Sunday we were there. We weren't in the London area long, just a few days. We were in Europe for 3 weeks but we visited 7 countries. I need to spend an afternoon and go back in your archives and read about where you are and what you do. I'm off for my early morning walk now with my friend, Diane. Have a great day.

  8. Now oatmeal I can make! Never be ashamed to be in PJs. They are the most comfortable things ever.
    I loved the song.

  9. That oatmeal looks wonderful! I'm glad you're feeling better!

  10. Hi friend,
    I hope that you had a good day. I imagine that you are in your pjs just about ready to tuck yourself in bed. I just cleaned up from breakfast and it is almost 11 and time to start you I am in my bed clothes. I think it is about time that I get dressed.

    The girls are singing karaoke and the boys are having work out competitions. Justin and Johnny are winning with David close behind....but, David out distanced them all on the morning run he got all the boys to do. John is trying to show off and do a few pushups. I hope that he won't pull a muscle and be sore for a month.

    My house is noisy and messy and full of fun with kids running all over. It is almost time to go outside on this beautiful day for our annual lizard hunt...and then soak in the hot jaquzzi.(the braver souls will swim in the cold pool, but not me!!)

    I just bottled up some of the fun and I am sending it to you in this comment to share with you....along with my best wishes and love. I hope that you are feeling better.

    Sleep well sweet friend. XOXO Lura

  11. Happy New Year Marie and Todd :)

  12. I love your daybook! It is just such a cosy spot to linger - if only I had a cup of tea and was sitting by a roaring fire. As I was reading I was thinking how similar your story is from another blogger friend Stacey who just recently married and lives in Brora, Scotland and she is having cultue shock! Plus other concerns. I told her about you nd no I am relating t you how wonderful that you other share so much in common- even a land mass. Please check her out at

    She is even into food- catering! Be blessed and Happy New Year!

  13. I love the oatmeal Maries way! It's what I eat for breakfast every morning.


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