Monday, 26 January 2009

The Simple Woman's Day Book . . .




FOR TODAY, January 26th, 2009 ...

Outside My Window...

All is calm and the stars are twinkling. The whole weekend was full of windy and blustery weather, lots of rain. I love to lay in bed and listen to the rain pitter pat against the windows. It's a very cosy sound. Funny how that goes. It can be as blustery as all get out and if you are indoors and wrapped up, you feel somehow comforted by it . . .

I am thinking...
I am thinking about all the wonderful things that have transpired this past week. I am still pinching myself. It turns out that I am also going to get to meet Lura from Grammy's News and her family, Lynell from An Ordinary Miracle and Erin from The McGibbon Family . They have so generously offered to pick me up at the airport and Lura is going to go with me up to Sun Valley and stay with me the whole time, and help me to get around. I think it's all so very wonderful, and I hope they don't mind me mentioning their names here this morning. It is going to be so special to finally get to meet Lura. We have felt a strong connection to each other for months and months now and had hoped that one day we could meet in person and now we are going to. I hate to repeat myself, but God IS good!

I am thankful for...
I have many things to be thankful for. It would be easy to take things like a roof over my head, employment, etc. for granted, but I try hard not to. I suppose that is perhaps easier when you have lost everything and been as low as you can possibly be, well at least in a Western nation, and then you've worked your way back up to the top again. When I think about it just 9 years ago I was living alone in a rented room in someone else's house, and look at me now. It's pretty amazing isn't it! My cup truly does runneth over.

From the kitchen...
I have my Tuesday's With Dorie gingerbread waiting to be iced on my kitchen counter and there's some blueberry cake leftover from Saturday night. I roasted a chicken for Sunday dinner yesterday and I have leftovers waiting for me to decide what to do with them . . . Chicken Pot Pie Bubble Bake??? Chicken and Dumplings??? It's so hard to make up my mind!

I am wearing...
Pajamas and my robe. I was so lazy yesterday. I put my pajamas on right when we got home from church! I knew nobody would be coming over and I just felt like cocooning. Todd just shakes his head. He never puts his pajamas on until he is ready to hop into bed. Me, I could live in them, but then . . . you already knew that!

I am creating...
I am busy making cards. I sold ten of them last week and got another order for ten more this week, then I also got an order for a print. Life is indeed good. The lady from the village post office wants some after their audit next week. I will be away (Pinch me!) and so Todd will have to take them down for me. When I get back from the US (Pinch me again!) I will have to get started on one of my sock monkey's if I can as my eldest grandson's birthday is in March.

I am going...
Oh, I don't want to bore you . . . you are probably tired of hearing about it . . . oh what the heck . . . I'm going to Idaho!! There are still a few bugs to work out. Apparently family of the athletes was supposed to have registered by the 30th of November. I have written umpteen bazillion e-mails this weekend and made umpteen bazillion phone calls, and hopefully we will be able to sort it out. Security is very tight for the athletes, as you can imagine. I do hope that I am able to talk to my daughter and not just have to wave to her from afar . . .

I am reading...
I'm still reading Ink Heart. It does take me a long time to read a book. I rarely get any reading done during the day. I mostly do it at night when I get into bed, and by then I am quite tired so I usually fall asleep reading. I get maybe 4 or 5 pages read a night, unless I am having a bad night and then I might get more done. Most nights I end up reading the same page 3 or 4 times!! haha, I know!! What am I like!!!

I am hoping...
that I will be able to see the McDonald's when I am in Utah. In case you don't remember, they are the missionary couple that were here last year. Todd and I got really close to them. I just loved them so much and it would be lovely to see them again. I'd also love to be able to see my little friend Poppins, who was over here working as a nanny last year, and oh so many others. Time will be quite limited in Utah though, because we are really on our way to Idaho, but we shall see . . . I hope I will be warm enough!! I have gotten quite spoilt over here where it never gets much colder than 3 or 4 below zero Celsius!! I don't even have a pair of mittens! Lynell has promised to fix us up though, so we should be ok. Does adrenaline keep you warm, if so . . . then I should be ok!!

I am hearing...
the fire is blowing warm air around my legs and the clock is ticking on the wall . . . I can hear my playlist playing quietly in the background and Jess is off on her dreamy adventures next to my feet. The cuckoo clock just clicked upstairs so I know that it is 6 o'clock. We turn the cuckoo off at night so it doesn't wake us up. It's really quite delightful and plays music and everything. In truth we only ever turn it on now if someone is coming over. I'm sad to say that the novelty of a cuckoo clock wears off rather quickly . . . it is still lovely to look at though, all carved out of wood with all the little dancers and the pendulum . . .

Around the house...
Todd said to me yesterday . . . I hope you are going to tidy up your art stuff and books before you go away . . . so I guess I better had do!!!

One of my favorite things...
is daydreaming. I've always been a dreamer. I spend hours off in lala land as I putter away in the kitchen at work or even here at home. Todd often is talking to me and I am off somewhere in outer space. I don't mean to be, my mind just can't help itself. It likes to take me off on adventures into the unknown. When I was a child I would make up whole stories in my head and I LOVE LOVE LOVE to sit in a train station or terminal and people watch. I always make up stories in my head about them and what they are doing, the lives they are living. It helps to while away the time waiting . . . I know . . . Me<===Weird.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
I have my seminary lesson to prepare for Thursday evening, and then at Young Women's afterwards we are having a combine mutual activity with the Young Men. We are doing record breakers. We do it once a year, and try to break out record that we have set from the year previously. The kids have a lot of fun and I have to confess that I do too! When I first got called to be a leader of the Young Women I thought to myself, no . . . it can't be! I don't know how to be a Young Women's leader, but in truth I have loved every moment of it. I do miss being in Relief Society from time to time, but I do love our young women, which is an answer to prayer, because when I was called I asked Heavenly Father to help me do that. There were a few girls that I didn't know that well and was a bit uncomfortable with. I do love them now and enjoy my calling so very much!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...


I thought it would be fun to share a picture of me as a baby with you all this morning. I was probably about ten months old in this picture. You can't see it but I am wearing the little silver cross my French Grandmaman gave me for my first Easter. Oh, I wish I hadn't thought of that . . . it disappeared in the divorce and I don't know where it is now . . . makes me sad. Scratch that thought! I think it's a lot of fun to see pictures of people when they were small, and wonder about how far they have come in life from that little pile of innocence so fresh from heaven to the people that they have become. It's pretty amazing isn't it!

I did a tasty Roast Chicken for us for our dinner yesterday along with a Lemon and Parsley Breadcrumb stuffing. I like to throw some peeled potatoes into the roasting pan about an hour before the chicken is done. They get all sticky and yummy from the chicken juices and are incredibly tasty!



*Lemon and Parsley Stuffed Roast Chicken*
Serves 4 to 6

1 large free range roasting chicken
(about 3 1/2 to 4 pounds)
a small knob of softened butter
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups chicken stock for the gravy
For the Stuffing:
1 ounce butter
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
2 TBS chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp chopped fresh sage leaves
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
the juice of half a lemon
4 ounces of fresh white bread crumbs

Mmm . . . just look at those sticky roasties!

Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Take out your roasting pan. Set it aside. Wash your chicken and dry it well. Place it into the roasting pan.

Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the onion. Cook, and stir over low heat for about 8 to 10 minutes until soft. Remove from the heat and stir in the herbs, lemon zest, lemon juice and the bread crumbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spoon the stuffing into the chicken cavity. Smear the knob of butter all over the surface of the chicken and season with some more salt and pepper. Roast for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours until the chicken is cooked. The leg should feel quite loose in the bird and the juices should run clear and have no pink in them. I usually cover my chicken with a foil or a lid halfway through the cooking time, which is about the time I add the peeled potatoes as well. (Just roll them around a bit in the chicken juices and place them around the bird in the pan)

Remove the chicken and the potatoes to a platter, and cover with some foil to keep warm while you make the gravy. Put the roasting tray directly on a burner over medium heat. Add half the stock and bring it to the boil, stirring and whisking to release any sticky and browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat and skim off any fat. Shake the remaining stock with a bit of flour and then whisk it into the pan and cook and stir until thickened. Taste and adjust seasoning as required.

Serve the chicken sliced with some of the stuffing and some gravy spooned over and don't forget those lovely sticky roasted potatoes!


Don't forget to hop on over to the Simple Woman to check out the other day book entries!


23 comments:

Starr said...

Love the baby photo! What bright eyes. . .adorable.

Roast chicken is so yummy. It's been about two weeks since I made one. And now you've made me hungry.

Bellini Valli said...

It sounds like there is plenty to be thankful for Marie...including a lovely roast chicken dinner:D

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I can only imagine how excited you must feel with your trip seeing your daughter and meeting with good friends. They always say to Hang in there as just when life is at is lowest point that is when something grand will happen. Like you say life does turn around if we just persevere. Roast chicken is always a delight as there are so many good things to do with the leftovers. Have a wonderful Monday!
'On Ya'-ma

Sheryl said...

What a great Sunday Six...we are so blessed. Lura is soo excited to be able to spend time with you. It is so great that you will be able to be here with your daughter, what a wonderful time you will have!

Tracy said...

LOVE your baby photo, Marie! That open, big expression you have there is still you now! :o) Your days are looking up and up at the moment, my friend...and I couldn't be happier for you! What fun you'll get to meet Lura--she is a sweetie! And such joy you've got more cards sold and more to make. (Speaking of cards, no card order arrived yet... :o(...boo-hoo) Had to laugh at what Todd said of your cleaning up your art supplies and books before you go away...LOL! Hope we get to chat tomorrow...Will wait for you on MSN. LOVE YOU HEAP ((BIG HUGS))

Jan said...

Marie - I can't get on Zaar - not the first time this has happened! Will try again later.
A great post - talk soon xx

Gloria said...

Marie love your baby picture is so cuuuteee!!I think you smile how you are now, and this is so nice. Thanks by sharing!! The recipe is absolutely tasty!!! Gloria

huggs and if you can please continue pray by me!!

Jan's Blog said...

I am SO thrilled that you are going to Idaho to see your daughter and to meet your blog friends...especially Lura. I'm sure it's a dream come true for both of you. You will be in my prayers for a safe and delightful trip!!!

BecauseImTheMommy said...

I enjoyed reading your daybook so much! I love the baby photo! The cuckoo clock took me back to my great aunt's, where she never turned hers off, and we would wait for it, impatiently, every hour. What a fond memory you conjured in me. Have a blessed week!

The Blonde Duck said...

Holy crap! You've got to come to Texas! How can you pass up bbq and Tex-Mex?

Congrats on all the card sales!

Angie said...

The Idaho trip gets more exciting every day. You can understand them being so protective of the athletes, and thankfully they are, but I have a feeling Heaven and earth will be moved if necessary so you can be reunited with your talented daughter. (confidentially): I'll have a little word with God if you like.

love, Angie, xx

jenjen said...

Hi Marie!

I'm so excited for you! I wanted to let you know that if you need anywhere to stay while in Utah -- I would love to have you and anyone else with you stay. It sounds like you will be hurrying up to Idaho, but I just wanted to offer.

Your baby picture is so cute! I just keep thinking about you and am so excited for you!

XOXOXOXOOX
Jen

Little Red Hen said...

Oh Marie, what a pretty baby you were. I'm a great daydreamer too! You have so much to look forward to now! Isn't it peaceful to hear the rain, the birds and the ticking of the fire?

Love,
Susie

Jan said...

What a happy beautiful baby Marie ,and how excited you sound about your trip quite right too ,well done selling some of your cards ,Iam not surprised your Christmas card was delightful ,I will always treasure it ..love Jan xx

Gillie said...

Delicious looking chicken!

Love the baby photo...what a little doll you were! :)
xx

Grammy Staffy said...

Happy Monday dear Marie.

As always I love reading your simple day book. I feel like I am there with you.... and soon I WILL BE!!! You can do your Monday post from Lynell's house and say...my friend Lura is her with me.... YEAH! I am so excited.

I am praying that all the paperwork will get worked out and you can be with Eileen. How sad if you cannot. Surely it will work out. Hope...Hope...Hope

I am still sick. I have a call in to get an apt. with my Dr. but she has not called back. I must hurry and get well for our grand adventure.

I still feel like I am dreaming to get to spend the week with you. Happy Happy Happy. Give Todd a hug from me for supporting you in coming. We are sorry that he couldn't make it this time. We hope that we will get to meet him in the near future.

Love to all, Lura

Sandra said...

Love the baby photo, how cute :)

I never get tired of hearing you say you're going to Idaho, I love seeing your happiness shine through in every post.

honeysuckle said...

You are such a good descriptive writer. Cute baby picture. I just want to come to your house and eat your leftovers!

Kath said...

Well Marie how wonderful is this trip going to be for you.God is Good yes.What a pity Todd isn't going too.I hope everything goes just perfect for you and I shall be looking forward to all the future posts about it all.The chicken lunch looks so yummy I could just eat it as late in the evening as it is just now.Your baby piture is beautiful.I would have guessed it to be you if Donna had put it in one of those posts guess the blogger at the time she was doing that.You havn't changed at all.Still beautiful.I am so happy for you.Take Care God Bless Kath xx

Schotzy said...

I so enjoyed my visit! Wow! Your trip sounds wonderful!I am so haooy for you! You were jut the cutest baby! So bright eyed and bushy tailed! Love your sweet heart! The chicken looks tantalizing! Yum! Have a wonderful week!
Blessings Carolyn

hoLLy said...

cute baby pic! :) and i'm so thrilled that you get to meet lura(she is even sweeter in person-which i didn't think possible!) take lots of pictures!

cyndi/mom/nana said...

This is such a great post. I love your simple woman's day book outline. I think I'm going to borrow it for my journaling if you don't mind. I'm also very excited for you to make your trip to the U.S., how exciting wish we could be a part of it. Enjoy yourself looking forward to pictures.

Great-Granny Grandma said...

I am so happy for you Marie. You surely do sound like you have a lot to be thankful for, and those blessings are well deserved.

Your blog is such an encouragement and a joy, not to mention all those wonderful recipes you share. Reading it is one of the hihglights of my blog time. I always come away from it feeling uplifted.

So enjoy your trip, and I'm sure the Lord will work things out so you can see your daughter up close and give her all the hugs you've been storing up, and you won't have to just wave from the distance. And enjoy all the blog freinds, like Lura, who you will get to meet in person.