Monday, 12 January 2009

The Simple Woman's Day Book . . .

FOR TODAY, January 12th, 2009 ...

Outside My Window...

It has gotten a bit milder, but it is still cold and the wind is blowing like crazy out there. I have no idea what the weather is going to do, but I do know that spring must be around the corner. It has to be because there are daffodils in bloom down in the village! I think it must be an early variety of daff, coz I remember them blooming around this time last year as well. It seems wonderfully crazy to be so cold and wintry, and then you look and see daffodils! Isn't nature wonderful at times?

I am thinking...
About how much I wanted to get done in this past month and about how little of it I actually got done!! Life is like that at times. We make great plans and everything starts off wonderfully and then somehow you get derailed along the way. Never mind, that's what tomorrow is for. Right?

I am thankful for...
My family. We don't always see eye to eye on things, and we don't always get along, but we always love each other no matter what. Sometimes it's really hard living so far away. They can't see your face and hear your voice when you write things down, and it's really easy to misinterpret things sometimes. I always try to look on the bright side and view their intentions as being pure, so even if I sometimes may feel a bit hurt by something, I know in my heart it wasn't meant to be so. I'm also thankful for my dear friends, who ofttimes seem like family to me. What do they say? Friends are family you get to pick for yourself.

From the kitchen...
We didn't have anything really exciting for supper yesterday. I didn't have time to put anything into the slow cooker before we left for church in the morning, and so I just heated up some hot dogs and a tin of beans and we had hot dogs and beans when we got home. It was pretty good though. Sometimes the simplest meals can be quite comforting and wonderful, don't you think? I did bake some cookies in the evening though . . .

I am wearing...
Pajamas. Grey bottoms with pink stars on them and a bright pink top with a woolly sheep on it saying baaa. I was thinking about why I love pajamas so much the other day. I think it's because they are so forgiving and comfortable. They fit no matter what you've overindulged in over the holidays. They just feel like a second skin to me.

I am creating...
My mother was telling me that when my son and daughter in law were over for Christmas, my daughter in law had said how sad she was that I didn't do many crafts anymore, and how nice it would be for Gabriel to have something that I had made, so I have got my thinking cap on and I am thinking that this year for their birthdays my grandsons are going to get something made by their grandma. Maybe sock monkeys or something like that. I'm really quite excited at the prospect!

I am going...
to be polishing copper at work today. There is a ton of it to do. Usually Todd comes along and helps me with the stuff that is high up. He hands it down and I polish it and hand it back up. I think I'll get all the stuff that is within my reach done this morning and he can come over and help me with the handing down stuff tomorrow. It sounds like a good plan anyways!

I am reading...
I'm still working on The Cranford Chronicles by Elizabeth Gaskell, but I am also reading an old book of mine at the same time. It is called Beauty, and is a modern re-telling of the story of Beauty and the Beast. The main character is a young woman who is an artist and has gone into the snowy woods of Vermont to paint the portrait of a recluse. Her family has always painted the portraits of this particular family down through the generations and it is now her turn. The twist is this man has a deformity, a disease which has caused his head, hands and feet to grow disproportionately to the rest of him and so he is disfigured. It's an unusual twist to a lovely story and a book I do enjoy reading again and again . . . I think inside every woman there is a secret part of her that longs to tame the beast, and show him he can be loved . . .

I am hoping...
that all my friends who are ill and suffering right now with colds and flu will be feeling much better soon. I think my friend Hazel is coming home from hospital today, so she has improved, but she still has a ways to go. Thank you so much for your continued prayers. They actually don't keep you very long in hospital these days, and in truth you probably aren't that safe in there either with all those viruses that you can pick up in there also. It's really kind of scary when you think about it! They are building a really big new hospital near to us now and it is supposed to be going to be one of the best in the country. We shall see!

I am hearing...
The wind is blowing the branches of the rosebushes against the house and I can hear them banging against the side and their branches are scratching on the windows. It feels good to be tucked up all warm and cosy inside. I have the electric fire going and it is blowing lovely warm air around my ankles and Jess is snoring away by my feet. I have my play list playing softly in the background and all is well, all is well . . .

Around the house...
I think we are going to get stuck in to painting the kitchen later this week. I want to paint the walls a pale yellow, barely there yellow . . . I think it will look quite nice and warm. Right now it is magnolia. The whole house is magnolia except for the spare bedroom which is a vibrant blue. Kind of odd I'd say that the whole house would be the one colour except for that one little room. We did think of re-painting it at one point, but it is so bright it will take buckets and buckets of paint to cover it up. For now it remains a delightful surprise tucked away behind it's magnolia door!

One of my favorite things...
is visiting all of my favourite blogs and reading about what all of you have been up lately. I often discover new blogs and friends as well. I am an easily distracted person I think. I often go to sort out a cupboard and end up doing something else completely. I will find something I haven't seen in a very long time and then I'm off on a different tangent! It is the same with blog reading . . . one link leads to another link, leads to another . . . and then I am lost! I may not always have time to comment, but I do always read.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
Thursday evening is Temple evening for our young men and women. They will be travelling up to do Baptisms. I hope to go but a lot depends on work. There is a going away party for some people in our ward as well, so I am hoping to get to that also. Then it is our turn to host the monthly scripture study group here at Oak Cottage so I have that to prepare for as well. Such a lot of goodness going on here this week! I also have a card order to get done and some cards to finish to put down in the village post office, plus I have to fit in work there as well. What's that you say??? There's no rest for the wicked ??? I must be really bad!!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

That lovely frost is all gone now and the temperature has risen a bit and look what I discovered under the trees in the garden!! Snow Drops!! Aren't they beautiful? I love how the seasons go and how they, each one of them, surprise with their little joys to be discovered.

I got around to baking the cookies from my Make Me Bake challenge yesterday afternoon. My goodness but they smelled heavenly when they were baking. My friend Miranda, A Duck In Her Pond , sent me this lovely little cooking booklet for a giveaway she had last autumn, called Hooray For Sweets by Family Living. It is chock full of wonderful cookie and square recipes!! Last week you all picked the Brown Sugar-Pecan Cookies for me to bake and I was sure glad that you did! I had been eyeballing that recipe for a couple of weeks now. Todd be mighty glad you picked them as well!

*Brown Sugar-Pecan Cookies*
Makes 5 dozen

These are wonderfully easy cookies, all buttery and brown sugary sweet and delightfully crunchy with pecans. The brown sugar icing is a wonderful topping. These are real winners on all counts! They actually put me in mind of butterscotch brownies, except they 're a cookie!

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed soft light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
Brown Sugar Frosting (see below)
Toasted Pecan halves

Place the butter into a bowl and beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy. Beat in the sugars gradually until well mixed in. Beat in the egg and vanilla.

Sift together the flour, soda and salt. Gradually add this mixture to the creamed mixture, mixing in well after each addition. Stir in the chopped pecans. Cover and chill for 3o minutes before proceeding.

Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Shape the dough into 1 inch balls and place each, 2 inches apart from each other, onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on wire racks.

Once cooled spread with the frosting and top each with a pecan half.

*Brown Sugar Frosting*
Makes 1 1/3 cups

1 cup firmly packed soft light brown sugar
1/2 cup of half and half cream
1 TBS butter
1 1/2 to 1 2/3 cups sifted icing sugar

Combine the brown sugar and half and half in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to the boil. Allow to boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter.

Beat in the icing sugar a bit at a time until you get a smooth and creamy icing, just thick enough to spread comfortably on top of the cookies. You may not need all of the icing sugar. If you accidentally add to much and your icing gets very thick, just place back over the heat and beat in a little milk to loosen it up a bit.

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


  1. Lovely post Marie! It sounds like you have a busy week planned. Your pecan cookies look delicious.

    The book you are reading sounds really interesting. I am at the end of one of my books and am looking for something new to read.

    Those flowers are precious!


  2. I always enjoy these SWDB posts. They are the very epitome of warmness and cosiness. I can just smell those bikkies baking - mmmmmmm. What's half and half cream though? Is it double and single in equal quants?
    love, Angie, xx

  3. How wonderful to have some flowers blooming. Your weather must be much milder than ours here. We won't see Daffodils of any variety until sometime in late March. It is so cold and frozen here that it's impossible for anything to grow outside right now. I have a little story about the legend of the snow drop that I'll have to look up and put on my journal page for you. Have a great Monday!
    'On Ya'-ma

  4. I forgot to say that the brown sugar cookies were my Mom's favorites. I'd almost forgotten about them. Thanks for the reminder today.

  5. Dear Marie lovely post I love Mondays thoughts you know. I have tosay some times maybe I dont comments but always I saw your post if not in the day to the following, how now Im goin to read the yesterday post!! My problem is when I come I dont resist to tell you something my dear, because I love your post and I love you so much and I want to tell you something always.
    PS Yesterday was Birthday Mom (79)and I made a Mango cake I hope to post about this maybe tomorrow I have to order the pictures.
    Love your recipe

  6. Hi, Marie...I always thrill to seeing how your week starts off, and what's in store for the days ahead for you! :o) Snowdrop...oh, I love these sweet little flowers. Oddly, we don't have any in the garden...I think we'll have to get some bulbs for next year. Those cookies look delicious...I'm having a cuppa now, a sweet treat would be perfect about now--LOL! Have a wonderful week, dear friend...Hope to chat later! LOVE YOU LOTS! ((BIG HUGS))

  7. hotdogs and beans sounds great to me! sometimes its nice to keep it simple every now and then.

    and your grandkids would always treasure something handmade from their grandmother-you should totally do it! sock monkeys would be so cute.

  8. Wow, i am so glad i stopped in this morning! I sure would love a cookie with a cup of Earl Grey! oh, my goodness, I love caramel! Scrumptious!!!!! Hope you have a wonderful, dear! Be blessed! Carolyn

  9. Hi Marie
    I always enjoy reading your simple womens daybook post. I am always loking for a new book to read so I'm going to see if our library has the ones you mentioned.
    Please stop by when you have a chance. I have something for you!Hugs, Rhondi

  10. I take pleasure reading your Daybook ,and your cookies waou !!!
    thank you

  11. Hi Marie,
    I was just over at Rhondi's and found you. What a lovely blog you have.

    The pecan cookies look delicious, I must try the recipe!


  12. Happy Monday Marie,
    It sounds like you have a good week planned ahead. I'm glad. I wish that I were there to help you with the copper polishing...not that I am any good at it. I have not polished my copper bottom pans for years...In fact they are so black that I forgot they were copper bottom until I read this post.

    I am glad that Hazel is doing better. I hope that she will continue to improve.

    I hope that you get to go with the youth to the temple Thurs. I will be thinking of you and them as our youth come in to our temple Thurs. eve.

    I am so tired today that I am being lazy. I think my purse episode took a lot out of me and then yesterday was busy. So far today all I have done is give Austin cold ceral for pancakes today...and sit and watch him play wii or watch "Thomas"...and read your blog of course.

    I had better get busy.. I send love, Lura

    ps....those cookies look so good... are they on my diet... cause I could eat a dozen of them.

  13. Psst!!! Marie when you habe a little time come to see my Play list in my Blog, I love it!!! We have some music we love you and me!!! xxxGloria (Some of these lovely songs I knew in your playlist) the 1 of the List is my favorite!!!! yeahhhh!!

  14. God ! I place "habe" is have of

  15. Lovely post !!!!! and the cookies look delicious, Yummy.

    Have a Blessed and Happy week,
    Virginia :)

  16. Oooh those cookies have me drooling.

    Great post Marie, I can't wait to see what you come up with for your grandkids :)

  17. I would hate to polish copper! Those cookies look lovely. You always make things look delicious!

  18. Marie,
    I'm a first time visitor coming via Rhondi's blog...

    I certainly enjoyed my visit with you....your blog is very interesting and varied...

    My faith, family, friends and flowers make every day worth getting up experience untold blessings from my Heavenly Father....

    I plan, Lord willing, to return often to see what life is unfolding for you and your family...

    God Bless...Betty @ Country Charm

  19. Oh, yum! Those cookies look perfect! Thanks for sharing.

  20. Oh Marie! I know as a good Christian I'm not supposed to be jealous. But your picture of snowdrops and your talk of daffodils peeping through the ground -- it has me green! Why only 2 days ago, I was thinking "Just 2 more months & spring will be here!" But in Britian, you're talking spring now! Alas, my heart longs!!!

    (But we do have corn in August!)

  21. The imagery of the daffodils on the cold and wintry countryside was awesome. :)


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