Sunday, 22 March 2009

Marie's Sunday Six Smile Makers

Happy Sabbath day to you all. It's Sunday and time for my Sunday Six Smile Maker post again. Sundays seem to come around so very quickly, it's hard to believe that here it is again, but there's no denying it, along with Spring . . . Sunday has arrived! I am really looking forward to going to church today. I have not been for the last two weeks. Two weeks ago I had to dog watch at work, and last week we had company that didn't want to go. We just could not leave them on their own for that space of time, as they were only with us for a few days, and so we stayed home. My spiritual battery is really in need of some charging! Today is "Mothering Sunday" over here in the UK as well, so it will be a really special service this morning. Happy Mother's Day to all you UK'ers out there! Hope it's the best one ever for each of you and chock full of new blessings and happy memories!

Sunny Days. We had a lovely week full of sunny days and mildish weather! It has really caused everything in the garden to burst forth and all the trees and bushes are now covered in the green haze of budding leaves. The rhododendrons along the drive are all in bud and my tulips are getting ready to bloom! It's just been a lovely week. I have always said you just cannot beat England on a sunny day! There truly is no lovelier place on earth . . .

Having a day all to myself to do whatever I wanted and only that. Yesterday was the first day in a couple of weeks that I didn't really have anything pressing that needed my attention! Imagine a whole day with no chores to take care of, or jobs that needed doing! Oh my, but I really enjoyed it from start to finish! I did a bit of baking, a bit of telly watching and a bit of painting and planning. I did have my lesson for the Young Women to plan, but that is always fun, so it's not like a real chore to me. I even watched American Idol last evening. They had some country music singers on it which I really enjoyed, but I thought Randy Travis was looking rather thin and haggard. I hope he's well????

When I was cooking our supper last night (nothing special, just some sauerkraut, bockwurst and mashed potatoes) it made me think of my sister and so I picked up the telephone and called her, right then and there. My sister and I have always been the best of friends, and I really miss her alot. When we were really young, we were inseparable. When we became teens, we fought like dogs and cats. When we became adults, we found our closeness again. It wasn't all that long ago that we used to begin each day chatting with each other on the telephone. (after the children had gone to school that is.) Now we live too far away from each other, and we both work full time. Getting to talk to her yesterday was a real "ME" treat, and it was so very good to hear her voice. I love her to bits!

Mending fences. As some of you know my youngest daughter has been somewhat estranged from me for several years now. The few times I have been face to face with her, she has spoken to me, but she has not gone out of her way to communicate with me at all at any other time. No letters, no e-mails, no telephone calls. No Mother's Day, Christmas, Birthday or other cards. Zip, nada, zilch . . . Two days ago, right out of the blue, I got a nice chatty message from her on my facebook. It really made my day, and I cried big soppy tears of joy. I have been waiting a long time for her to do this and it really touched my heart in a really big way. In truth, it meant the world to me.

A letter from my mom. My mother, for years and years now, and religiously, has hand written each one of us children a letter every two weeks. I really look forward to that precious letter falling through my letter box. It is like getting a little *hug* and "I love you" from her that I can touch. I save each one of them, and put them into a box. I know that one day the letters will stop, and so, when that time comes, I will still have her letters, and every second week, I will be able to pull one out and her "I love yous" and *hugs* will go on. I actually found a couple that she had written a long time ago to two of my sons the other night when I was rifling through one of my recipe boxes. How precious they are . . . and so I am keeping them safe. I am sure one day my boys will really appreciate having them.

All of your lovely comments from yesterday. They really made a great day even better! It is nice to know that you all enjoy seeing my artwork. I know that I really enjoy doing it. I did another little fairy yesterday. I am liking these ballerina fairies. I called this one, "Always Kiss Me Goodnight." You can see all of her HERE if you so wish. I got quite a few sketches done this week and no less than three paintings. Todd says I will never get all my sketches painted, but , like I told him, I just have to put the ideas down on paper when I get them, or I will lose them forever!

I picked up some frozen mixed summer fruits the other day at the grocery store and made Todd a delicious Summer Fruit Crumble the other night. Oh, I know . . . I do spoil him relentlessly . . . but I can't help it, I just love it!

*Summer Fruit Crumble*
Serves 4

This lovely crumble has a nubbly golden topping made with oats. You can serve it with lashings of fresh cream or custard, or with a little ice cream, or just plain. It's delicious every which way!

4 cups fresh or frozen summer fruits
(A combination of raspberries, blackberries, and black and red currants)
3/4 cup sugar
grated zest and juice of one orange
1 sweet eating apple, peeled, quartered, cored and thickly sliced
1 ripe Bosc pear, peeled, quartered, cored and thickly sliced

Oat Crunch Topping:
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Pre-heat the oven to 190*C/375*F. Line an oven rack with foil and place in the centre of the oven. Lightly butter a shallow baking dish and set aside.

Mix the frozen fruit, sugar, orange zest, and orange juice together in a bowl. Stir in the apple and pear slices. Pour this mixture into the prepared baking dish, spreading it out.

Combine all the topping ingredients together in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is crumbled to the size of peas. Do not over process. Alternately you may rub the mixture together with your fingertips to make a crumbly mixture, or cut it together with two round bladed knives. Scatter the topping mixture evenly over the fruit.

Bake in the heated oven until the fruit it bubbly and the topping is nicely browned, some 35 to 40 minutes. Serve warm and spooned into bowls. You can top each serving with the desired accompaniment, or not at all. It's up to you!


  1. Marie I'm so pleased your youngest daughter contacted you!
    Love the fruit crumble - yum!

  2. MMMMMM...I made a similar crumble recently!! I love those flavours!!! MMMMMMMM....

  3. Such a delightful post today, touch with family & friends...that's great for a weekend! (Looking forward to talking to you tonight!) And your "Always Kiss Me Goodnight" illustration is adorable--I love it, and the title! ;o) That fruit crumble is making me hungry...and especially for something sweet--LOL! Happy Day, sweet friend! LOVE YOU ((BIG HUGS))


  5. The best news of all is that your daughter contacted you. How your heart must soar over that. I Rejoice with you.

    Lovely Letters from your Mother. When I was away at college ( a long time ago)Mom, Dad, and both grandmas wrote often. Those letters are now in plastic pages to preserve them. They are prized possessions.

    The fairy ballerina is delightful.

  6. That's so cool she called you! Sounds like you're having a wonderful weekend!

  7. A very Happy Mothers Day to you. We don't have ours til May. I know it will be a special day for you. Such a good week you had to SMILE about.

  8. Marie Im soooo hapy your youngest daughter finally let you a message in facebook.
    You are a lovely mother, happy mother`s day, here is in May.

    Nice draw of course!!
    and a yummy and nice recipe!!
    Anda a big hugg and kisses to you and Todd!!! xxGloria

  9. Hi Marie! What a great list! I am so glad the weather has been nice there lately - that makes such a difference, don't you think? And so nice that your daughter contacted you - yay!

    I love you artwork - you are so talented!!!! Cute fairy! I hope you have a really wonderful week!!!


  10. thanks for this weeks worth of words. I just finished and enjoyed all. And i just found out you have another blog and am heading there now.

    I remember when we lived overseas and my granny would write once a week. We heard about the Martins coming back from South America and it took us a while to realize she was talking about the birds. Life in small handfuls. Always nice to hear from family.

  11. What lovely things to smile about. I am so happy that you got a nice message from your daughter.... that made your Mother's day special!! Happy mother's day. Ours is in May. I know that it must be bitter sweet for you having your dear children so far away.

    I am glad that spring has come to the UK. I am sure that it is lovely.

    I just your art work. I always do. You have so much talent.

    I am glad that you got to enjoy church today..... I guess that you are not going inactive after all.... haha
    Thanks for encouraging me to keep blogging. I really do want to... I was just feeling that I didn't have much of consequence to blog about.... but it is my life so I guess that counts for something.

    I am sending love. Have a good week. I am leaving John for a couple of days to visit my friend Silvija. He actually kind of enjoys having a couple of days on his own.... no nagging or honey-do lists. Hugs and kisses, Lura

  12. I always enjoy your sunday entries. and, I am thinking I need to go get the stuff for a cherry yum-yum cake. that is what the pick of the crumble made me think of!!

  13. What a lovely list of reasons to smile! What a blessing to hear from your daughter!

    I love your example... you thought of your sister and called her that very minute! I need to do that more often! Once time gets away things come up and before you know it doesn't happen. That will be my goal this week! Thank you!!

  14. sunny days with nothing pressing to do sound perfect! glad you had such a great day!

  15. Marie,

    I very much understand your joy over hearing from your daughter. I spent 4 years being estranged from my oldest daughter. It's wonderful now I just wrote about it in my blog, link below. Hang in there and never stop praying.

  16. Don't you just love a day to yourself to kinda do whatever you want!? :) It is one of my favorite things!


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!