Monday, 23 March 2009

The Simple Woman's Day Book . . .

FOR TODAY, March 23rd, 2009 ...

Outside My Window...

The sun is well up and the birds are singing away. It looks to be a clear day so far. We have been really blessed with fine weather over this past week. I know that sooner or later the rain must come. Every day of sunshine we have over here is an extra blessing, as it does rain rather a lot. Back home if it rained, we stayed indoors. I soon came to learn upon moving over here, that people don't melt in the rain . . . if I had stayed indoors every time it rained, I'd never have gone anywhere. My first year over here ended up being the wettest autumn/winter season in the UK for many years! I have come to appreciate the rain for what it is and I rather enjoy it from time to time . . . just not all the time.

I am thinking...
About the beautiful service we had in church yesterday for Mother's Day. The primary children sang a song which was sweet and the Bishop and his son sang a duet which was beautiful. It touched my heart in a special way. They sang "Love is Spoken Here," which is one of my very favourite of all the primary songs. It begins with the words . . . "I see my mother kneeling, with the family each day. I hear the words she whispers as she bows her head to pray. Her plea to the Father quiets all my fears, and I am thankful that Love is Spoken Here." It's a beautiful song and was so very beautifully sung yesterday. Here is a video you can listen to if you want to, but be sure to pause my play list before you do. It truly is beautiful.

I am thankful for...
I was sitting in church yesterday and I was thinking about how blessed I am to be a member of my church. I am so thankful for all the truths it has taught me and continues to teach me. That is what is so amazing about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is so simple, and yet . . . there are so many layers of understanding to it. The more I read, the more I study, the more I listen . . . the more convinced I become of the truthfulness of it all. I truly feel blessed that I had a heart that was teachable and willing to listen and to learn. I am thankful for my testimony which continues to grow and to fill my world and my heart with Joy . . . pure and simple Joy. That is a priceless gift from above.

From the kitchen...
The rhubarb in our garden is ripening. I love rhubarb so very much, and yesterday I made rhubarb muffins and some rhubarb squares. I also have my Dorie challenge recipe, a lovely blueberry cake, sitting on the counter. So much goodness!

I am wearing...
Black and White pj's! Very comfy.

I am creating...
I did two paintings at the weekend, which I have shown you, and I also did a rubber stamp design for this website that was asking for reading artists to design a rubber stamp to be included in their fundraising campaign for Cancer Research UK, it's a girl thing, breast cancer fund raising event. The main part of their fund raising will be done with a selection of specially designed limited edition stamps donated by their illustrators and possibly one of their readers. I thought it would be fun to participate and so I did a little design that I e-mailed off to them. It might be used, it might not, but I thought it was pretty cute. You never know, they may decide to use it, or they may not, but I had a lot of fun doing it at any rate!

I am going...
I have a really busy week looming ahead of me this week. On Thursday evening not only do I have a Seminary Lesson to teach but the youth of the church are doing a ground's cleanup so we will be grabbing rakes and bin bags to clean up the gardens surround the chapel. We are on a main road and for some reason people are always tipping their garbage into it. We are always finding empty crisp bags, tin cans, beer cans, liquor bottles amongst other things. It really is quite ignorant of people, but what can you do . . . Anyways, we are cleaning it all up and also the dead leaves and branches left from the winter. Then on Saturday our Ward (church congregation) is having a family preparedness day and the Youth are hosting a car wash to help raise funds for this years EFY event, which is a special camp that is held nationally for our Youth every second year. The cost of going is quite a lot, so we try to encourage our young people to raise as much of the funds needed as possible, themselves. We will be holding several activities in the coming months towards that end!

I am reading...

"The Art of Racing in the Rain," by Garth Stein. The perfect book for anyone who knows that some of our best friends walk beside us on four legs. It's a book written from a dog's perspective on the eve of his death. Touching, funny, and quite entertaining, it runs the gamut of emotions. I am loving it.

I am hoping...
Todd wasn't feeling all that well yesterday, so I am hoping that he feels better today. I don't like it when he isn't well. It frightens me. We found each other so late in life every day is precious to me and I am greedy, I want as many of them as possible together on this side of the veil.

I am hearing...
My play list, which is filled with all the music I love. I really enjoy it. Jess is laying by my feet and softly snoring, off on her adventures I am thinking as her legs and feet twitch. The birds are singing at full throttle outside my window. It's a beautiful day and I am feeling very blessed.

Around the house...
I look around and see photographs of my children and grandchildren. I miss them quite a lot, but I know that they are only a heartbeat away in my mind and in my soul. I am so proud of each one of my children and the decent people they have grown up to be. Each one is special in their own unique way.

One of my favorite things...
Is laying in bed and listening to the sparrows that nest in our eaves. You can hear their tiny wings fluttering against the walls and their soft chirrups as they settle in. It's really quite sweet and endearing, a beautiful and restful sound.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
Well, you all know that at some point I will be dragging my paints and brushes out, that's a cert . . . and obviously there will be some heavy duty cookery going on as well. I have a lesson to plan for Seminary and other odds and sodds. It won't be a boring week, that's for sure!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Primroses all in bloom on a sunny day! If that doesn't do your heart good, I don't know what will! Have a wonderful Monday and a beautiful week!

And there you have it, my Simple Woman's Day Book for today. Don't forget to hop on over to the Simple Woman to check out the other day book entries! (Or better yet, do a simple day book entry yourself! )

These are the delicious rhubarb squares I made yesterday. Not a great picture I know! This is what happens when you are too greedy to wait until they are completely cooled before cutting into them! Doesn't change the taste though . . . totally moreish!

*Oaty Rhubarb Squares*
Makes 24

This is one of my favourite ways to use the rhubarb in our garden. It's like having a rhubarb crumble and a square all at the same time. Very reminiscent of Date Bars, this lovely square is sure to become a fast and true family favourite.

1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (not the quick oats)
1 cup soft light brown sugar, packed
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup butter
1/4 tsp vanilla
3 cups chopped rhubarb
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 TBS cornstarch
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tsp vanilla

First make the filling. Place all the filling ingredients, with the exception of the vanilla in a saucepan and mix well. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the mixture bubbles up and thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Set aside to cool.

Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Lightly grease a 13 by 9 inch baking pan.

Combine all the crust ingredients in a large bowl, rubbing them together with your fingertips until crumbly. Press half of the crumb mixture into the prepared pan. Bake in the heated oven for about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and pour the rhubarb filling over top. Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture evenly over top. Return to the oven and bake for a further 20 minutes, until golden brown and set. Remove from the oven to a wire rack to cool completely.

Delicious with a scoop of ice cream on top!


  1. Hello dear,
    It is late and I just waited up to say hello to you this morning. I hope that you have a lovely week ahead. I love your little pink girl. I think the fund raiser people will love it.
    I am glad that you are having nice spring weather. Maybe I will get to see UK on a sunny day sometime in the future. I hope so.... but then even if it were a raining day it would be sunny to me if I were with you. I am sorry Todd is not feeling well. Please give him our love and best wishes. I must get to bed. I am going to visit Sil tomorrow. Her brother in law died and she has been working very hard helping her sister with everything... the funeral service, moving, etc. She asked me to come and just spend a little time.... she needs something to smile about and we can always find it when we are together. It is a very busy week for me since we have 2 days of temple duty and I have Claire's Easter dress to make but I always have time for Sil.... and she would do the same for me. I wish you knew her. You two would love each other.

    I send love and hugs.... Lura

  2. p.s John loves rhubarb and all of our plants died.... he would love your squares but we can't get rhubarb around here. I will let him look at your pictures and drool.

  3. I've never had rhubarb before. It looks good though! I hope Todd feels better!

    I adore the illustration of the little girl holding ribbons. They'd be a fool not to use it.

  4. It sounds like a busy week for you and a nice one too. I do love rhubarb and like many things haven't had it in a long time. I hope your day is a great one.
    'On Ya'-ma

  5. Hi Marie
    I always enjoy your daybook entries. Well actually I enjoy everything you post! Hope you have a great week.
    Hugs, Rhondi

  6. Hi, dear Marie! So great to chat with you last night--always such fun to catch up! :o) Those rhubarb squares look sooo good. I will keep this recipe in mind when ours finally ripens. Love your illustration incorporating a stamp. And that book you are reading sounds just up my street...will be adding to my reading list! Your day sounds off to a good start...hope you have a great week ahead, sweet friend! LOVE YOU HEAPS ((BIG HUGS))

  7. Our rhubarb isn't doing so well this year - itll be Keiths fault! When I cooked at the Old Folks' home I wasn't allowed to give the residents rhubarb because, allegedly, it "went straight through them". Pity of it was that there was an ENORMOUS patch of rhubarb in the home garden which went to seed every single year.

    love, Angie, xx

  8. that is one of my all-time favorite primary songs too! when the kids sing it, i always get teary-eyed. its so sweet!

    hope your todd gets to feeling better soon!

  9. I always love your posts Marie espicially the Simple Woman's handbook. I've never had rhurbarb either, something i have to try as your's looks so good!

  10. That stamp is adorable! I enjoyed reading your daybook.

  11. Hi Marie
    I love rhubarb!
    Hope Todd feels better today. I have just finished that book, really enjoyed it very sad though.
    Take care xx

  12. Great piece on rhubarb.
    What a lovely site you have.

  13. I've never tried Rhubarb before, but I think I may just give it a go and see how I like it.

    I was reading your previous posts and I just want you to know that I absolutely LOVE your work, you are amazing :)


    Full Bellies, Happy Kids
    Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

  14. Hello Marie,I arrive just now!! Was a hard day! you know" I love The simple woman day book, comfort me I dont know why.
    I love your pinky girl as all your draws, you know.
    Huggs to our Todd I really hope he feel well soon!!

    Ruibarb is nice but here in Stgo, we dont have but are in the south have a lovely colour I think.

    I hope you will have a lovely week!! xxxxxxxx, Gloria

  15. I used to dip rhubarb in the sugar bowl and gnaw on it as a kid.... fun memory...

  16. Marie, lovely Daybook entry. You are a busy lady with Seminary and YW to keep your eye on. We are in a Young Single Adult Ward now so I know you must be great for the youth to do both callings as it requires a lot of energy! They got my hubby for the bishopric and I came along for the ride. We have been in the calling for 5 plus years now. We love it...just think mutual 24/7!


  18. I have never had rhubarb! I may have to adventure it this summer and give it a try!


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