Monday, 9 March 2009

The Simple Woman's Day Book . . .

FOR TODAY, March 9th, 2009 ...

Outside My Window...

It's still quite dark as I am up a bit earlier this week. No sound but the wind blowing and it feels quite cold. Is this March coming in like a Lion? Dare I hope?? My mother always said that if March came in like a Lion it would go out like a Lamb. I can remember when I was at school, when I was very young, we used to do colouring pictures of Lambs every March. We'd colour them in and stick cotton wool all over them for their fleece.

I am thinking...
"Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord; and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that has his quiver full of them." ~Psalm 127:3-5

I love the book of Psalms. There is so much wisdom on it's pages. Can you imagine how different our world would be today if every parent, and indeed society, looked upon it's children as one of their most precious assets. Every day I am reading about how this child has been abused or that child . . . children disappearing, children being abandoned, thrown away like garbage. It breaks the heart. Can you imagine how much the world would change if every single mother and father treated their children as if they were precious jewels, as gifts from above . . . if they led them by the power of their own example in love and kindness and brought them up with true affection in the wisdom of the Lord? I think I just described heaven?

I am thankful for...
Goodly parents that loved me and that did their very best for me. I may not have had the most expensive toys and clothes, but I knew that I was loved. I was never hungry and I was always warm and cared for. No, they were not perfect parents. I was not a perfect parent. But there was always plenty of love to go around, and as an adult I have learnt to forgive them for their short comings as I hope one day my children will be able to forgive me.

From the kitchen...
mmm . . . there's banana muffins cooling on the counter top and I have big plans for later on. I made a lovely pot of celery soup yesterday for our lunch, that I served along with some drop scones. Sometimes on a cold day nothing will do for it but soup, and this soup warmed us right down to our bones. It was wonderful. You can find the recipe here.

I am wearing...
Black and white jammies!

I am creating...
I have ever so many plans. I would like to make a doll just like the little girl I am always painting in my pictures. I listed a bunch of new prints in my Etsy shop yesterday. Is that being optimistic? I don't know. When I was in Utah recently I got to meet the artist Jean Keaton. She is the artist that does all those lovely pictures of the Saviour with children. I have long admired her work, and lo and behold, isn't she Lura's niece! It was so lovely to meet her, spend some time with her, and see some of her work in person. I know that my little pictures don't even come close to what she does with her magic fingers. She truly is a great talent.

I am going...
If you are a man, close your eyes now!! I have the dreaded appointment today with the nurse for the dreaded pap smear. That is the one thing I hate most in the world. It is one of life's necessary evils though. My grandmother died of cervical cancer, or at least that's where her cancer started. It's quite curable if you catch it early enough. In Canada you are entitled to a smear every year. Over here I think they only do them every two years. Having said that though, I've been living here 8 1/2 years and I have only had two tests. Long overdue I'd say. Then this afternoon I have an appointment with my chiropodist. I had to cancel the one last week as I was recovering from having worked all night so I am getting it done today. I love the way my feet feel after I've been to him . . . just like a million bucks!

I am reading...

I am still reading "The 19th Wife. " You are going to get tired of this book before too long!! It's quite thick, but boy oh boy is it interesting. It fluctuates between actual historical accounts from the past and a modern fictional account. It's really quite interesting.

I am hoping...
That each one of you will be blessed in some way today. That out of all the hours that you shall pass, doing whatever it is you are doing . . . that at the end of the day when you get into bed, you will be able to reflect on your passed hours and find some little gem, some little treasure, some little gift from the day, that you will be able to look to the heavens and say . . . thank you.

I am hearing...
The sun is that little bit above the horizon now and I can hear the morning chorus just beginning. A few twitters here and there, and soon it will build to a wonderful song and beautiful noise. There is a song thrush that loves to sit on the peak of the roof next door and sing his little heart out. He does it both in the dawning and then again at dusk. What a wonderful song he sings! He has quite a few different tunes he sings and he goes through each one of them in turn. What a delightful sound it is to listen to!

Around the house...
We have ordered several more bookcases. One would have thought that six would be enough, but we ended up ordering another three this past weekend. They aren't really expensive ones, but at least they will do what they need to do. Our library has a gabled roof so we are only able to get short ones, with only 3 shelves. If we could use regular tall book cases we would not need nearly so many! Nine bookcases sounds really bad doesn't it!

We still need to paint the kitchen. I told the Estate manager what colour we wanted quite some time ago. I expect he has forgotten so we may have to remind him. It would be nice to get this kitchen finally finished completely.

One of my favorite things...
is reading my scriptures. It doesn't matter how many times I open them, I always discover something new, some fresh wisdom to meet me wherever it is that I am at in my spiritual journey. It seems that no matter how many times I can read the same passage, each time is like the first time, and I learn something new. When I am in need of comfort or inspiration, I often just let them fall open where they will and, amazingly enough, just what I need to read is right there in front of me! I look at the scriptures as being one huge love story, from a loving Heavenly Father to His children . . . a road map for life from beginning to end. Everything you need to know about living and dying and beyond is written on it's pages.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
I have work naturally, and then I have a Seminary lesson to prepare for Thursday night and also the Young Women's mutual activity on Thursday evening. Our YW presidency has changed. We have a new president and I am now first counselor. Actually I am the only counselor as we have so few girls that we only need the one. It will be interesting to see how much things change with a new President. I shall really miss Karen. She was a great gal and I loved working with her. Change is good though and I am sure I will adapt quite well, or at least I hope that I will!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Yes, it's pussy willows!! That great harbinger of springtime! As a girl, I loved to go gathering pussy willows. We would bring them into the house and and put them in a vase and watch the magic as they would expand and then grow into a long tail, catkins . . . I thought them quite amazing. I still do.

According to an old Polish legend, many spring times ago, a mother cat was crying at the bank of the river in which her kittens were drowning. The willows at the river's edge longed to help her, so they swept their long graceful branches into the waters to rescue the tiny kittens who had fallen into the river while chasing butterflies. The kittens gripped on tightly to their branches and were safely brought to shore. Each springtime since, goes the legend, the willow branches sprout tiny fur-like buds at their tips where the tiny kittens once clung.

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! )

After talking about Banana Muffins earlier I can't leave without showing you them and sharing the recipe with you. They are not much to look at, but my oh my . . . they are incredibly yummy. For some reason my crumbs all sunk down into the middle yesterday and left them looking quite craggy . . . but oh so scrummy!

*Banana Streusel Muffins*
Makes one dozen

These delicious muffins are low in fat in comparison to a lot of other muffins and are delightfully moist and flavourful. I love the streusel topping. Sometimes it sits on top and other times it sinks down into the middles. Either way they are dangerously moreish!

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup of unsalted butter, melted
Streusel Topping:
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 TBS flour
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1 TBS cold butter

Pre-heat the oven to 190*C/375*F. Lightly grease a 12 hole muffin pan, or line with paper liners. Set aside.

Mix the streusel ingredients together until crumbly. Set aside.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. Stir together the butter, sugar, egg and banana in large beaker. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients all at once and mix together just until the dry ingredients are evenly moistened. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling them 2/3 full. Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over each.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until they test done and a toothpick inserted inside one comes out clean or they spring back when lightly touched on top.

Cool in the pan for ten minutes before removing. Serve warm for a moist and delicious taste treat!


  1. Good Morning Mare.I agree with you on the subject of parents and love.The weather here is gales and rain and so very cold brr.Lets hope your Mum was right about March.I baked your banana cake a couple of weeks ago but I found it a little sweet for me,so maybe next time less bananas or less sugar.How lovely you should meet Jean and fancy being Lura's Daughter how wonderful.I too love those scripture pictures.Your tests will be correct Marie they are every three yrs here or they were.I hope you manage to make your little Etsy Doll she will be sweet.Pussy willow is one of my favourites.This is the first time I havn't had one in my garden.Still time though to plant one if I decide.I loved the story about it.Mmmmmmm I love muffins of any kind with a nice cup of tea when I arn't cutting down, please don't tempt me lol!!Have a wonderful day.I hope Todd is well.Take Care God Bless Kath xx

  2. It is always good to start the week off with your Day Book. You had so many good things in it today. The muffins look so good and are one of my favorites but I've never had the strusel ones.
    Spring has a way to go getting here but the rain has begun and now through April we'll see alot of that making everythng grow. Have a great Monday!
    'OnYa' - ma

  3. Hi, Marie! Those muffins look sooo good! That's the only way I can eat bananas--in a muffin or banana bread...LOL! ;o) Love the prints in your shop and all the new work you've been doing--always so impressive and amazing! I was wondering about your kitchen, if you'd gotten it painted already--sorry it's taking so long. Hope all goes well today...I'm over due for a pap smear too. I keep putting it off, as I just hate to go get that done! It's a pity there's not some other way to check these things--from the outside of the body and with more dignity! LOL! Any chance of a chat tomorrow, my friend? I'm sorry not to have been able to be on Messenger last night. I will send you an email. So glad you week is off to a good start. LOVE YOU HEAPS!! ((HUGS))

  4. Your posts are always uplifting and speak to me! God is using you to touch others lives through your blog!!! :)
    Have a wonderful day!!

  5. Hi Marie! The weather here is cold and snowy - I would be so happy if it turned into Spring by the end of the month!

    Congratulations on your new calling. You will do an awesome job - I can tell you love your young women.

    Have a wonderful week!

  6. Well here I am sitting in my rocker reading your lovely post while Austin is playing wii. He has not had breakfast yet but he got up at 10:00 last night and had 2 bowls of cereal so that might be why he didn't wake up asking for pancakes this morn as usual.

    I think that you will be getting off from work soon and on your way to the nurse....uggg.... I think every woman hates getting a pap smear.... but as you say they are necessary.

    We started day light savings time yesterday so we moved our clocks forward one hour. It is now dark when Austin wakes me up and no birds are singing. I love it in the summer when I can hear all of their songs and use them for my alarm clock. Do you have day light savings time there? Are we still 8 hours apart? I hope so because that way if I stay up until 11:00 I can usually read your new post before I go to bed. If we are only 7 hours different now I will have to wait to read your post because I rarely am up that late.

    I have never lived where I could pick pussy willows but I have always thought they are delightful. I didn't know that they chanced with time.... see you have taught me something new..again.

    I am glad that you enjoyed meeting our Jean. She is such a lovely person and so talented. I think that her goodness is reflected in her art work. I would be so happy if her distributor would help you get your wonderful work out to be sold. Your pictures are all precious and have a message for all. There just has to be a market for them.

    I love that scripture in Psalms. I am blessed to have a quiver full of good children. They truly bless my life. I know that your children are a blessing to you too... even though they are far away. I will always treasure meeting your precious Eileen. She is such a sweetheart that even her voice is soft and sweet. What a tender soul she is.

    Can you believe that a month ago today we were driving with John and the kids through the blizzard to SLC to sight see? How fast time marches by. I love the sweet memories I have of the week we got to spend together.

    Well dear friend, other than having to get the dreaded pap I hope your day is a happy one. I hope that we can get together for a phone call tomorrow. I am excited that I can call you now with our new phone service.

    I am sending love to you, Todd, Jess and Lambchop. Lura

  7. Oh I love the Simple Womans entry of the week. Thank you for the sweet wishes for all of us. Your book must be a good one since you've been at it awhile, or is it one of those that a person just reads at a leisure pace~~
    I hope you had a beautiful weekend.

  8. I would love some of those muffins! Ben's terribly sick and running a fever, so we could all use some comfort! Good luck on the tests. My biopsy is Thursday.

  9. I always enjoy your Day Book - it sounds like you have a very busy week ahead! The muffins look absolutely delicious - especially the little strusel bit on top!

  10. I enjoyed reading your daybook, and I hope you feel blessed today as well.

    Those muffins look delicious. Enjoy the rest of your Monday.

  11. marie....If I use self rising flour vs regular would that be ok?

  12. Hey,
    I just thought that I'd let you know that I love your monday posts, I've been reading for quite a while, but I've been lurking quietly in the background! Anyway, Thanks, because you often encourage/challenge me to spend time reading God's Word.

  13. Marie,
    I am a clandestine visitor to your blog. I am friends with Lura and Jan. Anyway, its time I leave you a message and mention that you are amazing, creative and eloquent. Thank you for all that you share.

  14. I am so glad I found you in this beautiful land of blogging. I simply enjoy reading all you write. You have such a talent of telling a story and and keeping us spellbound and ending with such a delightful recipe I feel so well fed spritiully and physically:))
    I so hope March goes out light a lamb and Spring can finally come. I am looking outside at a solid blanket of snow and jsut this morning was seeing all the tulips sticking its greenery abouve the ground.
    This week our YM and YW get to attend a dinner at the Jordan River Temple with the adults and then the do baptisms and we will go through a session. I think it will be such a great expereince for them. Our 12 year niece lives with us and is excited:) Good luck with your Dr. Appt!


  15. I love your breadth of knowledge, Marie! Pussy willows are such a big part of my heritage/culture and I love that others know about it! There are so many misconceptions (thanks to the lovely jokes) about the Poles, so it's nice to see positive stuff being offered to the world. Yay to you!

    Pussy willows were always a staple in our vases in the spring. One of those rites of spring I learned about growing up. Thanks for bringing me back a bit!

  16. i love how you called a pap one of life's "necessary evils." you crack me up!

    and i love that scripture too. i don't see how anyone could harm a precious child. children are so special and pure. i try my hardest to be a good mom to my girls. i know its an important calling, that of a mother. i mess up sometimes- i yell sometimes, i lose patience with them sometimes, we all do. some days i get down on myself and think i'm failing. but i'm trying really hard and i know that God knows that. don't get down on yourself about things you feel you did as a parent that you don't think were the best- i'm sure you did the absolute best you could with the situation you were in. you were in a tough place in your life and i'm sure your kids think the world of you and love you to pieces. don't be hard on yourself dear marie! the Lord understands. you always come to my blog and say such sweet things and sometimes compare us, but the thing is, my blog is a place where i put all the good things. i don't put the time that i yelled at cali or the time that i spanked ella, etc. so, my blog isn't a complete journal of my life, its just the best stuff of our life-i mess up a lot! no one is perfect. if you could be a fly on my wall on some of my PMS days....yikes. :)


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!