FOR TODAY, April 27th, 2009 ...
Outside My Window...
Can it be that the month of April is already winding down???? It has gone by so very quickly. At five o'clock each morning the sun is now already up and the birds have already begun to sing their songs. The grass is covered with dew now, instead of frost. The trees are pretty much all out in tender leaf, and the clematis that grows on the side of our shed is just loaded with buds perfectly ripe and ready to pop open. There is a cottage down in the village that is just covered with wisteria, all in bloom. It is such a beautiful sight. Each year I think to myself, I must get a picture of that, and each year, the time passes and before you know it I have waited too long and the moment and the blooms have disappeared . . .
I am thinking...
about Service. I had to teach the Young Women's lesson yesterday at church and it was about service. Service is something that is very dear to my heart. I truly believe it is a gift you give yourself, because, no matter how much you do for others, you always receive far more in return. It was so much fun sharing my thoughts on service with the girls in my class and hearing their thoughts on the same . . . I had made them each a pretty little bookmark to keep in their scriptures. I think they liked them, and hopefully each time they see them they will think about how they can do something for someone else. It's quite often not the big things that matter most, but those simple small things that we do for others . . . a kind word, a thoughtful gesture, a cheery hello, a heartfelt prayer . . . these are things that can and do often make a big difference in someone else's life.
I am thankful for...
A husband that I can share my deepest thoughts with. I know that no matter what I say to him, it will not be met with ridicule or disdain. He always listens carefully to my words and reacts with love and understanding. It is so wonderful to be able to share with the one I love in this way. I believe it deepens our love for each other. I had never had this special understanding with any of my other husbands in my life. (I hate that it took me three times to get it right.) My first marriage was so brief that I scarst even count it, and the second one, well . . . we really didn't have anything in common at all, except for our children. He didn't "get" my spiritual side at all and I think it actually made him quite uncomfortable. People ridicule that which they don't understand and that which they fear. I am so thankful that finally I am "evenly yoked." It is a great blessing to me.
From the kitchen...
Oh goodness, there is a tin of oat scones leftover from our Saturday supper and another filled with chocolate chip muffins. I dare not bake anything else for a few days. I do have in my mind to make some enchiladas this week, or tacos or something of a Southwestern persuasion. With the temperatures warming my mind goes more to salads. We are already enjoying the early English Asparagus, comparable to none other in the world in my opinion and soon the early English Strawberries will begin to ripen and adorn our grocery store shelves. Oh there is nothing tastier than a bowl of English Strawberries and cream on a warm and sunny late spring afternoon. This is bliss in a bowl.
I am wearing...
Pink jammies and my black slippers. Oh how I wish I could stay in them all day, but alas . . . I don't think it would go over very well at work. Yesterday Bonnie asked what it was that I did. I work as a personal Chef for an American family that lives over here on a manor estate. I get paid a wage and also, as part of my income, we have been given this cottage to live in. The job does have it's pros and cons, as do all jobs. Thankfully there are more pros than cons at the moment. I get to live and work in a beautiful and peaceful environment. There are no travel costs involved etc. On the downside, I never really feel like I can get away from work. When I want a break or a holiday I truly have to go away to really feel like I am having one.
I am creating...
I did another new painting on Saturday afternoon and I have a sketch that is just dying to be put down on paper. I had bought myself some flour sack kitchen towels to embroider, or so I thought, but they are so darned flimsy they would hardly be worth the effort. What passes as flour sacks today is not what flour sacks used to be, that's for sure! Here's a glimpse of my newest creation, which as usual is posted over HERE.
I am going...
Of course I have work this week, but hopefully some play as well. I have a Seminary Lesson to teach on Thursday evening and then afterwards a Presidency meeting for the Young Women's. They aren't having mutual on Thursday evening this week as they girls are going to a Stake YW function on Friday evening in another town. It should be fun for them. When I was first called as a leader in the YW group, I was not overly thrilled. It meant I would be dealing with Teenage girls and that wasn't really something I was wanting to do. I have come to love my calling for the most part now though and the Young Women. We have some really nice teenaged girls in our Ward that I get to work with each week and I have come to truly love each one of them.
I am reading...
I have only just started this book. When I was in Utah in February my friend Lynell of An Ordinary Life was reading this book out loud to her children each night. I got very involved in the story and hated to come home without seeing how it turned out. A few weeks ago when Todd and I went to the Temple we also went to the LDS bookstore and I was able to pick this up for us both to read. I get to read it first! (Lucky me!) So far it is really, really good. Here is a brief description taken from Deseret Books:
"My name will mean nothing to you, but my story is a retelling of the greatest story ever told and should mean everything to everyone.
If you interpret my words as fiction and fiction only, you will miss out on truths that are both historical and spiritual. Search the scriptures. There you will find evidence of my existence recorded in ancient sacred writ, overlooked for millennia. My story comes forth now because now is the promised day when satanic doubt spreads like black ink, threatening to blot out His very name, to reduce Him to nothing more than a teacher, to erase the eternal truths He taught and lived. That cannot happen. Jesus was who He said He was. I know because I was there in the shadows of His holy footsteps. His miracles were real. I know because I am one of those miracles."I am hoping...
I am still on pins and needles. My faith is surely being tested. I have to believe that the Lord has something wonderful in store for me as far as my artwork is concerned, and I am trying hard to be patient and to wait on His promises. If it is not this publisher and distributor, there will be another. The waiting is the hard part. Patience is supposed to be a virtue and mine gets tested more and more with each day that passes. I surely need to work on patience. In some ways I am a most patient person, but in others . . . I am sorely lacking in it!
I am hearing...
the birds in the garden, the refrigerator humming, Jess softly snoring, my fingers gently tapping on the keyboard. These are the sounds of home and so very peaceful.
Around the house...
A woman's work is never done is it? Each day I notice something different that needs to be addressed. Cobwebs that need to be swept away . . . a floor that needs a good wash, a shelf that needs dusting. You just get one job done and another smacks you in the face!! I am really lucky though, because I have my Todd. He does the lion's share of the housework around here. He says he is busier now that he is retired than he ever was when he worked!!!
One of my favorite things...
Is watching old television shows and films. I do love them so very much. We have quite a few on DVD now. Shows such as Andy Griffith, Father Knows Best, Leave It To Beaver, Upstairs Downstairs, just to name a few. We also have quite a few older films. My heart and mind hearken for a simpler and quieter time. A time when family values were very important and simple joys and pleasures meant a lot.
I do love old things. I was so thrilled yesterday in church when someone gifted me with an old leaflet cookbook by the Nabob spice and tea company. It was from the Canadian West and they had been having a clear out and thought I might like it. I love it! It was originally published in 1973. There's a lot of older recipes in it that made me feel quite nostalgic when I was leafing through it yesterday afternoon.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
Work, play and everything in between. Our church stake is having a Relief Society enrichment day on Saturday that I am hoping to be able to go to. Our stake encompasses an area right from the outskirts of London to the North and Hastings to the South, into Sussex in the West and of course all the way to the East coast. It's quite a large area and there are a lot of chapels involved. It is really wonderful to be able to get together with friends both near and far and do something together as a group of women with a singular purpose. I am really looking forward to it and I really hope that I get to go.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...
These are the sunflowers that we grew at the back of our garden shed a couple of summers ago. They grew ever so tall!! I don't think I have ever seen such tall sunflowers before. I think we should grow some more this summer. What do you think? I just love sunflowers!
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! It's not that hard and I am betting you would enjoy it!)
We had a simple supper this past Saturday evening. Just bowls of a vegetable beef soup that I served with some fresh from the oven, warm Oat and Cheese Scones. I think sometimes that simple suppers are the best of all!
*Tasty Oat and Cheddar Scones*
These beautiful scones have a lovely texture and almost nutty flavour which comes from the oats. If you put cheese in anything I am right there. (it's my only weakness, well next to chocolate that is) These scones are the perfect accompaniment to a hot bowl of soup and quite tasty on their own just split in half and spread with butter. They also make great picnic sandwiches, split open and spread with soft cheese and filled with ham. They are just plain good no matter how you take them.
200g self raising flour
pinch of salt
50g softened butter
25g porridge oats, not the instant kind
75g grated strong cheddar cheese
150 ml whole milk
Preheat the oven to 220*C/425*F.
Measure the flour into a large bowl along with the salt. Add the butter and rub it into the flour using the tips of your fingertips. Rub until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the oats and the cheese.
Tip in the milk and stir together to form a soft dough. If your mixture is a bit dry, feel free to add a bit more milk. You want a soft dough, but not sticky. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and pat the dough out to about 1/2 inch in thickness.
Using a sharp 2 1/2 inch round cutter stamp out rounds. Try hard not to twist the cutter as you are lifting it up. Twisting the cutter makes for a very lopsided scone! Stamp straight down and then up with quick and sharp taps. Place on a baking tray.
Re-roll all the trimmings and stamp out more rounds until the dough is all used up.
You can dust them with a bit more flour or brush them with some milk and sprinkle some cheese on top before baking if you wish. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until well risen and golden brown on the outsides. Remove from the oven and to a wire rack to cool somewhat before eating.
These are wonderful when eaten warm from the oven, but then again, they are also quite wonderful split and toasted later on, or even cold and filled. Enjoy!