Monday, 19 October 2009

The Simple Woman's Day Book . . .

FOR TODAY, October 19th, 2009 ...

Outside My Window...

It is dark and very, very still. I am thinking it must be going to be Daylight Savings Time soon . . . I don't mind that time change because we gain an extra hour . . . an extra hour in bed, or to fill with something fun to do!

I am thinking...
About the lovely conversation I had with my mom on the telephone yesterday. It is always so nice to hear her voice. We talked about all sorts of course, but we also had a special conversation about my Aunt Freda. It's been three years now since my Aunt Freda passed away and we all still miss her, but I think my mom misses her more than anyone else. They talked every morning. My Aunt Freda was a special soul . . . she had more love and understanding for others in her little finger than most people have in their whole bodies. My mother had a dream about her the other night in which my Aunt told her she had been allowed to come back for a short time. My mother was able to spend a few minutes with her in the dream. She really felt good about that. I am grateful for that. I have been fortunate enough not to lose anyone really close to me yet . . . and I dread the day.

I am thankful for...
All the many blessings in my life. I have had a lot of heartache as well, but when I think back on my life I can see that I have had ever so many more blessings and I am so very grateful for that. I am lucky in that I am able to take some scrap of good out of even the worst of my experiences. Not all people can do that, so the ability to be able to do that is a blessing as well!

From the kitchen...
I have a big bowl of fruit macerating on the counter top to be used in my Christmas cake. I had planned on getting it into the oven last night, but it has to bake for 4 1/2 hours. I just didn't have the time by the time we got home from church and I had talked to my mom so I am going to throw it together quickly before I go to work today. I shall leave Todd in charge (fingers crossed) You're not even supposed to check it until 4 hours is gone by so it should be ok. (Famous last words??? I hope not!!!)

I am wearing...
Blue jammies with looooooong sleeves. I was so cold last night. I went upstairs to get a blanket to throw over myself while we watched the telly and I was just shivering. My teeth were chattering. I haven't been that cold in a long time!! I think I need to get me a pair of slippers before the winter starts in earnest. These plastic crocs are just not going to cut the mustard and keep my feet warm!!

I am creating...

I thought it would be fun to show you all how I begin my creative process of doing a picture. I always do my sketches on lined paper for the most part. That is what I like the most for some odd reason. I did this little girl yesterday when I was talking to my mom on the telephone. Yes . . . I doodle all the time. So here she is, no colour at all. The real fun begins when I transfer the drawing to my art paper and then begin to bring it to life with colour.

Look what I did with my Santa Claus! It's over on my Blossom Time page now. I have been experimenting with background colour more. I'm not sure what I think . . . do I like them plain or with colour. What do you think?

I am going...
I have a very slow week planned this week. Not a lot on really. My two seminary students are away on holidays so I will not have that lesson on Thursday evening. I do have an appointment with the Dentist tomorrow afternoon and we are having the two missionary sisters that are serving her for tea tomorrow night, and then I have my chiropodist on Thursday afternoon, but those are the only solid plans that I have for the week.

I am reading...

Yes, I know it's a cookery book, but it's an incredibly good read!!! I have been reading it for several nights now and I have to say it is quite the best cookery book I have ever read. It is jam packed with information about lots of vegetables . . . both how to grow them and care for them in your garden, the history of them, and then what to do with them in the kitchen. I love Nigel Slater's way of writing about food. He gently strokes you with the ingredients in marvelously tender description . . . perhaps that's where his title came from. I highly recommend. I haven't cooked anything from it yet, but then I know from experience that all his recipes are quite simply fabulous! They don't contain a lot of faffing about either. Pure and simply good cooking with good ingredients and solid procedure.

I am hoping...
That I can manage to get in all the things this week that I plan on doing!! My mother, bless her, doesn 't know how I manage to cram in everything that I do get done, but if I remember correctly she always did. She worked full time and sold Avon full time as well. In face she was the leading area saleswoman for many, many years and won a lot of awards and prizes. I think she was also her own best customer, but then again . . .that's a whole 'nother story!

I am hearing...
I have a cd playing quietly in the stero. It's by the group Sky and is one I probably haven't listened to for 7 or 8 years now!! I was going through my cd's yesterday and my eyes fell upon it and I thought to myself, I need to listen to that. It's kind of jazzy, but soft and romantic. I love it. Funny how music can take you back to certain times in your life . . . feelings and such. This music reminds me of those first few months after my separation from my ex when I was living in that rented room. That was a funny time really . . . I should have been sad and unhappy, having lost my home and family, but in reality I felt as if the weight of the world had been lifted from my shoulders. I had not realized until then just how oppressive my ex husband had been or how abusive. It was in those first tender months on my own that I truly began to see the full weight of the burden and abuse that I had been living with for all those years . . . it seems a whole lifetime ago now.

Around the house...
I have a table full of art prints upstairs that are waiting to be made into cards. I like to cure them for several days before I cut them out and start to put the cards together. My kitchen table is a mess of papers and books, well . . . on my side of it anyways. I better get that sorted today or Todd will start to grumble!!

One of my favorite things...
is writing this day book each week. It is good to stop and focus on all that is good in my life and there is so very much of it to focus on, truly. I am blessed. Pardon me while I pinch myself!!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
Work, missionary dinner, painting, card making and I have a sewing project in the works. I will reveal all soon!!!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

If that doesn't make you just want to smile, I don't know what will! Can there be anything more heartwarming on earth than a field filled to overflowing with sunflowers? I used to live in an old farmhouse on the banks of the Georgian Bay in a little place called Meaford in Ontario. It was very delapitated but it was the only thing we could afford at the time. It was pretty dismal and filled with mice that we couldn't get rid of no matter what we tried, but all around us were fields of sunflowers and they sure brought a smile to my face every time I looked at them. All my troubles seemed to fade away . . .

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!)

I am a great fan of things that are quick to throw together. Sunday's are always very busy for me, what with church and all. Because Todd is in the church leadership at a local level we often have to leave for church quite early on Sundays and more often than not don't get home until late in the afternoon. Quick and easy is generally the rule of thumb for me on Sundays as far as cooking goes. I threw together this little sweet in the evening yesterday. Todd really enjoyed them. The best part about them is you can very easily only make as many as you are going to eat at any one given time. It only takes a few minutes and lickety split, you've got em done and are enjoying them!

*Marie's Quick Nummy Bites*
makes as many as you want to eat at any one given time
Printable Recipe

This is a tasty little recipe I concocted one night when Todd and I were craving something sweet and scrummy, but I didn't want to spend hours slaving over a hot stove. The great thing is you only need to make as many as you are going to eat at once. They actually don't hold up well over time, but that's not a problem. Because you are only making as many as you are going to eat at once, there's none left to go bad!! Kids love these, big and small!!

For each nummy:
1 buttery cracker (such as tuck)
1 small tsp of strawberry jam
1 large marshmallow, cut into 4 pieces with scissors
1/2 tsp grated sweetened coconut

Pre-heat the grill to medium high. Place the crackers on a baking tray. Spread with the jam and top each with 4 slices of marshmallow. Top with the coconut. Place under the grill and grill for several minutes, until the marshmallow is lightly browned and the coconut is toasted. Remove from the grill and allow to sit until cold. (The jam can get quite hot and you don't want to burn your mouth!) Enjoy with a nice glass of cold milk!

Note - if you are using round Ritz type of crackers, you can cut the quanities of marshmallow and jam down a bit. I'd only use 1/4 tsp of jam on each, and half a marshmallow and 1/4 tsp of grated coconut.

There's another quick and easy idea over on The English Kitchen this moring. Why not wander over and take a gander!


  1. Your blog is so ...full..I don't know how you do all that you do! The Santa..I like it as it appears here..but you could put a back ground like that in many colors (lime green) and it would be cute! :D

  2. Good morning,

    Having just had the one year anniversary of my dad's death, I understand how you must dread the thought of losing your mother. It hasn't been a painful experience for me, but I realize how unusual that is. Thank goodness for an understanding of the Plan of Salvation.

    I hadn't even heard of "Tender." But, I have been watching Nigel Slater's Simple Suppers on BBC iPlayer. It's addictive. I saw his "Kitchen Diary" at our local library & keep thinking it deserves more of a read than the glance I gave it. . . please let me know when you try something from "Tender."

  3. Good morning Marie.Love you blog as usual; Writing to you from Montreal; a get together with family. I also have to start thinking Christmas cooking; time goes by too fast for me; have a hard time to keep up.
    Take care,

  4. Hi, Marie! What a treat to get to chat with you last night--it added and extra ray of sunlight to my day! :o) Losing a loved on is never easy, and in recent years I've lost several near & dear to me as I know how you are feeling. I don't even want to think about my parents passing, I just can't go there in my thoughts, it's too painful to contemplate. Your new reading is wonderful! I wouldn't mind reading that one too...nothing like a cookbook that offers great recipes but also reads well too! Your sweet
    treat recipe today is sooo lovely, and so easy! What type of cracker/biscuit did you use? Such fun to have a behind-the scenes look are your creative process. The little girl sketch is too cute. And love the new Santa illustration--that background is terrific--like giant snowflake-dots! Happy Week my friend--LOVE YOU HEAPS ((BIG HUGS))

  5. I wonder how you get everything done that you get done in a day!!! I love visiting your blog. It's so uplifting, positive, relaxing and fun! looks as though you finally graduated from YW! Hope you're enjoying Relief Society. It's a nice place to be isn't it? Although I do miss YW from time to time. Especially on days like yesterday when I had to teach RS!
    Have a great day.

  6. I don't know how you get everything done either Marie. You are amazing! I loved seeing how you go through your process of creating! I just love your art.


  7. Hi Marie! I have been so busy in Utah that I have not had time to read my favorite blogs this week. I have missed you and I have appreciated your sweet comments as I have been here.

    Jen has been pretty stressed out and I think is going into a new phase of sorrow over Hazel's afflictions. Her work load is just immense and I think she had a little crash. I am trying to help her take some time to relax and rethink some of the things that are getting her down. She is an amazingly strong woman who has so much on her plate. I am working now to get her some regular help with the kids and some housework. I was planning to return home tomorrow but now I may stay a little longer.

    Anyway, I so enjoyed your daybook and will try to do one myself maybe later today.

    Love, Bonnie

  8. I love your Santa picture! I can't believe you got your LFB book before I did! So you're happy with it?


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