Tuesday, 6 September 2011

The Simple Woman's Day book . . .



FOR TODAY, September 6th, 2011...

Outside My Window...

The day is just dawning, and it has been raining through the night. It was fairly dry all weekend, although it has been quite chilly. I do hope that we have a dry week when we are away to the Lakes and Yorkshire Dales next week! However, as Todd is always reminding me . . . nobody comes to England for the weather!

I am thinking...
I was sent a picture of my friend Linda yesterday which was so lovely to receive. It was of her with her husband and son. I am glad that she was happily married and that she had a son. She looks just beaming in the picture. I wonder if she ever thought of me and the times we shared together as teenage girls. I expect that she did, just as I have done through the years. I hope that those memories brought a smile to her face as they have done to mine.

I am thankful for...
The knowledge of the Gospel which tells me the end of the story! And for the faith that I have to believe it. This is a precious gift which has helped me througout my life and kept me anchored.

From the kitchen...
Not a lot! Although today I need to be baking a cake. Todd's Birthday is tomorrow and I promised him a fruitcake, which is his favourite type of cake.

I am wearing...
A new pink nightie I picked up at Marks and Sparks last week and my slippers. I just love Marks and Sparks night things. They're afffordable and of excellent quality.

I am creating...
I have some cards to make today and I have decided to yarn tuft that lap quilt. I started doing that yesterday. I tried to machine quilt it, but my machine just wouldn't co-operate. After picking it all out, TWICE (*grumble *grumble) I decided to yarn tuft. I know . . . it's the lazy person's way out, but heck . . . I just don't have the patience to do it all by hand.

I am going...
I haven't got a lot planned this week other than get ready to go away on Saturday. It is hard to believe that September is already with us. It will be Christmas before we know it!!

I am reading...



Home Safe, by Elizabeth Berg


Beloved author Elizabeth Berg tells the story of the recently widowed Helen Ames and of her twenty seven year old daughter Tessa. Helen is shocked to discover that her mild-mannered and loyal husband had been leading a double life. The Ames's had saved money for a happy retirement, planned in minute detail, but that money has disappeared in several big withdrawals . . . spent by Helen's husband before he died. What could he possibly have been doing? And what is Helen to do now? Why does Helen's daughter object to her mother's applying for a job . . . and why doesn't Tessa meet a nice man and get married?

What Helen's husband did with all their money turns out to be provocative, revelatory . . . and leads Helen and her daughter to embark on new adventures, and change.

As usual Elizabeth Berg = Great Read!

I am hoping...
That Mitzie will enjoy our holiday up in Cumbria. This will be the first time we have ever taken a dog with us on holiday. I hope we don't live to regret it!

I am hearing...
Early morning sounds . . . the clock on the mantle humming as the wheels inside it turn. The odd car as it goes by. Mitzie snuffling as she snoozes, all curled up behind me on the sofa. The tap tapping of the computer keys as I write.
They are morning sounds. The sounds as I hear whilst the house wakes up around me and the day begins. I know I say the same thing every week, but that's just how it is! Sometime I may shock you and say something completely different!

Around the house...
We went to look at furniture the other day and ended up buying one of these:



And a matching chair. They will be delivered in about 4 weeks time. It was the first one we sat on, although to be sure, we sat on every sofa in the shop. This was the only one we could afford however and I loved the fabric and colour. I know it looks pretty plain, but it's not.



This is a closeup of the fabric. It's quite nice actually. We could have gotten it in other colours, but we liked this colour. It won't overpower the room and we can always perk it up with some pretty throw cushions and throws.


I am looking forward to...
Saturday! I can't wait to get to the cottage. It's been about 4 years since we have been there and I am really looking forward to going back. We are bringing the laptop with us, but are not sure if we will be able to get online or not, in any case I can do some writing while I am there. I am also bringing my sketch book, water colours and a water colour pad, so that I can do a bit of painting too. It will just be nice to get away.

I am pondering...
"I am thinking a lot about life lately and how short it is and about how every day we are given is such a blessing. Each morning I wake up and open my eyes is a bonus, especially after the age of 50. 50 is when so many health problems begin to show up and your odds of not making it increase. I feel quite blessed to be 56 and here's hoping I have at least another 20 years left to make my mark on the world!"

This is what I wrote last week. The truth of these words has really struck home with me over this past week as I have been reading the posts on my highschool site and finding out how many of the people I went to school with are gone from us. It is amazing, and sad and scary at the same time. My sister and I talked about this yesterday on the telephone. It is true that most people are living longer and longer . . . but those that do are blessed. Too many leave us much sooner than they should . . .

One of my favourite things...
Is watching old films and television shows. Oh and listening to old radio shows as well. Todd and I were doing that yesterday on the computer, although for the life of me I can't find the site to give you the link this morning!

We also listened to an actual recording of a bombing on London during the Blitz in WW2. I realized how very blessed I was to not have had to experience anything like that in my lifetime thus far. Todd was a baby when the War started and 7 when it finished. They had been living in the East End when it started and moved out to Harold Wood by the time it really got going, to live with his grandparents. He remembers hearing the bombs and the air raid sirens, and having to go into a metal hut dug into the ground at the end of the garden. He even remembers an incindiary bomb hitting the loft of their house and them having to put it out. It must have been so frightening.

A few plans for the rest of the week...
Picking up our prescriptions, Todd's Birthday, packing for our holiday, then the reading lessons each day. I do enjoy those and my pupil has come ever so far since the beginning. It's amazing!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...




What a picture!! This is a shot I captured of Todd and Mitzie sitting and watching the telly the other day! I could hear Diana's voice as I looked at it afterwards, saying . . . "There were three in our marriage!" The difference is that I am quite happy to have these three in mine! That dog of ours us such a character. She sits just like a person to watch the telly. It's quite funny to see. She's completely comfortable there as you can probably tell!!

And just as a closing thought for today . . .

"Opportunities do not come with their values stamped upon them. Every one must be challenged. A day dawns, quite like other days; in it a single hour comes quite like other hours; but in that day and in that hour the chance of a lifetime faces us."
~Maltbie D Babcock

If we never take risks we can never realize our full potential and may even miss out on many blessings that could be ours if we'd only taken the chance . . .

And there you have it . . . my day book for this week. 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 do hope that each one of you have a lovely day! Here is my offering to you this morning . . . Hot Bacon Dressing, which I had on a lovely chicken salad at the weekend, but goes equally as well on spinach and egg salads, as well as hot vegetables such as potatoes, carrots or green beans. Yummo!



*Hot Bacon Dressing*
Makes 1 ½ cups
Printable Recipe

This is a classic dressing for spinach salad, but it’s also wonderful on other salads. I like it on a mixed salad with chunks of grilled chicken and avocado. Try it on some steamed green beans for a change. It is guaranteed to tempt even the most avid green bean hater into going back for seconds!

6 slices of thick streaky smoked bacon, diced
½ cup finely chopped onion
Canola oil
2 tsp corn flour mixed with 2 tsp water
½ cup white vinegar
½ cup water
¼ cup sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and brown the bacon bits in it until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon onto some paper kitchen towelling to drain, leaving the fat behind. Add the onion to the bacon fat in the pan and cook for about five minutes until it is soft and translucent. Remove the onion from the pan as well, leaving the fat behind. Add enough canola oil to the pan to make an measurement equal to ½ cup. Stir in the cornstarch mixture, the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until bubbling and thickened, about two minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the bacon and onion. Serve while warm. Delicious!



As usual there is something mighty tasty going on in The English Kitchen today. Today it involves French Food.

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