Tuesday, 22 November 2011

The Simple Woman's Day book . . .




FOR TODAY, November 22nd, 2011...

Outside My Window...

It is cold, dark and damp. Here comes winter! I wish we would have a big freeze though as I am starting to get another cold. I can't believe it! The whole time I worked down south, I got maybe two colds in 7 years and this is at least my 4th one since moving back to Chester 18 months ago!

I am thinking...
I ponder daily my many blessings, the answers to prayers . . . my walk with the Saviour. I know some may think me silly . . . but when I thought I might have cancer, I really sat and reassessed my life. It became all that much sweeter. I weeded the important out from the not so important. I don't want to forget that, or become complacent. I want to live each day as if it were my last.

I am thankful for...
Oh, I am more thankful than you can ever imagine that I do not have cancer. When I got the results it was like a HUGE load had been lifted off my shoulders. I am ever so thankful also for all of the prayers and petitions which were spoken and offered on my behalf. I don't think anyone on earth has ever felt as loved or as carried as I did. You are all so very wonderful.

From the kitchen...
Leftover Carrot Pudding (see below). And it's almost tooooo good. A delicious alternative to the traditional Christmas pudding. Only down side is you can't keep it to allow it to mature like a Christmas Pudding . . . so it will have to be made just before Christmas . . . or you can make it and freeze it. It also freezes very well.

I am wearing...
Pink nightie (M&S), Pink jim jam bottoms, pink slippers, aqua robe. Layering for warmth and comfort. I wish I could wear my night clothes all day, but alas . . . I don't think Todd would tolerate it! He'd think me very, very lazy!

I am creating...
I did this yesterday:




Not sure how I feel about it though. I suppose it will do.
I've also gotten quite a bit more done on my crochet afghan. (I know, I should be finished it by now, but I only do a little bit each night as we are watching the telly.)

I am going...
We are taking Mitzie to the Vet this morning. She was ill day before yesterday, vomitting several times. Yesteday we thought she was ok, but she vomitted again just before tea time, so we called the Vet and made an appointment for her this morning. I hope she will be ok. I can't help thinking about our Jess. I made Todd let Mitzie sleep with us last night so I could keep an eye on her. She seems ok this morning. She had a bit of egg last evening and kept it down, but better to be safe than sorry.

I am reading...



The American Wife, by Curtis Sittenfeld


On what might become one of the most significant days in her husband’s presidency, Alice Blackwell considers the strange and unlikely path that has led her to the White House . . . and the repercussions of a life lived, as she puts it, “almost in opposition to itself.”

A kind, bookish only child born in the 1940s, Alice learned the virtues of politeness early on from her stolid parents and small Wisconsin hometown. But a tragic accident when she was seventeen shattered her identity and made her understand the fragility of life and the tenuousness of luck. So more than a decade later, when she met boisterous, charismatic Charlie Blackwell, she hardly gave him a second look: She was serious and thoughtful, and he would rather crack a joke than offer a real insight; he was the wealthy son of a bastion family of the Republican party, and she was a school librarian and registered Democrat. Comfortable in her quiet and unassuming life, she felt inured to his charms. And then, much to her surprise, Alice fell for Charlie.

As Alice learns to make her way amid the clannish energy and smug confidence of the Blackwell family, navigating the strange rituals of their country club and summer estate, she remains uneasy with her newfound good fortune. And when Charlie eventually becomes President, Alice is thrust into a position she did not seek–one of power and influence, privilege and responsibility. As Charlie’s tumultuous and controversial second term in the White House wears on, Alice must face contradictions years in the making: How can she both love and fundamentally disagree with her husband? How complicit has she been in the trajectory of her own life? What should she do when her private beliefs run against her public persona?

In Alice Blackwell, New York Times bestselling author Curtis Sittenfeld has created her most dynamic and complex heroine yet. American Wife is a gorgeously written novel that weaves class, wealth, race, and the exigencies of fate into a brilliant tapestry–a novel in which the unexpected becomes inevitable, and the pleasures and pain of intimacy and love are laid bare.

I have only just started this book, but so far it is a can't put it down type of book. I've had it in my bookcase for a couple of years and have only just now picked it up to read. I wish they had a Kindle version as it is a thick book and my arthritic wrists struggle to hold it in bed, but I shall persevere as it is that good!

I am hoping...
I am hoping that Mitzie is ok and that it is just a passing bug. She is very naughty when Todd takes her over to the park. If she finds a treat that has been dropped she grabs hold of it and brings it home. I always take them away from her and bin them. You just never know where they have come from. I told Todd he always should have a high value treat in his pocket that he can tempt her with to make her drop the one she's found. There are a lot of despicable people around and after having lost one dog to poisoning, I am loathe to lose another!

I am hearing...
Early morning sounds as the world
wakes up around me. Every day sounds. Peaceable and comforting. My everyday sounds in any case. Our Mantel clock makes a noise as the hands move around it's face . . . not a tick tick, but a low rumbling. I miss old hand wound clocks. These modern battery operated ones are just not the same.

Around the house...



I have always held a fascination for old pot holders, or even new ones that look old. I have several that look like little dresses that I crocheted several years back and I have one crocheted one I bought from etsy a while back. I also have some lovely quilted ones that I bought on Etsy. I think they are quite lovely.



This is one of them. Isn't it sweet? I bought them from a shop named ScrapHappie AZ. I just love her shop. She has tons of pot holders in all different colours and patterns. They are very well made. I am saving up to get a few more sometime.

I am looking forward to...
We are having our Christmas Additional Meeting for Relief Society this Thursday evening and I am looking forward to it so very much. I know it is Thanksgiving on Thursday for all of you Americans out there. I miss Thanksgiving . . . living over here. I have tried to do it several times, but it is never quite the same.

If I could change one thing it would be ...
No child in the world would ever go to bed hungry, or cold, or feeling unloved or afraid. I wish that I could do more to help change that. We do our best, but it is not enough.

One of my favourite things...
Puttering. I love to putter. Todd often sits and watches the telly in the afternoons. I just can't make myself. I have to be doing something. I will watch the telly in the evenings, but not during the day if I can help it. I have to be really tired or feeling unwell to watch the telly in the daytime! I have a need to putter! Nothing important . . . just a bunch of little odd jobs and activities. That makes me happy. My mom and dad always had a nap in the afternoon . . . I hope I never feel the need to take naps. I want to be doing!

A few plans for the rest of the week...
I have the Vet for Mitzie today, the Additional Meeting on Thursday night and then Sheilagh and Ralph are supposed to be coming on Saturday. I hope that they can make it. I always enjoy their company so very much!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...




A man must seek his happiness and inward peace from objects which cannot be taken away from him.
~Alexander Humboldt (1769-1859)


Peace and beauty often enter our hearts when we are able to appreciate the smaller things in life, the things that come free. A blue sky, the smell of freshly cut grass, the pretty colours of a rose's petals . . . the feel of dirt on our hands when gardening, a much beloved cuddle from a grandchild, love of family and friends. They are the things that stay with us forever and that have the most meaning.

As a closing thought I would like to leave you with this:

"We are living in a part of the universe occupied by the rebel. Enemy-occupied territory . . . that is what this world is." ~C S Lewis, Mere Christianity

Are you wearing your armour? Don't forget to put it on, and keep it up to scratch. The great deceiver is always looking for a chink in our armour that he can take advantage of.

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 have the sniffles again. In reality that cold that I had never really disappeared and yesteday it came back with a vengeance. There is nothing better for a cold than Chicken Soup. Well, it IS better if your mom makes it (I can attest to that!) but my mom is too far away to make any for me now, so I just have to make it for myself.

Link

*Chicken With Rice Soup*
Serves 4-6
Printable Recipe

Commonly known as Jewish Penicillin this soup is good for whatever ails you. I always keep my carcasses from my roast chickens to make this soup. As I always cut up chickens myself to use in other recipes I usually always have bags of chicken backs and necks in the freezer as well, which are very good when used in this soup also! Its amazing what you can do with a few bones and some vegetables!

1 spent chicken carcass (if there is not a lot of meat left on the carcass you can add a few chicken wings or a leg)
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
1 carrot, unpeeled and cut in half
1 stalk of celery
Handful of celery leaves
1 onion, unpeeled, cut in half, root end removed
Sea salt
Cracked black pepper

To finish:
1 carrot peeled and grated
¼ of a swede peeled and grated
1 handful of long grain rice

Put your chicken carcass in a pot and cover with boiling water. Add the bay leaf, thyme, carrot, celery, celery leaves, onion and salt and pepper. Bring back to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 1 ½ hours to 2 hours. Strain broth into a clean pot. Discard vegetables and pick off as much meat as you can from off of the bones. Cut into small chunks. Bring broth to a boil and reduce somewhat. Taste and adjust seasoning. (If it is not very strong you can add a TBS or two of Marigold vegetable powder, but it really shouldn‘t be necessary.)

Add the grated vegetables and the rice and simmer for about 15 minutes until cooked. Add the diced chicken meat. Heat through and then serve with some nice crusty rolls.


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