Tuesday, 3 January 2012

The Simple Woman's Day book . . .




FOR TODAY, January 3rd, 2012...

Outside My Window...

The wind is blowing like crazy, although it doesn't seem all that cold and it's not raining . . . not yet at any rate! It's hard to believe that this is my first Daybook entry for 2012! Only 51 more to go! lol

I am thinking...
I was talking to my mom on the telephone on Sunday . . . like I do every Sunday and she mentioned how the step mom had felt duty bound to tell my eldest son, who was visiting in between Christmas and New Years, that I had not called my youngest daughter at their (the ex's) house on Christmas Day. First of all I had no idea any of my children were there. I had been told my eldest daughter was at her future In Law's for the day, and so I called her there. Secondly, I had been told my youngest daughter and family would be in New Brunswick for Christmas. Third, I've been told in no uncertain terms that I am not welcome in that house (eldest daughter's wedding) . . . so . . . why on earth would I want to telephone there? I am left wondering why on earth she has this need to constantly try to undermine me with my children. She must be terribly insecure.

I am thankful for...
With the way that wind is blowing, I am thankful for a roof over my head this morning!

From the kitchen...
There is half of a very dangerous pie, half a Christmas Cake and a few mince pies. I think it's called "Living on the Edge!"

I am wearing...
Pink M&S Nightie, grey and pink jim jam bottoms, slippers and robe. Yes, once again layering for warmth.

I am creating...




My first creation of 2012! A sweet little Valentine with a sweet little message! As usual she is available as a print or a card. I love her very colourful leg warmers!

I had sketched her before Christmas and then yesterday I finished her off. I think it turned out quite nice. What do you think? As always she is available as a card or a print! Just message me to find out more.

I am going...
We both have Presidency meetings at the chapel tomorrow night and then on Thursday I have the missionaries coming for their first 2012 dinner with us. I've also invited the new girl that was Baptised last week. She's a Vegetarian so I will be cooking a Vegetarian meal. I want it to be interesting and exciting enough that the lads won't be missing the meat. I have my thinking cap on!

I am reading...



Cross Stitch, by Diane Gabaldon (first in the Outlander series)


It has been a very long time since I have read anything deemed to be historical romance, although at one time I read a lot of them. I was particularly drawn to stories with either vikings or scotsmen wearing kilts in them.

The novel is not easily classified by a single genre. On one level, the work is a romance novel with a focus on the romantic relationship between the two main characters. The book could be described as a work of historical fiction with a detailed account of 18th century Scottish clan life. The novel could also be considered fantasy with a plot propelled by magical time travel as the main character, a woman named Claire, journeys from 1945 to the 18th century.

Cross Stitch(published in the US as Outlander) is the first novel in a series of seven by Diana Gabaldon. The book focuses on two main characters, Claire Randall (née Beauchamp) and James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser, and takes place in 18th- and 20th-century Scotland. It was awarded the RITA Award for "Best romance novel" of 1992, so it's not a really recent novel.

So far, whilst it isn't what I would consider to be "great" literature, I am finding it to be somewhat of a page turner and quite entertaining. I think we all need to read something light once in a while. I just skim over the mushy parts . . . where they would have held my interest when I was younger, I just find them boring now. Funny how that goes . . .

I am hoping...
Todd has had a flickering of light in his right eye, which is his best eye. His left eye is very weak, due to a squint he had operated on when he was a child. He also had a rather large floater in it a week or so back. It sounds like a retinal detachment to me. He is on strict orders to call the Doctor right away today when the surgery opens. I know that is cases such as this the sooner you have them attended to the better. My Aunt ended up blind because she never had hers attended to. I am hoping that whatever the problem is with Todd's eye, something can be done and soonest.

I am hearing...
The Westminster Chimes are gonging on our clock, that means it is now 7 a.m. The wind is blowing. Mitzie is snoring. Life is good.

Around the house...





I love this little storage ches which has been covered in scrap book papers. It would be so very easy to do and would look great in our bedroom, or on a smaller scale it would be wonderful as a jewelry box. I may have to give this a think and try to do one myself this year. What do you think??

I am looking forward to ...
I am really looking forward to seeing how 2012 turns out. One never knows do they . . . the future is always such a mystery. I am thinking that is a good thing . . . if we knew what lay ahead, perhaps some of us would just lay down now and get it all over with! I am grateful that our futures are in our Heavenly Father's hands and that we don't know what they hold. The only thing we know for sure is that He is ultimately in control.

"Be of good cheer. Be not afraid." ~Jesus Christ

If I could change one thing it would be ...
Right now I wouldn't change a thing about my own life . . . but if I had the power to change others for the better it would be that everyone recognized their worth and that everyone felt loved.

One of my favourite things...
Is sitting in front of a blank page, blank piece of art paper, blank computer screen and then filling them up with whatever whimsey my creative self feels like exploring.

A few plans for the rest of the week...
A bit of work . . . a bit of play . . . and everything in between!!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...




Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye.
~Helen Keller

I have always admired Helen Keller. She was so wise and did not allow her limitations to hold her back from living a very full and unlimited life. What wise advice this is. Words we all should take in and then try to apply to our own lives. We must walk through our lives with confidence, trusting in the Lord's promises and knowing who we are . . . and how very valuable we are in the scheme of things.

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


"To be wronged is nothing . . . unless you continue to remember it."
~Confucius

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!


Comfort food for January. One thing I love about January is being able to hunker in and wallow in comfort . . . the warmth of the fire, cosy lap throws, warm drinks, and comfort foods. January is the one month of the year we can indulge ourselves with stodge and substance without feeling too guilty about it. Our bodies need the extra fuel!



*Swede and Bacon Pies*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

I love Swede, or rutabaga as it is often called. It has such a natural earthy sweetness to it and goes with just about anything. Bacon and swede are perfect partners!

8 slices of back bacon, trimmed of all fat and cut into small pieces
1 TBS olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 large swede, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
400ml chicken stock (about 1 2/3 cup)
1 tsp summer savoury or mixed herbs
A small handful of chopped fresh parsley
Freshly ground black pepper

For the Topping:
4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
4 ounces strong cheddar cheese, grated (1 cup)
2 TBS butter
A little warm milk
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 TBS melted butter
½ cup bread crumbs

Put the bacon in a non-stick pan along with the olive oil. Brown on all sides and then remove from the pan. Add the onions and sauté them in the same oil until soft and beginning to brown slightly. Return the bacon bits to the pan along with the Swede and carrot. Season with some black pepper and the summer savoury and then add the chicken stock. Cover and cook over medium low heat until the vegetables are tender. About 5 minutes or so. Stir in the parsley and then divide amongst 4 individual pie dishes. Set aside and keep warm while you prepare the potato topping.

Place the potatoes into some boiling salted water and cook until tender, about 10 minutes or so. Drain well and then mash along with the butter and a little warm milk. Add the cheese and stir it in until it is melted. Season to taste with some salt and black pepper. Loosely spoon onto the Swede mixture dividing it equally amongst the four dishes and piling it up a bit in the middle. Don’t smooth it out, you want somewhat of a rough texture.

Heat the oven to 205*C/425*F. Melt the butter in the microwave and then stir in the bread crumbs, mixing it all together well. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs evenly over top of each dish, dividing them equally amongst the four. Bake the pies in the heated oven for about 20 minutes, or until the topping is nicely browned in bits and the filling is bubbling away. Eat and enjoy!



Baking over in The English Kitchen today, a delicous Brown Sugar Cream Pie. Not for the faint of heart! (Just a warning. This is seriously delicious, trust me!)


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