Sunday, 31 March 2013

Understanding Mercy . . .

Blooming!

There was a young man in Napoleon's army who had done something so terrible that it was worthy of the punishment of death.   He was taken prisoner and scheduled to face the firing squad.   On the day just prior to his execution, this young man's mother went before Napoleon to plead for mercy for her son.

"Woman, your son does not deserve mercy."  was Napoleon's response.

"I know," she replied.  "If he deserved it then it would not be mercy."



Jesus is Risen - He is Risen Indeed !!

The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. 

Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.  So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.  And he, stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.

Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, seeth the linen clothes lie, and the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.

Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.  For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.  Then the disciples went away again until their own home.

But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping; and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, and seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.   

And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou?  She saith  unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.  And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.

Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou?  Whom seekest thou?  She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou has laid him, and I will take him away.

Jesus saith unto her, Mary.  She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.  Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say until them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
~John 20:1-17



“Christ walked the path every mortal is called to walk so that he would know how to succor and strengthen us in our most difficult times. He knows the deepest and most personal burdens we carry. He knows the most public and poignant pains we bear. He descended below all such grief in order that he might lift us above it. There is no anguish or sorrow or sadness in life that he has not suffered in our behalf and borne away upon his own valiant and compassionate shoulders.”  
~Jeffrey R Holland

I am so grateful for this most precious gift of Mercy, given freely and with love.  We do not deserve it, but still it is ours to accept if we so desire it.     I wish for each of you a very blessed and joyful Easter filled with rejoicing because . . .

He lives!

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Baking in The English Kitchen today . . . Blueberry Macaroon Slices!


Saturday, 30 March 2013

Saturday thoughts . . . and a bit of this and that


I got a chocolate rabbit,
For an Easter treat,
A great big chocolate rabbit ,
Good enough to eat. 
So I ate his ears on Sunday, 
His nose I finished Monday. 
Tuesday I nibbled on his feet. 
I ate his tail on Wednesday 
Thursday I kept on, 
By Friday he was going, 
Saturday he was gone. 
 Oh, I loved my chocolate rabbit,
From the moment that he came,
 And if I get another one,
I’ll love him just the same.”
 ~Unknown
  
Oh boy, did I ever love my chocolate Easter Bunny when I was growing up.   Some years we would get a solid chocolate one and that was good, but I loved the pretty foil wrapped hollow ones more.  They were just prettier and so lovely to look at.

One year I thought I would see how long I could save my chocolate bunny before eating it.  I had a bookcase headboard on my bed with a section that had a sliding door so you could close things in.  I carefully stuck him in there.   (I don't know why I always call Easter Bunnies he.  I just do.)  Anyways, my cousins came to visit with my Aunt and Uncle that Easter.  It was a real novelty having cousins living close by enough to visit as we'd always lived too far away to do that before that year.  We had a great visit . . . playing together and all sorts.   That night, after they had gone, I decided that I would maybe just nibble on my Easter Bunny's feet . . . just a little bit . . . I slid open the door and all that was laying in my little cubby hole was the tinfoil wrapper . . . some kind and generous soul had beaten me to it.

That was the last time I ever kept an Easter Bunny for later!
 
Talking about Easter Bunnies and Eggs . . . it really winds Todd up.  He doesn't get it.  He goes on and on about them being pagan things . . . intertwined with Christian things . . . to make up a sort of Christian Pagan celebration.  He does the same thing at Christmas.   I think it's only pagan if you  think make it Pagan in your mind.  I know these traditions may have Pagan roots . . . but I don't think it makes them wrong.   I put my own spin on them . . . and they have never ever meant anything more than a celebration of the Savior's Resurrection to me.  So I can quite happily munch on a chocolate bunny or an egg while old grumble guts sits in the corner.   I have noticed he never turns down a hot cross bun however!

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The most important thing to me about Easter is the resurrection of the Savior of course . . . and all these other things to me represent a part of the Easter Message of rebirth and renewal . . . Spring when all is fresh and new, washed clean by the melting Winter snows and the Spring rains . . .

I love to sing the Easter Hymns, and watch the Easter films . . . and by that I don't mean Wizard of Oz or Mary Poppins . . . I mean Shoes of the Fisherman, or the Ten Commandments . . . that kind of film.  But my favourite things are the hymns and getting to go to church on Easter Sunday to sing them and to renew my covenants with the Savior with the partaking of the sacrament.  My favourite Easter hymn has to be "Tell Me the Story of Jesus," written in 1880 by a woman named Fanny Crosby . . .

Tell me the story of Jesus,
Write on my heart every word;
Tell me the story most precious,
Sweetest that ever was heard.

Tell how the angels in chorus,
Sang as they welcomed His birth,
“Glory to God in the highest!
Peace and good tidings to earth.”

Tell of the cross where they nailed Him,
Writhing in anguish and pain;
Tell of the grave where they laid Him,
Tell how He liveth again.

 Love in that story so tender,
Clearer than ever I see;
Stay, let me weep while you whisper,
“Love paid the ransom for me.”

 jesus-good-shepherd-3

I love the Savior with all of my heart and . . . yes . . . when I think of what He did for me, and for all mankind . . . my heart is overwhelmed with love and gratitude, and tears do fall.  I hate to think that I played any part in the nails that pierced his hands and feet . . . but I know that I do.  And yet, at the same time, my heart sings for I know He Lives!  And because of that I too will live again.  Death has lost it's sting and it's power, and that is the most beautiful gift I have ever received.  And it doesn't matter to me that the celebration of it is accompanied with chocolate eggs and bunnies . . . Easter Ham or Lamb . . . egg hunts and lilies and new bonnets and bubbles . . . bags of marbles and the like.  I know the true meaning of these most holiest of days and I hold that knowledge in my heart and my mind like a precious jewel . . . and I will shout it to the rooftops all the days of my life.  He lives and because he does . . . I, too . . . can live and be whole again.

“On that very night, the night of the greatest suffering that has ever taken place in the world or that ever will take place, the Savior said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you... Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27)
~Jeffrey R Holland

Oh how it humbles my heart to know that even in the depths of the despair and suffering that He knew would come . . .  the Savior still gave us these words of comfort.

Tis sweet to sing the matchless love, 
of Him who left his home above,
And came to earth . . . oh wondrous plan . . . 
To suffer, bleed and die for man!

Tis good to meet each Sabbath day
And, in his own appointed way,
Partake the emblems of his death,
And thus renew our love and faith.

Oh, blessed hour!  Communion sweet!
When children, friends, and teachers meet
And, in remembrance of his grace,
Unite in sweetest songs of praise.

For Jesus died on Calvary!
That ALL through Him might ransomed be.
Then sing Hosannas to his name;
Let heav'n and earth his love proclaim.
~George A Manwaring

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To each of you I wish the most blessed and beautiful Easter.  May it be filled with the love of family and friends, and the peace and joy that comes from knowing that we are not alone . . . we are never alone . . . and that we are loved with a matchless love that is priced beyond measure.

And may that wondrous gift be sprinkled with a bit of chocolate goodies too.

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Baking in The English Kitchen today . . . Fruit and Nut Scrolls for Easter.

Due to the clocks moving forward over here tonight, I probably won't have time to write a post tomorrow morning, so just in case I don't make it here . . .

Happy Easter!
God bless you all my dear sweet friends.

 

Friday, 29 March 2013

Friday thoughts . . .

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Easter has come as a bit of a surprise to me this year . . . I think it is a bit earlier than it normally is, and in all honesty it is not a bit like Easter should be weather-wise, which is probably the main reason it seems to be somewhat of a surprise.  White Christmas's are special . . . White Easter's not so much.   We don't have a lot of snow still hanging around here in Blacon . . . there is just a tiny bit down the end of the back garden, but we didn't really have an awful lot to begin with, not much more than a few inches, not the several feet like they got everywhere else.  I think its because we are in somewhat of a basin here and protected in a way.


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Easter was such a special time when I was a child.  It marked the time in the calendar year when we would be allowed to take off our winter leotard stockings and break out the knee socks.   I can remember my legs feeling cold, but not minding . . . because I hated wearing leotards.   Mine were always nubby and itchy.  Knee socks were so much better.

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This is a picture of me on Easter Sunday when I was four and a half years old.  It was taken in the drive next to my Grandparent's house in Lawrencetown Nova Scotia.   My little coat is navy blue with white trim and the dress I am wearing underneath is white with navy polka dots on it.  I remember that dress very well.  Navy socks and new white sandals, and a little white straw hat complete the ensemble.   I am holding the little white leather bible my father gave me for Easter that year.  I had that little white bible the whole of my life, but it mysteriously disappeared in my divorce, which still breaks my heart . . . but never mind, you can't change what you can't change.

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Easter always meant church when I was growing up.   I can't say that my parents were ever really regular church goers.  They went through periods of time when they would go regularly, but they always pretty much went at Easter and Christmas.  Sometimes it would just be my father . . . but he would always take me with him.   I have many happy memories of being with my father at church at those special times.

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We didn't get spoiled at Easter like some of the other children did . . . we got some jelly beans, a chocolate bunny, a few small chocolate eggs, some marshmallow filled coloured candy eggs, and real eggs which my mother would have painstakingly coloured with crayons after we had gone to bed the night before.  My favourite ones would always be the ones which she had used all the crayon colours on . . . wax scribbles in beautifully colourful streaked lines all up and down the egg's surface all the way around.  If we were lucky we might get a bag of marbles or a tub of bubbles . . . but I remember being most excited about the eggs my mother had coloured.

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She would use her darning needle and pierce little holes into them at the top and the bottom.  They were never hard boiled, always raw . . . and then we would take turns blowing the insides out into a bowl.  Oh how my cheeks used to ache at the effort.  There would be a good dozen eggs to blow, four for each of us three children.  Once they were all blown my mother would scramble them for our breakfast and the empty egg shells would be strung onto lengths of yarn, three of them, in a sort of Easter Egg necklace and we would wear them throughout the day, vying to keep them from breaking.  Whoever ended up at the end of the day with the  most unbroken egg shells was the winner.  There was no prize . . . just pride at being the winner with the most egg shells intact.    I wonder do my younger sister and brother have the same memories?   I don't know . . . I shall have to ask them.


Source: yummly.com viaKaren on Pinterest


Easter dinner was always a baked ham when I was growing up.   I think, next to New Years Day, it was the only other time of the year we would have baked ham.  It always tasted so good . . . salty and smoky . . . with mustard at the table for those who wanted it.   My mom would make mashed potatoes to go with it, and we'd have carrots and homemade rolls.  I can't remember there ever being any special desserts for Easter . . . I just remember the ham, carrots and mashed potatoes.  Some years my Aunt Thelma would make us special Easter breads, that would be full of dried fruit and glazed with icing and decorated with cherries.  She was such a dear to do that for us.  She didn't have much herself, and I can see now in my adulthood what a gift they truly were.

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Hot Cross buns . . . one a penny, two a penny . . . hot cross buns.  We always had hot cross buns at Easter.    We ONLY had them at Easter.   Sweet and soft, fruity and spiced.   The hot cross buns of my childhood had crossed made with white icing on them.   Here in the UK, they are made of a flour paste, and you can get all kinds of flavours and they are in the shops pretty much all the year through . . . but I like to save them for Easter because that makes them more special, and I only buy the richly fruited ones . . . not the apple or cranberry or other weird flavours.  Hot cross buns to my way of thinking must be filled with currants and raisins and candied peel and nothing else.   We like to cut them in half, toast them under the grill, and then slather them with cold butter.   Nothing else tastes as good as those special hot cross buns saved for just this time of the year . . .



We knew what the cross's meant when we were children . . . this wasn't just an Easter bun . . . this was a symbol to us of what the Saviour had done.  They had meaning and we ate them, our hearts being filled with a sense of gratitude . . .  I wonder do many children think of the Savior when they eat them today?  I like to think that some do . . . there was a lot of excitement when I was a child because of the Easter Bunny coming and leaving us treats . . . but that was always overshadowed by the excitement of the knowledge of the resurrected Christ.  The miracle of the resurrection was the most important part of Easter and we were very, VERY cognizant of that . . .

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I love that I had a childhood which was filled with symbolism . . . and traditions . . . and a love for my Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ.  Because I had parents who loved and cared for me, and my sister and brother, in a special and meaningful way . . .  I was able to understand and know the love of my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and the meaning of this special sacrifice, this special gift . . . I will ever be grateful for it all.




A thought to carry with you through today . . .

"What makes the lamb love Mary so?"  the eager children cried.  "Why Mary loves the lamb, you know." the teacher then replied.
~author unknown

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Cooking in The English Kitchen today . . . Meatball Sub Pizza.  Delicious!

 

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Thursday musings . . .



 

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When we lived down South on the Manor Estate in Kent, we lived in a beautiful little cottage and were surrounded by apple and pear orchards . . .  the beauty of each season of the year was played out on our doorstep . . .

 

The view from our upstairs back windows in the Spring treated us to the beautiful sight of a sea of  pink and white blossoms . . . a sight that I could look at for hours and hours . . . the air was filled with the smell of the promise of millions of fruits born upon the spring breeze, and later as the blossom fell to the ground . . . it was for every bit as if the air was filled with goose down of a different kind than winter's gift . . . but no less beautiful.

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It was a serene and quiet environment . . . punctuated only with voices of walkers on the foot path which ran past the front of our house on occasion, or people working in the orchards . . .

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From late spring to late autumn, each step outside our door was accompanied by the sight of climbing red and white roses which hung over our heads . . . twas truly lovely to behold, and a beautiful place to live.

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We spent many, many hours in my off time walking through the orchards.  Our Jess would come with us.  She so loved walking with us, the three of us in cozy companionship.   At one point the orchards looked out over an area called the South Downs which afforded us spectacular views . . .

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We'd watch the fruit upon the trees, at first only tiny buds, growing and ripening into beautiful fruits over the summer months . . .

There were several varieties of apples which were grown in those orchards . . .   August brought crisp Discovery apples with their pink stained flesh . . . September . . . crispy, juicy almost honey flavoured Early Windsors along with Spartans, Galas, Coxes and the oh so lovely cooking Bramleys, not to mention several varieties of pears . . .

The summer months were especially quiet . . . the school down at the bottom of the hill would be closed and so we did not get to hear the children at play during break time . . . and the birds which were cheerfully noisy in the Spring gradually got quieter and quieter . . . only the hum of insects in the hot sun  would accompany us . . .on those warm summer days.

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Of course that all changed in the late summer and early autumn, when the children were back at school and the orchard rang with the sound of a multitude of apple pickers chatting and laughing together as they went about their work.   The large apple bins would appear, scattered here and there through the orchards in about mid August and you knew the season was progressing . . . and autumn was well on it's way . . .

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The whole landscape changed once again . . . walking became that little bit painful with the crunch of fallen acorns beneath our tender feet, but it was a beautiful kind of pain . . . the air was filled with the smell of ripe fruit waiting to be picked on the trees . . . and the smell of apples and pears . . . windfalls, rotting on the ground . . . a kind of fermented smell . . . like cider or wine . . .

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I think it was our favourite time to walk through the orchards and Jess's too.  They hummed with activity . . . pickers, and walkers, wasps enjoying ripening and fallen fruit . . .

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Jess especially enjoyed it.  Every fallen apple was a ball to her and she loved it when Todd would pick one up and throw it.  She would bound after it and bring it back.  Occasionally she would chew one up . . . but ball was her favourite game.  She never tired of playing ball.   Mitzie loves to play ball too . . . but she doesn't like to give them up once she's caught them.  She's not a retriever . . . that's for sure . . .  but we love her other ways . . .

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We all bring something different to the table of life don't we.   It would be boring if we were all the same I think . . .

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It is the variety of people and animals and fruits and flora and just everything imaginable which add to the beauty of our days and lives . . .

Each song is beautiful in it's own way.

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The passing and rebirth of the seasons help us to appreciate each one all the more I think . . .  I know that I am always happy to greet each one in it's turn as it happens along . . .

I suppose it is the same with life . . . we have seasons in life . . . childhood which is the Spring, a playful and learning time . . . and then comes the Summers of our youth and early adulthood, busy years with much work, and the birth and raising of families . . .  followed by our autumn years when nests begin to empty as our own fledgling chicks fly off into their own summers . . . and we are left with our Winter years, the quiet years, years when we can reflect on all that has been and enjoy what was and what is . . . this eternal round of life . . .

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I will be booking my tickets today for my Canada trip.  I'll be flying out of here on the 18th of April and will be returning on the 30th of May.  Oh, how I will miss Todd and Mitzie, and all of you . . . but I am grateful for this opportunity to be able to help my mother as she needs me in the Winter of her life . . . she gave us so much when we were children, it is my chance to give something back.   My brother will be flying down arriving on the 20th of April and he'll be there until the 30th.  I wish my sister could be there too . . .

Yesterdays silver lining . . . goose down flakes which fell but did not lay.  The snow was quite heavy at times, but thankfully none of it lay.   We are tired of it now.

A thought to carry with you through your day . . .

"One day, who knows?  Even these hardships will be grand things to look back on."
~Virgil

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I'm cooking steak mince in The English Kitchen today with a variety of recipes for a simple Lasagne, an unusual Spaghetti Bolognaise and a delicious Chili . . . trying to show you how you can make your own simple ready meals at home.  Ready meals which are not all that expensive, and yet are nutritious and 100% reliably source-able.
 
Have a wonderful day!


Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Wednesday this and that . . .




It has been said that this has been the coldest March on record for over 50 years here in the UK.  When one pokes their nose out the door of a morning to see what the day is bringing (doesn't everyone do that?), tis a truth that is brought well home . . . as the cold air makes one positively shiver from head to toe.  It's hard to believe that last year this time Todd was sitting out in the back garden in his shirt sleeves under the umbrella at our patio table reading and basking in summer-like temperatures, but it's true.  That is exactly what he was doing.  I remember going to the door and saying . . . "Shouldn't you have a hat on your head?   You don't want to get sunburned!

But that was our Summer last year . . . two weeks at the end of March . . . it was replaced with a sodden mess for the remainder of the year that couldn't make up it's mind what season it really was, except for the unrelenting rain . . . and a Winter which now seems loathe to end.   Ahh . . . England.  Nobody comes here for the weather do they?  Thank goodness for the history and the Royals and beautiful lush green countryside!




My mother has a firm date for her surgery now.  Or should we say a "Tentative" firm date.  They say it will happen on the 22 of April . . . unless somebody more important comes along and needs surgery first, in which case her surgery will be canceled and rescheduled for another date.  Now . . . just what is a person to do with that information???  She tried to tell them that her daughter was making plans to come over from England so that she could be there for the duration and recovery time, but to no avail.  So I guess what we are going to do now is make plans for me to fly over a few days before the 22  of April and to stay for an undetermined length of time . . . I'll aim for the end of May and then we'll take it from there.  What else can one do??

You would think that . . .  noting my mother's age (almost 81 by that point), the seriousness of her illness (lung cancer),  her heart condition, and the fact that my brother is taking time off work and driving down from Ottawa just for the week she is in hospital and my own trip from the UK would hold some sway . . . but apparently it does not!  What have we come to??  I think it's pretty outrageous that someone having been diagnosed with lung cancer on the 24th of November should still be waiting for treatment some four plus months later . . . five by the time they do the "tentative" surgery.




It does mean though that the travel health insurance we had bought for last year and never used . . . will be null and void . . . expired . . . and so we'll have to purchase more, which is a tad bit annoying!  Had I been able to have this done and dusted before mid May we would have been okay!  Best laid plans and all that . . .
Ours is not to wonder why . . . it changes nothing.   We just have to take what we are given and work with it I suppose, and that's what we are doing.  Todd is going to go into town today and price flights, etc.   Me, I haven't been able to really make myself get up and moving since I have had the flu . . . my get-up-and-go has got-up-and-went!  I hope it comes back soon!  I'm beginning to really miss it!

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This is a piece I did yesterday afternoon.   It's a fairy on laundry day.  She's hanging out all of her wings to dry.   Her laundry basket is a walnut shell . . . and her laundry post, a sweet pea . . . oh I did have fun doing this.   I never actually know what I am going to do when I sit down.   I just kind of start drawing and whatever comes out . . . comes out!  I am sometimes even more surprised than anyone else is!    That is one of the things about art I guess . . . it's as much a gift for the creator as it is for the recipient . . .

I wonder if that is the way God feels about us?

"If God had a refrigerator,
your picture would be on it.
If He had a wallet,
your photo would be in it.
He sends you flowers every Spring,
and a sunrise every morning.
Whenever you want to talk,
He'll listen.
He could have lived anywhere in the Universe
and He chose your heart."
~anon

Don't you just love it?



Yesterday's silver lining . . .  eaves dripping and snow melting, despite the cold.  Puppy dog snuggles, which I will really miss when I am away . . . and of course my loving husband.

A thought to carry with you through today . . .

In life there is no going back.  The road lies straight ahead.  You can't return along the track to seek out what is dead . . . Your past mistakes you can't undo and wishing is in vain. But don't forget it's true that you can always try again.
~Patience Strong

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Cooking in The English Kitchen today . . . a Potato, Cauliflower and Cheddar Bake.

Have a lovely day!


 

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

The Simple Woman's Daybook


FOR TODAY, March 26th, 2013...

Outside My Window...

The sun has risen, the day is upon us, and it's cold, cold . . . cold!  A day for long johns for sure!

I am thinking...
"True contentment depends not upon what we have; a tub was large enough for Diogenes, but a world was too little for Alexander."
~Charles Caleb Colton
I am grateful that I am a person who is content with where, who and what I am, and with what I have as well.   There is a big difference between wants and needs, and I have all that I need.  Anything else is a bonus.

I am thankful for...

Today.   Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow might never come.   Let me always be thankful for . . . today.

From the kitchen... 
Not a heck of a lot.  Can you believe the only biscuits I have in there are Digestives . . . although having said that you can't go far wrong with a Digestive Biscuit!
 
I am wearing...  

The blue nightie with white polka dots Todd gave me for Christmas and my slippers.   It's becoming fuzzy now, it is worn so much and I love the fuzziness of it.  It's not an annoying fuzzy but a much loved fuzzy.   It's fleece and there is nothing like a much beloved fleece anything for comfort don't you think??
 
I am creating...  


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Yesterday I "Paper Dolled" our family.  Yep, that's me, Mitzie and Todd.  Completely articulated so you can move their limbs etc.   I think I will make them some accessories.  I've always wanted a pair of wings and Todd has been looking for a cowboy hat for a long time.   Mitzie, she's just happy the way she is.  I had ever so much fun turning us into paper dolls.  I think these would make brilliant personalized gifts for people for Birthdays, Anniversaries and other special occasions.  I could "Paper Doll" anyone I think.  All I would need is a recent photograph.  What do you think??  Would you like to be "Paper Dolled?"


I love this Dream banner.  I might make one of those to hang on my chair in the craft room.   I do a lot of dreaming up there.

Source: flickr.com viaMarie on Pinterest

I think these little chicks in eggs made using clothes pins are sweet.  I am thinking this would make great Easter Egg favors!   Or place settings for Easter dinner.  Or maybe I am being too fanciful here . . .


I just adore this cherry dish cloth.  Have I ever told you I have a thing for cherry anything?  NO??  Well I do!  If it has cherries on it, I'm there!

I am going... 
No plans really for this week.   Since I have had two horrible colds/flu in the row I have become a bit of a stick in the mud.  It is hard to get me to budge from my four walls.   I need to do something about that.   Mind you, it's very cold as well and nobody really wants to go out and about in the cold.  Todd went into town yesterday despite the cold and the wind and he said it was very busy.  I could not make myself go.  There is supposed to be a picnic and Easter Egg hunt at the chapel on Friday, but they are calling for more snow.  We probably won't go.

I am reading...

My Berlin Kitchen, by Luisa Weiss.  I am finishing this up now.  It's been a cracking read.  If you love "Love" stories and recipes, this is your book.


As Always Julia, the letters of Julia Child and Avis Devoto, by Julia Child.  I have always had a fascination for Julie Child, ever since I was a child and saw her cooking on the television.   Here was a woman doing what I wanted to do.   It's early days yet as I have only just begun this book, but I'll let you know how I get on!

"Frank, bawdy, funny, exuberant, and occasionally agonized, these letters show Julia, first as a new bride in Paris, then becoming increasingly worldly and adventuresome as she follows her diplomat husband in his postings to Nice, Germany, and Norway."



  
While We were Watching Downton Abbey, by Wendy Wax. I have only just discovered this book and as a Downton Abby fan, I  am intrigued.  It's about a bunch of people who get together each week to watch Downton Abbey together.   It comes out on the 2nd April.

When the concierge of The Alexander, a historic Atlanta apartment building, invites his fellow residents to join him for weekly screenings of Downton Abbey, four very different people find themselves connecting with the addictive drama, and—even more unexpectedly—with each other…

I am hoping...
We should get the firm date for mom's operation today.   Then plans will be made and I believe that things will happen very quickly.  I will be honest.  I am not looking forward to flying over there all alone.   It is scary to me.  I am a lot older than I was the first time I flew over here.   I have bad arthritis now and I not in great shape.   There is a lot of walking involved with switching terminals in London, etc.    I'll do it, but I'm not feeling that confident about it.   I also hate to be away from Todd and Mitzie for that long.  However I know that with any operation there is an element of risk.  My mother is 80 1/2, and has a bad heart.  I can't NOT be there, and so I will go.  It may be the last thing I am ever able to do for her.  I am hoping that it isn't.  Please continue to keep her in your prayers.  They will be removing 1/2 of one of her lungs.

I am hearing... 
Ordinary morning sounds.   My play list, Mitzie snoring . . . the clock ticking.  My fingers clicking on the keys.  Nothing changes . . .

Around the house...



I wish that I had a kitchen large enough that I could do this in it.   I so need extra counter space.  Believe it or not,  all of the magic in my kitchen happens in a space about 12 inches square.



I love this lighting idea.  It would be so sweet in a bedroom don't you think?



I found this this morning.  Now to find an old door!  I think it's brilliant!  I love it!  I am continuously amazed at the brilliant minds out there who come up with this type of thing!  Thank you Pinterest!


One of my favourite things . . .  




I am awfully fond of tea cups and saucers.  I only have a few, but I love them.  I know I don't drink regular tea or coffee, but anything drunk from a tea cup seems special, and so sometimes I like to indulge myself and drink from a tea cup, even if it's only soda pop.  Call me crazy . . . but that's the way I roll.   I love to use pretty things and will find a way to do it irregardless of it's intended use.

Something new about me ...
I have been very successful with dieting through the years and have lost countless pounds and ounces . . . however I've also been very successful at failing with dieting through the years and have always eventually gained back those countless pounds and ounces . . .

One of my guilty pleasures ...

Source: amazon.com viaJody on Pinterest


I just adore peanut butter and this is my peanut butter of choice.  I have to buy it from an American Grocery Supplier at a premium price, but a big jar lasts me a long time, so that's okay.    I especially love it spread onto toast and served with a few slices of crisp streaky bacon on top. If I was asked to choose between that and a steak . . . I'd have a very difficult time to choose between the two.

Pet Peeves...    




I am not against immigration.  I am an immigrant.   I love this country.  I am against people who come here to rape our economy and send all their money home to their home countries.  That is not immigration.  That is theft.  I am against the immigrant parents who are claiming child tax benefits for 40,000 children who don't even live here in the UK.  I am against the  27,000 Eastern Europeans who have committed crimes in this country over the past 3 years, and I am against our Government allowing in even more immigrants from Europe no matter how skilled they are . . . we have lots of British citizens who are in dire need of employment.   I believe in taking care of our own first because I believe if we don't . . . we will soon be in very big trouble and unable to take care of anyone else at all.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Source: Roseli on Pinterest


“It's just a bad day, it's not a bad life.  Smile!"
~Patti Hegdal

Since the beginning of time there have been bad days.  I am sure that when Adam and Eve were thrown out of the garden of Eden they thought they were having a really bad day.   It has been ever so.  It's not the bad days that count, it's what you do with the good ones which are scattered all around them, and in abundance.

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

Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant with the weak and the wrong.  Sometime in life you will have been all of those.
~Lloyd Shearer

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!  

 In The English Kitchen today . . .

  photo SAM_5691_zps44872278.jpg

A delicious Roast Dinner . . . 

 photo SAM_5717_zps6200efb9.jpg  

Monday Night Meat Pie . . . 

 photo SAM_5715_zps420c6f7f.jpg  

Hot Roast Beef  and Cheddarwich . . . 

Happy Tuesday!