Thursday, 10 April 2014

This and that on a Thursday . . .

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 I made two loaves of bread yesterday in my bread machine.  The first loaf was a loaf of banana bread.  A yeasted loaf which I got the recipe from the Robin Hood site. The recipe is here.   My sister had made it last weekend and my mom said it was really good.  It used ripe bananas and whole wheat flour, etc. and so I thought that sounds healthy so I will give it a go!  You can't go wrong in a bread machine, right?   WRONG!

I ended up with a big heavy misshapen lump  of I don't know what.  But it did smell good when it was baking, so we got at least that pleasure from it.

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So then I thought I would try something else.  I had a package of bread mix in the cupboard that you just add water to.   Three hours later the same thing.   A misshapen  lump of blah.  So now I am wondering if it is the bread machine or what.

Some days are just like that.

At least I know it's not my cooking mojo, because I did a chicken dish for supper that was gorgeous.  (Look for that soon.)  Occasionally I will have a day where everything I touch turns to dust, but yesterday it was just the bread!  ☺

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It is so nice sitting here in the morning listening to the birds sing.   We have mostly sparrows in the garden where we live now, but they are quite vocal.   We do get a robin or two, and sometimes blackbirds and gold finches, but mostly we have sparrows.  Todd bemoans the fact we don't get more exciting birds.  He would love to be able to sit in his chair all day with the binoculars watching wildly exotic birds, but . . . sparrows are what we have.

Sparrows were very important to God too . . . they are mentioned several times in the scriptures.   It could have been swans or peacocks . . . but it was sparrows.   Ever notice that when God wants to teach us a lesson or show us something new He uses the humblest of ingredients or people to do so?   Even the Saviour was born into very humble circumstances, He who was a King by all rights.  And Mary?  She wasn't a woman of great means, or circumstances . . . just a humble village girl from a poor family.  That's one of the things I really love about God.  He magnifies the small and the weak, and uses them for magnificent purposes.  It's pretty amazing when you think about it.

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I have noticed that the forget-me-nots are blooming at the moment.  One of the smallest and daintiest flowers.   We have tried planting them on numerous occasions to no avail . . . and yet, they seem to be springing up in the most diverse of places, in between the cracks and crannies of the walkway into our local surgery for instance.  I doubt they get much attention there . . . nobody to weed them, or water them, or feed them . . .   and yet they bloom.  One of life's little miracles I suppose . . .  and our days are filled with them.

I was watching the tadpoles in our pond yesterday afternoon.   We had gotten a few new gold fish to replace the ones that disappeared over the winter and we were checking on them.   You might almost miss all of the tadpoles as they are so tiny at the moment, but if you look really closely in between the rocks and pebbles that are at the edge of the pond, where the water is quite shallow you can see them swimming and wriggling about.  They are smaller than the eraser on the end of a pencil at the moment, but it won't be long before they are much, much larger and begin to develop legs and such.  It is so amazing to watch them as they grow to become what they are meant to be.

As we were standing there watching them move between the rocks, I thought to myself . . . I wonder if our Heavenly Father looks down upon us like that . . .  in amazement . . .  as He watches us growing into what we are meant to be.

That is a pretty amazing thought.

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Mitzie has really been enjoying these drier sunnier days.   She spends a great deal of time out in the garden just sitting ans surveying her domain.  That is when she is not snuffling up everything she can find beneath the bird feeder that may have fallen off the table, naughty, naughty.   She knows exactly where the cats come in when they visit our yard and that is her main area of observance.   She just sits there . . .  watching and waiting . . .  hoping for the chance to give chase and bark rather a lot, as she does.

They are pretty crafty creatures however . . . those cats.   They remain just out of reach when she is out there, parading back and forth, just within smell . . . on the other side of the hedge.  She can see their paws walking back and forth like flickering shadows, getting her hopes up . . . but to no avail . . .  as they never come any closer.

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This is Mickey Rooney.  Not sure how old he is here in this photo, but I suspect not very.  I was quite saddened this week to learn of his passing.   He did live to a ripe old age of 93, which was pretty old I suppose.   I don't know who or what he was as a person, but I do know that he brought me many hours of fine entertainment through his performances in film and otherwise.   I don't know who the Mickey Rooney's of today would be . . . stars that might compare to him.    I am not that up on the movie scene these days.   I know I am a bit of a dinosaur.  I enjoy old films and television, seldom keeping up with the stars of today, with the exception of a few gems like Call the Midwife and Downton Abbey.

Speaking of which, has anyone watched the new World War 1 Drama on the BBC?  The Crimson Field.

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"In an army hospital the staff heal the bodies and souls of men wounded in the trenches."

There has just been the one episode so far, but it does seem quite promising.  We shall see how it pans out.  This first episode was mainly introducing us to all of the characters and setting the scene for what is to come.  I quite enjoyed it.

Well, I have probably babbled on for long enough now and so will let you go with a thought provoking quote for today . . . from this weekend's conference talks . . .  


"How quick we are to find the rainbow . . . 
before being thankful for the rain."
~President Dieter F Uchtdorf



In the English Kitchen today a little taste of home . . . Mom's Baking Powder Biscuits.  I think these are the best, but then again  . . .  I am a tad bit biased.

Have a fabulous day!


  1. I keep a figurine of a little brown sparrow in my dining room here as part of the decor. No matter the season...I like it there to remind me that the dear Lord is always there watching out for me. A good thought for sure and much needed at times. I haven't used my bread machine in ages and thought I'd get it out but still haven't done so. I've never had great success with making bread. Hope you have a wonderful Thursday.

  2. Thanks Pam, you are such a dear friend. I will be on the look out for a little brown sparrow figurine so I can do the same.

    I am thinking of tossing the breadmaker. Going to try it one more time and if I don't have any luck with it, it's going to the charity shop!

  3. I love Ma's idea. We have an abundance of tiny blue wrens in our garden. I am now going to hunt for a figurine. Brilliant.

    I think making bread by hand is best. Haven't you one of those heavy duty mixers now? That saves time.

  4. It might be the bread machine since your sister's turned out great?

    That is too bad..I made bread yesterday too..After I braided rose too the braids hardly show..oh well..
    That is too bad marie..the bread machine with teh right recipe should be perfect..I never bake IN it though..always dough cycle and I shape and bake ..

  5. Wrens are so beautiful Suzan. I hope you find yourself a little figurine to put on the mantle!

    Monique, I think it is the machine. I wish I had never given away my Panasonic bread maker. This Morphy Richard's one is the pits.

  6. Marie I enjoy reading your blog so much. It is so inspirational. You were born to be a writer I do think. Your post today reminds me of that song "His eye is on the sparrow and I know he's watching me." I just love that song. I may not always post a comment here but I do read you everyday. Have a wonderful day!

  7. Brenda, thank you so much for commenting! I love it when one of my readers makes themselves known to me. It really makes me day. I thank you so much for all of your words. They really did lift my spirit. xxoo


  8. I tried using the bread machine, I did it twice with no luck, so got another machine and tried it twice, same thing no luck. So got reed of it,I don't make bread to often as my hands hurt....but even so it turns out eat able....but not very pretty.
    And i'm not up with today Star's,I love the same ones you do.Have a great day.((HUGS)) PS.So glad Mitzie is enjoying herself,she's suck a lady. My Nina is such a tomboy.partly the breed I think.oooxxx

  9. How disappointing that the bread didn't turn out, after all your effort and time. It's so disheartening, isn't it? I used to use a bread machine in Australia but haven't tried one here.

    I think Mitzie and Miss Sophie are related. They have the same idea about protectingt their domain. However, Miss Sophie loves cats, so they are allowed in. It's everything else she chases - wild hares, badgers, roe deer, foxes, birds....

    I won't tell Todd about the lovely birds we get to our feeders. It's been a bird paradise here this winter - so many varieties. But not many sparrows (I think they move somewhere warmer). I rather like sparrows as they move in big, gregarious flocks - always chattering and helping out each other.

  10. Oh how I know the frustration of bread machines. I can make a good loaf and then for no apparent reason the next ones just dont come out. I gave up on mine. I decided to learn to make bread from scratch and it was awesome. I think I will be getting rid of the bread machine now.

  11. Cathy Jo, like you I have a problem with my wrists and hands when I make bread. The arthritis just doesn't let me cope with it these days!

    Marie, the only birds we get here in flocks are starlings! They can strip our feeders dry in about 5 minutes! Most annoying, although intellectually I know they need to eat too, they are such greedy birds I hate to see them arrive. They do make a spectacular scene when they do their flight dance though, which I have seen on the telly.

    Janice I think this one is going out the door for sure!!


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