Saturday, 5 July 2014

Saturday this and that!
























Strawberries are the angels of the earth, 
innocent and sweet with green leafy wings 
reaching heavenward.
 ~Terri Guillemets  

We are pretty much at the end of our strawberries now.   The last few days have seen us getting only very tiny ones at best.  I have used the last of them to make us some strawberry jam.  Just berries and sugar, and some lemon juice.  





















Its from my old Purity Cookbook.  You just let the berries macerate with some sugar in a pot for two hours and then bring it to the boil.  Boil it for 6 minutes, add the juice of half a lemon and boil, stirring frequently, for another 6 minutes, or until it sets up on a cold plate.   Stir and skim for about another 6 minutes (off the heat) and then bottle.   Simple.   But very tasty.  I had enough berries to give us one nice big fat jar.    With just the two of us, it's just not practical to make much more than that.

I do believe that strawberry jam is my most favorite jam of all.   A feast of strawberry jam on fresh baked and buttered bread cannot be beaten.  Oh to sup on jam and bread . . .  'tis  a feast of majestic proportions!

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I have been trying all week to get some photos of the frogs in the strawberry patch.  I finally managed to catch one that didn't quickly hop away.  They are very fast!  As soon as they see us they start to hop back to the pond and once they start to move there is no stopping them.  In the grass they are so tiny it's hard to find them.   This one didn't get away quick enough however.  Can you see him there perched on the edge of the brick?  He's so tiny, only about the size of one of my fingernails now.  Not quite as small as they were but not as big as my thumb nail yet.

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See how well he blends into the brick.  Those are strawberry leaves that you see and blades of grass, just so you can keep in context his size.   I was very lucky to catch these shots with my little point and shoot camera!

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I am sure his little heart must have been beating furiously by this time!  How very perfectly he is formed.   Such a glorious masterpiece from above.  And people say there is no God.  Each tiny finger and toe, all those small freckles upon his back, those tiny eyes which can see me looking down at him.   This is just miraculous.   All nature is miraculous.  I also managed to catch one of the pesky slugs we battle continuously in the garden.  Sigh . . .  I guess you must take the bad with the good and wet means slugs.    The slugs also love the strawberry patch.  It is not just the frogs.

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This well might be mama hiding beneath the corner of a lily pad in the pond.  We have discovered this year that our pond is home to many, many frogs.   In the early spring the pond was like Hugh Hefner's mansion on one fine day . . .  we were both shocked to see so many.  Todd says now he has seen more of the babies down at the end of the garden and I can still see tadpoles in the pond with legs that will soon be frogs too, but they look larger than this earlier variety.   Some are probably toads.  I do not know the difference between a toad or a frog.  But I am sure I will have looked it up before the end of today!  I do have an inquiring mind . . . you are never too old to stop learning.  I do feel however that at this stage of my life I am forgetting more than I have ever learnt . . .  at least it feels like that on some days!

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Our garden not only plays host to frogs, but fairies also live a midst the flora and fauna.  I do love a little surprise tucked in here and there . . . don't you???


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The roses are at their best at the moment!  I do not know the names of this particular one, only that it's beautiful and that it gives and gives and gives some more . . . they all do really.  Todd says his father had a rose garden.   Todd has a rose garden too.   I am sure when he is out there dead-heading and puttering about with his roses, his mind is thinking about his long since gone father doing the same thing . . .

I do things like that.  When I am beating up a cake batter or some such, I think of my mother doing the same things when I was a girl, and her mother before her, and her mother before her . . . it's the circle of life.

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We've been watching the series "The Vikings" season one over this past week and enjoying it.  They were a very strong brutal race of people, but had a really deep code of ethics and law.  I find them fascinating. I always have done.  I think a lot of their success in battle came from their lack of fear of death.  To die in battle was the ultimate and meant that they would be instantly in Val Halla with Thor and the other Gods.  It is difficult to fight an enemy who is not afraid to die . . . self preservation is one of our strongest instincts I think.  These were a race that did not run from battle, but fought and battled to the death.

When watching the program yesterday . . . the thought occurred to me that even in those far gone days, there were bits of my own DNA in the world, however minute.   I have traced several lines of my family back to those days of the Vikings and even further.  If you hit royalty in your line, you can go back eons . . .  they have kept such good records of kings and queens.  I have hit royalty on several lines.  It's pretty amazing to think of these small bits of who you are now, were in existence all those years ago . . . and well, all the way back to Adam and Eve really.  A portion of the miracle which is "us" was present even then, like an eternal round which is carried on and on down through the generations and the years.

We are the sum of all our pasts and all who came before us . . .  and a portion of those who come after . . . that is pretty amazing to me . . .

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Look at how cute this little madame was being yesterday afternoon.  It was a drizzly kind of day and today promises more of the same, so she was being enticing on the sofa, willing me to cuddle her and rub her belly.  Usually she doesn't stay in that position long enough to take a photograph, but yesterday she did.  I think I managed to catch a large portion of her lovable-ness in this photo.  We truly are blessed with her in our lives.  She brings us so much joy.  She hates it when it rains and she cannot run down to the end of the garden and chase all the cats away.  She gets so much pleasure from that.  I am sure if one were to stand it's ground, she would be more afraid of it than she lets on to us.  Bravado comes very easy when the enemy is high tailing it!
And that's it for today  . . .  I will leave you with a happy thought to carry with you through your Saturday . . . well, not a thought really but the sweetest little video you will ever see.  In honor of the fireworks most of you will have enjoyed yesterday . . .


I love this video.  What a cute father and daughter . . .

"The greatest work we will ever do will be within the walls of our own home."
~David O McKay  

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Cooking in my English Kitchen today . . . Chocolate Chip Waffles with a Salted Caramel Sauce.   Breakfast or dessert?  You decide!

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Have a wonderful Saturday!  Be safe and be happy!

 

17 comments:

Suze said...

Salted caramel….Marie do not tempt me. I love that stuff.

Enjoy your day and those awesomely cute little frogs too.

Marie Rayner said...

I wish I had your willpower Suzan! xx

La Table De Nana said...

Your gardens are wonderful..I've spotted those camouflage experts too Marie..and some fairies..
Strawberry jam IS the best jam..
I do like raspberry too ..especially in bars and desserts like that..but standalone?Strawberry is the Queen.

Marie Rayner said...

You just have to have fairies in a garden Monique! Love them! Strawberry is the Queen of Jams! I agree! xxoo

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

You are blessed to have been enjoying those strawberries. I love the pictures of the frogs and they fairies in your garden. You did good catching those little frogs in their habitat. Hope you have a super Saturday!

Marie Rayner said...

Thanks Pam! You too! xxoo

Linda Metcalf said...

Marie what quantities of strawberrys and sugar did you use for the one jar?

Marie Rayner said...

Linda I used about 1 cup of strawberries and 3/4 cup of sugar. The jar is quite a large one. I think I got about 1 1/2 cups of jam. It's some good!

StitchinByTheLake said...

Precious video! :) blessings, marlene

Marie Rayner said...

Thanks Marlene!

gayle said...

May I repeat what you wrote about the Vikings? I love what you said about brutal, but with a code of law and ethics. Thanks,

Marie Rayner said...

Absolutely Gayle! xxoo

Valerie H. said...

What sweet pictures. I love the frog in the pond and with the strawberries. Glad Mitzie was letting your take her picture. My Shiba, Piper runs when I point the camera at her. I'm not sure what she thinks it will do to her. Anyway, that is a cute/silly picture of Mitzie. Made me smile! Oh, and I love that video of the father and daughter singing. So precious. I had to send that one on to others. :-D
Hope you had a pleasant Sunday Marie. It is 94 degrees today in Colorado Springs. :-(

Marie Rayner said...

Sorry! I tried to leave a comment, but it got scrambled. Thanks so much for the frog pictures and for your wonderful post. I feel I have found another soul mate in you. Your blog is wonderful, and you give me lots to think about. You should upload one of your frog pics to Susan's twitter account. I'm sure her dad would enjoy seeing the picture. Please include @cstanley in your tweet, so I can see it, too! I am looking forward to reading more from you. You enrich our lives. (Comment from Mrs Stanley, which I accidentally removed!)

Sorry Mrs Stanley! I did not mean to remove your lovely comment! You're so welcome for the frog pictures. I just got lucky that day and was able to catch one before it scooted off into the grass!! Thank you so much for your lovely comments. You really made my day! xxoo

Marie Rayner said...

Valerie, Mitzie doesn't always allow me to take her photo. I got lucky! Normally whenever she is doing something cute and I reach for the camera, she stops doing whatever it is she is doing! It's a lot cooler than 94 degrees here! xxoo

LeAnn said...

I loved all of your thoughts on the frogs,tadpoles and possible toads. I guess I will look up the difference too.
It is amazing to think that our DNA goes way back. Just think we are for sure cousins way back then. It's a nice thought. We are all related back to Adam and Eve.
Blessings to you dear cousin; love you much!

Marie Rayner said...

Wonderful thought LeAnn! Love you too cousin! Love even more that we are "sisters!"
xxoo