Monday, 4 August 2014

Small and Wonderful Things . . .

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"The world is fairly studded and strewn with pennies cast broadside from a generous hand. But who gets excited by a mere penny?...It is dire poverty indeed when a man is so malnourished and fatigued that he won't stoop to pick up a penny. But if you cultivate a healthy poverty and simplicity, so that finding a penny will literally make your day, then, since the world is in fact planted with pennies, you have with your poverty bought a lifetime of days. It is that simple. what you see is what you get." ~Anne Dillard  

A few of the small and wonderful things which bring untold joy into my life.   It's the small things in life which truly mean the most.  Simple abundance . . . it's the best.    

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This is my youngest son Bruce with my youngest grandson Cameron.   Bruce doesn't have any children yet, he's not married.  He just has Baxter the puppy and his partner Sara, and a new house.   He is the best Uncle.  All of the grandchildren love him.  He's getting plenty of practice in before he has a family of his own I guess!  These two are like two peas in a pod.   Cameron has always looked a lot like his Uncle Bruce.  ☺

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Last week was Vacation Bible School at the local Baptist church back home I guess and so Maryn (my only granddaughter) and Jon (my second oldest grandson) were both in the valley to attend.  I expect they were staying with their granddad.  They look like they are enjoying time with Uncle Bruce as well!

See, great husband and father material.   Sara wants to snap him up quickish like.  I know . . .  I am a bit biased.

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While I am at it, here's the latest photo of Baxter!  Another cutie pie.   Grand-doggies are just as important and loved as grandchildren I think.   Well, this one is at any rate.  He is a major part of my son's beautiful life.  Good practice for what is to come.

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We had a beautiful lesson in our Relief Society meeting yesterday based on the Patterns of Light talks by Elder David A Bednar.  (You can see all three videos here.   They're really good and are only a few minutes long each.  In fact I am listening to them all as I write this!)   They provoked lots of great discussion amongst the Sisters and I was deeply touched by all of them and impressed with things I had not thought about before.   That is a good lesson  . . .  one that leaves an impression and which touches your heart.

"Everything that invites and entices us to do good and to be good comes from God."

For years I have struggled with the way my children have been taught that I am just a nutter who joined a cult.   It hurts my feelings that for the most part they believe this to be true.   That I am on a fast track to hell.   No mother wants her children to think these things about her, especially when all through their formative years she was the one who taught them to pray and to love the Lord.  How then could they question her judgement or ability to discern truth from lie.  In any case, upon listening to the second video and watching it, this quote jumped out at me.  I wish I could make them watch these videos and to take this into their hearts.   Then they would know or could know I am not in a bad place, but a good place and my spirit is safe.  It cannot be a very nice feeling for them to think I am doomed to an eternity in hell either.

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I love Tunnocks Tea Cakes.   Those lovely little crisp biscuits (cookies), topped with marshmallow, coated in chocolate and wrapped in foil.  They are a Scottish thing.   I can remember when I lived in Canada and working in a shop they used to get in a tray of them each month.   Bruce was only a baby then, so it was a very long time ago.   I used to get really annoyed because kids used to come in and poke holes down into the whole lot when nobody was looking.

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That would ruin them all.   The marshmallow in them is not like ordinary marshmallow.   It's soft and gooey, like a fluffy seven minute icing almost.  They're so good.  There is something really special about the experience of eating a Tunnocks Tea Cake.  

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Everyone has their own way of savouring the experience . . .  much like eating an Oreo cookie.   You can smash and eat the three layers at once . . .  crispy biscuit, soft mallow, milky chocolate, the three melding themselves into a delicious mouthful.  Or you can take a small bite and then hollow out all of the mallow with your tongue, saving the biscuit and remaining chocolate for last.  Or you can just have two and eat the first one as a smash and the second one as a hollow out.   It doesn't really matter how you do it, only that you enjoy it.

Yes, I save the foil.   Don't ask me why . . .  I don't know why.  I only know I do it.   Maybe I am hoping one day to try making my own from scratch.  Watch this space!

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The sunflowers that are now blooming in the garden.  We planted large ones and mini ones.  The mini ones are blooming now and they are such gorgeous colours.  I love them!

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 My new Susan Branch Calendars for 2015.   I was so disappointed that she didn't have a blotter calendar for 2014, so was thrilled that she has one for next year.  Of course I just had to treat myself.  I love Susan's work.  I have been a huge fan since the 1980's when she used to do an illustrated recipe in the Country Living magazine every month.   If you have never visited her blog, you are missing out on something really special.   She's a great gal!  And so talented, plus she lives on Martha's Vineyard.   A dream of mine!

And that's my small and wonderful things for this week!  I hope your week was filled with some small and wonderful things too!

A thought to carry with you through today  . . .

 ✻ღϠ₡ღ✻ (¯`✻´¯)
So much has been given to me, 
I have no time to ponder over that which 
has been denied. 
~ Helen Keller ✫¸¸.·´¯`✫ ✫¸¸.·´¯`✫     

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Cooking in The English Kitchen today  . . .  Crunchy Tuna Melts.  Soooooo Good!

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Have a fabulous Monday.  I hope it is filled to overflowing with small and wonderful things!


  1. Morning Marie. great pjhoto's as usual..isn't it amazing that we can get photographs almost as soon as they are taken many 1000's of miles away. All looking so happy. Maybe bruse and his girl friend just love Baxter so much they don't need to have children...lots of young foks like that nowadays they dont like to feel commited to things...I do pray that one day all your family will know that there are many ways to our Lord and that the most important thing is to acknowledge him and we clearly do that in whatever way we enjoy most..I honestly don't think one religious order is any nearer to our Lord than another...We all acknowledge that their exists a God who looks over us all and he loves us ALL....
    I love these deliious "cakes" as well. I used to love picking the chocolate off first then eating the mallow then the biscuit !! now I just gobble them up any which way "!!!! Hope you have a lovely day today. It is a bit cooler this morning so far...but sun will soon get to work I think This is Monday and teh day that my friend Pam comes so always a great chatting day... Bye for now xxxx

  2. I agree with Sybil, there are many paths to our Lord. God does love us all. Many of the worlds troubles have been over different religions. If only we could understand that we are to love one another. I love Susan Branch too but have stopped collecting calendars. I used to get hers and a few others too. I have saved them, but like so much else here, they are stored away and I wonder what for. I'm trying to simplify. It's a beautiful quiet morning here. I'm on the 2nd cup of my good morning coffee and taking my time just enjoying it all. Hope you have a happy Monday!

  3. I am still excited about your other blog I just read.:)
    My family across the street just got a will always be a puppy..a Chihuaha(sp?) LOL imagine w/ Fred?
    I will order my calendars as soon as I am getting to the USA..
    Do you still get the Mary E desktop page a day?
    I still love that type..

    Love Susan Branch.To the moon.

    Like you do.
    Cute pics as are always cute to me.
    Your cookies look very familiar to
    Whippets here..Jacques LOVED them.. w/ milk..
    I have never seen anyone eat one the way you do:)

  4. Oh Pam and Sybil, I wish everyone thought the way you do. I feel the same way. There are many paths back to our Heavenly Home. Unfortunately in the Bible Belt where I come from, where almost everyone is a born again Baptist, there is only "their" way, which is a huge part of the reason I why left "their" way. Love one another, that is what Jesus taught and that is how I try to live. There is only one God. Call him Allah, or Jehovah or God, or whatever. He does love us all. You are right Pam, a lot of the world's troubles have been and are over different religions. It's so sad.

    I save all of Susan's Calendars too. I just cannot bear to part with them. She is so inspiring to me.

    Monique, I do get the desk calendar from Mary Englebreit too. I love that one because it is so tiny and so cute and it looks nice on my work space.

    I was so excited this morning to see that it was you who won the Giveaway Monique because I already had something ready to send over to you and now I have two somethings to send! Yay!!

    Oh, and I don't always eat my tea cakes that way, but it is fun to try to hollow them out without breaking the chocolate shell! Sometimes I do it. Sometimes I don't! xxoo

  5. Bruce has your smiley eyes Marie!
    I've always loved the artwork of Susan Branch. Hey, the border on her blotter looks similar to your blog border.
    The D&C quote is a good one. Thanks for posting it. I'm going to use it on the bulletin.
    Old stigmas still follow Latter-day Saints to this day. One can only truly understand that it is NOT a cult by going to the true source of it and not listen to mocking people who have no real understanding of it. They can also pray to know if it is true or not. You are not a "nutter who joined a cult" but have gained enlightenment from the Holy Spirit that it's true. Perhaps one day your children will look into it and have a better understanding of it. That is such a hard thing and my heart feels for you. Big hugs!!! xoxox

  6. I think you do have a very handsome son, grandchildren and the sweet granddoggie. I do hope Sara snaps him up soon.
    I know that your dear children do love you and that someday they will understand our religion. You are such a joy and I know that they see that.
    The RS lesson sounds like an awesome one and thanks for sharing the videos I am using them for our FHE.
    Your description of how to taste those tea cakes ruined my resolve not to have some chocolate. tonight.
    I for sure will check out the blog you suggested. I am sure I will love it.
    Thanks for the Crunchy Tuna Melt recipe; it sounds very yummy.
    Blessings and hugs for you dear friend~

  7. Oh Valerie, you always make me smile! I don't know what it is about our church, but people do love to hate it for some reason! I think people are afraid of things they don't understand. The problem with my kids Baptist backgrounds is they are afraid to even pray about it or read anything about it because they've been "brainwashed" into thinking that the minute they do that they will be "lost." I tried to share a really nice video about a Father's love with my two married sons once and I had one write me back and ask me to please stop sending him lds stuff. I hadn't seen it as lds stuff, but simply a video that showed a fine example of a father who went above and beyond. (It was a Mormom messages video) My purpose in sending it was totally misconstrued. :-( xxoo

    Thanks LeAnn. I'm glad I could help with your FHE! We talked about it too! xxxoo

  8. I visited Martha's Vineyard Island twice
    with my folks when I was younger
    my favorite movie
    JAWS was filmed there
    I went in the ocean
    & didn't even think about sharks
    I hope you get to visit one day


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