Monday, 8 September 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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Surprise packages in the post.  I have long been a fan of La Table De Nana.   It's a blog written by my Canadian friend Monique.   I stumbled onto her page several years back and it was love at first sight.  She is the most magnificent photographer and even had some of her photography printed in magazines, but more important than that she is one of the sweetest most tender hearted people I have come across in recent years.   She truly is.   Last month she won a giveway on my food blog.  I was thrilled that it was her.   She's been so kind to me over these past couple of years.   Sending me wax paper because I did not have any.   Last year when I went to mom's to help out when mom had her cancer operation, there was a package from Monique waiting for me at mom's.   She just a thoughtful kind of person.   So when she won the giveaway I knew I wanted to send her a little extra gift just to say thanks for always being so kind and thoughtful.  I expected nothing in return.   I wanted nothing in return and then the postman slipped this packet through my letter box.

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Isn't her handwriting beautiful?   She is tres observante too . . . she remembered this little note thing that I had posted on my Friday finds a few weeks back.  So cute . . .  and so thoughtful too!

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The sweetest little Christmas ornament . . .  she knows I love Christmas.   Love the gold tulle fabric and the ribbon . . .  but the sentiment spoke to my heart because it's from a friend who has taken the time to know me.

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Such a beautiful piece of handwork.   Tres magnifique!  I was so touched by it all.   I thank you, Monique . . .  my dear friend, from the bottom of my heart.  You really shouldn't have, but  . . .

I am glad you did.  This is proof positive that you cannot ever out-give a "giver!"

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 This is my daughter Amanda (in the grey sleeveless t-shirt).  She's a wonderful wife and mother and a caring nurse.   She has won awards and scholarships for her studies and her papers she has written in her field of expertise, but she is also a gifted athlete.  She loves to run and she loves to play Ultimate Frisbee.      She's always been athletic.  She played volley ball at school and even though she was shorter than all of the other players on her team, she was one of the best players . . . because she always puts her all into everything she does, and because she can jump!  I am so glad that she is athletic and not a couch potato like me.   Her husband Tom is also quite sporty. Something which they share together.  She will never be obese, but always fit.   That is a good thing.  I wish I had been more athletic in my youth.

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She's not the only athletic one though.   This is Sara, my son Bruce's partner.   She loves to run and she knows how to have fun doing it.   She's a fun gal anyways.   It makes me happy that she makes our Bruce happy.  Sara knows that  staying fit and staying healthy is very important to ones mental well being as well.   She's a mental health advocate and has a very popular mental health blog, Sara-tonin, for which she has won awards.  She's been on television and recently won an Inspiring Lives award.     I love that she is athletic as well.  Bruce is pretty athletic and so they can be athletic together also.   A family that stays in shape together.  

It's a good thing.

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This is a selfie my sister did of herself on one of her bicycle rides recently.   As you can see she is also in good shape.

I am the one who isn't.   That makes me sad.   But also overwhelmed.   I try to lose weight.  I always fail.   I am really good at taking it off, but I am even better at putting it back on., and usually when I do that, I put on more than I took off.    I do not like that.  I do not like that at all.  I would rather excel at sports than at putting weight on.

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Yesterday my friend Billy handed me an envelope at church.  It was kinda lumpy.   I opened it up when I got home and there were these two little dolls in it.   They are Maya Friendship Dolls and they were from Doreen.   That made me smile.  I am glad that she sees me as a friend. It made me smile.  Not so much because of the dolls, but because I have a friend, who sees me as being a friend as well.   That was the real gift.

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We were given these booklets at church yesterday.   I love it.  It's an engaging way to correlate your family's history.   There are spaces in it that you can fill in your family tree and also places that you can write little stories about the people in your family tree and put photographs of them.  You can read more about these booklets here, and even get one for yourself.   Family history is a special way of staying connected with your ancestors.  Who we are is often who they were.  I love feeling connected to my family.  I get so very excited when I find a new ancestor and that excitement is amplified when that discovery is also accompanied with a photograph and a story about who they were and what they did.  Family is and always has been everything.  That is the one thing I love the most about my church . . .  that family and love of family  is one of the fundamental principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Family is eternal.  I love my family.  I love the strength and forbearance of my ancestors for without them I would not be here.  Their stories and their examples have helped me a great deal in my life, just as I hope and pray that mine will help to sustain and inspire those who come after me.

"We discover something about ourselves when we learn about our ancestors."
~Thomas S Monson

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In my patriarchal blessing I was told that I would be as a beacon, a light on a hill to my family.   For years I have thought that was to my own children.   In recent weeks however, I have come to the realization that I may never be able to be this to my own children . . .  but that the example I am setting and the standards I live may even more so become as a beacon, or a light on a hill to my grandchildren, or even my great grandchildren, and I have been inspired to keep putting my thoughts into my handwritten journal.   I started blogging because I wanted to share with my children . . .  but I think these handwritten journals will come to mean even more to those who come after me, than anything I have ever or will ever put on the internet. 

How very blessed I would feel today had I a journal to read of my grandmothers.

Journaling. It's a small thing to do today, that will become a greater thing for those who follow. Families are forever.  #ShareGoodness.

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Cooking in The English Kitchen today  . . .  Tuna Salad Tartines.

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Have a wonderful day.  I hope it's filled with an abundance of small and wonderful things!


8 comments:

Sybil said...

How lovely to get such a nice unexpected gift Marie...We are so blessed with our friends are we not...
I so agree with you about families. Again we are blessed to belong to a loving family and I pray for thise who are not. My friend MAry did not have a loving family and until she came into our family did not understand who real love was...There are still some things she finds strange such as how we often know what the other is going to say before they even say something! but sh eis so very much better now and I dont think hurts quite so much at lack of that early love..
My friend Pam will be over today so always a great day a Monday full of chat and laughter. Also having the gas man to check teh boiler today !! more money...but we have to stay safe.. Hope that you and Tod have a lovely week ahead xxx

Suze said...

My dearest Marie you are already a beacon shining in a dark world. I love your parcel and the writing is swoon worthy. How lovely to be sent such a blessing.
Enjoy your day and God bless.

Marie Rayner said...

Sybil, my heart aches to think that Mary has such a difficult and loveless start to her life. How very blessed she was to have found you as a friend and that your family has become hers. I know what you mean about the boiler man. We pay a fee every month and then have a servicing once a year. It is a lot, but it is peace of mind and you cannot put a price on that! Hope you have a fab day filled with lots of laughter! xxoo

Thanks Suzan, I hope that others can feel of my life. That is a part of why I share. Thank you so much for your lovely comments each day. They mean the world to me. xxoo

La Table De Nana said...

:)


It's because of you that I found that paper as you know..and She Loves Christmas ..was Pinned by you..
And we all know WHO LOVES CHRISTMAS:)
Enjoy dear Marie.
A little early but you have been talking about it..and I worried you would stitch this ornament of Alicia's because to me it belongs with toadstools:)

Valerie H. said...

That was so kind of Monique. I recognize that little envelope she made. :-)

Marie Rayner said...

Ahh Monique, you see. We are alike in many ways! I was very touched by your generosity of spirit. You are a special friend. I love Alicia's work. Ans I love yours. xxoo

THanks Valerie! She is just a kind woman full stop. If you have never read her blog you should start! xxoo

LeAnn said...

You do have a very dear friend that would be so kind and thoughtful in sending you items. Friends are just so important. I love that you are such a dear friend too.
I wish more of my children were athletic. I have two sons that are quite overweight and I worry about them.
I know how you feel about losing weight; I have fought that war for most of my life.
I do think you are a light in your children's lives. I suspect they do know what a very choice mother they have.
I love my ancestor stories and they do lift me. I have kept a journal for years and I hope it will be read by my posterity.
You are such a gifted writer that it will be a treasure for sure.
Blessings and hugs!

Marie Rayner said...

I was never overweight until after I had had all my children LeAnn. Then I had my tubes tied and quit smoking and it just piled on. I really do struggle with it. Thanks so much for your comments as to my writing. Not sure I deserve them, but I'll take them and cherish them for what they are! xxoo