Saturday, 7 March 2015
Saturday This and That . . .
It's so hard to believe that we are already sitting in March. It seems just yesterday we were celebrating the advent of a new year and now we are almost finished the first quarter of it. Time is just speeding by.
We will celebrate five years of being back on Blacon at the end of this month and it's fascinating to think back on all of the changes we have experienced and what has come to pass.
The Camelia bush by the front door is in bloom again and that I suppose is what has started me thinking about these things. This sight is what greeted us when we first moved back here and into this house. It was a sight for sore eyes after all we had just been through. I think the pair of us were both feeling quite wounded and the sight of this bush was a little ray of sunshine for us.
It was definitely a time of transition and profound change. Nevertheless we got through it to the other end and felt all the better for it.
All of these boxes were a bit overwhelming, but with a bit of hard graft and perseverence we did get everything unpacked and settled into our new home very quickly. Having no internet was probably a big help in that respect as there were no distractions.
Change is not always a bad thing. A lot of good things can come from change and I have always found that it can be quite healthy also. I had been hoping for a change in the months preceding our move as I was not all that happy at work by that point, and whilst I would not have anticipated that change would come so abruptly as it did and whilst we were feeling a bit like two wounded animals at the time, it has certainly ended up being one of the best things that could have happened for us.
And out of all of that tumult and chaos the worst thing was not the losing of our job, or home . . . or even the uprooting, but the loss of Jess. That still makes me cry.
It probably always will.
Money is pretty scarce these days, but that is the same as a lot of people are experiencing, and really . . . being poor in our country is not like being poor in other countries. We are blessed abundantly in comparison, and I count my blessings every day.
There are so many other avenues I have been able to explore in the ensuing years . . . like building my food blog to the degree of success it has at the moment. I am always being afforded the opportunity to try and experience new things, new foods, new places and new kitchen gadgets. I would never have been able to touch on any of those whilst I was working at the manor. My boss once said to me that I was not allowed to so much as bake a cake for anyone else . . . I worked for her, end of. There would have been no trips to Yeo Valley, or London, or Screen Tests, or Turkey Awards, etc.
I have been able to really get stuck into my art work in a way I never would have been able to down there. My time was not my own there and I had only very limited off time. I look back now and wonder how I ever got the things done that I did get done. Now I have all the time in the world to explore my talents and to write and paint and sew . . . and yes, cook!
In that time I have written several children's books and illustrated them, and illustrated one for someone else. I have never tried to get them published . . . too afraid of rejection I think . . . but at least I have done it, and even if my grands are the only ones who ever see them, that is enough. I've been able to do it at least. I've written and illustrated those cookbooklets which have also enjoyed a certain modicum of success . . . something else of which I am proud of and would never have had the time to do otherwise.
Todd and I have been able to enjoy lots of time together, something which was a rare thing down South. Our time together was very limited there, now we have all the time in the world and we use it wonderfully . . . working together in the garden, going for walks, etc. I really enjoy our garden and the little oasis we have built here with our fruit trees and bushes, and all of the flora and greenery, and of course the pond and it's fish and it's frogs. I am more of a armchair gardner, I confess . . . but I do enjoy looking at it all . . . the colours and the different insects and butterflies it attracts, not to mention the birds.
I love being able to spend so much time with Todd. We met each other so late in life, every moment we have together is precious.
We've been able to spend more time treating and working with the Missionairies here. That was something I could not do a lot of down there. Up here it has never been a problem. Again . . . all the time in the world . . to spoil them and to feed them and to work with them. It's all good. I could not even really have a calling down there as my time was so not my own. I am so grateful that I have been able to have callings up here and to honor them . . . to be able to do visit teaching . . . to apply for a Service Mission of our own . . . to go to the Temple often.
Of course a huge part of our lives these past five years has been this little lady. It is hard to believe that she will be five in June. She brings us both so much joy and happiness. So much unconditional love. She is different than Jess in a lot of ways . . . she will not fetch a ball back to you, but instead makes you chase her trying to get it back . . . she goes on sniffs instead of walks . . . she's a bit more independant. She loves to ride in the car whereas Jess hated the car. She loves to snuggle next to me on the Sofa . . . Jess was too big for the sofa. She is not Jess . . . she is Mitzie and she has helped to fill that huge hole in our hearts that was left when we lost our Jess. We could not imagine a life without her in it now.
And so . . . whilst five years ago I could not have predicted that the next five years would be so amazing and abundantly filled with lots of goodness, it is pretty wonderful to be able to look back on them now and see just how very special they have been.
Life is very good if you allow it to be. I am grateful that I am a silver lining kind of a girl.
A thought to carry with you through today . . .
We need time to dream,
time to remember,
time to reach for the infinitite,
time to be . . .
Cooking in The English Kitchen today . . . a cookie recipe that cooks only FOUR chocolate chip cookies. If you are a small family and don't want the temptation of have oodles of cookies to eat, this is the perfect recipe to bake.
Have a great weekend! Don't forget . . .
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And I do too!