Thursday, 31 March 2016

A few of my Favourite things . . .


These are a few of my favourite things . . .


I love Cumbria and the Lake District.  Beatrix Potter country, the land of Wordsworth and inspiration for many of our poets and artists.  We have holidayed there three times, twice from down South and once from here.  I can still remember how it took my breath away the first time I saw the Lakes.  I had never seen anything like it before in my life.   We were in the car and went around a bend and then all of a sudden there was this most beautiful  panorama before us and I fell in love.  Not unlike millions of others who have done the same.  If Todd were to say to me today, lets go up to the lakes.  I would drop everything and just go  . . .  even if I do hate driving in the car and the motor way.  It would be worth it. It is a place I will never tire of visiting.

Potato Chips.  They are my largest weakness.   I cannot resist potato chips.  I dare not keep them in the house because if they are here I am stuffing them into my face.  It's not something we had very often when I was growing up.  I can remember going with my friend to the corner store on allowance day and buying a packet of them when I was about 11 years old.  They only had plain potato chips back then.  We would go into the cafe which was attached and order cokes and then sprinkle vinegar into our chip bags and sit and drink the cokes and eat exotic vinegar flavoured potato chips.  Not so exotic now when you can buy flavours such as Sweet Chili and Sour Cream, or Sticky Gammon . . .  pork sausage and mustard . . . yes, those are some of the flavours we can find here in the UK.  I do quite like the Sweet Chili ones.  Dangit.

 photo My-Family-Booklet_zpsdf94484f.jpg

Doing Family History.  I love looking back at my roots and finding out things about my ancestors.  Seeing where I came from, imagining the lives they might have lived.  I think I had some very brave ancestors.   I think of them getting onto ships in an age when that was the only mode of travel to get across to North America, probably with only what they could carry . . .  and then travelling across the Atlantic to arrive in a hostile new world, filled with nothing but wilderness and wild natives.  Sailing virtually into the unknown.  This was a special breed of people and I am proud to have descended from them.   And then when they got there, having to clear land, build homes and build lives and livings from scratch.  These thoughts amaze me.  They truly do.  That's why I love doing family history.    I also love watching the television shows about it.  Who Do You Think You Are.  One of my favourite shows.  I think that inside each of us is a yearning to know who we really are and to discover our roots.


 The artwork of Holly Hobby.   Oh to be that good.    She was very popular when I was a teenager.  I remember saving my money up to buy my mother a wooden wall plaque of Holly Hobby.   It was of a young girl baking.  She has a table in front of her with an old stoneware bowl on it and she is using an egg beater and there is a clock in the background on the wall.  It hung in my mother's kitchen for years.  I have it now. She gave it back to me once when I was visiting.  I treasure it even though it is now faded and a bit yellowed with age.  I remember making Holly Hobby dolls for my ex husband's neices (first husband) shortly after we got married.  I wonder what ever happened to them . . .

I guess I have always loved making dolls.  Even then.

 photo 9519293dc7285a0c6269dcb6b7b03a05_zpsohva1vnj.jpg

Bluebirds and apple blossoms.  I have always loved bluebird art and bluebird pottery, and apple blossoms . . .  well, they just remind me of home.  May in Nova Scotia.   Apple Blossoms.  A little bit of heaven on earth.

 photo faVOURITETHINGS2.jpg

This is an old bluebird cream and sugar dish I picked up at a yard sale many moons ago.  Sadly the creamer got broken when we lived in Kent, which made me sad, but  . . . I got over it.  I still have the sugar dish part which lives in my craft room where she is safe.  Bluebirds and apple blossoms . . .

 photo DSCF0394.jpg

I love setting a pretty table.   This was for Thanksgiving one year down in Kent.  My table always pretty much looks the same . . . I don't have the variety to change it up with the holidays . . .

Although I do attempt to do so  . . . .

 photo DR3.jpg

This was one of the aspects of my job at the big house I enjoyed  . . . setting the tables for the luncheons and dinner parties.  There were so many beautiful dinner sets, goblets, chargers, etc. to choose from, even cutlery.  I have never seen such abundance of beautiful things . . .

  photo tablesettings.jpg

Beautiful table clothes, napkins etc. . . .

 photo 4.jpg

That part I enjoyed a great deal . . .  along with the cooking  . . .

  photo tablesettings3.jpg

Not so much the other stuff that went along with it . . .

 photo 6.jpg

But I did learn a lot and for that I am grateful.

 photo musrmKitchenTable.gif

Baking days  . . .  and puttering in the kitchen.   As soon as we can afford it we are going to repaint the downstairs, including the kitchen.  It badly needs it.  Of course we will have to wait until after the Mission is finished as we won't have time until then to really do it.

 And of course each of you and your sweet comments.  They are also one of my favourite things.  ☺  You truly make my days and bless my life.  Thank you for that!

A thought to carry with you through today . . .

"The flower that smells the sweetest 
is shy and lowly." ~William Shakespeare 

Spiritual Enlightenment 

 photo DSCN5970_zpsoa3kwxdy.jpg

In The English Kitchen today a fairly healthy Broccoli Pasta Salad!

I wish for you a beautiful Thursday . . . wherever you go and whatever you get up to, may it be filled with a multitude of blessings and your favourite things. Don't forget!

═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════ ⊰✿░G░O░D⊰✿⊰L░O░V░E░S⊰✿⊰░Y░O░U░⊰✿
═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════

 And I do too!


  1. Marie, did I ever tell you that recently I found my Holly Hobby oven mitt? She is now the palest blue and the stuffing is showing but 40 years later I still have her.

    I wish I was more organised because between us mum and I have a few dinner settings for 12 and some for less. There are even 12 dessert plates by Lenox. One for each day of Christmas. Each year by Christmas I am exhausted and nothing much happens.

    It has been a long day and I am looking forward to my bed. God bless your day and have a great one.

  2. How wonderful Suzan! What a treasure that oven mitt must be! Oh, I wish I had more dinner settings, but really, they would just take up a lot of space and I'd only ever rarely use them, so in my quest to downsize, I am probably very lucky I don't have more dinner settings! Hope your mum is doing better. Love, hugs and blessings. xoxo

  3. China does take up a lot of space. Like you I want to be living smaller and easier. Unfortunately I like to shop as well!!!!

  4. I like to shop too Suzan, however having a very limited income means I have to keep my spending in check, living within our means as we also don't have any credit cards. Which is a good thing all round when you look at it. We don't get into debt and we have to save for what we want, which makes us think twice about buying anything. XOXO

  5. That salad looks really good so I'm going to be checking it out. I have to say I love potato chips too. Just plain ones. It was nice to hear about the flavors you have there, we do have a few choices here but nothing like yours. Hope your Thursday is good one. We've got rain and wind here.

  6. I don't have a credit card either. No way. My income is very limited as I don't get a full pension to be a carer. It has to stretch a long way. These days I withdraw a sum of cash and try to stretch is a long way. I only have four free withdrawals every month. The things life brings!

  7. I think I told you I wallpaperd our kitchen in a previous home w/ Holly Hobby baking?:) Yes mam.And he went for it:)I loved her also..and you are as talented.
    Loved potato chips and still do..Did you ever have that huge can of Fiesta Chips? They delivered it to our door when I was young..I got my start early.
    Your tables at Te manor were beautiful..granted..but yours are just as beautiful in a different way.I can totally see you having a ball setting tables:)

  8. Some of the flavours are a bit wierd Pam, but quite a few are very tasty. They are always coming up with new flavours all the time! HOpe you like the salad! xoxo

    Suzan, I was just saying to Todd the other night that my sister and I, neither one of us, has been able to achieve the standard of living that my parents enjoyed, but they say it will be even worse for many of our children. A University Education is no guarantee anymore! xo

    It must have been so cute Monique! I have never even see a huge can of Fiesta Chips, but we did have Old Dutch Potato Chips when we lived out West. There was a show on the television where kids could save up the empty packets to bid on prizes. I think it was called "Kids Bids." I used to dream of being able to bid on a prize, but we did not ever have many potato chips as a child. My mother was very afraid of us being overweight because she had been somewhat overweight as a child, so she was really paranoid about that. I can remember being hungry lots of times and telling myself that when I grew up I was never going to be hungry and would eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted to and look at me, I am fat, lol. There is no winning! LOL xoxo

  9. At last here I am...Like you Marie I have a love of crsps my fav. Cheese/onion...or even better Sainsbury's own brand veg.crisps I could eat a whole bag ! But try not to LOL..Peter treats me occasionally that and plain chocolate with rum'n'Raisen...oh the very thought makes my mouth water..I havnt had the chocolate in quite a long time....I also would love to set a beautiful table to entertain a lot of friends, I do use the best dishes etc at Christmas but think that's about the only time which is a shame really...every day should be a special day...I have had a busy but good day, Thursday is the coffe at church day and I serve up the coffee Etc was quite busy this morning so I'm always a bit tired afterwards, but it is a good tired if you know what I mean..will hope to have an early night I think ..Hope you and Todd have enjoyed the lovely sunshine we have had today...maybe you were dreaming of a day up to the lakes ? could almost do it from your place for a day trip . God Bless

  10. Me too....I'm with you on the potato chips. As a matter of fact, I had a bag left-over after we had egg salad sandwiches and chips for Easter lunch and I ate quite a few today topped with cool whip. Oh my goodness, they are a real treat for me when I top them with the sweetened whipped topping - YUM!

  11. I like that chocolate too Sybil. Aldi makes a lovely one. I try to resist because of the diabetes but it's hard! We could do the Lakes in a day from here. We would do but it's the money for petrol that is holding us back! xoxo

    Oh Marsha, you are a girl after my own heart! It's that salty/sweet combination! I love them with milk chocolate too! xoxo

  12. Good Morning Marie, So many good things I can relate to on your post today! I love your description of how you first saw the Lake District. I can remember how I first saw such beauty. Like the time I took a group vacation out west (in the US) and first saw the beauty of Yosemite National Park. You know...the view everyone has seen with the granite mountains in back and you can see the famous Half Dome. Well at least for me I had seen multiple images, but when that bus pulled up to the look out area....Oh my gosh! It brought tears of joy! It was so majestic and to think God made this for us to enjoy. I was overwhelmed to say the least. Had to just be away by myself for a few minutes to take it all in and thank God for such beauty. And then yesterday I saw my first cherry blossom tree in full bloom as I was driving a busy road home from work. It was right there in it's full pale pink glory. Oh it just touched me. I love springtime! I love Holly best friend and I would find coloring books with her pictures. We bought cards to send to each other and I made a decoupage with Holly Hobby for my mom's kitchen. I wish I had kept it. Was a kit with two wooden plaques. Marie, your drawings put me in mind of Holly Hobbie. You draw beautifully. And your dolls you make are so cute and detailed. Are they for sale? Have a wonderful day!

  13. It really does take your breath away Julie! I felt the same way the first time I saw the Rockies as well as when I saw Niagara Falls. Nature is just wonderful. Our Heavenly Father sure created a beautiful world for us to enjoy! Thanks so much for your kind words re my work! I think I channel Mary E, Susan B and Holly Hobby. They are my inspiration. I do sell my dolls. If you wanted to talk about that you could always e-mail me on You have a wonderful day as well! xoxo

  14. I always love your favorite things! I too love potatoe chips and it is better if I don't have them at home. One of my favorite places is Fish Lake, Utah. I used to love as a child riding to the lake and going around the corner and there was the beauty of the lake. I too love Family History work. I must marvel at the stories of our ancestors and all they went through. I can't even begin to fathom how they did it all. Many of the had many children and many of those children passed away in childhood or at booth. They had such courage and faith to press on. I love the thoughts of bluebirds and Apple blossoms.
    I do like to set a good table. I have China from my Mom and some that I bought before getting married. We always tried to use them for special occasions.
    Thanks for bringing some memories today; sending love and hugs your way dear friend.

  15. Like you I find they are dangerous things to have in the house LeAnn! I marvel at the courage of the pioneers and early settlers. Some of my ancestors were the very first settlers in Canada and their bravery astonishes me. I hope you are enjoying conference as much as we are! xoxo


Your comments mean the world to me, and while I may not be able to address each one individually, each one is important to me and each one counts. Thanks so much!