Tuesday, 17 October 2017

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY, October 17, 2017

Outside my window ...
It's still quite dark, but the winds of yesterday have all died down.  It was really windy last evening.  Once the sun comes up we can see what damage has been done. Fingers crossed, not much.

I am thinking ...
Some days are diamonds, some days are dust.  I wonder what today will be.  Hopefully a diamond. I think largely the choice is mine to make.  Today I choose to be a diamond day!

In the kitchen ...
On my "To Cook" list ...
SM's Skinny White Chicken Enchiladas.  These look mighty tasty.  I love Tex Mex food!  
Good to know ...
Have done this. You can also set a saucepan of water on top and bring it to the boil for hot water.
I am creating ...

Snap Guide, how to create an Expanding Mini Album by  Joanne Bain. The finished album is really pretty.

Lulu Loves,  Crochet Granny Shawl. A complete tutorial.

The Green Dragonfly, a very pretty crochet lace edging.  I love this. There is also a video, complete tutorial.

A Little Gray.  Double Trouble Pot Holder Tutorial.  

Craft Elf, curly snowman ornament.  Crochet.  

I am Reading ...

FAITHFUL, by Alice Hoffman  

Growing up on Long Island, Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt.

What happens when a life is turned inside out? When love is something so distant it may as well be a star in the sky? Faithful is the story of a survivor, filled with emotion, from dark suffering to true happiness, a moving portrait of a young woman finding her way in the modern world. A fan of Chinese food, dogs, bookstores, and men she should stay away from, Shelby has to fight her way back to her own future. In New York City she finds a circle of lost and found souls, including an angel who’s been watching over her ever since that fateful icy night.

Here is a character you will fall in love with, so believable and real and endearing, that she captures both the ache of loneliness and the joy of finding yourself at last. For anyone who’s ever been a hurt teenager, for every mother of a daughter who has lost her way, Faithful is a roadmap.

I have just started this book, so its early days, but so far so good.

I am looking forward to ... 

Watching the last episode every of George Gently.  They say it will be broadcast on October 30th.  Sad to see the series ending. It has been Ace. I suppose the actors want to move onto other projects.

Dreaming about ... 


A different type of white picket fence  . . . 


Pretty laundry rooms  . . .


A table for two and that old wooden floor  . . .   


A kitchen large enough to swing a cat . . . 


Laura Ashley . . .  yes please  . . . 

Something to watch ...

The Shack, we watched this last evening and both thoroughly enjoyed it.

A quote for the day ...

  `*.¸.*´Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ¸. •´¸.•~♥♥♥~•. ~ ღϠ₡ღ¸. ✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ.
              ( ¸. ❀⁀ ⋱‿✿“` * .¸.* ✻ღϠ₡ ღ¸.✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ..
Courage is the first of human qualities,
because it is the quality which guarantees all the others.
                ~Winston Churchill ღ¸.✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ.. 

Makes me smile ...

Corners of my Kingdom ...

Lancaster Castle in Lancashire  . . . founded in the 11th century . . . 

And that's my daybook for this week!

  ⋱ ⋮ ⋰
⋯ ◯ ⋯ Take time to enjoy the small *´¯`.¸¸.☆
  ⋰ ⋮ ⋱ blessings in life.*´¯`.¸¸.☆

✿¸.•*¨`*•..✿✿¸.•*¨`*•..✿ ✿¸.•*¨`*•..¸✿ ✿¸.•*¨`*•..¸✿ ✿¸.•
░░░░░░░░░░░░░ ░░░░░░░░░░░░ ░░░░░░░░░░░░

Wherever you go and whatever you do, I hope there's a great day ahead of you! Don't forget!

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

And I do too!!     

Monday, 16 October 2017

Small and Wonderful Things . . .

"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.  
The Children's Sunday School program in our church is called Primary.  I have served as a member of the Primary Presidency for many years during my time in the church and also as a teacher.  I love the children.  Once a year, towards the end of the year, the whole of one Sacrament Meeting (after the passing of the Sacrament) the time is given over to the children in our Ward and they put on a special presentation for the Ward/Congregation in which they show us all that they have been learning throughout the year.  They sing the songs they have learned and sung, present any talks they might have given, tell us about the lessons they have learned. etc.  Yesterday was our Ward Primary Presentation and it was just lovely.  It always is.  The children were so well behaved and did such a wonderful job in showing us all that they have learned. They sang their little hearts out!  We have a huge Primary  of over 40+ children.  It was very heart warming to see them all up there.  In a lot of churches today the pews are filled with old people. I love that our church is a happy mix of old and young. I think it is pretty special, and yes, I am a bit biased, lol. Todd and I enjoyed their presentation very much!  Its one of our favourite sacrament meetings of the year!

Last evening as the European Area of the church we had an opportunity to go to our chapels and see a special Area Broadcast just for us.  It was being broadcast from Frankfurt Germany and Elder Russell M Ballard, one of the Apostles was speaking along with Elder Quentin L Cook, another apostle.  There were some other leaders and their wives also.  It was only an hour and a half long, and the broadcast for us in our chapel was fraught with wifi issues.  The signal kept breaking up.  There was only about 25 or so of us there and Todd kept making I want to go home noises (he is not the most patient person at times, and incredibly patient at others) but we persevered and stayed to hear most of it. There was a beautiful spirit in attendance.  I enjoyed all the talks and I was especially moved by Elder Ballards talk.  These men and their wives are amazing. I could happily have listened to them for hours and hours. I took notes!  But then I always do.  It is easy to forget what has been said afterwards, but I find if I take notes then I can remember things much more easily.  A lot of the focus of the talks last night was on keeping the Sabbath Day holy and with reverence, and for every generation . . .  if you are parents of young children, or single adults, or older people.  There was something to be learned and of inspiration for everyone.

We were talking in the car on our way home.  The sun was just setting and there was tons of traffic on the road, the red backlights stretching on for miles seemingly in front of us, and somehow the topic got around to how do we know if God is real, and the thought came to me  . . . 
I know that God is real.  Throughout my life He has manifested His
presence to me in real, tangible and meaningful ways. In ways that I know were
meant just for me to see, and to feel, and I know that He will do the same for You if you allow Him.
All that is required is a tiny smidgen of faith on your part, a mustard seed of faith as it were.
If you apply that mustard seed of faith into your days,  
you will witness the miracle of God's presence
in your life also, and I guarantee that you will discover that He is there, 
and that He is real, and that He loves you very much.

Apple Pie.  It had been a long time since I had had any and I had forgotten just how good it was. My mom made the best apple pies.  I think everyone's mom makes the best apple pies.  Sometimes we would have it with a slice of cheese and it was soooooo good.  I picked up an Apple Pie at Costco the other day because Todd was wanting one and I didn't feel like making one.  I had a tiny sliver and I was in heaven.  Not as good as mom's for sure, but still really good!  Now I am going to have to make one.  I used to make a really good one, Apple, Cream and Crumb Pie.  Maybe I will make that . . . . or maybe I won't because that one is SOOOO good I will be far too tempted to imbibe! I literally have no will-power when it comes to dessert. I know I should, but I don't. Its better for me to just not have it around. 
Hurricane Ophelia is supposed to hit landfall today.  There is an amber warning out for Northern Ireland and a red warning out for the Republic of Ireland, it will also be pretty dicey for North Wales and the West of England, Cumbria, Scotland, etc.  I think we may be at the very edges of it so we can expect plenty of rain and high winds also, but hopefully not as damaging as in other areas.  Right now it is really calm out there.  You would never know a bad storm was in the offing.  My oldest daughter Eileen is really afraid for me, but I kept reassuring her last night that we would be okay.  She watches the weather channel and she takes it all to heart. We are in a safe area and we have plenty of water and food in the house and we have no need to go out anywhere.   We are actually pretty protected here in Chester.  We hardly get any adverse weather.  We do get a lot of rain, but all told we are pretty safe here.  We are very blessed! 
A few of the snaps I have taken recently of Mitzie to show our Eileen when we are chatting on Facebook.  As you can see she is always by my side.  What a wonderful companion she has been for these past seven and some years.  I don't know what I would do without her. 
My friend Valerie who always posts the most amazing things on her facebook page.  She always makes me smile or think.  Happy thoughts. In a sea of negativity in this world, she is a bright spark.

This is totally 100% true.   

My friend Warren also posts the most amazing things.  He was my homeroom teacher in Grade Seven, and is now my friend on facebook.  How crazy is that!  He is also a spark of light in a sea of negativity.  He is also a distant relation sort of. My mother had an Aunt that died when she was young and left behind some children.  Her Uncle remarried and had more children, and Warren is from that line of children.  


Autumn which just keeps giving.  We don't get as many bright colours over here as they do in Eastern Canada, because we don't have all the maples, but we do get colour and I am very grateful for that! 

What she said!

And with that I will leave you with a thought for the day . . . 

.° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★

 *.˛.°Life is like riding a bicycle.
To keep your balance, 
you need to keep moving.
~Albert Einstein   •。★★ 。* 。 

In The English Kitchen today  . . .  a Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Pasta Bake.  Seriously tasty!

Have a great day.  May your week ahead be filled with a multitude of small and wonderful things.  Don't forget!
 ═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════ ⊰✿░G░O░D⊰✿⊰L░O░V░E░S⊰✿⊰░Y░O░U░⊰✿
═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════

and I do too!


Sunday, 15 October 2017

Sunday Morning This and That . . .

What a lovely time I had yesterday afternoon.  A group of ladies from church were getting together to celebrate our good friend Margaret's getting the all clear after her battle this past year with Throat Cancer.  In all truth I did not know most of the ladies there because they are from another Ward/Congregation, but I did know a few and remembered some from when Todd and I were on our Mission and had visited that Ward.  Some have been friends of mine for 17 years now, since I first moved over here.  It was Margaret's husband who married Todd and myself, and Lesley (the hostess of the party) met her husband James on the same LDS chat page that Todd and I met on.  She reckoned since I got very lucky there, she might too, and she did! 

The best part though was the reason that we had all gathered, and that was, Margaret having won her battle.  What a great blessing! 

Jay, Jimmy and Merrill

Watch a British game show called "Pointless Celebrities" last night for the first time.  Jay was appearing on it with his brother Merrill.  We had never watched the show before but thought it was quite good. Jay and Merrill were the second couple of celebs booted out of the game.  Pointless is a celebrity version of the general knowledge quiz in which contestants try to come up with the answers that nobody else could think of. The pair with the lowest number of points at the end of the show wins.  What hampered Jay and Merrill was their lack of knowledge on coffee.  They were doing alright until the question came up which countries grow the most coffee in the world.  Of course they know not a lot about the subject (Most Mormons don't!).  If you get a wrong answer, you automatically get 100 points.  Nevermind, it looked as if they were having a great time and they were really good sports I thought.  It was so funny, Merrill said, Greece.  I don't think any coffee is grown in Greece.  haha, it was rather funny!

Jay and his wife have settled well into our church Ward.  I have to say what nice,  nice people they are.  But I would expect nothing else.

This week I received a comission to do a piece of art for someone's mother for Christmas. Of all the grandchildren.  There will be 10 characters in the piece and only two are girls.  This will be a great challenge for me, as you know  . . .  I have not been doing any art at all this year.  It is nice to have a purpose for getting back with my brushes however and I am deffo up to the challenge.  Already ideas are going through my mind.  Finding time to do it will be the greatest challenge.  I don't know what has been happening to my days, but they seem to be evaporating into the ether. 

I am doing wooden ornaments for the Grandchildren this year for Christmas.  I ordered some wooden shapes from a company called ArtCuts.  These are not the shapes I got.   I got Christmas Puddings, Christmas Robins, Snowmen, Scottie Dogs and Christmas Trees.  I am going to decoupage them.  This company also has beautiful Japanese Papers.  I am quite looking forward to this.  I hope that they turn out alright.  They will be unique for sure! 

My recipe for Lamb Tacos is amongst fourteen being considered for a prize for the best recipe for National Curry Week on Lamb, Tasty, Lamb. I guess it goes according to how many people add it to their favourites.  There are a lot of tasty recipes in the running.  I think fourteen altogether.  It was fun just being asked to participate.  and I thought the Tacos came out beautifully.  We really enjoyed them at any rate.   

Its Munch & Mingle after church today.  We usually never stay to it as I like to get home to call my mom with time to spare.  She has certain programs she likes to watch on Sunday mornings and I need to time my call around them. I know she would be okay with me calling any time, but I don't like to disrupt her day very much. We are all creatures of routine and she is used to me calling at a certain time.  If I am late I know she frets and sometimes even tries to call me to see if everything is okay.  I am not bothered about missing Munch & Mingle really. I have never been a mingler.  I know I come across as being very outgoing on here and I guess I am to a degree, but I really am essentially quite shy.  I've never been a huge fan of buffet types of meals either, even if they are just snacks.  I like knowing who brought what.  Yes, I am a germaphobe and having had food poisoning twice in my life I am not really keen on ever having it again! 

We are supposed to be getting some really nasty weather hitting us from tomorrow morning.  Hurricane Ophelia is going to be paying us a visit and they are predicting winds in access of 80mph. Ophelia has become the sixth major hurricane of the 2017 season after it was upgraded to a Category 3 storm. Storms of this strength are extremely rare and Ophelia's current location is the farthest east a major Atlantic hurricane has ever been seen. If the storm were to hit Britain at its current strength, it would be among the most powerful weather systems ever to hit the UK mainland. While Ophelia is expected to slow down by the time it hits the UK, the Met Office has issued severe weather alerts and warned there could be potential power cuts, disruption to road and rail networks, and damage to buildings. Western England, Northern Ireland and parts of Scotland will be most affected by the storm winds, with coastal areas expected to face the brunt of the weather conditions.   I expect here in the North West, and being not too far from the coast as we are, our conditions will be pretty bad.  We are expecting lots of wind and rain. Hopefully it will not be worse than that!

I am thinking about getting a smaller Tabletop tree for Christmas this year.  Since we switched around all our furniture down here and we have the fish tank  and computer desk in the area we have usually had the tree, I am thinking we don't have a place to put the big tree.  Todd says it can go in front of the front window, but I think it will be then blocking the television for anyone sitting in the arm chair. It is a bit of a dilema.  I am sure I will have made up my mind before too long. We will see.  Tatiana is supposed to be coming for Christmas again this year.  I don't think she will find it quite as exciting as the last time as we are no longer on our Mission and we don't have the youngsters around us quite as much. In fact it has been a couple of months since any were even to the house. To be honest I have slowed down a lot with feeding them. I used to try to have all three sets over at least once during a month, but this past couple of months we have only had the sisters, and only once, for lunch.  I find that come supper time, I am pooped.  Todd says I get up too early  I don't think it is that.  I think I am just getting older and with all the problems I have had with my knee, etc. it is wearing me down.  That's my story anyways, and I'm sticking to it!

And with that I will leave you with a thought for the day . . . 

.° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★

 *.˛.°F.E.A.R. has two meanings.
Forget everthing and run, or
Face everything and rise.
The choice is yours.
~unknown    •。★★ 。* 。 

In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Oaty Apple Crumble 4 One.  Todd really enjoyed this!

Have a blessed Sunday!  Don't forget!
═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════ ⊰✿░G░O░D⊰✿⊰L░O░V░E░S⊰✿⊰░Y░O░U░⊰✿
═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════

And I do too!


Saturday, 14 October 2017

The places I go . . .

I thought today I would tell you about some of the places I like to visit on the web and why I like to visit them.  In a world filled with negativity, it is nice to dwell on pleasant things and things that make me happy.  These are all little rays of sunshine in my life. 


Barb's Blog.  I love Barb's Blog.  It is a sweet, sweet blog filled with glimpses of farm life, family life, and just really nice things. I always enjoy my visits to Barb's Blog.  Nice acoustic guitar music, of the hymns of the church also. Could listen to them for hours.  Peace.  It is a peaceful blog to visit. She is an American.

La Table De Nana, by Monique.  I've been reading Monique for years now.  She is a French Canadian gal. I can't remember how I stumbled on to her, but I liked what I saw and stayed.  She has the sweetest spirit and is such a kind, kind soul.  Beautiful photos and words about  her gardens, food, her delightful artwork, crafts, chickens, travels, family, life.  We have never met in person, but I feel as if I have known her forever.

Nie Nie Dialogues, by Stephanie Nielson.  I have been reading Nie Nie for years now.  Stephanie was in plane crash in 2008. I started reading her blog shortly after that. She is one of the most inspiring women.  Her blog is a lot about her family life, her struggles, what inspires her, etc. She is also an American.  They just recently moved back to Arizona.  I am looking forward to seeing her adventures there with building a new home, etc.

"When we open ourselves to the Spirit, we learn God's way
and feel His will." -Neill F. Marriott

On The Bright Side, by Pam. A daily post about all that is good in the world.  Inspirational thoughts,  a recipe, family life.  I always end up with a big smile on my face when I visit Pam.  She's an American lady who always looks on the bright side of things. You can't help but feel better about the world after a visit to her sweet, sweet page. 

LDS Org.  This is my church's main webpage.  I go there every day, and sometimes more than once a dayThere are always good videos to watch, inspiring talks to read or listen to.  Its a fab source of inspiration for me. I love it. 

Simple Gifts Pictured, by Tracy.  Tracy is an American gal who lives in Norway. I have known Tracy for years now and we have actually been lucky enough to meet in person when I lived down in Kent.  She and her husband TJ were in London on holiday and popped on the train down to us in Brenchley and we spent a lovely day together.  Her blog is an oasis of nice also.  Beautiful photography.  Lovely thoughts.  A bit of food, Inspiration, travel, crafts, etc. 

Posie Gets Cosy, by Alicia Paulson.  Another American blog.  Alicia writes about her home life, her family, cooking, crafts, etc.  Lots of lovely photos to enjoy.  She is a very talented woman and creates the most beautiful things.  I have most of her patterns for softies and ornaments, embroidery and I also have both of her books.   I love her embroidery most of all.  There are even a few freebies there.

 Pinterest.  I visit Pinterest every day and multiple times a day.  It has become my go-to resource when I want to know how to do something, or even when I just have a few minutes to waste.  Where else can you collect things that interest you with abundance and not have it cost you a cent!

Carrie In Oxford, by Carrie. Carrie  is another North American living in the UK with her husband.  They have had a B&B in Oxford, but are now moving to a small Welsh Village.  Beautiful photos and a lovely little glimpse into a sweet, sweet life. 

Susan Branch, by Susan Branch.  Art, life, cooking, travel, books, quotes, etc.  I have been a fan of Susan Branch since the early 1980's when I discovered the illustrated recipes she used to have in Country Living Magazine.  I was so excited a few years back when I discovered she had a blog and I have been hooked ever since.  She is a sweetheart.  Love reading about her life and exploits.  I love her books.  I love her art.  I love her heart.  She responds to most comments.  Her blog is a community of kindred spirits and like minded souls.

Mouses Houses.  I don't know much about the writer of this blog.  I visit it because the photos are cute.  She makes all these little mouse characters and them puts them into scenes.  I love them.  I have always been fascinated with small worlds . . . 

This is by no means a full list of the places I like to visit.  I have just run out of time this morning.  I don't know how that happens.  I sit down here and I have oodles of time in front of me and then all of a sudden I am running out of time!  What are some of your favourite places to visit?  I would love to see what interests you!  Who knows maybe I will discover a new obsession! 

Just quickly speaking about time I have to tell you about this totally delightful film that Todd and I watched last evening called  About Time.   It was one of the best films I have seen in a while. It was funny, and sad and everything in between. 

"When Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson) is 21, his father (Bill Nighy) tells him a secret: The men in their family can travel through time. Although he can't change history, Tim resolves to improve his life by getting a girlfriend. He meets Mary (Rachel McAdams), falls in love and finally wins her heart via time-travel and a little cunning. However, as his unusual life progresses, Tim finds that his special ability can't shield him and those he loves from the problems of ordinary life."

Thoroughly engaging!

A thought to carry with you  . . . 

.° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★

 *.˛.°We either make ourselves happy,
or we make ourselves miserable.
The amount of work is the same.
~Carlos Casteneda  •。★★ 。* 。 


Something yummy in the kitchen today with a delicious Pumpkin Molasses Cake.  This is like a pumpkin gingerbread.  Moist and moreish!
Have a lovely Saturday!  I am off to a Tea Party this afternoon to celebrate the end of a friend's  treatments for throat cancer.  Looking foward to seeing some old and good friends.  Don't forget along the way of your day . . . 

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

and I do too!