Monday, 13 November 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.   
So far everything seems to be going well with the book.  I am a bit dismayed at the price, but then again it is a huge book and I am no Nigel Slater, so the print volume will only be small at first to see how it does. I think as with most things, the lower the volume of print the higher the cost.  I know when I printed my calendars last year it cost a bomb unless I was printing more than ten. Then they got a bit cheaper.  Still not cheap, but cheaper!  However my book seems to have been very well received worldwide. People like it and that pleases me.  I was quite worried they might now.  So now I hope that it does well.  If it does, then maybe I will be given the opportunity to write another.  I won't make it quite as big the next time!  I promise! 
Impromptu visits from these two beautiful gals. Sister Turnbull and Sister Wilkenson.  First it was being showered by celebrations chocolates on Saturday, and then last night . . .  
This happened.  They stopped by as transfers are this week and we are losing Sister Wilkenson who is moving to Ashton.  *sniff* *sniff*  Sister T. is staying however, she only has five weeks left on her mission as she is finishing it off and will be returning to Melbourne on the 20th December. Her flight has been booked.  So sad to see Sister W leaving and also Sister T finishing off her mission.  We love these young people so much as you know.  You get attached to them.  I love that they feel comfortable in our home and like to spend time with us.  I love feeding them.  I love sharing with them and feeling of their special spirit.  All the best to Sister T in her new area.  There is a Baptism on the 25th however, and she may be back for that!  So we may get to see her at least once more!  I am excited to meet the new Sister who will be replacing her however.

They are all great! 
 Enjoying yet another anniversary with my hunny bunny.  Last year this time it was us who were down to the last five weeks in our Mission and Todd was in the process of discovering that he had the dreaded "C".   It was a difficult year, filled with sad endings, and cancer treatments, but it was also a year of great blessings, as his cancer is now in remission and I wrote the book, and we have been blessed with even more time together here on earth.  I am so grateful to be tied to this man not only for this lifetime, but also to be sealed to him in the Holy Temple of the Lord for time and all eternity.  I love him so much.  He is the yin to my yang. 
So blessed yesterday to have a lovely phone call with Tatiana!  She had been going to come for Christmas this year, but alas, has had  to begin a new job and so won't be able to, but hopefully in the summer next year she will be able to come for two weeks.  I have my fingers crossed.   It was so nice to hear her voice.  I love her so much.  I am so grateful that destiny enabled us to meet, first online and then in person, and that we have become such good friends.  I just know that we knew each other in the pre-existance.  I am sure that we declared that we would seek each other out somehow here in this life!  I feel so blessed that we were able to do just that!  There have been a few people in my life that I feel that way about, and she is one of them.  I know that I am old enough to be her mother, but there is a special connection there.  She is a great blessing in my life. ♥ 
And she makes a great Pastichio! 

I am so grateful for the National Health Service.  We like to complain about it, but we are blessed to have free health care in this country, and anyone who is on any form of benefit, or over the age of 60 gets free prescriptions, eye checks, etc. I think we set the standard for the world.  This is a great blessing which I think we sometimes take very much for granted.  I think that our healthy workers do a fabulous job for not a lot of money.  Ariana works very hard as a nurse, and makes only £12.50 an hour, but did you know that if she worked as an agency nurse she would be making £38 an hour?  I found that out this weekend.  She is going to start working as an agency nurse part time to supplement her income that she makes as an RN.    I do think our NHS needs to look at that.  Perhaps if they paid  regular nurses more, then they would not need to hire agency nurses to make up the shortfall for three times the cost.   
Scrummy anniversary treats.  I know  . . .  but we enjoyed them. (Not the McFlurry, we did not have that, nor did we have an apple pie, just the chicken.)  I like to have sour cream and chives dipping sauce and sweet chili dipping sauce with mine and I double dip. Once in the sweet chili and then into the sour cream.  So good.  Naughty me. We are humble people.  This made us both very happy.  Well, Todd doesn't really like the chips much, he likes thicker ones, but I was happy with everything, lol, and as everyone knows, if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy! 

So this happened, well . . . not all of them, but the wall calendar at any rate.  I treat myself to a Susan Branch Calendar every year and I used to to ME's desk calendar also but not this year, or last for that matter.  I didn't like the way ME behaved during the Presidential election.  I saw a very ungracious side to her and it put me off, but I still love Susan Branch.  She is very gracious in all things.  It would not be a good year without an SB calendar to help me keep up with the days! So charming.
I still have this from last year so I don't need another one of them yet . . .  hmmm . . .  so tempting.

The value of inspiration and the faith to hold on to your dreams.  Good things DO come to those who wait and who believe in the value of their dreams.  Faith is not a dirty word.  Faith is a muscle and when we choose to exercise it, it always surprises us and sometimes in quite amazing ways.

Don't ever give up on anything.
Keep believing and hoping
and trying.

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

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

 *.˛.°  Why wish upon a star when
you can pray to the one who created it.
~Unknown    •。★★ 。* 。 

BOOK OF MORMON CORNER - Today's Reading - 1 Nephi 17:1-16
QuestionWhat have you learnt from the reading today? Which of Nephi's character traits stands out to you in these verses?  
What I learnt - It never fails to boggle my mind how many processes Nephi had to go through before he could even start on the boat! He had to kill beasts, skin them, make skins into bellows, make a mega fire strong enough to molten ore, and then he has to get the rock and molten the metal out,  make the tools, get the wood, prepare the wood. This says a couple of things to me DEDICATION & DETERMINATION! Nephi was absolutely dedicated to keeping the commandments, and no matter how hard or long the process, he would do what he was asked to do. I've realised that when Heavenly Father wants me to do something that seems insurmountable and impossible, there will be lots of little steps needed to be taken in order to accomplish it. And each step is necessary . . . . ie. the bellows before the tools. The spirit will guide me to know the little steps I need to make in my own journey. 
Nephi was commanded to build a ship only after he cried unto the Lord in the mountain. Regular prayers are good, but we need to cry to the Lord. Pray earnestly for all we need. Exhaust the Lord, ask Him,  and He will answer us. I really admire Nephi's faith. His first question was where can I find the ore to make the tools to build the ship??  He did not moan and groan, or roll his eyes about what he was being asked to do.  He just simply went and did it.  He is such a wonderful example of trust and faith to me.

Tomorrow's reading (Day 25) - 1 Nephi 17:17-30
Question What have you learnt from the reading today? How do you maintain the faith that the Lord has something better in store for you when he asks you to give up worldly pleasures? 

In the English Kitchen today  . . .  Roast Pork with Carrots, Turnips & Apples.  Seriously tasty and such a simple bake.  I served it with spring onion mash and a bit of gravy.

 I hope the week ahead is filled to overflowing with small and wonderful things!  Don't forget along the way . . . 
═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════ ⊰✿░G░O░D⊰✿⊰L░O░V░E░S⊰✿⊰░Y░O░U░⊰✿
═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════ 

and I do too!



  1. Happy Anniversary ! May God give you a lot of happy and healthy years together! All my love!
    Carla from Cretexxxxxxx

  2. Thank you very much Carla! We did have a lovely day! xoxo

  3. Great, now I need to find out what is Pastichio and what's in it! Lol. It looks like lasagna.

    Big hugs and love!

  4. I have this recipe here Jan, but it's not the right one for what Tatiana made. Pastichio is very like Lasagna! It was very good! I can't wait for her to return so she can make it again! Next time I will post the recipes!

  5. Here's to sooo many more years!
    I am kind of glad I have no clue what went on w/ ME and teh election..I wish Susan made a wee one..I like tearing off each page..Love my big SB one:) Too funny I just wrote about it too:)

  6. Hmm..when I first looked at the price was $121.

    Now it's in the seventies...

  7. and 44 now US instead of almost 60:)

  8. I wish Susan made a wee one also Monique! I do miss the little ME desk calendar, but I can't bring myself to buy one. I guess I am too judgemental, lol. I see that the books have come way down in price! That's a good thing! I know that Amazon does refund differences in prices if your order comes to less when it comes time to ship! (which is also a good thing!) Hope you are having a sweet day! xoxo

  9. Happy Anniversary ! Congrats on your happy years together ! An anniversary is a special celebration for sure. I used to get those yearly calendars but not anymore, I still have ones from the past that I've saved and still enjoy. They are inspirational!

  10. Happy Anniversary to you and Todd. Am reading your book on my Kindle, and two things. First, the proofreading is not good, at least on the Kindle version. Things are quite jumbled up in places. Second, I love this book. Good and real food, every recipe is something I want to cook RIGHT NOW! Good directions and descriptions, and I'm really enjoying the blurbs with bits of your life and comments about English food and food in general. It's worth the money, this book. Lots, and I mean lots, of recipes. Which is why we buy cookbooks, right? Well done, Marie!

  11. Linda, message me with the parts that seem jumbled! I can’t tell you how many people we had proof reading, a mAmmoth task as you can imagine. Months and months. Even last week I was going through the proof with a fine tooth comb. I think sometimes a person can’t see the forest for the trees, while someone else can see something which is glaringly obvious! Happy you like the choice of recipes and my blurbs. I just try to write like I am talking to you! Xoxo

  12. Thanks very much Pam! I love calendars too! My mother has some very love,y old ones, some even made from bamboo! They are treasures! I remember when every local business gave you a calendar at Christmas! Xoxo

  13. Hi Marie~

    I'm pretty excited about getting your book - it's a great value!

    Sister missionaries just have something special, don't they. I can only imagine how much they enjoy being in your home, what a treat for them, and you! But, it's always sad to see them go home. Adorable photos.

    How fun to have been able to meet and actually spend time with someone online that you love so much! I have a few friends who I have met, and love, and some I want to meet, that I love...;0)

    I have always thought, and don't let my husband hear this, that a National Health Service would be good here in the states. I know that people like to complain about, this and that and the other about it, but I know several people from the UK and from Australia, who would not be alive without it, they love it, and get wonderful care. Dr's here make way too much money in my opinion...that's just my opinion.

    I love chicken tenders and order them a lot when we go out. I will have to try them with sour cream and chili sauce, yum.

    Susan Branch really is an amazing artist, she has some really calendars! Stick to your guns about ME.

    As always, loved your thoughts today!

    Hugs and Love,

  14. Thanks very much Barb! I love everything Susan puts her hand to. I have admired and loved her work for many, many years, since I was a very young woman myself and discovered her artwork in Country Living magazine! I have your address! I hope you enjoy the book! Love and hugs, xoxo

  15. HAPPY BOOK launch, Marie! And VERY HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to you & dear Todd!! :))) Must admit the price of your book was surprising... But it is on my Christmas wish-list! ;) Very much hoping it's a great success for you, and that you may have another in the works!! So sorry about your Sister T. and W. who will be leaving you.... (LOVE & BIG HUGS))

  16. Thanks so much Tracy, I had put you down as a possible reviewer, did my Editor not contact you? I am sad about that. Love and big hug right back to you and TJ, and wee Luna! xoxo

  17. Happy Anniversary, and congratulations on your book! I, too, am all set with my SB calendars for next year; fortunately, I was able to purchase the desk blotter and mini wall calendars locally at discount prices, so the savings went toward purchasing the large wall calendar at a local bookstore. I still have the 2017-2018 pocket calendar from last year. For several years I also used her Book of Days as a daily diary record; this year I'm using The Old Farmer's Almanac Engagement Calendar ... each day's entry space includes fun tidbits of information and illustrations :-)

  18. Thanks very much Sharon! We did have a lovely day! I will have to look for The Old Farmer's Almanac one! It sounds interesting. I always loved The Old Farmer's Almanac! xo

  19. Still not Linda. :) Cannot figure out how to message you.
    Sorry. Here's a picture of one page from my Kindle.

    Don't have the actual hard copy of the book so it may be completely different. Did I mention I love it, btw? I do.

  20. Oh, I am sorry Excentric, I guess I keep mixing you up with Linda from Greece. My deepest apologies. That is awful about your kindle version. I will have to mention and show it to my editor. It certainly wasn't written that way and it is completely different than that in the hard copy. I am glad however that you love it all the same. I am wondering if it is the size of your kindle that is the problem. Monique got a kindle version and she has no problem at all with it? Is yours an older kindle? 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!