Tuesday, 15 October 2019

The Simple Woman's Daybook . . .

FOR TODAY, October 15th, 2019

Outside my window ...
I can hear the birds waking up and beginning to sing.  The day is just barely beginning to dawn. It is still pretty dark out.

I am thinking ...
I really, really, REALLY hope that I can get in to see a Doctor today . . .  
I am thankful for ...
A grateful heart and the knowledge that things could always be worse, and are worse for many people. 
In the kitchen ... 
Best Ever Steak Rub 
Best Ever Steak Rub. Its a tiny bit sweet, quite spicy and a whole lot of delicious! 
On my "To Cook" list ...

David Lebovitz, French Salted Butter Cookies. Sables Bretons. 
Good to know ... 
Who can't use a bit of help in this area . . . 
I am creating ... 
The next page in my flower journal.  Marigold, Periwinkle and I have started to sketch a Narcissis.  I still have the ink work to do along with finishing the Narcissis.
Fibre Necklaces using scraps of vintage fabrics, embroidery, etc. No source, just eye candy. 
Forest Friends, little knitted racoon doll. Esther Braithewaite on Ravelry.  

Crochet 'n' Create lovely granny circle crochet.  
Craftsy. Spring Flowers Crochet. Not free, but not expensive either.  
I am reading ... 
Cider with Rosie, by Laurie Lee 
Cider with Rosie is a wonderfully vivid memoir of childhood in a remote Cotswold village, a village before electricity or cars, a timeless place on the verge of change. Growing up amongst the fields and woods and characters of the place, Laurie Lee depicts a world that is both immediate and real and belongs to a now-distant past.

Apparently this is only book one, but I am enjoying it thus far. 
I am looking forward to ...
Ending my pain. Soon, I hope  . . .  
Dreaming of ... 
Old quilts and fabrics   . . . 
Embroidered Pillows  . . . . 

Knitted socks  . . . 
Painted wood doors and flower sprigged wallpaper  . . . 

Embroidered collars  . . . 
Makes me smile ... 
Ariana, Grace & Jose . . .  the perfect match  . . . 

Something to watch ... 
Diana, 7 Days that Shook the World, on Netflix.
A thought to carry with you  ... 
° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •

° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。
° 。

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

I hope that I can be 
like theAutumn leaf,
that looked at the sky and lived,
and when it was time to leave,
gracefully it knew 
life was a gift.
~Dodinsky ° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ • 
Corners of my kingdom ... 
A row of classic red phone boxes in Covent Garden, London  . . . 

And that's my daybook for this week!

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

  ⋰ ⋮ ⋱ blessings in life.*´¯`.¸¸.☆ 

✿¸.•*¨`*•..✿✿¸.•*¨`*•..✿ ✿¸.•*¨`*•..¸✿ ✿¸.•*¨`*•..¸✿ ✿¸.• ╬♥═╬╬═♥=╬╬═♥╬╬═♥╬╬═♥=╬╬♥═╬♥╬╬═♥╬╬═♥=╬╬♥
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Have a beautiful day!  Don't forget!   

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And I do too!    




Monday, 14 October 2019

Small & 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 from the past week which brought untold joy into my life. It's the small things in life which truly mean the most. Simple abundance . . . it's the best.  

Page one of my flowers journal. I am enjoying it.  Very crude I know, but it is an exercise in creation and I am loving it.  This is three days of work.  I know they are not exactly as the flowers probably work, but it doesn't really matter. It only matters that I am creating again and painting again and that I am finding joy in the journey.  Forgive my wonky lettering. I never could do anything in a straight line! 

Phone calls with friends  . . .  my friend Val and I were able to talk on the telephone yesterday and we had a wonderful conversation. We had not spoken on the phone in a while and it was so lovely to have a catch up.  Friends are always special to me, but you know they are really special when you can go for a while without talking and then just pick up again where you left off!  

This is a photo of Vermont in the autumn. I belive it is near Woodstock.  I have family that I love very much who live in Vermont and close to this area I believe. My mother's first cousin Polly and her daughter Martha and a few others I am in touch with.  I have wonderfully happy memories of visiting with Polly and her family when I was a child and with Polly's mum in Massachussetts, and of Martha and the times Martha came up to Nova Scotia with her grandmother, my Great Aunt Melva.  We have been in touch on facebook for a number of years now.  Yesterday Polly and I talked about stuffing and mom's stuffing and Polly related that it was the recipe her Grandmother, my Great Grandmother Elsie used to make . . .  a recipe which had come down through the generations.  That made me feel all lovely inside . . . 


This is Polly's and Mom's Grandmother and Grandfather Woodworth, Elsie and Eslie Woodworth.  They are also Martha and my Great Grandparents. It is a wonderful thought to think and know that here we are two and three generations later still communicating, still sharing, still loving.  They were long gone by the time I was born, but I loved hearing stories about them and I look forward to meeting them both one day in the hereafter.  I wonder what Elsie thinks about us still making and enjoying her stuffing many generations later, and probably a whole lot of other things also!  


I know it would really please me to think that my grands and great grands were still connected to me in that way.  Family, it truly is forever, and it is everything. 

(Pilgrim Fathers, Bernard Grimble)

I was reading This Article  from  the Martha's Vineyard Times about Susan Branch, and discovered that she, too, is descended from passengers on the Mayflower.  I thought how cool is that!  I am curious as to who it is she is descended from.  I am a descendant of Elizabeth Tilley and John Howland.  It is cool to think that some of our DNA came over to North America on the same ship way back when.  As you know I really love and admire Susan Branch. I have done so since I discovered her back in the 1980's in Country Living magazine.  Her art charms me to no end, and she is just a nice, nice, nice person.  Kindred spirits.  You should read the article. Like her it is charming to no end.  

Grandsons who play chess.  Jake and Josh.  Seriously impressed.


I will never take being pain free for granted again. Every moment I am is bliss to me.  It only hurts when I move, but when I am completely still, the pain stops.  I am going to try to get in to see a Doctor today.  Usually, however, you only get to see a nurse practitioner.  I think I need some x-rays or something. This is the third week of this and I am pretty sure now its not going to go off on its own.  I can't bear the thought that I will have to live like this for the rest of my life. Its very wearing on the spirit and mind, and completely debilitating.  Just pulling on my trousers in the morning is a painful exercise . . .  I have a lesson to teach in Relief Society later this month and I want to be able to do it standing up. 

The power and comfort of prayer. I don't know where I would be without it. 

I must off here now.  I need to move if I can. I also need to phone the Doctor's office so I will leave you with a thought to carry with you  . . . 

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

Prayer is the most
important conversation
of your day.
Take it to God before you
take it to anyone else. •。★★ 。* 。 

Cranberry & Apple Turkey Meatballs 

In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Cranberry & Apple Turkey Meatballs. Very tasty!

I hope your week ahead is filled with lots of small and wonderful blessings.  Don't forget along the way! 

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And I do too!  



Sunday, 13 October 2019

Thanksgiving Memories . . .

There were very few times when I was a child when we were allowed to gorge ourselves and eat our fill of whatever.  My mother had been overweight when she was about 13/14 and she was determined that her children would not be and so she really kept a close watch on what we ate and when. Thanksgiving and Christmas were the few exceptions to her rule, and on those days we could pretty much go to town, within reason of course. 

We always had turkey. always, always, despite she and my dad having had food poisoning from a Thanksgiving turkey early on in their marriage.  They didn't have a refrigerator and had kept it outside on the roof outside the window of their apartment. Its a wonder it didn't kill them. 

Mom always started her turkeys the night before.  She had a huge roasting pan that had come with her Wearever Aluminium Waterless Cookware that they had bought early on in their marriage. 


This thing was E NOR MOUS!  But it cooked the best turkeys. (I hope my sister hung on to it.)  It sat over two burners. Mom would start off by seasoning the bird all over and then browing it  in the bottom of this roaster, all over and then she would add a bit of water and start to simmer it for a bit.  Now is when it got interesting and I am still amazed that none of us died.  She would do this prior to going to bed the night before and then pop the lid on, turn off the burners and go to bed, leaving it sitting there over night.   

Yet somehow it never killed us or made us ill.  

She would then stick it into the oven to finish it off the next day.  We were tantalised by the smell of cooking turkey all the night through and all the next day.  There was NEVER a dry turkey that I can recall. Never.  And her gravy was phenomenal.  She never had to use stock cubes or anything.  Just the juices from the turkey, which included the original browning and water that she had simmered it in.  She would shake together flour and water to thicken them.  Salt and pepper.  Best gravy ever. 

Her stuffing was legendary.  I have never been able to make it taste like hers did, no matter how hard I try, and so now I don't.  She didn't buy special bread to use in it, just ordinary bread that we had every day.  Hers was a potato and bread stuffing.  She would cook extra potatoes for her mashed potatoes and some of them would be used for the stuffing. To that mash she would add the torn bread, some turkey juices, poultry seasoning, sage, salt, pepper and some chopped raw onion.  She had no recipe, she just did it, and it always tasted amazing.  We all loved her stuffing. It didn't bake inside the turkey, it didn't bake in the oven, except for a very cursary baking to keep it warm while she cooked the vegetables.  It was delicious. 

The vegetables were likewise very simple  . . .  mashed squash, and it would not have been butternut, most likely hubbard.  Sliced carrots, tinned peas and the piece de resistance, mashed turnips.  They were my favourite thing.  Mashed turnips.  She also used some of her mashed potatoes in these.  The actual vegetable used was a Rutabaga or a Swede as it is called over here.  She would boil it until tender and then mash it along with some of the potatoes from her mashed potatoes.  There were no special seasonings used for any of her cooking except for the stuffing and turkey.  Salt and pepper.  That was it, and plenty of butter. 


Mom made the best mashed potatoes.  She had an old wire potato mashed that she used, the paint on the handle all worn from years of use.  Potatoes, milk, butter, salt and pepper and her secret ingredient  . . .  a tiny bit of finely minced onion.  You would not believe the lift that tiny bit of onion gives.  They were amazing.  


Sometimes we would have cranberry sauce, sometimes not . . . she never made it from scratch. It always came from this tin  . . .  Ocean Spray and it was always the jellied one, without the bits of cranberry in it. 

And that was our dinner  . . .  We would fight over who got the drumstick.  Three kids, two drumsticks. I don't know why.  As an adult it is my least favourite part of the bird. But kids  . . .  we probably wanted to look like Fred Flintstone or summat . . .  I don't think any of us ever got a whole drumstick, just pieces off it and some white meat.   

Mom always used her best dishes on special occasions and her silver cutlery.  The cutlery was kept in a special wooden chest on the sideboard.  It never tarnished because there was something special in the chest that kept it from tarnishing. I can remember how it smelled, that chest . . . it had the smell of holidays. I suppose because that was the only time it was opened.  

This is similar to the pattern of mom's good dishes.  Not china.  Melmac.  The only difference being that hers had a few more pieces to the set and the brown was a darker brown.  There is a story behind this set of dishes as well.  My father had a small business that he ran on the side of his full time job in the airforce.  AV Electro services.  He serviced televisions and put up television aerials.  (The AV stood for Anthony Villeneuve)  One time he brought us all with him on one of his "business trips" into Winnipeg and we all waited in the car while he was having his meeting.  It went on overly long and at the end the guy he was seeing came out to the car with a brand new set of these dishes for my mother as an apology for us having had to wait in the car for so long.  Cups, saucers, dinner plates, side plates, dessert nappies, cream and sugar cruets, etc. Mom treasured these dishes.  They got used at best twice a year.  You could take your Limoges or Herend china and shove it. She had these and they were much treasured by her, and by me.  They still looked brand new the last time I saw them. 

Its funny how many memories are invested in things like this  . . .  in large aluminium roasting pans, worn and scratched with age, twisted metal potato mashers with paint worn handles, blonde wood boxes holding silver plate that smelled funny . . .  plastic melmac dishes, printed with wheat sheaves. None of it, in and of itself worth a lot of money to speak of, but oh the memories that are attached to them.  Priceless.  Love. Family. Home. Faith.  These are the things in life that matter most.

A very Happy Thanksgiving to all of my Canadian family and friends. 

A thought to carry with you  . . . 

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

There is a calmness to a
life lived in gratitude,
a quiet joy.° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
~Ralph H Blum ° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ • 

Carrot Cake Drop Scones 

In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Carrot Cake Drop Scones.  Delicious!

Have a wonderful day.  Don't forget! 

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And I do too!