Saturday 27 August 2022

All Things Nice . . .



Not much, you say . . . a tiny place,
An attic bedroom, clean and sweet,
A table with a yellow cloth,
A window high above the street.

But from it I can see between
The red-roofed houses of the town,
The shining cross above the church,
And apple blossoms drifting down.

The clean sweet arch of summer sky
A white dove feeding in the lane,
A neighbor woman coming home,
Ivy against a window pane.

Frail smoke from cottages at eve,
A brown thrush singing from the hedge,
An old man spading in the yard,
Trimming the garden's ragged edge.

Only a little room perched high,
Like a brown nest against the eaves,
Half hidden from the passer-by
Behind a screen of maple leaves.

And yet within its tiny space
Dwell happiness and love for me,
A sense of home serene and sweet,
The salty fragrance of the sea.

A palace couldn't give me more,
Nor money buy its priceless worth,
A heart content with what it has,
The gift of riches not of earth.
~Edna Jaques, To Be Content
My Kitchen Window, 1942


There is a special contentment and joy to be found from being able to lean into the simple things in life. When I was living down in the South East of England in that cottage on the Estate, the sunsets and sunrises over the South Downs were spectacular and I had a window seat to all of them.  At both times of day a Song Thrush would perch on the chimney of the cottage next door and sing its heart out . . .  a beautiful song that was magical and so calming  . . . it echoed through the air surrounding the cottage. It was such a beautiful gift, a heavenly sound that brought me so much peace to listen to . . . 

Quite unlike the cry of the loon across the lake . . .  that is a sound that always makes me feel lonely. Kind of like the sound of a train whistle in the night.  

That is a sound not many will find themselves privy to in these modern times, like the sound of milk bottles clinking early in the morning, or the whistle of a kettle as she boils.  I count myself lucky to have been been able to live in an age where such things existed, though these days they be long gone for the most part . . . 

Leaning into simplicity  . . . that is the language of my heart.  Finding pleasures in small and simple things that are free for the asking and the giving.  Each night in my prayers I ask that I would be a better person tomorrow than I was today, and I like to think that my prayers are answered. Oh, it happens not in huge changes or grand gestures, but in small and simple ways.  I seek to become a bit better with each day that I am given.  To be able to look back on each day and see that you have made a difference to those whose lives touched yours, that is a reward in and of itself. It makes me feel content.  It brings a peace that I cannot put a price upon . . . 

Sometimes the only life I make a difference to is that of the chipmunk who faithfully visits each day in search of peanuts.  On others it might only be my own . . . c'est la vie.  C'est la vie . . . 


We have been very much feeling gratitude this week that our father was not badly hurt in his accident he had last Saturday.  We went to remove his belongings from his car the day before yesterday.  The gentleman there who owns the place was telling us he had never seen knee bags deployed in a car that had been in an accident before. He said the fact that the air bags had deployed at all meant that our father had been going at a good speed upon impact.  He felt that Dad was very lucky to have walked away as unscathed as he did.  Both he and Maryann are sore from where the airbags hit them, but it could have been a whole lot worse.

The whole front end of his car was mangled beyond belief, and the impact had even thrown out the rear door on the passenger side, which would explain why Maryann is in more pain than my father is.  Dad thought his brakes had failed, but I think personally and this was confirmed by the man at the collision place that the brakes were fine. I think dad put his foot on the gas by mistake. 

We are just relieved that nobody was seriously hurt. My father has a loaner car now. He finally got one yesterday, which means we won't be having to ferry him around quite as much.  He is understandably nervous about being behind the wheel again, and we are nervous for him. At the age of 88 we wonder if he should still be driving, but at the same time we recognize that being able to do so allows him a freedom that if taken away would make a major impact on his quality of life.


Signs of autumn are showing themselves more and more with each day that passes. How could this summer have passed by as quickly as it did?  Here we are less than a week away from September and already there are fallen leaves in my back yard. Mr. McGregor's sunflowers are starting to bloom, He lives across the street. One of them has reached all the way up to his roof top.  

The field behind the new farm shop is planted with sunflowers and they are all in bloom as well. I would take a photograph with my phone camera but I do not know how to make it zoom in.  There is a field of mud between the farm shop and the field of sunflowers that I am not willing to traverse.  Maybe in Wellington boots, but not in my shoes.  A field of sunflowers is always a pretty sight and one that makes the heart smile for sure. 

But all along the roadways I am seeing the leaves on the trees changing.  A week ago it was only a few here and there, but with each day that passes I am seeing more and more.   I want to cry out, make it stop!  Its too soon . . . we are not ready to say goodbye to the summer just yet. 


It won't be long now before we are wanting to cook and eat everything apple. My father just loves apple pie. Our mother made good apple pies. In the UK, the apple pies were quite different than the ones that I grew up with.  They used Bramley apples for the most part which are a kind of cooking apple that gets fluffy when it is cooked.  I remember the first time I baked an apple pie over there. It was really, really tart. Very sour in fact.  It helps to know your ingredients.  Especially when baking pies, and I had not really experienced this type of apple before and so had not used near enough sugar.  It would be impossible to eat a Bramley apple raw and out of hand. 

In Canada I would have always used a  mix of apples, cooking and eating, to make an apple pie, or apple anything for that matter.  

Apple season will soon be upon us. I might make some apple butter this year. It has been years since I made it. We always enjoyed it with roast pork when I was bringing up my children. It made a great glaze for a pork loin roast.


I have signed up to do a six week study of the book of Esther via Multiply Goodness.  I have always loved the book of Esther in the Old Testament. I remember reading a novel about her many years ago. She was a Jewish orphan who found favor in the Kings eyes and became his Queen.  It is a great story about how we can use the blessings we are given to help others.

I did a six week study with Multiply Goodness based on the Miracles of the Old Testament earlier this year and am looking forward to this next one. 

Anything that helps me to dig deeper into the word is a bonus.  I love the scriptures and I want to get as much out of them as I can when I read them. 

In days gone by the only book many family's had to read was the Bible, and they read it from cover to cover, over and over again.  These days we really are spoilt for choice when it comes to reading material.


I am teaching the lesson in Young Women's tomorrow morning. It is based on the premise that we are never alone. That Christ always accompanies and is there for us throughout all of our troubles. I know, personally, that this is true, so it is a good lesson for me to teach. I am fretting a bit however about wearing a mask.  Everyone in my church congregation has stopped masking.  I am the last hold out. I want to protect myself, but at the same time feel like an oddity.  The fact is that it is no longer a requirement for people to mask.  The fact is also that whilst it is no longer a requirement, people in very key places are still recommending that you do.  I got a flier in the post yesterday for exercise and other classes at the local community college.  It had in big red letters on it "Masks are NOT required but are certainly recommended."  That tells me that I should still be masking.  How to get over this uncomfortable feeling like an oddball. I don't know.  I know that it makes me not want to go to church.   And that's the truth.

There is this guy at the mall. You see him there every time you go. He is a very friendly guy. He's  in a wheel chair and spends his day travelling up and down the mall talking to everyone, and close up. He does not mask.  I admit that I am really uncomfortable when he comes to our table if we are there.  I want to say something to him. The other day when we dropped my father off and went to the fabric shop, when we went back to get dad he was right there at Dad's table breathing all over him.  Cindy and I were both very upset with this. My father had his mask on, but like you see with many older people, it was not over his nose. I hate that I feel uncomfortable and upset about things like this. I feel like our Government has really dropped the ball with this one and bowed to public desires.  Intellectually I know that if you have been vaccinated and boosted you are unlikely to get a really bad case of Covid should you get it, but the possibility exists that you might also get a fatal case. I am just not willing to take the chance and I hate feeling like an odd ball because of that.

These are my two this morning. Keeping ever watchful eyes on Chippy as he snacks on nuts. They get such pleasure from doing so. Every once in a while the scene is interrupted by a juvenile Blue Jay who is also coming for the nuts. They don't mind as they enjoy watching it also. And then there are the hummers who add even more to their pleasure.  Simple joys  . . . 

And with that I better leave you with a thought for the day. I haven't finished my lesson yet. I know  . . . leaving it to the last minute, but really my heart is not in it. My heart is not in church at all and that's troublesome  . . . 

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

 *A quiet and modest life 
brings more joy than 
a pursuit of success 
bound with constant unrest.”
~Albert Einstein •。★★ 。*    

In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Farmhouse Buttermilk Cake. Simply delicious.

I hope you have a beautiful Saturday. Whatever you get up to, wherever you may wander, whatever brings you joy, don't forget! 

═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════

And I do too! 


  1. I remember the clink of milk bottles in England, and the sound of the milk float moving away. A beautiful day here, but yes, slowly summer is moving away and signs of autumn are creeping in. Have a wonderful weekend.

    1. Oh yes the sound of the milk float. Up until the last few years I was in the UK, there was a milk float in the neighborhood, but then he stopped coming. I don't know why. Perhaps not enough people supporting them keeping it up? You have a wonderful weekend also! xoxo

  2. Surprised at your parting church,I thought you loved it,?Here also tips of trees are starting and more in will actually be flamboyant soon..Not on our land but up a cote road...

    1. I have always loved church Monique, and going. What I don't love is the way I have felt there lately, like an oddball wearing a mask. But I can't not wear one. It is me, not the church. At church, I am the only one wearing one. I have heard people make the statement at church as well that Covid is over. Its like having your hair brushed in the opposite direction constantly. Uncomfortable. And I don't go to church to feel uncomfortable. I am not sure I am explaining it right. :-(

    2. Aha now I get it lol..Oh I agree In certain circumstances I fell like an odd ball too!I hear you loud and clear.

  3. Love, love the poem at the top….we always worry about our loved ones, older ones more, glad your dad and all are okay!’re so correct, the simple things bring the most joy, if we stop to appreciate….and I would so love to see that field of sunflowers, how could one not be joyful at that sight!?? Happy day and best wishes on that lesson, you’ll do great and on one will care if you wear a mask or not. xo, V.

    1. You are right of course V. Nobody is purposefully making me feel that way. It is all me. I need to stop feeling self conscious about it I suppose. Thank you so much for your wishes! Happy day to you also! xoxo

  4. dear Marie, this post gave me so much to think about. First of all, I so love that little bedroom in the first photo - it is just what I would love. And the last photo of the kitkats - how they love each other!
    I totally get it about the masks. Hardly anyone wears them around here, but a few of us still do. I have a couple of luncheons out in the next couple of weeks and it worries me. I still like eating outside instead of inside, but...
    So many are still getting Covid, and even though I'm vaccinated and boosted, so were they. I also live alone with one kitty and worry about being ill. Does your church still offer oneline services? Mine does, but I usually go. We are pretty spread out in the pews so that helps I guess.
    Wear your mask, I encourage you to feel ok with it.
    Glad your dad and his friend are basically ok, it is a worry.
    And for the friendly guy who is at the mall, maybe have a spare mask and offer it to him in a pleasant manner, explaining that your dad has health issues. Just a thought.
    Thank you for the link to the song thrush- beautiful.

    1. That's a good suggestion Mary, about carrying an extra mask. Thanks! My church doesn't really have online services at the moment unless you have a very good reason, and I have responsibilities to teach etc. so I do have to attend in person most of the time. I have been triple vaxxed and double boosted, but I still don't want to get it if I can help it. I will try harder to feel okay with wearing my mask! xoxo

  5. Marie, wear your mask as long as you feel you need to. Other people are probably not even giving it a thought. Your decision to continue wearing a mask doesn't impact them at all. We still wear our masks when we're out and about. Love and hugs, Elaine

    1. Thank you Elaine. People do give you wierd looks. I do see a lot wearing them out and about and even some of the cashiers and waitresses, etc. are still wearing them. Love and hugs, xoxo


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