Saturday 30 March 2024

All Things Nice . . .


Old things abide -- the good and true
Things that are born and bred in you,
The love of children, faithful men
Spring in the warm sweet fields again,
Old people puttering 'round the place
Peace like a light on someone's face.

Bright lamps that shine above the snow,
And send out such a heartsome glow,
Across the lonely country night,
The glint of wings that catch the light,
A prickly thorn . . . a rambling brier,
Golden rod setting the world on fire.

A blue print apron and a shawl,
An old cow sleeping in a stall,
The odor of new hay and sheaves,
Rain dripping softly from the eaves,
A little girl with rosy cheeks,
A dog so smart he almost speaks.

Old things abide -- a garden patch,
An old shed with a rusty latch,
A supper table warm and bright,
Windows shining against the night,
A mother gentle and serene --
These are the sort of things I mean.
~Edna Jacques, Old Things Abide
Roses in December, 1944

It is funny the way our brains work.  How as we get older, our thoughts and memories turn to the small and simple things of the past.  Little things that we caught a glimpse of through the years and which embedded themselves in our memories. Like little gifts waiting for us to unwrap them again.  Hopefully happy things, things which made us smile, or tugged on our heart strings in a certain way.  Special moments spent by ourselves or shared with others. I have many such moments filed in the archives of my brain and I do so love to take them out every now and then and revisit them.  Joy that keeps on giving, that never gets old. Special thoughts and memories . . . little treasures that are ours to remember, but yet again, shared with others in the context of their own experiences. A sort of commonality shared between us all.  Who hasn't enjoyed the smell of a freshly cut lawn, or the sight of a red barn with the backdrop of a field of undulating gold . . . a supper table warm and bright  . . . 

God gave us memories . . . that we might
have roses in December . . . 

 Someone had asked if they could see some photos of Cindy's kittens before they grow up.  I was there yesterday for supper and I took a few shots.  This is one of Sully sitting on my mother's chair.

This is Gus standing just inside the kitchen doorway.  

They are such sweet little things  . . .  so engaging  . . .  very affectionate . . .  

You wish that they could stay this small forever, but alas, they don't.

I think God makes baby animals cute on purpose, baby anything really  . . .  so we won't mind taking care of them.  There is a special sweetness to such living things that tugs on the tender spots of our hearts.


I am a lover of cuteness.  Remembering the bunny that I knitted for Maryn a number of years back. I should have knit one for myself also. Maybe one day I will.  As I am fond of saying,  "Hope springs eternal".  I don't think I have enough hours left in my time here on earth to do all the things that I really want to do, but maybe I can make a few of them happen.


I have a huge fondness for patchwork quilts.  I always have done. I did put together one once upon a time.  A mauve and white one. My children were all quite young.  I yarn tufted it as I did not have the facilities or means, or knowhow for that matter, to be able to quilt it.  My first mother-in-law used to make quilts all the time.  She designed them using liquid embroidery. She gave us one for a wedding gift, which I gave back to him when we separated. I wish I had kept it now to give to my son. I know he would have really appreciated having it.

I have a confession to make.  I have been looking at this quilt on Etsy for many months now.  At least six. I popped it into my favorites and have been going back and looking at it almost on a weekly basis, sometimes on a daily basis.  On Thursday I put it into my cart and I bought it.  I thought to myself if I am going to keep looking at something for such a long time and yearning for it  . . .  and I have the means to purchase it, then  . . . maybe it is time I get it for myself.  It reminds me of my mother's quilt that she had that her mother had made.  Cindy has a quilt that my grandmama made for my mom and dad that is beautiful.  Dad has one too, that his sister finished for him that his mother had made.  I wanted a quilt too  . . . longed for it.  I have wanted one my whole life. Now I will have one. I felt a bit guilty buying it, but I know I will love and treasure it. It will have a good home with me.


This is so true and something which I need to remind myself of from time to time. I think I am growing a thick skin, but then someone will say something, or comment on something and my "want to be thick" skin splits.  We will never be everyone's favorite cup of tea, and that's okay.  We just need want to be our loved ones' cup of tea, and we won't even always be theirs either. That's fine.  If we always do our best, be our best, try our best  . . .  nobody can complain, and if they do, we can know that it is not justified, and says more about them than it does about us. 


Three things in human life are important. The first is to
be kind; the second is to be kind; and
the third is to be kind.
~Henry James

On the surface we do not live in a very kind world.  At least that is what one would suppose if you listen to the news with any frequency.  I do  not. That constant bombardment of what is wrong in our world is not good for the mind or the heart. It is good to be informed, but there is a limit to what is actually real news and what is garbage for the soul.

If we take the time to look, however, we can find a multitude of stories of kindness, usually perpetrated by small and simple folk like you and like me.

" A thirteen year old girl in Louisville, Kentucky, saw a young boy being teased and bullied by other boys over his tattered shoes. She grabbed a pair of brand new Nikes from her closet and gave them to him."

Kind people pay for the person behind them in the coffee shop line up's morning coffee, or buy up meals ahead at the local restaurant to be given free to the local homeless. They see that a neighbor's walkway needs sweeping off and they sweep it.  They see a need and fill it. They ask a question and they listen to the answer with interest, not glazed over eyes.  They give up their place in the grocery store line up to the person behind them who only has two items.  They go above and beyond what is expected of them, simply because . . . Beyond the easy response, without any expectation of receiving anything in return.  Because they see a need, and fulfil it wherever possible, whenever possible, however possible.  It is not just being nice.  There are plenty of nice people out there. Kindness draws from a much deeper well. It is my goal to always be kind.  Not just nice.  Nice is on the surface. Kind draws from the well within. It is not an easy thing to do sometimes, but I keep trying.  I DO believe that if more people were truly kind, our world could be, would be . . .  transformed.


Oh what a simple way to elevate something which is quite common.  The cuff of a shirtsleeve.  Why did I not ever think of that  . . . Now I am thinking about anything I  might have in my wardrobe that I might be able to apply this simply idea to  . . . 


Nothing is so beautiful as spring - 
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush,
Thrush's eggs look like little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightning to hear him sing.
~Gerard Manley Hopkins

Remembering when living in Oak Cottage a thrush used to park on the chimney of the cottage next door to us in the dawn and the twilight hours and sing its heart out.  Oh what a beautiful song that was to hear.  What a blessing that was that I got to hear it. 

Oh if I were to gather all these special remembrances together in one place I have not a cup nor a book large enough to hold them all.  What joy it is to have a tender heart that takes note of special gifts such as these  . . . 

And with that a thought to carry with you  . . . 

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

 *.˛.Give me a moment
because I like to cry for joy.
It is so delicious, to cry for joy.
~Charles Dickens° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •

In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Sheet Pan Au Gratin Potatoes.  Simple.  Easy to make. Delicious.  Sized perfectly for two. 

I hope that you have a lovely Saturday. We are going up country to Swiss Chalet with my father for a special supper today, and then tomorrow I am hosting Easter Dinner at my place. I am really looking forward to both occasions.  Whatever you get up to on this holiday weekend, be safe, be happy and be blessed. Don't forget!

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═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════   

And I do too!    



  1. Gus and Sully are adorable. And what a beautiful quilt! You deserve to treat yourself. So happy you bought it. Enjoy it. Happy Easter. Love and hugs, Elaine

    1. Thanks Elaine and they have such sweet personalities too! Love and hugs, xoxo

  2. Such adorable kitties. Enjoy a lovely time with your Dad and family at Swiss Chalet. Beautiful quilt and you will get so much enjoyment from it. The world is unkind for sure, so much stealing, fighting, extreme conditions etc.

    Not your fault, but Blogger isn't sending me any notifications of comments (not just your blog but other too) it will probably sort itself out. I do click the Notify me box, but till not getting anything. It could be just my email, but time will tell.

    It is a lovely sunny day, still chilly, but the promise of warmer weather in a few days. Have a wonderful weekend full of family time and making new memories to tuck away for later.

    1. Thanks Linda. I don't know what is up with Blogger, half the time I can't even comment on my own posts let alone anyone else's! Its nuts! xoxo

  3. Happy Easter and yay for you on the quilt..if not you..who? :)Glad you went for it!You know me and kitties etc..yes cuteness but I wheeze:(

    1. Happy Easter Monique. A couple of my grandsons really suffer from allergies with cats also. No fun! xoxo

  4. The kittens are adorable! You write so beautifully…I feel like we just had a lovely kitchen-sit visit, sharing memories and ideas…such as my mother called ‘table talk’. Happy Easter to you and all your loved ones, know you will enjoy every minute. Best, V.

    1. Thanks so much V. Table talk is the best! Hope you had a lovely Easter! xoxo

  5. Happy Easter,Marie! And the kittens are just so dear - love them. And I am happy that you bought that pretty quilt - it will have a good home with you.
    Mary in PA/USA

  6. I agree with your thoughts on things...have gotten to deal with some of the same type issues...still do at times. Tis a hard harsh world...and then we are blessed with a FEW who make life worth living, thankfully!! SO GLAD you got that quilt. One of my treasured ones came from the thrift is HEAVY too and I loved sleeping under it (have not slept in our bed since our falls in November...and probably my husband cannot sleep under something heavy anymore...but I am not getting rid of that quilt). It has a small stain on it...but it took a LOT of work to make it. I have the jeans in the cutting stage to make up a quilt for my youngest daughter of her old jeans she has saved for some years. I need to get to it more. I saw a saying somewhere that "those who sleep under a quilt are covered with love" takes love to make a lovely quilt, even if no one in particular is in mind. So now, Marie, you can be covered in love too!!!
    HUGS, Elizabeth xo

    1. That quilt will be a real treasure Elizabeth! I love that saying about sleeping under a quilt. How wonderful! Hugs to you also! xoxo

  7. Gus and Sully are ADORABLE! As for the quilt, you deserve it. You are one of the sweetest, nicest people I know. Yes, just let the other things roll off. I learned a long time ago that I am not everyone's cup of tea and that's okay. There are plenty of people out there that are not my cup of tea either. Have a wonderful weekend! XO Raquel

    1. Thanks Raquel! They really are sweet for sure! I am okay with not being everyone's cup of tea! Hope you had a lovely weekend! xoxo

  8. You are obviously being bothered by mean people re your blog. I wonder what the satisfaction is for them - of course they will be anonymous. I used to go on a wonderful forum that was set up to help people with cooking problems. Then a new person joined, was the first to answer every time and had scathing remarks to make. Now none of us oldies use it. I just can't understand the reasoning. I really enjoy what you do for us, the lovely photos and encouraging words, be comforted in knowing the haters are always the minority. Snuggle under that lovely quilt, you deserve it.

    1. There are trolls everywhere Alison. I belong to a community group on facebook and they are always popping up with their "2cents" worth of negativity! You are almost afraid to post anything because of it all! Thanks for your sweet comment! 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!