Monday, 6 December 2021

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. 


This was early yesterday morning . . .  the sun was just coming up.  I took this shot outside my bedroom window towards the back of my place.  We awoke to a winter wonderland . . . 

It was a marshmallow world.  Most of it is still here, except for the snow on the rooftops across the way and the snow in their yards. It is only clinging to the edges of their gardens, but mine is still all filled and there are icy patches on my driveway. I will have to get some salt to take care of that. I don't have a shovel either, but I cannot see me shoveling. Not now.  A guy did come with his little snow plow thingie to clear it, but it didn't do a very good job to be honest and it is still there this morning.  I didn't venture out all day.

It has been 21 years since I have driven in the Winter and I admit I am a tad bit gun-shy.  I will get out there today though. I need to mail some cards and stuff.


I watched this the other night. It always warms my heart.  I love that the children are all the same children that delighted us in The Waltons for all of those years.  I was not so fond of the Ma or the Pa or the Grandfather, but then I loved the Waltons and loved those characters and the actors who played them.  Grandma was the same in The Homecoming as in the series.  There was just something about that whole show that spoke to the softer gentler side in each of us I think.  It was a beautiful story, and remains so after all this time.  Made in 1971 so it is 50 years ago now and it still has the power to make me feel all the warm and fuzzies.


Simple decorations.  I am becoming a minimalist in my old age I fear.  I am all for simplicity. Not extravagance.  It does not take much to warm the cockles of my heart.  


Pinch me moments that I had no idea would happen a year ago.  Our years unfold in mysterious and wonderful ways. Sometimes amazing ways. We never know what they will bring to our tables.  Good, bad, and everything in between.  Mostly good.

That is life.  Life is very cyclical. It ebbs and flows like a river.  The only thing permanent about life is its impermanence. Sometimes it us unimaginably hard and brutal and sometimes it is easy and wonderfully beautiful.

We just need to learn to go with the flow and catch all the joy that we can find.

The kindness of others.  I am so enjoying this advent calendar.  Not only are the teas (mostly herbal and natural) delicious but each time I sit down with a cuppa, I am reminded of how very much I am loved and how many good and kind people there are in this world.  I am truly blessed.

Another kindness . . . a gift from a friend. I am enjoying going through these books and reliving a bit of my childhood.  Also reminders to me that I am cared for and thought of in very special ways. God's angels  . . .  simple kindnesses all in God's perfect timing. 

Jesus is here.  God with us. Perfect reminders  . . . 

These two  . . .  when they are going mad and racing through the house in craziness I doubt my sanity in having two of them, but when they are being cuddly and snuggling up to each other and to me, I am so glad that I did. I love them very much. 

Sometimes I still have some hard, very sad and difficult days.  Days when I struggle to catch the light.  But they are becoming much fewer and farther between each other.   I have moments when fear grips me and I try hard not to think of the uncertainty of the future and dwell on the good.  That is the best way to get through life I think . . .  to dwell on the good, and leave the rest behind.

A thought to carry with you  . . . 

° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★
*.˛.The best Christmas Gift is
to realize how much you already have.
•。★★ 。* 。•。★★ 。* 。•。★★ 。* 。 

In The English Kitchen today. I managed to cook a Traditional British Christmas Dinner for two, all on one baking sheet and in about 1 1/2 hours at the weekend. It was delicious as well. Everything is there, the turkey, pigs in blankets, sausage, onion and sage stuffing, honey and lemon roasted root vegetables, crispy roast potatoes. The whole shebang. Plus I give you all the timings. Delicious!  

I hope you have a wonderful day and week, filled with an abundance of things that bless you!  Don't forget along the way! 

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And I do too!  

Saturday, 4 December 2021

All Things Nice . . .




Out of the fullness of years I sing,
Out of the wind and rain,
Songs that are forges by the heat of life
Welded with peace and pain.

Out of the harvest of years I sing,
Bringing my sheaves of song, 
Garnered fro fields that have known the storm,
Reared where the winds belong.

Out of the furrows turned and brown,
Wine of the sun and sod,
Mellowed and aged in the out-of-doors,
Scourged by the chastening rod.

Out of the heart that has won its peace
And claimed the right to be free,
Come friend and sit where the sunlight falls
And sing along with me.
~Edna Jaques, Beside Still Waters

This is my little twinkle tree.  I moved it from the window to over by my electric fire/tv stand.  I need to hang some decorations on it I guess.  Especially if my son is going to come for Christmas.  I tried to one day but as I was trying the cats were trying to grab them. They are kittens. It is to be expected.  I gave up trying and just put them away, the ornaments that is.  Its pretty enough with just its lights. 

My sister had given me my mother's Nativity set. It was Avon.  I have it in the tray on top of my little cabinet.  I put some books in the bottom and covered them with a fat quarter and then arranged them on top.  I then put some twinkle lights around the perimeter.  I like how it looks.  It is a beautiful reminder to me of the reason for the season and of my mom. Oh how very much I miss her, but I am glad that she did not have to go through Covid. I don't think she would have coped well with the fear.  I am also glad that she didn't have to go through what happened to me. I know I didn't do anything wrong but trust someone who didn't deserve for me to trust then, but still I am ashamed that I was so easily duped. Mom thought the world of Todd and this would have disappointed her so much.  But oh how I miss her.  I am grateful for this Nativity set. A reminder to me of two very special things. The love for us of our Heavenly Father, who sent his only begotten son  . . .  and the love  my mother had for each of us. 

UPS delivered this very heavy box this week.  It was filled with copies of my book. 20 to be exact.  My father stopped by on his way to his Ham Radio Christmas dinner last night. (It was being held right around the corner from my place.) He likes to see the cats.  I gave one to him which he is going to give to his friend Maryan.  Fair enough, he doesn't cook and he spends a lot of time with Maryan.  I wrote inside the cover to her. She knitted me some dish cloths a little while back, and gave me some earrings and a necklace for my birthday.  She is a deaf woman my father takes to the mall in the afternoons several times a week. A friend, but according to him she would like more.  Or maybe that is just his ego talking.

Do men ever run out of ego?  I guess not! 

Jon said he would get a hair cut if his Poppy (Kayla's dad) also got his hair cut and dyed it pink.  What a grandfather!  He did just that!  What a great sport Calvin is.  And a great granddad to my boys. And his wife Mary a great grandmother as well.  My son and his family live with them and they are a lot of support to Doug and Kayla. This is the way family used to live, all the generations in one house.  Loving and supporting each other.  

Mr. Personality. Of course Jake got involved.  Mr. Gregarious.  Love my grandsons. I remember when he was little he wanted his mom to constantly be scratching and rubbing his back.  He is the one that I talk to the most.  He's a sweetie pie.

Love all my grandchildren and am so grateful to be close enough now that I can enjoy them even more. 


I know many of you probably saw this photo on Instagram already, but perhaps some of you didn't. In any case its a fur pie. lol  My two little loves cuddling and keeping warm on a wet, rainy, sleet-filled day.  They do spend  a lot of their time together. Playing. Cuddling, etc.  And when they are not together with each other, they are keeping me company.  Giving me needle sharp massages, purring, snuggling up to me.  They are the purrfect companions. (Every pun intended!)  


These colder days come with the desire to just stay in the warm house, candles lit, wooly blankets . . . warm fires.   A good book to read.  A nice hot drink. Gentle music. Of course these things are better shared and so I share them with my two furry companions.  I was telling a friend yesterday I have absolutely no desire to ever share them with a two legged companion again. I am content just as things are.  Oh sure there is a part of me that longs to have someone to share the burden of financial security with me, but that is never a good reason to be with anyone.  And so I am content herewith to be alone with just my cats for company.  They are easy companions and don't talk back or ask for very much in return except for my love and devotion, both of which they have!

I watched this last night.  I am enjoying watching all my Christmas movies. This is one of my absolute favorites of all time. I do have to say I prefer the characters as portrayed in the Waltons television series more, but at least the children are all the same in this film and the grandmother. There is a sense of great comfort that comes from watching this film and indeed the television show.  I know it is highly idealized.  But it is lovely. 


I was remembering this morning the days when you could build an outdoor rink in the winter and know that it would stay frozen all Winter.  I loved to skate as a child although I was not a figure skater. It was all I could do to manage to learn how to skate backwards.  I would have loved to have figure skating lessons but they were not in the family budget.  It was the same with piano or dance lessons.  My parents did the best that they knew how to do and gave us a much better life than the ones they grew up with.  I think most parents try to do the same.  I know I did!

I also wanted my children to know that they were loved beyond measure and the most important thing in my life.  Obviously I failed two of them for whatever reason.  But the other three are very content and I know they got the message!

They were always our focal point.  We did not give each other gifts for Christmas.  All our resources went into buying gifts for Santa to bring and to provide for nice food on the day and throughout the holidays.  My children had stockings, hand made and glittery with sequins.  Something I had never had as a child, although occasionally we would get a red net one.  I had always longed for a real stocking that I could hang up the night before and find magically stuffed in the morning.  I tried always to make my children's Christmas's magical in every way.  Matching pajamas and new books on Christmas Eve.  I wish I had more photos of those days.  Alas I was not allowed to have any.  No matter, I carry them all in my heart which is the most important place to carry them.

Anyways, the day is marching on and I must be out and about and doing, so I will leave you with a thought for today  . . . 

° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★
*.˛Each day is an 
opportunity for joy.
~Unknown•。★★ 。* 。 

In The English Kitchen today  . . . . Oven French Toast, the small batch.  Crisp and buttery on the outside with a cinnamon sugar glaze and soft and fluffy inside.  Delicious! 

I may or may not have time to hop on tomorrow morning before church, so don't be worried if I do not!  Have a wonderful Saturday.  Don't forget to stop and smell the roses and never forget! 

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And I do too!  

Friday, 3 December 2021

My Friday Finds . . .



A few of the things  I find each week that pique my interest, bring me joy, inspire me to learn, create, do, become . . . Maybe they will do the same for you!     


I don't know why, but this made me smile.  He's so goofy looking and which woman alive hasn't come across a guy like this in their lifetime.   Goofy and endearing at the same time.  You just gotta love them! 

The most adorable Gingerbreadman Pinata!  Isn't this cute!  There is a fabulous tutorial over on DIY Studio.   Makes me wish I had some children to make this for!  What a fun activity this would be on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, or even New Years Eve for that matter.  What child doesn't love to wack a pinata!  

100+ Christmas Cookie recipes from Better Homes and Gardens.   Lots of tastiness there.   In the UK I had my Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book encyclopedia that I started collecting when I was in high school.   They were 40 years old and I still used them from time to time.   Great standard recipes for everything under the sun. Sadly had to leave all of them behind. 

Free Crochet Christmas Tree Skirt Patterns.   You can find this one and a few others over on the Free Crochet Patterns Blog.  My sister taught both my mother and I how to crochet when I was in High School.   I thank her for that.  I've gotten a lot of pleasure from crocheting through the years.  

Is this not adorable?   It is a snow man candle holder made from an upturned terra cotta flower pot.   I think it is so cute.  I could not find a source for it, but it wouldn't be that hard to do really.  Its really sweet!   


Free Christmas Gift Tag printables.   You can find them here.  I think they are really nice.  People are so talented!!! 

I just adore Penny Rugs.   Little rugs and candle mats etc. created from using wool felt, layered and pieced.  I have loved them for a long time, and made a few myself.  I found a fabulous site which is filled with wonderful tutorials, called Penny Rugs and More.  

How to store onions, garlic and shallots.   Who knew it would be such a simple thing!  Paper bags.  I say bring back paper Grocery Bags also.  Found on The Yummy Life


Free Templates for Felt Christmas Ornies.   Found on Atelier Gigi Artiera.   Now that was an tongue twister!   I like free.  Free is good!  They're cute! 

The Best Gingerbread Glue.  I used to love making Gingerbread creations every year.  From Kids Activity Blog.  This stuff is supposed to be pretty good.  Getting your Gingerbread creation to stand up is half the battle! 

Now this looks really good and very festive.  Hot Chocolate and Cranberry Rocky Road.  You can't find an easier candy treat than Rocky Road!  This looks so very Christmassy!  Found on Technicolour Kitchen

 Twenty Five Ways to use Christmas Lights.  Genius from Making Lemonade.  Love this.  I love putting lights into Christmas.   There are so many lovely little led battery lights nowadays.  

Sticker Residue is one of my Pet Peeves.  It's always in the most annoying places and they can be a real chore to try to get off sometimes.   This promises to be quick and easy and non damaging to the article you are trying to get it off of!  From Two Twenty One


 Free Printable Reindeer for the table or mantle, or whatever.   Found on Fuxia Atelier

Free Paper Doll Nativity.  I Love it!  From Design Dazzle

DIY Mini Cranberry Wreath Place Cards.   Cute.   From Say Yes

I just love this simple wreath.  The neutral colours, the black and white photos . . . I love it all.  From Dear Lillie.  Plus she gives you some ideas on how to dress it up for every season. 

I just adore this easy to make Christmas Tree Garland that you make using cupcake liners.  Found on One Perfect Day.   Simple!  Sweet! 


Lumps of coal Crispie Treats with a cute poem to print out.  Loving it!  From Big Red Kitchen.  

MJ's Off the Hook Designs.  I love, LOVE this tree skirt.  Maybe next year. 

And those are my finds for this week. I hope you saw something which interested you! 

Its been raining a lot since last night. Yesterday when I was out and about I heard someone saying that it is supposed to be raining right up to Christmas.  Wouldn't surprise me I guess. I don't think they have had a white Christmas here in a number of years now.  I'm okay with that. Its a lot easier to drive in rain than snow! 

A heavy box arrived at the door yesterday. It is filled with copies of my book. I think there are 20 there. That's a lot more than the last publisher gave me. I think I only got four of those, mind you it was hard cover and a lot larger than this one!  People still want to buy it, but I haven't figured out a way to self publish yet that is affordable.  Oh well, that just makes the copies people do have more precious I guess!  My sister uses hers as a weight to glue things together or press leaves etc. 

A thought to carry with you  . . . 

° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★
*.˛.Winter come rest your soul
on Autumn's weary head,
Twirl, shimmer, soften
before tucking fall to bed.
~Angie Welland-Crosby•。★★ 。* 。
•。★★ 。* 。•。★★ 。* 。 


In The English Kitchen today, Tomato, Beef & Macaroni Soup.  I am using up the last of the leftover roast, but you can also use ground beef in this if you wish. Its delicious either way.  Perfect for these cold damp days!

I hope you have a wonderful day.  Whatever you get up to, don't forget! 

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And I do too!