Monday 26 February 2024

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.




Family times.  Dinner at Cindy's yesterday. Dad and Eileen sitting on the sofa enjoying each other's company. I have been enjoying Eileen's company.  We haven't done a whole lot.  We spent Saturday settling in and then we watched a movie Saturday night.  Crossroads with Britney Spears. I had not seen it before and it wasn't all that bad.  Church yesterday. Then we went to my sister's for supper.  In the evening we facetimed with my brother and that was fun also.  Its just nice spending to spend this time together.



Tim got to Calgary okay. This is him at the airport with a horse. Eileen thought this photograph was so funny. Tim sent it to her. I think its a good one of Tim. He is there representing Nova Scotia in the National Special Olympics Winter Games. He will be cross country skiing.  I hope he has a wonderful time. So far it looks like he is enjoying himself and that they have gotten a warm welcome from Calgary!




Nutmeg just doesn't know what all of the fuss in about. Just give me the treats he says! Just give me the treats!  I am so grateful for these two furry felines. They have added a beautiful dimension to my life that I otherwise would not have been able to experience.




Journaling my way through Advent. I am following the Advent prayer/study on the Hallow App.  Its very good. I am noting my observations and thoughts in my journal. I have been writing special thoughts, feelings, observations in this journal since 2019.  I have only used up half of it. I don't write in it every day. It contains only my best. Maybe one day it will be a treasure to someone. You never know.




My calendar this morning. I am so grateful for my friends. I have been fortunate in my life to have made good friends. I am still friends with several girls that I started school with back when I was five years old. I named my daughter Eileen after one of them. I have one special friend however who has been my best friend now for 65 and counting years.  We all know who that is, lol.  Love you my dear, sweet sister.




Coming soon to a living room near me. Is this not one of the cutest cat beds you have ever seen?  It is a cat sofa. I think it will go well in the living room. Then I will move the tall cat scratching post thingie to the spare bedroom where it won't be quite so overwhelming.  We will see how it goes anyways.   Yes, I do spoil my cats I suppose.  But they are such a wonderful part of my life and such great company. Who else do I have to spoil? Bringing joy to them brings joy to me.


 

This picture reminded me of when my children were small and I used to read bedtime stories to them every night. Those are such special memories to me.  All my little chicks gathered around me. They each had their favorite stories and books they liked to be read. Anthony liked Dr. Seuss.  His favorite story was the Pants with Nobody in them. The girls like the Little Grey Rabbit books by Alison Utley.  Doug had a story he loved about a teddy bear that used to sneak out to the woods each night and eat cinnamon buns with his teddy bear friends. Bruce liked the Little Monster Books, his favorite one being, Just Me and My Dad. 

I just loved reading to them. Spending this special quiet time with them at the end of each day.  

 

There was a planned power outage this morning at 6 a.m. for fifteen  minutes.  There will be another one Wednesday evening at 10 for a further fifteen minutes. I can't remember what they are for, but I am grateful that we were sent a text to let us know so we could be prepared. At least they are planning them for times when people are not likely to be too inconvenienced and for not too long each time. I was still in bed when it went off this morning. It woke me up because my white noise machine went off.  I came out here and fed the cats, lit a few candles and before I knew it, it was back on again.


 

We had only a little tiny bit of snow throughout the day on Saturday. Nothing that accumulated. It was very cold yesterday and is very cold this morning. But it is supposed to warm up quite a bit as this week goes on. Most of the snow that we still have will melt away. What remains to be seen is if March will come in like a Lamb or a Lion. It is expected to be much colder and blustery on Friday which is the first of March, so maybe a Lion?  We shall see.

When we were children at school every March we would have special calendar pictures to color for March. I can remember them often being Lambs and Lions.  We would color them and they would be hung on the wall. A spot for our stars and stickers to be kept.  I can remember that at the end of the month there was always a prize for the one with the most gold stars or stickers. I think I got a prize once or twice.  I think it is a good thing to motivate children to work harder, but there will always be children who, no matter how hard they work, will never get a prize.  So I am not sure how I feel about that. Happy for the winners but sad for those who never win.  I think anyone who tries their hardest should be rewarded and one person's hardest is not the same as the next person's hardest. We are all different and unique.


Maybe we should just celebrate us all.

 

Grateful for my skills and abilities. They enhance my life in beautiful ways. I like that I can do things with my hands and keep my brain sharp.  My life is never boring because of these things.  I can always find something to do, to read, to accomplish.  I would never want to be the type of person that just lolls about doing nothing with my time.  That to me would be extremely boring.  No criticism meant to those who are able to do just that.  We are all different and its a good thing too. Life would be so mundane were we all the same.




I am so grateful to have enough.  Any more than enough it an extra blessing and I am grateful for that also. There are so many people in this world who have to live without even the most basic of necessities. I hope and pray that I never take what I have for granted.  I hope that I always see my life and all that is in it with the eyes of gratitude.


And with that I best leave you with a thought for today. I need to get Eileen up so that she can get ready to go to work. Then I need to drop her off, come back and Cindy and I will get our biking/cycling in!  My day is about to start in earnest.

I am grateful for that. For busy days that let me know I am alive.  And for a constitution that is able to keep up with them and enjoy them.

A thought to carry with you  . . . 

° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★
*If nature has made you a giver,
your hands are born open,
and so is your heart.° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
~Frances Hodgson Burnett° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ • 




Cooking in The English Kitchen today  . . .  Irish Colcannon Soup. Seriously delicious and such a simple make.  Just perfect for a cold day. It warms the tummy and the soul.



I wish for each of you a perfect day. Filled with enough. Enough love. Enough joy. Enough to bless you. Just enough of everything.  Whatever you get up to don't forget! 


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⊰✿░G░O░D⊰✿⊰L░O░V░E░S⊰✿⊰░Y░O░U░⊰✿
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And I do too!     
   



Saturday 24 February 2024

All Things Nice . . .


 

She doesn't know that life can be
So very grim and hard,
That years can drag with weary feet,
Dull in a prison yard.
That dreams can lose their shining shape
And all their brightness fade
And love . . . ah love can perish too
In crumbling ruins laid.

She doesn't know . . . at seventeen
How swift the years will fly
Life stretches wide before her feet
Fair as a summer sky.
A thousand beckoning hills to climb
A thousand ways to roam
And all the roads of all the world
Leading away from home.

She doesn't know the happiness
The love and joy she seeks
Is deep within her tender heart
That peace and honor speaks
Above the darkest blackest night
In accents loud and clear
And one sweet voice is loud enough
For all the world to hear.

She doesn't know . . . at seventeen
How values change and grow,
That Age has peace and happiness
That Youth can never know.
She doesn't know the hills of home
Are fair and fresh and green
She only sees the far-off fields
And heights . . . at seventeen
~Edna Jacques, At Seventeen
Roses in December, 1944


That is a photograph that my first husband took of me at our high school, behind stage at a play that was being put on in 1972, called Promises Promises.  I never thought that I was pretty. I always thought that I was fat, or at least needed to lose weight.  I never saw myself as being anything but less than what I was. Standing there in my hotpants, I thought I knew all that there was to know about life. I was incredibly naive, but then again  . . .  weren't we all . . . at 17?

It would take a lifetime of challenges and growth to knock some sense into me.  They say youth is wasted on the young. Perhaps that is true.  Oh . . .  if only I could give some of the knowledge that I have gained through my sixty-eight years of life back to my seventeen year old self.  I wonder, would I have done things any differently?  Probably not.  But perhaps I might have appreciated myself a bit more than I did.





I've been thinking this morning about how kind we are to others.  How compassionate and understanding we can be in dealing with others.  How often we give others the benefit of the doubt, or show them love and kindness . . . support.  Give them grace.   Even strangers.  Isn't it about time we showered ourselves with the same, love, kindness and support?  Showed ourselves a bit of grace?  Can we not be more compassionate and patient with ourselves?  Surely we should be.  We all deserve a bit of self love. It is not selfish to show ourselves the same compassion and worth and support and love that we share with others.  Its not wrong and we are  definitely worthy. Today I hope you will show yourself a bit of grace.


 


 I love music. Music is necessary to life.  Think back to the time when wandering minstrels came to the dark great halls of medieval castles and sang to their lutes. Or, before that, when Greek chorus chanted under rave Athenian skies. The psalms of David in the bible were oven rendered to him by song and the strings of the musicians in his court.  Or even back when some people got the idea that music must be a sin because it gave so much joy.  I know that small songs have always been sung by women as they rocked their babies in old wooden cradles. I doubt whether any power on earth could keep folks from singing, if only in secret. It comes as naturally to us as breathing.

In some wondrous way music eases the heart, refreshes the spirit, lift the imagination. And it can fit any mood, grave or happy.  Just why the arrangements of sound striking the ear can do all this is a mystery I have never made plain to myself. Why are some songs as sad as tears, and some so sweet and light they are like spring flowers?    However, so it is.

They say that music calms the savage beast. I believe it is so.

I have music playing here in my little home most of the day. I put YouTube on and then choose the type of playlist I want to listen to. Usually it is praise music.  My life is all the sweeter because of it. When you have music playing you never quite really feel alone. At least I do not anyways.

I can remember when my children were teens I would sometimes what I called "singing mornings."  It drove them crazy I am sure  I would sing everything to them. "Time to get up."  "Your breakfast is ready."  "Don't forget your books."  haha  Thinking back on it now, it was probably quite annoying, but there is a part of me that hopes they think back a bit with fondness for a mother who wanted to fill their days with interest and with joy  . . .  and with song.


 

Reading aloud is another kind of music that my ear likes.  Sometimes I read poetry aloud to myself or to the cats. On Winter evenings, it is fine to read Edna St. Vincent Millay, or Shakespeare or Keats, or to just pick up a book at random and find a poem to read. Poetry can almost sound like music when properly read. And the sound should make its shape.  To feel truth deeply and convey it truly . . . there is the great art.

"There is a wind where the rose was,
Cold rain where sweet grass was,
And stars like sheep
Stream o'er the steep
Grey sky where the lark was."

How simple de la Mare sounds, and how the mood is evoked!  Or Yeats!


"We sat grown quiet at the name of love;
We saw the last embers of daylight die,
And in the trembling blue-green of the sky
A moon, worn as if it had been a shell
Washed by time's waters as they rose and fell
About the stars and broke in days and years."


Read out loud and with expression, they are as beautiful as any song which is sung. Indeed are not most songs poetry?  The yearnings and beatings of the hearts which compose them? I think so.




The color of winter is pure and lovely, the long, darkly blue shadows, the purple stalks of the briery bushes, the glistening white of clean snow, the pale amber of shell ice where little brooks walk in summer.  Meadows latticed with the patterns of dark branches and skies latticed with the branches of great timeless trees that lift towards them in intricate patterns against their stillness.  Pewter . . . skies of pewter and lead that look ready to drop heavy loads upon us, hopefully in feather down flakes.

Already now I can see signs of winter breaking  . . . the sap is beginning to run. I see the pink and light green flush of buds forming on branches that once looked dead and dry, and the snow on the lawn begins to shrink with each day that passes, dull brown grass appearing at the edges.  March winds will soon put a run to all the snow. The snow that is left is not that pretty at this time of year anyways. It has lost it's charm and looks dirty, grey and smutty. We are happy to see it disappearing.

Oh I expect there will be  a few more days when the snow will fall, but they will be few and far between now. It will not be a snow that lasts or takes hold, and will probably hold some rain. It will also not bring with it the same charm and delight that it brought to us earlier in the season.  Gardening fingers are itching now to get into the soil, and our eyes are longing to gaze upon daffodils and tulips.  Some color to brighten the drab landscape. We are tired of the Winter now  . . . and long for the change, hope and color of Spring.


And with that I best wind this up. I am picking Eileen up at noon and have much to do before that happens.  I will leave you now with a thought to carry with you for the day  . . . 

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

 *.˛.° ˛°. . Believe in yourself, learn, & never
stop wanting to build a better world.
~Mary McLeod Bethune.° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
.° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •.° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •

 

 




In The Kitchen today  . . .  Glazed Strawberry & Rhubarb Breakfast Cake. Its simple really and oh so delicious!


I thank you for spending some time with me this morning. It means a lot to me. I hope you have a beautiful weekend!  Whatever you get up to, stay safe and happy and don't forget!


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⊰✿░G░O░D⊰✿⊰L░O░V░E░S⊰✿⊰░Y░O░U░⊰✿
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And I do too!     
   



Friday 23 February 2024

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! 




 Little Miss Celebration.  Stand Up Paper Eggs for Easter.  Love these.




 Saint Patrick's Day Joke Teller.  A free printable for kids from Bren Did.


 



 Quirky Sleep Masks to Crochet.  From Top Crochet Patterns.





Knitted kitchen Towel holder.  Becoming Crafty.  I like this.  A great way to use scrap yarn.  




Now this is a really nice idea.  A DIY Wood Slice Cheese Tray.  I love it.  From the people at BH&G.  Looks easy enough and quite unusual.




From She Knows, make your own mailable Cake Postcard.  Using a sponge and a few other bits and bobs.  What an unusual gift/birthday greeting!  Complete tutorial.




I love these painted flowerpot pin cushions!  They are adorable.  Easy also.  No source, just eye candy, but they look so easy to do you wouldn't need much in the way of instruction.




Flora Needlebook Pattern.  A downloadable PDF from Etsy.  The shop is called mmmcrafts.  I really like this. I love needlebooks.




Easy to sew DIY Washcloth Travel pouches for holding your toothpaste, etc.  From Whimsey Love




From Molly Moo Crafts a unique and novel way to wrap a gift.  I love it!  Oh that I had some kiddos to do this for!




Cardboard Box Play houses for kids, using leftover wall paper, etc.   Love it!  From A Beautiful Mess.




From Ravelry.  Tawashi Knot Dish Cloth pattern.  A great way to use up scraps.  Love it!




Union Jack Tea Cosy Pattern.  Free if you buy yarn.  I like this. You can also buy the pattern for a nominal fee.   From Love Knitting. It does say takes advanced skills.  Not for me, but one can hope.




From Lime Riot.  I love this.  Its such a pretty thing and so simple.   I think it is the simplicity of it which I love most.




More Eye Candy.  Found on Tumbler.  No instructions.  Just inspiration.  Its so pretty. I love Queen Anne's lace.




I love this scarf.  It looks easy to do  and you could do it in any colour you wanted to do it in.  From A Crocheted Simplicity.  Free pattern.  


 


Needlefelting AND embroidery.  Two of my loves combined.  From This is Colossal.


 


A Cultivated Nest.  15 ways to re-purpose an old suitcase.  Love this.




 Papercrafting an Airmail Booklet.   Can you still buy airmail envelopes? I could not find the source, but I love this.




I love this Little Bird Needle Book.   So sweet.  A complete tutorial on Michelle's Romantic Tangle.




I love this idea.  Genius.  Great for keeping your stitches even.   I love it!  No source.




I love wool felt penny rugs.  I did a snowman candle mat a few years back that I really enjoyed making.  It got left behind in the U.K.  I need to do another one. A complete tutorial on how to sew a penny rug can be found here at Penny Rugs and More.


And that's it for this week.  I am running out of time.  I hope you found something useful.  I know I did!

A thought to carry with you  . . .

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

 *.˛.° ˛°. . 
˛*What is done in love is done well.
~Vincent Van Gogh  •。★★ 。* 。  




In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Baked Apple Butter  Pork Chops.  These were fabulous! And such an easy make.


Cindy and I are off to Dollarama this morning and then we are going to go change my father's bed for him. Then I have to come home and get the bedroom ready for Eileen's arrival tomorrow. Exciting times!  Whatever you get up to today, stay safe and be happy. Don't forget!


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⊰✿░G░O░D⊰✿⊰L░O░V░E░S⊰✿⊰░Y░O░U░⊰✿
═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═════════     


And I do too!