Monday, 2 February 2009

The Simple Woman's Day Book . . .

FOR TODAY, February 2nd, 2009 ...

Outside My Window...

the world is wrapped in cotton wool. Yes, it has snowed and is still snowing. About two inches lies atop my car, and every bush and every blade of grass. It is quiet and still and magical.

I am thinking...
On Saturday evening I found out that the son of some old friends of mine had passed away from cancer. I am thinking he was far too young, only around 30 years of age or a bit older. He died after a long battle with cancer. I feel so badly for his parents, sweet, sweet people. They must be aching all over with sorrow, and yet at the same time, with relief at the end of his suffering. It's hard to understand I am sure . . . we are used to people dying when they get old, and while it still hurts, it's a bit easier to take . . . when one is so young, it comes unexpectedly and it hard to understand. Thank heavens for the Gospel which is a great comfort at a time like this.

I am thankful for...
I have much to be thankful for. My health, my home, my family, my friends . . . love surrounds me and I have my faith which upholds me, always.

From the kitchen...
There is a garlic bread sitting on the counter leftover from yesterday and a plastic container full of cookies not to mention some of that delicious dump cake leftover from the other day. Can you believe I have not had a dish full of it yet . . . although to confess the little teaspoons full I have tasted probably add up to a rather large bowl! *blush*

I am wearing...
Pajamas and my robe, and wishing I had a fleece blanket to wrap around my legs. I am freezing this morning. However am I going to cope with the cold of Idaho I am wondering . . . I hope Lura and I are blessed with warmth while we are there and that we don't feel the cold as much as we should. Maybe the warmth of adrenaline and excitement will wrap us up!

I am creating...
I am busy making cards. I have sold all the ones I made to take down to the post office and so I am making more! I had to order another one hundred blanks, which is exciting! I only have one left of the original first one hundred that I had bought. I know I used some of them for cards that I sent myself over Christmas, but still, even after taking off that amount, that is quite a few that I have managed to make and sell, and the feedback from them has been very good. People like them and that makes me feel very good. I have even had repeat orders now, which is quite positive. I never did get around to sending my portfolio to Hallmark over Christmas, but I am working towards getting it sent when I get back from America.

I am going...
umm . . . ahhh . . . errrr . . . dare I say it??? Oh what the heck! I'm going to America! I still can't believe it and I am black and blue from pinching myself! Only four more sleeps!

I am reading...

I'm still reading Ink Heart, but I have been reading another novel at the same time as well, called Beauty by Susan Wilson. It is one of my favourite novels and one that I have read several times, but I never tire of the story. It is a modern day telling of the Beauty and the Beast and I just love it.

I am hoping...
that I will be able to get everything done this week that I need to do before I leave on Friday, or at least the most important things! I am doing up a schedule for the girl that is replacing me at work with menus and recipes and such so that she will be ok and not have to worry about anything. I have a few things to pick up at the shops to take with me, and of course I have to make sure that Todd will be ok for eating and such while I am away. Seriously he doesn't eat unless I make something for him to eat, but perhaps that is just because I am here. I have loaded up the larder with tinned soups and such and I have some meals in the freezer for him that he can just pull out and defrost. I hope he won't be too lonely without me. I shall miss him, but I'm planning on taking lots of pictures to share with him and with you when I get back!

I am hearing...
does snow make a noise as it falls . . . I think not, but I like to imagine that it does and the air is filled with a million soft little tinkles, a melodic sound trickling down from the sky and wrapping us up in it's magic spell.

Around the house...
I got the larder sorted on Saturday and so now all we have to do is to tidy up the back room. I do need to put my art things away before I leave so that Todd is not having to deal with them. I couldn't bear for him to put them away as I wouldn't know where anything was so I had better do it myself!

One of my favorite things...
is sitting down here to write in the mornings. I really, really love it. It has become a major part of my day and I know I really miss it when I am not able to do it. When I am on holidays I write in a notebook, but it's not the same. That connection that I feel with each of you is not there when I am writing with a pen and paper. Sad, but true. When my fingers are tapping on the keyboard I feel as if each of you are right here in the room with me. Unfortunately, until you comment back, it is a bit like a one sided conversation . . .

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
I have to start sorting out what I am going to be taking with me and getting out my suitcase and carry on bag. I am a bit nervous about changing planes in Atlanta, but I keep telling myself that God hasn't brought me this far to abandon me in Atlanta!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

I know it's a bit irreverent, but it did make me giggle. With all the snow falling this morning I thought it was quite cute. I must remind myself not to do that on the way to work today!!! Falling snow always tastes a real treat doesn't it! All fresh like the outdoors and icy on your tongue!

This is what I made for Terry's visit yesterday. It's very easy and quick to do and quite tasty when it's done. You can add cooked ground beef and sausage to the sauce if you wish. I used a puttanesca sauce for an extra zip! It was delicious!

*One Step Lasagna*
Serves 8

Quick to do, easy and very, very good!

1 1/2 cups water
(if you are using the no cook lasagna noodles, omit this)
32 ounces good quality spaghetti sauce (jarred or homemade, with or without meat)
1 pound lasagna noodles, uncooked
1 pound ricotta cheese
1/2 pound mozzarella cheese, grated
4 ounces parmesan cheese, grated

Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Combine the water with the spaghetti sauce in a bowl. Lightly grease a 9 by 13 inch baking dish.

Cover the bottom of the baking dish with 1 1/2 cups of the sauce mixture. Arrange a layer of uncooked noodles, slightly overlapping on top of the sauce.

Spread the uncooked noodles with half of the ricotta cheese and half of the mozzarella. Sprinkle with two tablespoons of the parmesan cheese. Add another layer of sauce. Repeat with another layer of noodles, the remaining ricotta and mozzarella and two more tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Top with a final layer of the noodles. Pour the remaining sauce over top and then sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese.

Cover loosely with foil and then bake for about 3/4 of an hour, remove the foil and bake for 15 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.

I like to serve this with garlic bread and a tossed salad.

Don't forget to hop on over to the Simple Woman to check out the other day book entries!


  1. Morning Marie ,Iam not usualy this early but Iheard Maurice go and couldnt get back to sleep lol ,You sound so excited no ,it wont be long now ,I am pleased you got the pantry done ,Iwould hate to think of you on the planer worrying about the pantry ,Ireally love your pictures so buying the blanks will be money well spent ,Oh my favourite ,Ihave copied the lasagne recipe thankyou Jan xx,

  2. Good morning. I was just turning off the computer and your post popped up. I am glad because I have been waiting for it. Now I can go off to dream land with happy thoughts of your post in my mind.
    Actully John is watching a show on the history channel about some war. I would much rather doze off with pictures of your snowy yard and joking birds on my mind.... but to each his own they say.

    I am so anxious for Fri to be here that I can't stand it. We may freeze to death but we will surely have fun doing it.

    Bring a few of your recipes with you that we can make together for Sunday's and Monday's dinners at Lynell's. I think we will have fun cooking together.... me and my favorite chef.

    have a good day my dear. XOXO Lura

  3. Yes I was awake at 2am this morning Marie watching the snow fall.Got up at 5am and opened the door to snap some pictures,which I placed two of in my blog this morning.Whoo-Hoo not long for you now.Changing flights is a pain.The last time I went to Dallas,I had to change at Chigago what a nightmare that was never again!!I wish I was travelling with you out to USA oh how I would love to be there now.Lucky you.Happy to read the panrty is stocked well and tidy for Todd,I am sure he will eat ok,so stop worrying.Sorry to read about your friends Son what a sad story so so young.Please send them my condolances ."May perpetual light shine upon him".Prayers will be said for them.My favourite meal Lasagne Mmmmm.Like Jan I shall copy this recipe too.Have a good day despite the snow.Regards to Todd too,I hope he is well..Take Care God Bless Kath xx

  4. That lasagna looks wonderful! What did you think about Inkheart? I'm trying to decide if I want to go see the movie version or not. I liked the story, but I wasn't really into her writing style. What did you think?

  5. Love what you have written. I am so excited for you. Please don't let the doubts or fears to come near you. If you have problems in Atlanta there are enough of us near there that one of us would be happy to help you. I am about 130 miles from Atlanta so I would be more than happy to to make sure you are ok. But I know the Lord is traveling with you and everything is ok He has too many plans for you not to give you a lovely trip to Idaho.

    My sweetheart is to be arriving by the end of the week and if no then he has asked me to come and pick him up. That means there is a wedding very soon!! I am like you, I can not believe the great thing that God is doing in our life. I am afraid of pinching myself . . . I don't think a bride with purple marks would be too good. haha

    Please know we are all praying for your trip. I know our Lord will take you safely where you need to be and return you safely back to Todd. No matter how you prepare for him he will be soo very very happy to have his Marie home with him - this I am positive of.

    Our thoughts of snow have turned into rain once again. . . Glad you got the pretty white stuff. Can't wait to try the recipe for Earl - I am sure he/we will enjoy it.

    Love and hugs.
    Ruthanne oxox

  6. We often have lasagna when the family gets together and it is one of their favorites. One thing or two you can also add is some parsley and parmeson cheese to the ricotta and a little basil to the sauce. Just a little touch to make it tasty. As for keeping warm just remember to dress in layers. If your warm you can take one off or if cold put one back on.
    Atlanta is a big air port and I've been there more than once. I always manage to make the connecting flight as they give plenty of time inbetween, but I've had to go to a different level and walk quite abit to get to where the next flight is. If I can do it I'm sure you can. I don't travel much for sure. Hope your Monday is a great one. 'On Ya'-ma

  7. Hi I hope the airports are open again before your trip you seem to have had most of the snow today and more on the way. We have some here but everything is running OK.
    Love Joan

  8. Hi Marie, it's thick with snow here to in Lincs and more coming down the east side today - keep warm sweetie. Sounds really exciting your trip to America and you'll have a lovely time I'm sure :)

    Rosie x

  9. Hi, Marie! A very happy Monday post here...Although I was sorry to hear your friend's son passed away--may he be at rest and peace. Such excitement with your trip the end of the week--HOORAY! I hope all will go well with all you need to do and get done before you leave. And hope very much we get to chat tomorrow--look forward to it! This is funny--last night I was thinking about lasagna...and now here's some yummy lasagna! You made my dreams come true--lOL! Very nice recipe--thank you! Happy Day, sweet friend :o9 ((BIG HUGS))

  10. I have a recipe for lasagna that is very similar.

    Your artwork is beautiful. Congrats on saling them.

    I always get nervous about changing planes when I fly, too.
    Have a good time in America. I'm sure your dh will be fine without you.
    Mama Bear

  11. I made lasagna too!

    What a lovely blog you have. Looking forward to visiting again.

    Be warm!


  12. I clicked on your link at Simple Woman because of the "Oak" connection and I see that we are connected in our faith also. I look forward to exploring your blog. Stay warm!

    (the cartoon made me laugh out loud!)

  13. I'm so excited for you and your visit to America! What fun you will have! Todd sounds like my husband. Won't eat unless it is prepared for him! Crazy.

  14. Little tinkling of snow. I know exactly what you mean! I imagine it, too! (Well, not as often here in Texas, but.....)

  15. that cartoon made me giggle:) i can't believe you'll be in america soon. if only i lived up north and could see you:( oh well, i told lura to give you a hug from me. that will have to do for now! :)

  16. What a funny cartoon you posted - it made me laugh out loud. Ella is looking at me like I'm crazy! Ohhhh, 4 more sleeps! I can't wait!!!


  17. Marie, isn't the snow lovely?1 Even though I'm ready for spring I have been enjoying the thick white flakes today.

  18. Oh, you lukcy duck w/ snow!! We're sizzling here in the desert w/ 56 degrees right now to be up in the low 60's by mid week! Seriously, this gets boring after a while. We've been far too dry and are in for a whale of a fire season I fear. I know you're ecstatic about your trip to the USA! Have a safe and fun trip! BTW, your lasagna looks super yummy!

  19. Marie:

    Reading your blog makes it very difficult to keep my hunger under control! That Lasagna looks fabulously tasty...

    I wanted to let you know that your gift is on it's way. I had so many snags in my plans last week that I just now go to the post office. I was ever so hopeful that you would receive it before you left for Idaho, but I just don't know if it will get there on time. If not, you'll have a nice surprise waiting for you when you get back home!

    Garden Painter Art

  20. Have a wonderful trip to the states Marie!! Your lasagna looks wonderful!!

  21. You really know how to describe the snow--it's beauty and it falling down. You will be fine on the plane, changing planes, and the whole way. My motto is"Ask questions". Good luck.

  22. I'm so excited for you Marie - have a wonderful time on your trip. blessings, marlene

  23. Hi Marie, here I am always your write such beautiful bring a smile to my face every time I visit..Liek you we have had the snow quite a lot yesterday and overnight...however today has been sunshine all the way an dthe snow has mostly gone..tonight to be very cold -6..I am taking Dee to be cut and bathed tomorrow morning so fingers crossed it is not to icey on the way up the hill to the main road !!
    I am so happy about your trip to the USA. but will miss you whilst you are long is it to be ?
    Take care keep warm,
    God Bless much Love Sybil x

  24. I'm so excited that you will be meeting with Lura how awesome is that you will have a great time. I can harldy waite to see your pictures and all the adventures and fun time that you will have and especially being able to see your daughter that's the best. I think snowflakes would have a little sound like soft very soft windchimes.


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