Monday 30 March 2009

The Simple Woman's Day Book . . .

FOR TODAY, March 30th, 2009 ...

Outside My Window...

It's dark again. Our clocks finally went ahead that hour early Sunday morning and so we will be getting up in the dark and I shall finally be walking home in daylight at the end of the day. I wish that they would just leave the time alone. I don't mind the change in the autumn when the clocks go back an hour. It's nice to have an extra hour's sleep. This leap ahead in the spring though, it really does my head in! It seems to take days and days for me to recover!

I am thinking...
About the beautiful "Fast and Testimony" meeting we had yesterday at church. We had two fast meetings this month because of General Conference next weekend. I just love General Conference. It is the chance to get to hear our church leaders speak, and I do love to drink in the wisdom they have to share with us. If any of you wanted to follow along, the sessions are broadcast on BYU television, which you can find HERE. It's well worth a listen. The talks are always wonderful and so very spiritual and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir always sings all the hymns . . . so very beautiful to listen to.

I am thankful for...
All the leaders of our church, right from our President, Thomas S Monson, down to my own congregations little ole Bishop, Bishop Bascom. One only has to look at a picture of the church Presidency to see the Love of Christ shining out from their countenance and in their eyes. They are amazingly inspired men. When you read their histories, it is plain to see how the Lord has been preparing them all of their lives to lead this church. One could call each one of them Spiritual Giants, and I am so very grateful for their example, their leadership and the wisdom that they have to share with each of us.

From the kitchen...
There's cake and some delicious cookies sitting on the counter! I baked the cake on Saturday and it's quite yummy. I'll be sharing it with you all at the bottom of this post. The cookies are for tomorrow!! I have some really healthy goodies to share with you this coming week as well. It's not all going to be hedonistic!!

I am wearing...
Pink Jammies!! My favourite colour, well for today anyways! (It's always subject to change depending on my mood!)

I am creating...
Yesterday in church our final Hymn was Joseph's Smith's First Prayer. I must have sung this hymn a million times since I joined this church but yesterday it struck a deep chord inside me and I was inspired with a vision of another painting I wanted to do. As soon as sacrament meeting finished, I quickly scribbled it down into my notebook and when we got home yesterday afternoon, I did the sketch and did not stop until I had the whole thing painted. I called it . . . "First Faith . . . and then . . . the Miracle." It is such a wonderful truth that faith precedes miracles. My life has been just loaded with such moments. Here's a little taste of what I did. I'll be posting the full piece a bit later today on my art journal, here.

Just a little teaser . . .

I am going...
I have a pretty slack week this week. Not a lot going on except for work. Sometimes it's really nice to have a week like that so that you can catch your breath. Because it is Stake Temple Week, we don't have Seminary or Mutual on Thursday evening. I have invited the Missionaries for supper that night and a young lad from church is coming over to help me prepare it. He's on school hols and really wanted to come and cook with me. I think we'll have a good time together, he's a really nice young man. It should be a lot of fun!! He's also an excellent singer and piano player so maybe we will be able to get him to tinkle the ivories at some point. That would be great!!

I am reading...

"The Art of Racing in the Rain," by Garth Stein. I am about halfway through the book and am really enjoying it. I have a new one lined up for when I finish this one called, "Loving Frank", by Nancy Horan. It looks really good too.

I am hoping...
That my inspiration for these little painting I do never dries up. I have a huge stack of sketches. Todd says I will never get around to painting them all. I just have to put them down on paper when I am inspired to though, or I may completely forget what it is I want to paint. Because I work full time, I only have a few hours a week that I can actually devote to my paints, precious hours indeed! I think it's like that with most hobbies!

I am hearing...
My play list and the birds that are now waking up and chirping and cheeping away. It's such a lovely sound to begin the day with. What a beautiful blessing!

Around the house...
My kitchen table is a mess and I am going to have to sort it out. I was making a set of cards to send over to America yesterday afternoon, which took me right on almost to bedtime. I have put some of my mess away, but there is still a bit left to do. I love losing myself in creativity. When I do I am single minded and off in a world of my own. I don't think Todd minds either . . . it gives him a chance to watch cheesy cowboy and war films . . . man movies!

One of my favorite things...
is daydreaming. I have long been a real dreamer. When I am at work, my mind is often miles away and having great adventures. Oh, the places I've been and the things that I've done . . . I think it's a great blessing to be able to take yourself away like that!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
Not a whole lot! Well all except for having the missionaries over, teaching a young man to cook, and watching the Conference on Saturday and Sunday!! Oh, and there's work as well. Did I say not a lot? Scratch that!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

A little something we all have to look forward to!! These are some daisies I took a picture of last summer when we were on our hols. I just love daisies. They're so pretty to look at and you can make lovely crowns and chains with them. You can find out if someone loves you or doesn't. You can just sit and watch the bumble bees flitting from one to another. They make me think of sunny days, quiet summer evenings and all things bright and beautiful. They make me smile . . .

I hope that I have helped to bring a smile to your face today! Smiles are the perfect gift, right up there with hugs, and they're very easy gifts to share! In fact you might say they are the gift that keeps on giving!!

And there you have it, my Simple Woman's Day Book for today. Don't forget to hop on over to the Simple Woman to check out the other day book entries! (Or better yet, do a simple day book entry yourself! )

Here's that delicious cake I baked on Saturday afternoon. The recipe comes from my Big Blue Binder and is a real favourite of ours. I love cakes like this with a baked on topping. So simple, so tasty, so very homey!

*Penuche Candy Cake*
Makes one 9 inch square cake

This is one of my favourite cakes. It has a lovely crunchy candy topping that bakes right along with the cake. I can't remember where I originally copied the recipe from. It was a very long time ago. You can see it's a keeper!

1/2 cup milk
1 TBS butter
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond essence
1 cup flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup firmly packed soft light brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 TBS hot water

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Melt the butter for the topping in a 9 inch square pan. Mix in the brown sugar, nuts and hot water. Spread it all out evenly. Set aside.

Heat the milk and butter in the microwave until the butter is melted into the milk. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs until they are light and foamy. Gradually beat in the sugar until the mixture becomes thick and ivory coloured. Add the vanilla and almond essence. Blend in the flour, baking powder and salt at low speed, just until mixed. Stir in the warm milk and butter. Blend only until thoroughly combined. Pour this batter over the topping in the prepared pan. Spread over evenly.

Bake in the pre-heated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until the top springs back when lightly touched in the centre. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 5 minutes before running a knife around the edges and inverting the cake onto a large serving plate. Serve warm or cold.

PS - Sorry if my post seems a bit churchy today! It's just what's on my mind! I know it's not for everyone, but it does sing the song of my heart!


  1. Good morning. With your time change I got to read your post tonight instead of having to wait until morning.... so I get to have a head start on Monday.

    I love your simple woman's day book. It is like we are having a sweet visit with one another.

    I too am excited about conference. I love each talk and feel sad when the 4 sessions are over. I wish that they could go on longer but then I should be thankful to get 8 hours on inspired instruction in one weekend. We are so blessed to get to hear from our dear leaders in the comfort of our own homes.

    When I see the Tabernacle Choir I will think of you and remember how lovely it was to be there listening to them with you.

    You bring so much joy into my life. Your posts always touch my heart and put a smile on my face. Have a great week ahead...... that cake looks so good.... should I be good and resist making it.... or indulge????

    I am sending love across the USA and over the pond to you. XOXOX Lura

  2. I do hope your week is a great one. It does sound like you'll have quite enough to do for sure. Your new painting, at least what we can see, is inspirational. When you get into that new book you'll have to say what it was like, I saw it for sale on the shelves at the store but didn't pick it up.

  3. Hi, Marie! The gentle start to your week here is lovely to read...A slower week is a good thing once in a while. Helps a lot as there are enough super-busy weeks, eh? :o) Love your new illustration! I am sure you will never run out of ideas for sketching and themes to explore. LOVE the cake for today...Cookies for tomorrow...mmm...can't wait! ;o) Hope we get a chance to chat tomorrow since we missed each other over the weekend. Wishing you, Todd and Jess a wonderful week ahead. LOVE YOU ALL LOTS! OXOX ((BIG HUGS))

  4. Hi Marie - Love the cake!
    Ps: You said to remind you - 5pm Tomorrow night ITV1 - not that you'll see much of me so don't blink LOL! Jan xx

  5. I do not see how you have the energy to work full time and do you you do! I am in awe! I want to surprise my hubby tonight with one of your recpes for chicken. I am off now to peruse your directory on chicken recipes. I did tell you didnt I how delicious your blueberry crumble coffee cake is ! YUM!!

    I really enjoyed my visit with you today! Blessings! Carolyn

  6. No need to apologise for being "churchy" Marie....the world would be a better place if we listened more to spiritual and uplifting thoughts. You are an inspiration to many. :-)

  7. That cake looks really good! I can't wait to see more of your painting! I hope you had a good weekend. Ben painted our room and my office, so the Pond has some COLOR!

  8. Oh, the daisies are so beautiful. They make me long for spring (we still have a couple feet of snow here, though it's melting fast).

    The cake looks absolutely scrumptious.

  9. Hi dear Marie! I love reading your Simple Day Book entries. I haven't done any for a few week and miss it. I think I am going to go back to doing them. It's such a great way to journal!

    How nice that you have a slow week. I hope you get lots done! I am excited for Conference too - it is always so wonderful! I love that picture of the daisies. So pretty! It has been snowing here for over a week. I am ready for some sunshine!


  10. Hi Marie - am so glad you were able to borrow Loving Frank. Hope you enjoy the read as much as I did. Maybe I mentioned on my blog that I'd stopped at the library because I was fascinated with finding out more - seeing pictures really - of the Wright home in Wisconsin, the one that Wright lived in with Mamah. I wasn't very successful, but my curiosity just really was in overdrive. Our two local libraries didn't have much about Taliesen.


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!