Tuesday 5 January 2010

Friends are like flowers . . .

friend Pictures, Images and Photos

Life is a garden
Good friends are the flowers,
And times spent together
Life's happiest hours . . .
And friendship, like flowers,
Blooms, ever more fair
When carefully tended
By dear friends who care . . .
And life's lovely garden
Would be sweet by far,
If all who passed through it
Were as nice as you are.
~Helen Steiner Rice

What would I do without my dear friends in life. I am not a person that likes to be alone. I cannot remember my mother having very many friends when I was growing up. She was far too busy working at her job as a clerk for the civil service and taking care of our family and home. Now that she is older and retired, and we are all living far away, she has a lot of friends, and that is a good thing. She seems to really enjoy their company and they do quite a few things together and speak on the telephone just about every day.

I would dearly miss the companionship of friends were I not to have any. That was the hardest thing when I moved over here, nine and a half years ago . . . not having any friends at first. I had left most of my friends back in Canada, and at that point I only had a very few of them as well. Most of my so called friends had jumped ship when I joined my present church. Oh, I had my Todd to be sure, and he is my best friend of all, but somehow I needed that special touch of a female friend that I could share things with. Somehow, it is a lot harder when you become an adult to make new friends. I don't know why that is.

Friendship Pictures, Images and Photos

I'm happy to say that I have quite a few friends these days. Some of them near and some of them far away. Lots are tangible, but a good many are invisible as well, what we may have called Pen Friends in the days of before computers. They are just as important to me as my real life, touchable friends, and perhaps, in some ways, even more important. It is sometimes far easier to share feelings and thoughts with someone in the written word than it is face to face. I'm not sure why that is.

Some friends I like to call my kindred spirit friends. These are the most special of all. These are the friends that you meet and right away you feel a special kinship with, a spirit touching spirit type of thing and you just know that you have always been friends and always will be, that, for whatever reason, you've been separated on this earth and have been truly blessed to find each other again. It's difficult to explain, but I just know you will all know what I am speaking about. I am so blessed to have a few people like that in my life . . . they are the brightest flowers in my friendship garden I have to say. I love all my friends dearly, but these ones are just uniquely special in a different sort of way.

Of course it goes without saying that in order to have a friend, one must first be a friend. I hope that I am that . . . it is not always easy to find the time to make the phone calls or visits, or even to write the e-mails, especially when you throw a full time job into the mix. It does take a bit of effort, but my oh my, it is an effort well worth the time, and even if it is not something that happens every day, I would hope that my friends all know every day that I love them no matter what, and that I think of them. Sometimes just a quick line that says, I love you and am thinking of you is enough just to let them know you appreciate them and truly treasure them.

Just my thoughts this morning, on friends . . . I saw this line written on the wall of a pub one time and have always wanted to put it on a board to hang above my own door.

"There are no strangers here . . . only friends we have yet to meet."

I like that. Welcome friend. Make yourself at home.

true friend Pictures, Images and Photos

I wanted to share a really quick dessert with you this morning that I made out of some of the leftover panettone from Christmas. For those of you who don't know Panettone is an Italian Christmas bread/cake. Very rich and stogged full of dried fruit. We just love it here. I always have at least a couple of them in our house each Christmas. Quite often throughout the season we'll have a slice as we sit and watch the telly in the evenings for our evening snack. It's so very good. We really enjoyed this pudding. I made it for the New Years Day dinner we had with friends. It went down a real treat!

*Panettone and Butter Bread Pudding*
Serves 6
Printable Recipe

We always have several Panettone around at Christmas. We just love it's rich and fruity flavour. In truth I wish we had it every day of the year. Here's a delightful idea of what to do with it when it gets a bit stale.

1/4 cup of softened butter
10 thick slices of Panettone
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup whole milk
1/3 cup cream
1/4 cup white sugar
1 TBS Demerara sugar
freshly grated nutmeg

Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Butter a 1 1/2 quart oven proof dish. Lightly butter the slices of Panettone on one side and then lay the slices in the buttered dish. Beat the eggs and sugar together well. Whisk in the milk and cream. Grate in a small amount of fresh nutmeg. Whisk together well again and then quickly pour the egg mixture over the Panettone. Set aside for 15 minutes to allow it to soak in. Sprinkle with the demerara sugar at the end of that time and then put the baking dish into a large deep roasting tin. Place the roasting tin on a lower rack in the heated oven. Fill the roasting tin with boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the casserole dish. BAke for 34 to 45 minutes, or until the custard has set and the top is golden. Serve warm or cold, with lashings of cream for pouring. Delicious!!

It is a day for leftovers today as over on The English Kitchen I have posted a tasty Cottage Pie made with the leftovers from our New Years Roast Beef dinner! This one has a delicious twist though as I have covered it with a scrummy Parsnip and Potato Mash!


  1. What a lovely post, Marie! I feel the same...friends are so important. I can't believe we haven't really ever met--it just feels like we have--funny, isn't it? I'm sure alot of your bloggy friends feel that way about you. Your warmth and your spirit just come through your written word and photos...you are, indeed, a bright light! So blessed to count you as one of my dear friends...much love to you!

  2. I love how uplifting your posts are. No matter what there is some sunshine there. Take care.

  3. Friends and family both gifts from God.

    Love you Marie.

    Renee xoxo

  4. Friends are treasure for sure! I like you would not be happy being alone all the time. I do live alone but have my family and my friends to visit with. I guess I have the best of both worlds. Thank you for the recipe for the bread. I have some that will quickly be turned in to that pudding. Leftovers are a blessing but sometimes its nice to have something different to do with them. Have a great Tuesday!

  5. This is beautiful. I copied one picture for my Celebrate Friendship blog sidebar so I can link my readers to this post.

  6. Hello, dear friend! Great to be back from our trip and catching up with you here... Feeling jet-lagged and heart-fuzzy after a sweet Christmas, good to be home and back in blogland. Very much enjoying catching up on all your holiday postings. I still have more to read--LOL! Missed you while away. And hope we get to catch up soon. Family & Friends... among the very sweetest gifts of life. Love this recipe today--YUM! We come home to TONS of snow, cold and cozy days ahead. Wishing you, Todd & Jess and all yours the very best of love, peace & joy in 2010! LOVE YOU HEAPS :O) ((BIG HUGS))


  8. Marie:

    I treasure my "online" friends so very much. Somehow, through the last few years with my mom's illness and death, my "in real life" friends have all disappeared. I think I may have become too much of a burden for them. And now...I realize that not a single one of my long time friends are still with me.

    Your post was a lovely way to start the new year. Who knows, maybe I'll meet a knew friend or two this year!

    Gerushia's New World

  9. It's heart warming to have friends and to meet a kindred spirit truly is a blessing.
    Thanks for such an uplifting post!
    Take care.

  10. Wonderfu post. I'm certain that you are a good person to be a friend with! Lucky them!!

    Not to mention you can bake/cook like no other!

  11. You are one of the brightest flowers in my friendship garden. I love you dearly. You are a beautiful bloom that makes my life sweeter and brighter.

    Thank you for being my friend. Hugs, Lura

  12. beautiful post marie! and so true. i don't know what i'd do without my girlfriends. i love my joey more than anything, but us women need other women! when we moved from corpus a few years ago, i was so scared of having to meet new people and make friends. i didn't do very well at it! when we lived in austin, tx for a year and a half i had just barely made a couple of friends before we moved. i was too too shy. so i made a goal when we moved to the dallas area that i was going to be more friendly and force myself out of my shell. and it worked! :) i have made many dear friends here and it brings so much joy to my life.

    p.s. thank YOU for being my friend too. hope to someday meet!


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