Saturday 27 February 2010

One day nearer . . .

The Winter is a stillness and a darkness and a sleep
But not a death, for in the earth, the roots of life go deep.
A rest . . . then re-creation, and a glad new burgeoning.
Every day in Wintertime is one day nearer Spring.
~Patience Strong

As I look out my back door I can see all along the wall of the house amongst the stones of the garden, the snowdrops are blooming profusely, their little white heads dancing in the breezes that blow along the drive . . . and scattered here and there amongst them, are the colours of yellow and purple crocus that are also making their presence known. They are so very beautiful . . . and seeing them paints my mind with tinges of sadness because I know that this is the last late winter/early spring I shall be here in this little cottage to look upon them.

I want to gather up the memory of them and store it in my heart to take out and treasure in the years to come, along with all the other memories I have built here . . .

The sound of the birds awakening early in the morning, and the little flutters of their wings against the eves in our bedroom of an evening as they bed down for the long night ahead . . .

The pattern and smell of the honeysuckle that grows up the chimney on the far East Side of the cottage . . . on a warm summer's evening it is gloriously fragrant and so very beautiful . . .

The bleeding hearts that lay in the far corner of the garden . . . their beautiful red blooms, touching my heart with wonder that something could be so very beautiful. They are always so very lovely.

The climbing yellow roses that we planted next to the shed. It was only a tiny plant, but now it covers the whole side of the wall and the blooms are many and so very pretty for most of the year.

The way the climbing red and white roses hang down over the side of the house . . . such a cheery welcome when we have been away and are returning home . . . our long walks with Jess through the orchards in every season . . .

We have built some beautiful memories here over these past 7 years, of which these that I share this morning, are only a few. It will be so very hard to leave. It will be difficult to leave our friends behind as well. They are all a part of the beauty we have experienced over these past years.

We have a plan formulated in our minds and are now working on how to execute it. We are not sure if we want to do this same type of work again. I am getting older, and Todd is in his 70's . . . do we want to face the uncertainty of this same thing happening again in a few years time? We are not all that sure that we do. We crave stability and sureity at this stage in our lives. We may be away for several days over the next week so that we can explore the possibilities that are available to us. If you could keep us in your happy thoughts we would so very much appreciate it! We thank you all for the love and support you have given us thus far. We feel covered in it and it's a truly wonderful feeling. We will be ok. I have faith that we will be. We have each other and that is what counts.

In the meantime I have decided to go digital with my drawings. I am busy converting them all to Digital Images that I can sell as digital stamps. That way people can use them to create their own cards and scrapbooks etc. Take a gander over at Blossom Time Creations to see what I have done. There are four available already, and I am working on more and also some new ones.

*Oven Baked Breaded Pork Chops*
These directions are for one chop, but can be multiplied
to as many as you want to serve.
Printable Recipe

This is more of a method than a recipe. It is the way I have been doing my breaded pork chops for years and years. They always end up tender and moist. The crumbs on the bottom don't alway stick, but they do meld into the juices to make a lucious sauce and the crumbs on the top always stay put. All in all they are truly delicious.

1 bone in pork chop per person
salt, pepper, dried sage and garlic powder
2 TBS of fine dry bread crumbs per chop
apple juice

Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F. Line a large shallow baking tray with foil and lightly grease the foil. Onto the baking sheet place as many chops are you are wanting to serve. Obviously if you are only cooking one or two you will want a smaller baking tray. Dust the top surface of each chop with some salt, pepper, sage (rubbed between your fingertips) and garlic powder to taste. Then sprinkle a tablespoon of bread crumbs evenly over top of each one. Pour apple juice into the baking tray evenly around the chops, trying not to disturb the crumbs on top. Place the tray into the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, checking to make sure the apple juice does not boil dry in the pan. Once the crumbs have begun to brown on top, remove the pan from the oven. Carefully turn each chop over without disturbing the crumb topping and repeat the process for seasoning and crumbing on the underside. If you need more juice in the pan, once again pour it around the chops. Return the pan to the oven and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes, until nicely browned on top and the juices have thickened into a bit of a sauce. Check every 10 minutes or so to make sure the pan is not going dry and top up with more juice if need be. Serve hot with some of the pan juices spooned over top. Fabulous!

I've gone all Mexican over on The English Kitchen this morning with some delicious Chicken Chimies!!! A truly delicious way to enjoy using up your leftovers.


  1. Marie these pictures are beautiful! Love as always :)


  2. Awww! I will pray for you guy's... and remember not only you have one another, but importantly the Lord is with hand will bring you where you should be. Hugs, Mica

  3. I hope this new phase of your life will bring you peace and joy. I have been through some earth shaking changes in my life too and have found it is easier to take just one day at a time. I'll keep on praying that a way will open for you to successfully make the transition from one to the next.

  4. We can rest assured all will be well, He works all things to good.

    Praying for your wisdom, peace, strength and comfort in the coming days.

    May this new season bring you joy!

  5. So very happy to chat with you a while yesterday, Marie and catch up on news and hear about your positive ideas for the future. I pray that all will go well for you & Todd in this next new chapter you're facing and even embracing. Thank you for sharing these lovely floral/nature memories with us today--such gorgeous flowers...Kent really is the Garden of England! :o) You idea for going digital with your artwork is a very smart and fun move--I wish you all the best, dear friend, in everything! LOVE YOU HEAPS!! ((BIG HUGS))

  6. Beautiful garden memories for you to keep, Marie! You'll create another garden just as lovely, I know!

    Looking forward to seeing what you've got "up your sleeve" plans-wise! Will miss you while you're away...come back soon!

    You will make new friends are so wonderful and loveable--never fear! The people in the new area to which you move will feel so blessed to have you join them!

    Sending loving thoughts to surround you today--you've been in my thoughts and prayers, and will continue to be...hugs

  7. Marie, I feel as if I've turned over two pages.
    I do so hope you, Todd, and Jess find a happy forever home.
    Your blogs have been a great comfort to me over a difficult few months, and I look forward to hearing that you are settled once more.
    Love, Bunny.

  8. good luck on your search together for a new life. i'm sure you will find new and wonderful adventures coming your way! :)

    i was just thinking how wonderful it is that you have taken the time daily to write about your life at oak cottage-you will always have these written(typed) words to help you remember each amazing day. i'm sure it will be so hard to leave but you will always have these beautiful memories to hold dear.

  9. Aww Marie I could have cried reading this Posting."Nearer Gods heart In A Garden Than Anywhere Else On Earth " and you have so many wonderful memories in your beautiful garden at "Oak Cottage".God will guide you and Todd safely to your next adventure in life I am sure of it.I'll miss your daily posts whilst you are away,but know you will be in my prayers always both of you.Keep smiling and dreaming that dream.Take Care God Bless Kath xx

  10. So sorry for this upheavel in your lives. But God is good and he'll make a spot for you both, where you'll be happy. Is moving back to Canada a possibilty? Linda in Washington state

  11. Oh, I am hoping spring is out there somewhere! Good idea with your drawings and yum to this good food! Come say hi :D

  12. Dear Marie --
    You and Todd are in my thoughts and prayers. I am praying that this new chapter in your lives will be an even better one.

    I love you and wish there was something I could do to help. I think converting your art to digital stamps is a wonderful idea!

    Good luck this week as you explore your possibilities.


  13. May God bless you and Todd abundantly in your upcoming decisions and transitions. You will certianly be in my prayers dear friend. xoxo, Rachel

  14. Oh Marie....the days are moving by so slowly as I wonder what is happening with you. I just don't understand how they can let you go. No one will ever be as good of help for them. No one will ever go the extra mile over and over as you have done time and time again. I am in shock. I can't even imagine how you and Todd are feeling.
    However, like you, I do know that God is in control and all will be well. How I wish that I could have visited you while you were in the cottage but no matter. You have shared it so well in words and pictures that I can picture it in my mind. I am sad for you that this is your last season there. ...but who knows what lies ahead. I am sure it will be better for you in the long run. Just keep thinking positive. I am sending much love and lots of prayers your way. Hugs, Lura

  15. p.s. Have you heard from Gloria? I surely hope that she and her family are safe and sound after the earthquake. I am sending prayers her way as well. Let me know if you have heard anything. Thanks

  16. Oh Marie,

    Our thoughts, hearts and prayers are with you. I can't even imagine all of the emotions you are feeling right now... but I do know that our darkest hour blossomed into our greatest joy when we got our little Calan. God knows the beginning from the end and even though transitions can be so difficult and scary, He lifts us up to a better place where He wants us to be.

    You know all of this already! :) You are so full of faith!

    Hugs and love to you and Todd!!


  17. God brought you to Oak Cottage because He had things for you to do. He has things for you to do somewhere else now and I just know you'll be equal to the task.

    I'm so glad that you're both having such positive thoughts and making plans. Looking forward to whenever you can come back to us and praying for you all the time.

    Much love, Angie, xx


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