Monday 22 February 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook . . .

FOR TODAY, February 22nd, 2010...

Outside My Window...

All is dark and the rain is pitter pattering against my window panes . . . yes it is another wet and windy winter's day. Oh how I begin to long for spring . . .

I am thinking...
About the talks in church yesterday. They were about doing your family history. Geneology is something that I have always been really fascinated with. My late Aunt Freda was the same. We used to spend many hours talking about it together and sharing the things we had discovered with each other. Along with a great many old photographs we also have been able to find some really interesting stories about our ancestors. It's all so very interesting!

I am thankful for...
I am so very thankful that I am indoors this morning!! It sounds miserable out there. I feel sorry for the birds and wild creatures that must live out there in all of this nasty weather!! It will be bad enough when I have to go out to work a bit later on!

From the kitchen...
There's a tasty Lemon Drizzle Cake and the leftovers of the Apple Cake that I made on Saturday. Todd is really enjoying that Apple Cake. He's had a big wedge of it with custard several times since I baked it. He does love apple anything and he's one of those lucky people that can eat as much of whatever they want to eat and not gain an ounce! I know!! Tis not fair!!

I am wearing...
I am wearing my red nightie again. Oh how I love it . . . my son and daughter in law gave me the perfect present when they gave me this!! Last night I was thinking about Baby Doll Pajamas. Does anyone even make them anymore??? I used to love them when I was younger. They were so cute and comfy!

I am creating...

I have four dolls sitting here in various stages of completion and the clothes for my paper doll just waiting to be painted. It's all so very exciting! One doll is for the Giveaway I hosted on my Art Blog, and the other three will be for sale.

I am going...
I have the usual this week . . . a bit of work, a bit of play . . . I have my chiropadist tomorrow as I had to cancel my appointment last week. Then there is Seminary on Thursday evening. I am really enjoying studying the Book of Mormon. It's very interesting and I am learning so much. I have such a strong testimony of this book having been inspired. It would have been impossible for any man to write this book in the time it was written from off of the top of his head. You would have had to be a theological genius in order to have written it in twice the amount of time that it took and even then I am not sure it could be done. Joseph Smith took only a few months to translate it from the plates and he was no theological genius. In fact he was a very uneducated man, having only had a grade school education. To those who say the book was inspired by Satan, I have only one question to ask. Why would Satan inspire a book that does nothing but support the Bible and speak of the Divinity and goodness of Jesus Christ?

I am reading...

Range of Motion, by Elizabeth Berg

'I can tell you how it happened. It's easy to say how it happened. He walked past a building, and a huge chunk of ice fell off the roof, and it hit him in the head. This is Chaplinesque, right? People start to laugh when I tell them...'

As Jay Berman lingers in a coma, his young wife, Lainey, is the only one who believes he will recover. While he lies motionless, she hopes to reach him by offering reminders of the ordinary life they shared - sweet-smelling flowers, his softly textured shirt, spices from their kitchen. And throughout her ordeal, Lainey is sustained by her relationship with two very special women, each of whom teaches her about the enduring bond of friendship and the genuine power of hope.

I am really enjoying Elizabeth Berg as a writer. I think this is about the fourth book of hers that I have read. Each one has been a fantastic read and this is no exception. It too, is fantastic, a real can't-put-downer!!

I am hoping...

Too late for trees and tinsel,
Too soon for lambs at play,
These dreary New Year doldrums
Have got me in their sway.
I long to hear the cuckoo,
Or smell a blossomed breeze,
But if I open the windows
I know I'll surely freeze.
So stoke the fire still higher
Til Winter's fury thaws
I know Spring can't be too long
Til then, I'll wait indoors!!
~Margaret Ingall

I know that spring is just around the corner. The snowdrops and crocus are blooming and the daffodils are beginning to poke their leaves up through the ground. Can be Spring and the cuckoo be very far behind??? I hope not! Only a little over a month now, and it will officially be here!

I am hearing...
It is silent in here, save the ticking of the clock and the tap tapping of my fingers on the keyboard. I love the silence of early morning. It inspires thought and reflection.

Around the house...
All is in order. Todd does love an orderly house. He hates it when I get messy. I expect that is his army training from his days of National Service coming to the forefront!

One of my favorite things...
Is reading the scriptures. It always amazes me how you can read the same portion of scripture several times and then one day, you can be reading the same words yet again, and the meaning of them will leap out at you as never before. God always speaks to you in exactly the way you need to be spoken to, and His word is amazing in how it touches your heart in wonderful ways exactly when and where you need it to be touched!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
Work, Scripture study, chiropody, cooking and baking. I expect there will be more than a little play scattered throughout my days as well! Life is like that . . . work and play in a joyful balance.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

This is one of my favourite pictures that I took in the gardens at Hever Castle (the childhood home of Anne Boleyn). I just love Hever Castle. There is so much to do and see there. It is well worth the price of admission. One of my favourite parts is the doll house display . . . a series of miniature scenes of English life throughout the various stages of it's history. My favourite one is the Georgian display. Oh how very beautiful it is. You feel a bit like a Giant looking into a lilliputian existance and almost expect each display to suddenly come to life, and would not be at all surprised should it do so!!

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! It's not that hard and I am betting you would enjoy it!)

Cold and stormy days call for hot soup, and no soup is more nourishing and tastier than a nice hot bowl of Chicken soup. Nectar for the Gods. My mom makes the best chicken soup ever. This is how she does it.

*Chicken with Rice Soup*
Makes about 6 servings
Printable Recipe

There is nothing nicer on a cold and windy day, than a lovely pot of hot soup. I save all my chicken carcasses (That's what is leftover after you have eaten all that you are going to eat from off a roast chicken) in bags in the freezer, and then, whenever I want a nice pot of soup, I just haul one out and within an hour or two I have a lovely meal, fit for a king, and very good for you as well. They don't call this Jewish Penicillin for nothing!

Leftover bones from a roast chicken, hopefully with
some meat still clinging to them!
(If it's not real meaty you can throw in a small package of chicken wings)
1 large carrot, peeled and cut in half
1 medium onion, peeled and cut in half
1 celery stalk, complete with the leaves
a bay leaf
a few peppercorns
several springs of fresh thyme
2 tsp salt

To finish:
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 parsnip, peeled and grated
1 piece of swede, peeled and grated
1/2 cup of long grain rice
frozen peas and corn as desired
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
a small handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

Put the bones from the chicken, and the wings (if using) into a large saucepan and cover with cold water until completely submerged. Add the carrot, onion, celery, bay leaf, peppercorns, thyme and salt. Bring to the boil over high heat, skimming off any foam that may appear and discarding it. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer, slighly cover and then allow to simmer for about an hour and a half. At the end of that time you should have a well flavoured stock.

Strain the soup through a large colander into another large saucepan, and cool the bones. Set them aside for the moment. Add the grated vegetables to the strained stock, and place over the heat again, and once more bring it to the boil. Add the rice, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for an addional 15 to 20 minutes, until all is tender and the rice is cooked. Pick any meat you can find off of the bones and add them to the soup along with the chopped parsley. Taste and adjust the seasonings are required. Serve hot with crackers or crusty bread. Enjoy!

Note - This freezes very well!!

I'm tempting everyone over at The English Kitchen today with my delicious homemade Lemon Curd!!


  1. It is raining here this morning, it may be that it is freezing too and the surfaces will get slick as we are hovering just above the freezing mark. It's supposed to get colder and snow later and most of the week too. I hope your Monday is a good one and that is is not all work for you. A little play does keep us in balance for sure.

  2. Hi, Marie! What a sweet start to the week... LOVE your dollies in progress--those smiling faces are a joy to see! And more E. Berg...I do love her novels too. Your photo from Hever Castle is a dream... Your soup is wonderful--and very much like one my Mom makes. Great comfort food for cold days now. A slow start to the day here as we've been having trouble with our phone line and internet connection... great to back online! Happy Week ahead, dear friend--LOVE YOU HEAPS :o) ((BIG HUGS))

  3. Lovely daybook entry, Marie! I always love these peeks into your life...thanks for sharing them. That chicken soup looks divine--will be trying that!

    Hope you're having a lovely day, my friend! The sun is not quite up yet here...waiting for my daughter Sarah to get ready so I can take her to seminary...another day begins!

    Much love sent your way today...oh, yes...your dolls look wonderful!

  4. A wonderful post as USUSAL! I felt as if I was sitting there with you! The apple cake sounds delicious!

    The dolls you are making are wonderful as well. HOW CUTE ARE THEY!!

    Looks like you're in for a great week! Take care...

  5. Fab lemon curd recipe Marie - I must try it. I've been thinking about making some lemon meringue cupcakes with home made lemon curd filling this past week, so this is so timely for me! Love the piccie of your cute dollies too x

  6. Have a wonderful week my friend! What a beautiful picture. I love reading stories set in that time period. How lucky you are to be able to see those beautiful places! And your dolls are just adorable!


  7. I enjoyed visiting as always. The Annies look so wonderful lying there.

    Elizabeth Berg is a favorite author of mine.

    I copied the soup, it looks so good.

    Your quotes and history of the castle. Everything about your day book is wonderful.
    Mama Bear

  8. Hi Marie, I love your cute dolls that look just like your art. I am with you in hoping for spring to come real soon! I haven't seen any signs of it peeking through the ground yet though. Your soup must be delicious as all your other recipes I am sure are too. What is swede though. I have not heard of it before. I adore lemon curd too. Yum. How can Todd stay so svelte with all your beautiful food? Have a wonderful week friend!

  9. I loved that gentle humorous rhyme. I love the soup. I love YOU!


  10. What a wonderful daybook! You put so much thought into your answers. That's inspiring! I'm sorry the weather is a bummer, but I sure love the sound of the rain on the windows. Those dolls are adoreable! I'll check back in and look things over again! Have a great week!


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