Monday 8 February 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook . . .

FOR TODAY, February 8th, 2010...

Outside My Window...

All is dark and a mixture of rain and sleet is falling. Yep, it's back to winter again! I know, I know . . . it's February, what do we really expect??? Seven years ago, Todd and I had an unexpected vacation in March to the South of France with some friends and the apple trees were in bloom, amazingly enough. No matter is is cold and sleeting here . . . I know that somewhere in the world a tree blooms, and that is enough . . . the thought of it makes me smile.

I am thinking...
About how much I missed being able to go to church again yesterday. Two weeks in a row now I have missed, the most ever. With the dregs of this cold hanging on I couldn't risk going and infecting anyone with my germs. There are a few people in our church Ward with compromised immune systems and I would just feel awful if they ended up sick because of me. With them it is life or death, and so . . . I stayed home. I did listen to some lovely gospel music though . . . which was really nice, and Todd did get a proper Sunday lunch for a change. ☺

I am thankful for...
I am so very thankful for the Gospel in my life, a husband who loves and understands me, and my family and friends. These are the most important things in my life and I am so grateful for each and every one of them. There is nothing else that is near as meaningful to me. Oh, my job is important to be sure . . . but if that were to go I could get another one. My home, important as well, but also replaceable. A man who loves me the way Todd does? Irreplaceable. Likewise my family and friends. And the Gospel?? Well, all that I am hinges on that. It is the cornerstone of my life.

From the kitchen...
There's cupcakes and some lovely jam shortbreads, plus the rest of that blueberry lemon cake. I did send half of it to church with Todd yesterday for a friend. I don't really need too much of that stuff hanging around, and . . . neither does Todd. His pants are becoming hard to fasten!! I know . . . ASTONISHING!! ☺

I am wearing...
I am back in my red and white flannel nightie this week! Oh, I do love it so. It's so warm and cozy. I think the best thing about it though . . . is it was a gift given with love. Love wrapped around you . . . what could be better than that!!!

I am creating...

I finished a doll yesterday. It is for a little girl named Avery in America. I think she turned out quite sweet. I still have a few more dolls to make on my list of to-do's. I did some more painting yesterday as well, which I'll show you a bit later on. I bought some wool felt several weeks back and I hope to make a penny rug at some point. I haven't done anything like that in a long time. I saw a beautiful one the other day with bluebirds on it and it has whetted my desire to have one just like it!

In the meantime, do you think Avery will like her doll???? I sure hope so!!!

I am going...
I have the usual this week . . . a bit of work, a bit of play . . . seminary. The usual is not so bad is it really??? The unusual can be pretty exciting at times, but it can also be a bit scary. I think I choose the usual!

I am reading...

The Art of Mending, by Elizabeth Berg

Returning home for a family reunion, Laura Bartone and her brother, Steve, are stunned by their sister’s allegations of shocking behavior on the part of their mother, and must come to terms with the truth and lies within their family.

It begins with the sudden revelation of astonishing secrets . . . secrets that have shaped the personalities and fates of three siblings, and now threaten to tear them apart. In renowned author Elizabeth Berg’s moving new novel, unearthed truths force one seemingly ordinary family to reexamine their disparate lives and to ask themselves: Is it too late to mend the hurts of the past?

I have been reading a lot of Elizabeth Berg lately. I really enjoy her books. They read just like a conversation with a good friend. Tis like you are listening to a person relate things to you . . . they have a really personal feeling about them. I highly recommend!!

I am hoping...
That the last vestiges of this cold will up and aboot! Vamoose! Disappear! I think I've had quite enough of it!

I am hearing...
It is silent in here, save the ticking of the clock and the tap tapping of my fingers on the keyboard. The birds outside are awakening as well, so they are making their getting up noises. I miss that in the winter. This is proof that spring cannot be too far away . . . as the mornings are getting lighter sooner now!

Around the house...
All is normal. The table is a bit cluttered with a few of my paints where I was finishing up that doll last evening. I must get them put away today or Todd will be annoyed with me! We can't have that!

One of my favorite things...
Is texting with the people I care about. I often get spur of the moment texts from my eldest son. They are such lovely surprises. Or, I will be at work and one will come through from Angie. They brighten my day, they really do! I am a bit of a slow texter though. I know that predictable text is a bit quicker, but I just can't get the hang of it, and I am such a stickler for spelling as well . . . I have to force myself to shorten words. I alwys fel lk I'm dng somink wrng!! (see what I mean!!)

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
Work, Seminary, cooking and baking. Would be nice to find a little play in there as well. Here's hoping!!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

My latest painting. I just fell in love with this sketch and could not wait to colour her. She's a bit older than my usual girls I think. She's more like a lady!

I gave her a little mole on her cheek and some sweet cherry pompoms on her sweater. What do you think? Will she do? It is for a card contest on Hallmark. They hold one every month. We shall see . . .

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!)

Here are some lovely raspberry shortbreads that I made for Todd at the weekend. Oh my but they are scrummy! We are great lovers of anything with jam in it in this house! These are delicious!

*Raspberry Shortbread*
Makes about 20 servings, depending on how large you cut them
Printable Recipe

This is a delicious recipe that I got from an old friend a long time ago. Crisp shortbread base, topped with sweet raspberry jam and a lovely coconut macaroon topping!

For the base:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
pinch of salt

raspberry jam, about 4 dessertspoons

For the topping:
1 1/2 cups dessicated coconut
1 cup sugar
1 large egg

Preheat the oven to 150*C/300*F. LIne a baking dish, about 9 inches by 13 inches with some tinfoil, leaving an overhang so that you can lift the squares out with ease as soon as you take them from the oven. Set aside.

Cream together the butter and the sugar for the base. Beat in the egg. Stir in the flour and salt. Mix in well. Knead for a few minutes, and then press this mixture into the prepared pan, pressing it in evenly throughout.

Drop the raspberry jam over top of the base, and spread it out thinly with the back of a spoon to cover.

Mix together all the ingredients for the topping and spoon this overtop of the jam, making sure it is spread evenly as well.

Bake in the heated oven for about 30 minutes. The bottom should be beginning to brown nicely and the coconut topping should be nicely browned as well. Remove from the oven and immediately lift out of the pan and onto the counter. Score with a sharp knife into squares. Allow to set and cool before cutting apart and storing in a airtight container. Delicious!!

I made some Sweetheart Cherry Cupcakes for my sweetheart yesterday. You can check the recipe out over on The English Kitchen!


  1. Oh, that shortbread...YUM! Love the doll and the cute images you have created. You should have a line of cards at Hallmark...they are SO cute! Come say hi :D

  2. The beauty of this shortcake recipe is that you can put your favourite filling in it. I loved apricots or dates with it. Alas no more because of my diabetes. Sigh!
    YOur painting and doll are excellent. Good luck in the competition.
    I hope your chest is on the mend?

    Jeanie xxx

  3. As I always tell you...I love reading your daybook entries. They just feel like a visit! And that dessert--my favorite kind! I love that kind of thing!

    Your sweet doll and your new painting are so perfect--love them both!

    Sure hope you feel like yourself soon! Sorry you missed church today--you'll be back next week! Much love sent your way today!

  4. I hope your week is off to a good start and you are feeling much better. It seems we forget what a blessing it is to have good health until we get sick. The Shortbread looks wonderful and so does that cute doll.

  5. Marie thank you for the shortbread recipe. We want to cook some for dad and could not find our recipe. I know where my copy is but my ex has it!!!!

    I hope that cold clears up and fast. Take care.

    Love the doll and the painting.

  6. Hi, dear Marie! Glad you had the weekend to rest, though it meant missing church... Do hope you will be turning the corner and feeling better this week! :o) Boy, you're really plowing through all the E. Berg books. This one you're reading now is the only one of her's I've not ready yet. Our library doesn't have it, so I'll have to get it through inter-loan sometime. Your new doll is adorable--oh, so sweet! And so is your new illustration--very happy piece! Even when ill you are a wonder... :o) These Raspberry Shortbread look sooo good...Must try these--and soon! Be taking good care now... Hope we get to chat sometime soon. LOVE YOU HEAPS ((BIG HUGS))

  7. Yes Marie I am sure the little girl will love the dolly.Also your new art I wish you luck with.The recipe looks delicious I am going to pop that in my file..Hope your cold dissapears soon.Take Care God Bless Kath xx

  8. Well Marie, I do hope you are on the mend and will feel back to your usual self soon. It is no fun having a cold linger on so long! I love both your new designs-the darling doll and the dancing one. You are amazing with all you manage to accomplish in your days! The shortbread reminds me of a date bar that my mom would make--so good! Have a great week and feel better soon!!

  9. Hello dear Marie,
    I am glad that I am back from traveling and feel well enough to get back to visiting you again. I hate it when my tummy is misbehaving and takes over my life. I always miss it when I don't get to visit you each day.

    I too was thinking about our wonderful trip this time last year. What a joy it was to spend the week with you in Utah and Idaho. I will always treasure those memories. My heart smiles just thinking about them. That really was a special time for me.We were both blessed in the way it all came together.

    Those cookie bars look so good. I really like jam filled cookies too. I must not make them though because I would eat too many. I know I would.

    I think your little lady is adorable. I hope she wins the contest.

    Good luck with all you do this week. I am praying for you. Get well soon. Much love, Lura

  10. You amaze me with how much you do, painting, doll-making, baking, working, etc. I am having a cookie exchange at my house this Saturday and I think I will make your raspberry shortbread for a treat. I will also check out your other sweets in your recipes. My computer has become corrupted so I am just using my son's when I get a chance to get to his place. Hopefully mine will be fixed soon. I miss blogging, I was all set to post some beautiful snow pictures for the winter-lorn. About this time of year I think we, in cold wintry climates, begin to get weary of winter. We feel that way in Idaho, but when I actually stop and look at the beauty of the snow topped mountains and the crystal covered tree limbs it brightens a wintry day. Come visit. I will keep checking blogs whenever possible.

  11. awww....that doll is adorable! It makes me think of my own beloved Raggedy Ann doll!

    I've saved that recipe! I love baked good with jam in them, too!

  12. I'm tired of the rain and gloom here in Texas. And the cold. I hate cold. I want my sunshine and 70 degrees back, not rain and grey and 40!

  13. Marie, you're making my preparations for bridesmaid dress shopping very difficult with your recipes! That raspberry shortbread is tempting! I might just have to make some for Valentine's.

    Lovely work, as always. Avery will be so pleased!

    Feel Better!

  14. If I were Avery, I would be very happy with that doll, and I love, love, love your latest painting.


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