Monday 22 March 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY, March 22nd, 2010...

Outside My Window...

The birds are beginning their morning chorus. It is about a quarter to six in the morning. The days are getting longer now and warming up quite a bit. Spring has sprung. It is not just around the corner anymore. In the village the crocus are blooming and quite a few of our daffodils are blooming as well. Very pretty. I am glad that I was still here to see them.

I am thinking...
Life is a funny thing. You just never know what lies ahead from one month to the next. It can all change in a day, or an instant. I am grateful for all of my blessings. I am blessed abundantly with all the things in life that really matter . . . love, good health, family, the Gospel, friends . . . everything else is just the icing on the cake.

I am thankful for...
I am so thankful for a husband that knows how to bite his tongue. It is clear that we both have two different ideas about how to pack, and I am being a bit bossy about it as I want everything to end up in Chester in one piece. I know that he has wanted to crown me several times over the past few days, but he has used his patience and just bitten his tongue instead. I know I am being pedantic, and I am sorry for that, but I need to be coz . . . men . . . well . . . you know . . . I just don't want all our things to get broken. I have moved enough times in my lifetime to know just how much care needs to be taken over anything mechanical or fragile.

From the kitchen...
Having kept only two plates, two bowls, two of everything we need out of the packing boxes and very few cooking utensils, we are not doing a heck of a lot of cooking! It is going to be a challenge over the next week, creating enough to keep you all interested!

I am wearing...
Some old ping pajamas with sheep all over them. They are short sleeved so I am a bit cool this morning. I should have put on my robe when I got up, but alas, I didn't! (The boxes are blocking the radiators a bit, so it's warm on the back side of the boxes, but not so warm on the other side!)

I am creating...

I haven't done a lot of creating over the past week. I still have those dolls sitting here waiting to be sold. I haven't packed them away yet like I said I was going to, but I will today. I sure hope the sales of my stuff pick up once we have moved. I will be relying on them a bit to help to get us through the rough patch until I find a job.

I am going...
We will finish off as much of the rest of the packing that we can do this week, and then I will start trying to clean the rooms around the boxes as best as I can. We have our last Scripture Study on Saturday evening and on Sunday after church we are going to some friend's for dinner, which will be nice. It is so hard to believe that our days here at Oak Cottage are swiftly coming to an end. Someone asked me was I going to change the name of this blog. No. I am not. I have paid to register this domain and so I am going to keep it. Nobody would be able to find me if I changed it. It will be the same but I have adapted the header somewhat to reflect the change. That's if I can figure out how to get it up there to replace the old one!! (Any help doing so would be much appreciated!!)

I am reading...

The Pull of The Moon, by Elizabeth Berg

'Dear Martin,
I'm sorry the note I left you was so abrupt. I just wanted you to know I was safe... I won't be back for a while. I'm on a trip. I needed all of a sudden to go, without saying where, because I don't know where. I know this is not like me. I know that,. But please believe me, I am safe and I am not crazy. I felt as though if I didn't do this I wouldn't be safe and I would be crazy... And can you believe this? I love you. Nan'

Sometimes you have to leave your life behind for a while to see it and really live it freshly again. In this luminous, exquisitely written novel, a woman follows the pull of the moon to find her way home. Sometimes humorous, sometimes heartbreaking, always honest, The Pull of the Moon is a novel about the journey of one woman - and about the issues of the heart that transforms the lives of all women. Written in the form of letters to her husband and diary exerpts, I am really enjoying this book. I haven't read much further than last week. I've been falling into bed exhausted most nights and falling asleep pretty much right away.

I am hoping...
I am hoping that things will work out for us at the other end. It is exciting and yet at the same time it is a bit frightening. I am trying to look at it as a bit of an adventure. Having lived there before we moved down here, I am looking foward to living in Chester again. We are so very familiar with the place, and pretty much know it like the back of our hands. There have not been a lot of changes, thankfully. I will miss our dear friends from down here so very much though . . . it will be a great wrench to leave them behind.

I am hearing...
The kitchen is silent, except for the tapping of my computer keys. The ticking clock has been packed. I am surrounded by boxes and it is looking less and less like home with every day that passes. I suppose that is kind of a good thing. When we get to the other end, the new place will begin to look more like home with every day that passes. Isn't it wonderful how that goes!!!

Around the house...
Things are definitely looking decidedly different! There's no other word for it!

One of my favorite things...
is sharing my thoughts with you on here each morning. I don't know how I will bear it when I am off line for that week or so. It will be very hard! I will just have to keep a written journal like I do when I am on holidays. I know that I will be kept very busy with the unpacking and sorting of everything out. I will still miss you all immensely though! Isn't the internet wonderful in so many ways. Years and years ago, people had to rely on getting letters in the post to stay in touch with each other, but now . . . in an instant we are connected to each other. I can remember someone telling me about 15 years ago that one day everyone would have a computer in their homes and thinking to myself, I cannot imagine why anyone would ever want one. What possible use could it be. NOW . . . I cannot imagine anyone living without one!! Oh how funny life is.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
Packing, Packing and more packing. There will be some bits of fun interspersed as well.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

I WANDER'D lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

~William Wordsworth, 1804, Daffodils

All the daffodils that line the pond in a nearby village to us. Aren't they beautiful. We will have to put lots of daffodil bulbs into our garden this autumn so that next spring we are greeted with their beauty and so that we don't miss this beautiful sight so keenly. In springtime all the road ways and by ways and traffic circles in this area are awash with those beautiful yellow blooms. They are so very pretty to see and bring a smile to my face and a song into my heart . . .

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!)

How, I have never been to the Olive Garden restaurant, but I have it on good authority that it is a really good place to eat. This is a copycat version of one of their most popular dishes that I found. Not having been there I cannot attest to it's authenticity to the original dish or not, but I can say with authority that this version is quite, quite delicious!

*Chicken Vino Bianco*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

A delicious chicken dish, with tender tasty pieces of chicken in a lucious garlicky, tomato and mushroom sauce. Fantastic!

2 TBS olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup peeled and finely chopped onion
2 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup chopped tinned tomatoes
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 TBS chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, for garnish
freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Cooked pasta of your choice to serve

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil and heat it until it shimmers. Season the chicken strips and then add them to the hot oil. Cook them, stirring occasionally until they are well browned on all sides. Remove them to a plate.

Add the onions and the garlic. Cook, stirring until tender, without browning. Remove to a bowl. Add the mushrooms and cook them until they are golden brown. (Try not to stir them too much as stirring them brings out their juices too much.)

Add the wine and bring to a simmer. Stir in the tomatoes, along with the cooked onion and garlic, and bring once again to a simmer. Let cook and reduce for twn minutes, then return the chicken to the pan and heat through. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary. Stir in the cream and the parsley to finish. Serve warm, spooned over top of cooked pasta of your choise. Pass the Parmesan Cheese for dusting over top.

Yep, it's my annual Easter Chocolate Crispie Nests, over on The English Kitchen today.


  1. Again, I am so sorry you & Todd are having to go thru this ordeal. It's just not fair!! But sometimes life isn't fair & I think it's at these times we realize how much we need our Heavenly Father. After seeing the picture of the book "Joy School" in your Blog awhile back, I looked & found it on eBay. It came the other day. I'm anxious to finish my current book, so I can get started on this one. The first grade school that my mom & her siblings attended in Sunnyside, WA was called Joy School...I guess that's what caught my attention. My thoughts & prayers are with you as you commence this new journey. Linda in Washington state

  2. I hope your packing is done soon and you can move on to your new adventure. I'm thinking that the in between state you are in is the hard part and things will be better once you are in your new home. Your Easter Nests are so cute! I'll be checking out the recipe so that I too can make some for my family at Easter! Have a great Monday!

  3. Hi, dear Marie! So sorry to have missed you on Messenger last night--we missed by hardly anything I think... shucks... I waited longer to see if you'd come back, but didn't see you, and it was getting late then on our end... Any chance we may chat during the move now before you move? I hope so--miss you! :o) Hope all goes well with the rest of the packing. And men & women do seems to have very different opinions on how to pack...LOL! And you two are going a long distance to move, so I can understand how you're wanting particular attention with the packing. ;o) I was also wondering if you'd change the name of your blog. Do hope the dolls will find a new home. I know myself, sales are still very, very slow...*sigh*...Mu hubby would love this recipe you have today--I must make note of it! Hope you have a good week, dear friend--LOVE YOU HEAPS!! OXOX ((BIG HUGS))

  4. I agree with you about packing things properly - and what better use for old newspapers? Bit of a beggar straightening them all out again so they fit your recycling bin though!

    It's a man thing, biting the tongue when we women obviously know best. Keith does that. I wish I could sometimes let him be right for a change but I just know it would all go wrong if I did. (tee-hee).

    Knocking down to rebuild - that's a brilliant way to look at it!

  5. I shall miss you too, Marie, during your enforced silence, but will be thinking of you all the time.
    I wish I had a little grand daughter for one of your dolls,but it's boys only for me - 30, 22, and not quite six!
    Bunny x

  6. Hi Marie:
    I'm so sorry to hear that your beloved Jess died. I lost my Tasha Kitty a couple months ago so I suspect we share a feeling of loss that non-pet owners can't really appreciate. My heart goes out to you. Take heart Marie...I have you in my thoughts especially when I'm blessed to be with Lura. I have you in my heart when we got to Tea, and It's my hope and my prayer that on day, you and Lura and Kris and I will sit down to a table and enjoy the most lovely Tea of our lives. It will be in my prayers, and will you to have a successful and hassle free move. You have become very special to me. I actually feel your absence when us tea friends get together. Love you, Jan

  7. Hi Marie,

    I sure wish I could be right there with you helping you get ready to move. It is always so much better if you have some help.

    I know what you mean about years ago wondering why on earth anyone would want a computer and now..I cannot survive unless I have my own! Jim has his and it works great that way.

    Life without one would not be as much fun but then I would do a lot more reading than I seem to these days.

    I think it is a particular Godsend to those of us who love writing. I find a day is not complete without it. And after a few days I can really feel a difference in my attitude. Enjoy your last spring days at the cottage!

    Love, B

  8. I always love your daybook entries...I started it too, a couple of weeks ago, but haven't linked it to the others yet--you inspired me!

    Sorry your house is so empty--but your next will be filled to the brim very soon, and oh, what fun it will be to make it yours!

    Enjoy the day, and I'll peek back in tonight--I'm catching up today--busy weekend!

    Much love sent to you, as always, my dear friend!

  9. Well, great minds think alike! I was just thinking of doing a Simple Woman's Day Book and then I thought I'd better check out what Marie's up to first. And voila!

    And WOW, what is happening in your life? I have not had any time to blog or read lately...and obviously, missed a whole lot! Send me an email update if you have time (after the move if that's better). xo

    I LOVE that photo you chose and how perfectly the poem matches! You are an inspiration my dear. Hope to come see you in England some day.

    You are also reading a book almost like the one I'm reading! I will put it in my daybook tonight.

    Love you from across the miles. xoxo Ally

  10. I am having a "Blue Monday" giveaway~stop by to see~

    Thanks...Have a terrific week!


  11. Marie, You have been in my thoughts and prayers as you and Todd embark on this new adventure. (It sounds like you are already having an adventure in packing! LoL)
    I am so sorry to hear about your beloved Jess and that he will not be going with you.
    May Heavenly Father continue to bless you with your move and finding work. Enjoy each moment you ahve left with friends and forming lasting memeories. Have a safe adventure in your move.
    PS I have never ordered this dish but we enjoy Olive Garden at least once a month. I am going to try this recipe soon. Thanks.

    Many blessings sweet friend,

  12. I think of you all the time. I wish that I were there to help you pack and move and get settled again. It is all so much... so overwhelming. I have such emphathy and so much concern for all you are going through.
    I know this will be a really hard week. I hope that you will feel the love, support and prayers of so many who love you.

    I am one of those sending love and prayers your way. Good luck dear and may God Bless. Hugs, Lura

  13. I hope the move goes well and will look forward to hearing all about it when you come back. XXX

  14. I hope that you have a very smooth move.

  15. Oh Marie- Pull of the moon is one of my very very facorite books. I like her writing style, and I fully understand the need to pull away sometimes in order to fall in love again with the familiar.


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!