Tuesday 11 May 2010

The Simple Woman's Day Book . . .

FOR TODAY, May 11th, 2010...

Outside My Window...

The darkness has fled. I can't tell yet if it is going to be a sunny day or a rainy day. I am hoping for the sun. It did come out after teatime yesterday, which was nice!

I am thinking...
We sat and watched a film last night called, Gordon B Hinckley, a giant among men. It was the biography of our late church president. We have watched it many times before, but it is always good to watch films like this over again. It was inspiring and entertaining as always, just as the man was. I love Family Home Evening. I think every night should be Family Home Evening. (FHE is a church program. Each family in the church, no matter the size, is recommended to set aside one evening a week to do something together as a family. Some singletons band together to do them in a group etc. Some of my happiest moments with my family when they were kids were the Family Home Evenings.)

I am thankful for...
My health. I have good days and bad days, but thankfully mostly good days. When you are young, you take your body for granted. It is only when you get older and things start to break down you realize just how much you did take it for granted!! I have more aches and pains now than I ever thought I would have! I may be getting a hip replacement, which is somewhat daunting to think about! But they do say that afterwards you get a great deal of mobility back. It would be nice to be able to walk about free from pain.

From the kitchen...
There's leftover ginger fairycakes. Oh boy are they ever good, and then of course there are Cinnamon Rolls. (see below!)

I am wearing...
Pink and yellow jammies and my robe. It is far too cold in the mornings still to go without a robe. I wonder when it will truly begin to warm up. Soon I hope!

I am creating...
I have three dolls sitting here in various stages of construction. These ones are all raggedies. I do have an order for a character doll though so once the raggedies are finished I will start on her. I need to get some painting done. I have done lots of sketches but haven't had time to sit and paint. I am missing it!

I am going...
It's just a regular week this week, with nothing out of the ordinary happening. Perhaps if we get a really sunny day we will take a trip into Wales. I just love Llangollen, which is a lovely town not too far from here. When we lived in Chester before, we often went to Llangollen on a sunny day, just to walk along the river. Or perhaps we will take a walk along the top of the city wall in Chester. That is a good thing to do on a sunny afternoon as well! Mind you, it all depends on my aches and pains!

I am reading...

After Rain, by William Trevor

This book consists of a series of 12 short stories of love and delusion by the author. Among the stories are The Piano Tuner's Wife, which tells of a woman who lies to her blind husband; Marrying Damian, in which an elderly married couple overlook their differences; and of course the Title story, After Rain, which tells the tale of a woman's vacation in Italy and the revelations of her heart. Each carefully crafted and well written story offers a glimpse into another world, another world which somehow manages to remind us of our own. I highly recommend!

I am hoping...
That it warms up a bit today. There was a cold wind blowing yesterday, which made for icy fingers. I am also hoping that this Volcanic Ash business sorts itself out soon. It makes travelling very dodgy! We have tickets for Canada on the 1st of July and I don't want anything to make the trip any more difficult than it normally is to fly! (I always find the trek to the airport and the signing in sooo stressful!)

I am hearing...
A ticking clock, the tapping of my fingertips on the computer keys, birds singing in the garden . . . We saw a pair of Gold Finches at the finch feeder the other morning as we were eating our breakfast. What a lovely sight that was! Up to that point we had only seen sparrows, blackbirds and, of course, mourning doves and starlings. Last night as we were eating our tea we were watching a little sparrow take a bath in one of the empty planters which has gotten filled up with rain water. Oh what a delight he was to watch! He could not go all the way in as he would have drowned of course, but he was dipping his head in and shaking it too and fro, and then he would somehow dip his wings in and fling the water back over himself, shaking and dancing on the ledge of the planter. It was very entertaining to see!

Around the house...
I need to get the ironing done, so I can put it away. I have a doll to mail out that I must do today and a host of other little chores. I do enjoy puttering. I never had much time to putter around the house before . . . it is something that I am really relishing now!

One of my favorite things...
is music. I love all types of music. Pop, country, classical. The only type I am not overly fond of is gangsta or rap music. Ugh. I have never been able to gain an appreciation of that. I even have a problem calling it music! One of my favourite pieces of music is the Victorian Kitchen Suite. When I am listening to it I can picture it all in my mind . . . a gentler time, with birds singing and pretty flowers growing by the kitchen door and in the yard . . . all the cabbages and lettuces etc. robins hopping amongst the rows, picking up worms and such . . . sigh . . . it is a lovely day dream.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
I have a bit of work to do with Todd and of course the dolls to finish. There will be lots of cooking of course, and baking, perhaps a trip out and about. Just a normal week with nothing extraordinary. Life is composed of normal ordinary weeks, tiny blessings here and there, ebbs and flows. Life is beautiful.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

A sparrow bathing . . . how magical to watch. I don't know how anyone can look at all the simple beauty which surrounds us and not believe in God . . . everything is composed of such wonder . . . each tiny thing a miracle in and of itself. Right from the largest thing down to the smallest thing. How could it have all happened by accident. I think not . . . it's all too perfectly planned and organized. It had to have been done on purpose!

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!)

I have always struggled with yeast breads. I just do not have a knack for them. I do have a great bread maker though which takes care of any of the problems I have with making yeast breads. These tasty cinnamon rolls are fabulous and the best part is that the breadmaker does most of the hard work. It mixes and kneads the dough, and then allows it to rise. All you have to do is to take the risen dough out of the maching and shape the rolls. Very simple and very tasty!!

*Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls*
Makes one dozen
Printable Recipe

Actually the only thing you use the machine for here in this recipe, is for the kneading and rising of the dough, but, since that is the part I really struggle with when I am making bread, this recipe is a Godsend for me. It takes care of all of that and so all I have to do is roll it out and add the filling, etc. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!

1 cup milk
3 TBS water
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup butter
3 1/3 cups bread flour
3 TBS sugar
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp yeast

For the filling:
3/4 cup soft light brown sugar, packed
3 3/4 tsp cinnamon
2 TBS softened butter

For the Glaze:
3/4 cup icing sugar, sifted
1/4 tsp vanilla
2 to 3 TBS milk

Put the ingredients for the dough into your machine according to your manufacturer's instructions. Mine goes like this: yeast, flour, sugar, salt, water, milk, egg, butter. Set the machine on the dough cycle and then go off and do something fun while you are waiting!

When the dough cycle is done, tip the dough out onto a floured surface and knead in enough flour to keep it from sticking and make it easier to handle. Roll out with a floured rolling pin to a rectangle, approximately 1/4 inch thick and 12 inches long.

Spread with the softened butter. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over top of the butter. Roll up tightly from the long side. You should have a 12 inch long roll, Cut the roll crosswise into 1 inch slices. You should get 12. Place them, cut side down in a well buttered 9 by 15 inch baking dish with sides. Cover with a clean towel and let sit to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes or so.

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ Gas mark 4.. Place the pan into the heated oven and bake for about 25 minutes, until cooked through and nicely browned on top. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Whisk the glaze ingredients together until smooth. Swirl over the finished buns when they are still slightly warm.

Note- You can add chopped sultana raisins and nuts to the brown sugar mixture when making the filling, or if you are feeling really indulgent, chocolate chips. (My personal favourite!)

Over on The English Kitchen today, Cheesy Topped Burger Packets. Delicious!


  1. Family Home Evenings sound delightful and seem like a well thought out way to slow down and focus on the things that truly matter.

    My dear mother-in-law had a hip replacement a few years ago and it did wonders for her mobility.

    I love the bathing bird picture. It captures another one of life's simple beauties.

    Have a blessed week!

  2. A hip replacement!! I didn't realise you were that bad! My friend Judith had one of those and once she'd got the hang of walking normally again there was no stopping her. She's a lollipop lady (school crossing patrol)now and out in all weathers putting one foot in front of the other.

    One of the great things about a) living where you do and b) not working outside the home is you can go where you want whenever it suits you. We're just starting the annual round of food festivals and village fetes so I suppose the north west is too. It's great being able to visit them if you want.

    It's right what you say about taking your body and your health for granted. I used to think it was just something my Grandma liked to sound off about. Now I know what she meant!

    Enjoy your week, however you fill it.
    love, Angie, xx

  3. Oh so many fun things in this post A trip to Wales, I am so envious. I want to go there as my mom was 100% Welsh and I have never known any Welsh people but her family or visited there.

    But we will one day. We also want to go to Sweden as both Jim and I are of Swedish descent.

    I didn't know you had FHE with your kids. How did that happen?

    Jim's mom had both hips replaced. She does very well. Before the last one she could barely walk...now she gets around like a 30 year old. She walks everywhere she can.

    I don't know how you keep your weight down with all your cooking. it is amazing. I am starting Weight Watchers again next Monday. Yikes I hate this battle. I have two trigger foods in my house this week and they have me in bondage. I have to get rid of them both.

    Fun Daybook, Marie!

  4. Enjoyed your daybook love the how you captured the bird. Wow
    Those cinnamon rolls oh how I am drooling
    Prayers sent your way
    Have a blessed week

  5. I hope you don't need a hip replacement too soon in the future. Although a friend of mine had one and she is a bit younger than I and she has done wonderfully ever since. It is raining and chilly here today and that seems to make any aches and pains all the worse. I wish that you would get some sunny days and warmth and that you are feeling better too!

  6. I've been craving cinnamon rolls for so long...

  7. Hi! How nice to meet you! I was delighted to read that you are obviously LDS, as I am, too. I live in Utah now, but my home is in North Carolina. I am a convert..and you? Where are you?

    I love the cinnamon rolls and the picture of the cutie sparrow at his bath. I am a birdie lover, too. I have a pair of mourning doves, a pair of house finches, several chickadees, sparrows, a mountain jay and occasionally others who come to visit my feeders.

    What time do you have tea? What do you drink for it as an LDS person? I drink Honey Vanilla Chamomile. Do you like that?

    I'm going to follow your blog. I hope we can get to know each other.

    God bless,

  8. I LOVE watching the birds take a bath! They're just so happy to have some clean fresh water...

  9. I love the simple woman day book dear Marie, is lovely all you talk, I hope the spring arrive really soon in England, and these cinnamoin rolls are georgeous, huggs, love ya! gloria

  10. The bird picture is absolutely beauty!

  11. i love that pres. hinckley video-what an amazing man he was! sorry you are having physical problems and pains:( i look forward to every stage of life-can't wait to be a grandma even! but i don't look forward to that side of it-the health stuff. hope you find relief soon!


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