Tuesday 10 August 2010

The Simple Woman's Day book

FOR TODAY, August 3rd, 2010...

Outside My Window...

It is dull and grey still . . . we have had a lot of dull, grey days lately. I am wishing we could see some sunshine! We do get to see the sun from time to time, but . . . only in short spurts!!

I am thinking...
I am still thinking about forgiveness. It is funny how life goes sometimes. You can be a really good person for your whole life . . . kind, loving, thoughtful, helpful . . . but then, you can make one mistake . . . one error in judgement . . . and that is all you will be remembered for. It's not quite fair is it.

I am thankful for...
Special friends who are there for you no matter what, no matter when, no matter how far. You know who you are. ☺

From the kitchen...
There is not a lot of baking around. I need to rectify that! I don't seem to bake as much down here. I think it's because my stove is too small and there is not a lot of counter space in the kitchen. Not much I can do about that I don't think!

I am wearing...
A very pretty white cotton nightie. It is covered with little white dots that are raised, kind of like Swiss Dot fabric, but the dots are larger. I love it. I am partial to white nighties. I always feel a bit like a Princess when I wear one. Ok, so it's a very old and . . . umm . . . fluffy . . . Princess, but a Princess all the same!

I am creating...
Nothing to show you just yet!

I am going...
We are thinking about going to the Lake District tomorrow for the day. It is only a few hours away. It will be a long day, but I am really looking forward to it. I want to see Beatrix Potter's home. We didn't see it the last time we were there as it was too busy and we could not get in, so am hoping to see it this time.

I am reading...

Nineteen Minutes, by Jodi Picoult

In nineteen minutes, you can mow the front lawn; color your
hair; watch a third of a hockey game. In nineteen minutes,
you can bake scones or get a tooth filled by a dentist; you
can fold laundry for a family of five.
Nineteen minutes is how long it took the Tennessee
Titans to sell out of tickets to the playoffs. It’s
the amount of time it takes to listen to the Yes song Close
to the Edge. It’s the length of a sitcom, minus the
commercials. It’s the driving distance from the
Vermont border to the town of Sterling, NH.
In nineteen minutes, you can order a pizza and get
it delivered. You can read a story to a child or have
your oil changed. You can walk two miles. You can sew
a hem.
In nineteen minutes, you can stop the world; or you
can just jump off it.
In nineteen minutes, you can get revenge.

Yes, I am still reading this same book. It's a very thick book. (and a very GOOD book!)

In this emotionally charged novel, Jodi Picoult delves beneath the surface of a small town to explore what it means to be different in our society.

In Sterling, New Hampshire, 17-year-old high school student Peter Houghton has endured years of verbal and physical abuse at the hands of classmates. His best friend, Josie Cormier, succumbed to peer pressure and now hangs out with the popular crowd that often instigates the harassment. One final incident of bullying sends Peter over the edge and leads him to commit an act of violence that forever changes the lives of Sterling’s residents.

Rich with psychological and social insight, Nineteen Minutes is a riveting, poignant, and thought-provoking novel that has at its center a haunting question. Do we ever really know someone?

I am hoping...
No results from my scan yet. I wonder how long I will have to wait. Not too long I hope. I also hope that it is good news.

I am hearing...
Clock ticking, keys tapping . . . the birds eating seeds from the on window feeder next to the dining room table. They sure make a lot of noise when they do that! We also hung our beaded curtain outside the back door last weekend. It is on the outside and supposedly helps to keep out flies. Every once in a while the wind stirs it and it scrapes against the door. It's kind of spooky.

Around the house...
I have a basket full of ironing to do, and general tidying up. Not a lot really. With just the two of us here most of the time, things don't really get all that dirty or messy. What I wouldn't give to have children around to mess things up sometimes. Then again . . . there are times when I am very happy that I don't!

One of my favorite things...
I used to write a lot of poetry. I found some of it when I was home this past summer. It wasn't all that bad actually. I need to write more poetry. I always loved writing it and it can be very healing.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
The biggie is the puppy that is arriving on Friday. Everything has been readied. The latter part of the back garden has been fenced off so that there is no danger of it getting near the pond, or the rhubarb! The house has been puppy proofed also. I can't wait! We don't have any special plans for my birthday other than the puppy. I think that's enough to look foward to!!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

I found this amongst my pictures on the computer. I just love it. I am so very grateful for all the diamonds I have in my life. Thankfully I have been a great collector of them and I hold them very close to my heart!

And just as a closing thought for today . . .

Wishing God's sweet blessings
Not in droplets but a shower,
To fall on you throughout this day
And brighten every hour.
~Helen Steiner Rice

And there you have it . . . my day book for the first week in June. 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!)

Today I am sharing my recipe for strawberry jam. I am almost too late making it this year as I was away all of July, which is when I normally make it. Thankfully Strawberry season lasts a bit longer over here than it does back home!

*Classic Strawberry Jam*
Makes 6 pints
Printable Recipe

Simple and delicious, this jam recipe doesn't use any pectin to help it jell. Instead you must rely on your own talents for judging when it is done. Don't worry though, it's not really all that hard to do!

9 cups of fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
4 cups white sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 TBS unsalted butter (optional)

Put the strawberries into a large saucepan. Bring them to a simmer over medium low heat, mashing them roughly with a potato masher or the back of a large flat spoon. Stir in the sugar and the lemon juice. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the butter, if using, and then bring it to a vigorous boil, stirring often. Cook for ten to twenty minutes, measuring the viscosity of the jam periodically by dropping a spoonful onto a glass plate and tipping the plate. Once the jam slows it's drip down the plate and no longer runs like a syrup, it is done. Remove the jam from the heat and skim off any foam that rises to the top carefully with a metal spoon.

Make sure you have six pint jars waiting that have been washed in clean soapy water and rinsed very well. I like to sterilize mine in a hot oven by placing the jars on a baking tray and popping them into a moderate oven for about 10 minutes. Fill the jars with the hot jam to within 1/4 inch of the top. Make sure the edges of the jars are clean from any jam, wiping them clean if needed, with a clean damp cloth. Place lids on the jars and close tightly. Place the jars in a large pot, on top of a trivet so that they are not touching the bottom of the pan. Cover with boiling water making sure that they are completely submerged. Boil for 15 minutes. Remove the jars with tongs and cool upright on a wire rack. Check for secure seals on the jars (The lid should not spring when touched) and store in a cool place away from light for up to a year. Any jars that do not seal should be refrigerated and used up first.

There is a long time favourite posted over on The English Kitchen today, Cauliflower Cheese!


  1. Here I am - it's me being first again!

    I'm sworn off baking for a while as I just can't help tasting.......sveral times a day. There are cupcakes in the box but that's all.

    How many nighties and jim-jams do you actually have?You always seem to have something nice.

    About Ms Potter's house - don't forget it's still school hols so it might be a long queue!

  2. A day at the Lakes... do hope you get to go, Marie! That strawberry jam has be in a *swoon*... mmm... Lovely start to the week here... :o) Happy Days, dear friend--LOVE YOU LOTS ((BIG HUGS))

  3. Have a wonderful time on your little trip Marie. Thinking about you here. Your jam looks wonderful. I need to get in my kitchen and cook - don't seem to want to make anything in the hot summer. Jam would be wonderful though!


  4. I hope you take lots of pictures of the trip tomorrow. That sounds like someplace I'd love to visit too. I am excited about your new puppy right along with you. Friday will be a very great birthday celebration at your house.

  5. Your nightie sounds just lovely...in fact all you write is lovely...just like you...
    Hope your day turns out well and that the sun shines...
    As you know the sun has shone on us today when John has come home. It will be so good to have him home with for even a few weeks..
    Love sybil

  6. so i made my first jam a couple of weeks ago and it turned out so yummy. however...i cheated and used pectin:) i stink.

  7. Dear Marie, I hope your scan goes well, tell us.
    I love Beatrix Potter Draws! is a lovely idea I hope you go!
    OMG I was ironing yesterday, you know the kids for the school all days need something. And how we are in winter sometimes is diffficult to dry!
    But sometimes I love Iron.
    I cant wait to see the puppy!!!!
    I still have the Esperanza cat, Thanks God maybe a friend want a cat, I hope so, with three dogs is difficult have a cat.
    Send yu huggs and love and hope you are really OK: xoxoxoxo gloria

  8. I didn't have any plans for my birthdayday and I got a new granddaughter..... you don't have any plans for your birthday and you are getting a baby girl too. We are both lucky don't you think???
    I wish that I were there to celebrate your birthday. We could have such a tea party. I can just picture it.
    I hope your scan comes back with good news.
    Have a great week. Much love, Lura

  9. Great daybook and I just love those recipes. Thanks for sharing! Have a wonderful week.



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!