Tuesday 14 September 2010

The Simple Woman's Day book

FOR TODAY, September 14th, 2010...

Outside My Window...

It is dark still and a light rain is falling. The days are beginning to really draw in now, or at least it is becoming more noticeable. Last night it was pretty dark by 8:30 . . .

I am thinking...

"A small trouble is like a pebble. Hold it too close to your eye, and it fills the whole world and puts everything out of focus. Hold it at a proper distance, and it can be examined and properly classified. Throw it at your feet, and it can be seen in it's true setting, just one more tiny bump on the pathway of life." ~ Celia Luce

A useful thought to remember when life becomes a bit challenging.

I am thankful for...
My dear husband. I know I say that often, but it is true. For so many years I was tied to someone who did not understand me or share the things in life that were so important to me. I was often ridiculed for my thoughts and beliefs . . . bullied into doing things that I didn't want to do, made to feel small, and stupid and unimportant. It is nice to now be cherished, and understood, to feel important and especially to feel loved.

From the kitchen...
There are some bran muffins and also leftover cake. What shall I have for breakfast . . . hmmm . . . it should probably be a bran muffin, but I am afraid that the cake will probably win out!

I am wearing...
Pink pajamas and my robe. Comfort wear. I am the type of person that would stay in my jim jams all day if I thought I could get away with it!!

I am creating...

I did not one, but two paintings in this past week. This one above and the one below. I think I have gotten my creative mojo back . . . it had been pretty much tucked away in these past few months. I did alot of sketches when I was in Canada in July so expect more soon!

As usual they are in my Etsy shop. I haven't sold any prints lately, nor cards or the cute pin cushions I have been making, but I do live in hope! Christmas is coming!

Here is the teacup pin cushion. You can see it in more detail in my Etsy Shop. I think it turned out quite lovely.

I am going...
Todd has an High Priests Leadership meeting here tonight. I will have to find a place to hide away while they are at it I expect. It will be difficult, but I'll just have to manage to tuck myself away somewhere out of earshot. I also have my Primary Presidency meeting tomorrow night. We had our first rehearsal for the Primary Presentation on Sunday so I expect we will spend some time sorting out any changes that may need to be made. We have one more practice this coming Sunday and then the Sunday after that is the big day when we are doing it in front of the Ward!

I am reading...

Eat Pray Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert

American writer Elizabeth Gilbert begins her memoir, Eat Pray Love with a vivid description of her crying alone on the bathroom floor. She is married to the wrong man (who is asleep next door in their bedroom), has found herself on the repressive suburban baby track and is living a seemingly perfect life that she doesn’t want.

With that image of a terribly private moment, the author captured the attention of a huge female book-buying audience. I think we can all relate, and have been there at one time or another. Gilbert, a journalist and author based in New York, is 34 at the time the book is set.

As her crisis plays out, she appeals to God (“It was all I could do to stop myself from saying, 'I’ve always been a big fan of your work’,” she writes), divorces her husband, has a doomed affair and leaves for a year of self-discovery and healing. “I wanted to explore the art of pleasure in Italy, the art of devotion in India and, in Indonesia, the art of balancing the two,” she writes.

All in all, a very good read, but it has taken me longer than I thought to get through it. I mostly read when I get into bed at night and I have been falling asleep a lot sooner this past week, so not a lot of pages have been gotten through. That's not to say that the book is a sleeper, aux contraire!! It's quite a good book. I have just been more tired!!

I am hoping...
That we can soon get Mitzie trained to walk on her lead. She still sees it as something to play with and jerks about on the end of it like a puppet on a string! We can't take her out for real walks until she can walk on it properly. She is 13 weeks old this Wednesday. I wonder how long does it take before a dog realizes that walking on the lead can actually be a lot of fun??? We, neither one of us, has ever had a puppy before so this is all new territory for us!!

I am hearing...
Clock ticking, keys tapping . . . Mitzie snuffling next to me here on the sofa. Classical FM is on the telly, playing softly in the background. Life is good

Around the house...
Things are pretty tidy. Two people don't really make much of a mess. Most of the mess in this house comes from Mitzie actually. She will keep bringing in special treats for us from outside! Things like moss and old branches . . . pebbles from the flower beds . . . she is such a little dear.

One of my favorite things...
I never thought I was a baker . . . but I am realizing more and more that I love to bake. I wish I could get better at baking bread. Perhaps I should set myself a challenge to do just that???

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
Not a lot really. This is a quiet week for the most part. I think we all need one of those from time to time, don't you?

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Mitzie in one of her rare quiet moments. She is fast asleep here. When she is being all cute and cuddly like that you just want to bury your face in her softness and breathe her in. You can see the feathers in this picture that are now developing on the backs of her legs. She is also getting them on her tail and along her belly. I would say she has easily doubled in size in this past months since she came home with us. Has it already been a month? It seems to have rushed past and then again at the same time, it seems we have had her forever. We love her so. Could not imagine a life without her in it now!

And just as a closing thought for today . . .

I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
~psalm 40:1

Patience . . . that is something I need to work on . . .

And there you have it . . . my day book for this week. 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!)

We had people over last night for Family Home Evening. I made this Mexican dip for them and it went down a real treat! This is a dip most people love. I used to make it as an appetizer for some of the more casual dinner parties that they would have at Brenchley Manor when I worked there. Sometimes it is hard to believe that that part of my life is over . . . I always enjoyed cooking for the dinner parties and luncheons so very much. They were opportunities for me to stretch my abilities and as challenging as they could sometimes be, I always loved the challenge. Perhaps I could hire myself out as a "Rent a Chef?"

*7 Layer Mexican Dip*
Serves 12 to 16

This has been a popular dip for many years. It does make a lot, but I have found that it always disappears quickly. People just love it!

1 can (28 oz) refried beans
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 cup of sour cream
1 TBS ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp chili powder
1 cup guacamole
1 cup chunky style salsa
1 cup shredded lettuce
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 Tbsp. sliced pitted ripe olives
1/2 cup chopped and seeded tomatoes, optional

Spread refried beans onto bottom of 9-inch pie plate or quiche dish. Mix cream cheese, sour cream and seasonings together until well blended. Spread on top of refried beans. Layer remaining ingredients over cream cheese mixture; cover. Refrigerate several hours or until chilled. Serve with tortilla chips.

Over in The English Kitchen this morning, a delicious Almond and Orange Syrup Cake!


  1. It is such a long time since Dee was a pup that I have actually forgotten how I got him to walk properly on a lead...sorry no hint from me on that front ... As for the chef idea I think that is a great one and not at all far fetched. down here in Bath there are quite a few who advertise just that kind of service, and as Chester is kind of like Bath I am sure there would be a need for someone as great as you are...whay not give it a try ?
    Drizzly down here as well, hope that it might brighten up later for us as well as you !
    Love Sybil xx

  2. "Rent a Chef" - now THERE'S an idea! You could do that you know. Outside catering, perhaps on a small scale to start with, like people's business lunches, cricket teas, funeral catering. Throw it at your feet, see where the ripples go.

    Have you thought about taking Mitzie to puppy training classes? I should think she would be the perfect age now and you would probably enjoy her antics.

    ME? A WINNER??? Oh wow -thanks so much. I'm all of a fluster now, and I can't wait for it to arrive.

    A dull old day here too so far but it might fair up later.

  3. Patience is something we all have a hard time with. I think you'll train that little puppy on the leash if you just keep trying. Most dogs love to walk so I'm sure she'll enjoy it once you get going. I hope your Tuesday is a terrific one.

  4. LIFE is GOOD! Oh, yes it is... I can echo so many of your sentiments here, dear Marie. And nothing sweeter than having a husband/love to share it all with and who really GETS you. :o) Some obedience training for Mitzie might help with the walkies. She is young yet, perhaps she just needs more time and training get to do the walk on a lead right. Sounds like a good week on tap there... and LOVE, love your new illustration--you are an artistic wonder, my friend! :o) Happy Day. LOVE YOU LOTS ((BIG HUGS)) P.S. Great recipe today...mmm...

  5. This blog is so, so beautiful, Marie. You are such a talented woman.

  6. Love your new paintings. I am partial to the dark haired cutie. :)

    P.S. Baking bread sounds like a fun adventure! Our library has some good books on bread baking, perhaps yours does, too??

    Have a great day Marie!

  7. I have to say I LOVE your blog, and my daughter LOVES Mitzie! Such a beautiful pup. I just wondered whether Brenchley Manor was the same Brenchley Manor that Robbie Williams was interested in buying???
    Have tried lots of your recipes too - yum, yum!
    Best wishes, Toni

  8. You always have many interesting things to day and I love reading your Day book. I might get into it also at some moment of time.
    We have two little dogs and your discription of your puppy reminds me exactly of our dog Sammy. Our other sweet little dog is named Suzy and she is about 6 years older than he is. She is the calm one that I love to hold. Sammy loves my husband so much and it is so funny to watch him wait patiently from him to get home at night.
    The pictures of food looked so good that it made me hungry; so I think I will venture out to the frig to see what I can find to eat.
    I have a quiet night at home with the two dogs; while my husband is doing an extra shift at the temple.
    Hugs to you! LeAnn

  9. Ah, I wish everyone did a daybook, don't you? I wonder why so few do as they always seems to enjoy reading those of others. I hope you are enjoying Eat,Pray,Love. I am planning to take The Help with me on our trip if I can find it in paperback.

    Before I forget I loved your post on what you love about England. One thing I would have added if I was making a list is the delightful British accent, and then of course, Michael Ball. :-)

  10. Toni, that would be the same Manor House yes. I lived and worked there as a personal chef up until we moved back here to Chester in March of this year.


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