Friday 19 November 2010

Keep the doorway of your heart open . . .

Keep the doorway of your heart open

to the passer-by.
Many folks are on the road,
Trudging 'neath a starless sky,
Hungry for a bit of love,
a friendly helping hand . . .
looking our for someone,
who will comfort, cheer and understand.

Keep the door unlatched,
Who knows? . . .
One may come some day and bring . . .
some new joy into your life,
some unlooked-for lovely thing . . .
Do not bolt and bar the door
on the world that waits outside.
An angel in disguise may come,
may knock and enter and abide.
~Patience Strong

If I had the chance to live my life again, there are lots of things I would do differently . . . things like talking less and listening more . . .

Not waiting until everything was perfect in my house before I invited people over, or until I had all the right groceries in to feed them . . . I'd just invite them over, warts and all and feed them what I had . . . what's in the pot is not as important as what's in the heart.

I'd have let my kids eat popcorn in the good livingroom and happily listened to their giggles and laughs as they threw it at each other . . . after all . . . it only takes a few minutes to hoover, and those precious moments are gone forever in an instant . . .

I'd have spent more time sitting in the kitchen and listening to my mother and her old Aunts talking and less time out in the meadow with the old horse . . . their stories about family and past events were a treasure I now have missed out on . . .

I'd have burned all the candles, eaten all the chocolates, used all the writing paper, worn all the pretty underwear and used all the hankies that I have kept stored because they were too pretty or too precious to use . . . now they are all blah, melted and old and yukky with age and of no use to anyone . . . sad, but true . . .

I'd have rolled in the grass with my children, and taken more of those precious moments which are treasures, never to be found again . . . they grow up too fast, and time and distance are not always kind guardians . . . before you know it, it's too late and those moments are gone forever.

I'd have spent far less time sitting in front of the telly watching other people live their lives and more time living my own . . .

I'd have cherished every moment of being pregnant . . . the wonder of those special lives growing inside me . . . I'd have enjoyed them in huge gulps and mouthfuls instead of in little bites . . . I'd have taken pictures of my tummy as it grew . . . and recorded all my special feelings in a journal so that I could share it with my babies when they had grown and flown the nest . . . once again, it happens far too quickly . . . and becomes too late before you know it.

I'd have savoured every moment of the years with my children as they were growing up, and held them a little bit closer and that little bit longer, cherished each moment those little arms snaked their way around my neck and pulled me close a lot more than I did . . .

I do so love my children . . . all of them . . . with all of my heart. I may not have been the perfect mother . . . who is. I am sure I made mistakes. I know I made mistakes . . . Who doesn't. I tried my best, and did only what I knew how to do. If I could go back and do it all over, do things differently, I would . . . who wouldn't. But I can't and so, I have to live with what I have left.

I took down a lot of pictures yesterday . . . I've always kept lots of pictures of my babies on the walls and stuff . . . they helped me to feel closer to them, especially where I live so far away. I realized though that, all too often now, they just remind me of my loss, and only make me feel bad . . . so I've put them away in a drawer and replaced them with pictures of the Saviour. Perhaps one day I'll be able to bring them out again, but for now, this is what is best for me. I have to stop beating myself with that guilty stick and hold on to what is good in my life, to dwell on my blessings instead of my losses.

I have much to be thankful for. A loving husband that I waited a whole lifetime to find. A beautiful little pup who adores my every step. Good and loving friends . . . both real and invisible. My mom, dad, sister and brother and their families . . . my eldest two sons, their wives and their children, my eldest daughter . . . the Gospel in my life and my church family, and most importantly of all, a loving Heavenly Father and Saviour . . . who have walked this way before and who know all that I feel and who know I only did the best that I knew how to do . . . and who love me totally and completely despite my shortcomings and failings . . . what more could anyone ask for!

The new stove will arrive sometime today. I am quite excited about that. We had our good friend Dennis over here yesterday making the final preparations on our countertops etc. in preparation for it's. I was unable to cook us dinner so we went to the new Indian place down at the Parade and picked up a curry for our tea, (which is a story in and of itself!) so this recipe today is from my archives. I hope you don't mind! This is an absolutely delicious version of macaroni and cheese, and a once in a blue moon treat.

*Peppy Mac & Cheese*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

This deliciously spicy version of macaroni and cheese is to die for. Rather high in calories, but well worth it . . . a treat once in awhile never hurt anyone! A nice tossed salad is a good go with. It will also help ease your conscience!

200 grams of dry Festine pasta (or similar type)
Olive oil
3 TBS unsalted butter
1 clove garlic,peeled and minced
3 TBS plain flour
1 ¼ cups whole milk
1 ¼ cups double cream
1 ½ cups freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, divided
4 ounces strong cheddar cheese, grated
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
200g stick of pepperoni sausage, peeled and thinly sliced
½ cup fresh bread crumbs (use a good Italian loaf)

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook for the allotted time on the package until al dente. (You want it slightly underdone) Drain well, rinse with cold water and set aside.

Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant. Don’t let it brown as it will turn bitter. Stir in the flour and cook for one minute. Stir together the milk and cream and then add to the butter/flour mixture, slowly, stirring to combine. Whisk and cook until thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 cup of the parmesan cheese. Stir until the cheese melts and the sauce is smooth. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Cover and set aside.

Pre-heat the oven to 180*C.375*F/ gas mark 5. Combine the Cheddar, Mozzarella and ¼ cup parmesan cheese, tossing to combine.

Lightly grease a baking dish. Spoon some sauce in the bottom of the dish. Top with a single layer of the noodles. Spoon on some more sauce to cover. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the cheese mixture. Top with 1/3 of the pepperoni. Repeat laying with the remaining ingredients for 2 more layers. Sprinkle the bread crumbs on top and sprinkle on the remaining Parmesan cheese.

Bake uncovered for 40 to 45 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Wonderful!!!! If you are not fond of the spiciness of pepperoni you may use ham instead.

In The English Kitchen today, a delicious Barley and Mushroom Casserole.


  1. I would probably to try that Peppy Mac and Cheese; macaroni is one of my favorites.

    zinfandel wine

  2. What a beautiful post, again I recognise something of me in you. I think you and I must meet soon, I travelled thousands of miles to meet two lovely bloggers and you are only up the road!!

    Happy new cooker my dear Marie, I look forward to seeing the gorgeously, delicious, lipsmacking, drool making food you cook and it and in it:)

    Have a good weekend.



  3. In it and one it...typo's...:(

  4. I loved today's post. You are wise.

    Today my baby finished high school. Only one left to complete that journey now. I am pleased to say it was a wonderful day.

    I hope that your cooker is more than you have dreamed. It is so much fun to have a new toy to play with.

  5. I really feel like we don't need those pictures on the wall anyway. Our family is always right there in our hearts all the time. They are with us where ever we go. The past is over and gone and whatever happened in it is gone too. There is just no going back. But like you said you have so many wonderful things in your life. I try to always make each today count. Today is what is important and we cannot loose the happiness of each one with yesterdays. I know you will be so happy with your new stove. I cannot imagine that your cooking and baking could get any better but at least it might now be easier for you. I hope your Friday is a Terrific one!

  6. I think you're right about the photos if it stops you beating yourself up about your perceived failings as a mum. Put that naughty stick away. Better sttill, throw it in the bin.

    How's the cooker; it must be there by now.

  7. Your post today (and previous posts) struck a note with me, Marie. I'm glad you took your pictures down. We cannot constantly live in the past, berating ourselves for things we feel we might have done wrong. We must live in today.....every moment of today. Life is very short, really. I can attest to this because I was married twice and both husbands died, my last husband when I was only 38 yrs. old. Now I am 66 yrs. old and find I have lived more years as a single woman than I did married. I raised one daughter basically alone. I made mistakes. If I could go back and relive those times, I doubt I would have done things diffenrently....I believe I did the best I could do at that time under those circumstances. I believe God has a plan for my life....I have no idea why he selected this plan, but I don't look back and wonder. I trust Him....I live in the moment now and savor every moment, even though these moments still bring shreds of the past problems...I accept that, and trust that God cares for me, flaws and all. I give love to family and friends and leave it to them to accept me as I am.
    Sorry I've rambled on and I said, your post struck a note with me. Thank you for your wonderful blog! I look forward to coming here everyday for lovely poems and insights....and recipes too, of course. I love to cook so enjoy so many of your delectables!

  8. I loved your thought provoking post. The poem was lovely and I know just how you feel in regards to the fact there are things one would like to do over and I have several similar to yours. I too feel like I didn't take time to really enjoy the moments so now that is one of my favorite thoughts. Enjoy the Moment or Enjoy the Journey. In retrospect however, I do see how much I have changed and how much stronger my reliance on the Savior has become.
    I guess with age come some wisdom.
    Loved your pictures today, also.
    If you get a moment watch the video on Jonah and the Whale on my site; it will make you smile.
    Blessings to you! LeAnn

  9. Hi Marie,
    You've inspired me today.
    I bought a green bouncy ball today...just because!



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