Tuesday 22 February 2011

The Simple Woman's Day book

FOR TODAY, February 22nd, 2011...

Outside My Window...

It's cold and damp. It's been raining during the night, although it isn't raining now. Will be glad to see spring. I just know it won't be long now. Our pear tree and the hydrangea all have buds on them.

I am thinking...
I had a lovely long conversation with Lura on the telephone yesterday. We hadn't spoken in a few weeks. It was so nice to catch up on all of our goings on. The hour went far too quickly, but then again, it's always like that when you are talking with a good friend. The time just races by!

I am thankful for...
My dear husband Todd. Because I am in Primary I never get to go into the other lessons at church on Sundays. This past Sunday was our Ward Conference and so they had a joint Priesthood and Relief Society lesson, and he took notes and shared all that he had learned and his thought on it with me last night at our Family Home Evening. I thought it was so sweet of him and so very thoughtful too!

From the kitchen...
I have candied orange peels up the kazoo! But they are not fattening and quite yummy too! Today I am getting a free grazing box from a company called Graze. My friend Holly send me a code last week to get a free one. It will be filled with yummy snacks. I just have to remember to cancel so that I don't get another one next week and pay for it!

I am wearing...
A nightie, some jim jam bottoms, my robe. Layering to keep warm.

I am creating...
Still working on new designs. Not long now until the first ones will be out and I can show you them. They are talking about another set in May/June as well, so it's all go! I also decided that I will dedicate at least one day a week to do doing some paintings, and I managed to do two yesterday! (Which was cool!)

I redid this one, but instead of using water colours, I used my normal method and I love the way she turned out. I also added a different quote to it. I will be listing her soon in my Etsy shop.

Then I also did this one. She's a butterfly girl, but I think she's just enjoying walking through the flowers with them, more than catching them! I'll be listing her for sale soon as well!

I am going...
I have a Primary Presidency Meeting tomorrow night and then a Pampered Chef Party to go to on Thursday evening, plus I have a Temple Recommend Interview at the chapel that night as well. Then on Friday evening we have a talent night at our chapel. There is going to be a cake competition for the ladies as well. It should be fun!

I am reading...

The Personal History of Rachel Dupree, by Ann Weisgarber
A stunning read, with more than a nod at Steinbeck, yet enough distance to place the writer in her own territory. The two settings, Chicago and South Dakota, convinced me of their authenticity immediately. The family grabbed my sympathy from the opening scene and every character is clear and well rounded. Unsurprising, then, that this novel took seven years to write. Wild as it was, the American west was also a peculiarly democratic place, as a black man - or even a woman - was entitled to stake a claim. Still, there are few black ranchers in the Badlands of Dakota in 1917 where Rachel DuPree and her husband Isaac farm 320 acres of tumbleweed.

"I hated the Badlands," Rachel laments, "the bigness of it, the never endingness of it, the lonesomeness of it, the weight of my hate bore down on me."

Her story, shortlisted for the Orange new writers award, is a catalogue of drought, dirt, expiring cattle and still-born children that makes life in a Steinbeck novel seem rosy. A thoroughly engrossing read thus far. I highly recommend. I finished this last night and I have to say I really enjoyed this book. It really gave one a good feeling about how much of a struggle times were in the Dakota Badlands back in the early 1900's.

I am hoping...
That everything goes well with the birth of my youngest daughter's baby. Her due date is tomorrow. There is no sign of him/her making an appearance yet that I know of. I also hope that I don't have to find out about it on facebook and that someone at least lends me the courtesy of letting me know in person. That would be nice.

I am hearing...
Early morning sounds . . . the house cracking and snapping as it comes alive. Clocks ticking. Walls creaking . . . cars passing by the front of the house . . . the honk of the taxi's horn. The world is coming alive. The birds are singing more and more in the mornings . . . a sure sign that spring is just around the corner, and I am thinking we are all needing a litte bit of that!!

Around the house...
Not a lot to do really. A load of laundry just finished in the washer so I will have that to hang up soon. Lots of ironing to do. Just the usual stuff, which is good!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
I plan on playing with my doll's house at some point, and working on my designs and then just the ordinary stuff that life is made from. A bit of this and a bit of that. Life is good.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

I just love this new video by Sir Bob Geldof, Silly Pretty Thing. It just brings a smile to my face when I hear this song. It's so upbeat and happy. I think the video is pretty sweet too! It is hard to believe he is 58! I could not jump and do flips on a trampoline and sing at the same time! I'd have a hard enough time controling my bladder let alone anything else! It just makes me feel happy. It's a rare thing in a music video today!

And just as a closing thought for today . . .

"The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.
~Mark Twain

A reminder to us that most of the joy in life comes from serving others!

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!

Here is a delicious entree that is not only quick and easy to make, but lower in fat than the usual version. Adapted from a recipe I found in a Martha Stewart cookbook. Her recipes are usually very good I have to say!

*General Tso's Chicken*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

I have never actually had the real thing in a Chinese Restaurant, so I can't comment on how authentic it is, but I can tell you this is delicious!

1/4 cup cornstarch
16 ounces snow peas, trimmed and halved crosswise
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
2 tsp freshly grated ginger root
3 TBS soft light brown sugar, packed
2 TBS soy sauce
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 large egg whites
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1 inch pieces)
2 TBS safflower oil to cook
Steamed Basamati rice to serve

Stir together 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1/2 cup cold water in a large bowl until smooth. Add snow peas, garlic, ginger, sugar, soy sauce, and red-pepper flakes; toss to combine, and set aside.

Whisk together the egg whites, remaining 3 tablespoons cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in another bowl. Add the chicken, and toss to coat thoroughly.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat in a large non-stick skillet. Lift half the chicken from egg-white mixture, shaking off any excess. Add to the heated oil in the skillet and cook, turning occasionally, until golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate and keep warm. Repeat with remaining oil and chicken, and set aside with the rest, continuing to keep it warm.

Add the snow-pea mixture to skillet. Cover. Cook until snow peas are tender and sauce has thickened, about 3 to 5 minutes. Return chicken to skillet, along with any accumulated juices, tossing to coat. Serve immediately spooned over steamed Basamati Rice.

Cooking in The English Kitchen today, delicious Mini Meat Loaves!


  1. Thanks for that video..I'm in a bit of a funk..the February funk I call it..but the weather is gorgeous and that makes me very happy!

  2. Hoping all goes well for your daughter--and that the baby will arrive soon, safely & happily! You're going to be a grandma again! So happy for you all. :o) LOVE your new illustrations--they turned out terrific with you "usual" method. Thanks for the fun video--great song--this lifted my afternoon! Happy Day, dear friend--LOVE YOU LOTS ((BIG HUGS))

  3. Hope your day has been a great one. Here it is still very much winter. I'll be praying all goes well for your daughter and the new babe.

  4. Marie, you amaze me with all of your talents. The pictures you draw are awesome. I love the recipes you post. I hope all goes well with your daughter and that sweet little one that will arrive soon.
    What an great husband you have; isn't that such a blessing.
    The video was cute!
    Blessings to you and have an fantastic week.

  5. i love your butterfly girl-so precious!!!

  6. oh, and i have to add that your comment about controlling your bladder made me laugh!!! love you:)

  7. Marie the art work is so fun! I hope that you do hear personally about the baby when it Comes. Someone will come through for you! A safe arrival and phone call to you is what I am praying for!

    Love you, B


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