Thursday 3 March 2011

Little special days . . .

I love the little special days that dot
The year's long length, like nosegays set to catch
The highlights of a common round of days,
Like marigolds set in a garden patch,
Making a little zone to stand apart,
Warming the lonely cockles of a heart . . .

What a gorgeous day we had here yesterday. It was still cool, but . . . the sun shone brightly up in the sky and gave us the reassurance that, indeed, Spring is just right around the corner.

The Laundry was hung out in the garden to dry . . . the first time in ages we have been able to do that. It was sweet, after all the grey and gloom of winter . . . oh . . . I know winter is not completely finished with us yet, but it is nice to have these little respites, is it not?

Everything looks different on a sunny day. Problems seem to drain away, and you feel as if you could handle just about anything that life would throw at you! The world seems a much happier place, and it puts a jolly mood on just about everyone. Strangers nod hello in the street, children skip, the bus is filled with chatter . . . even dogs wag their tails a little more enthusiastically I believe . . .

Todd took himself off into town for a nose around, and I stayed home to work on my sketching for the craft company. It wasn't long before I got a text from him saying that he was watching a parade. There was a soldier's parade in Chester City Centre, and he was watching them march by. Oh, he did enjoy that so!! He was a soldier in his younger years, and has many fond memories of his time in the services. Our soldiers work ever so hard, and put their lives on the line often, in the cause for freedom. We need to support them as much as we can.

He said the city was filled with buskers too! Oh I do love buskers! They add so much excitement to a city don't you think? Every street corner rings with music and song! There used to be a jolly older fellow who would play his accordian outside WH Smith every day, come rain or shine. He was one of my favourites. His music was so uplifting. You felt like lifting your skirts and dancing right there in the street. He has not been there in a long while now . . . perhaps he went on an extended vacation . . . nevermind, there have been plenty of others to take his place.

Mitzie and I kept the homefires burning . . . me sketching quietly at the dining room table, and she . . . playing on the carpet next to my feet with her toys . . . a cosy, cheerful companionship. I stopped every once in a while to have a game of ball, or go-find . . . it kept us both happy.

I love to play music when I work . . . joyful, uplifting music. I have my favourites, and right now it is Mindy Gledhill's Anchor album, Rumer, the latest Take That album and Bob Geldof's newest muse . . . I also have a collection from the National Trust, which has 3 discs which play country garden music, country walks and seaside tunes. I think that one is my absolute favourite one of all. As it plays, I go gambling off through the countryside in my mind . . . tis no surprise that most of my work yesterday involved flowers of one sort or another!

There was a part of me that envied Todd his walk about the town . . . but there was a larger part of me that was quite happy where I was, all cosy and warm . . . and enjoying the sunshine in our own back garden . . . puttering about, and doing the things that bring me some of the greatest happiness in life. Creating, and singing and playing with that warm little puppy of ours, who is not so little anymore . . . but just as sweet. She is smelling oh-so-nice after her grooming the other day, and looking so sleek and beautiful. Right now she is cuddled up against my back, and I can feel her warm sides rising and lowering with each little puppy breath as she sleeps . . .

Every bush in the garden is covered with buds, and the Camelia by our front door is getting ready to burst into bloom . . . each branch tipped with a pale pink bud just ready to explode in a riot of brilliant pink blossom. I remember last year how it greeted us the day we moved into this house . . . and how very welcome it made us feel. It doesn't seem possible that it has been almost a year already . . . but it has, and that is good.

Oh, I do love my little life, where every day is a mixture of work and play . . . of joy and sorrow . . . of peace and tranquility, and yes . . . sometimes noise and bustle. Easy day is a special little nosegay which marks the days of my life, each one as something special to be treasured . . . each one a gift. And that is how it should be. These little highlights of my common round of days brings me joy and happiness, for it is the little things that truly bring the most meaning into our lives, and the things that truly count.

Each day is richly embroidered with them. Oh . . . I am so glad that I have a heart that sees and knows these things to be true . . .

"They watch them dance and think them crazy . . . but . . . they do not hear the music."

I hear the music and . . . I dance.

Here's a quick and tasty meal for two! You can quite easily multiply it to feed more though, and I am thinking that if you really want a pizza flavour for it, you could add some chopped peppers, and olives and maybe even some pepperoni, if that strikes your fancy!

*Pizza Chicken and Pasta For Two*
Serves two, but is easily multiplied
Printable Recipe

Love pizza? Love chicken?? Then you will love this!

3/4 pound of boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 small chorizo sausage (the dry kind) peeled and cut into chunks
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
a pinch of dried crushed red chilie peppers (optional)
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
1 medium bell pepper, trimmed and cut into strips
1 cup of tomato pasta sauce (from a jar, pick your favourite)
1 cups uncooked fusilli pasta
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan Cheese

Cut the chicken pieces into one inch chunks. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. (Spray with some cooking spray first) Add the chicken and chorizo. Cook, stirring until the chicken is browned. Add the onions and peppers. Cook and stir to soften. Season with the salt, pepper and crushed chili peppers (if using). Pour over the tomato sauce. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a slow simmer, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. (Do not allow to cook dry. If you think it is reducing too much add some more tomato sauce.) Meanwhile cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain well and place in a large pasta bowl. Pour the chicken mixture over top and sprinkle with the cheeses. Serve immediately.

Over in The English Kitchen I am being very naughty with Rolo Pretzel Turtles . . .


  1. I am so pleased that you had such a lovely day yesterday Marie and that Tod had such a good day as well. I was thinking about your knees and walking and remember that Chester has Shopmibility place in town by one of thy car parks where you can get a scooter to use to pop around town etc. Have you seen, it or thought about using it. You will feel strange at first trying it but after a few mins you will wonder why you have never used one before.I think it is free or perhaps nowadays a small deposit...
    Looks like the sun is about to come out here this morning so a nice day ahead.
    Love Sybil x

  2. Oh, I love the HAPPY infuse in this post, Marie! So glad you had such a lovely day yesterday... a very sweet one. Chester does sound like a great town. I do hope we get to see it--and both of you, and Mitzie too! :o) Spring cleaning continues here. First floor nearly done, upstairs gets done next week. Wish spring we really on it's way here, but we're still very much stuck snow-deep in winter...*sigh*. LOVE the pasta dish for today--YUM! I may not get to visit here again until after the weekend. Charlie goes to the vet tomorrow to get his teeth clean, and that will eat up the day. Saturday sun is promised, so a little outing and fun is in order. Sunday recharging the batteries... already looking forward to that! ;o) Happy Day, dear friend--LOVE YOU LOTS!! ((BIG HUGS))

  3. It is wonderful to have days like the one you had. When you are doing what you love, I think every moment is a a treasure.I hope your Thursday is a great one too!

  4. Sounds like the perfect day, Marie! The sun always puts me in a cheery mood, too. :)

  5. This just delights from beginning to end. I couldn't agree with you more about how lovely it is to stay home alone sometimes and just work and play at your own clip. Jim will be going to Utah next week though so I may have my fill of it sooner than later.

    I really love some of the photos you have been including lately...the one of the the sandy feet of the lovers is just great. Do you have a special site where you find your photos like this?

    Love to you sweet friend!


  6. Love your pictures and your commentary on the specialness of "little days". I also love your "naughty bites" -- wish I had some too -- although I'm trying to be good on a new diet - (no fun!) I'm leading a group study through Lent on the Beattitudes (would love to get some of your splendid commentary on those to share).


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