Tuesday 5 April 2011

The Simple Woman's Day book

FOR TODAY, April 5th, 2011...

Outside My Window...

The sun is just coming up. The morning chorus of birds are singing their little hearts out. It is dry and cool. The excitement of the day lays just at the horizon, just like a clean page waiting for me to put my pencil to it and write the story of my life that will be today . . .

I am thinking...
Those e-mails started again last night. I am at my wit's end with them. I think I will have to change my e-mail provider. Not only that but this morning when I opened my e-mail I had one from AOL saying that I have violated their terms of service for sending out Spam and that they are going to shut me down. This, after I have been on the telephone to them all weekend, trying to get this problem sorted out. It's all so infuriating.

I am thankful for...
I spoke to Lura yesterday and she sounded so much weaker, like she has taken five steps backwards. She is still hanging on, but needs your prayers more than ever. I am thankful for the prayers you have given already, as I know she is too. Please keep them coming more than ever! You can read any updates on her condition or leave a message for her here.

From the kitchen...
There is still some of that lemon ricotta cake left, but that's about all. Trying to be good here.

I am wearing...
A blue nightie, white jim jam bottoms, my blue robe and my slippers. I know, an odd combination, but very comfy and so me!

I am creating...
I have been busy re-scanning all my work into the computer, which is attached to the printer. (Again) Last week, it mysteriously set itself back to the factory settings and so we lost everything we had stored on it, including the program which we paid for which was supposed to help prevent that from happening! This has sure been an annoying week as far as computers go!!! I also continue to work on designing new stamps. If you would like to see the ones that are already available you can check them out here.

I am going...
It's a very quiet week this week really. I have a dentist's appointment and we are taking Mitzie for her monthly vet appointment, but other than that not a lot on really. I like quiet weeks.

I am reading...

Tatty, by Christine Dwyer Hickey

I am still reading and still loving this book. As the story begins, we are in 1964, and Caroline, known as `Tatty' to her family, is 4 years old. Her nickname is a play on the words tell-tale-tattler - she earns it because she's unable to keep secrets. She lives near Dublin with her Mam and Dad and her sisters - Jeannie who is two years older than her and Deirdre who has learning difficulties - and her two younger brothers.

Tatty's parents are drunks who have a volatile relationship. Tatty is particularly close to her Dad, and at times her Mam is very jealous of this closeness. As her parents' relationship breaks down, her mother's drinking becomes steadily worse, and she becomes more aggressive towards her children as they witness their parents' unhappiness.

Warm, sweet, funny, sad and unsentimental. A great read thus far!

I am hoping...
My greatest hope at the moment is that Lura continues to improve and that John stays well, and that things get back to normal for them as soon as possible. I hate hearing the pain in Lura's voice and I wish that I could do more for her than I am able to.

I am hearing...
Early morning sounds . . . the house cracking and snapping as it comes alive. The birds are chirping loudly in the back garden. The tip tapping of the computer keys, Mitzie gently snuffling here next to me on the sofa. I think she is off on a journey somewhere as her feet are also twitching!

Around the house...
Ironing. Ironing . . . and even more Ironing. It seems we always have a basket of ironing waiting to be ironed!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
Not a lot really. It's a pretty quiet week. Something that I can use quite frankly!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Love the white on whites of this photo, with just the touch of yellow from the stames of the flowers. Our Daffodils are holding up very well despite the wind and rain we've had so far this spring. Last autumn we planted them all along the base of the hedge on one side of our back garden. This autumn we plan on doing the other side. They are so bright and beautiful and cheerful too! I love them!

And just as a closing thought for today . . .

"The unexpected pleasure sometimes gives more happiness . . . than those that we have planned for many a day. An unexpected bit of fun is like a sudden flash of sun . . . a burst of brightness breaking through the grey. ~Patience Strong

I just love the little surprises that break into my life every day and the unexpected joys that they bring. You may not think they are there and you might miss them if you are not fully living in your present, but they are there for each of us each day, if only we have eyes and hearts to seek them out!

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's a deliciously colourful spring vegetable dish to share with you this morning. I love it when all the fresh spring vegetables start showing up on our supermarket shelves, don't you???

*Spring Green Vegetables*
Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish
Printable Recipe

All the joys of springtime in a delightfully fresh and colourfully green side dish!

1/4 pound of string beans, trimmed
sea salt
1/4 pound of sugar snap peas, trimmed and strings removed
1/4 pound of asparagus, trimmed
1/3 pound of tender stem broccoli, trimmed
2 TBS unsalted butter
1 TBS good quality extra virgin olive oil
3 large shallots, peeled and sliced
1/2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil. Blanch the string beans in the boiling water for 1 minute only. Lift beans out of the water with a slotted spoon or sieve and immerse them in a bowl of ice water to stop them from cooking any further. Add the snap peas to the same boiling water and cook for 1 minute, until al dente, adding them to the ice water and beans. Cut asparagus in 2-inch lengths diagonally and cook this in the boiling water for 2 minutes, and then add them to ice water as well. Cut the tender stem broccoli in half, boil for 1 minute, and add to the ice water. When all the vegetables in the water are cold, drain well. Set aside until you are ready to serve them. When you are ready to serve them, heat the butter and oil in a very large sauté pan or large pot. Sauté the shallots over medium heat for 5 minutes, tossing them occasionally, until they are lightly browned. Add drained vegetables to shallots with 1/2 teaspoon salt and the freshly ground black pepper, tossing together well. Cook just until the vegetables are heated through. Serve hot.

I'm going crackers over in The English Kitchen this morning!!


  1. Morning, Marie! So sorry you're still having trouble with your email. Trying to get real help from an email provider is almost impossible sometimes. Same thing happened to my hubby, and he had to get a new email address. It was all very frustrating. Hoping very much Lura will pull through the set back just now...*prayers*... Sorry about your scanner to. Machines are funny things! Interesting how all these gadgets are supposed to make our lives easier, but I wonder sometimes... LOL! Enjoy your week with slightly less going on--you deserve it! LOVE the bright spring green veggies today...YUM! Happy Day, dear friend--LOVE YOU LOTS!!

  2. Maire better days are ahead. Lura will get better, I pray and things will start looking up with your computer hopefully. I split from AOL years ago and have had great luck with Yahoo so far.

    One nice thing about changing is you dump a lot of the spammers. My kids always have one serious e-mail and one they use for online stuff where they don't want to keep hearing back from them. Works well for them.

    Enjoy your restful week. How are things going on the new weight loss program? I am back at my Balance Within blog sharing different new insights as I retrace my own steps. This time is my time...yours too.

    Love to you sweet friend, B

  3. I certainly hope you can get the email problem sorted out soon. I know that and the troubles with your computer are bothersome. I'll continue to pray for your friends recovery. It is always hard on us when someone we love is suffering. Praying is one thing we can do. I hope you can enjoy your quiet week and have a terrific Tuesday!

  4. I have been with Yahoo for years and not had any problems. I was with AOL when I first had a computer and internet, but it was problematic and soon changed.

    Keeping Lura in my thoughts and prayers.

    enjoy your quiet time, it's good to slow down sometimes.

    Big Hugs


  5. Sometimes it must seem as though those machines conspire to make our lives harder rather than easier. I have a pesky printer that I'v e contemplated throwing from the balcony several times :-)


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