Monday 23 May 2011

Sometimes you're hot . . . sometimes you're not . . .

I didn't sleep all that well last night. I went to bed with a heavy heart. I have always enjoyed blogging and have always said that you meet the best people on here, which is true. I have made many beautiful friends through the medium of blogging and you have always been here for me, through the bad times and the good times, with words of love, encouragement and support.

Last year when we lost our Jess, job and home, I know it was your prayers and happy thoughts that helped to get us through that very stressful and unhappy period. I know that you all jump for joy right along with me when I am jumping for joy and that you feel it when I am not . . . it has always meant the world to me. You feel like family.

Last autumn one of my blog readers that I had been in contact with off and on throughout the years, going right back to my AOL journal days wanted to speak to me via the telephone as she had some suggestions of places where I might be able to show my artwork. We spoke on the telephone and I wrote notes as we talked on a piece of paper, a piece of paper that I still have stuck on my fridge. She then told me she would be leaving the country shortly and would be away all winter but back sometime in the spring.

As luck would have it, I did contact one of the companies she told me about, and they did indeed contract me to do some designing for them. It was all very hush/hush though and I was not allowed to let anyone in on it until this past March, as you know, when they finally went up for sale. Apparently rubber stamps are a very big business and it's very cut throat. Indeed, even now, my name has not been applied as the designer of these stamps, and it is only you, my readers, who know about it.

Yesterday this lovely lady left a comment for me on here and I fear I have offended her, as I neglected to mention that it was at her suggestion that I had contacted the stamp company in the first place, nor had I thanked her for doing so. I am so very sorry that I had not done so, but in all truth, I had no way of contacting her in the US as far as I knew, and the one e-mail address I have for her bounces my e-mails back. I had every intention of corresponding with her upon her return to the UK, and thanking her in a very individual and private way. As she had never commented physically on my blog in the past, having done so only via e-mail, I had been of the impression that she was blog shy and I didn't want to put her out there if she didn't want to be put out there. I was wrong.

I want to publicly thank Jan this morning for having pointed me in the right direction last October. I do so appreciate very much the advice she gave me, and am very grateful for it. I would have loved to send her a card of thanks and a small gift, but have been unable to do so as I have had no way of contacting her back. I also want to apologize for having offended her. It was not my intention to do so.

Sometimes I get this blogging business right, but sometimes I get it wrong.

By the way, some people have asked, and I wanted to let you know, that I do not get paid for the stamp sales. I got paid for designing them and then the designs belong to the company I did them for. Any monetary compensation after that point goes to them. It is to my benefit if they sell well, however, as they are then likely to commission me to do more. It would be nice if I made a little bit of something each time a stamp sold, but that is not the reality of it! In the meantime, I am just happy that someone wants to buy my work. I think that is the sincerest flattery of all!

*Stuffed Pork Chops*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

Deliciously moist pork chops stuffed with a wonderfully spiced bread and apple stuffing.

3/4 cup of finely chopped celery
1/4 cup of finely chopped onion
1/4 cup of butter
4 cups of dry bread cubes
1 small apple, peeled, cored and shredded
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon
pinch ground nutmeg
pinch ground cloves
pinch ground black pepper
1/4 cup apple juice
3 to 4 TBS chicken broth
4 thick pork loin rib chops (about 1 1/4 inch thick)
2 additional TBS butter

Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5. Have ready a large baking pan or dish.

Heat the 1/4 cup of butter in a large skillet until it begins to foam. Add the celery and the onion and cook, stirring occasionally (without browning) until tender. Remove from the heat.

Combine the bread cubes, apple, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pepper and cooked vegetables together in a large bowl. Toss to mix. Add the apple juice and enough broth to moisten, tossing gently until combined.

Cut a deep pocket in each chop from the fat side, almost to the bone. Spoon the stuffing mixture into each pocket and seal shut by securing the cut edge after filling with wooden toothpicks. If you have any remaining stuffing you can heat it in the oven in a small covered casserole dishs during the last 20 minutes of baking, until heated through.

Melt the 2 TBS butter in the skillet. Brown the chops in this butter, browning them first on one side and then on the other. Transfer them to the baking dish or pan.

Bake, uncovered, for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the juices run clear. Serve hot with some freshly mashed potatoes and another vegetable on the side. Delicious!

Over in The English Kitchen today I am reviewing a new cookbook based on things that have been cooked on a stick and the recipe I have featured is Spam and Pineapple Skewers, which were actually incredibly delicious!


  1. For sure Marie this blogging business can be fraught with pitfalls...real and imaginary !!
    Mind you I had almost the same discussion with a friend yesterday who had trouble with a supposed friend and was not sure how to handle it and was asking me !!
    I said if whatever it was the upset the person was done without any hard feelings and is a misuderstaning and you try to put it right and it is rejected...well thats it out of your have done what is right and done it with love....end of subject. Put it out your mind, no more sleepless nighte it is not worth it..Today is another day and hopefully the sun is still shining your way Think we are in for the March winds though LOL..
    much love always Sybil xx

  2. I hope your Monday is a much better one and that the friendship you had can remain one that will bless you both.

  3. I hope too that your friendship with Jan will continue. She was such a good friend to direct you towards the publishers and I'm sure she will accept your heartfelt apologies as they were meant.
    Please don't loose any more sleep over it. That alone will tell her, and lets us know too, that you would not dream of omitting her from your thanks and praise had you not thought she wanted privacy regarding her good deed and friendship towards you.
    You are the nicest person I have known. I'm sure she knows that too.
    You bless each day that dawns and have always put others first in thoughts and prayers.
    ((((Hugs)))) and much love to a 'special lady'.

  4. Marie it is all too easy to make mistakes when we blog. Things that mean one thing to me might mean something else to you.

    Hugs to Jan and you.

  5. Marie we all know you too well to know you would never intentionally hurt anyone.I knew in my heart this would be what you blogged about today,when I read Jans comment.I even read it to my daughter and said to her this subject will be Maries tomorrow..What more is there to be said, you have appologised now like Sybil states end of story, we all hope that you can both continuue your friendship where you left off.I do say what I think though Marie and I feel if Jan had any contact e.mail addy of yours or any other form of contact phone etc to yourself,she could have been a little more discreet,and not said what she did in blogger.I knew you would be upset to read that and I felt for you too.Not to worry now ,sleep well tonight you are one of the best Marie.Take Care God Bless Kath xx

  6. Hello, Marie,
    I understand your predicament all too well. If we took the time to list the thanks to everyone who helps us along the way we would run out of room. A friend helps another friend because they love them, and want them to succeed...their success should be 'thanks' enough.

    Giving should be from the heart without expectation of something in return. But all too often the little ego rears its naughty head and needs stroking. Sometimes we forget that God is the one with the idea or the 'connection' and uses us to translate these ideas to another.

    Your friend, if she truly loves you and seeks your well being, should know you well enough to know how grateful you are to her. And if that is the case, then all will be well between you.

    You have corrected any error you or she thinks you have made, so now forgive yourself (if forgiveness is needed), and look to a new day of grace.

    I hope I am not too presumptuous in commenting about this, as this is my first time to your blog. Please receive it with the care in which it is meant to be given.

    Blessings, Marianne

  7. Marie, I can't imagine anyone being upset with you. I am sure that she will reach back to you at some moment. I haven't had a problem with blogging; but my children have been upset with one another over face book. There is so much good out there on the internet; but so much bad too.
    I think you are one talented sister and I love your stamps.
    Continued blessings to you!

  8. So sorry for the misunderstanding. I hope that Jan realizes that you were grateful for her helpful tip and you would never mean to slight her.
    Hugs, Lura

  9. Ahh, the pitfalls of blogging, they are definitely out there. Hopefully this post cleared things up. In the meantime, no body is perfect, Marie, but you are darn close to the top in my book for what its worth!

    Love, B


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