Tuesday 17 May 2011

The Simple Woman's Day book

FOR TODAY, May 17th, 2011...

Outside My Window...

The sun is not shining. It is very grey and dull. We have had a few really showery days, but not enough rain to make a difference I don't think. We need more. They are saying we will be plunged into a 2 week heatwave by the end of the week. Is it just me, or is the weather becoming more and more unreliable as time passes?

I am thinking...
They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. If we started today, by putting aside 30 minutes to read the scriptures and ponder them, to feast upon the Word of God in a meaningful way, to talk with Him and walk with Him . . . where would we be at the end of 21 days? I am thinking it would make a wonderful difference in each of our lives.

I am thankful for...
There is always much to be thankful for. When I look back on my life, I can clearly see that , even in the worst of times, my cup has truly runneth over. I am thankful for that. I have led a very blessed life.

From the kitchen...
I have a tin of Malteaser Brownies that are tempting me. I think I will have to give them away!

I am wearing...
A blue Nightie and my slippers. It is a bit chilly, but I am too stubborn to put the heat on.

I am creating...

I am finished my second set of stamps. If you would like to see the first set that is already available you can check them out here. I am working on Christmas ones now.

This is my latest piece which I have called, "Firefly." It has a quiet and contemplative feel to it I think. I am not sure it is exactly finished yet either . . . I may add a few more glowing orbs, or maybe some flowers to the grass . . . we'll see how it goes.

I am going...
I am having a fun craft day on Saturday with my good friend Sheilagh and her friend Trish. I will be travelling to Runcorn on the train and then we'll be off to wherever it is we are going. I can't remember!! (I know, what am I LIKE???) No matter, we'll have a great time together no matter where it is!!

I am reading...

The Work and the Glory, Pillar of Light, by Gerald N Lund

Still reading and enjoying:
PILLAR OF LIGHT begins the saga of the Benjamin Steed family, who, in the fall of 1826, move from Vermont to Palmyra Township in upstate New York in search of better farmland. Almost immediately they meet a young man named Joseph Smith and are thrown into the maelstrom of controversy that swirls around him. Is he deluded farm boy or prophet of God? Does he commune with angels or consort with devils? The answers to those questions - intensely personal, bitterly divisive - will profoundly affect the lives of the Steeds and many others. From the frontiers of early America to the complexities of the last half of the twentieth century, THE WORK AND THE GLORY series chronicles the triumphs and tragedies of one family caught up in the events of the Restoration

There are nine books in the series and this is the third time I am reading them. I always really enjoy them. Gerald N Lund is a brilliant writer. If you are interested in history, and in particular the history of the LDS church, you would really enjoy these books. They are wonderfully written. I highly recommend!

I am hoping...
That we get some rain soon. We really need it. It would be nice if it would rain at night when we are all sleeping and then be sunny in the daytime. Is that perhaps too much to ask??? I don't know! I'll take some rain no matter how it comes though!

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. Early morning traffic. I love the early morning. It is my favourite time of the day. It is when I am at my sharpest and my best. I am a morning person!

Around the house...
Not a lot. I am still working on my craft room/library. I've put it on hold until I finish up these last few designs and then will really crack on with it. The hard part will be deciding what to get rid of. I love all of my books. It will not be easy to give any up! It will be a battle of wills I am thinking . . .

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
A bit of work, a bit of play and everything in between! I have meetings tomorrow night and then of course the fun bit on Saturday. The engineer came and fixed my stove yesterday so I want to do some special bits of baking and I have promised to make a curry for a friend of ours and have promised another that I will cook her a bit of gammon. I just love doing things for others. It makes me feel all warm and good inside.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

This picture reminds me of balmy summer nights and running through the grass in my bare feet . . . the air hot and sticky and the grass cool beneath my toes. It reminds me of playing tag with my friends and red light/green light, red rover red rover and kick the can. A simpler, more innocent time. A time when you thought you could do anything and be anything with no limitations. Fireflies were magical fairies and nobody told you anything different. You could hold the magic in a jar . . . and you thought it would be there forever . . .

And just as a closing thought for today . . .

"Those who drink from the one water, gaze at the same stars."

I love that thought, don't you?

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!

Meatloaf seems to be just about everyone's favourite. My kids always loved it when I made it and then they loved the meatloaf sandwiches the next day even more! This is an oldie but a goodie from the pages of my Big Blue Binder.

*Basic Meat Loaf*
Serves 8
Printable Recipe

Baked in a free form style, this lovely meatloaf has a wonderful crust and flavour. If I am feeling particularly indulgent I will lay strips of steaky bacon across the top, which is very nice, but it's delicious without it as well.

2 cups of freshly made bread crumbs
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into chunks
2 medium eggs, beaten
2 pounds extra lean ground beef
2 TBS Worcestershire Sauce
1 1/2 tsp dry mustard powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup whole milk

To glaze:
1/2 cup of tomato ketchup
1/2 tsp dry mustard powder
2 TBS soft light brown sugar, packed

Place the onion, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard powder, salt, pepper and milk into a blender. Blitz until smooth.

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Have ready a large shallow roasting tin. Line a loaf tin with plastic cling film.

Place the meat and bread crumbs into a large bowl. Pour the mixture from the blender over top. Mix all together lightly with your hands, until well combined. Pack into the lined loaf tin, smoothing over the top. Dump into the middle of the roasting tin, removing the loaf tin and the plastic cling film.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Whisk together the glaze ingredients until well mixed. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and brush this mixture over all. Return to the oven and bake for a further 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 15 minutes before cutting into slices to serve.

  • 4 strips of raw streaky bacon can be lay across the top of the meatloaf after shaping.
  • You may use a mixture of 1 pound of ground beef, 1/2 pound ground veal, 1/2 pound ground pork. Bake for one hour in total.
  • 1/2 cup of your favourite grated cheese may be added.
  • Instead of using a loaf shape, the meat may be packed into muffin tins or Pyrex baking cups, topped with a square of bacon and baked for 20 minutes at 200*C/400*F gas mark 6.

I'm playing with a hamper of meat that was sent to me from Pipers Farm over in The English Kitchen to day. There are lots of goodies to see and drool over!


  1. Thought the comments had gone again..when I closed your blog...here it is...wonder if it will ..go...where it is supposed to !! will check later..You are lucky to have had a few showers I think we still are as dry as dry even I am beginning to be sorry for the poor farmers...but must say I do love the sunny dry days !!..If only the rain would come during the night as you so rightly say.
    Like your meat loaf resipe..as I was reading it I thought..Oh no poor Marie has at last lost it,,here she is telling us to wrap in cling film !! just shows one must always read to the end LOL
    So pleased tghat you are getting a fun day on Saturday you deserve it. Give Sheilagh my love sorry she has stopped her bolg...but no doubt will hear all about th eweeked once you are back.
    Love Sybil xx

  2. Marie I set myself a Bible reading challenge 3 weeks ago. Yes today is day 21. So far I have managed to do those readings every day. I would love to contemplate them morning and night but sometimes once a day takes a huge effort.

    Take care and enjoy your girlie day.

  3. Dear Marie,I'ev read the set of the Work and Glory and enjoyed it so verry much.So glad you are.
    What you worte about the games and Fireflies I did the same,such good menberies.Thanks for remining me.
    That meatloaf looks good.See I have some beef,I just might go head and make it. Hugs xxx

  4. Sorry OH do enjoy your day out hope you have meny more.And I do need to spent more time pondering the scriptures.Love you

  5. Unlike you we have had way too much rain here and in places of the US and many have suffered some terrible devastation because of the floods and the storms. The weather man say we may see a beautiful warm and sunny Saturday but then the rain comes back. It's cool and there have only been a few days that I could turn my heat off. Your Craft day sounds wonderful. Have fun!

  6. Wish we had trains running for pasengers,, no more,,just cargo.I love trains but I've never been on one.Thank you so much for your kind words today Marie.Its because of you I'm doing this.This meat loaf is pretty much the same as mine except I don't mix the eggs, milk and seasonings in blender,,, I will now,,see I learn something from you all the time.Thamk you for that

  7. LOVE your little firefly fairy, Marie--sooo sweet! And very exciting about your Christmas stamps--hooray... you are in demand! ;o) Just popping by for a tiny visit. We're off on some travels Thursday. I will try to drop you a line before we go away. Happy Days, my friend--LOVE YOU LOTS!! ((BIG HUGS))

  8. I've been having a lot of trouble commenting on blogs today, so I hope this works!

    I really hope you get some nice soaking rains as the farmers will need it having just planted crops. And I do agree with you that the weather patterns are getting much harder to predict these days. You really don't know where you stand anymore.

    Enjoy your outing. It doesn't matter where it is, it's always exciting to go out for the day with friends.

    I'm loving both your fireflies (I've only ever seen them once in Italy of all places) and of course your lovely artwork. What talent you have - everything just pulses with an inner glow.

  9. Yes I am still reading you Marie,it's the commenting thats the problem here of late Grr.So happy to read others have been having the same problem publishing them,I thought maybe it was my computer.Have a great great time with your friends and I hope the weather is kind to you.It's been a realy cold breezy week here.I hav eeven turned onthe c.h again.I hope this works today.Take Care God Bless Kath xx


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