Monday 20 June 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY, June 20th, 2011...

Outside My Window...

It is beautiful and sunny. I think we are in for a warm and beautiful day today! Bring on summer!

I am thinking...
I was able to call my dad yesterday to wish him a Happy Father's Day, and I also called my mom and spoke to her for about an hour as well. I am thankful for a phone plan which enables me to do this for only £4.99 a month, unlimited calls too. Just so long as I keep them under an hour. I set the kitchen timer and I always manage to time keep very well.

I am thankful for...
I am very grateful for parents that are still with us. It is a blessing and a treasure. I wish that I lived closer so that I could do more for them, but it's just not been possible. I had always thought to be able to care for them in their dotage, but alas . . . it's just not so. I do the best that I can from afar, and in reality I wouldn't be able to do much with these knees of mine anyways!

From the kitchen...
There are leftover Cheese Filled Cornmeal Scones in the fridge, but not a lot else! I've been trying to stay away from overly fattening things, although Todd is not immune to a treat or two and does welcome them. It is hard to be watching your weight when you are married to the stick man who can eat whatever he wants, whenever he wants and however much he wants!

I am wearing...
A turquoise nightie and pink pajama pants. I know! What a wierd combination! Tis comfortable though and so it stays. ☺

I am creating...
I have been putting together a few Christmas Cards for orders and sketching. I need to finish my Christmas Designs for the stamp company. Only a few for Christmas as there won't be a full range of them. My other stamps were on the television again last week, and this time I managed to catch a glimpse of them. It's kind of surreal when this happens. I almost can't believe it when I see them.

I am going...
I have the reading lessons every day this week, and my pupil is doing very well. I have meetings on Wednesday night, and then on Thursday I am having another injection in my knee. This time at the local surgery. I have further injections planned for my other knee and my hip. I am a bit afraid because of the venue, but beggars can't be choosers. I'll do my best to cope! I am having another Pampered Chef Party on Thursday evening this week. I had planned this about two months ago, so I didn't like to cancel. It shouldn't be a problem as I won't have to get up too much I hope! If you are in the Chester Area and would like to attend I would love to have you! I think I'll be skipping my exercise class on Friday morning due to the injection as I will have to take it easy for a couple of days. I'll still go to the counseling part though. I also have a talk to finish up that I am giving in church on Sunday. I have it all bareboned in. I just have to flesh it out now.

I am reading...

The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted, by Elizabeth Berg

Every now and then, right in the middle of an ordinary day, a woman kicks up her heels and commits a small act of liberation. What would you do if you could shed the “shoulds” and do, say—and eat—whatever you really desired? Go AWOL from Weight Watchers and spend an entire day eating every single thing you want? Start a dating service for people over fifty to reclaim the razzle-dazzle in your life—or your marriage? Seek comfort in the face of aging, look for love in the midst of loss, find friendship in the most surprising of places? In these beautiful, funny stories, Elizabeth Berg takes us into the heart of the lives of women who do all these things and more—confronting their true feelings, desires, and joys along the way.

As you know, I love Elizabeth Berg's books and am enjoying this newest one. It is nice to read some short stories for a change.

I am hoping...
I have been invited to an all expenses paid trip down to Ipswich on July 4th to attend a special event at Jimmy Doherty's Farm. He is one of Jamie Oliver's friends and he makes really good sausages. There will be a tour of the farm, a butchering class, a free lunch and signed cookery book, a question and answer session and who knows what else. I am going! Yipee!!! My friend Julie is going to come up from Gloucester to go with me. What a jewel she is! It will be double the pleasure now, as not only will I get to participate in this fantastic event, but I'll also get to do it with a good friend! Plus she is coming here the night before and we will have two nights together to chat and laugh and just enjoy each other's company!

I am hearing...
Early morning sounds . . . the clock on the mantle humming as the wheels inside it turn. Mitzie snuffling here curled up behind me on the sofa. The tap tapping of the computer keys as I write. Birds singing in the garden. All is right with the world.
The bin men for the recyclables are also going around. That's Monday morning!

Around the house...
Ironing, ironing, ironing. I have never had a clothes drier over here and so most things need to be ironed. The washing machines are very powerful and so all the clothes come out of it very wrinkled and near to dry, because of all the spinning. Seriously doing a load of wash takes almost two hours in the machine, but the clothes do come out very clean and like I said, almost dry, but very wrinkly!

One of my favourite things...
I am a woman with quite a few weaknesses I'm afraid. Crafts, cooking, reading. I'm not sure I could pick a favourite thing because everything I do is my favourite thing when I am doing it! Does that make sense??? It's just me!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

This is a character from the Midsummer's Watch Parade in Chester that Todd and I went to on Saturday. I had never been to one before. It was bright and colourful and very entertaining! I did take video of the whole thing with my camera and so will add the video's below. There are three of them.

Chester's Midsummer Watch is one of Britain's oldest festivals, a tradition which reflects 500 years of the city's history. In Medieval and Tudor times, Chester's magnificent Midsummer Watch Parade was renowned throughout the country. First held during the mayoralty of Richard Goodman in 1498, it was organised by the City Guilds and took place in the years when the famous Chester Mystery Plays were not performed. The outstanding features of the show were the Giants, enormous structures made of buckram and pasteboard and carried by two or more men. Giants were a common feature of Tudor pageantry in England and Europe, but Chester was unique in that the city paraded a whole family of Giants, the Father, the Mother and two Daughters. There were also fantastic giant Beasts including the Unicorn, the Elephant, the Camel and the Dragon. Originally the Dragon was beaten by six naked boys, but this practice was banned in the late 16th century.

The Giants were accompanied by hobby horses, musicians, guildsmen, fools, children in costume, angels, goblins and green men. There were enormous moving floats called the "Mounts"; the most famous, the Merchants Mount, was in the form of a ship, a reminder that in those days, Chester was an important port. The whole procession was headed by a small boy, chosen each year, and the "Ancient" city drum.
The Midsummer Watch Parade survived much longer than the now world-famous Mystery Plays, which were banned in 1575 and not revived until recent times. In 1599, Mayor Henry Hardware prohibited the Parade and ordered the Giants to be broken up. However, so popular was the show that it was revived the next year and continued until the 1670s.

The tradition continues today.

Things like this are why I love Chester. There is always something fabulous going on!

And just as a closing thought for today . . .

Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.
~OG Mandino

Not a problem for me! I try to treat others always in the same way as I would like to be treated. I think the Lord said it in another way . . . "Do unto other's as you would have them do unto you." He also said, "Love One Another."

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 tasty summertime dessert that will have everyone begging for seconds. It uses oreo cookies, but in truth just about any sandwich cookie could be used. Use your imaginations and go with the flow. I think Custard Creams or Gingernut Creams would be fantastic!

*Oreo Cheesecake*
Serves 16
Printable Recipe

This needn't be totally decadent and fattening if you use low fat ingredients such as low fat cream cheese and the cookies which are lower in fat. A delicious and light alternative to a heavy baked cheesecake. Perfect for summer!

1 pkg. (16.6 oz.) oreo cookies, divided
1/4 cup butter, melted
4 pkg. (8 oz. (250g) each)cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tub (8 oz.) frozen whipped topping, thawed
(Can use the equivalent amount of whipped cream)

Chop 15 of the cookies coarsely. Set aside. Finely crush the remaining cookies. Put into a bowl and then mix together with the med butter. Press into the bottom of a 13 by 9 inch pan. Place into the refrigerator to chill whilst preparing the filling.

To make the filling, beat together the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in a bowl. Beat together until well blended. Fold in the whipped topping and chopped cookies. Spread this mixture over top of the chilled crust.

Refrigerate until firm, some 4 to 5 hours. Delicious!

Over in The English Kitchen today, tasty little Jam Marguerites!


  1. Fabulous cheesecake idea Marie - I've been making a honeycombe one and a dark choc orange one recently at the Tea Shop so great to have a new idea ... just need to track down some Oreos in France! Awww good old Chester, I love this post, have been feeling a bit homesick the past few weeks so nice to see something familiar! Kitty x

  2. Hi, dear Marie! FABULOUS about your trip to Ipswich soon--WOW! So glad for you! And very fun to see the Midsummer festivities there. Here locally these's not a lot on, which is a pity as I love midsummer. So glad all goes well with the reading lessons, and that your pupil makes such good progress. That Oreo cheesecakes is incredible... I dare not make if, for I know we would it all in a weekend if I did... LOL! I may wait until we have the family over sometime--nieces & nephews would love it. ;o) I talked to my Dad at the weekend too. What a supper phone plan you have, even for international calls, that's brilliant! Hope you have a great week ahead, my friend! LOVE YOU LOTS ((BIG HUGS))

  3. It sounds like a busy week for you there. I hope the injections go well and give you some much needed relief. I'm glad you are going to get to go on that trip. It sounds like a lot of fun, especially since you have a friend to go along with you. Hope your Monday is a great one!

  4. what a wonderful post a little bit of everything my memeory gets a work out here for sure,, the lovely trip you won, the beautiful street celebration and OK,, that Oreo desert keeps sticking in my mind,, oh my,, and I said i would be good this week,, now I find myself craving that!Thank so much for visiting and for your kind words,

  5. Hello dear. It sounds like you have quite a lot going this week. I surely hope that the injections will not be overly painful and that they will provide you with relief. I am sorry that you are going through so much pain. I know first hand how hard it is to be in pain all the time. It wears you out. I remember you in my prayers.
    I am happy that you have that nice July 4th trip to look forward to. All of USA will be celebrating with you that day.... maybe not for the same reason .... but we will all be celebrating just the same.

    I must rush off to the dreaded doctor appointment. I told you about on my post. How I hate these kind of appts.... last week's ultra sounds did not show anything so they have to dig deeper. Wish me luck.
    Have a great week. Hugs, Lurs

  6. Dear Marie, I hope your injections go without much pain and that they work. For me they did not. just wasn't ment to be.I'm glad your going on the trip enjoy.I enjoyed whatching the Midsummer Watch. If I could moved to the UK, I think Chester would be place to be.
    Just wishing you and your's the best of everything.xxxooo

  7. Thanks for sharing these videos. I got to enjoy the praade too. :)


Your comments mean the world to me, and while I may not be able to address each one individually, each one is important to me and each one counts. Thanks so much!