Sunday 10 July 2011

Marie's Sunday Six . . .

I sure have had a lot to smile about this past week! I know I say that pretty much every week, but I think that this week was particularly good! At least, I thought so at any rate!

Things are coming fast and furiously in the garden at the moment We've been harvesting English Peas, carrots, early potatoes, lettuces, black currants and strawberries. It's nice to be able to eat things you've grown yourself. It may just be me, but somehow I think they taste better! Our carbon footprint is being reduced and we are enjoying the fruits of our labours. Next year we plan to grow more! Mitzie enjoys being out there with us as well, so it's a real shared family pleasure!

There were two special Birthday's in my family this week. My mother and my sister. I am going to call both of them this afternoon after church. My niece Alison also had a birthday. I was't able to talk to my sister on her actual birthday because she works and I would have probably had to stay up way past my bed time to do so, but we will enjoy our conversation today and that is great! I didn't call my mom yesterday, which was her actual birthday, because she said to just call on Sunday which is my normal day for calling. I am afraid that neither of them got their Birthday Cards on time because when I went to mail them a few weeks back I was told that Canada was not accepting post because of mail strikes over there. I did mail them as soon as I could though, but wonder if they will ever get them . . . apparently there is a huge backlog of post. We will see! That doesn't make me smile, but knowing that I will talk to each of them later today does!

Getting to travel down to Ipswich and see some of the happiest pigs in the world made me smile! Not only did I have a fantastic visit to Jimmy's Farm, but my knees held out the whole time, which really made me smile big time! On the Saturday before the Sunday I was due to travel down there my right knee gave out really badly. I was upstairs and had to go downstairs on my bottom. Then I had to sit still the rest of the day and use my cane on sunday morning. I was so pleased that it went off and I was able to enjoy the journey and the visit, relatively free from any pain! That was a super smile event!

Getting to meet Jimmy and spend time with him was a real treat, but getting to share this event with Julie was a real bonus! I have known Julie for a number of years now and you could not ask for a nicer person. She is always willing to help out anyone in whatever way that she can. When I had expressed that I didn't think I would be able to go on the trip to Jimmy's because of my knees, she volunteered to go with me and take care of me in whatever way she could. I happily took her up on her offer, and we had a great time. We never stopped gabbing! We talked constantly about everything under the sun . . . family . . . food . . . recipes . . . it was a really special time together! I hardly ever go anywhere without my Todd. This was a rare treat indeed! Although to be sure all the day through I kept thinking to myself, I wish Todd could be here to see this . . . or that Todd would have loved to see that!

Creating makes me smile big time. I got some time in yesterday for a little painting and I love how it turned out! I had friends when I was a child that hated their freckles. I always kind of envied them . . . but that's how it goes. You always want what you don't have and always despair of what you do have! I loved this verse and as soon as I saw it I knew what I wanted to paint!

Here is a close up of her face and wings and little pointy boots. I love how she turned out! Of course I will be selling her as prints and cards. I love being able to create. I cannot imagine never being able to paint and draw and write. They are three things that bring me the greatest joy in life and that make me really smile!

We finished sorting out my craft room this week. That really made me smile as it has been quite a disorganized mess for the past few months, and had gotten even worse last week when we put the bunk beds into the guest bedroom. A lot was taken out of that room and shoved into the craft room. I could barely get in the door. Now it is all sorted and neat and tidy. That makes me really happy. I can work in peace and I have lots of space at my work station! I can create in there to my heart's content!

I think that being able to find the small blessings in our lives and to be able to see them and appreciate them as big ones is a blessing in and of itself. We should be able to find little pockets of joy scattered throughout our days. Yes, it is great to be able to partake of bigger joy and blessings, but it is truly the little things in life which matter most. I think that when we get to the end of our lives we will look back and see clearly that it was the little things that had the most meaning to us and the most value. I hope that each of you had a week filled with little pocket of joy . . . or smilemakes as I call them!

We love peanut butter in this house and I just adore peanut butter and chocolate together. Here's a tasty way of creating that same delicious combination! Very moreish!

*Peanut Butter Ball Bars*
Makes 2 1/2 dozen
Printable Recipe

Your favourite peanut butter balls in a bar! Delicious!

nonstick cooking spray
1 (18.25 ounce) package of chocolate cake mix
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
1 large free range egg
1 cup of peanuts, chopped
1 (14 ounce) tin of sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup of prepared chocolate fudge frosting

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/gas mark 4. Spray a 13 by 9 inch pan with some non stick cooking spray and set aside.

Beat the cake mix, oil and egg together in a large bowl on medium speed, until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Stir in the chopped peanuts. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the mixture and then press the remainder into the bottom of the prepared pan.

Beat the sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter together in a medium bowl until smooth. Pour this mixture over top of the crumbs in the pan. Sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture over top.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until set. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

Place the choclate frosting into a small bag and snip off the corner. Squeeze the frosting through the cut in a drizzle criss crossing it all over the top of the bars. Allow to set before cutting into squares to serve.

Baking in The English Kitchen today, delicious Little Ginger Cakes !!


  1. What a lovely week you have had. Just loaded with SMILES. Today will be very special as you talk with your birthday people too. Happy Sunday!

  2. lovely smile makers this week and I love your new art work,, I have freckles too!I have alwyas hated them,,Those bars look pretty amazing and so do the ginger cakes,, i think you covered anyones taste s in those two!Have the very best of best Sundays.

  3. What a lovely smile filled week you sure have had. Love your new miss Freckles !!...
    hope you have lovely chats with your Sister and Mum this aftrenoon..
    that will be the start of your next weeks smiles !!
    Love Sybil x

  4. Such sweet smile makers, as always, Marie! I wish more people took the time to share of themselves in the way that you do. We have quite a few little freckles in our family and I call them sun kisses. I have had them all my life. Most of mine are on my arms and shoulders. I had a lot on my face growing up and of course hated them. Now I think they are adorable on little kids. Go figure. Do love your newest little lady.


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!