Tuesday 16 August 2011

The Simple Woman's Day book . . .

FOR TODAY, August 16th, 2011...

Outside My Window...

It hasn't decided what it is going to be yet today. I expect we'll know before too long. A headline on my newsreader said this morning that summer was over and that we were in for some really nasty weather! That's England for you!

I am thinking...

I have been thinking about all the pap being bandied about by David Cameron (Prime Minister) at the moment. It's as if he's only just realized that there is a whole broken generation in our Society. Why oh why do we keep voting people into government who have no idea what real life is all about??? It's about time a common man, with a state school education and an ordinary job runs for office. Someone who knows what it's like to wonder how you're going to be able to buy new shoes for all your children before school starts again in the fall . . . or how you're going to manage to be able to put petrol in your car, buy milk and bread and pay your electric bill!

I am thankful for...

We are going to the Temple today. It will be nice. WE don't go nearly often enough, but it is so far away and takes a lot of petrol. I will finally be able to do the work for some of my family that has been waiting to be done for a while. It will be nice to see them finally sealed together and to parents, etc. I am thankful for our Temple and for the work that we can do there, and for the special feelings and the peace I feel when I am there. I am thankful that I have a husband that I can go there with who shares my feelings and my soul. It's pretty wonderful.

From the kitchen...

I'm like old mother hubbard at the moment! The cupboard is bare of all goodies!

I am wearing...

A blue nightie and slippers. I think it is time to dig out my jim jams.

I am creating...

I have stacks and stacks of finished cards sitting in my craft room, all glued and glittered, and bagged and stickered up. I still have to list them in my Etsy Shop. I know, I said that last week and still have not gotten around to it. I have created a few new beauties though:

I showed you this one after I had done it of course. I really liked the way it turned out. It's different and quirky, but they are a lot of work these Altered Art Canvasses.

This one below is one that I worked on for over a week.

It's quite a bit larger and encompasses copies of old family photographs and a hymn called I Am A Daughter of God, and then I painted a little girl sitting in a chair reading a book on it. I have also included one verse of a poem I wrote about my family. The sides are inked and the top distressed. It is difficult to get a good photograph of it because of it's size and so the colours aren't really showing the way that they are really. I am not sure how I feel about it. I love the emotion behind it and I like the little girl on the chair. I guess I like it altogether . . . it is slowly growing on me.

I am going...

I am going to the Temple today and then home again after. We will be gone most of the day. I do hope Mitzie will be ok.

I am reading...

Years, by Lavyrle Spencer

"Eighteen year old Linnea Brandonberg steps off the train, expecting to find a quaint, small-town atmosphere in Dickinson, North Dakota. But what she finds is wheat. Wheat, wheat everywhere. She imagines a dapper superintendent cordially welcoming her to her new teaching position. But what she finds is a humble farmer in the waiting. Theodore Westgaard. Handsome, rugged, and simple. Linnea's boarding arrangements included living at Theodore's farmhouse, but when Theodore realizes the new teacher is a female (gasp!) he throws a fit. "I won't be havin' no woman in my house!"

This is a book that I read many years ago and I am re-reading. I always loved LaVyrle Spencer's books and have almost all of them in my bookcase. Periodically I take one out and read it again. I particularly love this one. It's a love story, kind of like a Little House on the Prairie but grown up. Her characters are always quite interesting to me and full.

I bought a novel by Danielle Steele last week, read two pages and wondered why I had wasted my money. She can't even write, and yet her books sell millions! To each their own I guess!

I am hoping...

That we are able to travel to the Temple and back in safety today. I never used to worry about such things but I find as I get older, long journies fill my heart with dread. I wonder why that is . . . .

I am hearing...

Early morning sounds . . . the clock on the mantle humming as the wheels inside it turn. The odd car as it goes by. Mitzie snuffling as she snoozes, all curled up behind me on the sofa. The tap tapping of the computer keys as I write.
They are morning sounds. The sounds as I hear whilst the house wakes up around me and the day begins.

Around the house...

Ironing, hoovering, dusting . . . the usual household chores. I know that the Saviour said that we would always have the poor with us, but I'd like to add a postcript . . . household drudgery will always be with you too! I don't really mind it. I kind of enjoy puttering around the house actually. It gives me a lot of satisfaction.

I am looking forward to...

We are having guests for dinner on Thursday. I have never met them before. A friend of ours wanted to have this couple over for dinner, but our friend's wife had a stroke several years back and so she can't cook now. She tries but apparently it is horrible. Anyways, he asked me if I would cook a meal for the six of us. He'll pay for the food etc. I was happy to do it as I do love to cook, as you know!

I am pondering...

I have been really thinking about the riots in our Country last week. I think the scariest part of them has to be the mindlessness of it all . . . and the ages of those involved. Something is very, very wrong. I don't think you can blame it on poverty, because there were some really well off people involved. It's like there is a whole generation of young folk out there who just have no regard or feeling for anyone other than themselves. We have managed to raise a group of people who are celebrity obsessed and who worship possessions and idols (pop idols). They have no regard for their families, their communities or their country, or well . . . anyone else at all. It's really sad. There is a really good article that someone wrote about them here. I think they hit the nail directly on the head.

One of my favourite things...

Is writing these daybooks. I love sharing my thoughts and weekly happenings with you. It is like sitting down with a good friend and having a good gab!

A few plans for the rest of the week...

I have the Temple today, the dinner on Thursday and then on Saturday a friend from Scotland is supposed to come down and stay with us overnight. In between there will be a bit of work, a bit of play and everything else that makes a life. Life is good.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

This is my youngest Grandson. Isn't he a sweetheart. His name is Jacob and he looks just like his daddy at the same age. Just look at the joy that radiates out from his being!

(Cupcake anticipation) Of course all my Grandchildren are beautiful. Just look at the anticipation on little Luke's face. A cupcake was on it's way. He's my second youngest Grandson.

This is my eldest Grandson, waxing rhapsodic about a cupcake. I can almost hear him! He is such a charming and engaging little boy.

My second eldest grandson, Jon, enjoying a blueberry muffin he baked with his dad. He's a beautiful little boy and it is hard to believe that both he and Gabriel will be starting school in September!

This is our Josh, (3) doing the dishes. I think he is just adorable and I am glad that my children are teaching their own children the value and joy in working.

I hope that she doesn't mind me sharing this, but this is my youngest daughter with my only Granddaughter, Maryn and of course Eileen (whom you all know from her Olympic Adventures in Idaho a few years back!)

Grandchildren are an extra special blessing in our lives. I know I live very far away from mine and that I hardly ever get to see them, but that does not mean I don't love them or care about them. I pray for them several times every day. They are always in my thoughts, as are my children. I am always seeing something and thinking to myself, the boys would love this, or that would be so sweet for Maryn . . . or how I wish I could sit and read to them, or draw and colour with them. I am proud of my children because they are good parents and spouses and people. They are good at other things too, but the fact that they are good parents, spouses and people shows me that I must have done something right.

And just as a closing thought for today . . .

"I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet."

~an old Persian saying

Our lives are filled with blessings. Large and small. We take most of them for granted. We must learn not to.

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!

The hedgerows around us are full to bursting with blackberries right now and it is a race to see who will get them first, us or the birds! My mother never liked blackberries. She said they always reminded her of those big black ants we used to get back home, and I suppose in a way they do. I don’t personally like eating berries with a lot of seeds in them, but I do love the flavour of blackberries. I used to make countless jars of blackberry jelly back home that we could take out in the winter months and savour on our toast and in between the layers of a lovely Victorian sponge. My Todd though loves blackberries and so I pick them for him. I place them on parchment paper in a single layer on baking sheets and then place them in the freezer until frozen solid. Then I pour them all into a large zip lock baggie. That way I can take out as many or as few as I need in the months ahead. It’s a smart thing to do. I made him this lovely version of fruit cobbler the other night which he really enjoyed. It’s very novel in that it uses up stale bread for the topping. You can use whatever kind of fruit you want in the filling. I just happened to have an abundance of blackberries that I wanted to use, and besides I wanted to spoil my Todd just a little bit . . .

*Grandma's Fruit Cobbler*

Serves 6

Printable Recipe

People were very thrifty in the old days. They made use of everything, and nothing was wasted or thrown out. This delicious dessert makes full use of that ethic. All you need is some fruit and some stale bread and you’ll have a delicious dessert on the table in no time at all. Served with lashings of warm custard this is a treat that just can’t be beat!

1 cup of sugar

2 TBS plain flour

1 large egg, beaten

½ cup butter, melted

5 slices of white bread, crusts removed and cut into strips

3 cups fruit, approximately**

1 ½ tsp of ground cinnamon or cardamom

Pre-heat the oven to 180° C/350° F. Butter an 8 inch by 8 inch pan and set aside.

Mix the sugar, flour, egg and butter together in a bowl, combining thoroughly. Place the drained fruit in the prepared pan and top with the bread strips evenly. Pour the sugar mixture over the bread and then sprinkle the whole thing evenly with the cinnamon or the cardamom, if desired.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown.

Serve warm spooned out into bowls, with pouring custard or scoops of cold ice cream melting on top.

**Frozen fruit that has been partially defrosted works great in this as does soft fresh fruit. Hard fruits such as apples should be partially cooked until a bit softened first before using. Well drained tinned fruit works great as well. Two 14 ounces tins are about the right size to use. Fruit cocktail is very delicious done this way.

There is a delicious Chicken and Stuffing Pie cooking over in The English Kitchen today!!

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