Tuesday 17 January 2012

The Simple Woman's Day book . . .

FOR TODAY, January 17th, 2012...

Outside My Window...

All is calm, and dark, and very cold. I think there is even a frost, for the third day in a row. Winter finally came.

I am thinking...
I have to tell you a funny story. As you know we love our Mitzie to bits and she is a tad bit spoiled. Well . . . I know it's naughty, but . . . I always give her the milk left in the bottom of my bowl after I eat my cereal in the morning. She really looks forward to it. We have a dishwasher so I know the bowl will be really well washed afterwards, not that she doesn't do a good job of licking it clean! Well, yesterday I cooked a pot of old fashioned oats. I usually have my breakfast before Todd even gets up. (I'm always up a good 2 hours before him!) Anyways, when I went upstairs to get dressed I told him there was oatmeal in the pot for him. Later on when I went to load the dishwasher I noticed there was only one bowl in the sink. I said to him, didn't he have any breakfast. And he said yes he did. So I wanted to know where his bowl was. He then told me he had used the one I had left for him on the side of the sink. Proof positive that Mitzie really licks the bowl clean, and that ignorance is bliss! I didn't have the heart to tell him . . .

I am thankful for...
My knees have been behaving themselves since last July! Finger's crossed it continues! I get the odd twinge, but for the most part they've been fairly good! Todd gave me a blessing just before I left on that trip to Jimmy's farm and it worked very well it seems!

From the kitchen...
There is not an awful lot . . . I really should bake something. I don't want to eat it though . . . so I am stalling. We are having the missionaries for supper on Thursday, so I will probably bake something then!

I am wearing...
Pink nightie and pink jim jam bottoms, slippers and robe. Yes, I know it is a bit of an odd mix, but it does keep me warm.

I am creating...

I have nothing on the table at the moment. Most unsual for me, so I'll show you something that I'd like to make shall I??

It's a cute little hanging Valentine Heart pouch to hold all your Valentines. Not that I get many Valentines mind . . . only one, but I do think it's very sweet and would look adorable hanging in our bedroom somewhere. Perhaps we could use it to leave little love notes to each other on occasion . . . it never hurts to keep the romance alive does it?

I am going...
WE are going to go to the movies this afternoon to see a film! War Horse. We've both been really looking foward to it and Tuesday afternoons are cheap at the Cinema, so today's the day! It looks really good!

I am reading...

(watch the trailer, it's good)

Sadie, by Rebecca Belliston

Sadie Dawson thinks she has the perfect life until one Christmas Day when a misunderstanding leads to a brutal event that changes everything. Terrified, Sadie flees her boyfriend's wrath, two FBI agents, and her "perfect life." Lost in a Montana snowstorm and desperate for refuge, she's rescued by four guys on their annual holiday ski vacation. But even as her physical wounds heal, Sadie wonders is she will ever be able to escape the clutches of her wealthy and determined boyfriend. While her heart tells her there is more to a perfect life than diamond necklaces and elegant dinner parties, Sadie doesn't know who she can trust. And just when her heart settles, she finds herself abandoned by the one person who swore to protect her for a religion she doesn't understand. Will she have the courage to follow her heart and find the life that is perfect for her?

I am loving the strength and personalities of the characters in this book. It has caught my interest and kept it, a real page turner. Plus it is wonderfully refreshing to be able to read a "Romance" novel which is wholesome and doesn't have any nasty colourful bits. I highly recommend! (On a side note, she is also the daughter of Gerald Lund, author of a bazillion great books, my favourite of which is called Divine Signatures.)

I am hoping...
My son has changed his wedding date. It's been pushed back to next January now because of financial comittments etc. and they've also decided to get married in Cuba. I am hoping that I can afford to go.

I am hearing...
Nothing much. Mitzie is eating her breakfast in the kitchen. The keys are tapping. All is quiet outside . . . the birds are waking up so a bit of chirping and the odd car that drives by. A very normal ordinary start to the day.

Around the house...

Don't you just love this idea??? Who doesn't have extra space on either side of their refrigerator! I do! I can't believe I have never thought of something like this. It only makes sense, a pull out shelf unit, just big enough to hold tins and jars. The perfect hideaway larder don't you think???

I am looking forward to ...
Seeing the film this afternoon!! The trailers look very good and I have heard nothing but good things about it from the people I know who have seen it!

If I could change one thing it would be ...
That Todd and I would have met each other early enough to have been able to have a family together. He would have made such a wonderful father. Don't get me wrong . . . I also appreciate the fact that we don't have to share each other with anyone else . . . but my heart aches when I see other couples in church with their children gathered all around them, and I just think that we both have missed out on that. Oh well, there is always the eternities!

One of my favourite things...
Is the Book of Mormon. I know that sounds very cliche, but it's completely true. We are studying it again in church this year for Sunday School and Todd and I got some books from the LDS bookshop entitled "The Book of Mormon, Made Easier." They go through the book, line upon line and expand one's understanding of it all. They are really bringing the scriptures alive for us. I love that we are studying it together. Reading and studying the scriptures with the one that you love is such a special and sacred thing to do. God may not have been able to give us a family together here on earth, but He has given us each other. I prayed for many years to have a husband who was on the same page spiritually as I was and this prayer was answered in a very beautiful and unsual way . . . at the time I had been praying this prayer, I was meaning that I wanted my ex-husband to become a Christian . . . and a man of faith. Oh, I prayed for years and years to that end . . . I did get a man of faith . . . just not the one I thought I would have. It's pretty amazing when you think about it!

A few plans for the rest of the week...
A bit of work . . . a bit of play . . . and everything in between!! I have meetings for my church calling, and the reading lessons continue, and the missionaries are coming for supper on Thursday. It's a pretty full week, but shaping up beautifully!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Make it a rule . . . never, if possible, to lie down at night without being able to say, "I have made one human being at least a little wiser, a little happier or a little better this day."
~Charles Kingsley (1819 - 75)

I like to think that these words and thoughts that I share with you each day prove to help someone in some way at times, or bring a smile to someone's heart at others. I like to think that in doing so I am making a difference somewhere for someone. I cannot do much financially to make the world a better place . . . would that I could . . . but if I can impress even one person with my thoughts and words in even the smallest of positive ways . . . then it is worth every minute spent.

As a closing thought I would like to leave you with this:

“Often the deep valleys of our present will be understood only by looking back on them from the mountains of our future experience. Often we can’t see the Lord's hand in our lives until long after the trials have passed. Often the most difficult times of our lives are essential building blocks that form the foundation of our character and pave the way to future opportunity, understanding, and happiness.”
― Dieter F. Uchtdorf

He is such a wise man isn't he???

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!

I whipped up this delicious oven stew for Todd and myself yesterday. It's been one I've been making for years and always pleases anyone who eats it. This is my cheat version, as it uses a tin of soup and there's no browning of the meat on top of the stove before hand. It's easy peasy lemon squeasy!

*Oven Beef Stew*

Serves 4
Printable Recipe

This is a quick and easy stew to make. Other than peeling the vegetables and chopping them up there is literally no work to do. Your oven does it all! It’s just plain delicious too, so it’s a win/win combination!

1 pound of well trimmed stewing beef, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tsp mixed herbs, or summer savoury
1 tin of condensed tomato soup (Campbells)
1 soup tin of water
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1 small rutabaga, peeled and cut into cubes
2 parsnips, peeled and sliced
4 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered

Pre-heat the oven to 230*C/450*F. Put your beef, onions and garlic into a deep casserole dish with a lid. Season with some salt and pepper to taste and then place the casserole (without the lid at this point) into the heated oven and bake for about 10 minutes, just until the meat is beginning to brown.

Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 160*C/350*F.
Put soup and the water into the casserole dish along with the mixed herbs. Put the lid on and bang it back into the oven and let it bake for about an hour. At the end of the hour remove it from the oven and stir in the vegetables. You may need to add more water as the mixture should have reduced by then, and you want the liquid to just barely cover the vegetables and meat. Put the lid back on and return the casserole to the oven. Bake for another hour or until the vegetables and meat are tender.

Remove from the oven and let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.

You can use other flavours of soup if you wish such as mushroom, which is very good also.

If stew isn't to your taste perhaps Pork Chops Lyonnaise will be. You can see them today over in The English Kitchen!

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