Saturday 28 April 2012

Poetry Saturday . . . How Do I Love Thee?

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.

Source: via Marie on Pinterest

I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise;
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.

I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,
I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! and if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Funny . . . I have known the first fiew lines of this Sonnet, all of my life it seems . . . but had never read the rest of it . . . until today.  Elizabeth Barrett Browning was one of the most prominent poets of the Victorian Era, her poetry being popular both in the UK and in America.  Her last book of poetry was published by her husband, Robert Browning, after her death.

Born in Coxhoe Hall, situated between the villages of Coxhoe and Kelloe in the Country Durham, on March 6th 1806, she was to be the eldest of 12 children.  Later on in the year she was born her father purchased Hope End, and they moved there. She was educated primarily at home by her brother's tutor.  She was thought to be an intense, studious and precious child.   She writes that at the age of six, she was reading novels, at eight she was completely entranced by Homer, and at ten . . .studying Greek and writing  her own Homerian epic, the Battle of Marathon.  Her earliest poetry efforts were gathered into a book by her mother.  Her father called her the "Poet Laureate of Hope End."  So it seems that she was greatly encouraged by her parents.  I think that is a parents' job, to encourage their children in the talents that they express. She watched her brothers go off to school knowing that there was no chance of that education for herself. Elizabeth was very close to her siblings and had great respect for her father: she claimed that life was no fun without him, and her mother agreed.  Her first known poem was written at the tender age of eight.

At about age 15 Barrett Browning began to battle with a lifelong illness, which the medical science of the time was unable to diagnose.  All three sisters came down with the syndrome although it lasted only with Elizabeth. She had intense head and spinal pain with loss of mobility. Apocryphally it was told that she fell while trying to saddle a horse or was creating the illness but there is strong evidence that she was seriously sick. The illnesses of this time were, however, unrelated to the lung disease she suffered in 1837.  This illness caused her to be frail and weak.  She was described at this time, as having "a slight, delicate figure, with a shower of dark curls falling on each side of a most expressive face; large, tender eyes, richly fringed by dark eyelashes, and a smile like a sunbeam". She began to take opiates for the pain, as they did in those days, and would become dependent on them for much of her adulthood; the use from an early age would have contributed to her frail health. Biographers such as Alethea Hayter have suggested that this may have contributed to the wild vividness of her imagination and the poetry it produced.

 Her 1844 volume Poems made her one of the most popular writers in the country at the time and inspired Robert Browning to write to her, telling her how much he loved her work. He had been an admirer of her poetry for a long time and wrote "I love your verses with all my heart, dear Miss Barrett" praising their "fresh strange music, the affluent language, the exquisite pathos and true new brave thought."    He met Elizabeth on 20 May 1845, in her rooms, and so began one of the most famous courtships in literature. Elizabeth had produced a large amount of work and had been writing long before Robert Browning had. However, he had a great influence on her writing, as did she on his.

The courtship and marriage between Robert Browning and Elizabeth were carried out secretly as she and her siblings were convinced their father would disapprove. Six years his elder and an invalid, she could not believe that the vigorous and worldly Robert Browning really loved her as much as he professed to. After a private marriage at St. Marylebone Parish Church, they honeymooned in Paris, after which he spirited his wife off to Italy, in September 1846, which became her home almost continuously until her death in 1867, in her husband's arms. Browning said that she died "smilingly, happily, and with a face like a girl's. … Her last word was—… 'Beautiful'" .

I  have enjoyed learning more about Elizabeth here this morning, and I hope that you have too.

I am off to Runcorn today to meet with my friends Sheilagh and Trish and then we are off the Aintree to a big Craft Show that they have their each year.  I went with them last year as well and really enjoyed it.  We're also popping in to Ikea, which will be a first for me!  I hope that you all have a lovely Saturday!  I know that I will, despite the rain!


Baking in The English Kitchen today, Old Fashioned Molasses Crinkles!

“When life is hard, remember - we are not the first to ask, 'Is there no other way?” 
~Jeffrey R Holland


Friday 27 April 2012

Friday thoughts . . .

Source: via Scott on Pinterest

There is nothing that brings a song into my heart more than the sight of one of the first harbinger’s of spring, the pussy willow. I can remember as a child, gathering bunches of them to grace our family home and being very excited to do so. Even now when I happen upon them I like to do the same. Their long slender twigs and soft grey buds make the finest of Springtime decorations.  I'm quite sure that the trees don't mind me borrowing just a few . . . 

 They're my only weakness . . . as Dorcas Lane would say.  (Do you not just love that series, Larkrise to Candleford???  I do.  I could watch them over and over again.)

There is a legend about how they came about, that I think is very sweet and lovely. A cat once gave birth to several unwanted kittens.  The cat's owner threw them into a river. As they floated off, the mother cat ran along the banks of the river mewing so plaintively that the willow trees bending down near the water took pity and leaned down their branches even lower so that the kittens could climb out to safety. Ever since then, we have had beautiful pussy willows every spring.

Somewhat of a tall tale to be sure, but how wonderful a thought . . .  and something to bring a smile to your face the next time you stroke one of those soft grey buds on a pussy willow branch.

It is at this time of year that I miss living in our little cottage down in Kent.  Surrounded by Orchards, the air would be full of the smell of apple wood burning as the farmer burnt his gleanings from the winter's pruning.  The orchards themselves were beginning to turn into a sea of beautiful blossom.  The Estate was always covered with Daffodils and tulips blooming profusely, in huge clumps, so very pretty.  The Daffodils were very early this year and are almost done now as are the tulips, but everywhere the trees are coming out in leaf and the birds are nesting.

One thing I miss most about down south is the great variety of birds we saw in our garden, and yes . . . I even miss the cheeky squirrels.  We get mostly sparrows here, and the odd robin or two.  Pigeons of course and morning doves.  Occasionally we will see a pair of Gold Finches at the finch feeder, which are always nice to see.  I have seen a pair of Kestrils flying overhead and a few days ago I actually saw a raven on the grass.  We are quite close to the Welsh mountains, so it had probably come down from there.  I miss all the tits and wagtails, etc. that used to visit our garden in Kent, but I am grateful for the birds we do get.  I have ever been an Ornithologist . . . commonly known as a Birdwatcher!!

That is a great love that both my sister and I share . . . watching and feed the birds.  When we lived a lot closer to each other and she would come to visit me, we often took ourselves off on bird watching walks together, and berry picking expeditions.  The largest bird we ever saw was a huge heron that was sitting on a fallen down tree near the pond by an old farmhouse my ex and I rented once upon a time.  We managed to get fairly close to it as well, before it flew off . . . gliding over our heads as it left . . . amazing us with it's wingspan as it did.

I guess I've always been a nature lover and that is something that Todd and I also share with each other and one of the things that made us fall in love with each other . . . our mutual love of all that our Heavenly Father has created.  Tis a wonderful thing, being able to share these things with the one that you love . . . oh . . . yes, I am so very blessed.  ☺

A few days ago a friend asked me if I would do one of my paintings, using a scripture that she loved, but with a little boy and a girl in it.   I was happy to do so as I loved the scripture as well . . . and as you know I do love to paint.


This is what I came up with.  I quite enjoyed doing it and I think I have managed to create some clouds in the sky as well.  It's not perfect, but I think I learn something new each time I sit down to create in this way.  I so wish I had been allowed to go to Artschool when I was younger . . . but alas, I was not.  Nevermind, I am enjoying figuring things out as I go along!

I have something very tasty to show you this morning.  I hope you will forgive me . . . this is quite quite QUITE scrummy.  I think this will be our new garlic bread . . .I may never make the other kind ever again.


Cooking in The english Kitchen today, Onion, Garlic and Cheese Pluckit Bread.

“We are not perfect. The people around us are not perfect. People do things that annoy, disappoint, and anger. In this mortal life it will always be that way. Nevertheless, we must let go of our grievances. Part of the purpose of mortality is to learn how to let go of such things. That is the Lord’s way. Remember, heaven is filled with those who have this in common: They are forgiven. And they forgive.” ~Dieter F Uchtdorf


Thursday 26 April 2012

Thursday morning prattle

Well, the weather here in the UK has been really pants this past week.  Rain, rain and . . . even more rain!  Mitzie just sits at the window and looks out at the back garden with longing.  I don't think that being out in the rain would bother her overly much, but it's far too mucky out there when it's wet like this and so we keep her away from it.  I guess this is well and truly April Showers time.

The weather seems to be changing all over the world.  The seasons seem to be swinging back and forth and not what they've always been.  They are calling for the coldest May here in one hundred years, with cold temps and maybe even snow in some places.  That always fascinates me that they can predict things like that.  They don't seem to be able to predict the weather with any accuracy on a daily basis over here (it's so changeable), but they can predict weather a month ahead???  Hmm . . . I hope they are wrong.  On a positive note though, they have said that June/July and August are going to be quite nice!  We shall see!

I've been enjoying reading Stephanie Neilson's book, Heaven Is Here.  I almost cannot put it down. It's not that the writing is brilliant, although it's quite good to be sure . . . I think it's because it's a true story and because I have read her blog for years, it feels like I am reading about a friend.  (Although in complete honesty, she would not know who I was from a hole in a wall!)  I lay there in bed last night and was reading about her first few hours after she regained consciousness after her accident.  She'd been in a coma for months and months.  It was quite horrifying . . . she could hear everyone around her, but was unable to speak or move much except for her eyes.

Source: via Marie on Pinterest

That has always been a nightmare thought of mine . . . being trapped in my body and feeling helpless.  I can remember when I was a young mum, being afraid that I would have a stroke or something during the night and that nobody would know.  That somehow my children would end up starving to death because I was a carrot or a potato laying upstairs in my bed unable to communicate ot let anyone know something was wrong.  Did anyone else ever worry about things like this???  I was often on my own with the children because my husband was in the Military and away.   It seemed like for every week he was at home, he was away for another two!  If anything had happened to me, my babies would have literally been on their own.

I was talking to a young mum the other day and related to her that when I had my fourth baby, I had three in diapers.  I look back on those days now and am amazed at how well I coped with it all.  Because my oldest daughter was developmentally handicapped, she wasn't trained until she was about 4 years old.  There was only 23 months between her and her yonger sister, and then I had a new born, who was only 22 months younger than her!  Three in diapers, not a pamper in sight.  It would have been far too expensive to use disposable diapers.  Somehow I managed to cope with it all, but it amazes me now.

I also suffered with mild post natal depression.  It wasn't something that was really recognized back then though.  I just somehow managed to get through it in silence.  My husband was away a lot of the time, and believe it or not, I didn't have any friends that I could talk to.  We used to joke that everytime I got pregnant it was a sign that we would be moving. Amazingly enough this was true.  Other than my first child, I never gave birth in a place that was even remotely close to family, and I had always just moved to a new place, so I had never had a chance to make new friends either!!  I can remember looking at all the other new mums during my stays in the hospital, with all of their flowers, cards and visitors . . .  and feeling quite, quite lonely.

But I got through it . . . as we do.  Life goes on and we end up stronger for having experienced what we've experienced.  That's a good thing really.

I fell completely in love with this afghan on Pinterest yesterday!  Don't you think it's beautiful??  I am going to make one like this for myself.  It looks as pretty as a flower garden, and in fact it's called Flowers in a Row.  It reminds me of the counted cross stitch that I used to do.  I always loved to do samplers, and if they were garden samplers I loved them most of all.  I only ever very rarely got any of it framed.  Much of it is laying in a box up in the loft.  I always loved doing counted cross stitch, but we could never really afford to have it framed properly.  I haven't don any in years now . . . my eyes just don't co-operate with all of that fine work anymore.  We do get older don't we, and things change, so do our interests.

As a younger woman I used to do a lot of sewing, crochet, cross stitch, etc.  I never had the time to paint though.  Painting requires time and a space to be able to do it where you can be completely alone . . . I have that now, but I didn't have that back then.  It was much easier to pick up a crochet hook, needle and thread or knitting needles.  I could do that as I sat and watched the children play.  It didn't require my total concentration.   Anyways, I think I am going to crochet myself this afghan.  It's something I can do in the evenings while we are watching the television.  A no-brainer really.

I was thinking yesterday afternoon, that I would love to host a Bridal Shower for my daughter during the time I am home for her wedding.  We will be there for about two weeks, one week before the wedding and one week afterwards.  It would be nice to have a get together with all of my cousins and such,  and do something like this for her.  I am sure there will be other showers for her, but I won't be over there for them, and I seriously doubt that any of my family will be invited, so this would be an opportunity for my family to shower her with love and good wishes.  I'm going to ask my mom on Sunday if this would be possible.  (It will be in her house so it's probably best to get permission first I think!)  Exciting times!

I have ordered these bed linens as a wedding gift for them.  She was telling me on the phone the other day that they have bought themselves a bedroom set and she has a "Bed in a Bag," which has pretty much everything in it for one bed .  I thought it would be nice for them to have another set to use so that they can change their bedding every week.  I have this set myself and it's quite gorgeous!  I hope that she will like it.  It's also something that we will easily be able to take over with us in our suitcases.  There won't be a lot of time for shopping once we get there and they are shutting down the local Zellers as well, so there really won't be anyplace nearby to shop either.  Apparently they are putting in a Wal-mart, but that won't be until August so I hear.  I don't know what my mom will do without Zellers!  She shops there every week when she can.  She loves their Senior's day where she gets a further discount on all of their sale prices.  I think she has enough toilet paper bought and stored to keep her going for a few years!!  I kid you not.  She also has years of points collected as well.  I hope she'll be able to use them at some point.

Well, I have probably prattled on for long enough this morning!  You're probably quite, quite tired of it all by now.  Some days I am inspiring, and some days I just prattle on.  I hope it's a happy mix!  I won't be completely un-inspiring today though as I'll leave you with a happy thought!

“Love is the very essence of life. It is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Yet it is not found only at the end of the rainbow. Love is at the beginning also, and from it springs the beauty that arched across the sky on a stormy day. Love is the security for which children weep, the yearning of youth, the adhesive that binds marriage, and the lubricant that prevents devastating friction in the home; it is the peace of old age, the sunlight of hope shining through death. How rich are those who enjoy it in their associations with family, friends, and neighbors! Love, like faith, is a gift of God. It is also the most enduring and most powerful virtue.” ~Gordon B Hinckley

Happy Thursday one and all!

Cooking in The English Kitchen today, Parmesan Crusted Turkey Steaks with a  Tomato and Peppadew Relish!

Wednesday 25 April 2012

Perchance to dream . . .

Have you ever dreamt about what you would do if you suddenly came into a lot of money??  I sometimes do.  There have been HUGE European lottery offerings over here in recent years, sometimes as high as 170 million pounds, which is mind boggling.  How could you even put a dent in that kind of money?  I am sure it would be earning interest faster than you could spend it.   I don't really buy lottery tickets . . . so I don't really have much of a chance of winning, but that doesn't stop me for dreaming about what I could do with that kind of money if I ever had it.  It doesn't hurt anyone and hasn't cost me a penny.

First of all I like to think that everyone in our families would never have to worry about money ever again.  All the children's student loans and mortgages would be paid off and decent new family cars would be purchased for each one.  Trust funds for the grand children's educations would be set up, and a hefty amount of savings deposited into each family account for a rainy day.  Not enough that they would never have to work again . . . working teaches us so much and provides important emotional and spiritual growth . . . but they would be financially secure.

Then there are my parents, brother, sister, Todd's brother and his family.  It goes without saying that they would be provided for as well in a reasonable way, with no mortgages, new cards, etc.  I would build my parents a retirement home, just the right size, with everything on one level, all the mod cons,  and with someone to come in and clean for my mom each week.   A new car and a driver to take them wherever they needed to go each week.  I'd love to have them come and live with me . . . but whist my dad would probably be up for it . . . my mom is just stubborn enough to want nothing to change . . .

Then there are things I would love to do to make a difference in the world.  I know I could not solve everyone's problems, but I would love to give a sizable chunk to children's charities . . . worthwhile ones which provide good food, clean water, clothing and educations to children that would otherwise never have any of those things.   When I was working down South, Todd and I sponsored two children in Africa, a little boy in Ethiopia and a girl in Tanzania and we got so much pleasure from doing so.  It broke our hearts to have to give it up when I lost my job and we have never lost the hope that one day we would be able to  sponsor some more children.

Source: via Marie on Pinterest

I am always telling Todd that I would never want to move from where we live right now.  I am happy and content here.  He, of course would want to immediately move to a big house in the country.  Having worked in a big house for all those years, I would never want to really have a big house of my own . . . too much cleaning and space.  I could never hire anyone to clean my house.  I'd be cleaning it up before they came,  and I would never want other people knowing my personal business . . . so I would go for a small house out in the country.  I'm sure we would compromise somewhere.  I'd also want a new car to drive.  A nice compact model, automatic and easy to manoeuvre in and out of spots.  Todd . . . he wants a Jaguar.  That's a man for you!  I think a nice house with about 4 bedrooms (plenty of room for the kids and grand kids etc. when they came to visit) a dining room, family room, utility room, LARGE kitchen and lounge would be fabulous as well as a studio of my very own to play in.

A holiday home would also be nice . . . somewhere warm that we could escape to when the winter winds blew and the rain fell.  A place that we could go to with our families from time to time and all relax together.

Source: via Marie on Pinterest

I'd like to be like the Secret Millionaire and give money anonymously to people who really need it, and deserve it.  I would be a bit like that man on the beach throwing starfish back into the sea I think . . . I wouldn't be able to save them all of course . . . but I'd make a difference to each one that I could.  What a happy thought that is.

I sometimes look at my husband's back whilst he is bent over working or reading in bed and I think about what a hard life he has had.  He was born during WW2 and his father was a window washer.  He had to leave school when he was 15.  His mother took him downtown to find him a job and he's worked ever since.  He's worked really hard through the years as well . . . in shops, on farms etc.  some of it quite heavy labour too . . .  milking cows at 5 in the morning, shovelling out other people's muck, etc.  He only ever very rarely gets a new piece of clothing.  All he has to wear, except for the suit we bought new when we got married, has come from charity shops for the most part.  I would so love to be able to give him some of the finer things in life.  Now that he is in the winter of his life, it would be so nice to spoil him in a variety of ways . . . oh, I guess I do that anyways, as best as I can . . . so it's all good.

At the end of the day . . . we already have all that we need and our lives are very good.  We are content and happy with our circumstances.  We have love and we have health and we have a good outlook on life from every perspective.  We have our faith and the security that it brings to our lives and we have each other, and our little Miztie.  Anything else is just icing . . .

 I have been lucky enough in my life to have been able to see both sides of the coin.  Having worked for the really wealthy, I have been able to observe that personal wealth can become a prison of sorts and a detriment to spiritual and personal growth.  Some people have so much that money and possessions become their Gods.  Their lives become an exercise in trying to keep what they have, and in trying  to get more of it.  They never have enough. They are never content, always wanting more . . . never realizing that what they really need, and what would bring them the most joy . . .  is something that cannot be purchased . . .

To be happy is easy enough if we forgive ourselves, forgive others, and live with thanksgiving.  No self-centred person, no ungrateful soul can ever be happy, much less make anyone else happy.  Life is giving, not getting.
~Joseph Fort Newton

It's nice to dream of course . . .  but you should never dream so much that your reality becomes tinged with longing and regret.  Money cannot buy happiness . . . true joy and happiness comes from being content with what you already have . . . and in serving other's as best as we can, sharing that which we have been so abundantly blessed with . . .

It is in the giving that we really start living . . .

Baking in The English Kitchen today, a delicious Dried Cherry, Apricot and Almond Breakfast Loaf.  Fat free and very tasty!

“God expects you to have enough faith and determination and enough trust in Him to keep moving, keep living, keep rejoicing. In fact, He expects you not simply to face the future (that sounds pretty grim and stoic); He expects you to embrace and shape the future--to love it and rejoice in it and delight in your opportunities. God is anxiously waiting for the chance to answer your prayers and fulfill your dreams, just as He always has. But He can't if you don't pray, and He can't if you don't dream. In short, He can't if you don't believe.” ― Jeffrey R. Holland 


Tuesday 24 April 2012

The Simple Woman's Day Book

FOR TODAY, April 24th, 2012...

Outside My Window...

It is wet, wet, wet . . . April showers and all that.  It's very cool as well.  Roll on summer!  (Not that I am wishing my life away or anything!)

I am thinking...
I had some really deep thoughts last night, and I remember thinking to myself.  I'm going to mention that tomorrow . . . but like yesterday, they have gone.  I should have written them down!

I am thankful for...

 I  called my daughter yesterday afternoon.  Eileen, the one who is getting married in July.  We had a lovely conversation.  I love that she has never judged me or found me wanting.  She has always just simply loved me.  She may not agree with my religious beliefs, but she believes in my right to have them and it is just simply something we never talk about.  She loves the Saviour with all of her heart and she knows I do too.  She learned how to pray and to love the Saviour and her Heavenly Father from my example.  I always kept a Godly home, and we always walked the Saviour's path.  I am thankful for that.

From the kitchen...
I think I need to bake, coz there's not a lot of shakin going on in there!  I'm slipping!  Nah . . . I'm just being good.

I am wearing...
A Blue nightie, my robe and my slippers.  I'll get dressed once Todd gets up.

I am creating...


I haven't done anything since I did this the other day.  I have some ideas though and I have some cards to do for an order.  My fingers are itching to get into my craft room and play. 


I have been thinking about sewing an Elephant toy for my granddaughter for Christmas.  I thought it would be something different.  I have a whole big plastic box full of different fabrics and I think it would be really cute!

I am going...
We were going to go in to town today, but if it is raining, I don't know if we will still go or not. I have some pearl earrings that I wanted to give to my daughter for a wedding gift and I was thinking I would like to look for a necklace or a bracelet to go with them.

I am reading...

Heaven Is Here, by Stephanie Nielson

I think you would pretty much have had to be living under a rock over these past four years not to have heard of the story of Stephanie Nielson, who blogs over on The NieNie Dialogues.  She was in a really bad accident  in 2008 when the light plane her husband and his flight instructor were flying crashed.  She was burned in over 80% of her body and her life changed completely.  She has been an inspiration to so very many people in the world since then, with her honest and poignant writings.  I am a fan and I could hardly wait to read her book.

It arrived in the post yesterday and I have not been able to put it down since I cracked it open.  It's beautifully written and I am really enjoying it.  I highly recommend it to anyone.  I think it is a runaway Best Seller!

 I am hoping...
I posted one of my favourite scriptures on my FB page last evening.  I often post favourite quotes etc. on there.  Not because I am trying to convert anyone or for any other reason other than the fact that I love to share the things I love with others.  I figure if they inspire me they might inspire someone else.  This is the scripture:

And whosoever  receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up. D&C 84: 88

 I have never had any negative comments before about anything I have posted on my FB page.  Yesterday was the first time.  There are those that would say this isn't scripture because it does not come from the Bible and is not cannonized.  I say that Scripture is all that inspires one to be a better person and to live a better life.  I make it a point to always respect other's belief's and religions, and I would hope that other's would respect mine.

I am hearing...
Nothing new really. Mitzie is snoring away on the sofa. The keys are tapping. The birds are singing. The odd car drives by. The clock is ticking. It's very quiet actually . . . a typical early morning.

Around the house...

I have always dreamed of having a swing on a front porch.  A place that I could sit on summer evenings and watch the world walk by.  A place to relax and feel all cosy and comforted.  Of course one has to actually have a front porch in order to have a front porch swing . . . but then again, one has to have a dream in order to have a dream come true . . . 

One of my favourite things . . .
Is watching old films and television shows.  This week we have watched Gone With The Wind, The Glen Miller Story and two of the Walton's films that they made.  (We finished watching all of the series and now are doing the movies.)  I don't know what it is about these old movies and shows . . .  but I never tire of them.  I can watch them over and over again.  There is no swearing, hardly any violence, if any at all . . . no gratuitous sex . . .  they're just sweeter.  In our lesson in Relief Society on Sunday we were talking about how much things have changed in the world over the past 20 or 30 years.  I am not sure if it has become a more dangerous place than it always was, or if it just seems so because nothing is kept sacred anymore and we read more about things that happen, not only locally but around the World and years ago we never used to hear about them.  There seems to be a general loss of traditional values . . . I guess I love to watch these old films and shows because they take me back to a gentler, sweeter time . . .

Something new about me ...
I am very squeamish when it comes to food.  I know . . . that doesn't seem possible, but there are certain things you could coat with chocolate and I still would never eat them, not knowingly at any rate.  Snake, frogs legs, snails, squid, insects of any kind . . . these all come to mind right away.  I also don't like fish that tastes really fishy or shellfish of any kind.  Yes, I only like boring mild flavoured fish.  I also don't think I would enjoy eating rodents or things like pigeon, kangaroo, ostrich or turtle, etc.  I am not fond of game at all, so I doubt very much that I could eat them either!  I do think I would starve first.  But then again . . . one never knows for sure do they?  I hope I never have to find out!!

One of my guilty pleasures ...
love marshmallows.  I love the way they feel in my mouth.  I love the way they taste.  I love that they don't have any fat in them.  I know they have lots of suger, but c'est la vie!  You can't have everything!

A few plans for the rest of the week...
I am going for a haircut tomorrow, then we are having our Relief Society Additonal Meeting for April on Thursday evening.  On Saturday I am going to Runcorn and Sheilagh, Trish and I are going to the big craft show at Aintree.  We went last year and had a blast!  I can't wait!  There is always sooooo much to see and do.   The best part is sharing it with two lovely ladies.  We are also going to pop into Ikea.  Can you believe I have never been to an Ikea????  I know!!  I am looking forward to that too!!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

“The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself."

~Henry Miller (1891 - 1980)

I find joy in everything around me . . . in the very minute, and in the very large.  I look at the world through eyes that find awe and wonder in everything . . . with eyes that never fail to see the magnificence of the Creator's handiwork, and a heart that cherishes it all completely.

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


You cannot go through life on "borrowed light."
~Dieter F Uchtdorf 

We need to find out own light, and once we've found it, we need to care for it, strengthen it and keep it burning  . . . our testimonies of the truth are probably one of the most valuable things we will ever have and we must guard them very carefully.

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!


Cooking in The English Kitchen today . . . some delicious Buffalo Turkey Burgers!  Oh these are fabulous if I don't say so myself!!


Monday 23 April 2012

Primrose lane . . .

The Primrose blooms when the insects are still very few, and because of this, its flowers are often not pollinated. Shakespeare, in "The Winter's Tale," has drawn a poetic metaphor: "the pale primroses who die unmarried". 
Its name reflects its early birth; in the language of flowers, it has inspired the symbol of the first youth. Lovers have endeavored to tell the beloved: "The key to my heaven is in your heart." with this flower.
Like everything announcing the new season and the renewal of the year, the primrose is also a symbol of good luck and good wishes (for example in England, where such a plant is also known as "bunch of keys"). 

The primrose is considered a "Plant of Fairies".  (Flowers of Springtime, the Primrose and other flowers.)

(If you want to listen to the video, turn off the music at the bottom of this page.)

Although I was familiar with the song Primrose Lane . . . as it was one that I heard often when I was growing up . . . I don't think I ever saw or knew what an actual Primrose was before I moved over here to the UK.  There is, indeed a very virginal quality about them . . . these "pale primroses, that die unmarried."  There is a unique green tinge in their yellowness which gives them a very ethereal look.

With crinkled leaves . . . cool to the touch, these little clumps, like shy maidens, are to be found . . . not in the full glare of the sun, but huddled together in quite and secluded places.

The scent of the Primrose is something which cannot be put into words.  It is fresh  . . . like wet earth, but also faint and elusive.  No direct assault on the nose like a whiff of expensive Parisian perfume, but in inexplainable exhalation from the very soul of the Primrose itself, which puts one in mind of  far away childhood and distant woods of ancient memories . . . one thinks of fairies which dance around toadstool rings, celebrating the arrival of Spring in a way that only fairies can . . .

We are definitely experiencing the joys of April showers right now.  The skies are beautifully blue and gloriously filled with sunshine at one moment, and then  . . . a mere few moments later they fill up with dark cloud and the drops begin to fall.  Tis quite amazing really.  I don't think I've ever lived in a place where the weather can change so dramatically in just a matter of moments.  These April days are so changeable one must only venture out if well equipped and prepared for any kind of weather.  Such is England in the spring . . .

We had a very unique fireside at our chapel last night.  (A fireside is what we call an extra meeting that is put on occasionally, where all are invited to attend or not as they wish.  Many bring friends, and there are usually refreshments afterwards.  They can follow any topic and can be at once entertaining, and soul enriching.)  We normally don't venture out on Sunday evenings, but we did want to attend last night as our friend Eric was presenting a devotional based on his recent trip to Israel.  It was on the atonement of the Saviour, but done in a very unique way,  using the olive tree, which had really affected Eric right to his core from his very first moments on Israeli soil.  I wish I could describe to you what he shared with us last evening, but I don't think I could ever adequately find the words.  I was quite moved to tears, and came away with a completely new awareness and understanding of the atonement.  I don't think I'll ever see it in the same way again.  Oh what a blessed and precious gift we have been given.  I do so wish more people were aware of it.  What a different world we would be living in today were that so . . .

I am always a bit baffled by people and their ideas.  Oftimes these days, they tend to pick and choose what they are going to believe from the scriptures . . . you will hear them say that all the happenings in the world and on the earth at the moment are clear signs of the end times . . . and yet they are not moved to make any changes in their lives or to do anything any differently than they have ever done.   I don't think there is any halfway with the scriptures . . . it is all or nothing for me.  They are either all true, or all not true.  You cannot cherry pick . . . and if they are all true, then it behooves us to take action, before it is too late . . .

Oh, such deep thoughts, this morning.  ☺

"Since the beginning of time, love has been the source of both the highest bliss and the heaviest burdens. At the heart of misery from the days of Adam until today, you will find the love of wrong things. And at the heart of joy, you will find the love of good things."And the greatest of all good things is God." 
~Dieter F. Uchtdorf

A simple supper in The English Kitchen today . . . Bacon Chops and Fried Potatoes.


Sunday 22 April 2012

Sunday thoughts . . .


My sister and I were talking on the computer yesterday. Oh, how very grateful I am for modern technology which allows me the luxury of being able to communicate with my family in this way.  You just can't beat instant gratification can you?


Anyways, we started talking about the age we are now and how quickly our lives seem to have passed thus far . . . old age has amazingly crept up on us without us even noticing, and here we are in our mid fifties.  Where have the years gone?  I still feel the same inside as I did 20, 30 or even 40 years ago.  It's that first glance in the mirror in the morning that is a shocker . . . when I see that old woman looking back at me!  Where did she come from???  Anyways, she is here now and I don't think she is going to be leaving.  LOL


I can understand now why they say "Youth is wasted on the young."  As a teenager, I had no thought for tomorrow.  The only thing that really mattered was today.  I thought 30 was an ancient age, and ever so far away and quite removed from who I was . . . way off in the distant future.

Then as a young mum, I was so busy with all those little hands to watch, and all that laundry to take care of, and that house to keep clean.  At one point, I actually had three children in diapers, and I could not afford to use disposables, so they were cloth diapers.  However did I manage???  I just did, but it boggles my mind now.  Then there was the time they all had chicken pox at the same time.  My youngest at that time was only about 9 months old, so that was a real treat.  NOT!


I had no time then to think of getting older . . . the years just passed and my children grew, became teens, and then adults and then out the door they went . . .  one at a time, and my nest was empty.  And here I am sitting on a cool Spring morning, wondering where the years have disappeared to.

I wish I had known enough to keep a journal when my children were small . . . although in truth,  I probably wouldn't have had enough time or quiet to write in it.  Our church admonishes us to all keep journals, and so I do now . . . but I wasn't a member way back then so I didn't.  I wish there had been such a thing as scrap-booking back then as well, making memory books.  These young mums today have a wonderful advantage with all that they have available to them to enable them to document their children's growing up years . . . so nothing gets forgotten in the ether of an aging mind.


Oh, I remember lots of things, special occasions and events . . . Boxing Day Family Sleigh Rides, Easter Egg Hunts, Birthday parties, etc. . . . but it is the small things that escape me.  I have to sit and really think hard to remember those smaller details, and even then most of them escape me.  Nobody told me that it would be this way, so all you younger mum's pay heed.  Put it down on paper now, because one day you will be an old woman and you won't be able to remember the special little things.  Perhaps I would remember better had I some photographs to look at.


Speaking of photographs, I do have a few, but there are not a lot really with me in them.  I was usually the one taking the photograph!  Another lesson for you young mums.  Make sure someone takes your photograph with your babies too!  You may not appreciate it at the time, but in later years you sure will.


I got my new business cards in the post yesterday.  I'm very pleased with how they turned out actually!  Now I have something to tuck in with my orders when I send them out, and to pass along in real time.


I also had some postcards printed so that I could see how they turned out as well, and I quite like them too.  I think when I get a few more recipe posters done, I'll have them all done in cards as well.

 I was also able to finish this piece of mine yesterday.  I had started her a few days before, but wasn't able to get at her until yesterday.  This is a favourite thought of mine.  I am a great believer in prayer and in the power of prayer.  I think she looks very contemplative and that cat looks quite wishful.  That is prayer in a nutshell . . . contemplation and hope.

"If life gets too hard to stand . . . kneel."
~Gordon B Hinckley

 Here is a little picture that I took of our Mitzie yesterday.  She was admiring a cake I had just baked which was sitting on a cooling rack on the table.  Soft as butter, she is . . . soft as butter and she did so want a piece of cake.  We have to always be very careful to put food far out of her reach, because she is not as well behaved as our Jess was.  Jess would never touch anything unless we gave her permission.  Mitzie . . . well, she's a little piggie.  Todd made the mistake of setting his sandwich down one day and he left the room for a second.  When he came back in she was holding it for him.  In her mouth of course!  Oh we do love her so very much, despite her mischevious ways!

Baking in The English Kitchen today . . . a delicious Cinnamon Drizzle Loaf!
Happy Sunday!!