Wednesday 28 November 2012

Wednesday this and that . . .

Source: via Sara on Pinterest

So today Todd and I are going to go to the Temple. It is a place I love to go to and a place on earth where I feel closer to God than I ever do anywhere else.  Laura asked me about Temples yesterday so I thought I would tell you what our Temples are.

First of all we are the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  We are Christ's church here on earth.  Mormon is a nickname given to us because I have an additional book of Scripture called the Book of Mormon, but we actually prefer to be called by our real name.  Most communities today will have a regular meeting house or chapel, which is were Latter Day Saints go to worship and partake of the Sacrament on Sunday mornings.  We also use this meeting house at other times during the week for various meetings, etc.

Please play the video as it is beautiful and has some lovely music and pictures of various temples around the world.

Our Temples are completely different than our meeting houses.  First of all they are a lot fancier than our chapels are, and there are not as many of them in the world, although we do build more every year.  The Preston Temple which is near us is the most elaborate and beautiful building which has been built in the UK in over 200 years.  It is a very special place as are all of our temples.  We feel our Temple(s) to be the literal house of the Lord, and it is revered as such.

We go to the Temple to make and keep sacred covenants with God, and to feel close to Him and to the Saviour.  It is a place of beauty and reverence, un-spotted by the world and worldly cares.  It is a place where we can do sacred work for our families.

It is a  holy place of worship and because making covenants with God is such a solemn responsibility, individuals cannot enter the temple to receive their endowments or be sealed in marriage for eternity until they have fully prepared themselves and been members of the Church for at least a year. Throughout history, the Lord has commanded His people to build temples. The Church is working to build temples all over the world to make temple blessings more available for a greater number of Heavenly Father's children.

Temples are places of learning. Their principal purpose is to provide ordinances necessary for the children of God to enable them to return to dwell with Him. Temple ordinances lead to the greatest blessings available through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Everything in the Church . . . the meetings and activities, the missionary efforts, the lessons taught and the hymns . . . all lead to the work done in holy temples.

Those who enter the temple must be worthy, which means that they keep the commandments and are prepared to make and keep sacred temple covenants. In two interviews . . . one with a member of a bishopric or a branch president and another with a member of a stake presidency or a mission president . . . Church members certify their worthiness to enter the temple. In these interviews, the priesthood leader asks about the individual's personal conduct and worthiness. Those who are worthy receive a temple recommend, which allows them to enter the temple.

It was in the Preston Temple that Todd and I were sealed together as a married couple, for "Time and all Eternity."   We are literally married forever in the eyes of God, a blessing which goes beyond the boundaries of this earth and into the eternities, not just until death do we part.

I love to go there because it always reminds me of that special day that we knelt across from each other at an altar, holding hands and made sacred covenants to each other and to our Heavenly Father.  I love to go there because I can feel my ancestors all around me and I can feel the presence of my Heavenly Father and the Saviour.  I love to go there because it is peaceful . . . and sacred . . . and beautiful, and . . . quite simply . . . heaven on earth.  It is not a secret place . . . but a sacred place, and a place I love to be.

This is a photograph I took of our Mitzie yesterday morning . . . she is so comfortable and obviously in seventh heaven, totally relaxed.


This is a picture I took of her about 4 hours later.  Yes, she had moved from the sofa in the interim, but this is obviously her favourite place to be in the daytime in between playing and eating and walking and all sorts.  I thought it rather funny that she keeps the same position each time and wanted to show you.  It made me smile and I hope it makes you smile too!!

This is what I was working on yesterday afternoon.  It is a Marie Antoinette Matchbox Doll.  I took the photo last night so the colour isn't very good on it and you can't really see all the detail.  There are flowers on her crown and adorning her dress and her shoes are sparkly.

And this is what's on the back, again the colour isn't good because of the time of day I took the photograph.  Keep Calm & And Eat Cake.
What else would Marie Antoinette say!
I made three of them.  One for a gift exchange I am doing and this is a picture of the box she is being given in:


Which is a complete collage of Marie Antoinette portraits and a Gold Wired Ribbon accent on the side and sparkles etc.  I hope that they like it.  The little Matchbox Doll will be inside.

The other two were made as, one a gift for my son's girlfriend and two for the miniature showing at the Gallery in March.

And that is how I spent my afternoon yesterday.  I love to get in my craft room (still a huge work in progress) and loose myself in my work.

And this was a picture I took of the moon last night as it hung over Blacon where we live.  It looked as if it were in front of the clouds and had rings around it.  I thought it very beautiful.  Of course it was not in front of the clouds . . . but shining so brightly that it looked as if it were!  I found it quite magical and of course that magic doesn't really transfer itself properly to a photograph . . . but I took one anyways.

Don't you find the night time sky magical?  I do . . . I can be looking up at the same moon and stars at the same time a person in another part of the world can.  I think that is amazing.  I once watched an eclipse of the moon with an old boyfriend and he was in a hotel somewhere in the American midwest and I was in Nova Scotia and we were on the telephone together talking about what we were seeing at the same time.  I remember thinking it very cool.  The miracle of modern technology.  Who'd a thunk it.

I also think it's amazing that man has walked on it, and will never forget the moment that Neil Armstrong put his food down onto it's surface and the wonder of that instant.

A thought to carry you through the day:

"Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you."


Cooking in The English Kitchen today . . . Chicken and Mushroom Casserole with Crusty Dumplings.

Happy Day All!


Tuesday 27 November 2012

The Simple Woman's Day Book

FOR TODAY, November 27th, 2012...

Outside My Window...

I'm doing this a lot later this morning so the sun is rising now.  It's usually completely dark, but the computer has been mucking about this morning, which means I've had delay after delay.  It's gonna be one of those days!

I am thinking...

 "Your living is determined not so much by what life brings you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens."
~Lewis L Dunnington

We were greatly encouraged yesterday by a telephone call from my mother in the afternoon.  She had called her GP's office to find out what time they wanted her to go to the hospital.  Her GP's office wasn't sure what she was talking about but told her to come over, and so she did.  She had a talk with her Doctor, who was not the attending physician which she had seen on Friday at the hospital by the way.  Anyways, he told her that he felt there was no need for immediate concern.  That yes there was a shadow there, but where she had had the same shadow some 20 years before and where that had been scar tissue from her having battled pneumonia and pleurisy several times that it was in all likelihood that same thing, but just to be on the safe side he would set her up for a Cat Scan in a few weeks time.  So this was very good news and of course we are greatly encouraged by this.  It doesn't mean she is totally out of the woods of course, but lets just say we are being cautiously  optimistic.  Being optimistic is a good thing.  I believe in the power of prayer combined with positive thinking, which is faith really.  Prayer and faith combined are a formidable thing, so keep those prayers coming.  My mother is truly uplifted by them and thanks you very much!

I am thankful for...

 My faith, which literally helps to carry me through this life we are so blessed to live.  I don't know who, what or where I would be without it.


Also very thankful that Mitzie was given a Clean Bill of Health yesterday at the vet, so yippee!!  We were reminded of course that she needs to lose weight, which we are working on

and the biggest gratitude of all?

To YOU and all of YOUR prayers.  Keep them coming, as we are not totally out of the woods yet, but we can see the light at the edge of the forest!  Thank you all soooooooo much!! 

From the kitchen... 
Well . . .you'll have to just check out The English Kitchen!!

I am wearing...  

Pink and White flannel jim jams.  I've not been able to wear them in a while so it's good.  My slippers too, although I am thinking I may need to get myself a new pair of those!

I am creating...  

This is the first finished illustration in the children's book I am working on with some friends.  I've gotten a lot of the basic sketches done and am waiting for approval of them and then will begin work on coloring them up.  Still working on this with more sketches and coloring in the ones I've already done.

I have been trying to hard to find peppermint sticks so that I could make these for the Christmas Party which I am organizing for the women in my church, but to no avail.  I can get candy canes, but not peppermint sticks.  The theme is Winter Wonderland, memories of a Child's Christmas.  I'll have to put my thinking cap back on and come up with something else!

I just love this idea for Gingerbread Playdoh!  I'd want to play with it myself!  I love Gingerbread anything.

And on that same theme, is this not totally adorable???  There are so many gifted people out there.  I am glad that they are willing to share their ideas with us all.  What did we do before Pinterest???

I am going... 
We want to go to the Temple tomorrow, and then I have the Dentist on Thursday morning.  I am going in for a temporary crown on one of my teeth (the one that broke the other week) and then in a few weeks time I will have the permanent one put on.  Thursday evening brings our annual ladies dinner in Wales.  Each year the women in our ward who want to attend get together at a beautiful restaurant in rural Wales and have dinner together long about the end of November.  Last year was the first time I had gone and we had a lovely time.  I am looking forward to it again this year.  Then on Friday we are taking Mitzie to the dog groomers and we will meet up with our friends Jan and Glyn for a drink while we are waiting for her to be done.  AND, as if that's not enough, on Saturday I am going to play with my crafty friends at a Craft Crop in Wales again.  Happy Days!

I am reading...

Borrowed Light, by Carla Kelly
Julia Darling never expected to cook for some cowboys in Wyoming, but when she breaks off her engagement in Salt Lake City, it's the perfect opportunity for her to escape. Determined to stick the job out, Julia faces her biggest challenge yet - letting go of borrowed light to find her own testimony. Set in the early 1900s.

I am really enjoying this book!  It is a historical romance, but without the smut, and very entertaining.  The characters are very real and the main character is a cook!  Absolutely loving this.  It's refreshing and funny and interesting!  The characters are sweet, loveable and believable.  The perfect escape.  I really love this writer!  Her writing in refreshing and inspiring.


Jesus, a novel,  by Walter Wangerin Jr

With eloquence and beauty, the award-winning author of Book of the Dun Cow, The Book of God, and Paul: A Novel turns his pen to history’s most compelling figure: Jesus of Nazareth. In vibrant language, Walter Wangerin Jr. sweeps away centuries of tradition and reveals a man of flesh-and-heart immediacy. Passionate, intelligent, and irresistibly real, this is a Jesus pulsing with life who will captivate you as thoroughly as he did the men and women who walked with him across Galilee’s golden countryside.
Days of centuries past become today, lit with bright colors of the imagination. Wangerin shows you Jesus through the eyes of the two people who were with him at very the foot of the cross, the two who knew and loved him best: John the apostle, and Jesus’ beloved mother, Mary. . . .

 I am reading this one on my Kindle.  I've read it before, but wanted to read it again.  It's a fab book.  He is a brilliant writer.  I've also read his "Book of God."  Another fab read!  He brings the scriptures to life in a wonderful way.


I am also reading this and enjoying it greatly.  From the Deseret Book Page:

How important are women in the restored church of Jesus Christ? We learn something about the answer to the question from a simple historic fact: In 1842, the Prophet Joseph Smith took time to attend several meetings of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo and give personal instruction to the women there. He did this at a time of great personal turmoil, when persecutions were raging and his responsibilities were heavy. He did it at a time when society barely acknowledged women as having any kind of status at all. On six separate occasions, he taught the women personally about their privileges, their opportunities, their obligations, and the blessings the Lord had in store for them in His kingdom.

 I think it's fabulous, and remarkable that during a time in which women did not even have the right to Vote, the women of our church were given such importance and standing.

 I am hoping...

Source: via Marie on Pinterest

I am hoping that we have a White Christmas.  I hope for this every year and some years I get lucky!!  Best Christmas Present ever!

I am hearing...
Nothing new really. 
Same old sounds, but that's a good thing.  It could be so much worse.  I would hate to have to sit here listening to bombs drop and the like.  We are so blessed to live where we live in the time we are living.

Around the house...

This is the kitchen of my dreams.  I just love it.  I love it's simplicity and the white and the green.  I would probably switch the green out for blue, because I love blue and white in a kitchen . . . but other than that this kitchen is perfect. (Love the Butler's sink!)

And of course a stove like this would just make it perfect wouldn't it!!  I love old stoves.  A friend of mine when we lived in Meaford had bought an older home and it came with a stove just like this.  Fabulous!

I just adore this living room . . . all the colour and everything.  I wonder if Todd would let me introduce some of this colour into ours??  He would probably find it too busy, but me . . . I love it.

One of my favourite things . . .  

Source: via Marie on Pinterest

I have a particular fondness for hearts . . .it has been ever so.  I love them in any way, shape or form.  The best ones of all are the ones that you find in unexpected places I think . . .

They are like unexpected Divine Signatures . . . reminders of His love for us.

Something new about me ...
I think I am a bit hyper active.  I always have about a bazillion things going on in my head at any given time, which makes it hard for me to concentrate on any one thing, but when I do get focused . . . watch out!  I'm smokin!!!

One of my guilty pleasures ...

Cake, and it doesn't matter what kind.  If there is cake in the house . . . I'm all over it.  It's almost dangerous to have one around because I cannot leave it alone.  It is my only weakness . . . ok, so it's not my only one, but it's one of my greatest ones!

Pet Peeves... 

Young people who sit in the old people seats on the bus and then ignore old people that get on, who then end up having to struggle to the back of the bus or having to stand, or people who get on the bus and plunk their bags onto the seat next to them so that people end up having to stand because there is no where for them to sit.  I think it is so rude.  Oh, and while I am at it, people who smoke INSIDE bus shelters.  I guess they think the No Smoking sign doesn't mean them.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

"If you can dream it, you can do it."
~Walt Disney

You got to have a dream in order to have a dream come true.  I believe in dreams and in dreams coming true.  Don't ever let the world dictate to you who and what you can become.  Don't let fear of the unknown or failure  keep you from trying.  The only failure in life is not trying.

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

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.  Talent will not' nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.  Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.  Education will not; the world is full of educated failures.  Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."
~Calvin Coolidge
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 . . .  baby sized Victorian Sponges!  Nom nom!!


Monday 26 November 2012

Monday morning this and that . . .

I spoke to my mother yesterday afternoon when we got home from church. They were having their first real snowstorm of the season  and we reminisced about how exciting an event  that used to be as children, despite the 20 odd year difference in our ages.  She was very upbeat and we lifted each other.  I won't be calling her today as she will be busy getting settled into the hospital.  She is not even sure yet what time she is to be admitted. I feel very positive about this whole thing.   I have laid it all at the feet of the Lord and am resting in His promises and His provisions.

"Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed; for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest."
~Joshua 1:9

I wanted to call your attention to another prayer concern this morning.  My eldest daughter, Eileen (the one that got married in July) boarded with a woman named Brenda for a number of years before she got married.  Brenda is like a second mom to her and I will always be so very grateful to her for the way she has supported and loved my daughter.  Brenda's daughter had a little baby boy last Spring, her first grandchild.  His name is Logan.  I only found out yesterday that Logan has a type of cancer called a  neuroblastoma.  It often just goes away in small children once their immune system kicks in at around 9 months of age and he is to all intents and purposes a healthy happy normal little baby boy, but as a great believer in  the power of prayer I know how much it helps so, if you all wouldn't mind adding Logan to your prayer list, I would appreciate it so very much and I know Brenda would as well.

We had a lovely service at church yesterday morning.  The talks were wonderfully uplifting and soul enriching and there was a baby blessing.  I just love baby blessings.  There is always a beautiful spirit in attendance.  We do not baptize or christen babies in our church. It is a simple procedure. It takes place in the chapel during a regular Sunday meeting. The father or a priesthood holder along with other priesthood holders gather around the baby. They put one hand underneath the child, and one on the shoulder of the man to their left. The person performing the blessing announces the name of the baby and then gives the child a personal blessing of health, and future development such as education, marriage, etc. as the spirit inspires.  It's very beautiful and moving to witness all of these righteous men, both family and friends of the family exercising their priesthood in such a way.  I always feel the loss of not having been able to witness this same blessing pronounced upon my own children, but at the same time my heart is filled with joy at all that we have been given from God, and the beautiful doctrines and ordinances of this church I love so very much.

Mitzie is going to the Vet again this morning to be given a clean bill of health, hopefully!  She finished the last of her antibiotics yesterday.  I have been rolling them up in a bit of cheese and giving them to her before each meal.  I think she will wonder this morning why her breakfast has not been preceded by a tasty bit of cheese!!  She is a really smart little cookie, and it doesn't take her very long at all to take something like that on board and make it an integral part of her daily routine.  She loves to go to the Spar with us (like a 7/11 shop).  She always waits in the car with Todd.  She knows I always buy her a cheese string thingie when I am in there.  It's a great adventure for her!  I wish I could get that excited about a cheese string!

It's hard to believe that we are already into the last week of November and the year is drawing down to it's close.  I find this year has passed by very quickly.  Does anyone else feel that way?  It's like time is speeding up or something.  WE have more time saving devices than we have ever had and yet . . . it seems we have less and less time.  Funny how that goes.

Source: via Marie on Pinterest

I hope that it is a good week for each of you my dear friends.  One filled with lots of love, hope and blessings of joy.

Happy Thought for the day:

"Every kindness spreads in a shining circle . . . see how good people everywhere set rings of light moving across the darkness, rings that link and interlock and keep at bay the forces of the night."
-Pam Brown

May I be a ring of light today and indeed every day.


Cooking in The English Kitchen today . . . Salmon Loaf with Creamed Peas.


Sunday 25 November 2012

Sunday Morning This and That . . .

First of all I want to thank everyone for their love and support and most importantly prayers for my dear mum.  I spoke to her for about an hour yesterday and She is trying to remain upbeat about it all, which is good.  The Doctor actually told her that she had lung cancer, which I don't really understand. I do not know how they can know this for sure, without taking an MRI or something of that kind.  She's going in to hospital tomorrow for a week and there will be further tests done so we will see.  I know they told my dad about 12 years ago that he had lung cancer and he didn't.  He had TB.  At the time we felt as if we had been visited by a miracle and so I am praying for a similar miracle here.  I deeply believe in the power of prayer and in miracles.

Source: via Marie on Pinterest

We popped into Chester after I spoke to my mum as I had some Christmas Cards to drop off at the Gallery.  The city was the busiest I had seen it in a while and looking very festive to say the least.  They have their Christmas Outdoor Market set up again this year and it's just lovely with lots of medieval looking stalls and everyone in them dressed up in Dickensian style.  I took some photos but they are rather naff I'm afraid.  I think my head was all over the place yesterday and I wasn't very focused in what I took photos of.

There was a really colourful ride set up for the kiddies as well.


All the shop windows were looking particularly festive as well.  This is the bake shop up near the forum.  I thought it very pretty and pretty tempting, but I did not succumb!

Source: via Marie on Pinterest

The Chester City Tour Bus is all done up for Christmas as well and it was buzzing through town, dropping artificial snow through the air.  It was really festive and impressive.  It was too fast for me to grab a photo, but I found this one on flickr.

Source: via Marie on Pinterest

The inside of the Grovenor Shopping Arcade.  Very pretty and festive looking and all of the shop windows, just beautiful.  They have really gone all out in there.

Even the Victoria Jubilee Clock looked festive, although I have to admit I think the street decorations are a bit subdued in the day time . . . it's only at night that they really sparkle and shine.

 (photo pinched from Flickr)

The Christmas Season has officially arrived at Chester.  I do so love this city and it's spirit.  It was really buzzing yesterday with lots of Buskers and people.


I expect it will become even more so with the run up to Christmas.  I am not overly fond of the crowds, so I will probably not go in again before Christmas unless on a week day, but most certainly not on a Saturday!


Another reason I had wanted to go into town was that I wanted to look for a rag doll for my Granddaughter for Christmas.  I had bought her a Sucre D'orge dress set in denim and red yonks ago and I was going to make her a special doll as you know, but time has just run away from me and so I recognize that it won't happen now.

I saw this at the Build A Bear shop.  It was so sweet.  I love gingerbread men.  They are my absolute favourite thing, but . . . I just couldn't justify the expense of this.  I so wanted to though . . . I really did.  A Gingerbread Hello Kitty . . . so sweet.

I continued on down to the Disney Store.  (I was having a good day yesterday arthritis wise which was great!)  I fell in love with these mini mouse shoes and thought they would go perfectly with the dress.  They are so cute and sparkly and RED!  Just perfect.  What little girl would not love a pair of red sparkly shoes.  When I was a little girl I always wanted a pair of red shoes.  Even better that Mini  Mouse adorns the front.  I feel fairly safe in showing these as my granddaughter doesn't go on line yet, at only 22 months of age and my daughter is not the least bit interested in my page or what I get up to, so I am pretty certain the surprise won't be spoilt!

Of course this had to come home with me as well.  I wasn't going to do Christmas Gifts this year, just money . . .  but where I had already bought the dress  earlier in the year . . . well, you know.   Besides, with the shoes it was only £7.99, a real bargain. The other grandchildren have had years of me buying them gifts, but little Maryn has not.

After that we came home and I tried to settle into doing some work but I just couldn't get my mind to settle on anything at all, so we plunked ourselves in front of the telly and watched mindless drivel for the rest of the evening.  And that was Saturday . . .

But today is a new day and I get to go to church and recharge my spiritual battery and I will be talking to my mom again this afternoon.  I will be sure to pass on to her all of your best wishes and prayers.  I know she will be very touched and encouraged by them.  I do believe I have the best friends in the world.  You are all so very special to me.

“Your Father in heaven knows your name and knows your circumstance. He hears your prayers. He knows your hopes and dreams, including your fears and frustrations. And He knows what you can become through faith in Him.” 
~Jeffrey R Holland  

This is a promise I cling to.


Cinnamon Roll Pancakes in The English Kitchen today.