Thursday, 31 January 2013

Thursday thoughts . . .

When I was a little girl, I had a book which I just loved called . . . 365 Bedtime Stories, by Nan Gilbert. There are several versions of this book, but this is a picture of the one that I had,  which was published in 1955.    In it were 365 stories, one for each day of the year, most revolving around the children on a make-believe street called, "What-A-Jolly Street."  I just adored this book, so much so that I wore it completely out.   It was very well loved.   For years and years I have looked for a copy of it . . . but alas, anytime I have found one, it has been far beyond my capacity to pay the price asked for it.

Never mind . . . it lives on in my mind, just like the characters and stories on it's pages.  Each story had a moral value and taught me something, but there was much more than that on it's pages.   To a child whose father was in the air-force, and who lived far away from any extended family at that time, this book gave me a sense of community and a sense of belonging.   I never knew my Grandparents really . . . not like other children did . . . but there was an elderly woman in the book named Mrs Apricot and the neighborhood children always gathered on her front porch where she would tell them stories.  She was everything that I imagined a Grandmother to be.    I had vague memories of my own Grandmother, but she had died when I was 5 years old and so they were quite dim.

Source: via Marie on Pinterest

Inside the front cover and probably the back, I can't remember . . . there was a map of the street which told you which house belonged to which family . . . there was a school and a store and of course Mrs Apricots house and all of the children's homes.    I used to daydream about what it might be like to live on just such a street as What-A-Jolly  Street.  I took many a trip down that street in my little girl mind.

Source: via Marie on Pinterest

Yesterday afternoon we went to see the film Lincoln.  It was something which we really wanted to see together before I went to Canada and being Wednesday, it was Orange 2 for 1 day at the movies, where Orange customers can get a free ticket into the cinema for every one bought.

We really enjoyed it, although it was a bit wordy at the beginning . . .  but I got such a clear picture of how Congress works and of just what a great man Lincoln was and how very much he did for his country.  When we were watching it I thought of my old Bedtime story book.

I first learned of President Lincoln when I was a small girl . . . reading about him on the pages of my Bedtime story book.  I remember reading how as a little boy he grew up in a one room log cabin . . . about how he learned to read by firelight and how he would use burnt pieces of charcoal to write his letters with . . . and about how he grew up to be the President of America, one of the greatest nations in the world, from his very humble beginnings.

It gave my little girl heart hope for the future, for . . .  if a backwoods boy of such poor beginnings could become the President . . . what were the great things that I could do?  The possibilities were endless and amazing!  It is a wonder how a child's mind works, isn't it?   Anything is possible for them.  They are not bound by the restrictions and fears which bind the adult mind . . .

I would highly recommend seeing this film.  The acting in it is superb,  as is the cinematography.   It is beautifully and brilliantly filmed.  But then again . . . you would expect nothing less from Steven Spielberg.  I recognized many, many film stars in this film,  and I thought that Daniel Day Lewis and Sally Field were excellently cast as President Lincoln and his wife Mary.

We talked in the car on the way home and wondered at all of the black people in America that suddenly found themselves free . . . what an amazing thing that must have been for them, and frightening too, I would imagine . . . what next for them???  I reckon that would be another interesting film or documentary for someone to make.  There surely must have been some difficult struggles for many, many of them to overcome.   And isn't it just so amazing that a race once so repressed and ill treated by the American people. . . now has the pride of being able to call one of their own Mr President.   I am glad for that, for now all men truly are equal, which is what Mr Lincoln wanted for the people of America, and as it should be.

Yesterday's Silver Lining . . . we stopped at McDonald's after for a drink and we saw the sweetest little toddler.    She had pretty red hair . . . the kind of red hair you wish you could have, and big brown eyes.  She was just beautiful.  She was wearing a pink tutu and her father was in the army, as he was wearing his fatigues.  She smiled at us and brightened our day.   A smile freely given makes every day better don't you think?

A thought to carry with you through the remainder of today . . .

"If we pay close attention we will come to realize that no day is the same as another.  Every morning brings with it a hidden blessing.
~Paulo Coelho 

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Cooking in The English Kitchen today . . . Roast Lemon Chicken. Simple and delicious.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Wednesday Thoughts . . .

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Early in December I placed four hyacinth bulbs into a bowl of mould and popped them into the dark cupboard which lies beneath our stairs.  I have been feeding them occasionally with a bit of water, but I'm afraid that during the whole of the Christmas season with all of the excitement and all the sniffles and snuffles and all that was going on with my mother's illness, they were completely . . . entirely . . . totally . . . forgotten and neglected.

It was only this morning that I remembered that they were there and I popped my head into the cupboard to see how they were doing, expecting fully to see that they would be sitting there dry and lifeless.  I was so amazed . . . the impossible had happened, and there in the bowl the mould was pierced by three green tips and shoots.

These spring bulbs always look so dry and unpromising when you put them into the soil.   It's difficult to imagine them bursting out into a blaze of coloured blooms.   I am always so amazed when that happens, and when it happens despite my neglect, it is even more amazing and surprising.  A holy mystery . . . a miracle . . .
I placed the bowl on our dining room windowsill this morning and my heart was filled with the holiness of this miracle . . .  and yes . . .  gratitude for my Heavenly Father who, even when I fall asleep at the wheel, remains steadfast and true despite my neglect.

Miracles inspire reverence don't you think?

Sometimes I think I am a little bit like a dusty dry bulb . . . looking and feeling  forlorn and without promise, and yet . . . the miracle is that He still makes something of me and helps me to be all that I can be, despite my own neglect from time to time.    I love the thought that I am a Holy miracle.

“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

Just my thoughts this morning.

 I felt really ill last evening, nauseated and like I was coming down with something and so I went to bed early.   My dreams were dusted with bad things . . . I dreamed I was giving my youngest son a bath, and when I went to get him out of the tub, he was laying there beneath the water . . . and he had drowned. I  dragged him out of the bathtub and was holding his lifeless body in my arms, frantically trying to blow life back into him and failing.   I made myself wake up, and was so happy that it was only a dream . . . and that it was not real.   I am grateful for dreams that allow me to wake up from them and know that they did not really happen.  But I am left wondering why would I dream such a thing . . .

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There's some tasty Malted White Hot Chocolate over in The English Kitchen this morning and I'm doing a little bit of cook-bookery!

Happy Day all!

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

The Simple Woman's Day Book

FOR TODAY, January 29th, 2013...

Outside My Window...

The sky is still quite dark and it's very quiet. We had terribly strong winds last night.   I am wondering what the garden will look like when the sun comes up.   I wonder if the roof on our shed has blown away again.   It has a habit of doing that when it is really windy!  Thankfully we've always been able to find it in our neighbors yard!

I am thinking...
We take for granted the miraculous dance of creation, but the truly enlightened continuously see it as if for the first time.
~Wes "Scoop" Nisker

I love the world I am living in.  It is a beautiful miraculous place.   I do not know how anyone can look at the world and not see that it was created and designed by a higher power.    It did not come about by accident.

I am thankful for...

There is a huge difference between "wants" and "needs."  I have all that I need.   In a world where roughly 80% live in abject poverty, I am grateful for my many, many blessings.

From the kitchen... 
I need to bake a cake.  I am craving cake.   Naughty me.
I am wearing...  

A pink flower sprigged nightie.   It's trimmed with lace at the neckline and sleeves.   I do so love pretty night things.
I am creating...  

We have both made good use out of our wheat bags this winter.   You can never have too many wheat bags and this pin has a fabulous tutorial on how to make your own Lavender scented ones!  Bonus!

Isn't this heart pocket totally adorable?   The perfect place to hold all of your Valentines!  I may make one of these!   Not that I get a lot of Valentines, but I might make myself some Valentines, you never know!

Loving this idea of how to make a button stamp using an old thread spool!   Isn't Pinterest just the most fabulous place to find wonderful ideas such as this!   I love it!

Source: via Marie on Pinterest

I just love this bookcase which has been made into a doll's house.  It is not fabulous???  People are so inventive!  I see something like this and I think to myself . . . WHY didn't I think of that!

I am going... 
We have not made a lot of plans for this week.   I have my RS Presidency Meeting on Wednesday evening but that is basically it.   NOT A LOT!  I have some projects I need to finish before I go away and I need to think about what I am going to take with me.  It won't be long now.

I am reading...

The Snow Child, by Eowyn Ivey. I am totally  in love with this book.
A little girl plays in the snow with a childless couple, but is she real? The Russian fairy story of Snegurochka has been embroidered by writers from Alexander Ostrovsky to Raymond Briggs. It is the story of a snow man or woman who comes to life, and draws her creators into a magical world. Then she melts. In some versions, the power of love destroys her. In others she gets too close to a campfire and disappears. In this debut novel, The Snow Child, Eowyn Ivey sets the tale in the wilderness of Alaska, where the elderly couple of Jack and Mabel have relocated, after the birth of a stillborn child.

One evening after a playful snowball fight, Jack carves a girl out of snow. In the morning, the couple catches sight of a tiny child running among the pines. She is dressed in the snow girl’s red hat and gloves. When she presses her nose to the window, her face is a mirror of the one Jack carved out of snow. The couple has created a daughter.

But is she real? She won’t be pinned down, and always runs away into the landscape. Her tracks are covered by morning. Nobody else believes she exists, and none of their neighbors can see her. Mabel’s friend Esther is skeptical. Winters are long in Alaska, she says. “You start seeing things you’re afraid of … or things you’ve always wished for.”

This is a magical tale and I am really enjoying reading it.   The imagery of Alaska is fantastic and you find yourself wondering all the way through  is she real?  I highly recommend.  

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire by Amanda Foreman.   This, too, is on my Kindle.   It's a historical autobiography.  I did see the film with Kiera Knightly a few years back, which was quite good.   Georgiana Cavendish, the Duchess of Devonshire was what you might call the first "IT" girl and lived over 200 years ago.   She was born into the Spencer family at the family seat of Althorp, which means she was an ancestor of Princess Diana.   There were a lot of parallels in their lives which I find absolutely fascinating.  It's a long book, but I am looking forward to reading it.

Doesn't everyone read more than one book at a time?   I could never read just one at a time.   I need to have two or three on the go.

 I am hoping...
I am hoping and praying that the results of my mother's tests are good and that we have a very positive prognosis to look forward to.  

I am hearing... 
Ordinary morning sounds.   My play list, Mitzie snoring . . . the clock ticking.  My fingers clicking on the keys.  Nothing changes . . .

Around the house...

I love this idea of framing a panel of Wallpaper.    I think I may try this out in my craft room.  It would surely add a touch of interest I think!   I am loving it!

Source: via Mica on Pinterest

I love, Love, LOVE this kitchen.  I love the airiness of it and the brightness.   It's fresh and open and just delightful.   I keep looking at it and trying to figure out a way that I could make mine more this way.   Of course mine is very small . . . but there must be a way I could make it look as fresh and open as this does!

Oh how I long for a front veranda with just such a swing to relax in on hot summer days.    Todd would say . . . first you need to have the hot summer days, but I say . . . first you have to have the dream.

One of my favourite things . . .  

Vintage print fabrics.  I am not sure why I love them so, but I do.   I would love to have an assortment of them . . . but knowing me, I would not be able to use them . . . why I don't know.   I love to have these things and to be able to touch them . . . like my old buttons, but I can't bring myself to use them.   It's just plain wrong.   I think I need help.  I think I have a tendency to hoard.

Something new about me ...
I hated ground beef when I was a child. I absolutely hated it with a passion;It made me want to gag whenever I had to eat it. My mother would make me sit at the table for hours trying to force me to eat it. I have even thrown up forcing myself to eat it. I am not sure if it is a texture thing or what. My father used to marvel at how I could eat a plate of macaroni and meat with tomatoes, and the meat would be left on the plate. I could scoop it out of all the holes in the macaroni and discard it. I was quite good at that. Doing this probably helped me to develop patience. I am at a point where I can eat it now, but I still am not very fond of eating it mixed up with other things.   It is the texture of it, I think . . . and if I encounter even the smallest piece of gristle in it . . . that's it.   I am done.  I can't eat any more of it.

One of my guilty pleasures ...

They say a picture says a thousand words . . . need I say more??  Potato Chips and Chocolate . . . thou art my nemesis!

Pet Peeves...    

Litter bugs.  I always want to chase after them and tell them I think they dropped something . . . in a very polite way of course.    I never do though because I think that the type of person that drops their garbage on the street is also the type of person that wouldn't think twice about hurling verbal abuse at you!   And so, I bite my tongue, pick it up and put it in the first garbage bin I come across.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

“Savor the smiles and laughter of your children . . . there is nothing more important."

I hope that I gave my children a happy childhood.   I like to think that I did anyways.   They seem to be well adjusted and content adults.   I did my best and even though I messed up from time to time, I like to think that my best more than made up for the times I messed up.

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

There are only two ways to live your life.  One is as though nothing is a miracle.  The other is as though everything is a miracle.
~Albert Einstein

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 . . . Grilled Bread Salad with Basil and Cherry Tomatoes.
A delicious way to use up stale bread!

Happy Day all!

Monday, 28 January 2013

About a boy . . .

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One of the younger  sisters in my church congregation just had a baby boy recently.    I saw him for the first time yesterday morning and I spent a few minutes in the hallway in between our meetings talking to her and admiring this newest wee one, come down from our Heavenly Father.   His fingers so tiny and delicate . . . that beautiful little face, so perfect . . . so sweet.    It reminded me of when my own boys were babies, and my girls too.   It was so long ago, and yet . . . it seemed like just yesterday that I was holding them in just the same way and they, too . . . were fresh from our Heavenly Father's presence.    My grandson Luke will be turning three in a couple of days.   He is my oldest son's youngest son . . . this is for him.

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Somewhere between the innocence of babyhood and the dignity of manhood, we discover a delightful little creature which is called a boy.   These creatures come in all different sizes, weights and colours, but all come with the same goal in life which is to enjoy every second of every minute of every hour of every day and to protest loudly when that day comes to an end and the last minute is finished and the adult male in the house packs em off to bed at night.

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You can find boys everywhere; on top of, beneath, inside of, climbing on, swinging from, running around or jumping to!   Mothers love and adore them, little girls hate the bones off them, older brothers and sisters tolerate them, adults ignore them, teenage girls adulate them . . . and Heaven protects them.

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A boy is truth with a dirty face, knowledge with bubblegum in his hair . . . and the hope of our future with a frog in his pocket.   When you are busy and wanting peace and quiet . . . a boy is an inconsiderate, bothersome, intruding cacophony of noise.  When you want him to impress, his brain turns to mush, or else he becomes a sadistic, savage, jungle creature bent on destroying the world and himself with it.

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A boy is a mixture of many things.   He has all of the appetite of a horse, the digestion of a sword swallower, the energy of a small atomic bomb and all of the curiosity of a cat.   In him is the imagination of Paul Bunyan, the lungs of  an absolutist, all the daring of a great adventurer, the enthusiasm of a fire cracker . . . as well as all of the shyness of a trembling violet.   When he makes something . . . and he often does . . . he appears to have five thumbs on each hand.

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He likes ice cream and candy, knives and saws, Christmas, Comic Books, Dinosaurs, Video games, daring adventures, mud, his friends, the woods, water, horses and dogs, trains and fire engines, Saturday mornings and his Dad.  He's not into school of any kind, company, girls, getting his hair cut, washing behind his ears, wearing a tie, washing his hands, overcoats, adults, or bed time.   He's the first to rise in the morning and late for supper, but nobody can attack a meal with the appetite of a behemoth like a boy can.   Nobody else can get the pleasure out of trees, forts, dogs and breezes like a boy can.

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They are magicians which can cram more into one pocket than is humanly possible . . . two rusty knives, two half eaten apples, three feet of string, a variety of rubber bands, an empty Bull Durham sack, a couple of hard candies, a couple of quarters, nickles and dimes, a treasure map,  a packet of bubblegum, a secret decoder ring, a sling shot, a dead frog and a big chunk of something completely unknown and undefinable.

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Boys are wonderful beings.  You can lock him out of your kitchen, or workshop . . . but you can never lock him out of your heart.  You can keep him out of the study, but you can never keep him out of your mind.   He's your captor, your jailor, your boss and master . . . . freckle faced, pint sized . . .  a cat chasing bundle of noise, but at the end of the day when you are tucking him in bed with only the tatters of the day that was and your hopes and dreams . . . he can mend them like new, with three little words.   I love you.  And as those wiry little arms wrap themselves around your neck to say goodnight, you realize that  life is good . . . amazingly, wonderfully and beautifully good.

(Adapted into my own words from a piece by Alan Beck.  All of the photos this morning are of my grandson Luke.   Happy Birthday Luke!  Grammy loves you. )

Yesterdays Silver Lining:  Ward Conference, where we got to hear some fantastic talks from our local leaders and be taught the things they would have us take into our hearts.  It was pretty special.

A thought to carry with you through the day today . . .

"Going to church on Sunday does not make you a Christian any more than sleeping in a garage overnight turns you into a car."

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Cooking in The English Kitchen today . . . Ham Hock, Peas & Creamy Noodles, quick, easy, economical and delicious!

Happy Monday!


Sunday, 27 January 2013

My first kiss . . .

Topd and I watched an old movie the other night called "My Girl." It's a sweet and tender movie about a young girl's coming of age, a time of first crushes, big changes and first kisses. It's really quite a delightful, touching and entertaining film.  It made me think of my own childhood . . . and first kisses.

Ahh . . . the first kiss . . . that is a moment most girls remember with great tenderness . . . but I was having a hard time remembering it. You would think that such an important moment in time would have forever etched itself in the annals of my mind . . . a mind that is quite capable of remembering such things as "what I had for breakfast on the 4th of July in nineteen sixty two and 'exactly' what I was wearing at the time!" Not so with my first kiss . . . I can't remember it a bit . . . well . . . hardly a bit . . . perhaps it's something I don't want to remember? Perhaps it's quite forgettable?

Oh heck, who am I kidding . . . of course I remember it!!!! I have a memory like a steel trap! It was Lennie Risser, what a kisser! (and I was wearing blue jeans and a white polo shirt!)

My whole fifteenth year of life was spent in preparation for the day when I would finally be allowed to date and have a boyfriend. Certain "looks" were practiced in front of the mirror . . . you know the ones I mean . . . coy, demure, sirenic, surprised, dreamy . . . I didn't want to get caught out by giving the wrong look at the wrong moment, when and if the time ever came.
Kissing was practiced on the back of my hand, as per an article I had read in "Sixteen" magazine. That was a great magazine . . . not only did it keep you "up to date" on all the goings on of all the latest teeny bopper pop idols (David Cassidy, Donnie Osmond . . . sigh . . . ) but it was full of great advice on things like "latest fashion trends", "how to fix your hair", "makeup application" and . . . most important of all, "Boys" and how to manipulate . . . um . . . err . . . I mean handle them!! Some of my friends had boyfriends already, but I had not yet experienced anything other than huge crushes on unattainable boys in the higher grades . . . safe and unrequited love affairs from afar . . .

Some of my friends used to spend summers out at a nearby lake at cottages . . . a place called Lake Pleasant. There was a small town close by called Springfield, and a whole host of boys from Springfield used to hover around like bees to honey every summer, just waiting to hone in on the "fresh" crop of girls, just in from the city. It was win/win all round.   My friends got to play dating with a bunch of boys, and they got to play dating with my friends.  My parents didn't have enough money to have a cottage, or even rent a cottage, so this one pleasure I was denied.   However one lat summer weekend, after all the cottages had pretty much closed down for the summer, those Springfield boys actually came up in a car to visit the girls.   I got to be included by default, and it wasn't long before we all gathered at a friends house  (whose parents weren't home) to chat and hang out together. Inevitably it was decided that we would play "Spin the Bottle." My very first chance to play the game I had often read about!

Source: via Eileen on Pinterest

We sat in a circle, on my friend's family room carpet . . . giggling girls on one side . . . pimply faced youths on the other . . . a myriad of questions going through my mind . . . the palms of my hands sweating in anticipation. Was my breath ok? Should I close my eyes? What should I do with my hands? What if the bottle landed on another girl? Should I lean to the left or to the right?

My palms got sweatier and my giggles a little more nervous and excited as the bottle made it's way around the circle towards me. One after another, I watched my friends kissing the boys, in turn . . . taking mental notes all the while, so that when the bottle finally landed either on me or in my hands, I would know exactly what to do.

Thankfully it never landed on me  . . . and so I had had plenty of time to prepare myself when finally it was my turn to spin it. I took the bottle in my nervous fingers and gave it a spin . . . a rotation of glinting glass that seemed to take forever to slow down and stop . . . and stop it finally did . . . on the only boy in the room with buck teeth . . . dangit! Just my luck!!!! All I can remember is his teeth sticking into my lips as he pressed his mouth against mine and the embarassment of knowing everyone else was watching us. This was hardly how I had anticipated it would be! Where was the tender moment??? The romantic music washing over us in a rising crescendo???? Would my lips be bleeding when he was finished???? Ohhh . . . the agony . . . Ohhhh . . . the pain . . . Ohhh . . . the embarassment . . . How more unlike Romeo and Juliet could things get???

That was only the first, in a long line of "first" kisses with various boys at one time or another, before I finally settled down with one boy in one steady relationship. Each kiss being and feeling more special than the last. How could I have known on that warm, summer evening of my almost 16th year, that this was only the beginning of a long . . . sometimes wonderful and sometimes painful lifetime of experience in dealing with members of the opposite sex.

Yes, I've kissed a lot of frogs through the many years since . . . and yes, I've kissed a few princes, all unforgettable, all special in their own way . . . even the frogs . . . but, I will always remember, with a certain fondness, that warm summer night and the soft lips of Lennie Risser combined with his hard teeth pressing against mine. I wonder . . . did he know he was my first???

P.S. It's not the first kiss that really counts . . . it's the last!

Yesterdays Silver Lining:  the temperatures got quite mild and the snow all melted, and the sun shone the whole day through.  It brought everyone out and about and all were in a great mood.   Long conversations with my sister on the computer.   That was another enjoyable pleasure.   I love my sister.  She's the best.

A thought to carry with you through the day:

To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.   This is to have suceeded.
~Ralph Waldo Emmerson

Here's a little treat this morning that is dead easy and as soft as a first kiss . . .
and just as unforgettable . . .


*Eaton Mess*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

I am not sure where this dessert comes from. I highly suspect Eaton College. It’s the perfect thing to make when all you have to hand is a bunch of rag tag store bought meringues looking a bit worse for the wear. A punnet of raspberries and some double cream and you have a light dessert, food fit for the gods…

½ of a 96g packet of meringue nests (about 4)
½ pint of double cream
1 punnet fresh raspberries (about 2 cups) gently washed and dried

Break the meringues into bite sized pieces and place in a large bowl. Whip the cream with a whisk until it falls in soft peaks. You don’t want it really stiff for this. Fold the cream into the meringues along with the raspberries, taking care not to break up the raspberries too much. Transfer to the fridge and chill for 30 minutes before serving. You can also stir some raspberry coulis into this, or drizzle it over the top. (Very easily made by whirring one cup of raspberries in a mini food processor with a touch of sugar, and then passing the results through a sieve to remove the seeds)

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And, cooking in The English Kitchen today . . . Easy Cinnamon Puffs!

Choices, choices!!


Saturday, 26 January 2013

Poetry Saturday . . . The Land of Beginning Again

I wish that there were some wonderful place
In the Land of Beginning Again;
Where all our mistakes and all our heartaches
And all of our poor selfish grief
Could be dropped like a shabby old coat at the door
And never be put on again.

I wish we could come on it all unaware,
Like the hunter who finds a lost trail;
And I wish that the one whom our blindness had done
The greatest injustice of all
Could be there at the gates like an old friend that waits
For the comrade he's gladdest to hail.

We could find all the things we intended to do
But forgot and remembered too late;
Little praises unspoken, little promises broken;
And all of the thousand and one
Little duties neglected that might have perfected
the days for one less fortunate.

It wouldn't be possible not to be kind
In the Land of Beginning Again,
and the ones we misjudged and the ones whom we grudged
Their moments of victory here,
Would find in the grasp of our living hand-clasp
More than penitent lips could explain.

For what had been hardest we'd know had been best,
And what had seemed loss would be gain;
For there isn't a sting that will not take wing
When we've faced it and laughed it away;
And I think that the laughter is most what we're after
In the Land of Beginning Again.

So I wish that there were some wonderful place
Called the Land of Beginning Again,
Where all our mistakes and all our heartaches
And all of our poor selfish grief
Could be dropped like a shabby old coat at the door
And never put on again.
~Louise Fletcher Tarkington

I wish that I had been able to find out more about this poet.   Louise was the wife of playwright Boot Tarkington. He died in 1946. They married in 1902 and had a daughter, Laurel in 1906. He was an alcoholic and she divorced him in 1911. Laurel developed schizophrenia and died of pneumonia at the age of 16. Louise died in 1923 a year after Laurel. Here is her obituary: 

 "TARKINGTON, Laurel Louise Fletcher (Mrs.Newton Booth Tarkington), 1100 N. Pennsylvania St., Indianapolis, Ind. Born Indianapolis, Ind.; grad. Smith Coll., B.I. 1900- m. Indianapolis, June 18, 1902, Newton Booth Tarkington, the well-known novelist; one daughter: Laurel Louise, b. Feb. 11, 1906. Contributor of short stories to the magazine. "

I loved the message of Forgiveness in  this poem of hers which I found in a book entitled "Best Loved Poems of the LDS People", a gift to me from my dear friend Lura several years ago.  I would love to find more references to her life, her personal pain, and her philosophy of living. 

We had some more snow through the night.  There's about an inch or so on the car this morning, but it appears to be melting fast and I see some sunshine on the horizon, so I think it will quite quickly disappear as if it had never been.   I hope that we don't go back to rain, rain . . . and more rain.

I much prefer my rain to be frozen and flaked!

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Somebody had a sulk on yesterday when we got her back from the dog groomers.    I know she hates being groomed.   I suppose I would not like having the hair in my ears plucked either . . . poor dear, but it's just a part of the price one pays for having been born a Spaniel!  They are very prone to ear infection and so the ear plucking helps to prevent that, or so I am told!  Anyways, she looks and smells pretty now and this morning all has been forgiven . . .

Yesterday's Silver Lining:   An extra bit of money for our Winter Fuel Allowance as the temperatures had been below freezing for a week.   It's always nice to have a little bit extra in our coffers to help to pay the bills!

A thought to carry with you through the day:

"Who touches a boy by the Master's plan
Is shaping the course of a future man,
Is dealing with one who is living seed
And may be a man whom the world will need."

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Baking in The English Kitchen today . . . a simply delicious Apple and Cinnamon Tea Cake.

Enjoy your Saturday!!