Wednesday 30 April 2014

The BluebellWood

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I took a walk . . . over hill and dale,
across meadow and stile,
to the place where an old Oak stood . . .

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and there . . .  beneath it's branches lay
a sight magnificent and pure,
the splendour of a bluebell wood . . .

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A carpet filled with blue and green
blanketing all within it's path
as far as the eye could see . . .

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A heavenly gift . . . 
from a heavenly realm . . .
for just such as you and me . . .

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I bent my ear unto the ground . . .
for I thought that I could hear

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Amidst the whisper of the breeze,
beneath that canopy of trees . . .
a faint . . .  and holy sound
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a million little tinkles 
which brought me to  my knees . . . 
upon that cool damp ground 

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on that sunny day . . . beneath that tree . . .
in a beautiful blue hazed symphony
in the cathedral of 
the bluebell wood . . .  
~Marie Rayner ®  

Just a bit on nonsensical poetry from me today.  It's not even really that good.  But I wanted to share . . .


Cooking in The English Kitchen today  . . . Sticky Bangers with Buttermilk and Chive Mash.  So good!

Have a wonderful Wednesday! 

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Tuesday 29 April 2014

The Simple Woman's Daybook

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 FOR TODAY April 29th, 2014

Outside my window...
It's overcast at the moment, but I think it's early yet and it will clear and we will have a nice day.  Yesterday was gorgeous.  It was 23*C in the sunshine on the patio.  Todd was loving it!

I am thinking...
Love is a Truth we can all Embrace. 
 Hold me with Happiness and 
the Flower of my Soul will Blossom
from the Sunshine of your Heart. 
~Micheal Teal

Love comes in many ways, forms, shapes, sizes . . .  Love it the key that can unlock even the hardest heart.

I am thankful...
I am thankful for having good friends who love and support me.  A good friend is family you get to choose for yourself.  That can't be bad!

In the kitchen... 

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A deliciousand tasty meal for two that goes together lickety split!  Chicken with Cherry Tomatoes and Capers.   Simple.   Easy.   Quick.

On my "To Cook" list...  

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Blueberry Macadamia Muffins from  Heather's French Press.They look delicious.  I love blueberries.   So does Todd.  We will both like these a lot I think!

I am creating...  

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I finally got some time in the artroom yesterday and I did this little painting for Mother's Day.  Yesteday I wasn't quite sure how I felt about it.  Today I quite like it.

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What a fabulous party idea.  A Cherry Garland made from balloons, a bit of string and some paper leaves.  I found this on Willowday.  Genius!

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Light Bunting using dixie cups and crochet edging.  Found on  Makkie.  It's in a foreign language, but can be translated.

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Little Origami Envelopes from IngThings.   Love them!  I love doing origami.   I love paper.  Creating things with paper makes me happy.

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Printable Coupons for Mom from Skip to my Lou.  Mother's Day is just around the corner.   In fact there are links to quite a few Mother's and Father's Day printables on that post!

I am going ...
We are going to the Temple on Thursday this week.  We are taking the Elder Missionaries with us.  I am truly looking forward to it.  I love being in the Temple.  A little piece of heaven on earth.

I am wondering ...
Why it is that people who have no religious tendancies, or who are athiest feel the need to tear down the testimonies of people who have a faith.  I don't understand that way of thinking.

I am reading ... 

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The Good Father, by Diane Chamberlain

Four years ago, nineteen-year-old Travis Brown made a choice: to raise his newborn daughter on his own. While most of his friends were out partying and meeting girls, Travis was at home, changing diapers and worrying about keeping food on the table. He’s never regretted his decision: Bella is the light of his life. But after Travis loses his job and his home, the security he’s worked so hard to create for his daughter begins to crumble. When he receives a job offer, he thinks his troubles have come to an end . . . not realizing that they’ve only just begun.

I quite like the writing of Diane Chamberlain.  Very Jodi Picoult-ish.

 I am hoping ...
My father and brother begin the last leg of their journey to Nova Scotia early this morning.  I hope and pray that it is a safe and uneventful trip for them, and that all works out as it should do.

Makes me smile ...

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Doesn't it make you smile too?  Baby anything makes me smile.

I am learning ...

That I don't have to eat the last cookie in the jar.  The store is filled with cookies.  If I don't get to have the last one, I can still go buy some more if I want them.   It's changing a lifetime of thinking this . . .

Around the house ...

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Mess Free Painting Tips from The Family Handyman.   Absolutely brilliant!

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Dollhouse used as storage place from Apartment Therapy!  I love, LOVE this idea, however I think I might have a bit of a problem turning a doll's house into something like this.  I would probably be tempted to play with it more than using it for storage.  But it is a nifty idea!

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Repurpose an old tableto a desk.   From Estate2.  I love this idea. Love the colour they have chosen to do it with as well.

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Love this idea.  His and her desks?   Could it work. Possibly.   From We Heart It.  

I am pondering ...

☆ º ` `•.¸.•´ ` º ☆.¸.☆¸.•♥♥•¸.•♥♥•¸.•♥♥•  

"So long as we are loved by others I should say that we are almost indespensable; and no man is useless while he has a friend."
~Robert Louis Stevenson

I think to be loved is the greatest treasure.   Where would we be without love . . .

A favourite quote for today ...

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"To get the full value of joy, you must have someone to divide it with."
~Mark Twain  

That is one of the plus's of blogging.  You are always dividing your joy with others.  

One of my favourite things ...

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The Victoria and Albert Museum in London.   You could spend days in there and still not see everything.  It is just fabulous.

A few plans for the rest of the week ...
Other than going to the temple, not much.   It's been like that a lot lately.  My days seem to evaporate into thin air regardless . . .

A peek into my day . . .

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Yep . . .  that is time flying.  Most of my days just whiz by.   Oh to be like a child again for a couple of days and have days that seem to last forever!

 ⋱ ⋮ ⋰
   ⋯ ◯ ⋯ Take time to enjoy the small*´¯`.¸¸.☆
   ⋰ ⋮ ⋱ blessings in life.*´¯`.¸¸.☆
   ✿¸.•*¨`*•..¸✿ ✿¸.•*¨`*•..¸✿
   ░░░░░░░░░░░░░ ░░░░░░░░░░░░░  

Wherever you go and whatever you do I hope there's a wonderful day planned for you!  

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Monday 28 April 2014

Small and Wonderful Things . . .

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  "The world is fairly studded and strewn with pennies cast broadside from a generous hand. But who gets excited by a mere penny?...It is dire poverty indeed when a man is so malnourished and fatigued that he won't stoop to pick up a penny. But if you cultivate a healthy poverty and simplicity, so that finding a penny will literally make your day, then, since the world is in fact planted with pennies, you have with your poverty bought a lifetime of days. It is that simple. what you see is what you get." ~Anne Dillard  

A few of the small and wonderful things which bring untold joy into my life.   It's the small things in life which truly mean the most.  Simple abundance . . . it's the best.    

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Lilacs which are blooming now.  I just adore lilacs.   Their smell is heavenly.  It's a pity that they don't last for very long, but  . . . when they are in bloom they more than make up for their absence during the rest of the year.  Mom was saying yesterday that the leaves on her lilac bush are just coming into bud.  I reckon Nova Scotia is about a month behind us.

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This is a photograph of my father when he was a very young man.  He was probably about 20 I guess.  My brother is on his way to where my father lives via the bus where my father will pick him up at the bus station later today and then the pair of them will be driving down to Nova Scotia where my father will take up residence once more.   It is a bittersweet time for him I think.  He is leaving his brothers and sisters behind, and I know he will miss them.  He may never see any of them again. In fact it is doubtful that he will, considering all of their ages and health problems . . . but he will be with my mom and sister and that is a good thing.  I think the quality of his life will be a lot better in Nova Scotia.  Wishing he and my brother a safe and uneventful journey, and praying to that end.

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This is our Eileen when she was about 3 years old, playing out in our garden with her doll and doll stroller.  This would have been in Suffield, Alberta. She was such a tiny little thing with almost white blonde hair.  She always was the little mother.  Her dolls got loved to death.   She and her sister got a new doll pretty much every Christmas.   Amanda's were hardly touched, but Eileen's were always worn out by the end of the year.   She would have been a great mother had she been normal and able to have a family of her own.  Instead she is a great Auntie to all her nephews and her niece.  She's happy.  That's what counts.

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The teachings of the Saviour.   Yesterday in Relief Society we had a lesson based on a talk which was given by Elder Russel M Nelson entitled, Decisions for Eternity.   It was a really good lesson and given by a really good teacher.   She started off with a quote from Elder Nelson's talk:

"Each day is a day of decision, and our decisions determine our destiny.  One day each of us will stand before the Lord in Judgement.   We will each have a personal interview with Jesus Christ.   We will account for decisions that we made about our bodies, our spiritual attributes, and how we honored God's pattern for marriage and family."  

And then she asked how that statement made each of us feel.  In truth it kinda made me feel a bit sad about the poor decisions which I had made in my life . . . and I was not alone.  Another sister said that it had made her feel that she had been too late in making righteous choices, which exactly mirrored my own feelings.   Then the teacher spoke about the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard as taught by the Saviour in Matthew 20:1-16 .  If you are not familiar with it, you can read it here.  I was greatly comforted by the Saviour's teachings that it matters not how late or how early we come to the vineyard, only that we come  . . . and that our reward will be the same as those who were always there.   That is the hope and the promise which the gospel brings to each of us.

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The Missionaries all sang yesterday in church.   We have two elder missionaries (young men)  in our Ward at the moment along with two sisters (young ladies).   They sang beautifully together acapella.  It was just lovely.   Music is such a powerful thing and can touch our hearts in magical ways, both for good and for bad.   That's why it's so important to choose the music which you listen to very carefully.   I suppose it is the same with everything we choose to do . . .  the things we listen to, watch, read, etc.  . . .  garbage in, garbage out.

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Sitting here eating my morning bowl of cereal as I type, and I am thinking  about how very, very much I love cheerios.  I think they are my most favourite of all breakfast cereals.  I love them.  They are not quite the same over here in the UK as they were back home, but I still enjoy them.  I think the cheerios over here are sweetened and the ones back home are not.

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Surprise packages in the post.  I received a package from my mother and sister at the weekend.  It's always so exciting to get mail from my mother.   I used to get letters from her faithfully, one every two weeks . . .  but she doesn't write letters anymore.  It's too difficult for her these days.   I do miss them and grateful that I have kept them all.  When you live so far away from family little things like letters and packages mean a lot.  I was thrilled to get the parcel.  Inside was a treat for Todd, a plastic lid and valve from my Sister to me which I can use to ferment things, some more Salt Petre so I can make more corned beef, a tube of Myoflex for my arthritis, a pretty bracelet and earrings, and a couple of Easter Eggs.  It was very thoughtful of them and I really appreciated it all.

And that's just a smidgen of my blessings from the past week.   What were some of yours?

A thought to carry with you through today . . .


"To have JOY one must share it . . .
Happiness was born a twin."
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Baking in The English Kitchen today  . . .  Sunny Morning Swirls.   Filled with lemon curd, sultanas and toasted pecans.  Very tasty!

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ღ♥ღƸӜƷღ♥ღ Have A Fabulous Day ღ♥ღƸӜƷღ♥ღ
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Sunday 27 April 2014

There are just some things you can't resist . . . .

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I just love books.  I love the feel of them in my hands . . . the heft and the weight of them . . .  the texture of the pages beneath my fingers . . .  the smell.   I do have a kindle so that I can read in bed, but I also have a lot of "real" books, that I can touch and feel and inhale.  There is a concern in some circles that real books will one day disappear.  I don't think that will happen.   There will always be a need I think for the feel of a book in the hand and a page beneath the fingertips.

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I love new books and I love old books . . .  and everything in between.  I especially love old books.   They have a scent all of their own and a feel all of their own.  I recently picked up this old book for a song.  It was published in 1913 and is  only about 4 inches by 6 inches and  maybe a third of an inch thick.  Not big at all.
The cover is careworn and burred on the edges somewhat, but for a book of it's age it is in really quite good shape, and it has that special smell . . .  the smell that only an old book has . . . musty and quite special . . . the smell of a thousand fingers having crossed upon it's pages . . .  and the smell of the glance of a thousand eyes . . .

I quite fell in love with it's cover . . . and would have bought it for only that alone . . . it was that which first caught my eye.   So prim and pretty . . .  and the bluebirds . . . I love bluebirds.

I opened it up to see inside and I fell even more in love  . . .

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Just look . . .  this is what I found holding the cover on inside . . . more bluebirds and pink roses.   Rows of them . . .  begging me to turn yet another page . . .

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And then this.  How could you not fall in love with this.  The dedicatory page . . .  to everyone who has given me friendship, so sweet and tender . . .  and that title page . . . the font, that  quaint and old fashioned illustration . . . the authors name . . . Edwin Osgood Grover.  It sounds so old fashioned, so  . . .  so . . . me.  And the sight of the threads in the ditch, holding the pages together . . .  I had to turn yet another page . . .

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"These posies from other men's gardens have been gathered for the pleasure of gathering but also that they may be passed along to others.  May these "friendly thought" take wing and bring you not only happiness but a message of friendship from me."

How could I resist this little gem, this small treasure.  I could not . . . I could no more not bring this home with me than I could stop breathing . . . from the moment my eyes fell upon it . . . it became mine.

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Page after musty page, filled with beautiful words and quotations on friendship . . .

"The man that hails you "Tom" or "Jack,"
And proves by thumps upon your back
How he esteems your merit,
Is such a friend that one had need
Be very much his friend indeed
To pardon or to bear it."

See . . .  quite . . .  quite  simply impossible to resist.

Could you have passed it by???

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Baking in The English Kitchen today  . . . Coconut, Lime and Blueberry Scones.   

Have a truly blessed Sunday!

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Saturday 26 April 2014

In the garden . . .

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The Bleeding Heart bush is blooming in our garden now.  It's  branches arch just so . . .  dripping with little pink hearts . . . one can almost hear them tinkling in the wind like a delicate chime . . . they have a story to tell it seems . . .

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As is the common name, the botanical name of this plant is aptly descriptive - Dicentra, from Greek, meaning "two spurs," and spectabilis, meaning "worthy of notice," or "spectacular," which this plant certainly is.

No other plant bears perfect heart-shaped flowers like those of the Bleeding Heart. If you press the flowers between the pages of a heavy book, you'll have papery-thin little hearts to adorn letters or valentines. If you turn a flower upside down and pull the two halves apart, you'll see a lady in a pink bathtub, or perhaps you'll see a white lyre with slender strings of silk . . .

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There is, they say . . .  contained within it's heart . . .  a tragic tale of unrequited love . . .

Long ago there lived a noble prince who tried in vain to win the heart of a very beautiful princess. The prince had brought the princess wonderful gifts from his travels far and wide. Yet she had taken no notice of him. One day the prince returned from a long journey with very special gifts to surely win the love of the princess. First he presented her with two magical pink bunnies.

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The princess only sighed and barely looked at the little bunnies. The hopeful prince had one more gift saved for last - he presented a pair of beautiful enchanted earrings.

Again, the princess hardly noticed the prince's gift. Now the poor prince was utterly heartbroken. He could try no more to win the heart of the princess. He rose up, pulled a dagger from his sheath and stabbed himself in the heart.

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The princess was overcome by the dedication of the dying prince and his unending love for her. She realized too late that she loved him also. "Alas," she cried out. "I have done wrong, my own heart is broken also. I shall bleed for my prince forever more!" And her heart bleeds to this very day.

You can take the petals from a bleeding heart and separate them into the various things . . .  first peeling off the two outer pink petals and laying them on their sides, where they are said to resemble perfectly two pink little bunnies . . .  and then inside two slender dangling white earrings . . .  and at the very centre of the flower, a small heart with a green dagger like stamen protruding.  I could not bring myself to pluck a blossom from it's stem to show you, so you will have to take my word for it . . .

I love folklore and whether it is true or not . . .  there is an unsung mystery at the heart of every flower, a story which begs to be told and to be heard . . .

My favourite one is the story of the forget me not, which are also blooming now . . .

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It is said that in the act of creation our Heavenly Father had finished creating and naming all of the flowers, except for one small blue bloom, who delicately whispered to him . . .  "Oh Father . . .  Forget me not."  And that is how it got it's name.

I love that thought and every time I look at the small blue petals of a forget-me-not, I remember that I have a Heavenly Father who knows me by name and loves me . . . and who will never forget me.

A thought to carry with you through today . . .

☆ º ` `•.¸.•´ ` º ☆.¸.☆¸.•♥♥•¸.•♥♥•¸.•♥♥•

"It is the LORD who goes before you. 
 He will be with you; 
he will not leave you or forsake you. 
Do not fear or be dismayed.”
~Deuteronomy 31:8

º ☆.¸.☆¸.•♥♥•¸.•♥♥•¸.•♥♥•º ☆.¸.☆¸.•♥♥•  

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Cooking in the English Kitchen today . . .  Gingerbread, White Chocolate Chip and Raspberry Jam Sandwich Cookies.  Sooooooooooooooo good!  

Have a wonderful Saturday!

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