Monday, 19 May 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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I never got to go to art school when I was younger.   It was something I wanted to do, but instead I took the practical route and went to Secretarial School instead.  Except for very short spurts, I have never worked as a Secretary.   About 12 years ago I went back to school and took a Medical secretary course, receiving a credit on my AMSPAR Exam, which was a really good mark as well.   Except for a short stint volunteering at the Chester Mental Health Hospital for one day a week, I have never used that either.  I love painting and drawing and writing.   That is when I am happiest, next to cooking and photographing food.   I am a creative person.   I practice a lot.  I practice drawing people, fruits, vegetables, trees, flowers, animals, etc.   In short I just practice drawing and painting whatever I can.  This was a little practice drawing I did the other day.  I wanted to portray fear in the cat and mouse, and a cheekiness in the bird.  For once the bird holds all the keys!  Not sure if I did that or not, but I had fun trying.  That's what counts.

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Watching the pleasure that this little lady gets in the garden now that the yard has all dried up and it's not the wet quagmire it was all winter.   She just love, LOVES it out there.   She spends a great deal of her time sitting and just watching the perimeters of the yard, making sure that no CATS break through her defences.   Of course there is a part of her that is probably hoping that one will make a run for it so that she can bark and chase it out.  There was a white one (we hadn't seen him in a while) that dared to enter yesterday when she had popped into the kitchen for a drink and a sniff.   She didn't take long in chasing him away.   I think she ran up and down the yard about 4 times in all of her excitement, and each time she did, she came back to tell us what she had done.   She was so proud!

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Today is the day that our Eileen will be making her presentation to the Duchess of Cambridge.  I'm not sure what it is or where it is happening, but I am hoping that I will be able to see a photograph of it somehow.   (This is a photo I took of her on her wedding day.  It will be two years in July!  Hard to believe!)  She sure has  led this amazing life.   Getting to represent first her province and then her country in the special Olympics program, and winning gold medals both times.   Now getting to meet royalty.   Pretty amazing stuff.  I can remember when we were first told of her disability.  She was only 4 and a half years old and I had taken her to the school for her pre-school assessment.   I think we had known all along that something wasn't quite right, but it was one of those things, if you didn't say it out loud then it wasn't true.   The School Nurse suggested we have her speech assessed and the Speech Therapist suggested we have a complete assessment done.  I will never forget the way I felt that day when they told us she was mentally disabled.  Devastated doesn't begin to cover it.   They had said it out loud and now we had to deal with it.   She has gone on to far exceed everyone's expectations, and even if she hadn't I would still be proud of her because she is a nice person.  Loving, kind, generous, pleasant, helpful, hard working and she loves the Lord.  I think she's pretty "awesome!"  But then again, I always have.  

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The magic that greets me each morning when I pop outside to see what's happening in the garden.  Each day brings a new discovery and delight to my heart.   I just love this time of year when all is fresh and waking up.  I love watching Todd enjoy his days as he putters in the garden.  This is when he is in his element.   He spends time each day weeding, clipping, feeding the fish and checking on the tadpoles.  He just loves to be out of doors.  When he isn't doing gardening, he is sitting at our outdoor table reading in the sunshine.  I don't know how he can do that.  It would hurt my eyes, but he enjoys every minute of it.

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With the warm sunny days we have finally been able to get out and organize our storage shed.  It was driving me crazy.  Everything was just a jumble and I couldn't find anything.  It took us half a day but now everything is back in it's proper place.   Hopefully it won't get messed up again.  I think I will have to be the one who puts things out there.  Todd doesn't really know where things are supposed to go and so, like a man, he just shoves things in any old place that they will fit and then after a few weeks it is a tip again.   It's much better for me to put things away I think.  No offence against Todd!  The part I hated most about it was hoovering up all the spider webs and dead spiders.  ugh . . .  not my favourite thing to do.   All the shelves were emptied and washed, and then everything put back, after also being wiped.   Anything that was out of date, got tipped, which surprisingly wasn't very much!  Oh and yay!  I can get into my freezer again.  Because it is outdoors, in the Winter months it freezes shut, which is very annoying.   With the warm weather that problem has resolved itself.

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This latest game I am enjoying playing on my ipad.  Jelly Splash.  It was free and it's very easy to play.  I need easy as I can't cope with difficult computer games.  I just don't have the skill.  This is as easy and satisfying as popping bubble wrap.  Works for me!

A thought to carry with you through today . . .


A thing of beauty is a joy forever, it's loveliness increases,
it will never pass into nothingness.
~John Keats 
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Cooking in The English Kitchen today  . . . Braised Bangers with Cabbage.  Simply delicious!

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Have a great week!  May it be filled with lots of small and wonderful things!


  1. Today's recipe is of Mary's favs. is sausages. We get good ones in our local butcher's he makes his own so we know what goes into them !! Might suggest she go and get some this morning..thanks for the idea !!!
    Good that you got teh shed cleared out, very satisfying...I would have felt the same about the spiders !!...I havn't been round looking in my shed for ages. In fact I seldom go round into the garden as my walking has got so much worse these last few months. Peter and Lyn keep it looking lovely and I enjoy looking at it from the wee deck that a door in the sitting room leads me out to. It is very TINY the deck but both Mary and I can sit out there and as it is higher than the garden we can look down on it and then looking the other way we can look on to the expanse of the recreation park and we can see and hear the children at play (especially during break time at school) Been glorious these last few days with teh lovely warm sunshine Have a lovely day dear friend xx

  2. Have a great day Marie. this morning I found a brown shrivelled blob that had once been a spider. don't you love how they can be enormous and in death they resemble a sultana. Anyway poor Nimbus has spent he best part of the day looking for the darn thing. As a house bound cat it probably was the best enjoyment and fun she has had in days.

  3. Sybil, I can just picture you and Mary sitting out there looking down on your domain, Masy at your feet, or in your lap more like as not! One of the things I loved most about our cottage at Brenchley was that there was a primary school just at the bottom of the hill and during school term we could hear the happy voices of the children echoing up through the orchards during their break times. It was so wonderful to hear. I always missed that sound during the school hols! More nice weather in store for today, but I hear it is not to last! Darn!

    Suzan, your description of that little sultana made the hairs stand up on my arms!! eww! I hate HATE spiders. A housebound cat finds it's fun wherever it can . My friend Joy has started a page on FB for her cat that is quite fun to read. The Musings of Rama. He's a bengal and so beautiful and has the most wicked personality. I think you would like it! xxoo

  4. What an amazing day for Eileen! You must be so proud Marie. I know exactly where you're at when it comes to the shed, I think it is definitely the hardest place to keep tidy! Much love xxx

  5. Thanks Kate! I hope you had a lovely week away! I missed you! xx

  6. Wow your pantry looks AMAZING..
    It's funny..I re arrange too..because there is a method to my madness..and when J puts things's not where my mind remembers I re do it periodically:)
    Eileen is so pretty too on top of all her qualities.
    I hate hearing a diagnosis.It makes things a tad too concrete for me.
    But it's the only way we can arise to the challenge.
    Sometimes they are wrong though..

    I bet you are super excited for her!
    That aquilegia is stunning.

  7. Thanks Monique, coming from you I will take that as a compliment!

  8. What an honor for your daughter. I do hope you are able to get some pictures of the grand occasion. These nicer days are wonderful. I could stay outside all day when it's warm out. Years ago I was blessed to be able to take some painting classes and thought at the time I might be able to make some extra money painting things to sell, but it takes a lot of work and time and I now just paint things for gifts for my family and that is mostly for Christmas. It is nice to give something made with your own hands for a gift.

  9. Thanks Marie. Yeah we had a fabulous week all the way up to John O Groats and back. We went through some beautiful scenery and were blessed with good weather too! Xxx

  10. I caught the meaning of your picture the minute I saw it. You are such an amazing artist.
    I'm happy and proud of Eileen. I know you must be bursting your buttons. How nice for her to have this honor.

    I'm glad you are enjoying nice weather now. We are having terrible hot weather and winds and lots of fires in So Cal.We are fine but many have lost their homes. It is so sad.

    I'm getting stronger at last. I hope that you are doing well. Hugs, Lura

  11. So glad to hear it Kate! You certainly picked a good week to go. The weather last week was gorgeous! You really lucked in!!

    Lura, I am so grateful that you are feeling more like yourself and feeling stronger. Whew!! It's been a long time coming! I am sorry to hear about the fires, etc. That is a problem in a climate which doesn't get a lot of rain! ((((hugs))))


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