Monday, 18 August 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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Having a young person around the house.   Ariana is a delight to have in our home.   I think she should get an award for being the best and nicest house boarder ever.    Not only is she beautiful on the outside, but she is pretty beautiful on the inside.   I think she is so brave to not only move to another country to work, but to move to another country which speaks a whole new language, is even braver.   She speaks English so beautifully.  I am so impressed!  This is a young woman who will do very well in life.   She has it very much together, and at only age 23!  Such an impressive young gal.  We love her already.  Today will be her first day of getting to work on her own and it's raining.  Typical.  I am fighting the urge to wake Todd up and get him to drive her in.

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I can remember when we got our first telephone when I was a child and it was a really big deal for us to call my grandparents on their birthday and wish them a Happy Birthday.  Of course nowadays most people don't have a house phone, at least that is how it is with my children.   Mobiles, that's pretty much it . . .  but yay for facetime!  I don't think anything on earth beats getting facetime birthday greetings from grandchildren, unless it is getting realtime birthday greetings from them.   That is pretty awesome I would imagine!  Facetime has to be the next best thing however.   That and knowing I have sons thoughtful enough to think of me and do that for me.   It meant the world to me, as you can imagine, to hear and see those little boys wish me a Happy Birthday!   Being a Grandmother is such a blessing.

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Birthday Greetings from near and far and everywhere in between.  I do believe that I have the best and nicest family on earth and the best and nicest friends.  I could not keep up with all of the Birthday Greetins last Wednesday on my facebook page.   I was trying to respond to each one individually, but had to eventually give it up for a group thanks because it just got to be too difficult!  I so appreciated every one, and the cards in the post.   So lovely and such a surprise some of them were!  I got the first Birthday Card that I had gotten in a very long time from my father.   He normally did not remember in time to send one most years, but being around my sister and mom has definitely made him much better at remembering!  My friends who came to the house and helped me celebrate with my pot luck lunch, another blessing.   My Visiting Teacher who showed up that night with a bouquet of flowers and some lovely handmade soap.   Yes, I was so very blessed, and not the least by my husband who actually ventured into  Yankee Candle shop to get me my most favourite of the Yankee candles . . .  Garden Sweet Pea.  ♥♥♥

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The Tudor roses in the back garden that keep giving and giving and giving.   I said to Todd we really should plant a couple of them out front too.  They would really fill in a couple of gaps beautifully.   So stunning and gorgeous.  And they bloom so profusely!  Almost as well as the hydrangea.   I am so grateful for a husband who is such a good and competent gardener.   He may not be so great at hanging up pictures or building things, but he has a wonderfully green thumb!

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I may complain oftimes about the small size of my kitchen, but upon reflection this kitchen I have now is eons better than the kitchen I had when I first moved over here to the UK.  We were living in a one bedroom maisonette/sheltered accomodation and it was so tiny.   My kitchen was very small and all I had was basically one cupboard on either side of the sink beneath the window, and a wall cupboard on the other side, beneath the counter on that wall was the space for the washer and one more cupboard.  It was very tiny.   There was no space for anything really, and  it was just really, really tiny and very frustrating.  Of course then when we worked at the Manor I was quite spoiled by the kitchen we had in the cottage there . . . moving back here to Chester and into this house meant that I lost that lovely big kitchen which was a dream to cook in, but I am still blessed because this kitchen I have now is still a lot bigger than the one we started out our marriage with.   You have to count your blessings where you find them.  ☺

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It took me most of the weekend, and I don't know how many hours with my son on skype and AOL technicians on the phone, but I finally was able to get my computer problem sorted.   For some reason on my food blog page this message kept coming up that was prompting a java download.  I knew it wasn't for real.  I was so worried about it and I wanted it to stop.  I knew that it might prevent people from reading my food blog permanently, so it was really important that I get it fixed.   I don't understand the mentality of people that do things like attach these horrible things to something which is good and try to destroy all the hard work of others.   It is a terrible thing.  Thankfully we were finally able to get it sorted.  In the process of fixing it however, I got rid of almost all of my links on there . . .  links to articles which had been written about the food blog, etc.  links to handy cooking sites etc. I basically got rid of anything which I thought might have a virus attached.  In the end a power clean by Norton got rid of whatever it was.  Whew!  That's hours and hours of my life I can never get back, but at least the problem is fixed now!

And that's my small and wonderfuls for this week!  I hope your week was filled with plenty of small and wonderful things too!  Remember . . . 

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 "Sometimes it's the smallest things which take up the most room in your heart."
~Winnie the Pooh  

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Cooking in The English Kitchen today  . . .  Cheese and Mashed Potato Fritters!

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Have a fabulous Monday.  I hope it is filled to overflowing with small and wonderful things!


  1. So many things to be thankful for Marie..What a lovely girl you have been sent to care for. How much longer does she stay with you ? Glad you got the computer sorted out. It always takaes such an age to sort things...
    Hope you have a lovely day today. The sunis shining down here although still a bit chilly. Hopefully the sun will warm things up very soon. love to Tod and stroke to Mitzie xx

  2. Good morning Marie. I wish you a wonderful day and hope that your young lady sails through her first day at work. It must be daunting to work in another language.

  3. It is good to hear that your new boarder has turned out to be a lovely girl inside and out. You don't mind sharing your home with someone like that. I do agree about FaceTime. It's wonderful to be able to see and talk with those that don't live close by. Glad the problems are all sorted out on the food blog. What a bother it had to have been. Hope your Monday is off to a great start there. It's overcast here today but I think we'll be seeing some sunshine later on.

  4. I have a feeling Ariana will continue to bring you much happiness:)
    She is LOVELY..
    A shame about The English kitchen..i noticed the robot thingy and realized you may have needed to..
    Glad your birthday was such a joy:)

  5. Beautiful post. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Ariana looks like a confident, well adjusted young lady. I wish her the best. Glad she is a blessing to you and Todd and the other way around. Speaking of Todd, I love the fact that he is a gardener.
    You deserved to be bombarded with all the birthday wishes and gifts you received! :-D The same happened on my birthday, I really felt the love and still do. :-)
    Are you having Empty Nester's FHE tonight? Steve is giving the lesson tonight at ours. I'm making Banana Split Cake (which really isn't cake at all). Also, I'm making a healthier alternative for those that don't want dessert. Happy Monday! xoxo

  7. Sybil, she will be with us for about a year. So we are happy about that. It's been an on an off day today, with bits of sunshine interspersed with bits of rain!

    Suzan this is actually her second week at work, but first one for her to go to on her own without Todd driving her. She called to say she had gone into Chester from work. She seems happy enough!

    It was a real bother Pam and took up far too much of my time than I wished for it to, time when I should have been doing other things, but I had to get it sorted as I didn't want to annoy my friends and readers! Another face time with my boys today. Such fun! I think the grandsons are beginning to recognize me as their nan!

    Thank you Monique, it's very distressing when something like that happens. I will never understand what motivates people to do that kind of thing. So unkind!

    Thank you Chy!

    We are having a fun with Ariana FHE tonight VAlerie! I baked nutella cookies. She loves nutella. I am hoping she likes the cookies! Your Banana Split Cake sounds so tasty! You will have to share the recipe! Happy Monday, love you! xxoo

  8. I LOVE Nutella. I make Nutella cupcakes. Will send the recipe for that and the Banana Split dessert. Big hugs! :-)

  9. Back again Marie. Just to say I was looking at the recie for the potato cheese pancakes two of my most fav. ingredients...guess what I will be making for Mary when she comes back home !!...unfortunately Peter does not like cheese...imagine not liking cheese ! so can't make them for him ! having said that there is nothing ti stop me making them for just "wee me" !!!

  10. Oh Sybil, you will love them! Xxoo

    Val I cannot wait to see the recipes! They sound good ! Thank you! Xxoo

  11. I am so happy that you are enjoying Ariana and that she is a sweet one. I am sure that will bring great joy into your life. You are such a great nurturer.
    I think your birthday sounded so lovely and I know you have many who love you because I do.
    I am certainly happy that your computer problem was fixed. I have had some moments like this and they are awful. I hate it when things like this happen.
    I have got to figure out soon how I can communicate with my daughter who moved to Australia. We did try Tango; but she is worried that if we do that too much it will take away her phone minutes. I have got to check out some other things.
    I can just imagine how much you enjoy your kitchen even though it might be a bit small. Actually, I have a lot of cabinet space but not a lot of moving around space.
    Well another delightful post by you dear friend. Blessings and hugs for you!

  12. Thank you LeAnn! I did not know you had a daughter in Australia? Wondering which part of Australia she is living, and what took her there? THanks always for your lovely comments and support! xxoo


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