Tuesday 31 March 2015

The Simple Woman's Daybook . . .

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FOR TODAY, March 31, 2015

Outside my window ...

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It came in like a lamb and it is definitely going out like a lion.  Windy.  Cold.  Rainy.

I am thinking ...
We had friends over last night for Family Home Evening.  I enjoyed our time together.   Happiness shared is happiness doubled.

I am thankful for ...
I am so thankful for my husband and the man that he is.   I could not imagine sharing my life with anyone else.

In the kitchen ...

Brown Batter Bread.   Sooooo good!  Easy to make as well.

I have to show you my Pinterest Fail.   haha, makes me laugh.

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Bunny Blobs Rolls.   Those ears . . . half of them fell off and were just laying on the tray.  Half the eyes filled in.   Not a success!  And I did try very hard.

On my "To Cook" list ...
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This Gnocchi Casserole from Buns in my Oven looks pretty good.  Quick and easy to make as well.

I am creating ...
Can you believe I am still waiting for my markers to arrive?  I have sketches all done and am waiting for my markers to arrive so I can start colouring them.  It's taking a very long time!

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These little crochet bunnies with carrots are awfully sweet.   A pattern found on Ravelry.

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I really like this folding heart mug matt.   You can find a complete tutorial here on Ella and Nesta's Little Room.

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No source, but these mice are adorable.

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This crochet edging is shown on a Christmas Card, but why not do it on any special occasion card?  Such a simple idea  and so sweet.  From Dutch Sisters, a complete tutorial.

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Love, Love, LOVE this.  It's eye candy.  No instructions.  But so sweet.  From El Blog De Georgina.

I am reading ...
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Still Alice, by Lisa Genova

This may be one of the most frightening novels you'll ever read. It's certainly one of the most unforgettable. Genova's debut revolves around Alice Howland - Harvard professor, gifted researcher and lecturer, wife, and mother of three grown children. One day, Alice sets out for a run and soon realizes she has no idea how to find her way home. It's a route she has taken for years, but nothing looks familiar. She is utterly lost. Is her forgetfulness the result of menopausal symptoms? A ministroke? A neurological cancer? After a few doctors' appointments and medical tests, Alice has her diagnosis, and it's a shocker -- she has early-onset Alzheimer's disease.

What follows is the story of Alice's slow but inevitable loss of memory and connection with reality, told from her perspective. She gradually loses the ability to follow a conversational thread, the story line of a book, or to recall information she heard just moments before. To Genova's great credit, readers learn of the progression of Alice's disease through the reactions of others, as Alice does, so they feel what she feels -- a slowly building terror.

In Still Alice, Genova, who has a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Harvard, uniquely reveals the experience of living with Alzheimer's. Hers is an unusual book -- both a moving novel and an important read.

I can't put it down. It's a very compelling read. I am near to finished it now.   Any suggestions on what next to read???

I am hoping ...
That I get some anti-biotics today, and that they work.

Makes me smile ...

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Now that's what I call enjoying your food!

So Cute!

I am learning ...
It's so hard to budget.   But we are trying.

Around the house ...

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Shabby Chic Kitchen.  I wish.

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I don't know where this came from, but I would love one in my garden.

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Who could not use this.   From Two Twenty One.  Such a cute blog.

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What a great re-use of an old chair.   From The Glamorous Housewife.

I am pondering ...
I've been watching You're Back In The Room which is a new game show here on Saturday evenings.   It's absolutely hilarious.  I am wondering if it is for real or not.  I wonder if the contestants are really hypnotized or if it's all  a big put on??  Has anyone seen it??  What do you think??

A favourite quote for the day ...

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Without exception . . . all try their hardest to reach the same goal,
that is . . . Joy.

One of my favourite things ...

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I love LOVE Little Golden Books.   I had this one as a child.  I had a lot of them.   I wish they still made them.   I think children would still love them.

A peek into my day ...
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I'm really tired this morning.  I think I'll be taking a nap or two or three today.

And that's my daybook for this week!

⋱ ⋮ ⋰
⋯ ◯ ⋯ 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!

Don't forget . . .

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And I do too!

Monday 30 March 2015

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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This is Easter Week.  I love Easter Week almost more than Christmas.  First of all, it's not hugely commercialised and more Spiritual than anything else, and secondly it includes chocolate, and lots of it.  Over here in the UK, Easter Eggs are really big, and all of the chocolate companies sell them.

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And I'm not talking little here . . . although we do have plenty of little eggs, our main Easter Eggs are HUGE.

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Back home the emphasis used to be on the bunny . . .  here it is on the egg, and you can get whatever kind of egg you want.   Kit Kat.  Mars.   Etc.   They are basically just a plain large Easter Egg, wrapped in foil and filled with the attendant candy bars depending on which candy bar they are.

I have never seen a solid chocolate Easter Bunny here.

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There are plenty of these however . . .  in a variety of sizes.   I would like a big one.

Just sayin'  is all.  I hope the Easter Bunny is listening.

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Because of the sacred nature of this holiday, last week I was pondering on why our church doesn't hold special Psalm Sunday services, or Good Friday Services, etc.   and then it dawned on me.   We celebrate the Atonement all year round.  The Atonement of Jesus Christ is at the centre of everything we do, and at the centre of the lives we live.   That is our whole focus, 365 days a year.  It was an "aha" moment.

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Our Freesia bush is in full bloom.  I can see it every time I look out my back window.   The garden is flush with yellow!  Daffodils and Freesia.  Have you noticed that seasons have colours?  Some seasons have more than one colour.  Right now it is the season of yellow, but it will soon be the season of blue and mauve once the bluebells and lilacs start to bloom.

But I love the Season of Yellow most of all.It signifies renewal and  re-birth.

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 (Martha Stewart)

Do you do an Easter Tree?  This one from Martha Steward is way over the top.  Hard not to notice that one!  When we were down South the Estate Manager would give me an armful of freesia branches each year to make an Easter Tree in our Cottage.   I have a whole bunch of little wooden bunnies and eggs to decorate a tree with.   Maybe this year I will get Todd to go and get me some branches to use . . .  we will see.  I'm not hacking any off our Freesia bush as it is only a tiny one and not yet mature.

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The fields are filled with lambs right now.  I love to watch them.  They don't stroll anywhere.  They gambol and prance.   So sweet.

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I almost did not go to church yesterday.   I had a tummy ache, but I made myself go.  I just felt like I had to be there.   Turned out the Mission President and his wife were there and we were able to have an interview with them.  One step closer to our mission.  It's exciting.   I hadn't considered this before but I will have to cut back on the blogging once our Mission starts.   Not this blog, I am fairly certain I can keep this one up, but the food blog I probably won't be able to do every day like I do now.   That one will have to cut back to about two times a week in all probability.  That's okay.  It will be worth it.

I think I have a bladder infection.  No pain as of the moment, but I am feeling like I constantly have to go to the bathroom.   That is not a small and wonderful thing.

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This is not just Easter Week for us Latter Day Saints, but also Spring Conference Week.  Twice a year we have a General Conference for our church, in the Spring and in the Autumn.   Regular meetings are not held on those weekends.  Instead we gather in our chapels and Stake centres, around our televisions at home, etc. to listen to our leaders speak in four general sessions, as well as a Priesthood Session and a Women's Session.   We get to hear wonderfully uplifting and spiritually energising talks.  I love General Conference.  It, too, is a time of renewal and re-birth.  If you would like to listen to and watch the talks you can too.   You don't have to be LDS to do so.  You just have to click here to find out more.  Come listen to a Prophet speak.

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Saw this on Facebook and it made me smile because  . . .  sharing is always important . . .  and cake sharing is special.   This was a very cakey weekend here.   It was Ariana's birthday on Friday and so I baked her a Peanut Butter Cake (that's her favourite one I make) and then she brought home a chocolate cake her friends had given her.  Lots of cake sharing going on here.

And I guess that is my small and wonderfuls for this week.   I hope your life is full of many small and wonderful things too.

A thought to carry with you  through today  . . .

It is perhaps a more fortunate destiny to have
a taste for collecting shells,
than to be born a millionaire.
~Robert Louis Stevenson 

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In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Blueberry Cake with a Brown Sugar Sauce.  Simple goodness.

Have a wonderful Monday and a beautiful week. Don't forget . . .

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And I do too!

Sunday 29 March 2015

Sunday morning thoughts . . .

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Someone posted this video on their FB timeline the other day.  It was of a boy, in mid-winter, dressed only in a pair of shorts and torn t-shirt, with nothing but a black garbage bag to cover himself.  He had a cardboard sign, which I couldn't see what was written on and a cup and he was standing on a busy sidewalk in a city quite obviously.  He was literally freezing, as you could see him shivering in the video, his whole body shaking.   Person after person, all of them dressed warmly with coats and caps and mitts . . . just walked past him.   Some looked, noticing him . . .  but they kept right on walking by.   Eventually he crawled into the black garbage bag and lay down.    Near the end of the video a man came rushing over to him and took off his own coat for the lad.  You could hear him speaking to the boy.  He was a homeless guy.  He obviously didn't have much himself, but what he did have he was willing to share with another . . .  another whose need was obviously greater than his own.

It did end up that this was an experiment being done by some people to see how many people would respond to this boys need.  What a sad statement about the humanity of the modern man that only one man . . . a man who had nothing himself . . .  would try to help out this boy.

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Oh, I am sure that many of the people walking by the lad and ignoring him had plenty of excuses for why they did not stop to help.   Perhaps they were rushing to an appointment . . .  or maybe they just didn't want to get involved in this lad's plight . . . or maybe they just see so much of need these days that they have hardened themselves to it.   I think the most likely excuse is that they just did not want to get involved.  Stopping to help might have required much more than they were willing to give  . . .  more time,  more money, more compassion.  Maybe they were afraid that he was crazy and would do something to them.

Whatever the case was  . . .  NOBODY stopped . . . except for a homeless man.    It really made me sad to watch.   So sad that a day or so later I am still thinking about it.

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I like to think that I would have stopped and tried to help the boy with whatever means I had to help him . . .  and yes, maybe even given him my own coat, and then taken him somewhere he could warm up and bought him a hot bowl of soup.   Tried to find out what the boys plight was and tried to get him some more permanent help.  That would be the least that I could do.

Since time immortal man has been asking God  . . .  since Cain slew Abel, and God came looking . . .  "Am I my brother's keeper?"

I contend that we are.   That those of us who have been given much have an obligation to those who have been given little.  That if we turn a blind eye to those in need . . .  ours is the greater sin.  That there will come a day when we will all be held accountable for what we have been given and what we did or did not do with it.  That we have a moral responsibility to share with and care for . . .  those in need.

That we are our brother's keeper.

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This responsibility goes beyond the coatless man on the street however . . . it extends beyond our own borders . . .  when we see others in the world starving to death because of drought or poverty . . . when disaster strikes and people are in great need of even the basic necessities of life . . . when women and children in war torn countries are seen living in refugee camps in fear and in need . . . whenever we are faced with a situation where we see others in need, be it at home or far away . . . we need to dig into our own pockets and give to those who need it, even if all we have to give is our time and our prayers.

We can volunteer our time to charities.  Give extra tins of food to food banks.  The list is endless.  The ways we can help are multiple.  What matters the most is  . . .  we help.  We give.   We care.  We pray.

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“Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.   The Lord will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.  The Lord will strengthen him."
~Psalm 41:1-3

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Baking in The English Kitchen today  . . .  Coconut Caramel Slices.   Seriously tasty.

I wish for each of you a very blessed Sabbath day . . .  Don't forget . . .

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And I do too!

Saturday 28 March 2015

How to lose a day . . .


This is the time of year when the house starts to look a bit shabby.  I suppose it's because we have more daylight hours and sunshine pouring in through the windows, but  . . .  we sure can notice the wear and tear of the Winter . . . and one thing just seems to lead to another and to another . . .

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I'm quite sure you know what I mean . . .  you take the living room curtains down to wash because it's been a long Winter and the sun is shining and you just know they will dry perfectly in that fresh March wind . . . and then once they are down . . . you notice that the gas from the stove has made the walls look all yellow, and so . . .

Out the scrub brush comes, and you are scrubbing walls, and then you notice that all of the pictures could use a good cleaning also and before you know it  . . .

you are going around all of their edges with a damp cloth.  We have a lot of pictures.


And then you realize that all of the ornaments could use a bit of a clean also and you are damp clothing it all over the room . . .  well . . . two rooms really because the living area and the dining area are connected by an invisible wall.  (Thank goodness that didn't need cleaning!)

And then . . .

You notice all of the woodwork is looking a bit dingy and could stand a good wipe down . . .  and there are cobwebs gathering around the ceiling lights, and all of the dvd's have gotten mixed up and could use a good sort out . . .  and let's not get started on the cd's . . .  and just look at that tangle of wires behind the television that could use a good sort out as well . . .

And don't you think Mitzie's bed could use a good wash, and you are down washing her bed with a damp cloth and you just can't help noticing that with everything clean and sparkling here in the lounge/dining room . . .

The kitchen is looking a bit dingy as well.   It's the gas you know . . . it coats everything.   Every spice jar, every cannister, every surface . . . and then there are the cupboards . . .  the doors need a good wipe and organization, oh boy do they ever after everything has just been shoved in and out over the last few months . . . and you notice that there are some things which really shouldn't be in here and there are some things which aren't that really should  . . .

And you can't stop until it's as sparkling as the lounge/dining area, but everything looks so fresh and clean and new again, that you feel quite, quite good about it all until  . . .

You go to take something up the stairs and you groan because . . .

The woodwork is all dingy, and there are cobwebs in the corners and the pictures need wiping down and  . . . yada, yada, yada . . .  it begins again.

And before you know it, you've spent a day, and it is gone.   But boy . . .  the house sure looks nice. ☺

A thought to share with you through today  . . .

“After all," Anne had said to Marilla once, 
"I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those 
on which anything very splendid or wonderful 
or exciting happens 
but just those that bring simple little pleasures, 
following one another softly, 
like pearls slipping off a string.” 
~L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea


In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Rhubarb Clafoutis.  A springtime delight.

Have a wonderful Saturday and a beautiful weekend.   Don't forget . . .

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And I do too!