Friday 31 July 2015

Friday Finds . . .

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A few of the wow moments and things that I find each week that tickle my fancy. They might even tickle yours!

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I don't know about you, but I know that "I" can never have too many recipes to use up Bananas with!  I always have bananas in the house and I always have brown bananas.   From  Simply Stacie.

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Little House on the Valley.  How to dry and preserve hydrangeas.  I have tons of hydrangeas.  I love them.  They grow like weeds and don't require a lot of care and I am a lazy gardener.

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How to make over an Ikea Stepstool, using washi tape or decoupage.   From DOS Family.

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Doorknobs to Curtain Rods.  I Love this idea.  So pretty.  From In My Own Style.

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Zero Waste Plastic Free Refrigerator Storage.  From Paris To Go.

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If you are like me you need all the inspiration you can get.  From Cloudy With a Chance of Wine.

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Live Renewed.  Daily chores to help keep the home clean and organized.  I always seem to get bogged down.  There is some great stuff here.

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32 Things you probably should be cleaning.  I would never have thought of some of these.   Ick!
From Buzz Feed.  (I was already doing the telephone, but some of the others were eye opening!)

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Remedies for Weight Loss.  From Everyday Roots.

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One Good Thing.   How to pack a carry on like a pro.  Great advice here.  I learned a lot of packing tricks and tips when I worked at the Manor, but you can never know too much when it comes to travel.  Anything to make things easier

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I had a little bit of time yesterday afternoon and so I sketched out this little girl.  Todd is thinking I should try to get out of my contract with the licensing agent.   They have done nothing for me and don't respond to any of my e-mails.  I am so disappointed.  :-(

A thought to carry with you throughout the day . . .

Do not let the unknown future
fill you with dismay.
It is in the hands of God,
so go upon your way.
Trust in Him
and have no fear.
You do not walk alone.
He leads the faithful in the dark
and careth for His own.
~Patience Strong

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Peanut Sauced Sesame Chicken.  In the English Kitchen today.  Simple, quick and delicious.

Have a wonderful Friday and great weekend! Wherever you go and whatever you do, don't forget that . . .
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And I do too!

Thursday 30 July 2015

Five Things about Me . . .

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Yes, that is quinoa.   NOT a fan.   I can hardly stand to look at the stuff.   The sight of it makes me want to gag.  It's that little tail thing it has going  . . .  reminds me of worms.  Little tiny pin worms.  I don't care if it is good for you.  I don't care if it's a super food, super protein, whatever.   I don't care how popular it gets/is.  I am not eating it.  End of.  You will never see any recipes using it on my page.  Nope.  Nope.  Nope.

And yes, that is the first thing in a five things about me post.  ☺

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I love gingham.  Red and white is my favourite, followed by blue and white  . . .  but brown and white also does it for me.

Sorry I couldn't resist.   Which leads me to fact three . . .

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I have a wierd sense of humor.   I like irony.  I like cheesy jokes.  I am not into dirty jokes.  I am not into racial jokes or jokes that poke fun at a certain culture etc.  I think life itself can be quite funny, and I don't mind laughing at myself.   I will not make a joke at the expense of others.  That is not funny.

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I have a taste for all things romantic and feminine.  I love, LOVE flowers and lace.  Pretty linens.  Pretty dresses, etc.    Vintage linens.  Roses.  Antique Lace.  Pearl buttons.   White washed furniture, looking well used.  The colour pink.  All things Potter  . . . That's me.  (I've seen the film Miss Potter about 10 times.)

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I love cardigans and twin sets.  If I could have one in every colour, I would.   I used to have two twin sets a long time ago.  One was burgundy and the other sage green.   The sweater tops had pearl embroidery around the neckline, and the cardigans pearl buttons.  I loved them.  I wore them out.  (I also used to have a gingham skirt that I loved and wore out.)

And that's my five things about me this week.  I am betting we have something in common.

A thought to carry with you through today  . . .

Make an adventure of all that you do,
Do it with humour and zest,
Looking at life from the broad point of view,
Giving your utmost and best.

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In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Sour Cream Mac and Cheese.  Rich and delicious.

Have a fabulous Thursday!  Wherever you go and whatever you do, stay safe and don't forget . . .

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And I do too!

Wednesday 29 July 2015

Who do you think you are?

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Geneology fascinates me.  It always has done.  That is something which my late Aunt Freda and I had in common . . .  our great love of wanting to know all that we could find out about our family roots.  I don't think I am alone in that as this general desire of most people to want to know their family roots has lead to some very popular television shows on both sides of the pond, and I have discovered that not only am I interested in who I am, but I'm also interested in who other people are as well!

People have such interesting family histories!  Especially famous people, and I love watching the  programs about them.  I  hazard a guess that had most of us the access to the means, methods and finances that are made available to these famous people that we would find our ancestrial stories just as fascinating!

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Sadly, I don't know a lot about my father's family history except for a few tidbits.   A lot of what I can find out is hampered because I don't speak fluent French.   I do know that the Villeneuve family arrived in Canada in the 1600's in the way of a mutual ancestor named Philippe Amyot.

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He is commonly known as Philippe Amyot dit Villeneuve, and was born in Picardy, France around 1600. In Tanguay, he is listed as being from Chartres. His name is spelled Amyot in Tanguay. His wife was Anne Covenant.  Their first two children, . . .  Jean and Mathieu . . .  were born in France and the family arrived in Canada in 1636, so were some of the first settlers in French Canada.  Another son, Charles Joseph, was born in the new world.

Jesuit Missionaries report that a ship containing 45 recruits arrived in the new world on June 12, 1636, so it is highly likely that this was the ship that Philippe and his family arrived on.

An inventory of his goods was made on Sep 7, 1639, after his death. The following and more are listed:
5 sets of drapes
a bed canopy
 suits for Mathieu and Charles
 a beaver robe worth 17 Livres
a frying pan
 8 pounds of pewter dishes
 a small pot and
96 "perches" of cleared land.

He owed 8 Francs in estate taxes.

Philippe was a Coureur-de-Bois, which at the time was a very lucrative trade, He died ca 1638. A Coureur-de-Bois was an independent entrepreneurial French-Canadian woodsman who traveled in New France and the interior of North America. They ventured into the woods usually to trade various European items for furs and along the way, learned the trades and practices of the Native people who inhabited there. These expeditions were fuelled by the beginning of the Fur Trade in the North American interior. Trade began with coat beaver, but as the market grew coureur des bois were trapping and trading prime beavers to be felted in Europe.  The term is often confused with voyageurs who, rather than being unlicensed entrepreneurs were the canoe travel workers for licensed fur traders. The most prominent Coureur des bois were also explorers and gained fame as such.

I would love to know even more about this man and his wife, and the bits that come in between my my father's Great Great  Grandfather and Philippe.  I'd also love to know more about his wife Anne Covenant and her family.  I do believe that they must have been very brave and forward thinking individuals to have faced beginning life anew in a strange and largely un-explored frontier!

Philippe only lived about three years in the Colony, but, thanks to his two sons Mathieu and Charles, that short time was sufficient for him to firmly implant on Canadian soil a name borne today by thousands of descendants.

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Family history on my mother's side has been a lot easier to research, probably because it's largely in the English language, although there is some German as well.  One branch of my mother's family tree can be traced back to loyalists to the English Crown which moved up to Canada after the American Revolution, having been, prior to that,  some of the earliest settlers in the American Colonies.  I can trace lines back to  William the Conquereror . . . others hit the Plantagenets . . .  Queen Eleanor of Acquitaine is in my family tree . . . indeed King Alfred the Great is an ancestor of mine.  I share also a common ancestry with the present Duke of Westminster (although none of his money, lol)  who is the richest man in England . . . and I recently discovered that I am a descendant of Robert de Brus (Robert the Bruce) who was King of Scots from 1306 until his death in 1329.

Robert was one of the most famous warriors of his generation, and eventually led Scotland during the Wars of Scottish Independence against England.

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Once you hit royalty in your family tree . . .  the rest of the information falls like dominoes.   Very good records were kept of royal lines.  

There is one line of my mother's family tree that we can get nowhere with however and that is the McNayr (McNair) line.   The furthest back we can get is in the name of Boyd McNayr who was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1778.  We do know that at the precious age of only 8 years . . .  he was left with friends in Halifax, Nova Scotia by his father (no name known) who was apparently in the King's navy.    His father was never seen or heard from again.   Boyd eventually made his way down to the Annapolis Valley, becoming a blacksmith in the Lawrencetown area and marrying a Rachel Beals.  They had 14 children and there is a very touching story about of them moving out to Springfield, Nova Scotia with Rachel sitting pregnant on a horse, and him guiding the horse all the way there, which would have been some considerable journey from the valley.   He was one of the two original settlers of Springfield, Nova Scotia.

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This is Ida McNayr Smith, who is my Great Great Grandmother and Boyd's Great Great Granddaughter.


When I look at this photograph of her I see a strong family resemblance to certain members of my family. It's the eyes and the nose. These same  features are scattered throughout my family to this day.

I think it's pretty exciting to be able to trace one's roots back and if you have pictures to look at, it's even more exciting, especially when you see family traits that have been carried on down through the generations, and read about the things they have done and accomplished. Have any of you been able to research or find out fascinating stories about your ancestors? I would love to hear them! Please do share!  Who do you think YOU are?

A thought to carry with you through today  . . .

To say I am made in the image of God
is to say love is the reason for my existance;
for God is love
Love is my true identity . . . 
Love is my true character . . . 
~Thomas Merton

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Cooking in The English Kitchen today  . . .  an easy dessert . . .  Boston Cream Pie Parfaits.

Have a fabulous Wednesday, no matter what you get up to!  Don't forget . . .

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and I do too!

Tuesday 28 July 2015

The Simple Woman's Daybook . . .

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FOR TODAY, July 28th, 2015

Outside my window ...
It's dull and overcast.  And quite chilly.  Where has summer gone??

I am thinking ...
Meeting up with a friend at her church ladies' group today.   It is a strawberry luncheon and they will be sharing crafts.   A bit nervous about going as I have never met any of them except for my friend.

I am thankful for ...
Having a Todd and a Mitzie in my life, as well as the Gospel.   Life is good.

In the kitchen ...
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Fire and Ice Pickled Beetroot.   A one jar pickled beet recipe that has a bit of a snap.  Delicious!

On my "To Cook" list ...
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These Spicy Fried Pork Chops and Gravy look really good.   From Creole Contessa.

I am creating ...
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I have several of these that my mother made.  The tops are crocheted or knitted instead of sewn.  I love these for drying my wet hands on in the kitchen.   You can find a complete tutorial on Kleios Belly.

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If you like working with felt, you will love this Christmas Penny Rug.  I have actually made this one.  I had it finished in time for Christmas last year.  Simple and fun to do.   From Cath's Pennies Designs.   She has patterns for just about every season and holiday!

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Grow Your Own Geodes.  Kids would love this.  From Dollar Store Crafts.

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I love these people painted rocks.   Such a simple idea and so much fun.   Kids could play with them on long trips, matching different bodies with different heads, etc.

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Make Your Own Mod Podge.  Mod Podge is expensive.  If this works, what a money saver!  From Do It Yourself Divas.

I am reading ...
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The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, by Muriel Spark
I had seen the film a long time ago but never read the book it was based on. 

In 1930s Edinburgh, six ten-year-old girls, Sandy, Rose, Mary, Jenny, Monica, and Eunice are assigned Miss Jean Brodie, who describes herself as being "in my prime," as their teacher. Miss Brodie, determined that they shall receive an education in the original sense of the Latin verb educere, "to lead out," gives her students lessons about her personal love life and travels, promoting art history, classical studies, and fascism. Under her mentorship, these six girls whom Brodie singles out as the elite group among her students—known as the "Brodie set"—begin to stand out from the rest of the school. However in one of the novel's typical flash-forwards we learn that one of them will later betray Brodie, ruining her teaching career, but that she will never learn which.

This novel takes these same girls through to age 17.  Fascinating read.

I am hoping ...
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With this next season of Downton Abby being it's last and the cancellation of The Starlings, I am hoping that Brendon Coyle will soon be on our screens as another character.   He's one of my favourite actors.

Makes me smile ...
Knock Knock Jokes.  I heard a good one yesterday . . .

Knock Knock
Who's there?
Moustache who?
Moustache you a question, but am shaving it for later.

I am learning ...
Awareness of ourselves and the world around us – called mindfulness – can improve our mental wellbeing.

Around the house ...
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 Washi Tape Piano Keys, from We Heart It.

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"She Sheds,"  a womans answer to The Man Cave.

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The backsplash in Monet's kitchen in Giverny, France.

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This reminds me of my Nan's kitchen.   Lovely.

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An indoor treehouse . . .

I am pondering ...
Todd did not sleep all night last night.  I had a hard time falling asleep, so I went in the other room to read and fell asleep there.  When I got up I went into our room to get my glasses and he was sitting up awake reading.  He had not slept all night.  I told him to try again.  I wonder why this happens to us every now and again?  I hate it when it does.

A favourite quote for the day ...
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 `*.¸.*´Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ¸.•´¸.•~♥♥♥~•.~
    ღϠ₡ღ¸. ✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ.
     (¸.❀⁀⋱‿✿“`* .¸.* ✻ღϠ₡ღ¸.✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ..

"When the world says give up . . .  hope whispers, "one more time."

One of my favourite things  ...
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Music  . . .

A peek into my day ...
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I spend far too much of it thinking about cooking or eating  . . .  sigh . . .

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 great day ahead of you! Don't forget!

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And I do too!!

Monday 27 July 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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Getting to come home on Friday night instead of having to stay in the hospital.  I was praying so hard that I could come home.   I would never have been able to sleep in there.  It was far too noisy with machines beeping and people snoring all around me, not to mention nurses coming in and out etc.   I don't know how anyone could sleep in there!  I was so grateful when they said I could go home.  There truly is NO place like home!

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Being able to go to church yesterday, even if it was in a different Ward.   Church is where I get my spiritual battery recharged.   We travelled a bit North of here, up the Wirrel to Birkenhead Morton Ward.   It was nice to see some friends we had not seen in a while and it was also nice to have the opportunity to bear our testimonies.  Also very grateful to be able to travel in safety both there and back.  Always a blessing is that.

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I live in a country where I am free to be who I am, to worship as I may, to think as I do without fear of persecution.  I think this is something which we all tend to take for granted.   If you are reading this you are amongst the  few in the world who also share in these  same blessings.  I can only imagine the terrible tyrannies that all of those boat people are fleeing and my heart goes out to them.  I am not sure what the solution is for them.

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The opportunity I have each morning to write on a fresh page and do better today than I did yesterday.  There is always something we can do better.  None of us is perfect.   Grateful for fresh pages.

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Facetime with my awesome brother on Saturday.   I love my brother so very much.    He's just a really, really good man.   I love this photograph of him.  He looks so happy in it.   I am happy that he is happy.   WE had a great talk and a few laughs.   I am so grateful for the miracle of modern technology.

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Unconditional love.

Never underestimate it.

A thought to carry with you through today  . . .

If we could be given that
for which our hearts now ache . . . 
would it really prove a blessing,
or a big mistake?
It's as well we have no choice.
It's not for us to say  . . . 
but to make the best of
whatsoever comes our way.

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Cooking in The English Kitchen today  . . .  Bacon and Rarebit Quickie.   A quick and easy light supper to enjoy!

May the week ahead be filled with a multitude of small and wonderful things for you!  Don't forget  . . .

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And I do too!  Happy Monday!