Thursday 31 December 2015

The Passing of the Year . . .

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 Believe it or not it has taken me over an hour just to get to this point this morning.  The computer has had to be rebooted several times.  Pages are taking ages to load, or not loading at all.   It's been a complete and total exercise in frustration.   Some days are just like that.  I am all out of time now and so I will just leave you with a thought to end the year on, and then at some point when this blasted machine decides to co-operate, I will come back with something profound or worth reading!

The Passing of the Year

What did you do for me?  Said I as I watched the dying year;
I would settle accounts with you before you go from here.
You failed to bring me all the things you promised at the start;
the fulfilment of my hopes, the wishes of my heart.

The Old Year opened his fading eyes and said reproachingly,
I gave you all I had to give, but what did you do for me?
I gave you opportunities and chances that you spurned,
many mercies undeserved and happiness unearned.

Had you only known, he said, I was a friend to you.
And as that Old Year breathed his last I knew his words were true . . . 
I had been ungrateful, but it's too late now, I said.
Forgive me Lord, and make me wiser
in the year ahead.
~Patience Strong

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In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Granny's Beef Enchiladas.

On this, the last day of 2015, I want to wish each and every one of you a very Happy New Year!  May the coming year bring you good health and more love, blessings and joy than your cup can hold!  I have enjoyed sharing with you over these past twelve months and look forward to another twelve months in the year to come!  Don't forget!

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And I do too!

Wednesday 30 December 2015

This and that on a Wednesday . . .

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We are having a lovely week here at our house.  It has been so nice having Tatiana here and we will not want to let her go home, but alas, we must . . .  but hopefully she hasn't been too bored being with two old fuddie duddies and will want to come back!


On Monday we went to the Chester Cathedral where they have the most amazing display of Christmas trees on view and the complete Dickens Christmas Carol Display, here and there throughout the cathedral and the most beautiful copper nativity statuary I have ever seen.  It is the first time I have ever been in the cathedral at Christmas.

This was the ghost of Christmas Present.   Very tall and very imposing!


Scrooge was equally as impressive.  The Cathedral is a beautiful cathedral and filled with lots of tiny little chapels.  I love to go there in the summer time when the gardens are open.

I had my Diabetic eye screening afterwards, which is never fun.   The town was just teaming and heaving with people.  I thought it would be not so bad after Christmas but if anything it has gotten busier with people out and about for the after Christmas sales.

I confess we were very naughty after my eye test and treated ourselves to fish and chips at Blackstocks.   It was very good.   Tatiana loves the tea here in the UK.   Yesterday she stocked up on a huge box of it to take back with her.  Yorkshire Tea of course.  It's the best!

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Monday night we had a family home evening and the Sisters came over to us.  Also Jose as Ariana was working and he was all on his lonesome.  First he took Miztie for probably the longest walk she has ever had.  She was totally exhausted, which was nice for her.  She never gets tired out.

I had made some deviled eggs, sandwiches and of course we had mince pies, etc., but Tatiana made these amazing Greek Cheese Pies for us to enjoy and they were fabulous!  Leftovers were taken yesterday to our weekly correlation meeting and inhaled by all the missionaries.  They absolutely loved them!

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When we got back from our meeting Tatiana had cooked us dinner.

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A beautiful  pasticcio whick is a Greek Pasta dish with pasta on the bottom and delicious meat sauce and a creamy cheese bechamel on top.  Oh boy it was gorgeous.

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It is not often that I have someone cooking for me, and it was a real treat!

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There was enough for us to send some over to our next door neighbor (who really appreciated!), some to Jose and Ariana (who just live around the corner from us now) and we will feast on it again today.   I am looking forward to that.  I know it is one of those dishes which just gets even better tasting with time!   Our house has smelled heavenly these past couple of days!

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This girl is so amazingly talented with her journal making and book binding.   She made travel journals for all of the missionaries and they were so impressed with them.  She made Kathy a beautiful star journal.  I did not get a photograph of it.  It opens out into a star.  It is just gorgeous.

She is also very thoughtful and puts so much into everything she does.  She is always thinking of the other person, always thinking about how she can do a service to someone else.  I am enjoying having her here with us very much.

Yesterday afternoon we got to go window shopping at Gordales and also Hobby Craft.  It is so much fun shopping with another woman, and when we got home we shared what we had bought with each other.  I did not have a chance to take a photo.  I got three new blown glass ornaments for the Christmas tree for half price and some Christmas stickers and an amazing smelling candle.   Tatiana was right in her glory in Hobby Craft.  She was able to pick up a few things much cheaper here than she can get then in Greece, and of  course with all of her talents she will be able to hopefully recoup her expenditure when she gets home and does her workshops.

 Today we were hoping to go to Errdig but we will see, the weather has turned really nasty out there, so maybe we will just stay at home and play in the craft room.  Watch this space!

And I got a letter from the Gastro Clinic at the hospital yesterday saying they have booked an appointment with me at the hospital the first week in February.  I am to bring a urine sample, and the letter,  plus a list of all the medications I am on, but it doesn't say why I am supposed to go or what for.  It's a big mystery.   I said to Todd however that it can't be anything too bad or they would have me going in there a lot sooner.

I better wind this up, the internet is not working properly this morning for some reason.

A thought to carry with you for today . . .

✿¸.•*¨`*•..¸✿ ✿¸.•*¨`*•..¸✿ ✿¸.•*¨`*•..¸✿
So long as we are loved by others,
I should say that dwe are almost indispensable,
and no man is useless while he has a friend.
~Robert Louis Stevenson
✿¸.•*¨`*•..¸✿ ✿¸.•*¨`*•..¸✿ ✿¸.•*¨`*•..¸✿

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In the English Kitchen today  . . . .  Mexican Pizza.  Seriously delicious.

Wherever you go and whatever you do, I hope there's a great day ahead of you!  Wrap up warm!  There is gale force winds and rain out there!   Don't forget!

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And I do too!

Tuesday 29 December 2015

The Simple Woman's Daybook . . .


FOR TODAY, December 29th, 2015

Outside my window ...
It's cold, dark and quiet.   Its hard to believe that this is the last simple woman's post I will be doing for 2015.   This year has gone by rather quickly I think!  Almost scary how quickly it has passed!

I am thinking ...
About all of the flooding in recent days, both here in the UK and in North America.   Then those poor people in Texas with the tornadoes and then historic winter storms right on top of them.   How utterly awful these past few weeks have been for some people.  My heart goes out to them all.

I am thankful for ...
This year I heard from each one of my children at Christmas in one way or another.  If that is not a reason for thanks then I don't know what is!  Best Christmas ever!

In the kitchen ...
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Toenail Pudding.  It's an old traditional pudding, a school dinner variety.   It's quite delicious actually.  A Vanilla and Jam steamed Sponge, sprinkled with Dessicated Coconut(the toenails) and served with lashings of warm custard.

On my "To Cook" list ...

This White Pizza Dip looks amazing!   From I Heart Eating.

I am creating ... 
Not a heck of a lot at the moment!  But I am hoping that Tatiana will show me how to bind a couple of books while she is here.  I want to bind the children's story I did for my grandkids.


 Just one of the illustrations I did for it.


I love LOVE these embroidered felt valentines!  They look very easy to do.  You can find out how here.

I love, LOVE these Mad Hatter ornaments.  Maybe for next year?  They would also be awesome party favors for a Mad Hatter's Tea party.  Found on DIY Gift Blog 


Bullet  Journals.   From Passion Themed Life.


Twelve Free Romantic Fonts.  I love fonts.  Found on We Lived Happily Ever After.

I am reading ...

Lineage of Grace, by Francine Rivers

In this compilation of the five books in the best-selling Lineage of Grace series by Francine Rivers, we meet the five women whom God chose—Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary. Each was faced with extraordinary—even scandalous—challenges. Each took great personal risk to fulfill her calling. Each was destined to play a key role in the lineage of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World.

 I love these types of books and I love Francine Rivers as an author. Scarlet Thread is one of my all time favourite books of hers.

Looking forward to ...
We are going to Erddig with Tatiana this week.  I love Erddig.

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It's like Downton Abby, albeit on a much smaller scale.  The gardens won't be in bloom this time of year, but the house will still be fascinating.

Makes me smile ... 

I love this.  I've experienced this so many times, and it's true.

I am learning ...
To wait on the Lord's timing for things.  I think I will be learning this til the day I die.  Sometimes I do well with it and others I don't do so well with it.

Dreaming about ...

Pearl Buttons . . .


Messy Buns . . .


Feet that sparkle  . . .

Casual Chic . . .

Rhinestones   . . .

 A favourite quote for the day  ...

 `*.¸.*´Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ¸.•´¸.•~♥♥♥~•.~
ღϠ₡ღ¸. ✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ. ( ¸.❀⁀
⋱‿✿“` * .¸.* ✻ღϠ₡ღ¸.✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ..

What is done in love is done well.
~Vincent Van Gogh

One of my favourite things ... 


Monogrammed Linens . . .

A peek into my day ...

I am entirely too fond of housewifery  . . .

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 28 December 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 our Doug's oldest son Jon, short for Jonathan.  He will be turning 10 in a few month's time.   All my grandchildren are special.    I love that Jon especially has a very tender heart.   Here is something he said to his mother yesterday   . . .

 J-"Mama do they still fight wars at Christmas time?"
  His mother-"Well yes Bud they do"
J in great disapproval - "Well they SHOULD NOT, they should just stop fighting and give each other presents. That way they will be too thankful to fight. They would start talking and be friends and there would be no more war."

Its a pretty wonderful thing to have a grandson who has such a tender heart.  That makes my own heart smile.

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Someone is certainly enjoying all of the extra attention she is getting this week.

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Watching my oldest boy make cinnamon rolls on the iPad.  What a treat!  That is Anthony and he has always loved to cook.   From the time he could walk, he was in the kitchen with me helping me as I puttered and stirred, etc.   All of my boys love to cook.   I love to watch them cook.

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As you can see, they turned out really well . . . .

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And terrifically enjoyed by Gabriel . . . .

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And Luke . . .

Getting to spend some facetime with ALL of my grandsons over the holidays was the best Christmas gift ever!

In fact this year I heard from all of my children.  So that was an added blessing that I had not expected.  Best gift ever number 2 God is good.

One of my sons (the oldest one) sent me a message on Christmas day which really did my heart good.   He told me that he loved me (always good) and that he was very proud of me and my serving a Mission.  For that to come from my son who isn't a Mormon made me feel really nice.  Best give every number 3.

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A thorn between Two Roses, haha.   Triple selfie.  Todd is new to this.  But, as you can see he is really enjoying it!

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This has truly been a Christmas filled abundantly with many blessings.  I am so grateful for each and every one of them.

Today I am off into town this morning to have my Diabetic Eye Screening.  Not a fan of that.  It will be hours before I can see properly again, but the Sister Missionaries are coming over this evening to do a Family Home Evening with us, so that will be great!  Tatiana is going to make cheese pies.   Sounds great eh?   Can't wait!

A thought to carry with you through today   . . .

The year now dying
once was young
and much it promised you.
Hopefully you greeted it
when it was fresh and new.
So do not let it pass awy
without a thankful thought 
of the happy times and 
all the blessings that it brought . . . 

Baking in The English Kitchen today . . .  Cheddar Pan Biscuits.  Simple and tasty!

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

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 And I do too!

Sunday 27 December 2015

A little bit of nothing and an abundance of not a lot.


"It is a beautiful arrangement, also, derived from days or yore, that this festival, which commemorates the announcement of the religion of peace and love, has been made the season of gathering together of familiar connections, and drawing closer again those bands of kindred hearts, which the cares and pleasures and sorrows of the world are continually operating to cut lose; of calling back the children of a family, who have launcheed forth in life, and wandered widely asunder, once more to assemble about the paternal hearth, that rallying place of the affections, there to grow young and loving again among the endearing mementos of childhood."
~Washington Irving, Christmas at Bracebridge Hall

I found this thought this morning and pondered to myself, what beautiful sentiments.   There is something in the heart at this time of year which longs to take itself back to the roots of one's being . . .  to be amongst those we love and care about, with whom we share a history which we share with none other.  Oh that I could, but alas I cannot.   But in my mind and my heart, I am there.


Devastating floods again to the North of us.  This has been a pretty wet and dismal Christmas for so many.   That is what happens with the weather is far too mild here at this time of year.  We get rain, rain and more rain.   Our back garden lays in puddles of water that the already over-saturated ground cannot possibly absorb.  Please spare a few prayers for those who have been so adversely affected these past weeks by this horrible weather.

I spoke to my brother briefly on Christmas day in Ottawa and he was going for a bicycle ride.  Unheard of for this time of year in that place.  Two green Christmas's in a row for Nova Scotia.  I hope they don't get the snow afterwards to make up for it that they got last year.

Must dash.  I know I have not written much, but my computer has been really messing about this morning.   Sluggish and just not wanting to cooperate in the least.  Some days are just like that n'est ce pas?  Mais oui! 

In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Maraschino Cherry Cake!

Have a wonderful and blessed sabbath, the last of this year!  Don't forget,

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And I do too!