Saturday 31 December 2016

Thoughts to end the year on . . .

Once again we find ourselves at the end of another year in awe at the pace of how quickly it seems to have flown by . . . it is always the same.   This year I am ending the year with a very poorly Mitzie and a husband who has cancer.  Not two things I wanted to end the year on, or foresaw at the beginning of 2016, but it is what it is nevertheless and thankfully those are two things we can work on alleviating.   Mitzie will be going to the Vet again this morning, and Todd will begin his radiation treatments in a month's time. I have great faith that both issues will be dealt with and resolved in due course.

This is the year I learned to forgive, if not forget.   I always thought I knew how to forgive but the ugly truth was I did not.   Issues from the past kept rearing their ugly heads to smack me in the face again and again.  I think I have listened to or read this talk by Kevin R Duncan (from the April 2016 Conference) a bazillion times this year and it has finally become a part of the fabric of my being.  I have been able to partake of the healing ointment of forgiveness both for others and for myself, and that has been a very good thing.  If you are dealing with issues such as this, I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Even though we may be a victim once, we need not be a victim twice by carrying the burden of hate, bitterness, pain, resentment, or even revenge. We can forgive, and we can be free!

This year I grew also, as an artist.   I started adding backgrounds to some of my work and I was really happy with the way they turned out.  I am still evolving.  Still learning.   Still developing.  That is art.  I find myself still wishing and wondering about how things might have been had I been allowed to go to Art School after high school, but it is what it is.  Although I might have been able to forge myself a career in the Arts at some point had I done so, I am content.   I have had to do some deep soul searching and have come to see that success doesn't come from outside, it comes from within and if I see myself as an artist, then it doesn't really matter what anyone else thinks or does.  Success is not measured in dollars or pounds.  It is measured in contentment, and I am content with what I do.   It makes ME happy, and that has to be enough.  The fact that it might make someone else happy is just the icing on an already delicious cake.

Another thing I learned this year is that you just cannot make or force people to care, and that it is okay for them not to care.   It might sting, but you cannot legislate anyone else's behaviour or make them feel things they do not or choose not . . . . to feel.  No amount of money, or time, or gifts or whatever can change the nature of another human being.  To some, loving and acceptance comes easy, to others it is a hard row to hoe.  I am from the easy court . . . which means that I am also very easily hurt, but I would not have me any other way.  And if I expect others to accept me as I am, I, too . . . have to accept them.  And just learn to live with it.

We are all at different points of progression on this journey called life and it is a journey you cannot make for someone else.  They must make it for themselves.  God willing, they will get there in the end, but until they do  . . .  God grant me the Serenity . . .

I love the Serenity Prayer.  I always have done.  This year I have put it into practice and noticed a difference.

This was a year of great discovery for me.   Spiritually, mentally, physically.    Excitingly, I had my DNA done and discovered my physical roots for real.  It was the most amazing experience ever and I am so grateful that I had this opportunity.  It taught me that we are not always who we think we are.  That we are filled with surprises and wonder, and that as different as we may each look and act on the outside . . .  inside we are probably more similar than we could ever begin to think.  We are each a melting pot of the world and of the human experience.  Unlike Cain . . .  when answering to the Lord after he had slain his brother . . .  when the sands of the earth cry out with my brother's blood, my answer must be Yes Lord, I AM my brother's keeper.   The milk of kindness must surely run in my veins and although I am but one, I must do what I can, where I can, when I can and while I can.

It is not enough to just think that I would like to do more.  I must act and do more, so much so that it becomes second nature to me to want to serve others selflessly.  This is a work in progress.  If each day I can say that I am better today than I was the day before, then that is a good thing.

If at the end of this year 2016 I can look in the mirror and say with all honesty that a better person stands there than did last year at this same time, this year is a year that has not been wasted.  And . . .  I think with all honesty I can say this is true.  I am a better person today than I was on December 31st, 2015.  And that is my only resolution for 2017. . .  to once again end it as a better person than I am today.  I look forward to this new journey of discovery.

It's quite an exciting prospect actually!

.° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★

 *.˛.° ˛°. . 
˛*A thought to end the year on . . .

° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * 
   *.˛.° ˛°. . 
For a new year to bring you something new, 

                         make a move, like a butterfly tearing its cocoon! 
                               Make a move!~Mehmet Murat Ildan *。*˚*。*˚

Spiritual Enlightenment


In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Hot Ice Cream Pudding.  Oh boy  . . . thank goodness for repentance. This is very naughty.  😈

Thanks so very much for being a part of my journey this year!  Please keep Mitzie in your prayers, and Todd too.   I wish all the best for you in 2017.   May it be a year filled with love, luck, happiness and health for each of you.  Along the way don't forget . . .

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And I do too!

Friday 30 December 2016

My Friday Finds . . .


A few of the things I find each week which pique my curiosity or inspire me to want to do something, create something, cook something, or become a better person! I hope they will pique your curiosity or inspire you in some way as well!

From Pop Sugar.  How to start a Cookbook Club and why you should.  Sounds good to me.  (But I am a bit biased here.)


One Year to More Organized Photos.   It's the end of the year, why not!  From Simple as that Blog.

From Picsy.  What a great idea for photographing four generations!

Flamingo Toes. An Anthro knock off into the woods necklace.  Complete tutorial.

DIY Ukulele.  From Wonderforest.
You do need to buy a kit.

Dino Tails.  What child wouldn't love this.  From Running with Scissors.

Awesome Bunting.  From Sparkle Power.


No source but how hard can it be.  Butchers twine and fabric scraps.  Sweet.

Weaving Danish Heart Baskets.  Radmegan.

Wooden Clothespeg Airplanes.  From Wiki How.  Cute.

How to paint a scalloped border.  Every Day is a Holiday.

Women's Day.  DIY Cafe Curtains.

Ideal Home.  Ideas for Kitchen shelving.  Wish I had a kitchen large enough.

 Men's Hat.  Free Tutorial from Crochet Club.


Vintage Neck Warmer Pattern.  From Ravelry.  I love it!

And those are my finds for this week.  I hope you saw something of interest.  We have a very poorly dog again this morning.  I think we are going to have to take her to the Vet.  😢  I am very concerned.

Must dash.

In The English Kitchen today . . . .  Cheesy Turkey Mac.  A one pan wonder.

Have a great day.  Don't forget . . . 

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And I do too!

Thursday 29 December 2016

Raindrops on roses . . .


These are a few of my favourite things.

Quiet nights in.  Just Todd, the dog and myself.  Cosy and warm, perhaps with a good film on the telly, contentment . . . 


Fairy lights.   We have them strung over our bed and wound amongst the rails.  We have them hanging over our lounge drapes.  We have them draped on our mantle, tucked away behind the cherubs.  I love fairy lights.

Stormy days from the inside looking out.  Nothing makes you appreciate home sweet home  more than being tucked up safe indoors  . . . out of the wind and the rain and snow, and a loved one to share that feeling with . . . .be they man or beast.

A cosy throw to wrap up in.  Cocooning  . . .

A kettle for boiling  . . .  water . . . so you can make warming drinks like herbals teas, hot chocolates . . . or cup-a-soup.  Chicken noodle please.

Scented candles that smell like home sweet home  . . . with ginger and spice, cinnamon and nutmeg . . .  and wood fire smoke . . .

Warm fluffy slippers to keep my feet cosy . . .

Oversized sweaters  . . . they are like little knitted mumus . . . .

Someone to curl up with.   Todd.  Mitzie.  A warm body will do, so long as they don't snore too loudy.

A good book to get stuck in to  . . . . any suggestions?


Can you feel it?  The season of canoodle is upon us.  I love it . . . 💗💗💗  What are some of your favourite canoodling things?

.° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★

 *.˛.° ˛°. . 
˛*A thought to carry with you through today  . . .

° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * 
   *.˛.° ˛°. .   We can only be said to be truly alive

          in those moments when our hearts 
                    are conscious of their treasures.
                          ~Thornton Wilder  *。*˚*。*˚

Spiritual Enlightenment

In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Gingersnap Glazed Ham.

I wish for you a perfectly splendid Thursday . . .  along the way of your day don't forget . . .

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And I do too!

Wednesday 28 December 2016

Wednesday this and that . . .


We ventured out to the grocery store yesterday morning to pick up a few odds and sodds.  Amazingly there was literally no traffic on the roads and very few cars in the grocery store parking lot.  A vast improvement over just a few days ago.   All through the shop the employees looked like they were desparately trying to find something to do.  I don't think I have ever seen the shelves looking so tidy.  I was almost afraid to move anything and spoil all of their handiwork!

I also had to pick up a Birthday pressie for our little Josh who will be having a birthday early in January.   His birthday is so soon after Christmas that I am sure he always gets his presents from me late, but this year I am hoping it will arrive on time!

Todd thought this was totally disgusting, but I thought this was the perfect gift for a boy of Josh's age, and something which will give all the boys a good laugh and a giggle and which isn't too hard to play.  The premise is that you place Guster the Gas Cloud in the centre of the table and deal the cards.   Three to each player. If you play a number card, press Guster as many times as the number shown-but watch out, Guster's blasts are not silent and they're definitely deadly. If Guster breaks wind,  you're out! Other Gas Out cards in the deck keep the fun tooting along like the Skip card which sends Guster onto the next player, or the Reverse card that "blows" him back in the opposite direction. Be the last player to keep Guster the Gas Cloud from passing gas during your turn, and you win.

Sounds totally like boy fun to me.   The trick will be to keep it from exploding during transit and making odd noises that cause the Postal workers to look twice!


Got home and put the groceries away.  (There wasn't much as we didn't need much.)  Got the gift all wrapped and ready for posting today and then Mitzie wanted to go out.   Put her out and she started throwing up.   We had a sick puppy.   She was ill all afternoon, having thrown up several times and spent the afternoon snuggled next to me on the sofa feeling very poorly.  She didn't even get very excited when two of the Missionaries stopped by.  She usually turns herself inside out when the Missionaries come, but not yesterday.  I made sure she was comfortable and had plenty of water to drink and this morning she seems to be a lot better.  She  spent all night laying next to my side of the bed on the floor on her pillow and has not been ill this morning.  I gave her a small amount of chopped cooked turkey breast this morning for breakfast and so far (Fingers crossed) so good.

It is so upsetting when our pets are sick.   They can't tell you how they are feeling and you are always at a bit of a loss as to what is going on or how serious it is.  God willing she is back to normal today.  We had not fed her anything out of the ordinary over Christmas, except for a small treat of turkey on Christmas day, but who knows what she got into outdoors in the garden.  She is a digger and her paws had been very muddy the night before so maybe she ate something she shouldn't have out there.

We had such a mild Christmas with double digit temps but yesterday the thermostat dropped and it has turned cold again.   The two Missionaries that stopped by were glad of an hour in the house to warm up their fingers.   They brought us a lovely letter from our Mission President here in the Manchester Mission and a special gold flash drive that we are going to plug into the computer today to see what is on it.  Apparently every Missionary gets one.  It has photos and momentos of their mission on it so we will see.  We did not have a look yesterday because we were busy taking care of Mitzie.  Its very fancy looking however.  Gold in colour and has an Angel Moroni on it and the Words England Manchester Mission imprinted.  I am excited to see what is on it.  I will let you know!  It was so nice to see Elders Allen and VanDyken.   Elder Allen is from Hawaii and Elder VanDyken is from Australia.  They are good lads.  But then again, I say that about all the Missionaries.  That's because it is true.

They were going out on a Power Hour after they left us.   We gave them a street to try out.  I am excited to hear how they did.  (A Power Hour is an hour where they spend just working on that street.)

We spent the rest of the day very quietly canoodling and cuddling our pup.   We watched a bit of telly.  The CTMW special was great.  No spoilers here.  There actually has not been an awful lot on the telly these holidays.   We have been enjoying two free weeks of sky movies on our Now TV so thats been okay.   Todd has watched Hang Em High and we watched the newest Jungle Book which has real animals or seemingly real animals in it.  Very charming.  All told we had a very quiet day yesterday, and today promises more of the same.  

I will need to think about taking down the Christmas decs soon.   I always hate to see them go away.   Our lounge is all bathed in magic light for several weeks and then it is over . . .  sigh . . .

Oh, and I forgot to tell you Todd got his hospital letters on Christmas Eve.  He goes for his little operation mid January and then will begin radiotherapy on the 3rd of February.  Then a month of that and we will see what is up.  Its pretty intense,  five days a week for four weeks.  Here's hoping it does what it is supposed to do!

And with that I will leave you with

.° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★

 *.˛.° ˛°. . 
˛* a thought to carry with you through the day . . .

° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * 
   *.˛.° ˛°. .   The one who falls and gets up 
is much stronger than the one who never fell . . . *。*˚*。*˚

Spiritual Enlightenment 

In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Magic Cheesecake.  This is fabulous.  You just pop everything in a blender and whiz it up for two minutes, pour it into a pan and bake.  Presto chango, you got a delicious cheesecake.  I make a sour cream topping for it and a special blueberry sauce.   Deliciously simple!

Have a great Wednesday.  (It feels like a Thursday to me for some reason, but it isn't.  Its Wednesday.) Stay safe and stay happy, don't forget . . .

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 And I do too!

Tuesday 27 December 2016

The Simple Woman's Daybook . . .

FOR TODAY, December 27, 2016

Outside my window ...
It is cold and dark.  Not raining however.  That's always a bonus in the Winter.

I am thinking ...
This can't possibly be my last daybook entry for 2016, and yet it is.  How did that happen?  2016 just whizzed by at the speed of light!  Scary!

In the kitchen ...

Crispy Chicken Wings, light, crisp and healthier than most wing recipes as they are baked with no fat added.  Just a crispy flour coating and a spritz with low fat cooking spray.  New Years Eve finger food!

On my "To Cook" list ...

Slow Cooker Cuban Pork.  I have wanted to try this for a while.   From Belly Full.

Good to Know ...

I love painting my nails.   I really do.  I tend to stay away mostly from dark colours, but every once in a while I let loose and play the vamp!

I am creating ...

I recdently purchasd this pattern from Gingermelon.  Fun fun!  I love Gingermelon's patterns.  They are cute and easy to do.

Cupcake coffee cup cosies.  So cute.  FromTwinkie Chan.


A Crochet Hook Storage Case.  I love it. From Naztazia.  There are actually a lot of free patterns there.


A Tri-fold Mini Album.  From Authentique.


Junkaholics' Homemade Christmas Pressies.  Lots of food for thought there.

 I am reading ...


The Fairest Beauty, by Melanie Dickerson

Sophie has long wished to get away from her stepmother’s jealous anger, and believes escape is her only chance to be happy. Then a young man named Gabe arrives from Hagenheim Castle, claiming she is betrothed to his older brother, and everything twists upside down. This could be her chance at freedom—but can she trust another person to keep her safe?

Gabe knows he defied his parents Rose and Wilhelm by going to find Sophie, and now he believes they had a right to worry: the orphan girl has stolen his heart. Though romance is impossible—she is his brother’s future wife, and Gabe himself is betrothed to someone else—he promises to himself he will keep her safe, no matter what.

When the pair are forced to run to the Cottage of the Seven, they find help—but also find their feelings for each other have grown. Can they find a way to protect Sophie while also safeguarding their hearts?

A play on Snow White.  A bit of fluff, but somethings you need a bit of fluff.

I am looking forward to ...

Getting stuck into the Book of Mormon again this year in Sunday School.

Dreaming About ...

 NYC in winter  . . .


Second star to the right, straight on til morning  . . .

Vintage red  . . .


A cosy chair to curl up in  . . . 


Flowers in her hair  . . .

Something to watch ... 

Harvey starring James Stewart.  Elwood P. Dowd (James Stewart) and his best friend Harvey are inseparable. They go everywhere together, spreading warmth and kindness throughout all the bars in town. The only trouble is that Harvey is a 'Pooka' - a six foot-plus rabbit that only Elwood can see. When Elwood and Harvey embarass the former's social-climbing sister Veta Louise (an Oscar-winning Josephine Hull) once too often, she finally opts to get Elwood the treatment she thinks he needs, and arranges to have him installed in the local mental asylum. However, Harvey's unseen but ever-felt presence ensures that all does not go according to plan.

I love these old films.

A favourite quote for the day ...

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

You can close your eyes to the things you don't want to see,
but you can't close your heart to the things you don't want to feel.
~Johnny Depp 

Makes me smile ...


It took me all yesteray morning, but I got it done and it was fun!  I am so glad that Santa brought me some Lego!  It was challenging and it made me think.  I loved it!

One of my favourite things ...

Listening to the Queen's Christmas message every Christmas Day.  I have done this since I was a little girl.  It is an essential part of Christmas for me.  I love it.  Her message this year . . .  "WE can do small things with great love."  I said to Todd, she's been reading my blog!

Corners of my Kingdom ...

The Old Bridge at Sligachan, Isle of Skye, Inner Hebrides. Scotlan.  The Isle of Skye is on my bucket list.

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!