Monday 29 February 2016

Small and Wonderful Things . . .


"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.


Despite my cough and painful weeping ear I managed to get some sleep last night, which is more than I did the night before.  I cannot wait until the Doctors opens up this morning and I can get an appointment to see him.   The Chemist had nothing.  He said I would have to go to the Doctors.  In the meantime some blood has been weeping from my ear.   I have been in agony for 48 hours now, apart from the time I was able to finally get some sleep.

I am grateful for modern medicine and hoping that it helps.

I think I will go back to bed after the Docs.  I may not even put my makeup on to go . . .  now you know how badly I am feeling if I am not going to do even that.  I have lost even the will to make the most of what I am.

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Without going into details I will say that my daughter has been through a horrendous week of trials one way or the other.   Please pray for wee Cam.  I am grateful that she has a loving and supportive husband who is always there for her . . .  for them.  When you are the  mother of small children, or big children for that matter  . . .  it is always something.   I don't know how these modern mums cope with it all and a lot of them have full time jobs on top to cope with.  God bless them.

When I was a young mum, it was s given that women didn't work unless they absolutely had to . . .  now it's a given that they will work, and it is most unsual if they don't.  How things have changed.

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Lucy looks more and more like a Spaniel each time I see a photo of her.  My DIL to be put a funny video on of the two of them, Baxter and Lucy, yesterday.  Lucy had a long stick . . .  Baxter wanted the stick.  Baxter got the stick away, but it wasn't long before Lucy was on the other end of the stick and it was a tug of war, with Lucy finally winning and taking the stick far away from Baxter.  Just like children.  No fighting . . .  just a show of perseverance that finally paid off.

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Isn't she sweet?  These are two great dogs.  I wish I lived closer so that I could "dog" sit sometimes.  That would be great!

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This sweet couple make me smile.  She was worth the wait and all of the horrific frogs he had to kiss to find her.  She is intelligent, hard working, caring and kind.  She is dedicated.  Once she finds a cause she puts her whole into it and then some.  They will have a great life together.  I know I say it often, but seeing one's children happy and settled is one of life's greatest rewards.

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Special friends.   We talk just about every morning.  I miss her.   It was so nice having her here in December.  I wish she would move here.  But that is very selfish of me.  Her own family would miss her.  Sigh . . .

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Spring . . .  it's on its way!

The film Leap Year.   We watched it last night. What a cute film.  (Yes that is the guy from Downton Abby that marries Mary.)  Even Todd enjoyed it.  Great music also.

Oh, and Happy Leap Year Day!  May it be a good one!

A thought to carry with you through today  . . .

“To perceive freshly, 
with fresh senses is to be inspired.”
~Henry David Thoreau

Spiritual Enlightenment  

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 Cooking in The English Kitchen today  . . . delicious BBQ Chicken Thighs.   Yes, with marmalade.  Fabulously tasty!

May your week ahead be filled with an abundance of small and wonderful things.  Along the way don't forget . . .
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And I do too!

Sunday 28 February 2016

The morning after the night before . . .

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I won't be going to church this morning.  I have been up all night with severe earache and tinnitus, which is so loud in my ear I could fall asleep, not that the pain would have done anyways.   Between that and the coughing I was up and down all night.  I've tried all sorts . . .  heat, warm onion juice, etc.  Nothing has helped.   As soon as Todd wakes up I am going to send him to Boots (the Chemist on the trading estate) so he can get something from the Chemist there for me to use to at least help me alleviate the pain, and hopefully it will get better.  They don't do anti-biotics for ear infections anymore.

Ear Infection is something which has plagued me my whole life.    The pain is horrendous . . .  sharp and piercing.  I have had perforated ear drums and my ears are full of scar tissue.  Not nice at all.  Sigh . . .

On a positive note, the Baptisms went very well yesterday.  My talk went well.  I am really disappointed that I won't be going to church this morning as I had been really looking forward to the confirmations.  They were very well attended yesterday.  The room was filled to overflowing with friends and family and members of the Ward.  It was really nice to see.   I love Baptisms.  Each one always reminds me of my own Baptism, almost 17 years ago now, 18 for Todd.  It is a Baptism by full immersion, done by a worthy Priesthood holder, in the name of Jesus Christ and in the manner in which the Saviour himself was baptised.  My heart is always touched with the faith of the person being Baptised . . .  I remember the feelings I had when I, myself,  was Baptised . . .  and I remember the lesson I had when I was investigating the church and the missionaries were teaching  . . .  when the spirit had impressed upon me my own need for Baptism.

Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.  But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?  And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.  And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
~Matthew 3:13-17

This was a passage I had read in the bible many times through the years, but it was not until that day that I realized that if the Saviour had a need to be Baptised . . .  how much more did I?  And how much it needed to be a choice I made for myself, not a choice that my parents made for me when I was an infant . . . or a choice I made simply because all of my friends were doing it.  It needed to mean something . . .  something personal . . .  a covenant and a comittment made between myself and my Heavenly Father.  It didn't matter that I had been already Baptised several times before . . . none of those were right, or done by persons with proper authority, or entered into for the right reasons.

I will never forget the day of my Baptism into the Church of Jesus Christ . . .  July 8th, 1999.  My whole life changed on that day . . .  for the better. ☺ 

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I'm celebrating National Marmalade Week in the English Kitchen today  . . .  with a delicious Marmalade Cheesecake Crumble Cake!

I am going to go and lay down for a while.  See if I can't sleep some.   God willing, Todd will be up soon and I can get him to go to get me something for my ear.   May your Sunday be blessed beyond measure!  Don't forget!

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And I do too!

Saturday 27 February 2016

How to Spend a Week

My week began as usual with Sunday.  I love Sundays.   Some Sundays are better than others and this past Sunday was one of those.   The talks during Sacrament meeting were fabulous . . . as were the hymns.   The lesson in Gospel Principles was great also.  The Missionary Sisters were teaching this week  . . . all on the nature of God.   Relief Society was fabulous.  We had Lesson 3 from the Howard Hunter Manual.  It should have been Lesson 4, but somebody had mixed up and taught that one the week before, so it was Lesson 3 we had, which was on Adversity.

One of the hymns we sang in Sacrament was "I believe in Christ."  This hymn always moves me to tears.

I believe in Christ . . . my Lord, my God!
My feet he plants on gospel sod.
I'll worship him with all my might;
He is the source of truth and light.
I believe in Christ; he ransoms me.
From Satan's grasp he sets me free,
And I shall live with joy and love
In his eternal courts above.

This is just one of the verses . . .  I cry every time I sing this song and think about the Saviour and all he has done and will do for me.

The lesson on Adversity was so good.   There is none of us who will escape having to cope with adversity in this life time.  It is what strengthens us and teaches us how to be better people.  There are so many lessons which come from adversity, and when I look back on my life I can easily see where I have been able to take something positive out from every negative.  Perhaps I have not been really "tried" yet, I don't know.  I only know that now, later in my life  . . .  I can clearly see His hand in all things and that He has been with me every step of the way.  I know He will not abandon me now.

I finished the day with my usual call to my mom and of course Call The Midwife.  This show just goes from strength to strength.  Brilliant writing.  Again . . .  you will need your hankies.

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Monday was Prep Day, Clean the House Day . . . planning day.  At least it started off that way.  I went into town actually with Sister Johansen late morning.  She wanted to go to Primark.  She will be going home in April and she wanted to buy hoodies for each of her grandchildren, which she is going to take to have embroidered with something British.  She is so much fun to shop with.   I had so many laughs.  We walked all over Chester.  I introduced her to Cath Kidston.    I can't believe that she has been here for 18 months and never discovered Cath Kidston!  We ate the worst pancakes ever at a new restaurant in Chester called Hanky Panky.  How do you get pancakes wrong?  I don't know . . .  but they did.  They were tough . . .  so tough you couldn't cut them with a fork.  You needed a knife.  There was no butter to spread on them and they were stingy with the syrup. Pancakes that are that tough need moisture.  The bacon was so hard . . .  SOOOO hard.  Seriously overcooked.  About the only good thing was being there with Sister Johansen.  PS - they charge for anything extra . . .  cream on your hot chocolate, another squirt of syrup, etc.

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Tuesday we had District meeting in the morning.  That was great also.  I learned so much.  We did some role playing.  Normally I am not overly fond of role playing, but this week was different.  I really picked up some great tips.   Then I had to rush to the shops because it ended up we were having the Zone leaders and a couple of their investigators over for tea.  I wanted to make my baked chili.  I went to our local Asda, which is like Walmart over here and I loaded up my cart, got ready to take it to the til and the fire alarm went . . .  so they had to evacuate the shop.  I had to leave my full cart, along with my pound coin and just leave.  I couldn't hang around to see what happened next.  I had too much to do and not enough time.   I needed to pick up two more bowls so that we had enough for everyone and I needed to re-think what I was going to cook.  Spaghetti Bolognese was it, salad, garlic bread and a store bought dessert was the best I could do.  Their investigators ended up canceling, but that was okay.  I just froze the extra for another time.  We enjoyed the company of the Zone leaders and had a very spiritual couple of hours.  It was all good.  It always is.


Wednesday the Elders brought a friend over to see the film Meet the Mormons.   I love this movie. I've watched it about six times.  You can watch it too, if you click on the title there.   The whole thing is on You Tube now.  We have our own copy.   It follows the lives of six different Mormons and their families.  I always really enjoy it.  The last one is the Mormon Mom who is sending her son off on his Mission.  I always cry . . .  and this time was no different.  Their friend really enjoyed it.   He is getting Baptised today so that's great.  We were supposed to go out on reachouts but I think having this friend over and watching the film was more important.

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(I think this is ME, but it doesn't say and usually her work says it is her.) 

Thursday the Elders were coming over for supper.  They were going to be bringing the man who is being Baptised, but he ended up having to work, which was just as well as I started feeling rather unwell throughout the day.   Nothing I could put my finger on, but I was definitely feeling feverish and out of sorts.   I just did a simple curry from what I had in the freezer, etc.  Served them Naan bread with it and salad.   Leftover dessert from Tuesday, etc.  I was in bed by 8:30, which is not like me, but I felt exhausted. 


Friday  . . .  I realized . . .  "I hab a code."  Coughing, sniffling . . . just feeling tired and unwell.   We did not go anywhere or do anything . . .  I did another painting.  (See above)  I layed around the house all day for the most part otherwise.  Todd had leftover curry for his supper with rice.  That was about it.  We started to watch the Shanara Chronicles and quashed it . . .  too juvenile we thought.  We just couldn't get into it.  We watched Cold Mountain.  I had seen it before.  Rene Zellwinger was brilliant in it, and even at her worst Nicole Kidman was beautifully ethereal.  Although quite violent in part, still a great movie, even the second or third time around . . . 

Which brings us to today.  We have two Baptisms to attend and I am speaking at them.  I still have to write my talk, so I best get off here and get moving  . . .  plus I have to cook something to bring as a refreshment for afters.  I really don't feel like going with my cold . . .  but when you are speaking, you kinda gotta . . . 

A thought to carry with you through today  . . . 

 ✿¸.•*¨`*•..¸✿ ✿¸.•*¨`*•..¸✿
 No-one likes to fail,
but we mortals
don't become champions
without making 
a few mistakes.
~Dieter F Uchtdorf
✿¸.•*¨`*•..¸✿ ✿¸.•*¨`*•..¸✿

Spiritual Enrichment

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Cooking in The English Kitchen today  . . .  something traditional and British . . .  Grantham White Gingerbread.   Seriously scrumptious!

Have a great weekend.  May your days be filled with joy!  Don't forget along the way that . . .

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and I do too!

Friday 26 February 2016

Friday Finds . . .

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A few of the things I find each week which strike my fancy and I hope that they strike yours also!(Can you believe that already this is the last one for February!  The month has just flown by!)


From the Happier Homemaker . . .  I have my doubts, but I am going to try it and see if it's true!   I'll let you know!


From 36th Avenue.  DIY Mini Gardens.   These are so cute.  What a great "Mother's Day", "Teacher Thankyou" at the end of the year, or "just because I care about you" gift these would be!


Let's make all of our mail pretty!  From Postnome ru.  It's in Russian but has an English trtanslator.  This is a fabulous idea.  If you are like me, there is very little "real post" that goes out to people these days, why not make what you do send a feast for the eyes from the get go!


DIY Beginners Sewing Kit.  What a fabulous idea for a little girl!  A complete tutorial from Smashed Peas and Carrots.


Free Printable Chalkboard Tags.  From The Ellie Blog.


This birdhouse made from old books is really cute.  Architecture, Art and Design, ten delightful diy birdhouse designs.


Pom Pom Ballerinas.  So cute!   I tried really hard to find a source but could not.   I don't think they would be very hard to create with a bit of paint and some large pompoms, felt for the wings, some gold thread for the slipper laces, etc.  Sweet!


Ruffled Pillow Case Dress.   So adorable.   From Simply Modern Mom.


Pretty Prudent.   Printable Recipe Binder and Templates.


Now, this is a really great idea.  Using an old book you might be thinking of throwing away as a Scrapbook project.  For photographs, etc.  From  Happy Little Moments.

And that's my finds for this week.    I haven't been feeling very well for a couple of days now.  Somewhat of a tummy upset and I am getting a chest infection.  Even though we were having the Missionary Elders for supper last night (I did a simple curry) I took myself upstairs to do some creating (artwise) of my own, which I hadn't done for a while.

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(Sorry for all the copyright imagery, but someone on facebook has been stealing my art and erasing my copyright and making it their own, I thought this would be a lot harder to copy.)  I am trying hard to be positive in the face of my impending colonoscopy etc.   It really freaked me out when the Specialist said I think you have bowel cancer.  And it's really freaking me out that it is taking them so long to come to a conclusive diagnosis  . . . being able to escape into my art helps, so does keeping busy.  I'm a bit of a hypocondriac anyways, so I am not sure if I am imagining things now or if I am really experiencing things.  I know . . .  what am I like!   Putting it in the Lord's hands.  If He knows each star by name and counts them, then I know He counts me too and knows me by name.  Of course saying that I am doing that and actually doing that are two different things.  It's always there niggling at the back of my mind  . . .

A thought to carry with you through today . . .

~•~♥♥♥~•.~•~♥♥♥~• ~
My faith is to rest not in the outcome
I think God should work out for me,
My faith rests in who God is,
the quietness of my heart is the fruit
of an absolute confidence in God.
~Elizabeth Elliot
~•~♥♥♥~•.~•~♥♥♥~• ~

Spiritual Enlightenment

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In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Bagel Hole Eggs.  Deliciously different!

Have a fabulous Friday. Wherever you go, whatever you do, don't forget!

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And I do too!


Thursday 25 February 2016

Raindrops on Roses . . .

These are a few of my favourite things  . . .

I have long held a daydream in my heart where I have a home with wooden floors which have been prettily stenciled in the formal areas such as the living room and dining room . . .  but the bedrooms would have painted wooden floors, in colours . . .  with rag rugs laid upon them for warmth next to the beds so that when you wake up in the morning your toes don't immediately hit a cold floor.  Perhaps one day . . .


Cardigans that are embroidered or printed upon.   I love them.   I have a pink one which is excessively beaded . . .  white flowers that are created entirely from beads and small pearls . . .  it also has pink pearl buttons.   I also have a light brown one which has dark brown flowers printed on it  . . . roses, with brown sequin lighlights.  I love both of these sweaters.  Wait no  . . .  I ADORE both of these sweaters.  I have had them for a very long time.


Hot soup on a cold and rainy day.  There is nothing  more comforting and the most comforting of all is Tomato Soup . . .  and then of course you got to have the grilled cheese to go along with it don't you, which makes it a meal.  A comfort meal.  I love comfort meals . . .

Writing  . . .  poetry, stories, letters . . . that simple act of stringing words together in a way that engages people, that inspires people to want to find out more, that entertains . . . that is probably why blogging brings me such pleasure.  I get to write my thoughts and then people read them.  It makes me a writer  . . .  and I don't need a book publisher or an editor, I can just simply write because it is what I love doing and I don't have to do it with schedules and deadlines in mind  . . .  I can do it simply because it brings me joy,  and it doesn't matter if two people read it or two hundred people read it, or even if nobody reads it . . .  stringing words together in an engaging way makes me happy . . .

Do what makes you happy so long as it hurts no-one  . . .

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Doing my little drawings and paintings.   I have always loved bringing characters to life . . .  and sometimes they are good and sometimes they are not . . . but it is something which I love even more than stringing words together  . . . .

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And if I can do both together  . . .  then I am indeed in a very happy place . . .

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And if I can mix those things with my love of cooking . . .  then even better.   I love creating my cookbooklets . . .  painting little pictures for the pages . . .  sharing my recipes . . . it's all good.


Reading  . . .  words that fly off the pages and carry me off to different worlds and times and spaces . . .  I do not know how I would ever cope if I did not know how to read.  I think that being able to read is one of the greatest skills I have ever been taught.  We have a friend who cannot read.   He can only go places that he has gone to many times before because he cannot read street signs, maps or directions.  When he gets a letter in the post . . .  he has to bring it to someone else so that they can tell him what it says, which means that sometimes important letters just never get read, or they don't get read until it's too late . . . I am so grateful for my ability to read, and even more so that it is something which I enjoy.

Did you know that when I was a child I loved to read the Dictionary.   Words.  I love words.  Words are powerful things.  They can uplift and they can destroy.  

A thought to carry with you through today  . . .

“Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, 
sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.”
~Proverbs 16:24

Spiritual Enlightenment

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 In The English Kitchen  . . .  I took a couple of Turkey Tenderloin Fillets and created something beautifully delicious.  Hasselback Turkey Divans.  Seriously scrumptious.

I hope your Thursday is filled with raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens  . . . Don't forget . . .

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And I do too!

Wednesday 24 February 2016

Wednesday this and that . . .


This is a photograph I took about five minutes ago from outside our front door.  The sun is just rising, athough you can't really tell from the photograph.  It's cold, cold . . . . brrr . . .  probably the coldest it has been so far this year.  There is a thick layer of frost on the top of the car and I fear for any of my plants that have already come up prematurely . . .  however the birds are already singing their morning chorus to beat the band and the air is fresh and invigorating!  This is my favourite part of the morning . . .  when everything is beginning to wake up and come alive!

"Oh what a beautiful mornin' 
Oh what a beautiful day 
I've got a beautiful feelin' 
Everything's going my way" 

That's the song that was running through my head just now . . .  from the musical "Oklahoma" by Rogers and Hammerstein.  Except that I could add . . .

There's a sweet golden light on the horizon
and a silver crust gilding our car,
the birds in the hedges are singing their song
neath the light of a lone evening star!

Everybody sing . . .

Oh what a beautiful morning!
OHHH what a beautiful day!
I've got a beautiful feeling,
Everything's going my way!

Now that you are feeling all refreshed I will continue!

My trip to the grocery store yesterday afternoon was pretty exciting!  The Zone leaders were coming for supper and bringing a friend so I had to pop over to pick up a few bits.  I wanted to make my oven baked chili which I thought they would really enjoy.   I  got everything I needed into the cart and a few extra bits I confess  . . .  do you ever go to the grocery shop and come out with nothing extra?   It's impossible for me. I always see something else I think I need.  Anyways, I was all loaded up and heading for the tils when all of a sudden this loud alarm started going off, then an announcement came over the PA telling everyone to evacuate the store immediately.  Scary stuff.  I had to leave my cart right there and leave the shop.

Needless to say it was going to be a while before the fire department got there and cleared everything so I just had to leave the shop altogether and go somewhere else, which meant I lost my pound coin that I had to leave in my cart that I had to leave in the shop, and all of my groceries, which thankfully I had not paid for yet.  By the time we got to another store, I had to just rethink what I was going to have for dinner because I didn't have long enough to do the baked chili anymore so we had good old faithful Spaghetti Bolognese, with garlic bread and salad.  I hadn't made it for these Elders before at any rate, so it was okay.

Being evacuated from a store because of fire.  That was a first for me! Good times!  I do lead the most exciting life!

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This is a photograph taken of me when I was about five years old.  It was Easter Sunday and I was in the driveway of my Grandfather's house in Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia.   I was wearing a navy blue coat trimmed with white, navy knee socks, and my dress was white with navy blue polka dots on it, which you can't see.   In my hands is the little White Bible my father had bought me for Easter, which sadly disappeared during my divorce . . . heartbroken over that still, but we won't think about that.  Instead we are going to think about being five years old.

Five is a very exciting age to be.  You are old enough to start school and really take that first step towards independance from your parents.  Your world becomes a much larger place!  You meet more people that you can be friends with, and you stand on the cusp of great learning . . .  learning to read and learning to write, which in and of themselves are world enlargening skills!  I loved being five.

Guess who is turning five today!


Yep!  My only granddaughter Maryn is five years old today!  I have only ever seen her twice.   The first time I saw her and got to meet her was the year my oldest daughter was getting married . . .  so she was only 2 at the time.

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This photo was taken at the park where we were getting together for the dress rehearsal for the wedding.  Of course I was a stranger to her, no surprise there.  I thought she was beautiful and my heart was filled with longing to hold her close, but I knew that really wasn't going to happen.   She didn't know who I was and I didn't expect her to want to be with me . . .

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Cutest little flower girl ever . . .

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With her inquisitive mind . . .  and curls  . . .  my heart melts just to see these photos . . .

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Four generations of strong women standing here . . .  with my mother, my two girls and my granddaughter . . . such a special moment.

That was the only chance I had to see her that visit  . . .  short but sweet.

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I did not know then that I would be home again just a year later for my mom's cancer operation and that time I got to spend more time with her.   We had a picnic as a family in the children's park near my home, which was great. I got to see all of the grandchildren that day, and then on the day I was leaving to come back to England I got to spend the whole day at my daughter's with my youngest son and of course my daughter and her husband and wee Maryn.   I spent the whole time for the most part playing with Maryn in her play room.  I think we had a great time . . .  I can't speak for her of course . . .  but I know I had a great time.  She was smart and engaging and just lovely.   I cherish that time I got to spend with her.  It's hard to believe that it was two years ago now.  She was three then and not quite as shy as she had been the year before.

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Now she is a swirling, twirling princess and she is five and her world is about to get even larger than it was before.   And my heart fills to overbursting with love for her and for all my grandchilren . . . with a tender sweet ache that wishes that I could spend more time with all of them and that they could know me better and I them.

In any case, Happy Birthday Maryn!  I hope your day is a sweet one and that you can feel this Grandmother's great love for you soaring through the air and across an ocean and into your heart.  I really hope that your Birthday present got to you on time.  I wish I could see your eyes light up when you open it.  Maybe one day . . .

A thought to carry with you through today  . . .

✿¸.•*¨`*•..¸✿ ✿¸.•*¨`*•..¸✿
Life isn't a matter of milestones,
but of moments  . . . 
~Rose Kennedy
✿¸.•*¨`*•..¸✿ ✿¸.•*¨`*•..¸✿

 My life is filled with some pretty beautiful ones, praise God.

Spiritual Enrichment

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In The English Kitchen today . . .  A Simple Prawn Curry.

 Have a beautiful Wednesday.  May it be filled with goodness.  Don't forget along the way that  . . .

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and I do too!