Tuesday 31 May 2016

The Simple Woman's Daybook . . .

FOR TODAY, May 31, 2016

Outside my window ...
Looks like its going to be another dry day up here in the NorthWest.  If this keeps up they will be screaming drought. ;-)  Loving it!

I am thinking ... 
Was in a bit of a funk yesterday.  Thinking that today will not be the same.  Not giving the past power over my today agaian.

I am thankful for ...
Tender mercies and forgiveness . . . of self and others.

In the kitchen ...
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Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad This is seriuosly tasty. 

On My "To Cook" list ...

Low Carb Peanut Butter Molten Lava Cakes from All Day I Dream About FoodThese look fabulous.   I, love, Love, LOVE peanut butter.

I am creating ...


Mimi at the Beach. Its a sunny day and Mimi is at the beach.  Beach huts, sand castles, sunshine and her very own life preserver toy.   Pink hair too.  Fun.


The Hills Are Alive.  Something a bit different.   Geometric.   I had a lot of fun doing it.

I have come to the realisation that I am never really going to be a success with my artwork or with my foodblog.  That at best, all they are ever going to be is hobbies which I enjoy.  And that's okay.  I am just not commercially viable, and not really good at either one.   I like what I do.   I put tons of work into both and yet I see others bypass my efforts all the time.   I enjoy what I do, and that has to be enough.  Todd said to me yesterday why do I keep painting these pictures  . . .  and I said because I can't not paint them.  Doing this brings me great joy.  That has to be enough.  I am throwing away the promise of the gold ring.   Chasing it only leaves me feeling discouraged, and takes away from the joy I feel with being creative.


This has to be one of the sweetest examples of needlefelting I have ever seen.   I couldn't find a source.

A clothesline filled with colourful doll clothes (or rabbit!).  Found on Flickr.


From BeedeeBabee, a totally adorable rabbit pin.   I love it.

I am reading ...

The Red Leather Diary, by Lily Koppel
Rescued from a Dumpster on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, a discarded diary brings to life the glamorous, forgotten world of an extraordinary young woman. For more than half a century, the red leather diary lay silent, languishing inside a steamer trunk, its worn cover crumbling into little flakes. When a cleaning sweep of a New York City apartment building brings this lost treasure to light, both the diary and its owner are given a second life.

Recovered by Lily Koppel, a young writer working at the New York Times, the journal paints a vivid picture of 1930s New York—horseback riding in Central Park, summer excursions to the Catskills, and an obsession with a famous avant-garde actress. From 1929 to 1934, not a single day's entry is skipped.
Opening the tarnished brass lock, Koppel embarks on a journey into the past, traveling to a New York in which women of privilege meet for tea at Schrafft's, dance at the Hotel Pennsylvania, and toast the night at El Morocco. As she turns the diary's brittle pages, Koppel is captivated by the headstrong young woman whose intimate thoughts and emotions fill the pale blue lines.

Who was this lovely ingénue who adored the works of Baudelaire and Jane Austen, who was sexually curious beyond her years, who traveled to Rome, Paris, and London? Compelled by the hopes and heartaches captured in the pages, Koppel sets out to find the diary's owner, her only clue the inscription on the frontispiece—"This book belongs to . . . Florence Wolfson." A chance phone call from a private investigator leads Koppel to Florence, a ninety-year-old woman living with her husband of sixty-seven years. Reunited with her diary, Florence ventures back to the girl she once was, rediscovering a lost self that burned with artistic fervor.

Joining intimate interviews with original diary entries, Koppel reveals the world of a New York teenager obsessed with the state of her soul and her appearance, and muses on the serendipitous chain of events that returned the lost journal to its owner. Evocative and entrancing, The Red Leather Diary re-creates the romance and glitter, sophistication and promise, of 1930s New York, bringing to life the true story of a precocious young woman who dared to follow her dreams.

I am looking forward to ...
We are going out to do visits today.  I'm rather looking forward to them.

I am learning  ...
It is a struggle, but, not to take everything personally.  If someone is singing off key, that doesn't mean its me, and even if it is me, that's okay!  Some of the most beautiful songs can be sung off-key.

Dreaming about ...


Flower pins . . .


Little Bee rings  . . .


The land of Faerie . . .

Lace draped windows  . . .


Pretty perfume bottles  . . . 

A favourite quote for the day ...

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

I love the man who can smile in trouble, gather strength from distress
and grow brave from reflection  . . . 
~Thomas Paine 

Makes me smile ... 

Surprises hidden in the bottom of cups  . . .

One of my favourite things ... 


Sea glass  . . .   

Corners of my kingdom ...

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Purple lobelia growing between the stones on a wall at Chirk Castle  . . . 

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 30 May 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.

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My weekly call to my mother  . . .  I would call her every day if she would let me, but I think that she would get annoyed if I did that.  I love my mother so much.  I can see that her memory is really not as good as it used to be, and it seems to be getting worse each time I call.   She often tells me the same stories over again, sometimes more than once in the same conversation.  Sometimes she starts telling me about me, and I have to gently remind her that she is talking to me.   Usually when I call she is sitting there with the telephone right in her hands, waiting for me to call.  I miss being close to her physically speaking.   Although when I was married before, my ex's job often took us far, far from home, I was also very blessed to have lived almost right on her doorstep many times and there were several times that we actually lived with her, which I found to be a great blessing, although I am not sure that she always did, lol.  We have spent a lot of time together through the years.  I am so grateful that my sister is now being blessed by being able to serve and spent time with my mother.  I wish I could do more to help out, I really do.   This service my sister gives is to all of us, and I want her to know we are all very thankful for all that she does. 

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Yesterday was Elder Schofield's birthday.  (On the left)  He and Elder Lolesei stopped by last night to say farewell and have some cake.   They will both be leaving us this transfer.  That is the one thing I am not fond of Missionary-wise . . .  the having to say goodbye.   These two young men have been just wonderful to work with.  I know I say that about  all the Missionaries, but its true of all of them. We love working with each of them.   I baked Elder Schofield a cake which they both enjoyed a piece of even though they are on diets, and they also enjoyed some of these . . .


Peanut Butter Cookie Cups . . .  I did not know that Elder Schofield liked peanut butter as much as I do!  He had two while he was here and then took another two with him when they left.  That made me very happy.  I love it when I can do something nice for these special people.

My ex's wife had a surprise Murder Mystery Bridal Shower for my soon to be Daughter in Law Sara this weekend.  I don't know any of the details, but my daughter Amanda was there and my ex SIL and it looks like they were all having a very nice time.   My mother and sister were not invited.  No surprise there, but it would have been a nice gesture to include them.  In all truth, neither would have gone, but gifts would have been sent and the right thing would have been done.  But if there is one thing I have learned in this life its that you can't make people do the right thing.  You know, when our Eileen was getting married, I had a Bridal shower for her at my mom's . . .  and I did invite the Step Mom to it.  She didn't come, but she was more than welcome to.  I value her service and contributions to my family even if she doesn't care to acknowledge or value mine.


The gift of repentance.   I sure need to repent daily of some of the feelings I have about certain people.  I don't like feeling this way and I pray always to be able to let go of them.  Sometimes I do good.  Sometimes I do better.  Sometimes I fail miserably.  But the beauty is that I try.  And Elder Holland said that we will be blessed in the trying and in our efforts.  Sometimes trying is all that we can manage.   I will not give up.  One day I will be able to succeed I am sure.   Its like I just feel that I have conquered them  . . .  and then something happens to bring them to the surface again.  I will not conquer them until I manage to  annihilate them completely.  But I am human and I am weak sometimes . . .  an imperfect being.  That is when I really need to be able to lean on the strong arm of the Saviour, and I am ever grateful for His healing power and presence in my life.

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Sunny days and almost cloudless skies.  Amazing.  Truly amazing.  England on a sunny day.  There is no nicer place.

I know  . . .  I am a tad bit biased.

I need a holiday.

 And with that I will leave you with a thought for the day . . .

As we make Christ 
the centre of our lives.
Our fears will be replaced
by the courage of
our convictions.
 ~Thomas S Monson 

Spiritual Enlightenment

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In The English Kitchen today  . . .  something else I need to repent of.  Chicken Parmo.  Don't ask . . . tres naughty.  Tres TRES naughty.

May your week ahead be filled with an abundance of small and wonderful things! Don't forget . . .

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and I do too!

Sunday 29 May 2016

Forty one years ago . . .

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 Today marks a very special day for me because forty one years ago this day,  I realized the culimination of all my childhood dreams and became a mother for the very first time.   Yes, my oldest son, Anthony,  turns 41 today.  It was the beginning of an incredible adventure and journey for both of us.

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Sometimes I have to pinch myself, and not just because I am gobsmacked that I am old enough to have a son who is in his forties,  but because I am so blessed to have a son who is so amazing!  Kind and tenderhearted. talented and giving . . .

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I applauded his very first . . . baby steps . . . and every step along the way of his journey through life, all of his accomplishments and successes and my heart has broken along with his for every sad moment and trial he has had to experience.  No mother wants her child to suffer, or hurt, even if she does know and understand that it is all a process of growth . . .

I am so proud of the man he has become  . . . kind and generous, a great father and husband, and yes a good son, always . . .

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He is so dear to me.   I love him with all of my heart.  He has always been gifted with words and has a wicked sense of humor.  He's a talented actor.   A fabulous cook.

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He is a good man.  A very good man.  I hope that he knows that . . .  and that he knows his mother loves him.  I am so very thankful that God trusted me enough to be his mum and that he is my son.  

I sometimes wish you were still small,
Not so big, and strong and tall,
For when I think of yesterday,
I close my eyes and see you play.
I often miss that little boy,
who pestered me to buy a toy.
Who filled my days with pure delight,
from early morn, to late at night.
We watch our children change and grow,
As seasons come, and quickly go,
But our God has a perfect plan,
To shape a boy into a man.
Today, my son, I'm proud of you,
For all the thoughtful things you do,
I'll love you til my days are done,
And I'm so grateful, you're my son. 

Happy Birthday son! I hope you enjoy every single minute of your day and that it is filled with love, laughter and joy!  Your mama loves you very much, with all of her being.


A little something I created yesterday afternoon.  I was really struggling with my eyesight yesterday.  With the blurriness in my left eye.  It is not so bad this morning.  I had words I wanted to put on her, but I could not see to do that.   I really fear that I am losing my sight and I am not sure how much longer I will be able to create in this way.  I hope and pray I have a good long time left to do so . . . if only just to create these little figures.  I love doing it so very much.

May your Sunday be blessed in countless ways.

In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Warm Blueberry and Almond Muffins.  Delish!

Today may you be blessed to  know  . . .

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And I do too!

Saturday 28 May 2016

Remembering . . .

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This is a photograph of my Aunt Freda when she was fourteen years old.  She passed away ten years ago today, but there is not a day goes by that I don't think of her and miss her.  She was one of my very first friends I had in my life, and one of the best friends I ever had.  Her passing left a huge hole.  I was a rather difficult baby and my mom had problems coping with me during my first year of life, so I spent several months living with my maternal Grandmother and Grandfather.    My Aunt would have been about 12 or 13 at the time, so not far from the age that she was in this photograph.  I am sure that the special bond which I felt with her throughout my lifetime was forged during those months I spent living with my grandparents.

We lived with them again when I was four years old and we had come back from Germany and were waiting for my father to get a house for us to live in in Manitoba.  Although Aunt Freda was married by then, and had a child of her own, she still managed to spend a lot of time with me.  My favourite game was Leave it to Beaver . . .  and she never minded being Wally.  She had a beautiful tall fashion doll in her bedroom that my Uncle Harold had bought for her.  I reckon it must have been a good 24 inches tall or more and was wearing a party dress and high heels with  a pretty bubble hair do.   I can remember admiring it very much during those months we spent living there.  I spent many an hour looking through the keyhole into their bedroom at the doll.  She used to let me hold it every now and then,  and when we left to go to live out West with my father, she gave it to me . . .

We moved back to Nova Scotia to live for good about 5 years or so later, and my Aunt became a permanent fixture in my life during those years.  As children we loved to go to her home.   My mother always had lots of rules in her house about what you could do and what you couldn't do . . .  but we could do just about anything in my Aunt Freda's house.   She was always willing to listen and to talk to us, never too busy to share.  I can remember her drawing  little figures on a piece of paper for me and being in awe of her artistic talents . . .  she wrote beautiful poems and stories . . .  and she had the biggest heart of anyone I have ever known.

She had a heart which was as big as the world, and the ability to make anyone who came in contact with her feel immediately at home and loved.  You could tell her anything, and you knew it wouldn't go any further . . .  she was a great listener and a great hugger, and a fabulous joke teller.  She loved Coronation street, and after I moved over here, she loved having an inside edge on what was happening on Corry and Emmerdale months before anyone else knew what was going on, as we are a good six months ahead over here.

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 (From left to right, Aunt Freda holding me, my mother, 
and my Great Grandmother Best, taken just prior to us moving to Germany)  

The last time I saw her was the summer we went home and I packed up all my Canadian Boxes and we had them shipped over here to the UK.  She came up to look through my books and see if there might be any that she wanted before we took them to the Sally Anne in town.  She was on oxygen at the time and had been being treated for having a bad lung infection for quite a number of months by then.  This was in July and they finally diagnosed her as having lung cancer in December.  She was only with us for six  months after that.  I was not able to make it home for her funeral to say a proper goodbye.  Going home was never the same for me after that.  We used to talk every morning on the phone . . .  I could tell her anything.  She understood me, maybe more than anyone else ever did, or ever will.  I reckon a lot of people felt like that about her.  Although she was not a woman who had travelled very far from the place where she was born, she was much beloved by many, many people, and had touched a multitude of lives.   There were so many at her funeral that they had to open up another building and have the funeral service relayed in to it.  The heavens poured down in buckets of rain on that day.

I still miss her very deeply, and probably always will.  I had a dream about her one night, about six months after she passed away.   In the dream she was sitting in her favourite chair, except her hair was longer and she had it pulled up in a bun.  Her dog Hooch was sitting next to her and she looked young and fresh.  In the dream I bent down to hug her and I could smell her and feel her.  She looked up at me and said three words.  I love you.  It felt real . . .  as real as if it were actually happening.  It was a gift.

I know where she is and I know that I will see her again one day, and whilst I am not in any hurry to get there, I do take great comfort in knowing where she is and in knowing that we will meet again one day.

We little knew that morning that
God was going to call your name.
In life we loved you dearly.
In death we do the same.

It broke our hearts to lose you.
You did not go alone;
for part of us went with you,
the day God called you home.

You left us peaceful memories,
Your love is still our guide.
And though we cannot see you,
You are always at our side.

Our family chain is broken, 
And nothing seems the same,
But as God calls us one by one,
The chain will link again.

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In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Pasta Salad with Roasted Tomatoes and Asparagus.

Have a wonderful Satuday.   Please know that  . . .

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And I do too!

Friday 27 May 2016

My Friday Finds . . .

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A few of the things I find each week that spark my interest, intellect and curiosity.  I hope that they do the same thing for you.  Its hard to believe that this is my last Friday Finds post for May. This month (year!) has just flown by!


Five basic watercolour techniques for the colourist, artist, beginner, journalist, etc.   Found on Adventures in Making.


Crochet your own shopping bag.   From The Adventures of Cassie.


Matching cotton dishcloth and teatowel pattern. To crochet.  From The Yarn Box.


Decorate a handbag with buttons.  So sweet and so simple.  Found on Inspire  Co.


Two Brothers Two.  
In this unique documentary series Two Brothers Two, director Rick Stevenson takes us on a 10-year journey through the lives of the Nelson brothers, Sam, Luke, Tommy, and Joseph, as they struggle to find love for each other and for themselves.  There are sixteen short videos, each about 10 minutes long.  It is a compelling look into the lives of these four brothers.  I discovered it by accident yesterday morning and I watched ALL sixteen videos yesterday.  I couldn't not watch it.  Each one inspired me to want to watch the next one.   It was fantastic.


A Unique idea for holding your earrings.  Found on Homemade Crap


How to make your own compound Herb Butters.  From Buzzfeed


Maraschino Cherries from Scratch.  Found on Creagirl.


Make your own Weed control using totally natural ingredients.  Well, except for the dish soap.   From Hometalk.  Apparently this stuff works very well. 


Decorate with old lanterns.  About Face and Fashion.  Inspiration only.   But nice.  I would never have thought of doing this.


Bobble Knit Sheep Pillow.  So cute!  From BlogLovin.  There are two sizes. 


Fruit Infused Waters 6 Ways for summer drinking.  From SHE Uncovered.


37 Ridiculously Awesome Things to do in your backyard this summer.  From BuzzFeed.  This will keep the kids busy! 


Make your own sprinkler from a Soda Bottle.   Such a neat idea and so simple!  How do they think of these things!   Making Memories with Your Kids.


What an adorable Bedroom.   Such ideas.  Pure inspiration.  From Rosebud's Cottage.

And that's it for this week.   I hope that you found something here that interested you!

A thought to carry with you through today  . . .

 ~•~♥♥♥~•.~•~♥♥♥~• ~
If you want to be 
truly understood,
you need to say everything
three times, 
in three different ways.
Once for each ear  . . . 
and once for the heart.
~Paula Underwood Spencer
 ~•~♥♥♥~•.~•~♥♥♥~• ~

Spiritual Enlightenment

In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Parmesan Chicken Breasts with Crispy Pancetta!  Seriously tasty!

 Hope your Friday is a great one!  Todd is off to the Temple today, taking up three Missionary Elders who are preparing to end their missions and go home.   A special Temple experience with the Mission President.   It should be a great day for him.   Wherever you go and whatever you get up to, don't forget!

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 And I do too!!