Monday 31 October 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.


We have had a beautiful October.  It's been dry for the most part and sunny with just a tiny bit of rain.  Its been cool in the evenings yet almost mild during the day.   I have loved it.

Because it's been dry the night skies have been clear and bright and I have been able to see the stars without any cloud cover.  It makes for a beautiful change.  Normally we don't see many stars here where I live because of the cloud cover mixed with the light pollution but we did see some this month and they were lovely.


The joy that is felt in acts of service to others.  It is immeasurable.

The last of the blackberries which were enjoyed earlier this month.  We always make sure to leave plenty for the birds as well, also on the black currant bush.  They enjoy them too.


We've been re-watching the BBC's War and Peace.  I love rewatching series like this.  I always pick up on things I missed the first time around.  The costumes and sets are spectacular in this and it is fabulously cast with excellent performances by all.

My licensing agent has finally filled in all of my portfolio, etc.  I just took a look at it yesterday out of curiosity, and lo and behold, it looks finished.  About time I would say.  If you click on Artist Portfolio beneath the Artist's Bio, you can see some of my work.  I have never given up hope . . .


Its getting closer  . . .  my favourite holiday . . . I am working on little ornaments, etc.  planning menus, playing with ideas.   I love Christmas and everything to do with the holiday, both the spiritual and the temporal. It will be here before we know it.


The Power of the Priesthood and Priesthood Blessings.   Todd received a blessing yesterday from one of our friends and I know it will help.  I think he slept well last night.   He hadn't Saturday night and has had a few really bad nights over the past week or so.  I am so grateful for the Priesthood and how it blesses our lives.

 The power of tears  . . .


Mitzie  . . .  she is such a little sweetheart.  Since we took the door off the lounge and hung a curtain there, she has been coming upstairs to join us in bed every night.  We finally went out and bought her a special doggie mattress which lays on the floor next to my side of the bed.  She lays there quietly all night and doesn't bother us.  It is nice to open my eyes and see her there, or to reach out and be able to stroke her ears.  Oh how we love her, and she loves us too. 

What a blessing she is in our lives.

And that is my small and wonderfuls for this time around.  Tis but a fraction, my cup runneth over.

A thought to carry with you through today  . . .

If we magnified our blessings
as much as we
magnified our disappointments,
we would all be much happier. 
~John R Wooden

Spiritual Enlightenment

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In The English Kitchen today  . . .  French Bread Taco Pizzas.  For the children.  Old and young.

I hope the week ahead of you is filled with many small and wonderful things. May you be truly blessed. Along the way don't forget . . .

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and I do too!

Sunday 30 October 2016

Sunday morning this and that . . . .

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I was standing in the backdoorway the other morning, fairly early.  The sun was just coming up and then I heard it . . .  the squawking of a flock of geese as they flew overhead on their yearly migration South for the Winter.   It is a sound I am familiar with, having heard it countless times in my lifetime wherever I have lived and it holds somewhat of a haunting melody for me . . .  as it echoes through my time.

We do not migrate as the birds do, but I notice that there is a change in the rhythm of our lives when the season begins to ebb . . .  Nights become cooler and our days are dreamily edged in a blue haze of mist and drizzle.  There is a quickening in the blood, a sense of urgency, a sense of restlessness as suddenly our lives are filled with countless projects that must be attacked and finished before the Winter falls upon us  . . . .

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If you are lucky enough to have a wood fire in your home, tis time to stack the firewood handy by the back door and get the woodshed filled with kindling.  There are leaves to rake, the last of the weeds to pull, roses to deadhead and bushes to trim back . . .the dying blackberry and raspberry canes to be burned.  Bonfire night could not come at a better time for there is plenty that needs burning about the garden.

Oh, I do love the smell of burning leaves.  They carry with them the echoes of many a childhood memory, and my heart waxes with nostalgia every time I catch that wonderful aroma, the smell of a thousand autumn days gone by  . . .

 All the blankets get an airing on the line, filling with the scent of October wind and sun, in preparation for the stuffy rooms of the impending Winter to come . . .

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It won't be long now  . . .

One autumn chore I really enjoy is checking the pantry shelves to see that we are well supplied for the Winter months, just in case we can't get out for a few days.  It is comforting to have supplies on hand.   I am not fond of its taste for drinking, but I always make sure I have several cartons of UHT milk and cream, well dated ahead.  They always get used.   In cooking . . . in hot drinks . . .  on cereal.  Onions, garlic . . . all dried and stored away for use during the coming months.  Somewhere cool and dry and dark.  Where would we be with out our onions and garlic.   Like potatoes and carrots, they are something I always have in the house.

You can do a lot with an onion.  Each one holds the promise of a tasty meal in one form or another.   In soups or stews, they enhance already delicious flavours . . .  on their own they shine creamed or fried or even roasted.  There really is no substitute for an onion when you need an onion.

Did you know that the Egyptians spent the equivalent of several million dollars on onions during the years they were building the Great Pyramid?  I am not sure how they were used or eaten, but I do know that the Romans felt that onions gave them strength and ate them for breakfast with honey.

Not so odd when you think of the merits of glazed onions which are enjoyed as a part of a roast dinner  . . .
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Last Winter I read online that onion juice could be used as a remedy for earache and in the eyes to clear the vision.  I did produce some onion juice for an earache I had, but have never tried the eye thing.  Methinks it would sting overmuch, and I am not sure if the onion juice worked or not for my earache . . . but it was an interesting exercise to try, and I do like trying new things.   The nurse was not impressed with the gunge in my ear when I finally was able to get it seen to at the Doctors.  I did not have the courage to tell her what it was for fear she would think me a bit insane . . .

I do love soup made with onions.   One of my favourite being this one . . .

Onion Soup with Cheese  . . . it is simply onions cooked in milk with some seasonings, ladled over some hot toast and served sprinkled with lots of cheese and chopped spring onions . . .  it is delicious.  Simple things generally are, proof that you don't need a lot of faffing about to guarantee a tasty supper.

Holding a round firm onion in my hand I ponder the wonder of its structure . . . The delicate papery skin with gold, ivory or pinkish hue and concentric circles inside are a marvel to behold.  I wonder if the number layers signify the age of the onion, like the age of a tree.  Oh my mind does work in mysterious ways at times . . . to think  . . . nature casually produces this gift to mankind and yet we take them so for granted.

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But then . . . human beings are inclined to do that with a lot of things I fear.  I am grateful for a heart and mind that is not opposed to stopping and thinking about things such as this from time to time . . .

It is nice to be able to slow down and ponder things even so simple as the miracle of an onion in the hand.

 A thought to carry with you through today  . . .


A picture one for today   . . .

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In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Easy Cinnamon Rolls for Two.   Delicious.  And the recipe makes just four cinnamon rolls.  Perfectly sized for the smaller family.  Un-yeasted, more like rolled scones.  These may not be much to look at, but they are fabulously tasty.  A rare treat.  All I can say is its a very good thing there were only four of them.  Sigh . . .

I wish for you a Sunday filled with light and with love.  Along the way don't forget!

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And I do too!!

Saturday 29 October 2016

Autumn waning . . .


The trees at this season are the very best example to us of the science of composting.  Although the falling leaves to all intents and purposes appear to be dead, they are not to go to waste . . .  nature's economic system wastes nothing . . .

The leaves, rotting down into the earth, will change their structure, form and substance, becoming a rich mould, nourishing soil around the parent tree and forming a fertile bed for the coming seed to germinate in.  What seems like decay is really only a phase in the eternal round of transmutation and renewal.

Can you smell it happening?  I can . . . this late October smell of decaying leaf and damp . . . it is the smell of dormant renewal . . .

The dry leaves flutter from the branches, but the roots remain  . . .  the living roots from which one day in the not too far future, sap will rise again in an act of resurrection, an awakening.  There will be an Easter morning when the birds will sing . . .   a rhapsody of Spring up in the blossomed branches overhead, and daffodils will push their heads up where now the leaves lay dead and rotting . . . the eternal round beginning once more  . . .

Drifting mist and burning bush along the garden path.   Blue smoke rising from chimney through soft and silvery haze . . .


Webs sparkle and dance with autumn rain upon the spangled hedges, with wisps of gauze upon the lawn.  Dying roses wan and lovely in the grey dawn.  A white birch weeps with sighing, dancing leaf, whilst small birds sweetly flute, heedless of the tree's quiet grief . . .

"Now stir the fire and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups,
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful evening in."
~Wm Cowper, from The Winter Evening


Don't forget to put your clocks back one hour tonight. (If you live in the UK that is.)   I don't think anyone objects to an extra hours sleep do they?  I am not overly fond of these time changes.   They mess with my sleep patterns and it takes me a while to adjust.  I wish they would just leave it the same all year round, instead of playing with our time . . .

Have you got your treats in for all of your trick or treaters?   I have.  I want to buy a pumpkin however and carve it to put out front.   Todd is in opposition, but I miss having the carved pumpkin.  My sister's partner does several and makes it all spooky outside the house for Halloween.   He sits out there in a chair at the side of the lawn with his bowl of candy waiting for the trick or treaters.  He is a fun guy.    There is the same difference in age between myself and him as there is between Todd and I, except in the opposite direction.  In truth he is not much older than my oldest son.   Yes, he is my sister's toy boy, more power to her and so very good to both her and my mother.   We have never met, but I love him anyways because of the care he gives to them both.


I am not sure I could stand sitting outside with a bowl of candy this time of year.   Brrr . . . I know for sure Todd couldn't.  We will wait hopefully inside the lounge with the lights down low and bowl of candy ready.   Last year we had about 10 children.  Perhaps if I have a pumpkin lit this year we will get more.

And with that I will leave you with a thought for today  . . .

 The Tree 

I am your friend, your needs I meet,
I am the floor beneath your feet,
I am the beam that takes the strain,
I am the door against the rain.

I am the peg, the post, the tub,
I am the oar, the bat, the club,
I am the stick for summer days,
I am the log for winter's blaze.

I am the altar of the Lord,
I am the sacramental board,
And at last on earth's brown breast
I hold you in your place of rest.


Cooking in The English Kitchen today  . . .  French Toast Crumble.  Delicious!

Have a great Saturday and weekend, whatever you get up to! Be safe and don't forget . . .

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And I do too!!

Friday 28 October 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!


An inexpensive way to customize drinking glasses for holidays, celebrations, etc.   Sharpie Metallic pens.  From Heart Love Always.  What a super simple and cute idea!


Amazing ornaments, all made from wrapping paper.  Found on Skip to my Lou.


Decorations mounted on the wall in the shape of a Christmas Tree.  For those who have no space perhaps.   Cute. No source, just a bit of eye candy.


7 Stunning Pumpkin Painting Ideas.  From the people at BHG.


A novel way to wrap gifts, using black and white postcards.  I like this.  From Nicety.   I quite like brown craft paper for wrapping gifts.  There are tons of ideas out there for dressing them up.


Washi Tape ideas for wrapping gifts.  From Tabula Rosi.


Ten delicious ways to spice up your Hot Chocolate.  (I think if you click on it, it will open up larger.)  From She Knows.

How to make a Woodland Stag Cake, from Hobbycraft.    What I like about this however, is not so much the Woodland Stage, but the inspiration it gives me to do something else.  I never knew it was so easy.


Tea Bag Shortbread Cookies.  From Baking Mischief.   There are printable tea bag tags and bonus Hedgehog Cookies.  So sweet!


Mrs Bunny Rabbit Tea Cosy.  From Ravelry.   Adorable!   I love it!  A free pattern.


These Little Lady Booties are adorable.   From Hopeful Honey.  A free pattern.


1920's crochet Cloche Hat.  Again, Hopeful Honey.  I love this.

DIY Coconut Oil Lip Balm from The View from a Great Island.


Name Stone gifts from Thrifty Home.   Love these.   What a lovely gift these would make.


Doll Face Necklaces made using wooden beads.  So cute!  From Psselbolaget, the crafty Swedes.
I LOVE it!

And those are my finds for this week. I hope you found something of value that you can use. I find lots more than this, but these are things I think you just might like. I hope that you did!

A thought to carry with you . . .

There is no such thing
as a failed experiment,
Only experiments with
unexpected outcomes.
~Richard Buckminster Fuller

 Spiritual Enlightenment 

By the way, for some odd reason my e-mail box emptied itself, so if you have written me and are wondering why I have not written back, its because I can't find your e-mail!  *sniff *sniff*

(Tracy, Sybil, Ruth, Mary)  I had every intention of responding, but now I can't find your e-mail addresses.    Forgive me if I have forgotten someone, I've had a lot on my mind.  But I usually do answer all of my e-mails, I promise!

In The English Kitchen today  . . . Chicken and Loaded Potato Casserole.  I de-fatted it.  It was delicious!

Have a great Friday! Don't forget!

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And I do too!

Thursday 27 October 2016

A few of my favourite things . . .


These are a few of my favourite things  . . .


I love to lay in bed and listen to the rain fall on the roof.  Not sure why that is, only that I do . . .


The sound of autumn leaves scampering across the pavement  . . . watching them dance and twirl in the air.  Sunny autumn days.  The sun still has a bit of warmth but it is waning  . . .


Warm blankets, cosy chairs . . .  flickering firelight . . .

A good book to curl up with  . . .  a page turner . . .


A good film to share with each other . . .  okay, so maybe I am the only one who enjoys this one, but I love the fact that he watches it with me anyways  . . .

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My Tea Cosy.  I am still in love with it  . . .may it ever be so . . .


Cookies and milk . . . milk and cookies.

Father Knows Best  . . . Marcus Welby MD, in short anything Robert Young did.


Simple Jack O Lanterns . . .  nothing fancy smancy.   Just plain old Jack.

Hedgehogs  . . .  in anything  . . .  but this is particularly sweet . . .


Bonfires, toasting marshmallows, hotdogs  . . .

Candy Apples  . . .


Hot chocolate shared . . .

I know I shouldn't  . . . as it is so so bad . . .  Pepperoni Pizza  . . .


Halloween Candy . . .  dangit!


Tis true . . . 

And those are a few of my favourite things for this week. What are some of yours?

A thought to carry with you . . .

A mother's love for her child
is like nothing else in the world.
It knows no laws, no pity,
it dares all things and crushes down
all that stands in it's path. 
~Agatha Christie

Spiritual Enlightenment 

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In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup.  Its delicious!

Have a beautiful Thursday . . . may you never forget . . .

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And I do too!!