Monday 5 December 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.

Lovely artwork to hang on my refrigerator. Its been a very long time since I have had artwork like this to hang on my fridge, but one evening last week, we had a visit from some children that live not too far from us and their mum.  They happen to go to our church.  They had done this lovely artwork for Todd and they brought it over to us and even had a small stuffed toy they wanted to share with him for comfort I suppose.   It was totally unexpected.   They stayed for about an hour and Todd was just delighted.   Todd has no children left.  He managed to outlive them all.  He has no grandchildren either, not that he knows about.  This meant the word to him, that these young people would take the time to do this for him.   He was thrilled beyond measure.  It didn't even bother him that he was in his pajamas.  (Normally that would freak him out.  He is Mr Properly Dressed at all times.)    He really, really enjoyed this visit.   He had a bag of sweeties he had been going to bring to church on Sunday for the Primary children, but these three got them that night.    It did my heart so much good to know that we are raising a generation of children in the church who care for other people in a very real way.  They actually talked to us and with us.  Not at us and they didn't let their mum do all their talking for them.  They care for Todd was tangible and real.  It was really wonderful.  What a blessing!

Pictures of Doggies visiting Santa Claus.  Yep, this is Baxter and Lucy visiting old Saint Nick.   The doggies don't look too happy I don't think, but it is cute all the same.  Lucy is very well groomed.  What shiny coats they both have.   That reminds me that we need to give Mitzie a bath.  I would bath her once a week if Todd would let me.  She hates it so much.  I wish she didn't.  It would make bathtime a lot more fun.

They are such a cute couple.  Bruce and Sara.  As a mom I am so pleased that my son has found his soulmate and is so happy with his wife.  From the moment I met her I knew she was the one and I was right.  All any mother wants is to see their children happy and settled.  From the time my children were small I prayed that they would find special people prepared just for them to spend their lives with.  All of my prayers have been answered.  My children all have wonderful spouses and spouses that make them very happy and that love them.  Good parents to doggies and children.  Caring individuals.  Good spouses.  No mother can expect any more than that for their children, to know that they are settled and that they are happy.

My youngest daughter is just like a gazelle.  She is a wonderful athlete and plays Ultimate Frisbee.  She is a medalist.  So agile.   I am so proud of her.  She works really hard as an RN and is am exemplary Wife and Mother.  How she manages to juggle everything I do not know.  But she does and she does it very well.

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I love this photograph of her from when she was five years old.  One of her very first school photographs.  I am so lucky to have this picture.  She has always been an over-achiever.  Doing her best at everything she sets her mind to.  She is very driven.  I think she is a lot like my mother in that way.  My mother was always an over-achiever and driven.  It has stood Amanda well in life.  She managed to get bursaries and awards all through University and emerged debt free.  She got a great job in a great hospital and has done very well there.  She married a wonderful man and has two beautiful children and a beautiful home.  Her home is so tidy and neat and clean.  She managed to get her Masters in Nursing whilst raising her children, taking care of her home and working at her job.  That is amazing to me.  I don't know how she does it all.  She is a wonder woman.

I am actually managing to take photos of myself these days that I don't mind sharing.  I know I need to do something about my hair, but it is me, messy bun and all.   I think that in my old age I am finally coming to be happy with the way I look.  I don't think I look too bad for a 61 year old.  Oh yes, I could stand to lose more than a few pounds.  Oh, I wish it were as easy to do as it is to say  . . . alas it is not.  Especially when you are  foodie.

Frosty mornings . . .  I love them.    Tucked up all warm in my house and viewing a world that has been touched with the silver brush of Jack Frost.   When I was a child I can remember thinking that Jack Frost was real and that he actually went around at night when we were sleeping painting all the glass on our windows and doors.  I used to love to sit at the window and drink in his handiwork.  It was like magic to me.  It still is, although we don't get the frosted windows we used to get when I was a child.  I am not sure why that is . . .

Warm toes . . . I love my toes being warm.  Our kitchen floor is just like ice in the mornings. We have no heat in there and the tiles are so cold under my feet as I walk across them to let Mitzie out for her morning constitutional.  I can hardly wait to get my socks on and warm them up.  Warm socks make for warm toes.  I love them  . . .

The gift of service.  Serving others is a gift that blesses both the giver and the receiver.  Over the past year we have been going on Fridays to visit with an elderly member of our church congregation who has dementia and spending the mornings with him so his wife can get out and do some errands, and have a few hours where she is free to just be without the reponsability of him and have a breather.  We have loved doing this.  We have enjoyed listening to his stories from when he was driving trucks, etc.   He has had a really fascinating life.  I do believe that we have gotten more out of those visits than he has.   Being able to serve others is never time which has been wasted.  I wish I could do more.  I really do.   I really enjoy being able to do small and simple things for other people.  I always have done.  It is really kind of selfish on my part because it really makes me happy to do these things.  I always receive far more in return than I expend.  I mean that sincerely.

A thought to carry with you through today  . . .

To effectively serve others, 
we must see them through a parent’s eyes, 
through Heavenly Father’s eyes. 
~Elder Dale G Renlund

Spiritual Enlightenment

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In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Beef, Ale and Parsnip Pudding.  Oh boy but this is gorgeous.  It is like a steamed meat pie, or a big beef dumpling.   It's positively delicious.   I served it with some greens and potatoes on the side.  It went down a real treat.  This is the epitome of Comfort Food.

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

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And I do too!


  1. That pudding is indeed gorgeous, but how sweet about the visit for you and Todd! So dear. Children's artwork on a fridge is the best. ♥

  2. Your hair has grown so much!
    I like it are getting great at your daughter does look like a gazelle!
    I agree love that everyone is happy:)
    How nice of the children to give Tood the art:)

  3. You have been blessed with so many wonderful things ! I loved the pictures of family including the dogs! I love warm toes too and have discoved wool socks work best when it's very cold out. My floors are often cold and drafty in this old house. Hope you have a great week ahead ! Happy Monday!

  4. It was the sweetest and most delightful visit Val! we were both so touched by their kindness. xoxo

    It is all about angle Monique! haha From above you look thinner! Love and hugs. xoxo

    Thanks Pam! I think you have a lovely little house Pam! Happy Monday right back! xoxo

  5. I'm so pleased that you got that photo of the two dogs with Santa !!'s nice that your daughter in law shares things with you...
    It was lovely that the wee ones came and helped Todd have a lovely day. I'm glad that your helpful visit was a success, down here we have an organization called LINK it mostly a car driving service people call up if they have Drs or hospital appointments, or maybe a hair appointment, we find a volunteer driver who picks them up and brings them home. LINK can also find people to do just what you and Todd have been doing ..sitting with a dementia patient just to let their partner have a little time to themselves , my darling brother in law John used to do both driving and visiting. At one time a long time ago I was one of the three telephone handlers and once a call came in I would have to find a driver etc..this is a free service but most if not all ask for an envelope that our drivers keep in their cars for just that situation, some people feel better if they are contributing a little.....Today has been a good one Pam was over as usual then we had guild where the Chaplain of Kingswood School came to tell us about his job, the children etc. Kingswood School is the largest Methodist run school in the country and was actually started by John Wesley the founder of Methodism ,..hope your day tomorrow is a lovely one xxxx


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