Friday 30 June 2017

My Friday Finds . . .


A few of the things I find each week that inspire, excite and motivate me to want to get up and do something.  Maybe they will do the same for you.

I haven't tried this yet, so I cannot truthfully endorse it, but I am going to try it and let you know!  Now I wonder if they mean liquid or creamed honey? Apparently you also need to use baking soda, so here is the link.


This would go hand in hand.  From Diabetic tips.


 How to use bubblewrap to keep your floating flowers floating. From Smart School House.


From Shelley's Crochet Ole.  A cute baby bunting to crochet.  Not free, but not expensive either.

I love these sweet little crochet kimono booties.  Adorable.  From The Whoot.  

Lilyhammer.  We just started watching this on Netflix and it is brilliant.  We are hooked.  Only one episode in and we are looking forward to episode two. A New York Mobster goes into hiding in rural Norway after testifying against his former associates.  It brilliant.

  An Italian in My Kitchen.  Peach filled Crostata Bars.  These look incredibly delicious. 

A seasonal produce guide for July. I like to eat seasonaly if I can.  From Healthy Life for Me.  

Cosy Stripe Blanket from  Attic 24. I love this! 

From Creative Mom.  How to build a farmhouse bench for less than $20. 

Make your own Citronella Candles.  Great idea from Martys Musings.  

Put It In A Jar.  A complete tutorial on how to make your own oil lamps using a mason jar. 

No link, just inspiration for a tea pot birdhouse.  This is so sweet.


Diary of a Quilter.  Drawstring bag tutorial.  

A Portable First Aid Kit from Positively Splendid.  A complete tutorial.  

Roll Up Picnic Placemats, with utensil pocket.  A complete tutorial from Centsational Girl.


Mason Jar Pin Cushion Sewing Kit.  What a lovely gift this would make.  From E How. 


The Tea House  Top and Dress Pattern.  Simple, a pattern from Sew House Seven. Love this.

Tessuiti.  Alice Dress Top Pattern.  I love this also.  I used to sew all my own clothes.  Perhaps I need to start again. 


A flight of fancy . . .  I wonder who lives here? 

A thought to carry with you through today  . . . 

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

 *.˛.° ˛°. . 
˛The first to apologise is the bravest.
The first to forgive is the strongest.
The first to forget is the happiest.
~Unknown   .° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ • 


In the English Kitchen today  . . . Tomato & Basil Sauced Cod.  This is fabulously delicious!  

Have a great Friday! Don't forget!

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And I do too! 

Thursday 29 June 2017

My favourite things . . .

These are a few of my favourite things  . . . maybe some of them are yours also!

Men in kilts . . .  you can call it my "Kilty" pleasure  . . . 


Daisies.  They make me smile.  Love them, big, small and inbetween.  Love fabric printed with daisies.  Love painting and sketching daisies.  Just love Daisies. They are a cheerful flower.

Criss cross sheer lace curtains.   I had some of these in the living room in our house in New Brunswick and I loved them.  My ex MIL had some in her living room also.  They made me feel all June Cleaver.  I would love it if I could make some for our windows here, but my windows are so big it would take a truck load of material! 

The BBC series Cranford.  I love the ladies of Cranford.  We have both series on DVD.  Based on the writings of Elisabeth Gaskill, the series takes place in Georgian Cheshire, before the time of the railroads.  I never tire of it.  Never.


Pretty footstools.   I love a footstool anyways, but if they are pretty, so much the better.  Perhaps I will make one . . . 

Baking . . .  there is something very comforting to be found in the domestic art of baking . . .  rolling out doughs, kneading, stirring, beating . . . the smells, the tastes . . . the act of creating something beautifully edible from the combining of other things.  Its an art form.


Freshly picked strawberries.  There is nothing like the taste of a freshly picked strawberry. They are so sweet and satisfying . . . the sooner eaten after picking the better . . .  right in the field, best of all. It annoys me when I see punnets of berries in the shops holding berries which are not actually ripe, with green spots still on them. What a waste. These will never ripen. Berries only ripen on the vine . . . unlike some other fruits.

It is not something I indulge in very often  . . .  but I adore cookies and milk.  Preferably homebaked cookies.  Especially if they contain oats.  Oatmeal cookies and milk are the best.  Sigh  . . . 

Lavender.  Ours is in bloom at the moment.  I picked a tiny bit yesterday and stuck it in a vase.  It smells heavenly.  I also love this vase.  It is a throwaway from the Manor, something she did not want any more.  The housekeeper offered it to me, and I gladly took it.  I think it is really sweet.


Vintage Cookie Jars.  I love them, and this is mine.  I bought her at a yard sale a long time ago and she has never broken, thank goodness.  I had a cowboy pig also, but he did break.  Not sure if she is worth anything, but it doesn't really matter.  She is worth something to me.  I love her.

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

A thought to carry with you . . . 

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

 *.˛.° ˛°. . 
˛ Its not just about creativity,
Its about the person you're becoming
while you're creating.
~Charlie Peacock  •。★★ 。* 。 


In The English Kitchen today  . . . Creamy Spinach and Mushroom Gnocchi.  Seriously tasty!  On the table in 15 minutes or less. That's my kind of food! 

Have a great Thursday!  Don't forget along the way  . . . 

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And I do too! 

Wednesday 28 June 2017

How to spend a day . . .

Its cold. Its wet.  And every few minutes it gently nudges my arm.  Dare I open my eyes.  To do so will result in a dance and my day will begin in earnest as I try to keep her quiet enough that she doesn't wake up Todd while I put my slippers on and sneak out of the room, all the while trying not to trip over crazy dog turning around in circles.  Why do dogs do that when they are happy . . .  turn around in circles?  It is the dog equivalent of hand clapping I  believe  . . . I slowly open one eye and the dance starts.  I'm up.

Mitzie barrels down the stairs as I pop into the bathroom to do my morning ritual.  She waits by the bottom step for me in great anticipation.  She does this every morning and as I reach the bottom step, she prances back and forth in front of me, weaving and ducking, and almost nibbling at my toes.  She is so happy . . . . she runs to the back door, tail wagging.  It is routine only because all she does is pop out the door and do an about face.

Its Denta-stick time.

I give her the stick and she runs to the lounge, laying down to eat it with glee.  I stand at the back door and look out at the rain that is falling.  Silently giving thanks for the gift of another day.  I grab my diet coke and go into the lounge myself.  I sit on the sofa and say my morning prayers.  I have much to be grateful for.  A cold and cough that are lessening in their ferocity, love, a roof over my head . . . the list of blessings is endless. I grab my iPad and check my messages. Nothing important. I grow some wheat and corn, gather eggs, produce goods, sent my airplanes off.  Its a game . . .  I enjoy it for about 10 minutes and then wonder at the time wasted.  I must check my e-mails.  I do this every morning  . . .  wondering if I have anything from family, from my editor, from anyone other than Kraft, Betty Crocker, or Mr Food . . .  I don't.  I try to decide if that is good news or bad news.  I decide it is good.  No news is always good news, isn't it?

I take a cursory glance through facebook, and then I post my instagram
and tweet my tweet.  Just a food picture.
but I enjoy it.

I scratch Mitzie behind the ears as she stands next to me.There is 
a great comfort to be found in

I write my blog as I drink my diet coke.  I don't always know what I am going to write, but I write every day.  It is a discipline developed, a labour of love. I enjoy it, this penning of my thoughts and feelings, an online journal of sorts.  I am still amazed that anyone wants or takes the time to read, and my heart still thrills at every comment. I appreciate them all.  What once were just alphabet letters on a screen have become bone and flesh . . .  people, friends, acquaintances . . . I care for them . . . I love this act of communication, this sharing with each other, this back and forth dance of interest and caring. It has meaning to me.

The nose prods again . . . its breakfast time
she is relentless in her desire
to get me to do what
she wants
. . . 
I cave

Breakfast is adminstered and gobbled up and that shiny wet nose is wiped clean. She always gets it so dirty when she eats.  She does not like the cleaning, squirming beneath the damp cloth like a child but I am persistant and it gets done.  We picked up several different brands of shortbread biscuits when we were in Scotland.  I decide to do a taste comparison for my own breakfast.

Naughty I know  . . . but I come
to the conclusion that
not all shortbread
biscuits are

There is a clear winner, and . . . . its Walkers.  Both in texture and smell . . .  and in taste to be honest, and I wonder why that is.  How can the mixing of flour, sugar and butter bring such different results. It shouldn't but it does. Walkers is the best. Not too hard. Not too soft. Not too crumbly. Nice and buttery with the right amount of sweetness. So now you know. You can rest easy.

Todd is up now and comes downstairs.  (Don't ask. Its the first photo that came up when I put his name into google search. I found it amusing.) We have our morning hugs, our questions, sleep well?  Plans for the day, etc.  Of course some belly scratching is involved.  Mitzie's  . . .  not Todd's nor mine.  Family prayer.  Then we both get washed and dressed, buffed and puffed, etc.

Our day begins and after his own breakfast and walking the Dog, Todd takes himself off into town.  I have a cheque to be deposited into the bank from a recipe I sold to a magazine. (yay me)  Since they changed the bus station location, and with my knee the way it is, this is a chore that will fall to him until things improve. I don't mind  . . .  well, not that much.  Our central bus station has moved from the centre of the city now to the outskirts . . .  basically the boondocks.

Its quite attractive, incredibly modern and stream-lined . . .  there's grass growing on the roof.  At a cost of millions, it is very nice . . . but it is so far from . . . EVERYTHING.  The mind boggles. If you are limited in your walking ability you are snookered. The other stop was so much more convenient.  To get to my bank now, I have to walk the width of the whole city centre and then some.  It is the same if I want to get to spec savers, the chemist, city hall, the council offices . . .  the market.  I am sure the market is suffering.

Todd goes into town and I do some cooking.  I cook every day.   We have to eat every day, so I cook every day.  I make a banana cake with some bananas left from before we went on holiday.  They are nicely blackened.  Those make the best cakes.  I do some laundry.  I ponder what's for lunch/dinner.  I find some chicken breasts I want to use and so then a search and thought goes into what I will do with them.  It is decided and I proceed.  We like to have our main meal about mid-day. It is what works for us.  It was so odd when we were in Scotland.  Our main meal was always at 7 PM, which was late for us, however tasty it was.

I hoover and dust.

Todd gets back from town and we sit down and eat.  Crispy chicken salad.  I have added a baked potato for him, and he also enjoys a piece of the cake.  The trick it to make sure he doesn't lose any weight, while I do. It is a difficult balance.

Our landlord arrives and the back gate is fixed.  It was literally falling down, making everything insecure. Lets hope it lasts this time.  Basically it needs replacing, but these things cost big money and bear thinking about.  We don't want our rent going up.  If it did we would have to move and we don't know how we could afford to do even that.  Living so close to the line limits your choices really. That is retirement when you have not had good careers and private pensions to fall back on.

We decide that we need to change the fish water, so water is prepared.  I load the dish washer, and then we do the job.  They all managed to survive our being away.  It is remarkable really.  You buy a special block of food and pop it into the tank and it releases so much each day. It worked well.

A bit later the doorbell rings and it is a friend from church, with a lovely bouquet of flowers for me and a visit for us both.  He is wanting to help Todd with the yard work.  There was a time we would have poo poohed such a suggestion, but not now . . . it is welcomed with open arms.  That is a mighty big hedge to keep clipped. we need the help, and gratefully accept the offer . . .


The flowers get put into a vase. They're so pretty and it was a lovely gesture. I tidy up my yarn. I have so much of it.  I need to sort it out really, but I am having so much fun with all my little projects.  The latest is a cath kidston inspired blanket . . .

It is inspired by this.   I am in love with it.  Its a great project.

The doorbell rings again, and it is our friend Peter Lee.  Audrey is in the care home now.  They had thought last weekend they might be losing her . . .  but she has rallied and is doing well now.  Such a concern for him.  Keep her in your prayers.  It is hard to see someone you love fading in front of you.   Our other friend Brenda, her husband Billy has only been given a few weeks now.  He has had leukaemia for a number of years, but is now losing the battle.  The end, when it comes, will now be a blessing.  It has come down to Quality versus Quantity, and there is no quality left now  . . .  it is so sad to see. Please keep them in your prayers also.

A few games of Gin rummy, doggie cuddles and telly, telly and doggie cuddles.  I make us some toast.  Todd enjoys his with butter and marmalade.  I have cheese spread on one slice and peanut butter on the other.  It is Vogel's Sunflower Seed and Barley Bread. My favourite.  Nutty and nice.  Small corner tidbits are administered to a certain furry family member who always waits patiently in anticipation of the same. This is our supper . . .

The Gilmore Girls . . .  it is our second time watching through the series.  We are nearing the end of Series Five . . .  again.  We both enjoy this show so much.  Perhaps it is our longing for small town American life.  Romanticized of course . . .

Time for bed and our nightly routine.
Washing and changing into
our night clothes.
Family prayer

We both read, I watch an episode of MadMen on my iPad as Todd drifts off, reaching down to stroke a silken ear every now and then.  I turn off the iPad and I too, drift away  . . . 

Another day has been spent, and now  . . . 
another begins.

A thought to carry with you  . . .

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

 *.˛.° ˛°. . 
˛Strive not to be a success, 
but rather to be of value.
~Albert Einstein  •。★★ 。* 。

Spiritual Enlightenment

In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Crispy Chicken Salad.  Light and delicious, with a punchy lemon and parmesan dressing.

Have a great Wednesday.  I am off to the Dentist for my bi-annual check-up.  It's amazing how quickly they seem to come around!  Along the way of your day today, don't forget!

 ═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════ ⊰✿░G░O░D⊰✿⊰L░O░V░E░S⊰✿⊰░Y░O░U░⊰✿
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And I do too!


Tuesday 27 June 2017

The Simple Woman's Daybook ...

FOR TODAY, June 27, 2017

Outside my window ...

Its dull and overcast. I have had to turn on a light.  We are going to have a couple of days of rain so I'm told, but cannot complain. Its what keeps this country so green!

I am thinking ...

Went to the Doctor I should have gone to the first time yesterday, and finally, I am going to get some help for my knee.  I have a torn meniscus and will be starting physio on Friday.  He spent a lot of time manipulating it, and checking it out, and actually listened to me.  It felt good to be treated like a person with a problem instead of simply another fat person who shouldn't have any rights, coz I'm fat and well, fat people's feelings don't count do they?

In the kitchen ...

Spicy Chicken Burgers.  Quick and simple to make and delicious.  Did I mention that they are pretty healthy as well?  Winner/winner!

On my "To Cook" list ...

Courgette (zucchini), Onion and Cheddar Tart. From Delicious Magazine.  This looks fabulous.

Good to know ...

I am creating ...

From Krokotak.  A simple bird kite that kids will enjoy making and playing with.  Adults too!

I wish I had a pound/dollar for everytime I heard the words "I'm Bored" through the years!  I'd be rich! A Bored Jar might have helped.  From Frugal Family.

A free Bottle Scrubbie Pattern.  From Totally Snappy.

Are you flowing, getting image transfers in your art journal.  Great tutorial!

Pails of Paint. An art lesson on how to draw a cow. This is a fantastic art blog!

I am reading ...

The Black House, by Peter May

DS Fin Macleod of the Edinburgh police is mourning the death of his young son and the breakdown of his marriage. He is sent to the Isle of Lewis, the place where he was born and raised to see if a recent murder in Stornoway is connected to a similar killing in Edinburgh. Fin hasn’t set foot on the Isle since his aunt’s funeral years earlier and the trip is infused with memories from the past and an event that caused a savage break with the island.

There is so much going on in this book that it’s hard to know when to stop with the precis of the plot. It is rooted firmly in the crime fiction tradition. There is a murder, with a possible link to another event and an investigation that takes many twists and turns. The detective has many of the characteristics that we would expect from a lead character, although interestingly no side-kick.

The story is wonderful. It describes an upbringing in a time that is almost lost. It wasn’t idyllic given the tragedies in the young boy’s life but the narrative effectively conveys the friendships and feuds that make up a childhood in a small rural community.

Its been a long time since I have enjoyed a book as much as I am enjoying this one!

I am looking forward to ... 
Seeing my own book in print. It won't be long now!

Dreaming about ...


A house with a veranda across the front  . . .

Owning one of these  . . .  maybe for my birthday I will ultra treat myself.

A porch swing to go with that veranda  . . .  with pretty colourful and bright cushions . . .

Tea towels made from vintage tablecloths . . . if I could only find an old tablecloth . . .

Very pretty pillow cases . . .  these I can do . . .

Something to watch ...

Set in New Zealand.  Top of the Lake.  Re-visiting in anticipation of series 2 which will star Nichole Kidman.  This is great.  Oh, did you know that they have lots of Earth Quakes in New Zealand?  Neither did I, but a couple on our coach trip from Hawarden moved back to the UK from New Zealand because of it!  Wow!

A quote for the day ...

  `*.¸.*´Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ¸. •´¸.•~♥♥♥~•. ~ ღϠ₡ღ¸. ✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ.
              ( ¸. ❀⁀ ⋱‿✿“` * .¸.* ✻ღϠ₡ ღ¸.✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ..
A diamond is a chunk of coal that did well under pressure.
( ¸. ❀⁀ ⋱‿✿“` * .¸.* ✻ღϠ₡ ღ¸.✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ..

Makes me smile ...

One of my favourite things  ...

Helping others in whatever way that I can.

Corners of my kingdom ...


Pulteney Bridge, in  Bath.  This is near where Sybil lives!

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!!