Saturday 30 December 2017

Saturday musings . . .

It's hard to believe that there are only two more days in the year 2017. This year seems to have flown by ever so quickly.  I know it feels like that every year, but this year seems to have passed by particularly fast.  I know I am not along in this!  Everyone on Instagram has been doing their best nine for 2017 and, while I am not normally one to follow the crowd, I decided to do it as well.  There is an ap you can use to figure it out.  Its not what I would consider to be my best nine of 2017, but hey ho, who am I to argue with an ap!  

Years are funny things aren't they.  We start each one of them with great anticipation and sometimes even dread, because none of us knows really how they are going to end up.  Most of us don't have crystal balls to show us our futures.  Its all a bit of a gamble really.  That's where faith comes in.  Because without it, none of us would be brave enough to take that first step out into the unknown . . . 

Well, we don't have a choice really do we?
The future is ours no matter what.

I think the real key to a happy life is to look at life with a heart filled with gratitude.  When you do that, life becomes almost magical.   

And 2017 has been a pretty magical year for me.


Things were pretty uncertain when I was sat at this point in time last year.  We'd just been told that Todd had cancer and he was going to have to go through radiation treatments.  The "C" word is a really difficult word to hear. First you cry, and then you get angry, and then you go to work at trying to beat it.  Todd faced this battle admirably.  He was strong and brave and he just did whatever he had to do, no matter what. Being declared cancer free at the end of it all was and is a huge blessing.  God willing it stays that way.  We had a friend this year who faced the exact same battle and who was not as lucky.  He, unfortunately, only lived about 3 months after his diagnosis . . . . it was very, very sad, but it (I hate to say this) helped us to appreciate the blessing we had received even more. 

This year was a year in which I got together with and spend time with not one, not two, not three, but four groups of people who have been pretty special to me in my life.  

It began in January when my friend Suzan and her daughter Bethany came over from Australia.  Suzan and I had known each other for a long time on here and it was such a thrill to finally get to meet in person, as well as meeting her daughter.  Although still, why anyone would want to come to cold old Europe in the middle of winter when they come from such a warm climate still mystifies me, I was so grateful for her visit. We had a lovely day together and made some really special memories!

Then in April Lura and John and John came over.  We had a lovely time when they were here and the time went far too quickly.  They spent a week with us at the end of April and it was such a blessing for me to be able to finally do something for Lura in return for all that she had done for me back in 2009 when I went over to Utah.  And Todd finally got to meet the both of them, which was an added blessing! 


In May, Valerie and her husband Steve came over and we got to spend a day with them!  It was a flying visit, but one which was really special to both of us.Their son had done his mission here in the UK, and had actually served here in Chester.  We had him to our home many times while he was here. It was so nice to actually meet Val in person. 


Of course the capper was finally getting to meet dear Sybil.  We were trying to figure out how long we had known each other, and I think about 15 years or so, from way back on our AOL Journals days.  Its almost funny that she is the one I lived the closest too and yet she was the one it took the longest for me to finally meet in person!  

Will 2018 see Todd and myself taking a trip down to Bath in return?
I sure hope so! 


Then in June, courtesy of the McMillan Cancer Trust, we both got to enjoy a trip to Scotland.  It was really fun for me to see a part of the country that I had not yet seen, and it was just fun for the both of us to get away from here for a few days and just forget about our regular life. 


We saw the Kelpies . . . 


Some pretty stunning scenery . . . 


Men in kilts . . . 

And a whole host of other things and best of all
we got to do it together.

2017 also saw the fulfilment of a lifelong dream of mine to write a book and have it published!  I am still pinching myself over that one, as it doesn't quite seem real to me.  I am so grateful for everyone's kind words about it, the positive reviews, etc. They really do mean the world to me.  Because writing the book was not so much about ME doing something as it was about me doing something that brought joy to OTHERS!  And it appears to have done just that.  The icing on a very tasty cake. 


I have always wanted to do something that would  make my family proud of me.  I didn't really achieve much scholastically speaking.  I didn't graduate from University.  I didn't have a career.  I messed up two marriages before finally getting it right.  Two out of my five kids think I was and am a rubbish mother . . . to me this book was more than just writing a book, but an opportunity for me to show my family that I could actually do something well, and something they could be proud of me for.  My brother sent me this photograph last night with the caption of "It finally got here!"  And he looks pretty pleased to have it!  That makes me happy.  All of the positive words on the review sites make me happy, my two oldest boys and my oldest daughter loving it makes me happy.  You liking it makes me happy also. 

I am not sure that 2018 can bring me anything better than
what 2017 has already brought me.

I am one very lucky woman, and this
has only been the tip of the very
wonderful iceberg called


So what are your plans for New Years Eve?  We will go to church, then I'll cook us a nice supper and we'll watch some telly, be in bed for 9 or 9:30, wake up for the fireworks at midnight, wish each other a Happy New Year and hopefully fall blissfully back to sleep.  Yes, we are that boring! 

This was me on New Years Eve back in 1972, with my mom and my dad and my ex husband, before he was even my husband.  I was 17 and had my whole life in front of me.  Boy if I could only have known then what I know now.  Would I have changed any of it?  Probably not because the journey is all a part of what has made me who I am and I kinda like me just the way I am.  Oh . . .  in all honesty, I would  like to be a lot thinner, but that is just superficial.  Basically I like me for the most part.  We all have things we need to work on and I am no different. ☺  If I can end 2018 as a better person than I was when I started it, then it will also be a very good year.

A thought to carry with you  . . .  

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

Never let a day pass without 
looking for the good,
feeling the good within you,
praising, appreciating and
being grateful.
Make it your life commitment,
and you will stand in utter awe
of what happens in your life.
~Rhonda Byrne  •。★★ 。* 。 


Cooking in The English Kitchen today  . . .  Lemon Bread Pudding with a lucious Lemon & Cardamom Sauce.  Yum!
Have a great Saturday!  Don't forget along the way of your day . . . 

═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════ ⊰✿░G░O░D⊰✿⊰L░O░V░E░S⊰✿⊰░Y░O░U░⊰✿
═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════ 

And I do too! 



  1. Dear Marie,I wish you all the best for the coming year and I wish I could send you and Todd a little of the gorgeous weather we are having here in Crete. All my best to you and your family,see you next year!


  2. Thanks very much Carla! Happy New Year to you also! xoxo

  3. Hi Marie, what a wonderful 2017 you had, long may it continue!! I'm hoping to be in your 2018 'honours list'!! I promise we'll definitely meet up next year. So pleased Sybil managed to get up to see you, I'm sure you had a wonderful time. Bath is beautiful, it would be amazing for you and Todd to visit it and meet up with Sybil again. Check out the Premier Inn website, they often do rooms for £29 a night, probably not in Bath city centre but definitely in the surrounding area. That would be a lovely little break away. We were hoping to go to Bath again this year but didnt seem to have a spare minute! Hoping 2018 will be a bit more relaxed!

    I got a telephone call from Clatterbridge yesterday asking if they could bring my operation forward to the 3rd of January, so next Wednesday it is. I'm taking the tree and all the decorations down today. I need the flat to be back to normal before I go in!

    Have a lovely day, lot's of love xxx

  4. It was an outstanding year for you and I wish you it's twin and better for this year.You were so brave and stoic while Todd was undergoing treatment:)So glad that is behind you all..Love that pic of you at 17..if we knew then what we know now..I agree..Marie your mom looks so elegant in her long dress:) So do you..Your children should be proud of you..that is an ethereal accomplishment..what a joke you didn't graduate..I know it's etc..but you are a scholar my dear..and able to do so many things..those fingers stitch and bake and cook and care..and write perfectly..and where the heck is spelling going? I know I make typos but when I look at FB..well I can't believe it and I think it will get worse..

    Fun post Marie and glad you met so many freinds:)lol..see that's a typo.I often do that.
    Bonne Année!

  5. Best of wishes for a very HAPPY New Year. I'd say all in all your had a wonderful 2017!

  6. Thanks Kate! We will check that out! I will be praying you through your op! I hope everything goes well! Keep us posted! I think Suzan has a lot of computer problems! We are in touch on FB and she is well! Love, hugs and Happy New Year! Xoxo

    My mom has always been elegant and still is Monique! Maybe one day you and I will meet! Now that would be a dream come true! Xoxo

    Thanks Pam! Happy New Year to you also! Xoxo

  7. That was a wonderful write up of your year. It has to certainly one of the highlights of my year meeting Lura and John...and being welcomed into their family circle....and meeting up with Todd and you. I will never forget you standing at the door and seeing you for the first seemed to me as if I had known you forever we started to chat as if we had been in the middle of a conversation a few days before it was really amazing, you looked also as if I'd known you for years and years....well I suppose we have but on paper not face to face and yet there we were I'm still amazed......well love I must get going I'm very tired tonight for some reason so I'm going to bed....night night. God Bless. Xx

  8. I loved reading your thoughts about your year of 2017. I have loved following your blog for a very long time. You are one of my favorite all time bloggers and I hope that I get to meet you someday. I am still amazed at how you fun it is to get to know and love someone through their blog posts. I
    You have had your ups and downs but you have always goine through them with great faith and grace. I am so graterful your Todd is doing well.
    I loved that you were able to have moments with good friends you hadn't met in person or wanted to see again.
    I think your book is awesome and I'm excited your children love them too. I'm still convinced that your others ones will come around sometime.
    I look forward to your 2018 may it be an extra sweet one.
    Sending loving thoughts and hugs your way!

  9. It was very much the same for me Sybil, and one of my goals for 2018 is to make it down to you. We shall try our hardest! Even if we do it by train or some such! Love you! xoxo

    LeAnn, you are on my bucket list of people I want to meet! I hope your 2018 is a sweet one also. Love, hugs and blessings to you and Roger. xoxo

  10. Yay! This comment box opened up but today's won't!

    Marie,I hope you get to travel more. I hope you get to see as many people as you want, esp to see your Mom and Susan. I also hope you get a second book published,which I know you can do it. I have faith in you! I also hope you get to accomplish as many endeavors as you want to bc you are so talented my friend! I'm so happy and proud of you of all that you have accomplished so far! You make me want to try even harder to accomplish alot more in my life too!
    Walking is great exercise and so isn't dancing to songs on the radio with 3 lb weights. That's what I do bc I feel that it's safer for me, than walking around here alone. I had a bad experience two summers ago,but quick thinking kept me safe! I eat what I want, but in moderation. When I'm doing something I enjoy I don't like to stop and eat, but I will have a yogurt and keep on going. Lol. I exercise on my equipment more in the spring and summer. I exercise my mouth haha in the fall and winter. That's when I do gain some weight. How did you like my corny joke? Lol. I take after my Dad with the corny jokes.

    Stay inside your house where it's warm. Where I live it's -2 outside and tomorrow night it's suppose to be -14! That's just crazy nuts!

    You and ur Todd and Mitzie have a safe and healthy 2018!

    Happy New Year!

  11. Thanks so much Jan! You do make me smile! Love all that you share! You have blessed my life in countless ways this year with your lovely comments. Hope 2018 is very good to you. Love and hugs. xoxo


Your comments mean the world to me, and while I may not be able to address each one individually, each one is important to me and each one counts. Thanks so much!