Monday 31 December 2018

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. 
MY DIL reposted this old photo of my middle son's two older boys taken at Christmas a few years back.  That year I got all of my grandsons matching pajamas.  To this date this is the only photo I have seen of any of my grandchildren wearing anything I have sent them, and I can't tell you how much joy it brought to this grandmother's heart at the time, and still does.  Jon is going to be 13 this year, and Josh will be having his 10th or 11th Birthday in just a few days now. (With 7 grands I sometimes have a difficult time keeping the ages straight in my mind. Doesn't mean I love them any less, just that my brain is aging.)  I got to facetime with all of them (Jon, Josh and Jacob) on Christmas Day and it was wonderful!  Love my son, Kayla and their boys very much. 
Our Amanda posted this photo of her two the other day. I am assuming it is Christmas Eve as there are no gifts beneath the tree.  Love their matching pajamas.  I have never gotten to meet Cameron in person yet.  Maryn is 7 and Cameron is 5. They are beautiful children.  I don't really know them, and they don't really know me, but it is not for lack of communication on my part.  It is my deepest heartfelt wish that someday that will change, but for now it is what it is and I accept that. I am just very grateful that from time to time I get a little glimpse of their lives.  

Luke enjoying a candycane on Christmas morning.  I did not get to facetime with these two this year as their father's phone was broken, but I did get to see a few photos of Luke and Gabe in their matching Jim Jams.  Unfortunately the one of Gabe is a video and I don't know how to post videos on here to show you.  In any case getting to see these two did my heart a world of good also.  I hate being so far away from my family all of the time, but especially at special times such as Christmas.   Love them all, and am very grateful for my two oldest sons who do their best to make me a part of their and their children's lives all the year through.  It means the world to me. 
This is my mom and dad with me at Christmas in 1955. I was about 4 months old.  I cherish this photo.  They are both so young here.  (me too!)  I love my parents so very much. 
Flash forward 63 years and this was my mom and dad this Christmas.  My heart aches.  I am so grateful that they are both still with us. My father has facetimed me twice in the past week, and I have gotten to speak to my mom a couple of times on the telephone.  One time was a great conversation and she was very talkative.  She was very talkative yesterday as well, although her speech/memory was not so great and it was a bit of a struggle.  I know she gets frustrated because she can't spit the words out.  My Christmas package for them has arrived.  (I sent it by courier)  We are trying to figure out where it is however.  I hope they can get it today. 
I don't know how much longer we will have our parents with us, but I am grateful for every year with them we are given. I love them with all of my heart.  I miss them so much and wish I was able to live closer to them.  I am ever grateful for modern technology which affords me the contact that I do have with them.  I wish I had the means to help my sister (who takes amazing care of each of them) more.  I just don't.  If wishes were horses  . . . 

I am so grateful for the lovely childhood my parents gave us.  They did the best they knew how to do. We were always well fed, clothed, sheltered and, most importantly . . .  loved.  The three of us are all  kind, decent, giving, caring, trustworthy, reliable and honest individuals.  This is a credit to our wonderful parents.  I honor them.  I love them. I am ever grateful for them.  Its a funny thing, but  . . .  I think that the older I get, I appreciate them that little bit more. 

Our Christmas Tree.  It will probably be coming down tomorrow.  I am glad that we were able to put up the larger one this year rather than the smaller one.  It has filled my days with light and joy.  I love to sit and look at it and I have enjoyed sitting in its glow with Todd and Mitzie most evenings.  I love the way the Nativity sits next to it and helps to remind us of the real reason for the season.  I will miss it when Christmas is all down and put away for another year.  The lounge always seems empty with all the decorations dismantled and back in boxes.   
I am not one much to make New Years Resolutions as such . . .  but I think that in this coming year I want to start my Christmas Preparations for 2019 in January, lol.  I think that might be the only way I am ready by the time Christmas rolls around again in December!   
On Friday this week, this new Diet food company is sending me a week's worth of food to try and see if I can shift a few pounds in a week.  I am kinda looking forward to that.  I will still have to cook for Todd, so we will see how that all pans out! I am grateful for these little opportunities that come my way and make what is essentially a pretty plain and simple life, a tiny bit more exciting!

I want to take this opportunity to wish each of you a very Happy New Year.  I hope that 2019 is kind to each of us.  I thank you for your faithfulness in having visited me throughout all these years and I look forward to this continued sharing with each other in the coming year.  You all mean the world to me!!  Happy New Year! 
Toasted Cheese Rounds 
There is a New Year's Eve nibble in the kitchen today . . .  Toasted Cheese Rounds.  Simple and delicious.  Perfect for enjoying with cold drinks as you watch the fireworks! 
Have a wonderful day and evening.  Be blessed and don't forget! 
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And I do too!   See you next year!



Sunday 30 December 2018

My mind wanders . . .

I was reading something the other day and came across an article which was describing the culture of African Bushmen. I have always found other cultures fascinating and they were every bit as fascinating as any other I have read about. You can learn a lot about a people by reading about their ways. For instance, and I thought this was fabulous . . . when an African Bushman notices a brother or sister of his tribe coming out of the brush he greets them with the words, "I See You!" The response from the arrival would be. "I am here!"  

 When I read that I thought to myself . . . how very wonderful!  How absolutely profound!  In a world that increasingly becomes crazier and crazier, where one can quite quickly lose their identity, and become as nothing . . . how very affirming such a greeting seems.  For with this simple and direct affirmation, it is possible to secure one's own presence . . . in effect to say . . . I AM HERE.

I AM HERE . . . I AM HERE . . . I AM HERE . . .

And I matter. 

There are of course people in all of our lives who validate our presence by seeing us regularly . . . they are people who have helped to shape the foundations of our self worth . . . Grandparents, Parents . . . siblings, extended family if you are lucky enough to have some . . . close friends.  When I think back on my life, other than my mother and father, the one person who first rejoiced at my presence would have been my maternal Grandmother.   I was a difficult baby, crying a lot . . . and so I was taken to stay with her for a time as my mother just couldn't cope with me.  From her I received unconditional love and feelings about myself that have helped to shape the bedrock of my self worth . . . and so it has gone all through the years of my life, with different people at different times all taking the time to acknowledge and appreciate my presence . . . affirming that I am here and that I matter.

That's all anyone really wants I think . . . to be seen and to matter . . . to be loved for just who, what and where they are in their lives.  To have their presence rejoiced, and maybe even celebrated in small and simple ways.   I don't mean in the "paparazzi stalking" way . . . but simply in the "YOU count" way . . . 

In a culture which erases it's humanity and celebrates celebrity, beauty, money and success . . . which plays down and ignores anything else . . .  proclaiming them as being trivial and un-important . . . we so very much need to be seen and to be quite simply acknowledged, to have our presence noted . . . to know that someone cares.   WE are not invisible.  WE count.  WE are loved.  WE matter.  And by that I mean . . . everyone.

This is the last Sunday that our church block of services will be three hours long.  After this week we are moving to a two hour service. This will be great for families with small children I am sure. Our church is moving to a more Home Centred/Family Based type of worship/study. Wish I had a family to do this with. It will be a challenge for Empty Nesters and Singletons.  But, as with anything, you can only get out of something what you are willing to put in.

A thought to carry with you for today  . . .

“When we treat people merely as they are, 
they will remain as they are. 
When we treat them as if they were 
what they should be, 
they will become what they should be. ” 
~Thomas S Monson  

Salted Caramel Pavlova 
Cooking in The English Kitchen today, a dessert for New Years . . .  Salted Caramel Pavlova.  Yummo! 

Have a beautiful Sunday!  Don't forget! 

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And I do too!

Saturday 29 December 2018

The Seven Wonders . . .

Have you ever thought about the Seven Wonders of the World?  I always thought that I knew what they were, but this morning . . . . upon researching . . . . I have discovered that I do not, and  that there are several lists of what the Seven Wonders of the World are, or what the powers to be consider them to be.

First there is the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, which included . . . The Great Pyramid of Giza, The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, The Statue of Zeus at Olympia, The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, Mausoleum at Hallicarnasus, Colossus of Rhodes, and the Lighthouse of Alexandria.  The only one which still exists is the Great Pyramid . . . and I don't think, although I would never entirely rule it out . . . I don't think I will ever be seeing that one.

Then there are The Wonders of the Middle Ages . . . Stonehenge, Colosseum, Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa. The Great Wall of China, Porcelain Tower of Nanjing, Hagia Sophia, Leaning Tower of Piza . . . it is certainly within my reach to see Stonehenge . . . but the others?   A bit harder to accomplish . . . although I do admit to a certain fascination with The Great Wall and the Leaning Tower.

Then there are the Engineering Wonders of the World . . . much more doable I think.  They include The CN Tower (seen it), Channel Tunnel (been through it several times), Empire State Building, Golden Gate Bridge, Itaipu Dam, Delta Works/Zeiderzee Works, and  the Panama Canal.   I have seen and experienced two of those things in person . . . and two others via television, which probably doesn't count. 

And there are other lists . . . which include a variety of things such as the Taj Mahal, The Christ the Redeemer Monument in Brazil, Maccu Picchu (Peru), The Grand Canyon, The Polar Ice Caps, The Great Barrier Reef, Victoria Falls, Mount Everest, etc., etc.

All very amazing things to be sure.  Our world is full of many wonders, both natural and man made . . . and the wonders change as our world expands and our technological abilities grow.  I think it is almost becoming quite impossible to keep the list down to just seven wonderful things . . . we live in a most amazing and wonderful world . . .  

I have another list of Seven Wonders though . . . one which I think is even more amazing . . . and I am sure you are quite gagging to read what it is, so I will put you out of your misery!

My seven wonders are . . . to touch, to taste, to see, to hear, to feel, to laugh and to love.

Now that was easy wasn't it.  And I won't stop there . . . I also want to add to cry, because tears are an amazing elixer, both cleansing and healing.  I cannot imagine not being able to cry.

If you really think about it it would be quite, quite impossible to enjoy all of those other esteemed wonders of the World without my personal seven wonders of the world . . . seven (eight if you count the tears) things which are God given and natural to each of us . . . things which we all can and have experienced . . . and things which can bring each one of us wonder.

And yet . . . we take them quite, quite for granted.  We really shouldn't.

A thought to carry with you  . . . 

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

Every morning 
we are born again.
What we do today
is what matters most.
~Buddah   •。★★ 。* 。 

Banana & Golden Syrup Loaf 
In the kitchen today  . . .  Banana & Golden Syrup Loaf.  At first I was disappointed as it hadn't risen very high, but then that was displaced with pleasure because I discovered that it was the moistest, squidgiest banana loaf I had ever baked.  Gorgeous! Not too sweet.  Just right.  
Have a wonderful Saturday.  I may or may not be on tomorrow. It all depends on what time I wake up. Sunday mornings can be pretty hectic!  Don't forget!
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And I do too!

Friday 28 December 2018

My Friday Finds . . .

A few of the things  I find each week that pique my interest, bring me joy, inspire me to learn, create, do, become . . . Maybe they will do the same for you!   

Handmade Rukodelky . . .  a knitted crown.  

Knitty.  A cute Sock Monkey Hat. 

Hammerpots on Etsy. A knit powdered wig. Not free, but not expensive either. 

Becky Veverka.  Knitted Viking Hat.  Love it!

Home is where the boat is. Diy Seed packets.  

Knitting Day.  Free pattern. 

Its Always Autumn.  Print and fold bookmarks. 

Glue Sticks.  DIY Pajama Pants without a pattern. You could make everyone matching bottoms and then just buy t-shirts to match. 

Gina Renee Designs.  Not free, but not epensive either.  I love this. 

Sew and So.  My Rag Doll, book review, so cute.  I would love to get this book.  I love making dolls. 

Love Knitting.  Busy little bears pattern.  So cute!  

Knitting Bordado.  Free pattern for a Christmas Flower table centrepiece.  Maybe for next year.  

Folksy Blog, bobble bunting.

House of Handmade, DIY paper lanterns.

E-How, how to make paper beads. 

Red Ted Art. Paddington Bear Origami.  Cute! 

And those are my finds for this week. I hope you saw something you liked!

A thought to carry with you  . . . 

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

I think happiness is what makes you pretty.
Period. Happy people are beautiful.
They become like a mirror, 
and they reflect that happiness.
~Drew Barrymore  •。★★ 。* 。 

Post Christmas Hash 

In the kitchen today, Post Christmas Hash.  Two big dinners, two days running. Lots of leftover veg.  Delicious! 

Have a great Friday.  Don't forget along the way of your day! 

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And I do too!