Wednesday 31 October 2018

What I know for sure , , ,

Life is full of ups and downs, wins and losses, sweet and sour, dark and light. You don't get to be my age without having learned a few truths. This is some of what I know for sure  . . .

Its the little things in life which mean the most  . . . its not the clothes you wear, or the car that you drive . . .  the house that you live in, or even the place that you live.

Its small things like having someone notice that you weren't on church on Sunday, so they give you a call or a message to make sure you're alright.  Knowing that you are missed when you are not there, and that people care.

Its having fresh sheets on the bed, especially if they have been hung out on the line to dry.  They smell so beautiful.  Its being able to reach over in the middle of the night and feel the warmth of someone close by and knowing you are not alone, and if you are at the stage where you are living on your own, its knowing that you were and are loved, even if they're not right there. 

Its sitting in the comfort of your own home, with your feet up relaxing, with a hot cuppa in your hands after having done something hard and physically taxing, and rejoicing in a job well done. Even if your physically hard and taxing isn't moving the same mountain that someone else's hard and taxing is.  Its knowing that you've done your very best and being content with that.  


Its small gestures like cheerful hellos, even from strangers.  A pat on the back.  A shake of the hand. A friendly wave.  A smile. People making a space for you in their lives.  Being remembered, cherished, loved, valued . . . . just for being you . . . . and in remembering, cherishing, valuing, loving others, just for being them.

The taste of a crisp sweet apple when you first bite into it . . .  bread and butter and jam. Its just having bread and butter and jam to enjoy . . . its being able to appreciate what true wealth is and knowing its not just $$$ in the bank or hand, that make you truly wealthy . . .  but  that by just having even the most basic things, basic necessities covered, you have much more than many in this world have.  This is what makes you rich.  Its in recognising that true wealth comes when you recognise that you have enough.  Enough to live and to love.  Anything more is icing, on an already pretty tasty cake. 

Sun rises, sun sets . . .  and everything in between.  Its being able to get the most out of a every day, be it a sunny day or a rainy day, a warm one or a cold one.   Its in being able to find the joy in living and being and recognising that true joy comes from within and not without.  People, things and experiences don't make you happy.  YOU make you happy.  Joy is within your power to create.  You make the glass half full or half empty.  Its about choice.  We may not be able to choose what happens to us, but we can choose how we react to what happens to us, and how we react is . . .  everything. 

Its in loving and in being loved.  If we love first, then being loved is sure to follow. Maybe not necessarily from those we have loved, but a kindness given/shared/entertained is never wasted.  Like karma,  what you put out into the universe all comes back to you in one way or another. If all that you do, think, say is motivated from a truly loving centre . . .  a place of love  . . .  then that is what matters most.

The little things in life aren’t really little. They become the cornerstone of our days and they create the life we live. They gradually paint the masterpiece that is life, yet we mistakenly believe that only the big things make a profound difference. Let this be your happy challenge today: be mindful of the smaller details of your moments. 

We had a lovely visit yesterday from Sister Turnbull who served here in Chester last year, just prior to finishing her mission and returning home to Oz. It was so lovely to see her and to know that being in our home while she was here, our spending time with her . . .  meant enough to her that spending time with us was something she wanted to do upon her return for a visit to all the places she served when she was on her mission.  We had a lovely visit each other for a couple of hours. She is such an amazing young woman!   We love you Mads!  

Happy Halloween!  I hope you have got some goodies in for all the ghosties and ghoulies that will be tap, tap, tapping at your door tonight!  I picked up some yesterday.  Each year we seem to get a few more than we did the year before.  I think there is going to be a Trunk and Treat at the church as well.  We never go to that because we don't want to leave our dog on her own.  People tend to shoot of fireworks and they really distress her.  This next week is going to be very hard on her.  People tend to be shooting them off every night.  She spent last night hovering between us on the sofa.  I found that putting a blanket over her, helped her a lot.  This fear of fireworks seems to be getting worse for her the older she gets.  They never bothered her when she was a puppy.  Its strange that.

And with that I will leave you with a thought for the day . . . 

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

Be yourself,
because an original 
is worth infinitely more
than a copy.  •。★★ 。* 。 

 A Simple Cottage Pie 

Cooking in The English Kitchen today  . . .  A Simple Cottage Pie.  YUM! 

I wish for each of you a lovely Wednesday.  Be positive and don't forget!

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And I do too! 

PS - I am a bit disappointed this morning.  I had an e-mail from my Editor.  I had e-mailed him last week because he had been really quiet.  It seems now that the release of my next book will not be until January now. Apparently they have fallen behind on production. (I have a theory about that but will keep it to myself.) Anyways, it won't be out now until January.  I am a bit sad to miss the Christmas Sales period, but it is what it is.  At least I am having another book published so am trying hard to focus on the positive aspect of it all. To have one book published is anyone's dream come true, but to have two published, well, that's even more of a dream come true. 

Tuesday 30 October 2018

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY, October 30, 2018

Outside my window ...
Cold and dark, the dawn is just beginning to break. We actually had a frost yesterday.  Unheard of this early in the year.

I am thinking ...
How hard it is to believe that we are already at the end of October.  The year is swifly passing by. Too fast if you ask me! 

In the kitchen ... 
Sweet Apple & Apricot Pork Chops 

Sweet Apple & Apricot Pork Chops.  Enough just for two people, but easily multiplied to serve more.  Tender and delicious! Slow cooking in the oven.

On my "To cook" list ...

Cookies and Cups.  Southern Pecan Bread.  I love nuts and I love quick breads. I am sure I would adore this! 

Good to know ...

Tips for an afternoon Tea . . . 

I am creating ...
Start Knitting.  I love the simplicity of this. Free pattern.

No Hooks Given.  Free pattern.  

Simply simple Stamping.  Andes Mints Holders.  Tutorial inspiration.

I can't find a source, but this is cute!

Sew a Little Love.  Christmas Tree Oh Christmas Tree.  Cute!  

Oh My Goodness! 

I miss them  . . . 


These too . . .  sigh . . . 

I am reading ...


Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman 
 Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive – but not how to live Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend. Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything.

One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life. Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than… fine?

I am really enjoying this!  I find myself looking forward to getting stuck into it each evening. I am down to the last few pages now and this is the first book I have actually finished in a long time.

Looking forward to ...
Hopefully going to the Temple in the next few weeks.

Dreaming about ...

Mares eat oats, and goats eat oats, and little lambs eat ivy  . . . .


Needlefelted lambs in flowery bonnets . . . 

Little jackets embroidered with lambs  . . . 


Straw hats bedecked with ribbons and flowers  . . . 

Yes she did  . . . 

Something to watch ... 


Mao's Last Dancer.  This was really REALLY good. Mao's Last Dancer is a 2009 Australian film based on professional dancer Li Cunxin's autobiography of the same name.

Makes me smile ...

I bet you smiled too! 

A Quote for the day ... 

  `*.¸.*´Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ¸. •´¸.•~♥♥♥~•. ~ ღϠ₡ღ¸. ✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ.   
Create the highest, grandest
vision possible for your life,
because you become
what you believe. 
~Unknown ´Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ¸. •´¸.•~♥♥♥~•. ~ ღϠ₡ღ¸. ✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ. 

Corners of my kingdom ...

Dawyck Botanic Garden.  An arboretum on a hillside, with some elements of a woodland garden. The Veitch family started planting trees at Dawyck in the seventeenth century. Dawyck was gifted to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh in 1978. There is a Rhododendron Walk, Beech Walk, Native Scottish Pine Wood and a collection of Rare Scottish Plants.Stunning  . . .

And that's my daybook for this week!

  ⋱ ⋮ ⋰
⋯ ◯ ⋯ Take time to enjoy the small *´¯`.¸¸.☆

  ⋰ ⋮ ⋱ blessings in life.*´¯`.¸¸.☆ 

✿¸.•*¨`*•..✿✿¸.•*¨`*•..✿ ✿¸.•*¨`*•..¸✿ ✿¸.•*¨`*•..¸✿ ✿¸.• ╬♥═╬╬═♥=╬╬═♥╬╬═♥╬╬═♥=╬╬♥═╬♥╬╬═♥╬╬═♥=╬╬♥
░░░░░░░░░░░░░ ░░░░░░░░░░░░ ░░░░░░░░░░░░ 

Have a beautiful day!  Don't forget!  

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


Monday 29 October 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. 

It started Friday night and it is now Monday morning, but thank goodness I am finally starting to feel human again!  Whew!  A case of gastroenteritis which left me feeling blah, blah, blah.  I haven't felt that ill since I had food poisoning several years back. There was one point where I told myself I would rather be dead than feeling like this. Doesn't everyone get to that point when they are feeling really ill?  Anyways, I got through it and lived to see the other side.  Whew!  

The kindness of others.  I was contacted by a young mum from church yesterday, who has two very active young boys and is pregnant for a third time.  I hardly know her really, but to say hello to on Sunday mornings.  She had made a huge pot of soup for her family and wanted to send some over to me because she knew I wasn't feeling well and that you don't feel like cooking when you aren't well.  The kindness of her action really touched my heart.  Pride wanted to say no, she lives quite a distance from me and I know she has a busy life herself, but then I remembered that by turning down the kindnesses of others you are depriving them of the opportunity to serve, and so I said yes, thank you very much.  It touched my heart that someone who barely knows me would want to do such a kindness for me. Sharing your light with others when they are struggling with showing any light at all . . .  it a very good thing. 

Sunday calls with my mom, and Wednesday calls also.  I am so grateful for those minutes spent where I can hear my mother's voice and make her laugh and talk about thing we share together . . .  about the things that have woven together our family history, about our love for each other, memories . . . good times, bad times . . .  just family.  Family really is everything.   If you know someone who doesn't have a family . . .  why not try to include them in yours.  That would be the greatest thing you could do for someone who is alone in the world.  

We have discovered the cutest show on Prime.  Called Katie Morag, its actually a children's show by Ceebeebies, but it is also very entertaining for adults.  Each episode is only 15 minutes in length.  It is  based on the Katie Morag books by Mari Hedderwich and is about the adventures of a little girl called Katie Morag who lives on the fictitious Scottish Island of Struay.  Katie's life is full of stories of jealousy, bravery and rivalry and peopled by an annoying little brother, busy shopkeeper parents, a perfectly perfect best friend and a couple of grandmothers who between them know everything about everything. It is thoroughly delightful and we have enjoyed every minute of what we have seen thus far.  It makes our hearts smile, and we often find ourselves at the end of the fifteen minutes disappointed that it is finished already! 

My favourite moment of all the Gilmore Girls episodes, the first kiss of Lorelai and Luke. That was the episode we watched last night.  I am sure it must be the fourth time we are going through the series and it is as much a thrill watching it for the fourth time as it was the first time we saw it. This is a beautiful feel-good moment in time.  Tender and sweet.  I find myself holding my breath every time I see it.  

My other top favourite moment of the Gilmore Girls was when Luke and Lorelai dance at Luke's sister's wedding.  Its also tender and sweet and the song is perfect, which also happens to be the same song that is played when they finally eventually get married, way down the road.  Love this show.


I can't believe she is three months old already.  This little sweetheart has me wrapped around her chubby little fingers.  She is so pretty and such a thinker.  You can just see the wheels turning.  We just love her to bits.  She's a little charmer. So grateful to be a part of her life. 


Jakey.  This kooky grandson of mine that has me in stitches every time I speak to him. It will be his birthday soon and I have a card ready to go.  I am not sure what he is doing here, but knowing him, he is up to some sort of mischief.  Full of life, with a great sense of adventure.  He is the one who is the most animated when I facetime with them, and the one who is the most eager to share with me.  I love those moments we have together.   Of course I love all of my grandchildren. This is such a great photo! 

Although we struggle each month, somehow we always managed to have all that we need to be able to pay the rent in full every time rent due date comes along. Whew!  Oh, I know the church would help us if we needed it to, and we are grateful for that as well (its nice to know the umbrella of care is there), but we are just happy that we somehow manage to be able to make it each month.  I know we get housing benefit, which covers 2/3 of the cost, but we still have to try to come up with the other third each month from Todd's basic state pension.  Somehow we always manage it, and that is a great blessing to us.  God is good.  

(not my feet)

My toe is still healing nicely and I am hoping that soon I won't have to have a bandage on my toe at all and will be able to go back to wearing shoes fulltime. Now that the weather is getting colder, it would be nice!  Still, happy that my toe has healed well!  

Each and every one of you.  You will probably never know how much it cheers my heart that I have you to share with each day, or at least each day that I can.  Oh, I know, I would probably share even if you weren't there, but you make it all so much nicer.  I can feel you out there and I think of you when I am writing.  My posts really do feel like conversations with good and kind friends and that is largely due to YOU.  Love you all and thank YOU! 

And those are my small and wonderful things for this week.

A thought to carry with you  . . . 

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

Sometimes you don't feel the weight 
of what you have been carrying 
until you feel the weight of its release.
~unknown   •。★★ 。* 。 

 Quick Cinnamon Apple Nachos 

In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Quick Cinnamon Apple Nachos.  Yummo! 

I hope the week ahead for you  is filled with lots of small and simple things!  Don't forget!

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And I do too!

Saturday 27 October 2018

Oh no . . .

I have a bit of a tummy bug this morning, so no post from me.  I am going back to bed. Hopefully I will be back and fighting fit more sooner than later.  Have a great day!  Don't forget along the way of your day! 

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And I do too!