Monday, 16 September 2019

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 from the past week which brought untold joy into my life. It's the small things in life which truly mean the most. Simple abundance . . . it's the best.

Watching the sun rise each morning above the rooftops across the street.  I have always been an early riser.  I've never been able to sleep in, unless I am not well.   Watching the sun rise is an integral part of my day. There is something very spiritual about it.  The darkness of the sky on the horizon gradually lighting up until it bursts into something quite spectacular . . .  like the flames of a fire as it takes hold of the logs it dances upon.   If there are clouds in the sky it is only more breathtaking as the flames lick and colour each undulating edge with golden light.  It lasts only minutes, but what a beautiful gift we are given with the dawning of each day . . . 


Feeding the soul.  It doesn't cost much to feed a soul.  Only time, and not even a lot of that.  It can be fed by the comforting touch of a hand, or the broadening warmth of a smile . . . a fit word spoken, the colours of a delicate bloom, a few melodious notes of a song, a service given or a service taken, a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on . . . all free, and there are many, many more gifts such as these to feed your soul.  

The gift from a friend yesterday of two cobs of corn, still in the husk.   It made my heart smile.  I roasted it in the oven, rubbed with butter, sprinkled with sprigs of fresh herbs and wrapped in baking paper.  It was good.   Not quite as tasty as peaches and cream, but good.  What made it taste all the better was that it was the gift from a friend.   Gifts from friends are priceless . . . even two ears of corn.  Who needs diamonds and rubies . . . these were pearls. 


Rosehips ripening on the bushes.   Not only do the birds love them, but you can make all kinds of lovely things with them, like rosehip chutney, rosehip jelly and rosehip syrup.  Did you know that during World War 2 they were producing rosehip syrup like crazy so that the children in this country could get their Vitamin C.   Rosehips are filled with Vitamin C!  It also has a reputation for keeping colds at bay all winter long!  

 How to make Rosehip Syrup

To make it you will need equal weights of rosehips (washed and chopped) and caster sugar. Bring water to the boil.  For every kg of rosehips you will need 2 litres.  Drop in the chopped rosehips and bring back to the boil.  Allow to stand and infuse for at least half an hour, stirring from time to time.

Strain the mixture through a jelly bag. (Alternatively, line a colander with a couple of layers of muslin and place over a large bowl. Tip in the rosehip mixture, and leave suspended over the bowl.)
Set the strained juice aside and transfer the rosehip pulp back to the saucepan, along with another litre of boiling water. Bring to the boil, remove from the heat, infuse for another half an hour and strain as before. Discard the pulp and combine the two lots of strained juice in a clean pan. Bring to the boil, and boil until the volume has decreased by half. Remove from the heat.

Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Return to the stove, bring to the boil and boil hard for five minutes. Pour into warmed, sterilised jars or bottles and seal. 

 Elderberries.  They grow wild and are ripening in the hedgerows and woodlands at the moment all over the UK.  Great for making pies, jellies, jams, cordials and of course Elderberry Wines and liqueur.  You can find lots of recipes here on the BBC Food pages.   Do leave some for the birds though as they are am important source of food for them as well!! 

One week from today sees the official return of Autumn, although I have seen signs of it for a few weeks now. Is it  my favourite season of the year. Like Anne Shirley, I am a girl who "Loves Octobers."  Shorter days and cooler temperatures bring leaves a turning.   It starts at the tops of the trees and works it's way down, this change in colour . . . leaves begin to fall and skitter across the dry pavement.  I have already seen geese flying south  . . .  the sound of their cries echoing through the sky, portending the advent of Autumn . . .  We can no more hold it back than we can lassoo the moon . . .  

"Autumn is a second spring, when every leaf is in flower."
~Albert Camus  

 photo 7a0dff3518f381a6a52a28ea3ff66cb0_zps14e7dd89.jpg 

These are small things.  These are simple things.   They may not ever be the cause of mountains moving, but they are the things which bring both Todd and myself immeasurable joy in our lives, both as individuals and as a family.  These simple things have the power to change lives in wonderful ways.  I know this to be true because they have changed mine.  I just wish they had changed it sooner, but then again, God's timing is always perfect and made just for you. 

I found this and fell in love with it. It is by William Wordsworth, and entitled A Sonnet for a Season. I have always loved his writings.  It was the thrill of my life to be able to visit both his childhood homes and Dove Cottage in the Lake District where he lived with his sister Dorothy.  And also his childhood school room, the very desk he once sat at still in place.  The other day I spoke of contrails and what they leave in their wake.  I wonder what he would have thought did he know that one day some 300 years later people would still be enjoying the whimsey's of his lyrical mind . . . 300 years from now will anyone still be reading mine?  

 Puppy dog cuddles.   she knows when I am not feeling well, and she tries her hardest at those times to comfort me.   What did I ever do to deserve such devotion and such love.  I don't know, I only know I am grateful for it . . . the soul of a much beloved dog is a beautiful thing. I talk to her constantly when Todd is not here.  She follows me around and I talk to her and she listens.  Sometimes she talks back.  We are great company for each other.  I love her so very much, which terrifies me at times . . .  she is nine now.  More than half her life has gone . . . so blessed to be a part of it. 


I saw this and it made me smile.   It's the back of an old wind up clock, but it looks so sad . . . probably because it is one of the last of its kind . . .  I miss wind up clocks, and watches for that matter.  You never see them anymore. 

And those are my small and wonderfuls for this week.  I had ever so many more, but only so much time. Sorry I was absent yesterday.  I had a terrible night's sleep Saturday night and then when I did fall asleep, it was too late to do much of anything when I got up, and then the day got away from me with church and all that. 

A thought to carry with you  . . . 

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

The fact that I can plant a seed 
and it becomes a flower, 
share a bit of knowledge 
and it becomes another's,
smile at someone and receive a smile in return,
are to me continual spiritual exercises.
~Leo Buscaglia~
•。★★ 。* 。 

Pork Fried Rice  

I am using up leftovers in the kitchen today with Pork Fried Rice.  We enjoyed with some chicken tenders and a Chinese BBQ dipping sauce. 

I hope your week ahead is filled with lots of small and wonderful blessings.  Don't forget along the way! 

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And I do too!  


  1. Hope your day is much better today..Little sad clock cute..varage sale here has many!Mitzi's pic is so good!

    1. Its been a nice day so far today Monique! The sun is shining. Cats were fighting in the garden in the wee hours and Mitzie woke us up with her barking. I guess the next door neighbour's dogs woke her up also. I kinda wish people would keep their cats in at night! Mitzie is a beautiful dog, it is not hard to take a nice photo of her! xoxo

  2. Yes there are truly signs of Autumn all around us too. I'm already missing the extra sunlight we get in summer. I'v had to do up leaves too and my neighbors tree is shedding them faster than I can clan them up right now. I mulch them with my lawn mower, it is easier than raking. That is very hard on my back and it is supposed to be better for the grass too. Your leftover recipe is looking really good. Pork roasts always leave me with lots of leftover.

    1. Oh, getting the yard ready for Winter is always such a hard job Pam. You should get one of your sons to do it for you! Take care of your back! xoxo

  3. Marie, we were always told that heat destroyed Vit C...wonder if true, and also if in making the rosehip syrup, some other helpful substance remains even under heat? Elderberry syrup was something my mom often made when I was young...whenever my dad went up to the mts hunting he always brought back as much elderberry as he could. She added it to apple juice...maybe some sugar too, to make the syrup. Thanks for sharing all your ideas, etc.
    Elizabeth xoxo

    1. You are so very welcome Elizabeth. I have heard that as well, but the British swear by their Rosehip syrup! xoxo

  4. Here in Alabama we're not privy to the dramatic sunrises I used to enjoy (in Arizona). Still, I agree that's the best part of my day. So full of promise. Oh my, simple pleasures ARE the best.

    1. Arizona is a beautiful State! Simple pleasures are indeed the best! xoxo

  5. Autumn is my favourite season and October one of my favourite months. I like all the -ber months, actually. Sad wee clock. I wonder if that was intentional when the clock was produced? I'm getting anxious for Susan to draw the winners of her cups. Wouldn't it be lovely if one of us won? Whoever wins is going to be very happy. Hugs, Elaine

    1. We are indeed twins Elaine. Oh, how I would love to win one of Susan's giveaways, but I am not that lucky I don't think. I hope you win! That would be so nice! Crossing my fingers for you! Love and hugs! xoxo


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