Friday 31 December 2021

Friday This and That . . .



I'm sitting here this morning watching snow fall from the skies. The kittens are watching it from my front window with great interest as well. It probably won't last as it is supposed to turn to rain by this afternoon, which could make for some slushy driving.  I hope not as I am supposed to go to my Sister's for supper tonight. She is making pizza. I like pizza and it isn't something that I really make for myself from scratch these days.  Or if I do, I use baby naan breads and make an itsy bitsy one.  I am looking forward to having a real one. 

I am not sure how I feel about this Winter business.  I am certainly better prepared for it this year than I was last year however, having gotten some nice mittens and a scarf for Christmas. We didn't really get much snow or really freezing weather in the UK.  A tiny bit of snow brought things pretty much to a standstill over there, and was the topic of conversation for days to come. 

The absolute most snow I saw whilst living over there was when we were down in Brenchley that last winter I worked there.  I remember calling it Snowmageddon. Out in the middle of nowhere, everything was so pristine and quiet, silent. My employers were away so we were able to really enjoy it.  I remember walking Jess (our Border Collie) through it and throwing snowballs for her to run and catch. Of course she could not find them which was very perplexing to her. 


The little boy next door (the Estate Manager's son) left a snowman for us on our gate post.  He would be a grown up man now.  That was 13 years ago now, and he was about 8 then. I wonder what he did with his life. He was a real character.  Zack was his name. I used to really enjoy him. He loved to come over and play with Jess. 

What a strange few years we have had to cope with and with no end to them in sight really.  This Covid business, I thought it would all be over with in about six months time. It is hard to believe that nearly two years later we are still living with and trying to cope with it.  This latest surge is the worst one ever. Here in Nova Scotia our numbers are increasing every day.  We have more cases now than we have ever had.  I am due to receive a booster on the 11th of January here in town at the drug store. It is the Moderna.  The first shot I had was the Moderna.  I really didn't have any reaction to it that I can recall other than an itchy rash on my arm about a week or so later.  My sister had Moderna last time and she was very ill afterwards for a few days.  

Oddly enough we are all set to have it on the same day.  I hope we will be okay.  That is also the day that Cinnamon is being spayed and I want to be able to care properly for her. I don't want to cancel her appointment as it is almost cutting it too close to the line for her going into heat as it is. I wish they had let me do both of them at the same time when I had Nutmeg done.  The difficult part will be making sure he doesn't annoy her overly afterwards. 


 One of my goals for the coming year is to make enough Christmas ornaments so that I can have a real Christmas Tree next Christmas. I did miss having one this year, but truthfully I feel it would only have been a source of great angst with the cats and all.  They are going concerns and next year they should be a lot more settled.  In any case, I think that over the period of 12 months I should be able to have quite a few done. Maybe 2 per month? We will see what happens!  The best laid plans and all . . .  knowing me I will be sitting here next December and not have done a one.  (I hope not, but that's me!) 

Another thing I would like to do is to lose some weight.  Me and a bazillion others I know.  I have managed to put on I don't know how much weight over the past year and I need to take it off and more before its too late. I am not a person that weighs herself. I have not stepped on a pair of scales in years now. Its far too depressing.  The last time I lost any appreciable amount of weight was when I did hypnotherapy back in 2009.  I went down two sizes then and was feeling quite good about myself.  Then I lost my job and everything went to hell in a handbasket.  I ended up putting all of that weight back on and then some.

I was never overweight as a girl, although I did have a chubby period when I was about 14.  I verged on the edge of being anorexic between the ages of 15 and 19 I think. I was afraid to eat unless I had been smoking pot (sorry folks). Of course then I would eat things I shouldn't like butter tarts. haha  My sister and I would buy a packet of butter tarts and share it and I remember them tasting really, really good.  I also remember eating my first sub sandwich at the sub shop here in Greenwood and it tasting really good as well, again pot induced.  


I was never really overweight until I quite smoking.  Not even after all the babies.  My youngest was about 6 months old in this photo and I am holding him.   I quit smoking not too long after this photo was taken and I had my tubes tied at the same time.  That's when the weight started to pile on.  I think I also became quite unhappy as well with lots of things, mostly my marriage.  When I think back to this time and the few years afterwards I think that was the last time I was really happy in my marriage. Everything started to go downhill from there.   But that is an old horse that I don't want to beat. It is what it is.  I have five beautiful children who are all very good and decent people, and 8 beautiful grandchildren.  None of them would be here without that. 

I've started to read a new book. Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown.  It was one that I saw online. I read an excerpt and was hooked.  Could this be me, finally getting ahold of my emotions and figuring out what makes me tick?  I sure hope so! 

Yesterday I was reading near the beginning of the book and it really resonated with me. (And I've only just started the book!) She was talking about being the oldest of the children in her family and how as the oldest she had had to feel the brunt of the madness of what her family life was and how she had felt the responsibility of protecting her siblings from the unpredictable swings of happenstance.  It should come as no surprise that my parents were never happily married. My father always had one foot out the door and my mother was immensely pre-occupied with keeping him in the door.  It was a highly unstable emotional upbringing. 

As the oldest I always felt like the great keeper of secrets. I was probably privy to a lot more than my brother and sister were.  I often had to be the "adult." I love my parents, and I know that they did the best they knew how. I know now, as an adult, that they loved us. They were not the best of parents, but they were a far cry from being the worst and I am grateful for them and all that they did for us. 

I realize, however, that I have spent my whole life caring for other people and never caring for myself.

Anyways, I hope that this book will help me to learn something about myself and my feelings, and perhaps help to reshape the remainder of my life in a meaningful and purposeful way.  I credit my faith with helping to have gotten me this far, but to be honest I don't really want to end my days feeling like I have failed at almost everything, which is how I feel right now. 

My  book seems to be doing okay at the moment.  Yesterday it was within the top ten (#8) of English, Scottish &Welsh Cooking and Wine books on Amazon, this morning it is 11th, so it has slipped a bit, but it is still within the top 200 in baking books. Reviews thus far have been quite good, so I am pleased with that.  I know that I have always said that all I ever wanted to be was a wife and a mother, and that is true, but I can remember when I was about 9 or 10 wanting also to be a writer. I remember borrowing a friends toy typewriter to write a play that we then put on in a neighbors garage for all the neighborhood children.  I have always loved words and stringing them together into stories, etc.  Maybe reading Brene's book will help me to conquer my demons and become the writer I always wanted to be.  Maybe not.

I am pleased with how my book is doing thus far.  I am very grateful for each and every review. It all helps. So I thank everyone for that. It means a lot to me. 


I am a person who hates competing.  I have never liked to play competitive sports, games, etc.  I hate participating in anything where there are winners and losers. Why can't we all be winners?  Why can't we all celebrate the differences in each other that make us the wonderful creatures that we are?  I truly believe that comparison is the thief of joy.  Your best does not have to be my best. My best does not have to come up to or surpass yours. I have seen it happen over and over again. This comparison game stealing the light and joy out of people's lives.  I think if every person just tries to be their best person then that should be enough, is enough. As soon as something starts to feel like a competition to me, then I lose interest and stop enjoying it.  

Having said that, there is nothing wrong in feeling proud of having done a good job, or having lived your best life, of feeling a sense of pride in success.  But not at the expense of other people's feelings or successes.  I have always felt that the audience is the most important part of any show.  What would any show, concert, book, etc. be without someone to appreciate it.  They would be nothing really.  The appreciators are the most important part of anything . . .  cake, movies, books, concerts, shows, etc.  And so I appreciate and I applaud all of those who do likewise.  We are a great crew are we not?  We who love and support others and their successes? 

And now I am babbling on about nothing so I will end it here with Happy New Year Wishes for you all.  I truly hope that 2022 will bring nothing but good things to our tables.  New skills, happy re-awakenings, health, friendship, family happiness, faith promoting experiences, joy, peace and success in whatever it is you want to succeed.

Be happy.  Be content.  Feed your soul. Find joy in the everyday and the meaningful. Rock on!
A thought to carry with you  . . . 

° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★
*.˛Self security is the open and nonjudgmental
acceptance of one's own weaknesses.
~Alice Huang & Howard Berenbaum 
° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •° * 。 • ˚ ˚ 

In The English Kitchen today I have correlated a group of favorite picky bits and appetizers for New Years Eve.  If you are lucky blessed enough to have someone to celebrate it with maybe one or two of these might give you something edible to enjoy together!  Happy New Year!

See you next year!  (haha, corny I know!)  Don't forget and always remember! 

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And I do too.


  1. Great news on your book!
    Is any parent ever perfect?
    I must say I think my girls are lol:)
    The Littles are so wonderful the parents must be.
    I had two Pfizers then Moderna.apart from a bruised feeling on the arm for a day or two nothing.
    We are so back to rues..curfew 10 visitors in your home NYE..restos closed,schools till Jan 17th.It's not pretty.
    Take care Marie and All the best in the new year.
    PS start your ornaments now:) I started yesterday while things are so quiet...

    1. I think we are heading into that direction fast here as well Monique! I was thinking about starting my ornaments today. Maybe tomorrow! xoxo

  2. Definitely, see you next year. Happy New Year! Hope the winter will be kind to us all. Drive safe when you're out and about. Enjoy Cindy's pizza. Love and hugs, Elaine

    1. Love and hugs Elaine! The pizza was great! xoxo

  3. Wishing you the happiest New Year ever. Life is full of possibilities and we must take the opportunity to pursue them.

    1. Thank you very much Pam. I wish for you a very happy 2022 as well! xoxo

  4. Hi Marie. I love Brene Brown and recently finished her book, Rising Strong. I am glad that her new book is good as well. I plan to buy it with an Amazon Gift Card I got. Many of your thoughts in this post brought up a lot of "stuff" for me as well. We are all imperfect human beings raised by imperfect human beings, and parenting imperfect human beings. We do the best we can with the knowledge we have at the time. I am so grateful for the Atonement. That is our hope. We have snow and ice here in Utah today as well. I hope you get to go have that pizza tonight, and that you have a very happy 2022!

    1. I will have to look for Rising Strong when I finish this one! I am also very grateful for the atonement. Where would any of us be and what kind of hope would we have without it! Happy 2022! xoxo

  5. Marie, you are a good writer who holds my attention. I think many people can identify with the things going on in your life and your story gives us reason to have hope for the future. May you continue to be a blessing to others. Happy New Year! ~Elaine

    1. Thank you so much Elaine! You made my heart smile. Happy New Year! xoxo


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