Monday 31 January 2022

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.   

This is a photograph of them blowing the snow out of the next door neighbors driveway on Saturday night.  They came through about 9 PM after it had been snowing and blowing all day. The drifts are halfway up my bedroom window and I cannot open my back door again. It took at least 20 passes with their snow plow/blower for them to clear my drive.  I am so grateful that I live in a place that has snow removal  and lawn care included. I could not take care of this myself.  Also very grateful for a garage which means my car is tucked up safe indoors and out of the elements.

My bird feeders are completely covered. No birds will be enjoying their treats.  Not that any were anyways. Just as well!  This is more snow than they have gotten here for a few years I guess. I am grateful that I don't have anywhere to go. I do need to go and do some banking, but the roads are pretty much plowed now and I should be able to get out no problem.  Except for my tire. I may need the CAA to come take care of that. I have not been able to get it taken care of yet. That's today sorted! 


Online Zoom for church.  I am so grateful for modern technology which helps me to stay connected with my church community and has done so for several years now with this darned virus playing havoc with us all.  Susan Branch posted this on Twitter, no resource known. I am grateful for community and for the care we find in each others arms.  Where would I be without the care of others, angels amongst us, family, friends, church?  I dread to think.  We need each other. United we stand, divided we fall . . . 

Interestingly enough our lesson in church yesterday was on how to gather and foster togetherness.  Our Branch President shared with us all the ways we had been able to gather in unique ways over this past year.  Amazingly despite the lockdown, etc. we managed to have at least one activity every month, albeit it online.  But we were still communicating with each other, sharing with each other, fellowshipping together.

Are we not blessed to live in a day and an age where this is possible?  I think so.  


Grateful for four walls to keep me safe and warm.  A place to call home. A place to gather in.  There is an art to this gathering, of welcoming in.  Even if for the  most part there is only myself and the two kitties to enjoy it.  There is a sense of belonging in this home. An expression of love and comfort.  Little things.  Everything placed with thoughtfulness and care. Steeped with meaning and filled with joy.

I hope that others can feel the same when they gather in to my home. That there is a sense of welcome here. 


My electric fire. I don't use it very often, but when I do, it adds coziness. Even if it is only the flames flickering.  I also put a fire on my television which plays nice piano music.  Very comforting.  If I light my candle which smells like wood fire, one might almost suppose them to be real. You can hear the snapping of the logs.  Feel the warmth.  Smell the fire and wood smoke.  Home Sweet Home.

I am reminded of the last winter that I lived with my family before everything fell apart. We had a wood burning stove in our living room. Most nights I would fall asleep in front of it after the kids went to bed, mesmerized by the flicker and warmth of flame. 

Aren't we all so very blessed to live in a time and a place where we can be lodged during these months of hibernation.  Knelt into cozy.  If you have four walls, and a chair to sit in.  Something and a place to keep you warm and dry. People who cover you in love.  You are indeed blessed.  We may live in a world that is ever changing, but these things . . .  these things which remain constant . . . faith, family, friends, health . . .  love, a place to call home, food in our bellies, shoes on our feet.  People who care and to care about. We are blessed . . .  we are blessed  . . .  


Family times  . . .  early morning calls to dad.  Car drives with Cindy.  Burger treats from dad.  Impromptu visits with dad.  Facetimes with sons and grandsons with birthdays (Luke turned 12 yesterday.) Messenger with Eileen.  Staying connected. We are building memories. Dad popped by yesterday on his way to go to Cindy's for supper. We facetimed Anthony together to wish Luke a Happy Birthday.  How many times can you say you got to have a Happy Birthday wish from your Great Grandfather at an age that you will be able to actually remember it. Not often methinks.  


They are best friends
I know what that feels like.
To have a best friend you are related to.

Life is good.  Simple and good.

A thought to carry with you  . . . 

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

 *Be . . . given to hospitality.
~Romans 12:10, 13•。★★ 。*   

In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Easy Stuffed Italian Sausage.  Only three ingredients. Simple pleasures. 

Have a wonderful day. I hope your week ahead is filled with a multitude of things which bring you joy and peace. Don't forget!

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And I do too!

Saturday 29 January 2022

All Things Nice . . .




She was so glad for little things
She didn't need a coach and four
To fill her days with happiness.
A patch of sunlight on the floor,
A little kitchen warm and bright,
Was all she asked for her delight.

A corner cupboard for her cups
A little sun-porch painted green
A piece of ground for vegetables,
A lattice where pink roses lean,
Some hollyhocks as red as flame
A little homeless cat to claim.

A quiet bedroom, fresh and clean
With plumped up pillows white as snow,
A wide old chair where she could rock,
And listen to the radio,
Kitting in rhythm to the beat,
of lilting song and dancing feet.

A table with a coloured cloth
A few bright dishes gay as paint,
Food cooked in her own favorite way,
(She looks placid as a saint;)
There shone in her old kindly eyes
A peace that any king might prize.
~Edna Jacques, Grateful for Little Things  


I took an impromptu drive yesterday with my sister and father in the car. Cindy messaged me about 9:30 and said did I want to go with them to my dad's Doctor's appointment.  I said sure. It was getting me out of the house and it was an opportunity to spend some time with family.  I waited in the car while they were in the Doctors. I had some stuff to do on my phone.  I guess they were waving at me from the window the whole time, but I didn't see them, LOL.  I was busy responding to comments, etc.  I had no idea they were at the front window. DUH!  That's me, single minded when I have a job to do.

My sister and I had a few things to pick up at the Convenience store that supplies Costco items and my dad had been craving a square hamburger so after his appointment we drove a bit further up the valley and picked up those things and then went on to Wendy's. It was sure busy there. I felt a bit uncomfortable because of the amount of people.  But everyone was well distancing themselves, so that was good, and we sat in a booth far away from the maddening crowd.  Dad had his burger and he treated my sister and I to a burger also. We had the bacon portabella mushroom burger.  It did not quite look like its picture, but it was quite good.  

I usually get a chicken burger, but yesterday I thought I would break from the norm. I have been trying to do that lately. Not be so predictable.  Like ordering a turkey dinner instead of fish and chips, and a hamburger instead of chicken.

Although in all truth it is still a bit predictable because I happen to really like turkey dinners almost as much as fish and chips, and when you are at a hamburger joint a burger is not really much of a stretch.  

We are supposed to get some sort of a storm bomb today, blowing in from the south, with plenty of snow and freezing rain, more snow, winds.  There is a storm warning in effect.  The snow was supposed to have started by now, but it hasn't.  It is blowing a bit out there however.  They say up to 21cm over the next 12 hours, which is about 8 1/2 inches. Not a lot, but when it is blowing around it can get a bit crazy.  Yesterday after we took my father home we stopped at the Super Store for a few bits and when we came out it was snowing and ice pelleting to beat the band.  Crazy it was.  But we got home okay and even stopped at Goucher's farm market along the way. You just couldn't drive as quickly as normal.   This type of weather doesn't seem to slow down some people however. There are some very food-hardy folks out there, or maybe I am just a weenie. 


Of course the KitKats were very happy to have me home again at the end.  I had brought a paper bag with me to entertain them for a while. They do so love paper bags.  I expect it is the noise that they make. One will get inside and the other one will jump on it and then they will change places. Its quite comical.  And of course there are all the ear movements that go along with it, the wiggling bottoms, the pouncing, etc. 


I have a fleece blanket to use as a coverup on the sofa for Winter. Nutmeg likes to lay on it and he treads and treads, purring and sucking on the fleece.  It is quite cute to watch his paws expanding and contracting.  Cinnamon treads also, but usually on my chest, with accompanying purrs. Simple pleasures.  Contentment . . . 

I find myself wishing I had picked up myself some stewing beef yesterday as today would be a great day to enjoy a nice pot of stew.  The show has started now, but it is very fine snow, not the soft downy flakes of yesterday, and they are blowing sideways, not up and down.

I don't mind storms. I just worry about losing power. With electric heat, it would not take long for things to cool down. Losing power is a concern in the valley. Sometimes it can be off for days, but not often. I have a bucket filled and ready with water just in case (for toilet duty) and I have several jugs for drinking., etc.  a flower pot that I can turn upside down and heat for warm water, soup, etc.  and plenty of blankets. 

Or course in the UK I had a little wind up radio, propane stove, etc. We were well prepared for emergencies.  I really need to pick up myself some stuff like that when I can afford it. Even if I never get to use it, they are good things to have on hand.


What are the things you love to do.  Mine are drawing, painting, baking (or cooking, of course!), making dolls, sewing, crochet . . .  I haven't been doing a lot of art etc. lately or even crochet. I used to love making the matchbook dolls that I used to make and those little wire dolls, the raggedy dolls, etc.  All my patterns and art are on my old laptop and the battery needs replacing. I can't get anything off it.  I had hoped that when Anthony came over at Christmas I would be able to do so, but with Covid that did not happen. 

Perhaps the Missionaries might be able to help me, but I hate to ask.  I don't want it to seem like I am always wanting them to do things for me.

They came over earlier this week and my television got mounted on the wall. I was ever so grateful for that!  Now my television is safe and secure and I don't have to worry about it falling over if the cats get rambunctious. I was really worried about that! Now it is no longer a concern.

I would like to get another bookcase and a corner desk, but I can't put these things together all by myself.  I could, but it is very difficult. I did get the one together, but because I can't get down on the floor it makes things hard.   

I  really need to be doing much more of the things that I love to do. All work and no play. Not a good recipe or how I want to spend the rest of my life.

It is snowing much harder now and blowing. I really hope my father did not go out. 

I sent away for a foot scrubber this week. I have a hard time bending my knees to reach my feet and clean them in the shower.  Getting older is not for sissies for sure. I hope this does the trick. We will see. I also got myself a blood pressure cuff this week so that I can take my blood pressure at home. I had one in the UK.  I have high blood pressure and I need to regularly keep an eye on it.  I hate taking it. It hurts my arm badly.  I wish there was a more comfortable way to do it.

Isn't that  so like getting older  . . .  always talking about your pains and aches, things you can't do as well as you used to do. haha

Ohh, I got some nice and soft English Muffins at the farm market yesterday. They were just fresh in.  I am going to make myself an Egg McMuffin this morning. At least that is my plan! 


There was just a knock on my door.  My sister braved the snowstorm to bring me a piece of a sugarless, flourless cake she baked, so I think I know what I will be having with my hot cuppa this morning!  The knock on the door kind of freaked me out a bit as I am not used to people knocking on my door so early in the morning. It was very unexpected, but also very nice!  I love that I am living close enough to my sister that she can just stop by like that. It makes me happy.

I was thinking last night about things.  I hate that Todd did this to us.  I had always expected that eventually . . .  with the huge age difference between us and all . . .  that one day I would be on my own.  I just had never thought it would be under such circumstances and it still breaks my heart sometimes. Okay, all of the time . . .  when I think about it. We had such a good and happy life together as far as I knew. What you don't know really can't hurt you.  Had he just passed away, I would have been none the wiser. I would have been heartbroken, but for very different reasons.  I am not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing.  One cannot change the past.

I do have a very content life now, however, despite the losses . . .  and I am very cozy here in my home with my kittens and my family near by. Sometimes I just wish I had someone to share it with. Love is not like a tap that you can just turn off. 

This was the sunrise the other morning.  Red sky at morning?  I don't know. There was no nasty weather that day, but a beautiful sunny day. I guess the sky isn't really red, but there was a red glow on the houses across the way and the trees.  It was very pretty. I am so grateful for a heart that notices these small pleasures.

And with that I best leave you with a thought for the day. I have gone on a lot this morning about nothing methinks!

A thought to carry with you  . . .

Its a picture one today. I loved this little verse!! 

In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Jam Filled Drop Cookies.  Deliciously old fashioned! 

I hope you have a wonderful day!  Stay safe and stay warm!  Don't forget! 

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And I do too!  

Friday 28 January 2022

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!   


Free Craft Unlimited.  Free floral hot pad pattern. 


It is never too early to be thinking about making some decorations for next Christmas.  I think this little knitted mouse is so cute.  From Ravelry by Abigail Originals.  Free! 


Dutch rabbits to knit.  Also from Ravelry.  Not free but not expensive either.  Cute!  They remind me of a rabbit story, but I will save that for another day. 


The art of keeping a travel journal.   From Athletes Abroad.   


Eye Candy from a shop on Etsy calles Marianata.  I love these types of things.  So cute!   She also has a blog.  Dollitude.  

Crochet Hoop Balloony House.  Love this.  Such inspiration here and made from felt which I also love.  Making things from felt.  Inkie Mama Tumblr. 

Handmade Felt Envelope.  I love this.  So cute.  From Paper N Stitch


Look at the front.  It's so cute!  A complete tutorial.  Wouldn't this be a great Valentine for your main squeeze! 

More handmade valentines.  No source, but they look very easy.  I wish we could get those little red hot candies over here.   They come in handy for all sorts. 

Hanging hearts!  Sweet and Lovely Things.  

Matchbox Monsters from Molly Moo Crafts.   they're babies.  Shhh . . . 


How to sew a straight line.  Every little helps.  From Crazy Little Projects.  This is lesson one of  series.  Great tutorials for those who are just learning. 


Make your own slippers.  A complete tutorial from Tea and a Sewing Machine


Tips for losing weight depending on your body shape.  From The WHOot. 

If You Give a Blond a Kitchen.  Two bite mini chocolate chip scones.  Cute idea, but I bet you could gobble these up like potato chips.  Hmmm . . . 


A repurposed China Hutch, turned into a wardrobe for a little girl.  Love this.  No source, just inspiration. 


The top of an old hutch, painted and recycled to use for in the bath.   Great idea!  Style from the Sticks


From Crabapple Studio, some beautifully embroidered tea towels.  Days of the week. Flower Pots.  Lovely. 

Dye your Easter Eggs naturally.  12 tips on just how to do that from Mamabee.  Using natural products.  I love  the deep blue one, oh and the yellow one!  I love them all! 

Easy peasy, homemade Easter Eggs with a gift inside.   I have used balloons for paper mache before.  This looks a doddle and what a great surprise!  From DIY Enthusiasts


Easy Poached Eggs using a sieve.  From Simply Recipes.  I love it! 


I love these, but I am matchbox obsessed anyways.   You can look through the windows!  From Paper, Scissors &Superheroes.  I would draw my own house and windows though. 


Mason Jar Lights.  A complete tutorial.  From Wiki How


From the people at BHG.  How to make a small bathroom look larger.  I love curtains on anything.  


Pizza in a mug, from The Typical Mom.   Love this idea.  Love anything in a mug. 


The Late Bloomer sweethearts tea towel.  No pattern per se.  Just eye candy and inspiration. 


Mini Chocolate Mail Boxes for Valentines Day.  Such a simple idea and so cute.  From No Biggie.  A complete tutorial. 


36th Avenue.  Free printables for an edible box of matches.  These are so cute! 


This is really neat.  No source, but it is an umbrella frame with led lights twisted around the spokes and just simply hung from the ceiling. 


And finally, How to Crochet a Rag Rug using fabric strips.  From Crazy Mom Quilts.   Simple.  


Lullaby Lodge. Cute Bobble edging. Loving the colors of the blanket.

And those are my finds for this week. I hope you were inspired to get out there and do/make something!  

A thought to carry with you through today . . . 

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

 *.˛.° ˛°. . "In the midst of life’s greatest storms, 
do not forget your divine heritage as a son or daughter of God 
or your eternal destiny to one day return to live with Him, 
which will surpass anything the world has to offer." 
~Ronald A Rasband  •。★★ 。* 。•。★★ 。* 。 

An old friend of mine passed away yesterday.  She had only been ill for a few months. She had cancer and by the time it was discovered, it was too late, it had already spread. Her name was Anna. She was the first friend I made when I moved to the UK.  I also had the privilege of working with her in church callings for many years.  She was kind and witty, humble, and just a really nice person. She loved crafting and going on obscure holidays with her husband and family. She had four sons and each of them served missions. The youngest one has not long since returned home from his mission to Germany. She had three daughters-in-law and at least six or seven grandchildren.  She was only my age. Life is just not fair. It just makes me feel very sad, especially for her family. 

Make the most of your days. Grab as much joy from them that you can. 

In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Simple Sesame Noodles.  Quick, easy, delicious, and on the table in less than 15.

I hope you have a great Friday. Whatever you get up to, don't forget!

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And I do too.