Monday 28 February 2022

Today ...



No regular post today as I am not well.  I started feeling unwell yesterday with a tummy complaint and so I had to take my daughter home early in the afternoon.  It continues this morning, although to a lesser degree.  I hope I feel better soon.  I don't have a fever so that's good.  Anyways, stay safe everyone. Will be back when I feel better! (Hope its soon.)  Don't forget! 

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And I do too!  

Saturday 26 February 2022

Saturday this and that . . .


I think oft times as the night draws nigh
Of an old house on a hill,
Of a yard all wide and blossom-starred,
Where children played at will.
And when the deep night at last came down,
Hushing the merry din,
Mother would look all around and ask,
"Are all the children in?"

Tis many and many a year since then,
An the old house on the hill,
No longer echoes childish feet,
And the yard is still, so still.
But I see it all as the shadows creep,
And though many the years have been,
Since then, I can hear my mother ask,
"Are all the children in?"

I wonder if, when those shadows fall,
On the last short earthly day,
When we say goodbye to the world outside,
All tired of our childish play.
When we meet the Lover of boys and girls,
Who died to save them from sin,
Will we hear Him ask, as mother did
"Are all the children in?"
~Florence Jones Hadley, Are All The Children In 


As a parent, I cannot think of any greater wish, prayer, desire but to know at the end of day that all your children are safely gathered in.  To know where they are and to know that they are safe.  I sat here thinking yesterday and this poem came to my mind, and I thought of all the mothers in the world, the daughters, the sisters, Aunts, nurturers  . . . who, for one reason or another,  do not have the peace of knowing that their loved ones are safely gathered in.

Old men make wars that young men fight, and women are left to mourn and wonder . . . . are all the children in . . . 

My heart breaks for the situation in the Ukraine.  I am so not political.  I cannot understand how some minds work. I probably never will. This need of mankind to want more at any cost, at any price.  I just want Peace.  

I just want all of God's children to feel safe and warm. To have enough to eat in their bellies and shelter to keep them protected.  To be loved and cared for.  To be safely gathered in.

I worry about what comes next, and try not to.  But it is there borrowing into my mind.  I am appalled and heartbroken . . .  and feeling more than a little bit helpless.  All I can do is to pray, and to pray, and to continue to pray. 

Has life not been hard enough over these past two years?  How much more can we take?


I had a healthy eye report yesterday at the eye doctor, but I do need new lenses as my left eye is worse than it was. I am not surprised. It is my bad eye and I knew there were changes. But thankfully as a Diabetic, there is no problem there. My eyes are healthy. I am keeping my old frames. They are only a year old.  I could not see the need to get new ones.  When the lenses come in, I will just go and bring my glasses into the clinic and wait while they grind them down and fit the new lenses in. 

I got some drops to put in morning and night to combat dry eye, and some wipes for blepharitis. I did not know I had it. Its not bad, but would explain the dry itchiness I get most days. It is usually relieved with a warm wash cloth. These wipes should take care of the problem. 

I am so grateful for my sister.  I am grateful for her anyways, but yesterday, driving through a snow storm, sitting there waiting outside in a cold car until I was done, and then bringing me home on roads that were becoming increasingly snowy.  When you have those drops put in, you can't see properly afterwards. You need someone to drive you.    


I am looking forward to picking up Eileen this afternoon and our girl's night together.  I had bought the new Walton's movie before Christmas and was saving it for us to watch together.  We are going to cook together and then watch the movie, play with the cats lots and just enjoy being together.  The last slumber party I had with her was the night before she got married, almost 10 years ago now.  I made my croissant breakfast casserole for she and I to enjoy for breakfast on her wedding day.  So much has happened and changed since then, but one thing has remained steadfast and that is the love we have for each other. 

And with that I best leave you with a thought for the day . . .  I have lots to get done before she comes.

° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★
 *I have loved you
with an everlasting love.
~Jeremiah 31:2•。★★ 。* 。 


In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Browned Butter, Pecan & White Chocolate Cake. Quite simply delicious. No other word.  The smell alone is to die for.

I hope you have a great Saturday. Be safe. Be happy. Be blessed. Don't forget  . . . 

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═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════   

And I do too!  

Thursday 24 February 2022

My favorite things . . .


A few of the things in life that make my heart go pitter pat. Maybe they will do the same thing for yours. ♥♥♥    I'm pretty sure however, that these things mainly make my own heart sing.    

My sister's art journal. My sister is so darned talented. She doesn't think that she is, but I think she is pretty amazing when it comes to this. I am in awe of it all.  These are her latest pages.  I hope that she doesn't mind me showing you.  Too late!  I already have.  I am proud of her. 


Wooden spoons, especially old ones.  They carry the history and DNA of a cook's kitchen. I know we wash them but I think they still retain a bit of whatever you have beaten with them in their patina . . . 


Baking.  I love baking. I have never thought I was particularly good at it. My sister is the baker in the family.  I have always loved doing it however. Baking  . . .  trying new recipes  . . .  tasting . . .  the smells, the textures  . . .  the sounds.  Love it all. 


Hot water bottles and hot water bottle covers.  I need to get a new one and make a new cover for it. Sigh  . . . I am the great procrastinator. I have been thinking this since I moved back to Canada . . . 


Pillows and pillow covers  . . . 


Reading alcoves  . . . little spaces where you can tuck yourself away with a good book . . . sweet.


This  . . .  love, this. The gingham, the cardigan . . .  my sister once gave me a gingham skirt. I loved it so much. It was red . . . 


Sewing notions  . . . needles, threads, spools, buttons, etc.  I love notions  . . . 


Cookie cutters  . . .  I had a huge collection that I had amassed over 40 years . . .  gone now, but not forgotten. I like to think they are bringing great joy to someone else now . . .  other hands, other families, other children . . . 


Hot cocoa with marshmallows on top  . . . love, love . . . 


This  . . .  if chairs could talk, what would it have to say  . . . what stories could it tell?


Charm brooch  . . .  love, love, love . . . 


Lace at a window  . . . charming  . . .  


Sweet pastries  . . .  filled with nuts and fruit  . . . dusted with icing sugar.  Yum. 


Bows of all kinds  . . . 


Hair in plaits  . . .  I plait my hair every night before I go to bed  . . . 


Ginger cats  . . .  they are my favorites  . . . don't you wish you could sleep like that? 


Awww  . . .  soon . . . 

I didn't sleep very well last night.  I did something to my back yesterday and I was in agony.  I got up to go to the loo about 12:30 and as soon as I stepped out of bed I felt in agony from my head to my toes. I somehow got there and back. I didn't think I would fall back asleep but somehow I did and this morning I feel a lot better. I'm not in as much pain anyways.  I have had back problems for years,  and I have counted myself very lucky this past year and some not to be suffering as much as I have done in the past.  I count it an extra special blessing this morning to have somehow had the pain from last night ease.  I will be taking it easy on my back today

A thought to carry with you  . . . 

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


In the kitchen today I am sharing an old recipe for Easy Cinnamon Sugar Cruffins.  Simply delicious.  I have also written a post about a spice mix called Prairie Dust Spice Mix.   It is especially nice on steak and other grilled meats. I also share my tips for cooking the perfect steak.

Have a wonderful Thursday.  I have a busy day tomorrow.  Blood tests first thing and then my annual diabetic eye test in early afternoon.  I am not sure if I will have time enough to blog, so don't worry if I don't make it on. I'll be back Saturday morning for sure!   In the meantime don't forget! 

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═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════   

And I do too!  

Wednesday 23 February 2022

Wednesday thoughts . . . where I ramble . . .


So a few weeks back,  I was contacted by someone wanted to do a video of one of my recipes, for free, for me to share on some of my social channels, etc.  I thought about it and then thought to myself, what do I have to lose, and so I agreed.   The recipe they were going to do was my recipe for Paprika Browned Potatoes


Tasty tasty!

I was a little bit curious intellectually as to why they would choose to do this recipe as it is so simple, but then again I thought, maybe it is because of the simplicity that they wanted to do it.  I mean it was a free video after all, and this would not be very costly to reproduce.  I said yes go for it.  I was actually pretty excited about having a video to share. I lack the knowledge to do my own videos.  I am overwhelmed with even the thought. It takes me oodles of time to just do what I do. So much so that the rest of my life is often dwarfed next to commitment involved in getting out fresh content daily.


So the video comes back and it looks great and then I see it  . . .  there's black spots on some of the potatoes. And I can't not see them.  They are staring me right in the face.  All through the videos.  Black spotted potatoes.

And I am thinking.  I can't use these.  They are unappealing. We eat first with our eyes right?  And who is going to be drawn to this and what are they going to see?  Not an appealing potato dish . . . potatoes with black spots.  And in the meantime I am thinking to myself, how did they not see this?

And the more the potatoes are cooked, the more you can see the black spots.

And so I start to fret.  I can't use this.  How am I going to tell them. So I talked it over with my son and he said, just say thanks, but because of the black spots you can't use them. Nothing against their work, but the video is just not usable. But thanks very much for taking the time, blah, blah, blah.

And so I do that.  And I get a response.  

"Yes Some potatoes came out like that but you are right that’s not the most flattering potatoes ever We can remake this video for you obviously free of charge if you commission us a paying video then we can compensate a bit of the cost of the ingredients plus the editing how does that sound? Also we can do the first paid video at a discounted price for you if you schedule it before this Friday :) Is that a deal?"

So I email them back and I ask their costs. Their response.

"We have a standard rate of $150 per recipe video (this includes up to $10 for ingredients costs which covers most of the videos even the beef ones, the only time we have had extra cost has been for example lobster, prawns, that sort of thing) Including in the video rate we can provide: 2 different video formats either reels format 9:16 and square 1:1 that can be used for IG or YouTube 16:9 and 1:1. The YouTube can be up to 4 minutes long at no extra cost Free of charge photos of the creation of the recipe (preparation Photos) and photos of the final dish At extra cost we can provide: Recipe Development $40 Recipe Writing in Blog (SEO optimized) $60 For this video we can make you a 33% discount and make it for $100 as it´s the first one. How does that sound?"

And then it becomes suddenly clear.  (And I hate that I am being this cynical.)  There never was a free video.  The first video was actually meant to be less than perfect just so that they could wangle a better, paid video out of me.  

I have not responded.  Because I have better things to do with $100 of my hard earned money than to give it to people who I think are a bit less than reputable from where I am sitting.  Am I wrong?  Am I reading too much into this?   

I am not angry, just a bit disappointed.  

I hate that we live in a kind of world where reputations can be built or destroyed by the strength of one small square box.  Not by the actual integrity or worthiness of the person who is creating the content in that small square box.  I hate that many people with lesser integrity  and hidden agendas hide behind the content in small square boxes.  I hate that we get lied to again and again on a daily basis and we just accept it without ever questioning it.  

Models who are air brushed beyond recognition.  Burger photos that look a bazillion times better than the burger you actually get in your paper bag.  We are surrounded by lies. 

The square box tells us one thing, but what it doesn't speak about is the chaos surrounding it.  With me, you will always get the chaos that surrounds it.  Yes, I do try to have a nice couple of photos to show you, because that has great value.  But with me you will also get the photo that shows you my laundry that is drying in the background, or the cat that is sniffing the food.  And for those of you that wonder why I show so many photos of essentially the same thing????  I have finally figured out the answer.  Yes, I want to create something artistic for you, but at the same time I don't want anyone to ever think I am perfect or that I live in a perfect square box. 

I hate that I am rejecting a video because it has black spots on some of the potatoes, but that is just the way  it is, and that is how I felt at first.  But now my reasons for rejecting it are more than that. They are about the lie that was hiding behind the video containing the potatoes with the black spots.

And that is not to demean those that show us perfection in a square box. I am most appreciative of that as well.  I value your art, especially the art of those who take the time to show us their hearts and their humanity also.  I see you.  That process of seeing is always a two way street.  It is not just click and scroll.  Sometimes you have to stop and listen and read. The person is always in the words beneath the photos, not in  the photo itself.  If I follow you . . .  its because I love your heart, and your art!

And  I am rambling now so I will leave you with a thought for the day  . . . 

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

 *.˛. There are two reasons why
people don't talk about things;
either it doesn't mean anything,
or it means everything.•。★★ 。* 。

In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Cheese Crusted Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Comfort food. 

I hope that you have a wonderful Wednesday. My day is undecided at present. I am hoping that my sister and Dan will come over for supper, but if not, then I may go out with my dad, or I just may stay home and relax. It remains to be seen!  Whatever you get up to, don't forget! 

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And I do too!