Saturday 23 April 2022

All Things Nice . . .


April in my own backyard -
Lettuce, pepper-grass and chard
Sending up baby leaves -
While a mother robin weaves
Such a wee fantastic bed
In the branches overhead.

There against the crannied wall
Clothed in lichen like a shawl,
Little niches filled with moss,
(An old clothes-line thrown across)
There a toadstool white and round
Like a tepee on the ground.

In the shade bright cobwebs cling,
Mystic emblems of the spring,
Hued like opals in the sun;
Gay petunias one by one,
Colorful as patchwork quilts,
Blowing out like Highland kilts.

Ash and thorn and stunted pine
Peeping o'er the fence of mine,
Little wildings, yet a part
Of the Spring's great pulsing heart.
Lawns all green and daisy starred,
April in my own backyard.
~Edna Jaques, Beside Still Waters
April in my Own Backyard 

Oh how very much I love the poetry of Edna Jaques. It always speaks to my Canada loving heart. Today I am afraid she is a largely unsung poet. Most  people are totally unaware of her.  To my knowledge she is not studied in school books or the like.  She is as much a part of our Canadian fabric as Hockey Night in Canada, Beavers and Maple Leaves. By the 1950's she was the best-selling poet of her generation.

Interviewing Jaques in 1952, the year she was ranked "one of Canada's most popular women," journalist Janice Tyrwhitt observed that "what Robert Burns was to Scotland ... Edna Jaques is to Canada ... the voice of the people. Her poems — as she says herself — are clad in print and homespun and the rough weave of common folk." (source, Wikipedia)

Her poetry speaks to the blood that flows through my very Canadian veins. My mother gave me a book of her poetry when I left home to move out West in the mid 1970's. It had sat in my mother's bookcase for many years.  Fireside Poems.  For years it has been my favorite book of poetry, and not the least because my mother gave it to me. 


I really love tidy cupboards and having a place for everything and having everything in its place.  I always feel really satisfied after organizing a cupboard.  Why don't they every stay that way? No matter how hard I try, I always mess them up again. I need more shelves I think.  I have a huge walk-in closet in my bedroom and it is a bit of a mess. I need to buy a few more bookcases so that I can put my books in a proper place. It is just everything comes in a flat pack these days and I struggle so with putting things together.  I don't have the strength needed. That last bookcase I built almost did me in!  It was so heavy and getting it together, moving it across the room. It was sooooo hard.  I also want to get a proper desk so that I am not always using the dining table.  Again though . . .  flat pack.   I will have to look at home hardware.  If you buy their floor models, they deliver them already put together. 

I had ordered these two folding shelves on Instagram a couple months ago and they still have not arrived.  I believe I paid an extra $15 for them to be shipped immediately. They must be on a long slow boat from China because they have never arrived. I thought they would be good in a closet to hold small appliances and the like.  I can no longer find my receipt in my e-mail from when I ordered them, it was that long ago. I need to be a better online book-keeper.


I looked over last night and Mr. Personality was sitting at the end of the sofa with his arms crossed like this.  I just had to take a photograph. I thought it was so cute. Look at the little tufts of fur in between his fingers (?). Not really sure what to call them.  The digits in his paws.  He was busy watching Cinnamon at play. 

Not a great photo of her.  She was really moving. I got them this little toy. It has flashing colored lights on top and a ball that rolls around, but as well it has these little holes all around the side and a bunch of little colored feathers pops out of the holes randomly, really quickly. They have to try to catch them.  They really enjoy the toy and I love to watch them playing with it.  It helps to keep them from being bored.  At least that is my theory. 


I am really missing doing my needlework.  I love to keep my hands busy and I haven't been doing any kind of needlework since the cats arrived. No art either really.  I was always doing something. I never sat and just watched tv at night and never watched it at all in the daytime.  I am watching far more television than I should.  I need to start working with my hands again, even if its only for an hour each day. If the cats get too involved I can always put them in the bedroom for a time out for an hour I guess.

I hate to do that though  . . . 

What I really want to do is make myself a Luna Lapin doll.  Just for me. With a whole wardrobe of clothes and everything. I know, childish  . . .  but I haven't made a doll just for me in a very long while. I love dolls.  I have always loved dolls.  I want some real wool to make her though, not just wool felt, or maybe even linen.  That is on my list of things to do.  Life is too short not to do some of the things you really want to do. 

I miss my doll house  . . . 


This photograph reminded me of the time a HUGE hawkmoth got into the kitchen in the big house when I was working at the Manor. It must have flown in during the evening when the windows were open and the lights were on.  I was cleaning and went to move the toaster and this HUGE thing flew out. It really startled me. 

It was enormous and looked for all the world like its wings were made from two largish leaves. It was beautiful. Not colorful in any way, but the wings were stunning in their shape and design.  It landed on one of the huge oak beams that ran across the ceiling in the kitchen. Oh how I hated dusting those things, they were full of rough edges and the dusters would catch on them. 

I was able to observe it for a bit before the Estate manager came and removed it to the outdoors.

Thinking back that was really quite a once-in-a-lifetime experience I had, getting to live and work on that Manor Estate, even if my boss's were not the nicest people in the world. It was an incredibly beautiful environment, and I got to see and do things that a lot of people never get to experience.


That cottage was really a bit like living in a dream with its mullioned windows and all of the roses etc.  The stuff you see in fairy books actually.  I loved all of the roses and the lavender and the wisteria.  Oh the beautiful birds that used to visit in the garden, so fun to watch.   I used to love watching the bees in the lavender as well. They were so busy and it smelled beautiful. 

The one thing I really loved about the UK was being able to spend time outside and not getting eaten alive by mosquitos and black flies.  

I loved walking through the Orchards which surrounded the estate. In the spring time they were a sea of blossoms. There were apples and pears.  There was a well worn footpath that you could take and walk almost all the way into the neighboring village which was quite a distance and we used to walk it almost every day that it wasn't raining, Winter and Summer. 

When the people at the big house were away I loved to wander through the Estate gardens. She had a brilliant garden planner and her flower beds were extraordinarily filled with a multitude of beautiful flowers and plants.  They were planned to give visual pleasure throughout all the seasons of the year.  They really were quite stunning.


But enough of looking back. Its time to look to the now and the future.  There is much to enjoy now and to look forward to.  One thing I am looking forward to is following Susan Branch and her 90 ladies in waiting going on their Cunard Cruise  across the Atlantic in May.  I am not so much a real life traveler in my older years.  I do enjoy watching travel shows however and seeing photographs of other's travels. I like to sleep in my own bed at night with my own pillow though.  It will be fun keeping up with their escapades. All being well she plans on keeping those of us who cannot go well informed and up to date with their happenings.  She is very good at updating her Twitter feed, etc.  I have ordered her new Quote Book, Distilled Genius.  I have long been a collector of quotes myself. I keep them handwritten in a journal of mine. I love quotes.  I am sure I will love her new book as much as I love her other books.

Which reminds me I have not read "A Fine Romance" in a while. I think I have read that book at least four or five times now.  I love it.  For anyone who is an Anglophile it is a beautiful book to own. I never tire of it. It warms my heart to see and read a perspective from someone who loves England as much as I do.


I've been meaning to tell you about these hand sanitizers for a while now. My sister introduced me to them.  They smell beautiful.  I love the Bergamot most of all, but they are all really nice. She found them at our local Home Hardware store.  You can actually buy them online here.   I love the smell of these and that they don't leave your hands feeling dry or sticky after using them.  They are really lovely. 

I wonder will there ever come a day when we no longer need to hand sanitize, etc.?  I think I always will. You know since this pandemic began and we all became so much more careful with germs and such (HUGE knock on wood) I have not had any colds or anything even closely resembling a cold.  There has to be something to that.

I think I will always sanitize my hands and my shopping cart.


One night a week I have been meeting online with the local Missionary Elders to do bible study. Every week they hope that more people will show up for it, but most weeks it is only myself. That's okay. I don't mind, but I am sure they would love it if more people attended.  Its a great opportunity to talk about what you have learned from this week's study and to share with each other.

They are going to come over Tuesday afternoon and clean out my front garden.  I told them I have no tools, so they are going to borrow some from our Branch President. It will be nice to have it looking neater.

And with that I will leave you with a thought for today!

° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★
*We tend to forget that happiness
doesn't come as a result of 
getting something we don't have, 
but rather of recognizing and 
appreciating what we do have.
~Frederick Koenig  •。★★ 。* 。 

I was a bit self-indulgent yesterday and baked these Afternoon Ruby Tea Biscuits from the Anne of Green Gables Cookbook. I replaced half of the shortening with butter and if I make them again, I will replace all of it with butter.  They are gorgeous! 

I hope that you have a wonderful Saturday filled with lots of nice things. Whatever you do, wherever you go, be happy and don't forget! 

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And I do too!       


  1. We once had a cat that always went after the knitting needles etc. I did a small amount each day till he got used to it. but it is hard. I'm not a fan of hand sanitizer, too many allergies for me. I prefer soap and water when possible. Enjoy Saturday.

    1. I will have to try doing just a small amount each day as you say Linda, and hope that they get used to it! xoxo

  2. Hi Marie, I had not heard of Edna Jaques before reading one of your earlier posts, but I really like her poems. I have just purchased (online) a second-hand copy of her 1938 book "My Kitchen Window" for my elderly Mum. It's lovely. Thanks for the recommendation.

    1. You are very welcome Susan! I hope your mom enjoys the book! I ordered myself a second hand one I did not have yesterday also! The Golden Road! I can't wait to get it! xoxo

  3. We will be wearing our KN95 masks forever with no problem for us older compromised seniors. And has been and will always be, hand sanitizing when we get back in the car. We've both has gotten our second booster and looks like it might be a yearly shot along with the flu shot.

    Just finished weed pulling and have much more to go. Lucky you with getting your garden shaped up. Just noticed our lawn guys weed-wacked my little hydrangea and other plants that should not have been wacked!!!

    Have a great rest of weekend.

    1. I'm with you! We need to do what we can to keep ourselves safe as the government sure isn't going to do anything. I am waiting on my second booster. I will keep boostering as long as they are offering them! Aww too bad about your keen lawn guys! Hope your plants bounce back! xoxo

  4. That must be some trip for Susan and group.Her husband is Mr they are perfect for this kind of group trip.Love that book A Fine Romance.So sweet..I devoured it.Those tarts look so good:) WE are knee deep in dirt an mulch..

  5. I think you should definitely make a Luna Lapin doll for yourself, Marie. It would be something to treasure now and become a family heirloom in future. Go for it! Think how much fun it would be to create something so lovely. Love and hugs, Elaine


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