Wednesday 22 June 2022

Wednesday This and That . . .



One thing I really miss (amongst many) about the UK is the wealth of blackberries, free for the picking, that exists in the hedgerows all over the country.  We had them in the hedge in our own back garden and when we lived down South in Kent, the country walk that went past our cottage and into the orchards was bordered with hedges filled with them. You could pick up a huge bucketful in no time at all.

One time when the Manor Estate owner's nephew was visiting, he went out one afternoon and came back with a huge container of them and wanted me to bake him a Blackberry Cobbler. I was quite happy to oblige, and he was more than happy with the results of my labors.  Served warm with lashings of custard sauce, there is no finer dessert.


 About thirty years ago now, my family and I were living in an old rented farmhouse on the banks of the Georgian Bay.  The woodlands leading down to the bay were also filled with blackberries which I happily discovered one afternoon by chance. I went back home and armed myself with long sleeves and gloves and was back picking them pronto.  My picking led me to an old abandoned orchard which was filled with ancient apple trees.  Each one had been planted with what were now wild raspberries and blackberries, winding their vines around the trunks.

That year my children were treated to a multitude of jars of both raspberry and blackberry jellies.  I took great pride in the sight of their jewel-like colors lining the shelves of my pantry. 


I used to do lots of canning and preserving back in the day.  I really enjoyed it and my family always enjoyed what I preserved. Nothing ever got wasted.  Every jar got eaten and used up throughout the year.  

One of my favorite pickles was the Lady Ashburnham Pickles I would make each year. This is an old New Brunswick favorite. I had gotten the recipe from my friend Debbie who lived across the road from me in Geary, a small community outside of Fredericton.  They were a mustard type of pickle and they were some delicious. I have not made them in many years now, but my tastebuds are enjoying remembering their tastiness here this morning.

I made all sorts of pickles, jams, jellies and relishes back in the day and loved doing so. Of course I have no use for them now with it only being myself in the house, and me being a diabetic,  but I find myself longing for them as I sit here this morning. Its too bad I did not have a daughter in law, or daughter even, who was so kindly disposed as to be a canner/pickler/jam maker!  I would gladly buy a jar from them if they were.


Of course the season for preserving and pickling is off yet for at least a few weeks, although I did see fresh peas in the farmer's market the other day when I was there with my sister. It won't be long now. The early strawberries are coming in also.

I had my toenails done yesterday morning. Not manicured, just cut.  I have the same girl do them who used to do my mom's.  She comes right to the house and I am grateful for that. It was becoming very difficult for me to do my own and as a diabetic it is very important that I have them done regularly.  You can, of course, have them done at the local chemist's, but it is $10 dearer and as well we all know these days, every penny counts.  I am sure she gives me mom's discount. Mom had her coming to her for years and years.  I am most grateful for both the labor and the discount!


I have been working hard on my talk that I need to give in church this coming Sunday, as well as the lesson I will be teaching in Young Women's.  The talk is coming to me in fits and starts. As ideas come I write them down, take notes and I will soon start, maybe even today, to pull all those thoughts into something coherent to share with the congregation in my branch. 

I don't really mind giving talks. The hardest part is the writing of them. Once you have done that, its just a matter of delivering them in an interesting manner.  My mother had me in Public Speaking when I was quite young.  First it was reciting poetry for the annual base Concerts and get-togethers and then progressed to full on speeches when I was about 10, and the competitions that ensued. 

My mother always loved public speaking. She was most proud of the silver cup she had won when she was about 17/18 at a public speaking contest held at Acadia University. I believe there is a photo clipped from the newspaper of her actually receiving the cup, and maybe even a copy of the speech she gave in my mom's old trunk, downstairs in my sister's basement, but I could be wrong.

Anyways, my mother pushed me into Public Speaking, which was not something I really enjoyed back then.  I used to feel quite ill before I spoke and of course it involved memorizing the speeches.   I no longer have a brain for memorizing speeches, but giving a talk at church pales in comparison to being 11 years old and having to give a memorized speech in front of an auditorium of strangers.  I can give a talk at church without too many problems or fears.



It is hard to believe that we have now passed the longest day of the year and are officially into Summer. Only about a week left of June and we will be into July. This year is just whizzing by.  So far is had not been overly hot, but I know plenty of hot and humid days are to come. I open my windows early in the morning to let in the fresh air and the cats enjoy a good old sniff. They lay on the windowsills next to them glorying in the smells and sounds of the birds and insects coming in from the outside.  Perhaps with a touch of longing I would suppose . . . but they are better off here inside, safe and sound within our four walls.

I was to Cindy's yesterday afternoon for a short visit. I love that we can see each other whenever we want. It was a dream of mine that I had for many, many years. We have lived within hours of each other in the past, but never in the same town, not since we were children/teens.  It is an extra special blessing to me now. We always said we would be old ladies together and here we are  . . . being old ladies together!  What fun!

She has been working on blue felt coats for our Luna Lapins and is doing a beautiful job with them.  She is such a beautiful seamstress. Yesterday when I was there she was cutting out wrap dresses for them. Once I get this talk/lesson and my brother's visit over with, I will be able to crack on with some sewing myself.

I really enjoyed playing with little Mac when I was there. What a delightful little boy he is!!  He is a talker too and his purr is so loud.  He is packed with so much joy and, like Nutmeg, is filled with personality plus!  He has beautiful markings and a beautiful color as well.  He is going to be a very handsome cat when he is grown. 

It is hard to believe that mine were ever that small, but they were. In just a few weeks now they will be one year old.  (Also hard to believe that a year has passed so quickly.)  The two of them are stretched out and sleeping at the moment. Cinnamon in the basket and Nutmeg beneath the coffee table.  They are such great company both for myself and for each other.

I am going out for supper with my father and his friends this evening.  I quite enjoy doing so. The food is not always so good.  Lacking in choice I guess.  I love fish and chips, but more often than not it is overcooked where we go. I don't like overcooked fish that much, but I do enjoy the company and spending time with my dad. If the price to pay is eating some overcooked fish, then I will gladly eat it.  I am building memories.  And they are priceless. 

Funny story.  I was doing printouts yesterday for my lesson on Sunday and when I gathered them up I noticed that there were a bunch of Temple Cards scattered through them. In my church when we take names to the Temple to do the work for our kindred dead, we print out what are called ordinance cards.  There were about four of them for the same person. Upon closer inspection I discovered that they were all identical and printed by the same person. My friend Glenna who lives across the road from myself.   I am sure she was getting very frustrated by her printer, hence the four identical copies. I will have to bring her cards over to her and we can both have a good laugh about it. 

That's WIFI printers for you. It is nice to know that they reach across the road!


Its funny in a roundabout way that here I am spending my golden years only a stone's throw from where I spent some of my early teenage years.  I can see the house that we lived in from my back window. Of course it looks a lot fancier now than it did back then. The fir tree that we used to be able to jump over once upon a time, now stretches up into the sky.  We could not jump over it now. And the weeping willow whose branches we used to play beneath is long gone. It was like a cool green play house underneath.

Of course this house I live in now, and indeed the street it is situated on was not in existence back then. There were only trees and fields here. Life has almost come full circle.  Those hopes and dreams that I had when living in that tiny house, well  . . .  most did not come to fruition, but some did.  I didn't get to marry Davy Jones or George Harrison, or even David Cassidy . . . but I did get to live in England and made friends with Jay Osmond (teenage crush) at our Chester Ward.  I did become a writer I suppose, even if it is only of cookery books. I think I still have a novel in me somewhere, but there are so many things I want to do before I die and so many things to experience, I do not know if I will ever get it out,  or even half of them done . . . and that's okay.

I am enjoying my life, despite my aches and pains and longings for someone to share it with. It is a good life and a full life. I cannot complain. If I can find an adventure in each day, then, well . . . what more could a person ask for?

A thought to carry with you . . . 

° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★
*Life is better when we don't try to do everything.
Learn to enjoy the slice of life you experience,
and life turns out to be wonderful.
~Leo Babauta  •。★★ 。* 。•。★★ 。* 。

In The English Kitchen today . . .  Air Fryer Tuna Melt.  This was the best Tuna Melt Sandwich I have ever eaten. I kid you not! Nothing has changed from the original. Same bread. Same tuna salad. Same cheese. The only thing that is different is its method of preparation. This sandwich melts in the mouth.

I hope that you have a wonderful day!  May your day be richly blessed and may you never forget . . . 

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

And I do too!       


  1. I used to do oodles of preserves and pickling too, not anymore. daughter picks free blackberries in BC and makes lots of jam. We always get a jar or two when we visit.

    1. That's lovely Linda! BC has a very similar climate to the UK I hear! xoxo

  2. Little Mac is so sweet. What a cute little face. I'm going to make your tuna melt but I don't have an air fryer. Perhaps I should get one! Enjoy your supper with your dad and friends. Is there not another restaurant you could go to? Love and hugs, Elaine

    1. I think you would enjoy an airfryer Elaine. I use mine a lot and it is great for cooking for only two people, and in the summer you can do things in it without heating up the whole kitchen. I have a Kuraidori that I got at Home Hardware. I like it so much that I got one for my sister as well! Love and hugs, xoxo PS - the old ladies call the shots as far as the restaurant goes. We will probably go somewhere nicer to eat when my brother is down. xo

  3. It seems as if preserving and canning is a thing of the past. It's rarely done anymore. But everything did taste better for sure ! I remember the days of gathering and putting away. Grocery stores just can produce the flavor of homemade.

    1. Thats very true Pam! They can't compete with homemade. I have yet to find one that can. Bonne Maman comes close! xoxo

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    1. I am so pleased you are feeling encouraged Elizabeth! Prayers are being answered! Yay! xoxo

  5. You are indeed a ‘writer’….cookery books are important teaching tools….therefore, you must be a teacher as well. Writing your speech and delivering it ….public speaking….canning…sewing…cooking and sharing…what lovely gifts you have. Counting your blessings…your father, sister, family, home, kit cats, health, faith shows your also have a tender, compassionate heart, full of love.♥️♥️ Enjoy summer. xo, V.

    1. Thank you so much V! I am enjoying my summer so far! xoxo


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