Saturday 31 December 2022

All Things Nice . . .


Tonight I pray . . . that as the year goes by
I shall grow better . . . kinder less afraid,
And easier to live with. Often, Lord,
I grouch about the way the table's laid,
As i it matters how the dishes lie
When there is enough bread to satisfy.

Tonight I pray that, as the months are spent,
I shall look ever in my heart to see
If there be aught unclean -- no evil thing
To grow and spread its branches over me;
But only good alone shall lift its head,
And only kind and gentle words be said.

Tonight I pray that this New Year shall bring
No sudden riches . . only just enough
For every day's small need -- a warm clean bed,
Strength enough for the going, be it smooth or rough,
And always, God, a light to guide and bless,
And in my heart a song . . . for happiness.
~Edna Jacques, Prayer for the New Year
My Kitchen Window, 1935 


Funny . . . this poem was written almost 100 years ago, and the sentiments remain spot on and meaningful . . .  they are things I wish for myself, ideals that I wish to live and to continue to live. How I want my life to be and to remain.  What was important then, is still important now.  It is truly the simple things in life which still bring us the most joy . . . faith, family, friends . . . health.

Simple needs met . . .  a warm bed, food . . . enough . . . just enough. Ample to fit our needs and lives.  To be loved and accepted for who we are. Kindness . . . in words, thoughts and deeds. Enough strength to pull us through whatever the New Year should bring to our tables and into our lives.

Faith to carry on.


This is little Mac sporting his Christmas Sweater.   He is so adorable.  He is filled with personality and brings a smile to all our faces and is even winning Dan over, little by little. 


I mean how can you not love a little charmer like him. It's impossible! 

How about a box full of kittens?  My cousin's cat had yet more kittens. I believe they are all spoken for now.  Serious cuteness.  In a box. My heart melts.

My sister brought Little Mac over one night.  It was so fun to see the cats all together.  At one point Nutmeg did a double take.  It was like he thought he was seeing double . . . Cinnamon and Mac look so much alike. There was not as much hissing and spitting as I thought there would be. I think in time they would get along great.

A funny photograph from Christmas day. Luke's sock monkey (I think he is called socker monkey) was wearing the funny glasses from the stocking.  So funny. 

 This is the infamous Santa Jacket.  Every year my mother used to let us pick some clothing from the Sears Catalogue for ourselves at the beginning of the school year.  There was a certain dollar amount that we could choose.  My last year in High School, I chose this coat.  I have always loved the color red and it had lovely lamb's wool cuffs, pocket trim and collar. I fell in love with this coat.  Sadly, I did not wear it as much as I should have. My first day wearing it to school I got on the bus, and someone started singing, "Here Comes Santa Claus."  Kids are so mean.

I look like I am enjoying it here, however. It was at my first husband's parent's house on the tire swing in the back yard. They were a farming family.

This is me that same year at the Highschool production of "Promises, Promises."  Loving the Hot Pants and the Aviator glasses.  I was so cool, lol

I would kill to have that figure now!


This photograph is almost 48 years old.  From left to right, my brother David (14), my father (41), Mom (42), myself (19), Cindy (16) and she is holding Anthony who looks to be about 3 or 4 months old.  What a treasure to see this.

My son brought over his photo album when he was here for Christmas. His paternal Grandmother had left it to him when she passed away. It is filled with gems like these.  


What a poser I was!  haha
(This was a stone BBQ, not a headstone!)

I look back at that girl and all of her hopes and dreams. I thought I knew it all and life was going to be so rosy and sweet.  I had no idea of how many challenges I would have to face in the coming years.  I sit here almost 50 years later and marvel at all I have been through in my lifetime. I think it is the same for everyone. It is a good thing that there are no crystal balls in life. Would any of us want to go on? Perhaps, perhaps not.

I can say though, having gone through my life I would not exchange any of it really. I am the person that I am today because of the journey I've taken, and I like me. Oh sure, I would love to be thinner (who wouldn't) but I like me and the person that I have become. I would not be that person without all that I've experienced.  The good and the bad have all served to shape me into who I am, so how can I be anything but grateful for the journey that got me here.


Here we are sitting on the cusp of another New Year. The old one seems to have passed by very quickly. It always does it seems. It begins and before we know it, it is ending. I normally like to pick a word for the year to come and I think my word for the year 2023 will be BLESSED.  I will seek to find the blessings in each and every day and in every experience. If there is one thing that life has taught me it is this, even if we cannot see it while we are in it, almost every experience comes with some sort of blessing attached. It may be years before we can see the blessing, but if we look for it, the blessing is always there.  Whilst I can appreciate that this may not apply to everything, but I do believe it applies to most things. So, my word for 2023 is going to be BLESSED.  And every time I find myself not feeling so I am going to remind myself that I am.

And with that I will leave you with a thought for the day . . . 

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

 *.˛.We do not remember days,
we remember moments.
~Casare Pavese•。★★ 。* 。


No new recipe today (still taking a break), but I am sharing something delicious with you nonetheless.  A fabulous Chocolate Eclair Cake.  This would make a great dessert for New Year's Day dinner!

I hope you have a wonderful last day of the year. Stay safe and be blessed!  Have a wonderful New Year's Eve, no matter what you get up to!  I'll see you next year. Don't forget! 

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And I do too!  

Friday 30 December 2022

How to spend a day . . .


I decided to take yesterday off.  I work pretty much seven days a week most weeks and so I thought I deserved a holiday, and I took one! Oh, I know, I just enjoyed a holiday over Christmas with my family, but what harm could a few more days do!

I thought I would get ever so much done around here.  I spent the whole day puttering pretty much, or at least the morning. I cleaned out the bread box and threw some stuff out to the birds. I had accumulated some stuff while the family was here, and it was stale, so the birds benefitted from that. I heard no complaints.  Some of the cakes and things were wrapped and put into the freezer.

I vacuumed. The cats are very hairy, so I am always vacuuming. I ordered a pair of those pet grooming mitts to see if it will help. I do brush them, but I am not sure the brush takes off much hair. I think the mitts might do a better job. We will see anyways.

I made myself a frozen mac and cheese for my dinner (Stouffers). I don't know why I buy them. Impulse I guess and because it is always nice to have something in the freezer for when I want something quick but don't feel like cooking anything. 

I remember back in the day when I thought a frozen Stouffer's entree was the height of sophistication!  I can remember buying them at the Save Easy in Wolfville when I was a very young bride. I can remember thinking that this creamed chicken thing was very tasty. What did I know?  Not a lot really! Frozen pot pies were a favorite thing!

In any case I do like their Turkey dinner with the mashed potato and stuffing.  Sized just for one person. I like turkey and never tire of it. 


After lunch I went to Cindy's.  I have been thinking of taking Danielle Donaldson's new course in 2023 and we both got some paints for Christmas, so we were going to do a paint afternoon which we have not done in a while. I brought over one of Danielle's books so we could do an exercise from it.  WE had fun but I don't think either one of us was really happy with our butterflies. Mine need a lot of work done to them.

I may rethink the course.  I am not sure I have the time to devote to something like that.

I came home, fed the cats and then decided to play for a bit on my game.  I managed to ride my horse all the way to the cabin and was told to take cover in the shed. I think I have done that, but I mostly just shuffled around in the snow looking for the shed. The important thing is that I am getting to know the controller and what it does. Games these days are a lot more sophisticated than they used to be! I think that once I get the hang of it, I will really enjoy it.

I unboxed all of my calendars in readiness for Sunday. Usually, every year my brother makes a family calendar with all of the birthdays etc. on it, but this year he didn't. I will miss his calendar. It was always filled with family pictures, etc. and I really enjoyed them. I think we are all missing his calendar, but now he is retired, he probably needs to watch his pennies more. Don't we all!

I managed to get a telephone Doctors appointment made to renew my prescriptions and managed to get one for today, so that was good.  I was pleased about that.

I got a letter written and stuffed into the mailbox.  Then I decided to take my shower early because I was tired.  Did that and then sat down to enjoy a salad for my supper. I had picked up one at the Super Store a few days ago, just a small one. Cobb Salad.  I needed to eat it before today. So that was my supper.

I felt all holy for having a salad for my supper, but I figured since I had eaten that Mac and Cheese for my lunch, I better pick something a bit healthier for supper.

And then I started to watch the Series about Maxine Carr on BritBox.  It was only a couple of years after I had moved over to the UK when two ten-year-old girls (Holly and Jessica) disappeared in Soham in the UK.  It ended up being the School Custodian. His girlfriend/fiancée Maxine Carr was charged with Perversion of Justice for making false statements about having been with him on the night they disappeared.  She served a short time for this but was probably one of the most reviled women in the UK. Since her release from prison, she has been protected, given a new identity, secret location, etc.  I ended up binging the first two episodes, and then it was time for Everybody Loves Raymond and bed.  

I am such a creature of habit.  For having taken a day off from work, I didn't really manage to get a lot done, did I?

Oh well, some days are just like that!

A thought to carry with you . . . 

° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
  ˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★
*The prayers we weave into
the matching of socks,
the stirring of oatmeal,
the reading of stories,
they survive the fire.•。★★ 。* 。
~Ann Voskamp•。★★ 。* 。 

I didn't really cook anything yesterday but am sharing my Banana & Golden Syrup Loaf recipe today from the English Kitchen. It's been a few years since I baked it, but I remember it being very good. When you have ripening bananas in the house you can't go wrong with baking a banana bread!

I was a bit saddened yesterday to read of the death of Ian Tyson. I used to have an album of his many years ago and often drove by his ranch in our travels in Alberta. Another Canadian institution gone. Sigh . . .

Have a great Friday!  I can't believe there is only two days left in this year. Hasn't it flown by ever so quickly!  Whatever you get up to be safe and don't forget!

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And I do too!    


Thursday 29 December 2022

My Favorite Things . . .


A few of the things in my life which make my heart go pitter pat over the past year. Since we are at the end of 2022, and this will be my last Favorite Things post for the year I thought it would be fun to share them! 

These two keeping me company all the year through. Helping me to fold laundry, making bread on my lap and next to me on the sofa.

They were my neighborhood watch. Nothing passed by without them noticing and letting me know about it! Such fun! 

Getting to study the Old Testament with David Freeman and Emily Butler on Don't Miss This. The Old Testament came to life for me like it never has done before. I learned so much and have come to love the Old Testament. They are such wonderful scriptorians and so enthusiastic in their teaching. I am really looking forward to studying the New Testament with them in 2023.

Sharing cooking, art, sewing and adventures with my sister Cindy. We really are best friends. I have love LOVED spending time with her and am really looking forward to spending more time with her in the coming year (s).  She is such a talented and caring individual, and a wonderful friend and example to me and to everyone around her.  We all love her.


This year I found peace and joy in the simple things of the every day. I believe that the road to anyone's heaven is lined with the paving stones of simplicity with the small and  simple things of life, and I embraced that belief as never before. What a great blessing that has been.

“Know the true value of time; 
snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it.” 
 ~Lord Chesterfield 

This year I have valued my time more than ever before.  I have embraced every moment and tried to make each count in a special way. I think as you get older time becomes more important. As the sands in our hour glasses begin to trickle down towards the end of our time here on earth, it becomes even more precious.  This year I have tried not to take anything or any blessing or any moment for granted. I have been especially cognizant of time spent with my father. Each minute of time spent with him is a treasure in my box of heart felt treasures.

"Nothing is too hard for my God."
~Jeremiah 32:17 

I have become well acquainted with pain, but within that pain I have been able to find peace and trust. I know the aching.  I know about the lowest of the low valleys and the struggle to climb back up the mountain . . .  three steps forward and two steps back. I know the tender mercy of what it feels like when grace and pain collide together . . . the tender mercy of feeling peace in the middle of my pain. 

I have felt the veracity of D&C 84:88 where the Lord said, "I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you to bear you up." 

I have felt His spirit in my heart, and I have been ministered to by His angels. Many of them in human form. I am so grateful for a heart that sees this and for the Grace of God which has encompassed and attended me all the way on my journey, even if I was not always aware of it at the time.

I celebrated a year of being in my own home and in another few months it will be two years. (May) I have never lived on my own before, not really, or been completely responsible for keeping myself. This has been an amazing journey of growth for me and learning as well.  I am grateful at the same time to know that if I ever need any help Cindy and Dan are always willing to step up to the plate, whether it be helping me to get Nutmeg out from behind my washing machine, or put furniture together, replace the batteries in my smoke detector, sort and organize myself and my cupboards, etc. I am so appreciative of them, and all that they do for me.  I am also appreciative of the skills I did not know I had and which I have been able to exercise.  I was worried that I might feel lonely or alone, but I really haven't.   I am busier than ever it seems!  Busy is good!

I enjoyed doing my window boxes and growing my herbs, putting up my geraniums, etc.  I was thinking that next year I wouldn't do geraniums, but who am I kidding.  I love my red geraniums.  Anthony has plans to come over in the spring on his own and help me sort out my garden, etc. That will be nice.  I have such good sons and I do not take them for granted. I just have a great family.  They are a real blessing to me.

I really enjoyed the Hummingbirds this year and I look forward to their return next year.  Hummingbirds were something I really missed when I lived in the UK (they don't get them). I would love to be able to feed all the birds, but alas, as soon as I put out regular bird seeds, I get bluejays emptying my feeder before any other bird can come. I am not sure what the solution is for that.

I became even more acquainted with Chippy this year. He was a daily visitor and towards the end of the season quite tame. I make sure not to completely tame him as I want him to hold a healthy fear just in case the cats should ever get out and catch hold of him. That would break my heart. But he is fun to watch, and they enjoy watching him as well. As soon as they heard me shake my peanut bag, they knew he was about and scrambled up onto the windowsill so that they could watch him stuff his little cheeks.

Making Luna Lapins along with my sister. This has been a fun adventure. We need to do more in the coming year, make more clothes, etc. Mine still does not have a nose. I need to rectify that. I think I am afraid of ruining her. I need to reign in my perfectionism and just get it done. 

I so enjoyed the Platinum Jubilee this year, taking in all that I could via my television and BritBox. I am so glad that I did in retrospect.  This was the last year we had to enjoy her Majesty. She was such a fine example to us all.  Her service to her country and people were unbeatable. There will never be another Queen so dedicated as her I don't think.   I watched the carol service that was done in her honor at Westminster Abby over Christmas and enjoyed that also. It was a very fitting tribute to her and her legacy.  I think it was wonderful that she was able to enjoy the Platinum Celebrations and to know just how revered, loved, and appreciated she was.

This year I have learned the art of patience in prayer.  Not all of our prayers are going to be answered immediately and some of them perhaps not even in this lifetime. I do know that they will be answered at some point and that the answers will be what's best for everyone concerned.  I have learned to trust more in God's will for me and for others. I have come to know that sometimes seemingly no answer at all is the answer. I have learned to be okay with that.

What good is it to believe in a God who only gives me exactly what I have asked for??  Maybe there is more value to be had from leaning into the times when I felt let down . . .  when the answers I wanted or was looking for never came . . . 

But maybe the answers that I thought never came were exactly the answers that I needed?? I know that a huge part of faith comes in believing that He will answer our prayers  . . .  but maybe an even bigger part comes in believing and having faith that the answer that doesn't come or that doesn't fit what we want, is the answer  . . .  is the thing that we needed most of all.  That its the lesson that matters most, especially in the hardest of things.

Wednesday night suppers with Dad and his friends at the Big Scoop. The food is not all that great, but meh . . . we are making memories. Sunday dinners with the family.  Having them over here for dinner on occasion as well. Time spent together with family.  It's the best time of all.

The gift of bleeding hearts from my neighbor Sheila.  She is such a nice woman. She lost her dog this year and of course her friend Al across the road.  She has a new rescue dog now, named Hobo. He came to her from Ontario. She is always the first to call me to let me know if it is slippery outside, etc. I am grateful for good neighbors. 

My brother's and niece Alison's visit in July. It was so nice to see David and to spend time with them both.  I really enjoyed the trip David and I took up to Margaretville.   Basically, all I did was sit at a picnic table and enjoy the scenery while he took a walk along the beach, but it was so good to get out and into the fresh air. And it was good to spend the time together.

I also enjoyed many moments in the summer months sitting out under my sister's car port taking in the fresh air and the company of Cindy and Dan. Feeding the chipmunks, crows, pigeons, chickadees.

Again, time spent with family is never wasted and always a blessing.


Another one of the highlights of this past summer was getting to spend some time in the company of my friend Ginny and her husband Tom, from New Hampshire.  We really enjoyed our visit so much and it was so good to meet up in person finally. Ginny is the friend who made my beautiful tea cozy and finally meeting her in person and putting a face to this wonderful person who has blessed my life was an extra special highlight of what has been a very good year.  They were both so charming and the time passed far too quickly.  We could have easily spent many more hours together and hopefully one day we will be able to do it again. It was a jewel in my 2022 crown of happiness.

Another jewel in my crown of happiness was getting to spend Thanksgiving with my son's family, along with dad, Cindy and Dan.  We had so much fun together and my son cooked a fabulous turkey!  It was great.

And then I got to do it again in November with Doug and his family.  Josh and I got to bake cookies together and I learned how to play Uno.  It was so nice seeing all the boys together and to finally get to spend some time with Jake in person as well.  Although we have always been well acquainted via facetime, it was really nice to be able to spend some real time together. 

And of course, being able to cap my year off with Anthony and family time again has been just the best!  When I think of all the times like this I have missed over the years because I was living so far away, it makes my heart sad, but we are making up for it now and that makes me very happy.

My 2022 year has been blessed with abundance in one way or another.  I am such a lucky person to have so many favorite things and experiences in my life.  And of course, each of you is also a part of that abundance and I want you to know that you are also one of my very favorite things and a much-valued presence in my life.  

I am excited to see what 2023 will bring to our tables. I think 2022 will be pretty hard to top!

A thought to carry with you . . . 

° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
  ˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★
*Failure is not the opposite of success,
it is a part of success.
•。★★ 。* 。 

I am sharing my pick of favorite recipes for 2022 in The English Kitchen today.  Check it out to see which ones I enjoyed the most!

I hope that you have a beautiful day. Be happy. Be blessed. Be safe.  Don't forget! 

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And I do too!