Tuesday 31 January 2023

The Simple Woman's Daybook . . .


FOR TODAY, January 31st, 2023

Outside my window ... 

A bit of fine snow is falling . . . it is getting a bit fluffier. A great day for the end of January and quite seasonal.

I am thinking ...
Not about a lot really. Life is pretty balanced at the moment. I'll take it. I would rather have a simple, balanced life without a lot of controversy rather than one full of tumult.

I am thankful for ...
Peace. Comfort. Love. Faith. Family. Friends. Cats. Life.

In the kitchen ... 

Copycat Kozy Shack Rice Pudding.  Delicious. It's a small batch recipe making only 3 to 4 servings.

On my "to Cook" list ... 

Yellow Bliss Road. One Pan Cheesy Smoked Sausage Pasta Skillet. Looks decadent.

Good to know ... 


Something to watch ... 

Shrinking on Apple +  I have watched a couple of episodes so far and its good.

I am wanting to create ...


Love this dress pattern and the fabric.

No source, but so cute  . . . 

Lisa Stubbs  . . .  also cute.

Lia Griffith, felt woodland pocket pals.  Sweet.

Painted Acorns, no source . . . 

I am reading ... 

The Kitchen Front, by Jennier Ryan

Four women complete for a once-in-a-lifetime spot hosting a BBC cooking program during WW2 in this vibrant historical novel.

Two years into World War II, Britain is feeling her losses: The Nazis have won battles, the Blitz has destroyed cities, and U-boats have cut off the supply of food. In an effort to help housewives with food rationing, a BBC radio program called The Kitchen Front is holding a cooking contest—and the grand prize is a job as the program’s first-ever female co-host. 

For four very different women, winning the competition would present a crucial chance to change their lives. For a young widow, it’s a chance to pay off her husband’s debts and keep a roof over her children’s heads. For a kitchen maid, it’s a chance to leave servitude and find freedom. For a lady of the manor, it’s a chance to escape her wealthy husband’s increasingly hostile behavior. And for a trained chef, it’s a chance to challenge the men at the top of her profession. 

 These four women are giving the competition their all—even if that sometimes means bending the rules. But with so much at stake, will the contest that aims to bring the community together only serve to break it apart?

This came recommended to me by my friend Bev.  I am really enjoying it.

Looking forward to ...
Not a lot really. Just living each day as it comes.

Dreaming about ... 


Pretty pink florals . . . 


Flounces, stockings, and boots  . . . 


A trillion wishes . . . 


Pitchers and basins  . . . that reminds me, I need to pick mine up from my sisters  . . . 


Felt mice in tutu's  . . . 

Makes me smile ... 


The young lad who has our Mitzie sent me some photos and clips yesterday. They made me smile and they made me cry. She looks very happy and content and is bringing joy into their lives, which makes me happy.  I was so grateful to get them, and I am so grateful to them for giving her such a happy life and a wonderful family.  

Corners of my kingdom ... 

I should probably take down my wreath eh?

A thought to carry with you ... 

° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
  ˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
 ˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★
*.˛Believing there is hope for the world
is a way to move toward it.
~Gladys Taber  •。★★ 。* 。

And that's my daybook for this week! 

   ⋱ ⋮ ⋰
 ⋯ ◯ ⋯ Take time to enjoy the small *´¯`.¸¸.☆

   ⋰ ⋮ ⋱ blessings in life.*´¯`.¸¸.☆   

✿¸.•*¨`*•..✿✿¸.•*¨`*•..✿ ✿¸.•*¨`*•..¸✿ ✿¸.•*¨`*•..¸✿ ✿¸.• ╬♥═╬╬═♥=╬╬═♥╬╬═♥╬╬═♥=╬╬♥═╬♥╬╬═♥╬╬═♥=╬╬♥
░░░░░░░░░░░░░ ░░░░░░░░░░░░ ░░░░░░░░░░░░  

Have a beautiful day and don't forget!  

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And I do too!       

Monday 30 January 2023

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.



My head cold is all but gone now. It was not as severe as the colds I have had in the past were. I put that down to having had my flu shots.  Actually, I had not had a cold since I started getting the flu shot, so it had been a very long time. My sister thought perhaps I caught it because I am more susceptible to the germs in this area, having lived away for such a long time. My body hasn't built up the natural immunity to local cold germs, etc.  I do confess I found it a bit disconcerting that I would get a cold, despite masking and sanitizing.  I mean, if I could get a cold, what else could I get? It does make me wonder just how much safer wearing a mask keeps me? However, I will continue to mask and sanitize because, despite getting a cold, I still feel safer doing so.


Because I have had a cold I haven't been going anywhere much or doing anything outside my home.  I am grateful that my sister was able to pick up some water for me last week. I don't really like the way the tap water tastes here. It is very chlorinated and so I drink mostly bottled water, although I do use tap water for cooking. Mayhap I need to get one of those filter jugs?

I am so grateful that I have a cozy home to shelter in.  A place where I am safe and warm and comfortable. I really feel for those who do not have homes and are displaced and homeless. Especially at this time of year.  I know that a lot of towns and cities have shelters where they can go to sleep at night, but there are only a limited number of spaces and what do they do all day?  Wander about I suppose. 

We need to do better to take care of our homeless. I know that a lot of them are mentally ill.  When the hospitals kicked out the mentally ill, they created another problem. Just my opinion. I am not sure what the answer is.


Having Sunday supper with the family. Yesterday was the first day in over a week that I had felt comfortable spending time with my family for fear of sharing germs with them!  It was nice. Poor Pumpkin, my mother's cat, has been sick, but she was feeling a lot better yesterday also, which was nice. It's always a worry when a pet is not well.  My sister had had to take her to the Vet on Saturday. She is an older cat and seemed to be very poorly. You know your animals and you know when they are not well.  My sister promised my mother that Pumpkin would always be cared for and so it was a bit upsetting when Pumpkin wasn't well because all sorts of other feelings were attached.   In any case she was feeling much better yesterday Cindy is taking her to the Vets again today for an aftercare checkup. 

Sunday dinner with family?  A very good thing.


Dad is coming here for supper today. Because Cindy has the Vet for Pumpkin and then has to go to work after, that means her time will be really pressed. I said I would be happy to have dad to take a bit of the pressure off. Being able to cook supper for my dad makes me happy. He has very simple tastes so I am always a bit limited in what I can cook for him. Salt and pepper are his spices of choice, lol.  He doesn't like anything out of the ordinary.  I will just be doing something simple for him, but it will be very nice to have him here with me.

(Luke with his Christmas stocking)

Somebody has a birthday today!  Luke turns 13. He's a teenager now!  I am sure he is very excited about that.  I sang Happy Birthday to him on the messenger. I hope that he has a great day.  He's a really interesting boy, very handsome and quite personable. I know I am biased.

We have always facetimed a lot through the years, so he has always had somewhat of a relationship with me. He's not afraid of me at any rate or afraid of spending time with me.  I am grateful for a son and daughter in law that have made sure that Luke and his brother Gabe have had a relationship with me no matter how far I lived away. It's been a real blessing these past few years to have been able to turn that relationship into a more "in person" type of relationship. I really enjoyed spending Thanksgiving and Christmas with them this year!!

Happy Birthday Luke! I hope you have the best day ever!  I suspect that he will.


Although we have had a mild Winter so far without a lot of snow, it is still cold, and I am grateful for my heat pump which helps to keep it warm and toasty in here, without breaking my bank. It is rather noisy, and this weekend had developed a rather disturbing ticking noise in addition to the regular noise it makes. I called the landlord this morning and the guy came over. He could hear it also and had a good look at the heat pump and it wasn't something he could do anything about as he is not an electrician.  My name is on a list now for review by an electrician. I am not sure how long it will take for an electrician to come over, but I think it will take a while.  In any case, it is just something I will have to learn to live with for the time being. He doesn't feel it is very dangerous, just noise. It sounds like the fan, or something, is hitting something and making this ticking noise. Hopefully it won't be for long, and the unit will keep heating my home regardless.  

He did adjust the blower thing on it so that it is now blowing heat out into the room instead of down onto the floor directly in front of it, which is an improvement.


I am so grateful for a life which is filled to overflowing with blessings, large and small.  I am very fortunate indeed.  Life has never been totally smooth, but I am grateful for my faith which has enabled and given me the strength through the rough times. Grateful also for all those that the Lord has placed around me to also help and support me through those times of difficulty.  Every once in a while, I am reminded of how very lucky and blessed I was to have a family to welcome me back to Canada and take me in when my life fell apart at the end of 2020. Not everyone is blessed in that same way.  I hope and pray that I never take any of them for granted.  I will go to my grave grateful for each and every one of them and for their love and support. I am so blessed to have the family that I do.

I am way behind in my day now due to the maintenance man coming so I must close this now.  I am incredibly blessed in all ways, and I want you to know that you are also a part of the blessings in my life.

A thought to carry with you . . . 

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

 *Hearts united in pain and sorrow
will not be separated by joy and happiness.
Bonds that are woven together in sadness
are stronger than the ties of joy and pleasure.
~Kahlil Gibran  •。★★ 。* 。•。★★ 。* 。

These last few weeks I decided to try out Hello Fresh, independently of them. I did this on my own and paid for the boxes myself. I wanted to know how the experience compared to my previous experience when I was in the UK and had been given a box for free. If you are interested in a fair and honest review of this meal kit service you can check out my findings today in The English Kitchen.

I hope your week ahead is blessed and filled with loads of small and wonderful things. Along the way don't forget!

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And I do too! 

Saturday 28 January 2023

All Things Nice . . .



The hills of home are little hills,
But oh I love them so;
The purple tinted sweep of them
Against the evening's glow,
The way a tall tree bows its head
Like an old man when prayers are said.

The stony pastures climbing up
Against the mountain's base,
Whose dear familiar lines are known
Like a beloved face;
An old rail fence whose corners hold
Wild asters bright as guinea gold.

For elm and ask and stunted oak
Grow on these hills of mine,
Butternut trees and hickory
And clumps of knotty pine;
Wild apples in an old ravine,
A white birch like a virgin queen.

O silent hills I lift my eyes
To drink deep of your strength,
The comfort of enduring things,
Peace for the journey's length,
From petty cares and daily ills,
I lift mine eyes unto the hills.

Finding in them a sweet release,
A zone of comfort, joy and peace.
~Edna Jaques, The Hills of Home
The Hills of Home, 1946

For those of you who are not familiar with Nova Scotia, I live in a beautiful valley nestled between two mountains, The North and the South Mountain.  Members of my family have lived nestled between these two mountains for hundreds of years now, tucked safely into the bosom of the Annapolis valley, so called because of the Annapolis River which winds along its breadth.  My maternal ancestry is woven into the very fabric of the valley's being, and that is a wonderful feeling . . . to have roots and a place where you know you belong. My ancestral DNA is a part of the soil we tread and one day, too, my DNA will join with theirs in their eternal song of love, sweat and tears . . . 

This is the old homestead which is situated on the South Mountain looking down on the valley. It doesn't look like much now, but in its hey-day it was a going concern. My Great Grandfather and Grandmother had a working farm, with orchards, and sheep, cows, vegetables, etc. It was on land which had come down to them from one of the very first settlers in this area, a man named Abel Beals.  My sister and I love to go up there and look at it, even though it is now largely neglected.  There are supposed to be two little girls buried in the woods back behind the fields and one day we hope to go and look for them. I wonder what their story is.

My mother was born in that house and her mother before her. If you were to stand on the front porch you would have a beautiful view down over the valley. Mom used to tell us that she could remember being a little girl sitting on that porch with a spoon and a turnip, scraping and eating the flesh of the turnip with the spoon.  Tales too of colored Easter Eggs, hidden amongst the grass around its foundation. I remember going there once to visit one of my mother's cousins with her. The kitchen was a step down from the back entry way. It is a dim memory and I wish I remembered more.


The progeny of Abel Beals is dotted all over this Valley, and that is only one line. I have indigenous lines that intermingle with it and German lines, Scottish, English, Acadian as well.  I guess that makes me a Canadian through and through! 

There are worse things I could be. 😄

If you look very carefully you can see the crystallized glint
of frost on the rooftops across the way.

This is the most unusual January this year. The ground is hard and frozen this morning and covered with frost, but very little snow is about.  The temperature when I got up this morning was -6*C or 21.2*F. So quite cold. My heat pump is working overtime this morning to warm it up in here. 

On the south end of town where the river lies the river has burst its banks and lies across the fields, we have had so much rain.  Years ago, when I was a child, they rerouted the river through this town because it had a tendency to flood and swamp the homes at the lower end of town.  A river never forgets however as that area, the flood plain, is also flooded at this moment. If we get much more rain, people will have water in their homes. And of course, the frozen ground cannot absorb it fast enough. I think I am safe where I am, and my sister is safe where she is also.

Nutmeg holds court in his basket at the front of my little home.  I had put some peanuts out there on the porch yesterday, thinking that the bluejays would come and get them, and entertain the cats in the process.  So far, they are still laying there undiscovered.  Although he has gotten to watch the new neighbor across the way take his golden lab out for its morning constitutional. Nutmeg doesn't know what to make of this large creature that appears from time to time. He has never seen anything like it before.


In the meantime Cinnamon is sitting on my unmade bed entranced by the shadows of the crows in the back yard as they make their way back and forth picking up the bread that neighbors have left out for them. They make an awful racket, but are of great interest. 

I had put her on the windowsill at one point so that she could watch them closer to hand, but she would rather watch the shadows it seems.  There is probably much more of an air of mystery lingering about the shadows that is infinitely more interesting . . . 

What is that?  You would do well to ask, and I will tell you. It is a small eye glass cleaning shammy that I had purchased a number of months back.  It came as a set of four.  I gave one to my sister and kept three.  This one was adopted by the cats, Cinnamon in particular.  She likes to carry it about the house. It shows up everywhere.  I will tuck it away and lo and behold, it appears again as if by magic, her having routed it out from its hiding place. It is a game we play with each other and keeps us both happy.

Nutmeg is very noncommittal about it. If you cannot eat it, he's not really interested. A typical male.

It occurs to me this morning that this same camera I am using to picture these moments in my home is the same camera that used to look out upon the backs of the terraced houses behind my place in England. It still brings me joy, and  . . .  Home! Home!  I have built myself another Home!  And it is a very happy one and I sense that I DO belong here.


It was on this day, January 28th, in 1813 that Jane Austin published her book Pride and Prejudice. I doubt that she could have known that this many years later this book would still be delighting audiences, and audiences all over the globe as well. That it would have inspired and delighted generations of women and been immortalized as well in moving pictures with sound to further delight the soul.   What a brilliant legacy.   I think later today I will find a version of it on the television to watch as I sit and crochet my scarves.

Which is your favorite version?  I do confess that I much prefer the Colin Firth as the brooding Mr. Darcy.  What is it about brooding men that entices us so  . . .  

It is the same with Ross Poldark  . . . is it that we want to tame them? That brooding intensity is very attractive I find.  But I am no Demelza . . . 

And with that I best fan myself and get on with my day!

A thought to carry with you . . . 

° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
  ˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
 ˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★
*Diversity is the one true thing
we all have in common . . . 
Celebrate it every day.
~Winston Churchill•。★★ 。* 。

In The English Kitchen today  . . . Easy Italian Sausage Rigatoni.  Quite simply delicious and sized just for two. 

I hope that you have a beautiful Saturday.  Whatever you get up to be happy and content.  Don't forget! 

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And I do too!    


Friday 27 January 2023

My Friday Finds . . .



A few of the things I find each week that inspire me to want to do better, to create, to become better, to read more, to watch, to just DO something! Things that delight, inspire, and bring me joy.  Maybe they will do the same thing for you!

 I love these heart shaped pot holders.  Tutorial on A Spoonful of Sugar.

From Bugaboo City, a Valentines Day Love Letter Banner.   

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!

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. This could be dangerous.

The Late Bloomer sweethearts tea towel.  No pattern per se.  Just eye candy and inspiration. I love the mix of fabrics, trims, patterns.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

I love this simple scarf pattern.   It looks very easy.  From Stitch and Unwind

I can't resist showing you this blanket.  I love it.  From Cool Creativity.

 Free printable Stationary.  I like this.  From Glenda's World.  Journal Pages and stationary and a whole lot more cute free printables.  Love LOVE this page.

Twelve small changes for heart health.  Easy enough.  Well, quitting smoking is quite hard.  I know because I did that 35 years ago.  Wasn't easy, but it can be done and is well worth the effort.

Hazelnut Mice.  These are so adorable.  From Renaissance Revival.  cute.

 Garter Stitch Swingy Sweater from Ravelry.  I love, LOVE this.

Ravelry, the Granny Shawl.  A free pattern download.  I love this too.

The Knitting Network.  Crochet Hot Water Bottle pattern.  Not expensive.  I like the little heart pocket.

And those are my finds for this week. I hope you saw something of interest.

A thought to carry with you  . . .

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

 *.˛.° ˛°. . 
˛*It is easier to build up a child
        than it is to repair an adult.
                ~unknown    .° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ • 

In The English Kitchen today, Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs. For two. I really enjoyed these. They were moist and tender and yet the coating was nice and crisp, and they were very low in fat. No frying involved.

I am shaking of the last vestiges of the cold now. Just a little tickle in the throat. Let's hope it doesn't come back!

I was a bit spooked last night when someone knocked on my door at almost 9pm. It turned out to be my next-door neighbor. She was concerned because our friend across the way had gone out yesterday afternoon and left her garage door open and she had not yet returned. This meant that someone could easily break into the house. There wasn't really much we could do about it, except hope that she would soon return, and she did at some point as I noted this morning that her garage door was closed.

Must dash as I have to call my dad for a second time this morning. He has taken to worrying that he will fall asleep and not wake up in time to go for his coffee and toast, so he is having me call him twice every morning now, just to make really sure he is awake!  He has a specific table he likes to sit at in the A&W and he wants to get there in time to make sure he gets it!

Have a wonderful day.  Stay safe and warm and be happy!  Don't forget! 

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And I do too!