Saturday 21 January 2023

All Things Nice . . .



I often think that in a tree
Soft prayers are said from limb to limb
As mother birds on warm blue eggs
Trill off the measures of a hymn.

I often think that in tall grass
A song of happiness is sung,
And in a tulip's lovely cup,
A tiny bell of joy is rung.

And in a quiet dell somewhere
A brook sings with a happy voice,
While ancient stones along the banks,
Speak to each other and rejoice.

And surely when a river flows
Through valleys edged by towering peaks,
It carries deep within its breast,
The words that some old mountain speaks.

And in small lives like yours and mine,
Something of grandeur seems to glow,
Reflected from some quiet soul
Who lived a hundred years ago.

So in the golden links of Time,
Nothing is in itself complete,
The rain is daughter to the sea,
The Earth is mother to the wheat.

And in a heart at evenfall
A hundred voices call and call.
~Edna Jaques, I Often Think
Fireside Poems, 1951

I have such a heart for the poetry of Edna Jaques. I could get lost in her words.  She was born almost a century before I was and yet her words, to me, are timeless.  They speak to my very soul. This volume of poetry was in our childhood bookcase. It belonged to my mother. I always loved to read it and I can remember mom and I talking about several poems in it once upon a time. When I left to move out to Winnipeg, mom gave it to me, and I have cherished it ever since.  Partly because I have always loved the words of Edna Jaques, but mostly because it was a gift from my mother.  In the ensuing years, I have managed to collect 8 volumes of Edna's poetry.  She published 10 volumes in her lifetime. I will have to check and see which two I am missing and try to find them to complete my collection!

Mom and I, Germany 1958

It's been four years now since we lost our mother. It still makes me cry to think about it. I don't think you ever get over the loss of a mother. We were blessed to have her in our lives for a very long time compared to some and I don't take that for granted. She really was suffering the last few years of her life with a lot of pain in her feet, and then the dementia. We will forever be grateful to our sister for the loving care she gave to our mother during the last years of her life. I know it was not very easy at times.

I can't think about it . . . it's just too upsetting, but I could not let this day pass unmarked at least in some small way.

What a difference a day makes. This is the view outside my living room window this morning. We did get a bit of snow yesterday and it is still snowing this morning. They came through with the ploughs last night and did the street and the driveways. It is so pretty to look at.  Its nice if you don't have anywhere to go.  I love the silence after a heavy snowfall like this.

From Science Time: Snow is made of ice crystals, which have space between them. These open spaces absorb sound waves, creating that serene quiet that happens right after a snowstorm. One study found that just 2 inches of snow can absorb 60% of sound waves. The lighter and fluffier the snow, the better it will be at absorbing sound waves. 

And now we all know why. They are now ploughing our street again.  We cannot really complain. It is now in the latter part of January, and we have had very little snow to speak of thus far.

I sat here yesterday as the snow was falling and put together a little tea for myself. It's not as much fun to do for one as it is to do for more people, but I still enjoyed it, nevertheless.  I baked some of Mary Berry's Cheese scones which I had on a plate with some thin slices of ham and a couple of cheese and tomato finger sandwiches. I had some sweet pickles, sliced apple and I had baked a Sour Cream Chocolate Loaf on Thursday, so I sliced some of that to enjoy along with a few other sweet bakes I had in the cupboard. All washed down with some Lemon, Ginger and Honey tea. I did eat the scone and one slice of the ham, a pickle or two, and then enjoyed one slice of the chocolate loaf. It was nice, but I don't seem to have the appetite these days that my younger self would have had.  I have shared the recipe for the chocolate loaf here

I did enjoy my little tea pot with its sweet, hand knitted cozy which Ginny made for me, and my sweet cup which was a gift from Elaine a year or so ago. The linen cloth beneath was something I squirreled away in my suitcase when I moved back to Canada from the UK. 

I see other people putting together tea suppers like this on Instagram and they look so lovely. I have neither the means nor the talent to do it in the proper way. There is no roaring fire set amidst the comfort of well-padded comfortable chairs and woolen throws. There are no pickle forks to spear the pickles with, no cream and sugar sets. No properly appointed tea tray loaded up with cups and saucers etc. But I do my best and I did enjoy this small and simple repast, even if it was somewhat subdued and only for myself.

I remind myself that comparison is the thief of joy.

Right now, these two are enjoying watching, with great interest, the fellow who is shoveling the driveways by hand.  He must be very fit to do all of these driveways by hand. I cannot imagine.  They do both streets and there are 12 driveways on my street alone.  I am not sure how many units are on the next street over, but I know there are easily twice as many as the street is twice as long. How blessed I am to live in a place where this type of thing is taken care of. Mom had to hire people to come and plough her driveway for years and years and years. It used to cost her a lot every winter to keep her driveway clear.  I expect Dan is out clearing their driveway this morning, as Cindy will be needing to go out and get my father's shopping for him. My going to theirs for supper has ended now for the season as I will not have any place to park now. I usually park on the side lawn. My father has a hard time walking any distance and so he usually parks behind Cindy and Dan's car in the drive. My parking on the side lawn leaves him enough room to do so. Oh, I know they would come and pick me up and bring me over, but I don't want to trouble anyone in that way. It would be such a nuisance, and I never want to be a nuisance to anyone.

We have been studying John 1 this week in Come Follow Me. I have the Don't Miss This study journal and at the end of the week we were asked to think about a Fig Tree Moment we have had. In this chapter in John, John spoke about The Savior meeting Nathaniel and how he had told Nathaniel when they met that he knew him.  Nathaniel had asked the Savior "When knowest thou me?"  The Savior answered that he had seen Nathaniel under the fig tree when he was in his lowest moment, which proved to Nathaniel that the Savior was the son of God because he had been out in the middle of nowhere beneath the fig tree and nobody could have seen him. (You can watch that interchange here. It is worth the watch) Anyways, we were asked to think about any Fig Tree Moments in our lives. I had to really think about that, and then I remembered one evening last year when I had gone to bed and went to say my prayers.  For some reason I was very distraught and crying. I could not get any words out, except for two, "Help Me."  After a little boo hoo I blew my nose, settled and calmed myself, and then decided to distract myself by watching The Chosen on my iPad. I started with Episode one and right off the bat these words were being recited to Mary by her father from the book of Isaiah. "You were chosen and God has not rejected you. FEAR NOT I will strengthen you, and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."    It was as if they were meant just for me. I know that my Heavenly father was aware of me because, although spoken to Mary in a television show, they were meant for me to hear at that very moment. Talk about a "Fig Tree" moment. If ever there was, that was one.

I have had many, many Fig Tree moments over these past few years.  I have been reminded again and again of my Heavenly Father's presence in my life and about just how much He cares for me. How He is there for me in the small stuff and in the big stuff. How very much He is aware of me all the time. It is miraculous and inexplicable, but it is truth, and I cannot deny it.

Well, someone has decided that it is time now for me to finish and so finish up I must! Oh how very grateful I am for this cheeky reminder that I am not alone in my wee little house.

God is indeed very good.

A thought to carry with you  . . . 

° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚

˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★
*."One of the secrets of a happy life
is continuous small treats." 
~Iris Murdock•。★★ 。* 。

A delicious recipe I would like to share with you today   . . . Ginger Crumb Cake with a lush Sweet Butter Sauce. 

I hope you have a lovely Saturday and weekend. May it be filled with love, joy, peace and love.  Be happy and don't forget!

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And I do too.


  1. Our mothers are never far from our hearts.It will be 50 yrs next Dec.She was the most important person in my doesn't go away Marie..Sorry to say.. the feeling of loss does not go away.Very cute your fancy tea/lunch..good for you:)

    1. ((((hugs)))) I am sure you are right. I don't think it will ever go away. I forget who said it, maybe the Queen, but grief is the price we pay for love. xoxo

  2. When the grandkids were young they used to use my 2 pickle forks to eat their fruit with! You got a fair bit of snow, go carefully if you go out. Laundry day here. Love the poem today Have a lovely weekend

    1. Thanks very much Linda! I bet they were some cute! You have a lovely weekend also! xoxo

  3. I agree that the missing our moms continues. Mine left us back in 2001...I think it is somewhat that way with anyone we love who we lost...well, lost for now. Fortunately, we shall meet again one day. It is easy to grieve other losses too...I awoke early with tears in thinking of one of mine. But so much of life we simply have no choice except to accept what is...and be grateful for whatever else we do have.
    I remember the joy of shoveling snow on a crisp sunny morning after it snowed all night...shoveling was one thing I enjoyed. But it takes a tremendous amount of energy which I no longer have. We have not yet had any this year, and that is ok. While I like looking out at it, it confines us further to home at this age.
    Hugs, Elizabeth xoxo

    1. Like you, I am grateful for a belief system that gives us that hope of seeing our loved ones again Elizabeth. I think if I tried to shovel snow now, I'd kill myself, lol xoxo


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