Monday 31 July 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.

Family times. I have really been enjoying a lot of time together with my family over the past weeks.  First with Doug and Kayla and the boys, and now with my daughter Eileen. As well, there is Cindy and Dan and Dad. This is something I never got to experience when I was living in the U.K. and something I missed out on for all of those years.  I am so grateful to now be back in a place where I can enjoy moments like these and spend this valuable time together.   Its a great blessing to me!

Eileen and I are enjoying our time together. We have plenty of laughs and enjoy an easy companionship. I am glad that we have been able to get over our difficulties from last year and Covid. She brought a game with her that we have enjoyed playing, and we have enjoyed going out for a couple of meals, shopping together, watching some television together, cooking together and just being together. The cats are used to her now. At first they were a bit nervous, but they soon settled down, especially Nutmeg.  Cinnamon is not a cuddler anyways. 

This was Cinnamon sleeping last evening on the back of the lazy boy chair. Eileen thought she was so cute with her paws stretched out in front of her.  I had to agree. She looks very comfy there.


Nutmeg busy sticking close to whomever.  I think male cats are a bit needier than female. He always likes to be close by and is the first to greet me when I come in the door, whether it is me coming in from the garage or just out of my bedroom in the morning. He is right there. I don't mind. I enjoy the company!

I had a call on my phone on Saturday from my credit card company to say there had been fraudulent activity on my card.  I didn't call back right away because you just never know if this is legit or not.  I did call the number on the back of my card when I got home to check it out and indeed there had been some fraudulent activity on my card.  They cancelled my card and are sending me a new one. I did go online this morning to check and there is still one spurious charge showing so I will have to call them back and tell them about it. To a Chipotle. We don't even have Chipotle here in Nova Scotia.  

This is such a pain. Because I deal with the credit union and they don't have a visa debit card, I use my credit card to pay all my bills and then just pay that off as and when. Now my bills can't be paid until I get the new card and then I will have to update all of the card information on various accounts.  Most annoying. As it is, I was unable to send out my EK newsletter this morning because the payment is due on that and of course the card details on file are no longer valid.  Who knows when I will be able to put out another newsletter.  

I am grateful, however, that the fraud got flagged and I was contacted before it got any worse!  Whew!  One wonders how on earth the thieves got the information?

The hummingbirds have been very active these last few days.  I had not seen any, or at least not noticed any for a bit but for the last few days they have been super active and I have been really noticing them.  I have quite a few that come.  It is so fun to watch them.

Eileen is enjoying them as well! She can't have anything like a hummingbird feeder or even a pet where she lives now. It will be good when she and Tim can get into a bungalow. They will be able to have a pet and a hummingbird feeder then, and even a small flower garden if they wish.

I am so grateful for  my sister in my life.  I hope that she knows how very much I appreciate her.  Sometimes I feel like a burden. Not that she ever  makes me feel that way. She doesn't.  She does so much for my father and for me, and I often wish that I could do more for her, but I do what I can. 

She clips my cats nails for me, goes places with me, helps me whenever I need help with anything. I really don't know what I would do without her. 

But aside from that, she is my best friend.  I can always count on her for the best advice on any matter.   I know she would never give me a bum steer.   I think that boils down to the fact that she is much more analytical in her thinking and I am much more impulsive.  Whenever I need advice on anything I ask her.  

I just love her so much. Always have. Always will.

I did kind of a stupid thing yesterday.  I couldn't find the cats and got worried and so I thought I would check under my bed to see if they were there. I was a bit dubious about getting down on my knees to look, but I did it anyways. The pain in my knees was excruciating.  I did not think I would be able to get up again.  (Of course they were both under my bed.)  I somehow managed to get up, but it was very clear to me that if I ever fall I will not be able to get up. The pain in my knees was excruciating. I am just grateful that I was eventually able to get up. It was not a pretty picture! LOL

Won't be doing that again!

I was quite concerned when July 1st hit about my ability to support myself. As you know I rely on my food blog almost 100% for my income. Scary sometimes, sad, but true. It is what it is. I am very grateful to have that ability.  On the 1st of July Google was changing the way they do their analytics.  There was a great deal of speculation as to how this would affect things such as income from ads. It was called GA4.  

I was very worried that my income would drop way down and I would not be able to make enough. I do get a small pension, but both of my pensions do not even equal the amount that I need to pay my rent alone, let alone anything else.  

I am so grateful to find myself at the end of the month, having earned more than enough.  God is good and things have exceeded my expectations.  At the first of the month, I just kept praying every day, just one more day.  Please let me earn enough, just one more day, and I had faith that He would.  He did, above and beyond.  

Faith, where would I be without it?

And with that I best leave you with a thought for the day. I need to take Eileen to work. (Hmm, that sounds nice. To have someone to be able to do something for.)

A thought to carry with you  . . . 

° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★
*A loving heart
is the truest wisdom.
~Charles Dickens•。★★ 。* 。

In The English Kitchen today, a Peach, Cherry & Almond Crumble.  I served this warm with lashings of custard!  Yummy yummy!

I hope you have a wonderful day. May it be filled with loads of things which bring you joy, peace and happiness.  Whatever you get up to, don't forget!

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And I do too!       

Saturday 29 July 2023

All Things Nice . . .



A row of onions sticking up their heads,
parsley and dill in their own special beds,
Long rows of carrots . . . cabbages and chard,
Make such a heartsome showing in the yard,
A row of peppergrass and salsify
A clump of rhubarb showing up for pie.

A hill of beans with crisp transparent stalks,
Borders of thyme and sage along the walks,
A row of chives . . . lettuce in leafy clumps,
A bed of cucumbers in rounded humps,
Radishes . . . corn . . . a lovely row of peas,
Asparagus set out beneath the trees.

Tomato plants staked up in tidy rows,
So one can get in handy with the hose,
Long rows of Irish cobblers neat and trim,
For all the world like ladies cool and prim,
Who lift their frilly skirts with modest grace,
To show a lovely petticoat of lace.

For he who tils a garden comes to know,
That there is magic in a tiny row,
Of sprouting beans and  miracles galore,
In one small beet  . . .  and angels  never wore
A fairer garment than a clump of dill
Flowering behind a small potato hill.
~Edna Jacques, Kitchen Garden
Fireside Poems, 1950

This poem reminded me this morning of this old farmhouse that we rented back in the late 1990's in Meaford, Ontario.  It was not much of a house really. It was overrun with mice and ramshackle, heated by an old wood cookstove, but we had a lovely garden plot next to the house in which we grew loads of peas and beans, potatoes, carrots, onions, corn . . . squash and zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes.  It was a lovely garden plot and we sure enjoyed the bounty that we got from it, although I do think that the racoons got more corn from it than we did!

Lovely memories also of blackberry picking with my sister on the banks of the Georgian Bay.  I made up glistening jars of deep purple blackberry jelly.  We watched birds together and made crafts.  Sweet moments in time that I carry in my heart forever.

These are Eileen's medals from the Summer Nova Scotia Special Olympics Games that she competed in a few weeks back. She did ribbon gymnastics and got a gold, two silvers and a bronze. This was the first year for the ribbon gymnastics and Eileen really enjoyed it. I think she did really well and should be very proud of her accomplishments. There was a whole routine to do, including work with a hoop. Training will begin again in September for the next games.

I think the Special Olympics is a wonderful program for challenged people to participate in.  I know that my daughter has always really enjoyed it.  She has participated in bowling and cross country skiing, track and field and many other sports.  Her husband does as well. This program has also helped a great deal to boost their confidence in themselves.  I know they really missed it during the pandemic when everything was shut down.  I don't think that the bowling has started back up again, but hopefully it will in the autumn.  Eileen has always enjoyed the bowling.

We have had a lot of rain this summer so far, hence the floods, after a dry, dry spring and winter. Our grass is lovely and green now and the gardens seem to be flourishing. My window boxes are not doing very well again however.  Last year they did not either.  I think this is the last year I will do window boxes.  I will clear them out and maybe Cindy can use them out at the house. Dan is really good with plants and stuff. I am sure he will be able to get something growing in them.  I am just not a gardener.  

I do miss  my gardens in England. They were always so lush and green and everything grew so well without a lot of effort.  I am not a person who can really get down and garden. Getting on my knees is no longer viable for me.


We took our dad to his Doctor's appointment yesterday and the four of us (Cindy, Eileen, dad and myself) had lunch at Jonny's. It was good as always.  Dad had onion rings and we three had the Newf Poutine, but this time we had chicken on top as well. It was really delicious, but none of us could finish it. We ended up bringing half of it home.  Not sure when it will get eaten, maybe for lunch today.

This morning we are all going together to get dad's shopping in and go to Walmart and pick up a few bits. Its good to get out of the house. Eileen doesn't get to go to many places when she is on her own. They don't have a car and so wherever they go it has to be by bus.  The transport here is not that great. Not like in England where there was a bus every 10 minutes.

But it is a very rural area and we are lucky to have transportation available at all. 

Eileen is enjoying the cats and the cats are really enjoying her. At first they were a bit iffy, not too sure, but they have settled down now.  Eileen and Tim are not allowed to have pets where they are living now, but they are on a waiting list for some low rental housing places very similar to my place, and they hope to get a pet then.  Eileen had her own cat to take care of when she was growing up.  She was a very good cat mother. That cat of hers never lacked for attention or anything else.  Eileen took very good care of it.   I am not sure how responsible Tim would be with a pet, but I am sure that Eileen would make up for any lack on his part. 

The apartment they have now is on the top floor of the building. It is only four stories high, but that is a lot of stairs to cope with when you are getting older and a lot of to-ing and fro-ing when you are trying to carry up groceries. It will be good for them to get into a more accessible place.  I hope that the wait is not too long for them.


The stalks of corn are almost as tall as a man out there now. I noticed yesterday as we were driving by the corn fields. You can really see the difference every time that you go by.  I might pick up a few years today when we are out shopping.

When we were growing up we really used to look forward to corn season.  Every year we would have at least a few feeds of corn.  On those nights that is all we would have for supper, just fresh ears of corn with plenty of butter and salt. It was some delicious!

We used to do the same thing when my children were growing up.  When we lived in Southern Ontario we used to buy the corn fresh each day from the back of a wagon during corn season. They would be set up on the country roads near wherever we were living.  You could get a baker's dozen for very cheap.  We always put the children to work husking it.  They did not mind as they always knew that their reward at the end of it was all you can eat corn on the cob.  

Nothing on earth tastes better than corn fresh picked and cooked on the day, with plenty of butter and salt.


It is hard to believe that we are at the end of July now and almost into August. The summer weeks are passing by so quickly.   I have to admit that I am not so much of a fan of summer with all of its heat and humidity, earwigs and ants.  I am an autumn girl, through and through.  I love the cooler nights for sleeping. And the days can still be lovely and warm without being so humid. I love the changing colors.  I don't even mind Winter all that much.   Perhaps I am an odd duck in that respect.  I am looking forward to having a working heat pump this winter at any rate!  Fingers crossed.

Its been working really well this summer, keeping things nice and cool in here when its hot and sticky outside.   I do not remember it getting really hot and sticky when I was a child, or maybe I just tolerated it a lot better. Perhaps as you age you tolerate things less and less.


I think I will pick up some plums or something like that today. Not a lot, just a few to munch on. My sister picked up Plu-ots the other day, a mix of plum and apricot.   I think, of all the fruits, I am most fond of plums.  They are so lovely and sweet when ripe.   Their skins just a bit tart. I also love nectarines.

I think at this time of year one needs to go to the farm shops every day and just pick up what is ripe and ready as and when you need it.  Everything at the farm shops is at their very best.  Beans, peas, corn, potatoes. Oh, I do so love a plate of buttered new potatoes, tasting all earthy.  I could eat just that and nothing else and be quite happy.

And with that I best leave you with a thought for the day. I am not sure what time we will be out and about this morning and I want to be ready when my sister calls.

A thought to carry with you  . . . 

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

 *Family faces are magic mirrors.
Looking at people who belong to us
we are the past, present and future.
~Gail Lumet Buckley•。★★ 。* 。

Do you love the flavors of Lemon & Ginger together?  I think they are perfect partners and so beautifully highlighted in this delicious Lemon & Ginger Snack Cake.  

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!  We are off shopping today and I may take a trip up to mom's grave a bit later on. We will see what happens.  In any case, do have a lovely weekend. Stay safe, be happy and don't forget! 

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And I do too! 

Friday 28 July 2023

My Friday Finds . . .


A few of the things  I find each week that pique my interest, bring me joy, inspire me to learn, create, do, become . . . maybe they will do the same for you! 



Martha Stewart. How to make sun prints.   

Something Turquoise, free printable envelope liners.   

Yao Cheng, water colour tutorial.   

Marjorie Crochets.  Fish Bag free tutorial, pattern. 

Forever Summer Necklace.  Free pattern and Tutorial from OOmbawka Design. There is also a bracelet. Crochet. Free. 

Kristin Crochets.  A free pattern.  Colourful! 

 Free Tutorial on Craftsy for how to paint Daisies.  I love this. 

Mel's Kitchen Cafe. Homemade Pita Bread. Look at that lovely rise!  Have any of you made your own Pita Breads?  How did they turn out? 

From Fragrant Vanilla, German Chocolate Granola. This stuff looks really good!

In Color Order. Fabric Wrapped Wreath tutorial.  Love this.  

DIY Vintage Chic.   A lovely coffee table made out of recycled crates! 

See Kate Sew.  Seven ways to make a ruffle.  

Made Every Day. How to make your own bias tape. 

Modge Podge Rocks.  DIY cork and wallpaper magnets. Love these.  

Tauni Co, Chalkboard Serving Trays.  Love this idea.  Complete tutorial.

Make Mail Pretty.  Eye candy inspiration only. 

Again no source, but what a great idea.  Upcycled gift tags made using old atlas's.

Craft a Cure for Cancer. Basic Knitted Tea Cosies.  

Apple Jelly with Thyme.  Fuss Free Flavours.  

Henny Penny Bun Warmer.  Free pattern from Drops Design.  Well, I guess it is more of a bread basket. Cute!! 

This Years Dozen.  Cute little Chicken Pot holders. 

A Burst of Beautiful.  Free Vintage Inspired Botanical Prints.  Love these. 

And those are my finds for this week. I hope you found something of interest here to make you want to create! 

A thought for today  . . . 

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

A little progress each day
adds up to big results! •。★★ 。* 。 

In The English Kitchen today . . .  Crispy Chicken with Creamy Garlic Pasta.  An all done in less than 30 minutes meal which is fabulously delicious.  Eileen and I both really enjoyed this!  Its so nice having someone here to cook for and enjoy a meal with!  I love my girl!

I hope that you have a wonderful day!  We are taking my Dad to the doctors and going to Jonny's for lunch on the way!  So lots of fun in store!  Whatever you get up to, don't forget!

═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════

And I do too!