Saturday 25 November 2023

All things Nice . . .


Speak well of people -- tell the kindly things
The neighbors do and how they always try
To make the day a little easier,
Talk about sun and wind and open sky,
Have praise upon your lips like jewels rare;
Talk about peace and eventide and prayer.

Speak well of neighbors, let your voice be raised
In words of comfort for the sore oppressed,,
Take time to listen to an old man's yarn;
Greet every morning with a happy zest,
And pass along to others on the way,
The lovely tidings of a brand new day.

Speak well -- for I have heard the old folks say
That words are arrows made with golden tips,
And each will find a target ere the day
Is gathered to its close -- so guard your lips
Lest you might wound a heart already sore,
And give a tired back one burden more.

Speak kindly words, they are such precious things
To brighten up a day and give it wings.
~Edna Jaques, Speak Well
Back Door Neighbors, 1946


I loved this poem. It reminds us that words are very powerful things and reiterates that old quote from the film Bambi made by Thumper's mother  . . . 

This is a lot harder to do in practice than one might suppose. It is impossible to like everyone.  Sometimes people have hurt or maligned us, or just simply rub us the wrong way. It can be so tempting to want to think, feel or speak ill of them.  I try hard not to speak ill of anyone, but it's difficult sometimes, especially if they are not particularly nice people themselves.  I remind myself often that I need to do better in this area, and I am trying.  It is natural to want to lash out at others who have hurt you, but it is not the right thing to do. Must. Do. Better.


It is very cold this morning, but there is no frost on the ground. Funny that. I remember my first November back here in Canada every morning was very frosty. We have had very few frosty mornings this year so far. These last few days, however frost free,  I have found myself unable to get warm.  I have just felt cold, cold, cold.  Its quite damp I guess and the damp gets into your bones.  I have my heat pump going.  I have a blanket wrapped around me. 

I miss the days that I had a wood stove in the house to keep the place warm. Wood stoves can be messy but they are also nice. The smell, the atmosphere . . . the sound of the wood crackling. I always  kept a pot of water containing the warm baking spices simmering on the back of the stove. It smelled as if I was always baking.  It seems like just yesterday, but it was over 25 years ago now.  

I used to love to lay on the sofa and watch the flames in the wood stove we kept in the living room.  They were mesmerizing, the way they danced behind the glass, flickering back and forth, logs snapping and shooting sparks every now and then. There was a great deal of comfort attached.


I have been looking at everyone's turkey dinners that they have cooked these past few days and they all look so delicious.  A turkey dinner is one of my favorite meals to eat.  When the children were growing up their father and I used to travel to the states to go shopping several times a year and we would always bring back a couple turkeys.   We all enjoyed turkey and there is a lot of meat on a turkey. When you have five children to feed, three of them boys, a turkey always comes in handy.  We did not  necessarily always do them with the trimmings, but I could always get quite a few  meals out of them and then there was the soup.  Turkey soup.

My mother always made the best soups. You could count on there being a nice pot of soup made after each roast dinner. She would make a huge pot of whatever kind of protein was leftover. We would feast on it one day and  the rest would be frozen in plastic four liter ice cream pails.  Dinner for another future day.

When Dad, Cindy and I went out for supper earlier this week I had a turkey burger for my supper rather than the usual fish and chips.  Turkey and gravy in a bun with more gravy spooned over top.  I love gravy and bread.  I could make a meal of just bread with gravy ladled over top. I love the stuff.


I had an unexpected supper at Cindy's yesterday.  I had my flu shot in the afternoon and then Cindy had invited me over to supper. Several weeks back I had picked up a packet of fish cake mix at the farm market and given it to Cindy to make fish cakes for us all sometime.  I know, that was very presumptuous of me to do so.  I wanted to try them, and with there only being me here, it would have been far too much.  She didn't seem to mind. I did okay it with her first, at least I think I did.  In any case, she cooked them yesterday.  They were really good.  I quite enjoyed them!  So much so that both Cindy and I had seconds of them. They were excellent.  She used haddock to make them. 

I used to love making fish cakes.  I made them often in the U.K. I used fresh cod, which was different there than it is here. It came from the waters off Iceland and was lovely and sweet.  I used to love to just pan fry it in butter with some springs of fresh thyme.  I could eat fish every day and never tire of it.  Its too bad it is such an expensive thing to buy.  I prefer haddock and cod to oilier fishes. I know a lot of people enjoy salmon.  It is not my favorite although I do enjoy a piece every now and then.


It is my group's turn to clean the chapel again this morning. It is not my favorite thing to do, I confess. Right now I feel as if I could crawl back into bed quite happily and stay there for an hour or two.  I am feeling very sleepy and lazy.  There are four of us on the team for cleaning, plus a member of the Branch presidency. There are only three of us who turn up.  One lady never shows at all. My friend Jacquie calls her the great escape artist. lol  The member of the Branch presidency is a business man and he never comes either, so there are just the three of us. I am the baby of the group at 68.  We dodder around the church dusting, cleaning the glass, hoovering, cleaning the bathrooms, chalkboards, emptying the garbage, etc.   This is a day where I feel like I want to be the escape artist, but I will do my duty.  I would hate to let the others down. It is not in me to do so.

I have always been a responsible person.  I am not sure why that is.  Early for every appointment. Never late. Always following through on my promises and then some.  I often have wished that I could be more lax . . . but I just cannot be so  . . . 


I have been tasked with bringing a meal to someone after church tomorrow.  Yesterday I made a big pot of soup so I think I will bring over some of that plus some baking powder biscuits which I will bake today. Glenna is going with me and she is making a banana bread to bring. In all of my years in the church I have never had or wanted anyone to bring me a meal. Its just not something I am comfortable with. My sister is the same. We don't like eating food prepared by people we don't really know very well.  We are a bit squeamish that way. I wish I was not like that, but there it is.  My brain starts to migrate into the realm of issues of cleanliness etc.  I am not good at potlucks for that reason.  I don't enjoy them, unless I know exactly who has cooked what. Perhaps I am just weird, but I am what I am.

Yet, oddly enough, that doesn't bother me in a restaurant.  I know it should, but it doesn't. I do not, however, like to see the people that are cooking when I go to a restaurant.  That always puts me off.  And yet, I love to watch cooking shows.  

Yep.  Weird.

I am all needled up now, vaccinated, etc.  I have one more Twinrex to get for Hepatitis and then I will be finished. I am trying to decide if I want to spend the money on the RSV or not.  Its $280 for the shot and another $20 to have it administered. That's a lot of money, but . . . I don't necessarily want to get RSV either.  

I know a lot of people at the moment who are coming down with Covid.  People who have managed to elude it thus far.  People don't seem to report it any more. They should really.  I don't think the government is keeping numbers these days anyways. I know, having had it once, I don't want to have it again so I am masking again. My dad hasn't been able to have his last booster or his flu shot yet due to having had the shingles.  I am wanting to protect him from picking up anything as well.

We are wanting to do something for his 90th birthday in January.  It is hard to know who to invite. Most of his friends are gone now. We will probably just get together at a restaurant and have a cake and a few people in attendance.  He will just be happy to be celebrated I think.  He is the patriarch of the family.  The oldest of all of his siblings. He has one sister still alive and one brother (the baby).

I am really just prattling now and need to go get ready to go to the chapel so I will end this off now with a thought for you to carry with you  . . . 

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

 *.˛Experience is a brutal teacher
but you do learn.•。★★ 。* 。
~C.S. Lewis•。★★ 。* 。
•。★★ 。* 。

In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Puff Pastry Mince Pie Squares. Simple to make and delicious. I love mincemeat anything!

Have a wonderful weekend!  I hope you are doing something nice. Be happy, be blessed, be safe, and don't forget! 

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And I do too.


  1. It sure is hard to always say nice things, or to say a negative response in a positive way. Always did that when teaching. Fish cakes sound good, and a lovely sister to cook them for you. I agree fish here is not the same as fish in England. Hope you don't have any adverse reactions to the flu shot. We didn't get the RSV shot, too expensive, plus we had the protection from al the other shots. The weekend already, a month today will be Christmas. Enjoy the weekend.

  2. Being responsible...I think is comes with being the oldest child growing up. You know, all of the oldest of the siblings are always responsible. Sometimes the younger ones are as well...but not usually to the same degree. (Hubby and I are both oldest). My brother next to me was also a responsible person. So there seems to be something to the theory of the placement a person is within their family. So sorry you and 2 older ladies do not have the assigned help in the cleaning. It is amazing sometimes how hard some work at NOT WORKING...but you are right, always seems to be so in any situation that some are like that.


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