Saturday 16 December 2023

All Things Nice . . .


I am the blossoms of a by-gone spring,
Pressed in the book of time, a lonely thing,
The hunger of an unfulfilled desire,
The ashes on the bed of last year's fire.

I am the balm that softens all life's scars,
The heights, the depths, the anguish and the stars,
Into my cooling dark your minutes cast,
I am the temple of the living past.

I am the days you joyed, the days you wept,
In my vast vault of silence safely kept,
I am your laughter; I, your sobbing cry,
The echo of a voice that cannot die.

I am the link that bridges night and dawn,
I am the soul that lives when all is gone,
The Yesterday, where this Today shalt dwell,
I am your life, your death, your heaven, your hell.

I am memory.

~Edna Jacques, I Am Memory
Beside Still Waters, 1952

I cannot decide whether this poem disturbs me or settles me. It started out well, but it does end on a bit of a downer.  It does describe memory very well.  There are things in life I remember that I would rather forget, and things in life I wish I could remember.

The memory is a funny thing.  Sometimes very clean, sometimes very foggy. It can be rather selective. As we get older we struggle with it at times.  At least I do.  Names of people and objects often fall through the cracks and I am left scratching  my head.  The word I want right there  . . .  but for some odd reason I am unable to grasp it  . . .  right now  . . .  but often later on it will come, and I issue a silent "whew!" I haven't lost my marbles, just  . . .  yet.

This was so much fun. I am so pleased that I am making all of these happy memories with my dear sweet sister.  When we were much younger we used to say that we were going to spend our old age like the Baldwin sisters from the Walton's.  Together in an old house, lives intertwined in a dance that only we would understand.  Not quite . . .  but we are in the same town and we do most things together, and that, I think, is as close to that sweet wish that we had for our old ages.

Oh how I love her.  We are quite alike in many ways, and diametrically opposite in many others, and yet, somehow  the two work opposites together in a beautiful symmetry, that I hope brings a special joy to each of us.

This and being able to spend time with my father and other family members is the silver lining of what was a dark cloud.



Something I really enjoyed this week was watching this video by Kayla Lobermeier of Under a Tin Roof.  I just stumbled onto it.  I have her cookbook, but I didn't know she also made videos on You Tube.  I watched with a mixture of delight and dismay as a Little Women Christmas Breakfast was something which I had planned to do in The English Kitchen . . .  I don't want to seem like a copycat.  Perhaps I will have to do a breakfast from another book.  Time is running out . . . 

I need to make up my mind soon.  Her breakfast looks so lovely however.  I may do it just for my own personal enjoyment.


I cannot decide whether I like this or not.  Somehow the idea of candles erupting from the lower back of a deer is a bit startling to behold, and yet they are such sweet and gentle creatures.  It doesn't seem to match that something so startling would be symbiotic with them.  But I like the idea of them.  Perhaps it would be nicer if the candles were set more into the center of their backs?

As we were driving the other day I saw someone had a deer sculpture/plastic thingie on their lawn that looked like a real deer.  I know many do have the Christmas Light deer things that  you can get in places like Costco and those are really nice, but you do not often see plastic life like deer in people's yards.  Maybe it is just me, but  . . .  I found it to be a tad bit odd. But, perhaps that is just me.


I love that through the magic of modern technology we are given all of these beautiful glimpses into the ways that other people celebrate their lives.  So long as we don't become envious they can be soul enriching and inspirational.  I especially love to watch videos and look at photographs where people have chosen to recreate the past in their lives. Some people live and dress as if they were living in the 1940's or 50's.  Still others go even further back into the 1800's or even earlier.  I find it all so interesting and there is a part of me that wishes I could do the same.

There is a chap on Instagram who dresses like a Georgian character all the time, which is fascinating.  I have seen whole families that are nestled into a post WW2 and even some that spend their lives in a Colonial American lifestyle.

It makes me think and wonder about how I would choose to live were I given the option.  I like all of those times, but I think perhaps the 1940's/40's would be my favorite  . . .  or maybe even something akin to the era of the Walton's.  

Is there something in each of us that longs for simpler times?  I am not sure.  I love many of my modern conveniences, but there is something about the simplicity of the past that calls to me. Would that I had the courage to embrace it.

Would you, could  you ever?


This cottage reminds me very much of the cottage that is in the film, The Holiday.  Maybe it is the same one. I don't know. I have not watched that film yet this season.  I like to watch it every year. My friend Valerie from Colorado introduced me to it.  She sent me the DVD one year when I was in the U.K.  I had never seen it and I fell in love with it.  What woman does not fall in love with the idea of being swept off her feet in such an idyllic atmosphere and at such a wonderful time of the year.  Not that I ever expect or want to be swept off my feet ever again. That is very much off the cards for me, but I do love to watch a good love story/romance.  And if it is combined with the theme of Christmas, so much the better!

What is your favorite Christmas film?  I have so many.  I could easily have a list that is a mile long.  I say every year that I am going to get them all in and then I don't, lol.  I think The Family Man is one of my all time favorites though.  With Nicholas Cage.  I love it and have already watched it this year. As well as Home Alone.  The first one.


It does not seem possible that as of tomorrow Christmas eve is only a week away.  It happens every year.  It seems to come upon us all of a sudden.  I have plans and never get to execute even a portion of them.  Never mind  . . . it is not as if I won't have another chance next year.  Perhaps it is something that I need to start planning for in July?  I love to see those trees that are decorated with nothing but fairy lights and dried orange slices, cinnamon sticks and popcorn cranberry garlands.   Cinnamon stars.  Next year.  I have promised myself.

Yesterday I did take Eileen and Tim out to do a bit of Christmas goodies shopping. I decided that was what I was going to do for them this year for Christmas. I think they enjoyed it.  I know that I did. It was fun going around the grocery store with them.

They have now been accepted into the Community Support program starting in January of 2024.  This means that they will have helpers now to help them with their shopping, budgeting, etc.  They are very excited that they will both have mobile phones now, rather than a house phone. They will have a specific worker or set of workers that are assigned just to them. It will no longer be the responsibility of their parents.  Eileen's father turns 70 in early January and Tim's parents are the same age. It is good that they will no longer be reliant upon people who are becoming elderly, and I am sure it is a relief for those involved.  Now all they need to do is to get into one of those bungalows.  Hopefully that will happen soon.

They are coming here on Boxing Day. They will be spending Christmas day at Tim's parents.


What are your favorite Christmas books to read?  I am reading Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien right now.  I have also enjoyed A Christmas Carol in the past. Little Women of course, amongst others.  I think that the Christmas season invites us to revisit the classics.  It does me at any rate.  I have been known to enjoy a cheeky Christmas Romance novel as well, so long as it is not too graphic.  I hate romantic stories that are overly graphic.  I find them boring for one thing. My father loves reading them. He goes through about 2 books a week.  And Romance novels are his favorites.  I know. Weird.  I agree.  And he doesn't remember what he has read when he is done for the most part. He likes Danielle Steel.  I tried to read one of her books a few years back and was bored silly within the first few pages.  I never got any further.  I think I am looking for books with a bit more substance perhaps.  Yet, she has sold millions of books.

I have books that are my old friends. Books that I will read and revisit again and again. One of those is the book Emmeline by Judith Rossner, based on a true story. I cannot tell you how many times I have read that book. 

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

° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★•。★★ 。* 。
 *.˛.A society grows great° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
when old men plant trees° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
whose shade they know° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
they will never sit in.° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
~Greek Proverb ° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •° * 。 • 

In The English Kitchen today. Pinocchio Torte.  This fabulous cake looks impressive but is really very simple to make, with layers of an almond coated meringue topped butter cake, filled with lush whipped cream.  Delicious!  It makes a light dessert for the holidays!

I hope you have a beautiful weekend!  Whatever you get up to, don't forget!

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═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════     

And I do too!    



  1. NIce to hear of good times with Cindy and Eileen and Tim!! I sometimes think of living in a different time too...what I wish was we had a much less stressful time to live in...and it appears that almost everyplace we must deal with, adds a lot of not needful stress to our lives (like post office, insurance companies, cell phone companies...we had to change recently)...and on it goes. They would not need near so many folks working for them, if only they just did what was right...but most seem unable to understand "fair and right" these days...yea, we LOVED watching the Waltons!!
    Elizabeth xo

    1. I suppose it is only natural that we can look back on other times and romanticize them in our minds. I loved the Waltons so much. I keep saying I am going to buy myself the whole series to enjoy. It doesn't seem to be playing on the television anywhere here these days! xoxo

  2. Not sure if I like the poem either, and for sure I don't like the deer ornaments. It is lovely and sunny today, in the high single digits, can take this for a lot longer. The older I get the less I like snow. Good news for Eileen & Tim, getting into the program. Fingers crossed a bungalow comes their way soon. I finally baked some chocolate chip cookies this morning first time since surgery. Slow and steady is winning the race. Enjoy the weekend.

    1. I think those deer ornaments are kind of creepy. Glad I am not alone! I know what you mean about snow. I like it at Christmas, that's all! You are doing so well with your knee surgery recovery! Well done you! xoxo

  3. Ah, my memory…sometimes mine works, sometimes …not so good…I guess we are so smart with so much knowledge that it’s hard to keep all that information handy when we need to recall! Ha!
    Love, love that photo of Cindy…I can see that twinkle in her eyes. Such a sweet day you had! And! Your time with Eileen and Tim…very special!!….and so wonderful to hear of the help they will be receiving..a blessing! Oh, SO many favorite Christmas movies..but, I do always want to see ‘ Christmas in Connecticut ‘…and, ‘Trains, Planes and Automobiles’….funny but a touching ending. Sorry to rattle on so long….happy weekend. xo, V.

    1. Oh, I do love those two films as well! Rattle on to your heart's content! I love it! xoxo

  4. What a lovely, newsy post, Marie. Like a letter to a friend. I rather like Edna's poem today. It's a different perspective, isn't it? Well, onward and upward with the Christmas prep. You had a lovely time with Cindy and Eileen and Tim. Enjoy your weekend. Love and hugs, Elaine (in Toronto)

    1. It is a different perspective for sure. I hope you are having a lovely weekend! Love and hugs, xoxo

  5. I was put off The Holiday, because of all the sexual comments. We really have lowered our standards.

    1. This may be true, but it is not as bad as much of what it out there today. I find it quite tame in comparison to many other things. I suppose it is all a matter of what we are willing to tolerate. I found Love Actually and Brigit Jones appalling myself and switched them off.


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