Tuesday 30 April 2024

A Day Book . . .


FOR TODAY, April 30th, 2024

Outside my window ...

It is cool and dry, and the bulbs across the road are bobbing in a slight breeze. Glenna's forsythia is in full bloom.  All is well with the world.  Oh, it is also garbage day, as well as Spring Cleanup so there is plenty of bags, etc. on my side of the road. Not that you would want to see that! 


I am thinking ...

I have never eaten a fiddlehead. Have you? 

Fiddleheads are the tightly coiled tips of ferns that are harvested for use as a vegetable. They’re beautifully bright green and resemble the scroll of a violin, with a tightly curled head and a fairly thick stem. These delicate delights are available only in early spring when ferns grow their new shoots. This is the peak season, right now. 

Foraging, this is how most people get them. I am a bit unsure of foraging for things. I am always afraid I will poison  myself. My son forages for mushrooms.  I think he is really brave. I am not that brave.


I am also thinking ...

I broke the tea cup to my china snack set the other day. The cup and saucer one that I use so much in my baking posts on the food blog.  I have others.  Elaine sent me some lovely federal glass ones at Christmas.  I had brought the china one back from the U.K.  I had bought it in a charity shop over there.  Funny how I managed to get it all the way back here from there, and then I carelessly broke it the other day, getting something else out of the cupboard. I have kept the plate part. You never know when I will find a teacup to match it.

In the kitchen ...

Cindy's Pasta Salad, aka Tuna Pasta Salad. One of the sides that I made for our Sunday dinner this week.  Cindy makes a great pasta salad and I know Dan enjoys it.  I always worry when I have the family over for dinner that they won't like anything I have made.  I try to make things I know that they like. I don't think my father enjoys my cooking at all.  He never eats much and I think he thinks I am too fancy or something. I try not to be.

On my "To Cook" list ...

Cheesy Onion Crisps from Life with Janet. These look fabulous. I love onions, I love cheese, I am sure I would love these!

Good to know ... 

Waiting for our prayers to be answered is always the hardest part  . . . 

I would love to create ...

The cutest quiet book.  Misako Mimoka  My sister and I were just saying yesterday about how cute all the Japanese craft stuff is.

No source, but this little dolly is so cute.  I love little dollies.

Again no source, but the joy is tangible!  I am betting it must be Eastern European. They do these things so well.

Can you take another?  (again no source)  Maybe my heart is trying to tell me it wants to start making dolls again.

There is a whole group of them. I think they are just beautiful in their simplicity.

Looking forward to ...


Not much at the moment. Things are pretty quiet. I have my lady coming this morning to do my toenails and then I am having my summer tires put on the car on Friday. Dinner with dad tomorrow night.  Nothing too very exciting. I suppose I am looking forward to seeing my first hummingbird of the season!

Oh my goodness ...

I spent a little bit of time at Cindy's yesterday afternoon. We were sketching in our sketchbooks. I need to ink them and perhaps add a bit of color.  The best part is always spending time together.

I am reading ...

In Pieces, by Sally Field

One of the most celebrated, beloved, and enduring actors of our time, Sally Field has an infectious charm that has captivated the nation for more than five decades, beginning with her first TV role at the age of seventeen. From Gidget's sweet-faced "girl next door" to the dazzling complexity of Sybil to the Academy Award-worthy ferocity and depth of Norma Rae and Mary Todd Lincoln, Field has stunned audiences time and time again with her artistic range and emotional acuity. Yet there is one character who always remained hidden: the shy and anxious little girl within. 

With raw honesty and the fresh, pitch-perfect prose of a natural-born writer, and with all the humility and authenticity her fans have come to expect, Field brings readers behind-the-scenes for not only the highs and lows of her star-studded early career in Hollywood, but deep into the truth of her lifelong relationships--including her complicated love for her own mother. Powerful and unforgettable, In Pieces is an inspiring and important account of life as a woman in the second half of the twentieth century.

I have always loved and admire Sally Field, ever since she appeared as Gidget on our television screen, and then the Flying Nun. I loved her portrayal of Sybil  in that series on the television. She did it so well. She does everything so well. I am really enjoying her autobiography. 

Things I love ...


Enamelware  . . . 


Pretty fabrics  . . . 


Fresh bread  . . . 


Pretty rooms  . . . 


The hen, the tiles, the door  . . . 

Things I know to be true  ...

Something to watch ...

3 Body Problem. I started watching this last night on Netflix. So far I am hooked. I have only watched the first episode and am looking forward to episode 2.

Makes me smile ...


Follow the leader  . . . 

A thought to carry with you ...

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

 *.˛.No matter where you are in the world,
you are at home when tea is served.
~Earlene Grey° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •

And that's my daybook for this week!

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

  ⋰ ⋮ ⋱ blessings in life.*´¯`.¸¸.☆ 

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

Have a beautiful day!  Don't forget!  

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And I do too!    


Monday 29 April 2024

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.


Having the family over for Sunday Supper.  Yesterday I had my sister, Dan and dad over for supper.  It was just a simple repast, nothing too elaborate.  I wanted to give my sister a day off from cooking for everyone. When I lived in England I could only dream about doing things like this. Now I get to do it for real.  That is a HUGE blessing for me.  One that I will never take for granted.

The household Snoopervisor at work. Not  much escapes his eagle eyes.  He likes to watch me when I am working.  At a distance of course. I don't let either of them get too close. Funny how animals like to be in on the things that you are doing.  Especially where food is concerned! Mitzie was the same.

How nice it is to have the company. 

Twice a year my church has what is known as General Conference.  A time when we gather as a body of believers and listen to special talks and inspiration. Food for the soul.  Every night, after  my prayers,  I listen to one of those talks in bed.  I do this on rotation, starting at the first talk and then moving through them one by one, night by night, and when I am done them all, I begin again.   This is a great way to wind down at the end of the day and fill my mind with goodness. 


I remember one time, a few years back, I was struggling with forgiveness.  I listened to this talk every day for about six months. I found that talk helped me immeasurably. In due time I was no longer struggling with forgiveness.   And even today, if I find those feelings starting to creep back in, I listen to the talk again. It is so helpful.


Cindy and I went halves on a large tin of freeze dried sliced organic strawberries. It was not cheap I guess, but cut in half a bit more affordable.  I now have a nice big jar of freeze dried berries, that I can crush and add to meringues or cream, etc.  fold whole into my morning cereal, or even just snack on out of hand.  They are quite simply lovely. Getting to share them with my sister is a bonus.

She brought me a container of her lentil tabouleh salad yesterday. I am going to enjoy that for my supper tonight!

This is the best way to live your life. Looking outside yourself and your own problems and troubles to the problems and troubles of others. Reaching out in love to those around you. Not because of anything that they can do for you, but because of what you can do for them.  A life of serving in whatever capacity you can is a life well lived.  Maybe it is the gift of a pleasant word or two, or the gift of a phone call, visit, etc. Perhaps it is the simple act of letting someone know that they are seen and not alone.  There is always something we can do for someone else and it need never take a lot of time, money, effort, etc.  If you do this often enough it becomes a natural part of who you are, and life becomes richer and more meaningful.  I hold that to be true.

Making space in your life for laughter.  Laughter is a natural medicine that feeds the soul immeasurably.  It is healing.  It is probably the cheapest therapy out there that you can get!  Laughter is the fireworks of the soul. A good laugh relieves physical tension and stress. Sunshine in the house. Sunshine in your soul.

These probably all came from the same
mother and father and yet are so unique and beautiful.

I was out picking some chives from my back garden yesterday and the hyacinth, dandelions, etc. were alive with bees. Just humming. I almost couldn't get any chives, there were so many.  Spring is definitely springing.


I am so grateful for a place to call home. In a world where so many do not have even a stone to lay their heads upon, I never take my four walls for granted.  It is a blessing denied to many and I thank God for my home every day.  I think to myself, there, but for the Grace of God go I.  

Homelessness can happen to anyone through a catastrophic series of events. Nobody is immune.  As communities we need to do more to help the homeless amongst us, to alleviate the hurting, to bless the poor.   Because we have been given much  . . . it behooves us to share what we can of our abundance, whenever we can. There is a restaurant in town that you can go and pay for a meal for someone in need. I am not sure how it works exactly, but I think it is a good thing.  A couple of churches in town do free meals several nights/days a week.  I think one is called The Kings Kitchen.   Such a good thing to do for those in need of help.

We can all do something with our abundance.  Give to the local food bank, donate to the homeless charity, buy a meal, etc.  

If everyone who had enough, gave even a small portion of what they had, the world could be dramatically changed.  It would not take much.


And that is my message for today, to share of your abundance with others in need.  Be it a word, or a smile, a laugh, a crust of bread, etc. Move outside of yourself, even if only in a small way. What is a small thing/effort for you, can mean everything, the whole world,  to someone else.

A thought to carry with you . . . 

° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/   ~
\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★
 *.˛.When the world is so complicated
the simple gift of friendship
is within all of our hands.
~Maria Shriver° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ • 

In The English Kitchen today  . . . Crispy Pork Cutlets and Cabbage.  Such a simple thing, but beautiful textures and flavors. Baked, not fried.

I hope you have a beautiful day and week, filled with abundance and loads of small and wonderful things. Whatever you get up to, don't forget!

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

And I do too!    


Saturday 27 April 2024

All Things Nice . . .


I'll sing for you -- songs of our native land
The little brook you waded as a child;
A morning in September, crisp and chill
Mid summer storms with lightening flashing wild.

I'll sing for you -- dreams remembered still
Ss frail and beautiful as autumn mist;
Cool scented heliotrope . . .  the pearly sheen
Of golden pools shot through with amethyst.

I'll sing for you -- of mothers gay and young,
With laughter on their lips and love-filled eyes,
Of little homes new as an army pin,
Filling the needs of your small paradise.

I'll sing for you -- of peace at middle age,
Green lawns to cut, hedges to trim and shape,
A clump of holly hocks by the garage,
An old back fence smothered with purple grapes.

I'll sing for you -- of little humble homes
Gilded with gold as with a Midas touch;
And my heart's eternal wonder spilt
That little common lives can hold so much.
~Edna Jacques, I'll Sing For You
Roses in December, 1944

More and more as time goes by, my thoughts go back to things, people, times, places held only by heart strings in the corners of my mind. I know it is this way with many people as they get older.  Somehow the things which we once saw as just common and every day . . .  like magic . . .  become jewels of remembrance to us, treasures that we take out and hold in the hands of memory every now and then, and then tuck back in for safe keeping.

I look at my father's back, now bent with age, his steps mincing and arduous . . . and I think of when he was a much younger man. Tall and strong, he was our protector then, as we are his now.  I don't do much. My sister bears the weight of most of it. And some days it is a heavy weight I know  . . .  but that is love.  Sometimes love can be a very heavy weight. I try to share it, but  . . . I can only do what I can only do  . . .  I would do more if I could . . . 


There are days I really miss my cooking companion.  Oh, I miss her all the time for sure, but seeing this photo this morning made the loss even more poignant.  There was never much that I did that was not done under Mitzie's watchful, loving eyes. She loved to be a part of it all.  Hoping, yes  . . .  for any scraps that might accidentally come her way, but I like to think it was more than that.  I like to think that it was just her wanting to be close to me, loving me as I loved her.  Always at my side, day and night.  I never minded.  Not for a second. How I hated having to leave her behind. That broke  my heart more than I thought anything every could have broken it.  Of all the losses of that time, that is the one I feel the keenest.  If dogs go to heaven, I truly hope that she will be there waiting for me. But then  . . .  it is more complicated than that.  For other's loved her too and every bit as much as I did. I am forever grateful for all the care that they gave . . . 


We spent almost a full day together yesterday, Cindy and myself.  The hours flew but we got a lot done. I so enjoy the time we spend together.  We need to have a paint/sketch day together again soon.  I know that once dad moves in our time together will be less. Its only natural. That is life. Life is very fluid, it ebbs and flows.  It can be very changeable.  We need to be fluid also and able to adapt to the changes.  It is easier if we can do so.  In any case we had a nice time together yesterday.  

We stopped at Jonny's and Cindy treated me to lunch.  I did have fish and chips . . . I wanted to compare them to the ones we usually get on Wednesday night.  There was no comparison really. The ones on Wednesday night, the fish is a traditional batter. The fish yesterday was more like a tempura batter.  Very crisp.

I do like the fries better at Jonny's however.  These are dipped in batter. They are called Beer Fries. I don't know why they call them that.  They were lovely and crisp. A very naughty meal. I could not finish all the fries, but I did eat all my fish.

I picked up my new eye glasses. They will take some getting used to.  I have not worn them for very long just yet.  The left lens is quite a bit stronger than what I have been used to.  I always find that new glasses with that  much of a change make me feel a bit ill until I get used to them.  Tell me I am not alone in that? My eyes seem to be directly connected to my stomach.  This is a good thing and a bad thing, lol.

Have you ever seen anyone so content?  I think not.  Pure and utter bliss.  Safe.  Relaxed.

He looks somehow familiar and then I remember  . . .  I have seen him before  . . . 

Remember that children's book I illustrated back in 2013?  I manifested this ginger cat way back then . . . 

I was dreaming of this cat long before he became mine  . . . 

With the same white boots, cheeks and belly . . . the same fluffy fur  . . .  funny how that goes. How our imaginations can often manifest themselves in real life.  We need to be more careful about the things we think perhaps  . . .  maybe just think about good and sweet things  . . . 


I think  a lot about kindness.  I hope that when I am gone from this plane of existence, people will say, she was a kind person. If I am remembered for nothing else, may it be for that alone.  That will mean my life was not lived in vain. May I be remembered as  . . .  kind. 

Kindness begins with yourself. We often think about, or try to be, kind to others, but are we kind to ourselves?  Do we allow ourselves the same Grace that we reserve for others?  The same leeway  . . . often I think not.  We are most times our own worst critics.

I think we need to see ourselves in a more positive light, and I don't mean that in a narcissistic  way. Perhaps with practice we can start doing that.  Maybe at the end of each day try to think of three things that you have done that day that you are proud of.  Maybe small victories, such as not eating those potato chips when you really wanted to, or cleaning out that cupboard that has been bugging you for a while,  walking those extra steps  . . .  small victories.  

Maybe when we look in the mirror we should focus on that warm glint in our eyes, rather than  the crow's feet in their corners, or look at the crows feet and tell ourselves, "How blessed am I to have smiled so much in my life that I have twinkles in the corners."

Maybe we need to pat ourselves on the back a little bit more and wonder more at our accomplishments rather than focus on our shortcomings and failures.  Recognize that we are special human beings with lots to offer, and worthy of love.  Especially of loving ourself.

If WE can't love us, who can? Today, be kind to yourself a little bit more . . .  in doing so, I think we will naturally end up being kinder to everyone. What a lovely thought.

I thought I would tell you about my favorite candle scent this morning.  A joy shared is a joy doubled. It is a scent called Hemmingway which I buy from a company called Wicked.    I absolutely adore this fragrance.


The fierce and partisan overtones of leather and tobacco meddle with the paneling’s waxen silence. In the cool dimness, fawn grimaces shimmer along with the smoke of cigars and the barrels of guns. 

 T - Bergamot, Grapefruit, Rhum 
 M -Oak Wood, Clove, Labdanum, Patchouli 
 B -Tobacco, Amber, Leather, Moss

To me, I catch also the merest hint of Noxema skin cream.  I love the smell of this candle, so much so that I have stock piled it, lest they ever stop making it. 

Hummingbirds have not positively been seen back in Nova Scotia, so it is time to put up the feeder. I have my homemade nectar cooling now ready to go into my freshly cleaned feeder.  I love to watch the hummingbirds.  The cats do too.  I thought I saw one the other day but wasn't sure.  This map secures it though.  I am certain now and I don't want them to go without.  So, even if the neighbors think I am crazy, I am putting my feeder up. I may not be able to attract other birds, but I do have success with the hummers.

You can read more here.


Oh how I have always wanted a Breakfast Nook.  If I ever win the lottery, I am building a house with a breakfast nook. (An impossibility as I don't buy lottery tickets.)  I don't know what it is about breakfast nooks that I like. Perhaps the friendly feel of them?  Coziness?  Their informality?  

One thing I like about this one is that light bright open window.   It reminds me of the dining area in this old farm house we used to live in in Meaford, Ontario. It had a beautiful large picture window and I used to sit at it and write and study, sew and plan, etc. and watch the birds at the feeder just outside that area of the house. I spent many happy hours there basking in the light from that window and watching the birds.


Have you ever thought about what kind of house you would have if money was no object?  When I was younger, I used to dream of big houses, with plenty of room and light. Now I am older I am a bit more practical and I recognize that a big house is a lot of work, upkeep and cleaning, etc.  I would opt for a much small one now, all on one floor.  But still with plenty of light.  And of course if money was no object I could afford to hire a gardener to care for the gardens and yard.  I love this one. It has a lovely open porch.  Space to put out some rocking chairs, and little area at the side to sit and munch if one was so inclined. It just looks perfect to me.

But I am also very happy with my wee house that I have now.  I am very comfortable here. If I could change anything it would be that there is more light in the kitchen, but that is all.

I am quite content here.

And with that I best leave you with a thought for the day. The guy will be here this morning with my income tax papers. (Dread.)  I have a few things to do before he gets here.

A thought to carry with you  . . . 

° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/   ~
\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★
 *.˛.Time has a wonderful way
of showing us what really matters.
~anon  •。★★ 。* 。
•。★★ 。* 。

That anon is really smart.

In the English Kitchen today  . . .  Golden Tea Cakes.  Small cakes meant to be enjoyed with a nice cup of tea. Golden in color, slightly favorited with ginger. Moist and delicious and iced with a simple glace icing and garnished with a cherry on top.  What's not to love!

I hope that you have a beautiful weekend. I wish for you a weekend filled with joy and peace and love and a few other nice things.  Be safe and don't forget!

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

And I do too!