Wednesday, 28 June 2017

How to spend a day . . .


Its cold. Its wet.  And every few minutes it gently nudges my arm.  Dare I open my eyes.  To do so will result in a dance and my day will begin in earnest as I try to keep her quiet enough that she doesn't wake up Todd while I put my slippers on and sneak out of the room, all the while trying not to trip over crazy dog turning around in circles.  Why do dogs do that when they are happy . . .  turn around in circles?  It is the dog equivalent of hand clapping I  believe  . . . I slowly open one eye and the dance starts.  I'm up.

Mitzie barrels down the stairs as I pop into the bathroom to do my morning ritual.  She waits by the bottom step for me in great anticipation.  She does this every morning and as I reach the bottom step, she prances back and forth in front of me, weaving and ducking, and almost nibbling at my toes.  She is so happy . . . . she runs to the back door, tail wagging.  It is routine only because all she does is pop out the door and do an about face.

Its Denta-stick time.


I give her the stick and she runs to the lounge, laying down to eat it with glee.  I stand at the back door and look out at the rain that is falling.  Silently giving thanks for the gift of another day.  I grab my diet coke and go into the lounge myself.  I sit on the sofa and say my morning prayers.  I have much to be grateful for.  A cold and cough that are lessening in their ferocity, love, a roof over my head . . . the list of blessings is endless. I grab my iPad and check my messages. Nothing important. I grow some wheat and corn, gather eggs, produce goods, sent my airplanes off.  Its a game . . .  I enjoy it for about 10 minutes and then wonder at the time wasted.  I must check my e-mails.  I do this every morning  . . .  wondering if I have anything from family, from my editor, from anyone other than Kraft, Betty Crocker, or Mr Food . . .  I don't.  I try to decide if that is good news or bad news.  I decide it is good.  No news is always good news, isn't it?

I take a cursory glance through facebook, and then I post my instagram
and tweet my tweet.  Just a food picture.
but I enjoy it.

I scratch Mitzie behind the ears as she stands next to me.There is 
a great comfort to be found in
routine.


I write my blog as I drink my diet coke.  I don't always know what I am going to write, but I write every day.  It is a discipline developed, a labour of love. I enjoy it, this penning of my thoughts and feelings, an online journal of sorts.  I am still amazed that anyone wants or takes the time to read, and my heart still thrills at every comment. I appreciate them all.  What once were just alphabet letters on a screen have become bone and flesh . . .  people, friends, acquaintances . . . I care for them . . . I love this act of communication, this sharing with each other, this back and forth dance of interest and caring. It has meaning to me.

The nose prods again . . . its breakfast time
she is relentless in her desire
to get me to do what
she wants
. . . 
I cave



Breakfast is adminstered and gobbled up and that shiny wet nose is wiped clean. She always gets it so dirty when she eats.  She does not like the cleaning, squirming beneath the damp cloth like a child but I am persistant and it gets done.  We picked up several different brands of shortbread biscuits when we were in Scotland.  I decide to do a taste comparison for my own breakfast.

Naughty I know  . . . but I come
to the conclusion that
not all shortbread
biscuits are
equal
...

There is a clear winner, and . . . . its Walkers.  Both in texture and smell . . .  and in taste to be honest, and I wonder why that is.  How can the mixing of flour, sugar and butter bring such different results. It shouldn't but it does. Walkers is the best. Not too hard. Not too soft. Not too crumbly. Nice and buttery with the right amount of sweetness. So now you know. You can rest easy.


Todd is up now and comes downstairs.  (Don't ask. Its the first photo that came up when I put his name into google search. I found it amusing.) We have our morning hugs, our questions, sleep well?  Plans for the day, etc.  Of course some belly scratching is involved.  Mitzie's  . . .  not Todd's nor mine.  Family prayer.  Then we both get washed and dressed, buffed and puffed, etc.

Our day begins and after his own breakfast and walking the Dog, Todd takes himself off into town.  I have a cheque to be deposited into the bank from a recipe I sold to a magazine. (yay me)  Since they changed the bus station location, and with my knee the way it is, this is a chore that will fall to him until things improve. I don't mind  . . .  well, not that much.  Our central bus station has moved from the centre of the city now to the outskirts . . .  basically the boondocks.


Its quite attractive, incredibly modern and stream-lined . . .  there's grass growing on the roof.  At a cost of millions, it is very nice . . . but it is so far from . . . EVERYTHING.  The mind boggles. If you are limited in your walking ability you are snookered. The other stop was so much more convenient.  To get to my bank now, I have to walk the width of the whole city centre and then some.  It is the same if I want to get to spec savers, the chemist, city hall, the council offices . . .  the market.  I am sure the market is suffering.

Todd goes into town and I do some cooking.  I cook every day.   We have to eat every day, so I cook every day.  I make a banana cake with some bananas left from before we went on holiday.  They are nicely blackened.  Those make the best cakes.  I do some laundry.  I ponder what's for lunch/dinner.  I find some chicken breasts I want to use and so then a search and thought goes into what I will do with them.  It is decided and I proceed.  We like to have our main meal about mid-day. It is what works for us.  It was so odd when we were in Scotland.  Our main meal was always at 7 PM, which was late for us, however tasty it was.

I hoover and dust.

Todd gets back from town and we sit down and eat.  Crispy chicken salad.  I have added a baked potato for him, and he also enjoys a piece of the cake.  The trick it to make sure he doesn't lose any weight, while I do. It is a difficult balance.


Our landlord arrives and the back gate is fixed.  It was literally falling down, making everything insecure. Lets hope it lasts this time.  Basically it needs replacing, but these things cost big money and bear thinking about.  We don't want our rent going up.  If it did we would have to move and we don't know how we could afford to do even that.  Living so close to the line limits your choices really. That is retirement when you have not had good careers and private pensions to fall back on.

We decide that we need to change the fish water, so water is prepared.  I load the dish washer, and then we do the job.  They all managed to survive our being away.  It is remarkable really.  You buy a special block of food and pop it into the tank and it releases so much each day. It worked well.

A bit later the doorbell rings and it is a friend from church, with a lovely bouquet of flowers for me and a visit for us both.  He is wanting to help Todd with the yard work.  There was a time we would have poo poohed such a suggestion, but not now . . . it is welcomed with open arms.  That is a mighty big hedge to keep clipped. we need the help, and gratefully accept the offer . . .

 

The flowers get put into a vase. They're so pretty and it was a lovely gesture. I tidy up my yarn. I have so much of it.  I need to sort it out really, but I am having so much fun with all my little projects.  The latest is a cath kidston inspired blanket . . .


It is inspired by this.   I am in love with it.  Its a great project.

The doorbell rings again, and it is our friend Peter Lee.  Audrey is in the care home now.  They had thought last weekend they might be losing her . . .  but she has rallied and is doing well now.  Such a concern for him.  Keep her in your prayers.  It is hard to see someone you love fading in front of you.   Our other friend Brenda, her husband Billy has only been given a few weeks now.  He has had leukaemia for a number of years, but is now losing the battle.  The end, when it comes, will now be a blessing.  It has come down to Quality versus Quantity, and there is no quality left now  . . .  it is so sad to see. Please keep them in your prayers also.


A few games of Gin rummy, doggie cuddles and telly, telly and doggie cuddles.  I make us some toast.  Todd enjoys his with butter and marmalade.  I have cheese spread on one slice and peanut butter on the other.  It is Vogel's Sunflower Seed and Barley Bread. My favourite.  Nutty and nice.  Small corner tidbits are administered to a certain furry family member who always waits patiently in anticipation of the same. This is our supper . . .

The Gilmore Girls . . .  it is our second time watching through the series.  We are nearing the end of Series Five . . .  again.  We both enjoy this show so much.  Perhaps it is our longing for small town American life.  Romanticized of course . . .

Time for bed and our nightly routine.
Washing and changing into
our night clothes.
Family prayer
...

We both read, I watch an episode of MadMen on my iPad as Todd drifts off, reaching down to stroke a silken ear every now and then.  I turn off the iPad and I too, drift away  . . . 

Another day has been spent, and now  . . . 
another begins.

A thought to carry with you  . . .

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

 *.˛.° ˛°. . 
˛Strive not to be a success, 
but rather to be of value.
~Albert Einstein  •。★★ 。* 。

Spiritual Enlightenment


In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Crispy Chicken Salad.  Light and delicious, with a punchy lemon and parmesan dressing.

Have a great Wednesday.  I am off to the Dentist for my bi-annual check-up.  It's amazing how quickly they seem to come around!  Along the way of your day today, don't forget!

 ═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════ ⊰✿░G░O░D⊰✿⊰L░O░V░E░S⊰✿⊰░Y░O░U░⊰✿
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And I do too!


 

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

The Simple Woman's Daybook ...


FOR TODAY, June 27, 2017

Outside my window ...

Its dull and overcast. I have had to turn on a light.  We are going to have a couple of days of rain so I'm told, but cannot complain. Its what keeps this country so green!

I am thinking ...

Went to the Doctor I should have gone to the first time yesterday, and finally, I am going to get some help for my knee.  I have a torn meniscus and will be starting physio on Friday.  He spent a lot of time manipulating it, and checking it out, and actually listened to me.  It felt good to be treated like a person with a problem instead of simply another fat person who shouldn't have any rights, coz I'm fat and well, fat people's feelings don't count do they?

In the kitchen ...


Spicy Chicken Burgers.  Quick and simple to make and delicious.  Did I mention that they are pretty healthy as well?  Winner/winner!

On my "To Cook" list ...


Courgette (zucchini), Onion and Cheddar Tart. From Delicious Magazine.  This looks fabulous.

Good to know ...


I am creating ...


From Krokotak.  A simple bird kite that kids will enjoy making and playing with.  Adults too!


I wish I had a pound/dollar for everytime I heard the words "I'm Bored" through the years!  I'd be rich! A Bored Jar might have helped.  From Frugal Family.


A free Bottle Scrubbie Pattern.  From Totally Snappy.


Are you flowing, getting image transfers in your art journal.  Great tutorial!


Pails of Paint. An art lesson on how to draw a cow. This is a fantastic art blog!

I am reading ...


The Black House, by Peter May

DS Fin Macleod of the Edinburgh police is mourning the death of his young son and the breakdown of his marriage. He is sent to the Isle of Lewis, the place where he was born and raised to see if a recent murder in Stornoway is connected to a similar killing in Edinburgh. Fin hasn’t set foot on the Isle since his aunt’s funeral years earlier and the trip is infused with memories from the past and an event that caused a savage break with the island.

There is so much going on in this book that it’s hard to know when to stop with the precis of the plot. It is rooted firmly in the crime fiction tradition. There is a murder, with a possible link to another event and an investigation that takes many twists and turns. The detective has many of the characteristics that we would expect from a lead character, although interestingly no side-kick.

The story is wonderful. It describes an upbringing in a time that is almost lost. It wasn’t idyllic given the tragedies in the young boy’s life but the narrative effectively conveys the friendships and feuds that make up a childhood in a small rural community.

Its been a long time since I have enjoyed a book as much as I am enjoying this one!

I am looking forward to ... 
Seeing my own book in print. It won't be long now!


Dreaming about ...

 


A house with a veranda across the front  . . .


Owning one of these  . . .  maybe for my birthday I will ultra treat myself.


A porch swing to go with that veranda  . . .  with pretty colourful and bright cushions . . .


Tea towels made from vintage tablecloths . . . if I could only find an old tablecloth . . .


Very pretty pillow cases . . .  these I can do . . .

Something to watch ...


Set in New Zealand.  Top of the Lake.  Re-visiting in anticipation of series 2 which will star Nichole Kidman.  This is great.  Oh, did you know that they have lots of Earth Quakes in New Zealand?  Neither did I, but a couple on our coach trip from Hawarden moved back to the UK from New Zealand because of it!  Wow!

A quote for the day ...

(¯`v´¯)
  `*.¸.*´Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ¸. •´¸.•~♥♥♥~•. ~ ღϠ₡ღ¸. ✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ.
              ( ¸. ❀⁀ ⋱‿✿“` * .¸.* ✻ღϠ₡ ღ¸.✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ..
A diamond is a chunk of coal that did well under pressure.
( ¸. ❀⁀ ⋱‿✿“` * .¸.* ✻ღϠ₡ ღ¸.✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ..


Makes me smile ...


One of my favourite things  ...


Helping others in whatever way that I can.

Corners of my kingdom ...

 

Pulteney Bridge, in  Bath.  This is near where Sybil lives!


And that's my daybook for this week!

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

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

Wherever you go and whatever you do, I hope there's a great day ahead of you! Don't forget!

═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════ ⊰✿░G░O░D⊰✿⊰L░O░V░E░S⊰✿⊰░Y░O░U░⊰✿
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And I do too!!


 

Monday, 26 June 2017

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.

 

Warm and sunny days.  (Not too warm though.) I love the longer days, shorter nights, dry and warm and filled with sunshine.  Somehow the world just seems to be a better place on a sunny day. Am I alone in feeling this way?   I dunno . . . 



A day at the seaside. Walking along the beachfront.  Ice creams on the pier. Children's laughter. Gulls crying. Punch and Judy. Donkey rides. Finding shells. Fish and chips. Sand castles. Rock candy and candy floss. Carousels.

Its all good.
...


Ice cold Lemonade.  Iced Tea. I make Iced Herbal Tea. Its all good! Someone recently gave me a recipe for Strawberry Lemonade Syrup, which sounds really good! Tis the season for enjoying these things!


Picnics in the park.  Its crowded. Its hot. Its filled with gaeity and noise. The very air is full of  a feeling of celebration.  I love it! Even if your picnic consists of nothing more than a shared store-bought sandwich and a tin of fizzy drink you picked up on the way.  Impromptu or planned. Its all good.


Fledglings. So fun to watch  . . .


Bumble bees.  We had three of them get in the house yesterday, or maybe it was the same one three times.   In any case we were able to get it out each time and nobody got hurt, not even the bee . . .


Butterflies.  We so seldom see them these days, but these have become frequent visitors to our garden whenever the temps climb. Peacock Butterflies.  I love them.


They are quite simply beautiful  . . .


As are the roses.  All of our roses are in full bloom. Not only are they beautiful to look at, but they smell heavenly. I must remember to collect some petals. I want to make some rosewater this year.



The batchelor buttons, daisies and calendula . . .  also stunning in their simplicity. The garden in June/July/August just can't be beat for beauty . . .

The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God's Heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on Earth. 
~Dorothy Francis Gurney


Sunday nights with Poldark . . .  season 3 is now airing and we are enjoying it immensely.

We must visit Cornwall.
Its another area
of shocking
beauty
...


This Island is filled with them. I am so blessed to live here.

Image result for And then we all had tea

The work continues.  Time to look for a new project methinks  . . . 

Image result for And then we all had tea

My Sunday conversations with mum . . .  I love and cherish them. Her foot is really sore at the moment.  I think she said it was her left one. She had gotten my postcard from Scotland. I love my mom so much and miss her. I wish I could see her when we talk, but she hates modern technology . . . we were always very close.

My life is filled with abundance,
My cup overflows.
...

A thought to carry with you  . . . 

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

 *.˛.° ˛°. . 
˛I love getting older, my understanding deepens.
I can see what connects.
I can weave stories of experience and apply them.
I can integrate the lessons.
Things simply become more & more fascinating.
Beauty reveals itself in thousands of forms.
~Victoria Ericson    .° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •

The older I get, the more true this becomes.




In the English Kitchen today . . .  Aspagarus & Courgette Rice.  Deliciously healthy.  Made with brown rice.


And even tastier with an egg on top.  This was supper yesterday and it was delicious.  Find the recipe HERE.

Have a great Monday/week. May it be filled to overflowing with small and wonderful things!  Don't forget along the way  . . .

═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════ ⊰✿░G░O░D⊰✿⊰L░O░V░E░S⊰✿⊰░Y░O░U░⊰✿
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And I do too!


 

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Sunday this and that . . .

 

 First of all this morning I want to apologise if in my post yesterday I came across as feeling sorry for myself or complaining too much about my own health issues. I did not mean to do that. As one reader pointed out, this holiday was all about Todd having a break, which he did and we are both very grateful for that. My deepest apologies to anyone I might have offended.


 My daughter posted a photo of Cameron on his Birthday yesterday. He is such a little cutie pie.  Its hard to believe he is four years old already!  Wasn't it just yesterday that he was born???

Speaking of Grandsons.  Todd has never known much about his grandchildren.  He had three sons and a step-daughter.  All of his sons have passed away. One in infancy, one in his forties and the youngest one a year ago.  It is only the middle one that had children, and his step-daughter.  He has had no contact with any of them, which is pretty sad, but life has a funny way of turning out completely opposite to what you had planned sometimes.  Yesterday out of the blue he was contacted on FB by one of his grandsons.  He found out that he has two grandsons and one granddaughter, and this grandson seems to want to have a relationship with his grandfather.  Its early days yet, but we were both very surprised, and somewhat pleased.

Okay, maybe really pleased, and even 
a bit shocked and definitely
surprised
...

We proceed forward with caution. I really hope that he isn't hurt again, so I am praying to that end. I love my husband and I hate it when he gets hurt.


 I was thinking this morning about how badly my hand writing has deteorated. Largely due to the fact that I seldom do any writing anymore, but basically just type everything. I had started working on that and on calligraphy, which I think makes a person's handwriting automatically better.  I need to sort out my craft room and get back at it. How many things are not getting written because I am waiting for a better time to write them, a better style of handwriting, etc. There is no time like the present to get started.  When I was in Grade Five my teacher told my mother that she refused to correct any more of my work as my handwriting was deplorable.  My mother got me exercise books and I was made to practice, practice, practice . . .  the MacLean method. It worked, until the onset of the typewriter/word processor!


Flowers that my sister picked from the garden.  Peonies and delphinium. so pretty.   I expect this will soon be a painting.  She is doing great with her artwork. When we were girls she always used to draw horses.  She loved horses and she was really good at drawing them.  Clearly she is also very good at painting as well. 

 

Here is one that she did that turned out really nice. I love it.  Funny how she has discovered her artist's mojo just as I am losing mine!  I despair I will ever get it back . . .


I discovered this at the grocery shops before we went on holiday.  I finally cooked it yesterday.  Its a bit different than the North American kind.  For one there is elbow macaroni, and I think the cheese sauce is cheesier and not so yellow.  But overall it was quite good.  We had it for supper with fish and vegetables.  I know  . . . not the healthiest meal, but it filled the gap.  I didn't really feel much like cooking.  We all have days like that. I would buy this again.


 In the past I have bought this, by the case, from Amazon. It was quite similar to the Kraft Dinner I was used to having in Canada.  Its Scottish I believe!  I quite like it!

ME {----- still a kid at heart ...
The heart wants what the heart wants.

By the way, I noticed last time I was in Morrisons (a grocery chain over here in the UK) that they have an American section, with Lucky Charms, Mike & Ikes, Snyder's Pretzels, etc. None of it is cheap, but if you really had a craving, I suppose it wouldn't matter.  They even had Snapple and tinned Pumpkin.  I bought some pumpkin and thought about buying the Lucky Charms, but could not quite bring myself to spend £5 ($6.40) for a medium sized box of sugared cereal that I didn't ought to be eating anyways . . .

Can you believe it has been two years since I did this?  I know!  Time flies!  Still liking the pink hair.

Oh, do you know what I saw the other day?  Rainbow hair! 

 

Now THAT I really like!  Oh to be 20 years younger so
I could carry it off
...

I have also seen the rainbow colours a LOT brighter, but I would never be brave enough to do that.  The closest I have ever come was to have Mauve highlights done in my hair, which was quite nice actually.

Our Eileen wants to grow her hair long now.  She says the Step Mom says she shouldn't because her hair is too thin.  I agree she has very thin fly away hair, but also I think it is her hair and if she wants it long then she should have it long. She is planning on coming over now for a whole month in August of 2018.  Fingers crossed she makes it. I am a bit nervous about her husband coming with her.  Oh, I know that she is nervous about travelling alone, but I don't really know Tim all that well, and  I don't think he is a very nice person at times. Sometimes he is not very nice to her.  I don't think I could keep my mouth shut  if he started in on her when they were here.  She told me the other day that he had called her a "not very nice" name, and then she told me what it was, and it really wasn't very nice.  She said he makes her feel afraid sometimes, and that when she gets afraid she gets angry.  It is difficult to be so far away when things like this happen.  I don't know what to do.  I told her she needs to tell her dad because he is close enough to do or say something.  But she is also glad that she has me to talk to, and I am grateful that she feels like she can talk to me. Sometimes being able to talk about things is all you need.


They had blazing hot weather here while we were away.  I am not sorry I missed it.  Me and blazing hot weather are not very symbiotic! I hate "Too Hot To Sleep" weather.  But its been great for the berries!

And with that I best leave you for the day with a thought, and once again, my apologies.  It is not all about me. 

Its a picture one today. Too good
not to share.



 Love me some Mother Teresa. Love the handwriting.

Spiritual Enlightenment

 

 In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Bakewell Tart Muffins.  So good!


Have a blessed Sabbath.  Don't forget  . . .

═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════ ⊰✿░G░O░D⊰✿⊰L░O░V░E░S⊰✿⊰░Y░O░U░⊰✿
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and I do too!