Saturday, 21 January 2017

The aliens are coming . . .


 Last night about 6:30 pm Todd went out to our shed to get a jar of marmalade as I was making us toast for our tea.  I get this really lovely whole wheat with rye bread and its fabulous toasted.  We were going to settle in to an evening of Call The Midwife prior to the new season beginning on this next Sunday.  He came in all excited and pointing to the sky and said to me, "What do you think about that?" 

Up in the sky to the back of our house in the night sky torwards Flint was the biggest hugest star/planet I had ever seen.   I thought wow, that's amazing.  We watched it for a while wondering if it was the Police Helicopter or an airplane, but it was staying pretty steady in the sky, not getting any larger or any smaller, or moving.  There was no noise or sound.   The helicopter would be making a lot of noise and an airplane would surely be moving.

I said to Todd, "Get your binoculars so we can see it better."  

We turned off all the lights in the house and sat at the dining room table.  It might sound silly, but I had in mind if it was a UFO, I didn't want the aliens to know we were watching them.  I felt that having the lights on might somehow draw their attention to us.  I know  . . .  crazy.


 We sat at our little table eating toast and looking out at this strange phenomena through the binoculars for quite a while.  Through the binoculars it appeared to be a cluster of smaller bright lights, amazingly bright lights, in the shape of a sphere and the sphere appeared to be oscillating.   Rotating . . . .  and spinning  . . .  and as it did the stream of light from each little fleck of bright light almost had a tail.  The only way I could describe it was that it looked like a dandelion head all fluffed out and gone to seed, just waiting for you to blow on it and scatter the seeds hither and thither . . . . but the shape would change from a perfectly round sphere to a cup facing towards the West and then back to a sphere again, but remaining pretty stationary in the night sky, not moving closer or up or down.

The dog next door was going spastic.  Barking, Barking, Barking.  I wouldn't let Mitzie out, just in case.  I didn't want any aliens taking her.  (I know . . .  once again . . . silly me.)

We went upstairs to look at it from the bedroom window, thinking that somehow a different perspective on it might enlighten us even further as to what it was  . . .

But it didn't.   We remained in the dark as it were . . . physically and symbolically.

 We went back downstairs.   I decided to text my next door neighbor to see if she could see it.  It was her dog that was going mental.  She could see it as well and our neighbor from across the street was also there with her and they were filming it.  By then they had bravely moved into her back garden.   I decided to be very brave as well, and put my coat on.  I went out to stand in the garden.   Todd was not so brave.  He stayed in the house and he saw a falling star . . . which I missed.  Shucks . . .

No noise . . .  just silence, along with the frantic barking of the dog next door.  Oh, and Mitzie scratching at the inside of the kitchen door now wanting to come out also.   No way was I letting her out so that the aliens could abduct her too.  I was firm in that philosophy.

We discussed should we call the police?  Should we call the news?   Should we just ignore it and get back in the house?  We decided on the latter and went back into our respective homes.   It just somehow felt safer.

Todd and I drew the curtains tightly closed and finished our toast, which was quite dry and hard at that point, but we didn't want to waste it.   We finished our watching of Call the Midwife in the dark . . .  just in case.  We didn't want to draw undue attention to our house.  You know  . . .  because aliens would surely pay closer attention to a house brightly lit up than they would a house all in the dark filled with two adults and a cocker spaniel eating dry toast to the flickering lights of Call the Midwife. We were not taking any chances . . .  okay  . . .  so it was me.  "I" wasn't taking any chances.

It was still there when we went to bed, and we were none the wiser. 

Ahhh  . . .  life its a funny old thing is it not?  In the dawning of a new day I am thinking it must have been Venus . . .  but still . . .  I think it is  kind of strange that it looked like a glowing head of oscillating dandelion fluff.

If I start making mountains with my mashed potatoes you will know that something is terribly wrong.


We may need to consult Steven Spielberg on this one.  Scotty, beam me up.  I don't think we're in Kansas anymore  . . .

 In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Lemon, Fruit and Nut Breakfast Scrolls.  Delish!

Have a great Saturday.    I need to do a bit of shopping, but still taking it easy.  Whatever you get up to, don't forget  . . .

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and I do too!

Friday, 20 January 2017

My Friday Finds . . .


A few of the things I find each week which pique my curiosity or inspire me to want to do something, create something, cook something, or become a better person! I hope they will pique your curiosity or inspire you in some way as well!

It is never too early to be thinking about making some decorations for next Christmas.  I think this little knitted mouse is so cute.  From Ravelry by Abigail Originals.  Free!

Dutch rabbits to knit.  Also from Ravelry.  Not free but not expensive either.  Cute!  They remind me of a rabbit story, but I will save that for another day.

The art of keeping a travel journal.   From Athletes Abroad.   Apparently there is a grant you can get to use for a break and time away for people with cancer and their families. We are going to look into it and maybe we can go somewhere after the radiation treatments are done and dusted.

Eye Candy from a shop on Etsy calles Marianata.  I love these types of things.  So cute!   She also has a blog.  Dollitude.

Crochet Hoop Balloony House.  Love this.  Such inspiration here and made from felt which I also love.  Making things from felt.  Inkie Mama Tumblr.

Handmade Felt Envelope.  I love this.  So cute.  From Paper N Stitch.

Look at the front.  It's so cute!  A complete tutorial.  Wouldn't this be a great Valentine for your main squeeze!

More handmade valentines.  No source, but they look very easy.  I wish we could get those little red hot candies over here.   They come in handy for all sorts.

Hanging hearts!  Sweet and Lovely Things.

Matchbox Monsters from Molly Moo Crafts.   they're babies.  Shhh . . .

How to sew a straight line.  Every little helps.  From Crazy Little Projects.  This is lesson one of  series.  Great tutorials for those who are just learning.

Make your own slippers.  A complete tutorial from Tea and a Sewing Machine.


 Tips for losing weight depending on your body shape.  From The WHOot.


If You Give a Blond a Kitchen.  Two bite mini chocolate chip scones.  Cute idea, but I bet you could scarfe these down like potato chips.  Hmmm . . .

A repurposed China Hutch, turned into a wardrobe for a little girl.  Love this.  No source, just inspiration.


The top of an old hutch, painted and recycled to use for in the bath.   Great idea!  Style from the Sticks.

20 Kitchen DIY's to fall in love with.  There are some great ideas here like this one, using an old rake for a utensil hanger.  From Pretty Designs.

And that's my finds for this week.  I hope you were able to see something you liked!

A thought to carry with you through today  . . .

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

 *.˛.° ˛°. . 
˛*Practice the pause.  When in doubt pause.  When angry, pause.
            When tired, pause.  When stressed, pause.  And when you pause, pray.
                  ~unknown  •。★★ 。* 。.° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •

 Spiritual Enlightenment


In The English Kitchen today  . . . . Coconut, Cardamon, Honey and Vanilla Rice Pudding.  Scrumptious!  I love rice pudding!

Have a super Friday. Whatever you get up to don't forget!

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And I do too!

Thursday, 19 January 2017

An update on today . . .

I know you didn't all expect to hear from me today, but it didn't take as long as we thought and I felt you have all been so lovely and supportive that I would update you as to the goings on!  We were up early this morning, well . . .  the normal time for me, but very early for Todd.  He usually doesn't raise his head above the covers until 8:30 or 9 o'clock.  Me, I am always up between 5 and 5:30.  The curse of having raised a large family and always having to be up early to get them off to school, etc. and from working as a chef where early work times always applied.

The drive to Clatterbridge went relatively smoothly considering the fact that it was dark and the rush hour was beginning, and we didn't know where we were going.  Not easy, but we only got lost twice.  We learnt that we need to update our GPS as well, as it was trying to send us down a road that didn't exist and wasn't directing us to the road we needed to go on.

Once we got to the hospital we were not sure where to go.   It was dark and we couldn't see the signs, etc.  I think we tried several different parking lots, but eventually we did find the right spot and the parking was free for the Cancer Centre, and everyone was so very helpful and kind.  I was not able to go in with Todd, but there was a comfortable waiting area for me to wait in and free wifi was also available.  I had my little iPad with me and was playing my game, but a lovely couple came in and I ended up making friends with the wife, whose husband happened to be having the exact same procedure as Todd today.   He is also going back for the Planning Session on the same day and will be having radiation therapy at the same time so we can be buddies as we help to support each other through the experience.  Misery loves company I joked, but it is true.   She was ever so nice, her name is Sue and her husband is Dave.  Lovely people.  A load shared is a load halved, and if we can keep each other company off and on through this it will be great.  The Lord works in mysterious ways, his wonders to perform.

I found this this morning.  Considering the fact that Todd was having his prostrate seeded with gold pellets in prep for the radiation therapy I felt it quite appropriate.  Talk about a Divine signature right when you need it!  I loved this thought.

On the down side I have been holding too much in and it has manifested itself in a return of the shingles.   In the same place, my left arm.   The neuralgia from my episode with them in December 2015 has never completely disappeared, but this week has seen it increasing so much so that last night I was in an incredible amount of pain and have started to get the rash.  I will be going to the Doctor tomorrow to see if I can get some medication to halt its progress.   I try so hard to put everything into the Lord's hands but . . .  obviously I need to try harder! 

I am going to go and relax now and spend the rest of the day with my honey.  Will be back tomorrow with my Friday Finds.  Thanks all so much for your happy thoughts and prayers.  They mean the world to both of us and I can see the tender mercies of the Lord around me.   Love you! Bye for now!

PS - Look at this lovely photo that Bethany posted of her mum Suzan (in Geneva)!  She looks so happy.  They are on their way back to Oz now, but I think they have had an absolutely brilliant holiday together!!  I think it is wonderful that mother and daughter can go on a holiday like that and enjoy themselves so very much.  It must be such a special thing!  ♥♥♥

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

My favourite things . . .


I know I normally do this on a Thursday, but I will be at the cancer hospital tomorrow so I thought I would do it today.  A few of my favourite things  . . .


 I like my dreams.  Most of the time.  I dream a lot about my children and in my dreams I solve all of the problems with I don't seem to be able to solve in real life.  We talk things over.  All the conversations I have never had the opportunity to have in reality get spoken and hashed out in my dreams.  For instance last night I was with my youngest daughter and her two babies were there and we were talking as if there was nothing wrong and as if there was no wall between us.  There was a wall, but it was a planning wall and I had all these things written on the wall and we were hashing it out.   I woke up feeling positive and good about things.  The reality is far different from that and I have come to the point now where I recognise that I will probably never see a solution to whatever is wrong between us in this lifetime, or between her younger brother and I either . . .  and I have become reconciled to that fact.  It is what it is, but in my dreams no walls or barriers exist.  Perhaps these are glimpses of Heaven.  I like to believe that they are.  Little glimpses of Heaven are another favourite thing.   


I hope this doesn't seem like I am bragging and forgive me if it does, but I just can't help but mark this occasion here on my blog where I put all of my thoughts, failures and successes.   About a year or so ago, a gentleman named Coleman Andrews wrote me an e-mail telling me he was writing a new cookbook on British cooking and he was keen to include my Apple Dumplings recipe.  He said that it was the best one he had tried.  I said yes, sure he could.  He promised to give me credit for it.   You can't get much better than that really and lo and behold he did.   Here it is!  Being mentioned in a cookbook written by a best selling author who is also a winner of not one but eight James Beard Awards has to be one of my favourite things ever!  I think the phrase "Tickled Pink" covers it.  And to be honest, it really is one of my favourite recipes ever . . . 

Old Fashioned Apple Dumplings.   Another one of my favourite things.  Why?  Because they are like a little apple pie just for you and a lot easier to make than an apple pie actually.  All you have to do is peel and apple, roll it in lemon juice and cinnamon sugar and plunk it on a square of pastry, fillit with butter and brown sugar and pull the pastry up to cover it.   You don't even have to make it look pretty like I did, just cover the apple.  Then you pour over a delicious sauce and bake.   Scrumptious doesn't begin to cover it.  Apple Dumplings with some cream.   Another one of my favourite things, for what is ice cream, but  . . .  frozen cream.  ☺

I just love my Susan Branch Calendars.  I have this one and the little planner one and in the past I have had the desk blotter.   I have to say that Susan Branch is one of my favorite things, and yes I know she is a person and not a thing.   I fell in love with Susan's work back in the 1980's when she used to have an illustrated recipe in Country Living magazine every month.  And then I bought her first book,  Heart of the Home.  Loved it.   I bought her little books, cards, etc.   Whenever I found something of hers I bought it because I just loved everything she produced with her wealth of talent.   Then came the internet and I discovered her Blog/webpage and I fell in love with her all over again.  If you have never read her blog you really need to.  It is delightful.  I often go back and read her posts over and over again.  Why do I love her so much?  Why is she one of my favourite things?  Because she is real, she is genuine,  and she is just like one of us.  The way she writes, they are words I could have written.  She pens my thoughts and draws my pictures.  I just think she is the real deal and I love her to bits for it and for sharing herself so generously with the world.  She has a gift, a true gift and she is not selfish with it.  That's what gifts are for.  To share.

I love our little fish tank.  I could sit and watch the fish in it for hours.   I never thought that fish could have individual personalities, but they do.  They play and they have their quiet moments.  They have their energy rushes and their lulls.   I think swimming in water like they do must be akin to being able to fly.  They soar through the tank the same way that birds soar through the sky.  Oh to soar . . .  if I could soar that would also be one of my favourite things.  The closest I have ever come to is is to fly on a loaf of bread in a dream, and we all know now that my dreams are  . . .  favourite things.

 I love looking at house plans and dreaming about the kind of house I would have if only, if only  . . . I think this one is called Crabapple Cottage.  And quite the cottage it is.  I think it is quite gorgeous.  Not too big and not too small.  With a bit of a porch that you could sit on in your rocking chair  and enjoy on warm summer days along with your ice cold glass of lemonade having conversations with Todd . . .  and watching the world walk by, Mitzie laying by our feet.

There's that dreaming again!!

 I got this little book for 2017.  It is a daily book, filled with thoughts on the atonement and I am just getting so much from it.   I love books like this.  For instance here was the thought for yesterday . . .

"A true faith in Christ is more than just knowing about Him or even believing He is divine.  It is knowing that His Atonement is real, that its purpose is to transform us, snd that it will be available as long as that perfecting process takes.  We have a Saviour who covers us, a Reedemer who changes us,  and a Good Shepherd who is willing to go in search of us again and again . . . continuously."
~Brad Wilcox

Being able to start each day with an inspiring thought about the Saviour's atonement is one of my favourite things. 


I am not a Catholic by faith but my father is.  When we were in Lourdes a few years back I bought him a rosary.   I recently bought myself a rosary also.  I love my rosary.  I hold it in my hands sometimes when I am praying and run my fingers over the cross holding the Saviour.   The pearls start off cold but then warm up as I pray, the cross helping me to focus and to commune with the Saviour in a very meaningful way.  That is not to say that my prayers without the rosary in my hands are not meaningful . . .  God hears all of our prayers and they all mean something to Him, and He is always listening . . .  I only mean to say that I feel a sense of special comfort in my prayers when I am holding it.  I am not sure where this comfort comes from.  Perhaps it is in knowing that generations and generations of my family have prayed in the same way and perhaps I can feel the power of all of those prayers gliding up towards the heavens, towards our Heavenly Home.  Perhaps it helps me to feel a part of something that is eternal and familial all at the same time.  The Gospel is about the family and the eternal aspect of belonging to one.  Perhaps the sense of comfort I get from holding this rosary is the sense of family that I get when I am holding it in my hands  . . .
And with that I will leave you with a thought for today  . . . 

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

 *.˛.° ˛°. . 
˛*Love grows best in little houses, with fewer walls to separate.
            Where you eat and sleep so close together, you can't help but communicate.
                  And if we had more room between us, think 
                         of all we would miss . . . •。★★ 。* 。.° * 。

 Spiritual Enlightenment


 In The English Kitchen today . . .  Bacon BBQ Chicken.  This is so simple that even a child can make it.  No kidding!  And to top it off its also mightly delicious!

 May the day ahead be filled with raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens and a few of YOUR favourite things.  Don't forget!

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And I do too!

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

The Simple Woman's Daybook ...


FOR TODAY, January 17, 2017

Outside my window ...
 its dark and wet and cold.  That's winter in the UK folks!

I am thinking ...
 some low life stole the bicycle of a friend of ours who had it chained to a drainage pipe on his house.  Broke the drainage pipe to get it.  This is our friends only means of transport back and forth to work.    His work is caring for the elderly.  You could not meet a nicer, more caring kind person.  I suppose the thief didn't think about that however.  They just saw a chance and took it.  Now not only does he have to find the money to get himself a new bicycle, but he also has to repair the pipe on his house.  Despicable.

In the Kitchen ...
 photo SAM_4945_zpscc49703b.jpg

 Stove Top Spaghetti.  A most delicious use of leftovers.   Yum!

On my "To Cook" list ...

Teriyaki Salmon Bowl.  From Eating Bird Food.  This looks mighty tasty!  I love vegetables and I adore avocado.  Salmon is okay, this looks good however with it's teriyaki glaze!

Good to know ...


 Every little helps!

I am creating ...

 I really love this album created using the Graphics 45 Home Sweet Home Papers.  You all know how much I love them.  From Annes Paper Creations.


 I love, LOVE the color combinations in this afghan.  It is from Etsy, but I had to show it to you anyways.  Its a pattern download. Don't you just love the colours?


 From Mollie Makes, a DIY Felt iPad Cover.


 Miniature Handbag. Janet Granger.  They are kits you buy.  There are oodles of them.

Forest Blooms Bag from the Sewing Directory.  Complete instructions.  So beautiful!  Our friend Tracy used to make beautiful bags.  I have quite a few of them.

 Double Scoop Snuggle Sack.  From Cool Creativities.  Cute!

I am reading ...


  Sisters One, Two, Three by Nancy Star

After a tragic accident on Martha’s Vineyard, keeping secrets becomes a way of life for the Tangle family. With memories locked away, the sisters take divergent paths. Callie disappears, Mimi keeps so busy she has no time to think, and Ginger develops a lifelong aversion to risk that threatens the relationships she holds most dear.

When a whispered comment overheard by her rebellious teenage daughter forces Ginger to reveal a long-held family secret, the Tangles’ carefully constructed web of lies begins to unravel. Upon the death of Glory, the family’s colorful matriarch, and the return of long-estranged Callie, Ginger resolves to return to Martha’s Vineyard and piece together what really happened on that calamitous day when a shadow fell over four sun-kissed siblings playing at the shore. Along with Ginger’s newfound understanding come the keys to reconciliation: with her mother, with her sisters, and with her daughter.

At turns heartbreaking, humorous, and hopeful, Sisters One, Two, Three explores not only the consequences of secrets—even secrets kept out of love—but also the courage it takes to speak the truth, to forgive, and to let go.

I am looking forward to ...

Its my father's birthday today.  He is 84.  I am going to try to facetime him a bit later on to wish him  a Happy Birthday.  My sister had him over for supper last night and was making him a Salmon Pie (his favorite).   I love my dad.  I am looking forward to hopefully talking to him a bit later on!

Dreaming about ...

Garden gates made from old screen doors  . . .

Shepherds huts  . . .

Hollyhocks . . .

Visiting Martha's Vineyard  . . .  one day  . . .

A gingerbread-house to call my own  . . .

Something to watch ...

Endeavor.  Inspector Morse as a young man.  We both really enjoy this series.

A favourite quote for the day ...

 `*.¸.*´Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ¸. •´¸.•~♥♥♥~•. ~ ღϠ₡ღ¸. ✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ.
                   ( ¸. ❀⁀ ⋱‿✿“` * .¸.* ✻ღϠ₡ ღ¸.✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ..

Worrying means you suffer twice.
     ~Newt Scamander

Wise words.

Makes me smile ...

The love of a mother  . . .

One of my favourite things ...


Lemon Puff biscuits  . . . . love, LOVE them.

 Corners of my Kingdom ...

 Haworth, the Pennine village where the Brontës lived and wrote.

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!

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And I do too!