Thursday, 26 April 2018

My favourite things . . . 
These are some of the things in life that I enjoy and which make me happy, inspire me, or put a smile on my face. Maybe some of them are yours too.  Lets share!   
I am in love with pastry anyways, but I am uber in love with Puff Pastry.  All those buttery crisp light as air layers  . . .  yum.   When we were kids one of our favourite things to buy with our allowance was a Vachon puff pastry cake with a layer of cream and caramel inside.  Oh boy but those were some good! 
Which is why I love pie . . .  sweet, savoury and anything in between.  Filled with fruit, or meat, or vegetables.  One crusted, two crusted.  Full sized, hand sized. Hot or cold.  A-la-mode or a-la-cheese or a-la-nothing.  Just gimme the pie.  I have never met a pie I didn't like except for . . . 

Stargazy Pie.  A Cornish delight.  This I would not be eating.  No how. No way.  It has to be the most unappealing pie I have ever seen or heard of.   
From Wikepedia -  Stargazy pie (sometimes called starrey gazey pie, stargazey pie and other variants) is a Cornish dish made of baked pilchards (or sardines), along with eggs and potatoes, covered with a pastry crust. Although there are a few variations with different fish being used, the unique feature of stargazy pie is fish heads (and sometimes tails) protruding through the crust, so that they appear to be gazing skyward. This allows the oils released during cooking to flow back into the pie.

Gag and shudder . . .

The film, Sarah, Plain and Tall.  A single New England woman responds to an advertisement by a Midwestern widower in which he asks for a bride to help him raise his two children. It was a Hallmark film. I have not seen it in a very long time.  It has always been one of my favourites. 

Garden Gnomes.  Actually I love all kinds of garden statuary, but I really like Garden Gnomes. We don't have any.  I am afraid it would get stolen because I think lots of people like Garden Gnomes. 


I also really love bird baths and watching birds having baths.  They really love taking baths, especially on hot sunny days.  My favourites to watch are blackbirds. They really get into it. 

Perusing seed catalogues. They are filled with dreams, and hopes and plans. I could spend hours. 


Patisserie Windows  . . .  they, too, are filled with dreams and hopes . . . 

Ivy Covered Walls  . . . 


Tea Cups with shamrocks. My mother has one. I have loved it all of my life, and that's a very long time. 

Lace curtains and the patterns they make when the light shines through them  . . . 


Violin Music . . . haunting and ethereal . . . 

Painted wooden furniture  . . . 


Artichokes . . .  with lemon and butter  . . .  salt and pepper.  Yummy. 

Fields and  meadows filled with wildflowers . . . I love wildflowers  . . . 


Kitchen agas . . .  oh to just have a kitchen large enough to hold one, and an arm chair. I would never leave it. 

Whatever these are called  . . .  Bedroom Ottomans?  I don't know.  Something to sit on that sits at the end of your bed . . .  also iron bedsteads  . . . 


Toile painted furniture.  I once painted the whole top of a coffee table with flowers . . .  it was beautiful. 

Well dressed brooms  . . .  old brooms . . .  they have plenty of character . . .  


The combination of blue and yellow . . .  its such a pretty fit . . . very French provincial  . . . 

Forget me knots  . . .  I've never had any success with growing them  . . .  not sure why, but I love them.

And those are my favourite things for this week.  What are some of yours?

A thought to carry with you  . . . 

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

I still remember the days, 
I prayed for the things I have now. . . 
•。★★ 。* 。•。★★ 。* 。 



Today's Reading - Alma 7:14-27 
Question - What does it mean to 'make his paths straight'? How do you think we can do that now, in these last days?  
Thoughts - Without detours, or rambling off the path, or seeking to make my own path. One of my favourite songs of all time is 'come thou fount'. The most touching few lines for me are, "Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God. He, to rescue me from danger interposed His precious blood...Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love. Take my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above". I used to really get down on myself when I realised I had wandered again, one day the thought came to me that when the good shepherd found the lost sheep He never yelled at it, or kicked it back to the flock, He picked it up and carried it to safety. I think how I can do this now is to hear the promptings of the Spirit because normally He will be prompting me if my heart is starting to wander towards the world. 
Tomorrow's Reading (Day 149) - Alma 8:1-17 
Question - What have you learnt from the reading today? Why was Alma's mighty prayer unanswered at that time? 

Cooking in The English Kitchen today  . . .  Yeast Free Naan Breads. Easy.

Have a wonderful Thursday.  Dodn't forget along the way of your day . . . 

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

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Wednesday witterings . . .

I was trying to remember yesterday how long I have been blogging.  I have been doing this in one way or another for a very long time now.  I think since about 2003'ish.  I started off on Micro-soft, I think it was called My Space, and then I hopped over to AOL Journals, where I stayed for quite a while (and made a LOT of friends) and then I ended up on Blogger.  In between times I tried out other platforms like WordPress, but in all honesty, I kept coming back to Blogger because to me, it was the easiest to use.  Or in other words, the most user-friendly.  Oh, and it was free, which was really important to me because I didn't then, and don't have now,  much money to play with.  Free is good. 

When I first started writing it was because I saw it as a form of communicating with family, but in a fun way, a way of keeping them up to date with the things that were going on in my life.  It became so much more than that however.  In fact, for the most part, my family wasn't, and isn't interested in reading my blog, fair enough . . .  but it wasn't long before I discovered that other people were, and that there were other people out there doing the same thing that I was.  Really interesting people. People I made connections with and loved reading back.  That was the best thing about blogging, those connections I made with other people.  It is like a huge network of Penpals, except that the communication is pretty much instant, or at least as often as the others choose to post, comment, etc. 

Totally irrelevant photo, but I like it.

This two way communication is probably the thing I love most about blogging, and I can that I have never really met anyone via this medium that I didn't like.  Well, for the most part anyways.  I can remember being HUGELY excited the first time I got a comment.  Someone wanted to read what I was writing???  Seriously??? That was enormous and a real confidence booster, and here I am fifteen years later still being hugely excited about comments.  And I try to respond to each and every one.  I didn't at first, but then I realised how happy I was when someone responded to my comments, and I decided that if someone was going to take the time to leave a comment, then I needed to take the time to respond, and so now I do, or at least I try to at any rate.  It's not too difficult because I don't really get a lot of comments, and that's okay.  I think I would go nuts trying to respond to hundreds.  This does take up a lot of time sometimes, especially when I add in my facebook page for the food blog.  I do get tons of comments there, and I respond to each of them.  I can remember when Ariana was living with us, she thought I was nuts . . .  but I think it is just common courtesy.

That means though, that I don't always have a lot of time to visit other blogs, which kind of bums me out sometimes because that is one of the things I have always really loved about blogging, the meeting of new people, but I have my favourites and I visit them often and I try to comment as much as I can! 

I guess I had been blogging for a few years, and was still trying to find my niche when I stumbled onto this book by Margaret Mason, and so . . .  I bought it.  Turns out she was wrong, lots of people cared about what I had for lunch . . .  and breakfast, and dinner for that matter!!  It didn't take long for me to discover that when I wrote about what I was cooking and eating, even more people were interested in what I had to say, so . . . .  for years and years and years, I combined the two things . . .  my daily thoughts with my daily eats.  After a while though, I wanted to separate the two and I decided to write a food blog.  The English Kitchen wasn't the first one.  Marie Eats Britain was the first one, but then I decided to create The English Kitchen and I got rid of the first one and stuck with the latter.  I've been doing that one for about 10 years or so now and I love it.  Its had several transformations, but I am pretty happy with where its at now. 

This blog has had several transformations also.  It began as A Year From Oak Cottage and was hugely popular as that, but once I left the Manor, and was no longer living in the cottage I decided to switch it to this, and this incarnation is where I have stayed.   This is home.  This, to me, is like sitting down with a good friend and just chatting about whatever comes up.  

And I am still amazed that anyone comes to
read this prattle at all, but I am
also very grateful that
they do.

We get to hang out together.  You is my "crew."  I love you, I really do.  You are all an important part of my life, integral really.  I'm not sure how long I will do this . . .  this penning down of my daily thoughts and eats.  I suppose for as long as I have the breath and the will and the desire in me to do so.   But one day it will stop, and that thought kind of makes me sad in a way, and I find myself wondering . . . will any of the words I have penned live on?  Or will they eventually disappear too, and when I think about that, I panic a tiny bit, because there is still a huge part of me that hopes that one day my kids will want to know my thoughts, or my grandkids . . . . and if this disappears, then there is nothing tangible left . . .  and then I think to myself, I shoulda put it into a book, but its kind of late now.  

Every once in a while I visit my old friend Angie's blog, Can You All Hear Me At the Back.  Angie left us all very unexpectedly 7 years ago now.  I was devastated when she passed away.  She was one of my blogging friends who had been on the AOL Journals with me, and who I discovered in my early days, a brilliant writer, and a great inspiration to me. We became friends in real life. I still miss her. I think most days we texted each other at least a dozen times.  I go back and re-read her page every now and then, and I am saddened when I see that the comments section has been taken over by  businesses and degenerates trying to sell everything from dresses to porn to Russian brides.  Sad, really sad . . .  

I think to myself, I want my words to live on, but I don't want that, so maybe I need to verse one of my relatives in the whys and wherefores of my blog and tell them that when I reach my final demise, which could be sooner than later (you never know), to close up the comments on my blog (s) . . .  to help maintain my dignity and standards as it were.  I would never want to be associated with anything dirty or corrupt like that.  

More randomness  . . . 

So really . . .  why does any of us do this?  Because we love it.  Because we love stringing words together, and we love communicating with others.  Because we like sharing our life's experience. Because deep inside of each blogger is a writer screaming to get out, and this is the quickest way to achieve that . . .  to my opinion, the BEST way to do that. I don't do it for money, because in all truth . . . I have probably spent more money on blogging than I have ever made.  (I spent £13.99 on that book for one thing, and it turns out she was wrong.)  I do it because I have this inner voice that demands to be heard read.  And it doesn't really matter to me if one person reads them, or if a bazillion people read my words . . .  they are words I need to write, and so I do.  Write, and write and . . .  write.  And sometimes people read, and that thrills me and fills my heart with gratitude that they do, but even if they didn't, I would still do it, because I guess deep down, I am still that little 8 year old girl plodding away on a "dial and spell" tin typerwiter with a dream of one day becoming a writer.  

so not random 

Update on Todd -  The hives are pretty much GONE, except for a few that were clinging to his wrists and ankles as of last night.  We are so ♥grateful♥ for your prayers and happy thoughts and benedryl.  Whew!  I felt so sorry for him that second night when he was just one HUGE blister from his head to his toes, armpits and all.  I wanted to do something, anything that would help him, but there wasn't much I could do.  I hope he never has to go through that again.  It was pretty miserable for him, to say the least. Sorry for not updating you sooner.  I was updating in comments, but not everyone reads the comments!  My mistake! 

We had a lovely time with the Missionaries yesterday.  We had one from Calgary here and one from Ghana on splits.  I did a Shepherd's pie and I created a fabulously tasty casserole, but didn't get photos of it, but went down a real treat.  Here is what I did, and you are going to laugh because it is so simple and was so delicious.  I mixed together a can of Stag Chili, with some cooked macaroni, a tin of chopped tomatoes, a TBS of mild chili powder, half a can of milk and a whack of cheddar that I had cut into chunks, poured it into a casserole dish and slathered it with cracker crumbs and more cheese and baked it and IT WAS INCREDIBLY EDIBLY GOOD!!  I will have to do it again some day and take pictures next time.  They loved it, and we loved having them.

They are running a weekly Book of Mormon study group at the church one night a week now and so we are going to go. Its tonight.  As you know I love to read the BOM, and I love getting other people's thoughts and inspiration on it.  And with that I will leave you with a thought for today  . . . 

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

Make your life a masterpiece,
imagine no limitations on
what you can be, have or do.
~ Brian Tracy  •。★★ 。* 。 



Today's Reading - Alma 5:53-6:8   
Question - What are the things that Alma asks the people to do in this section? What blessings does he promise?  

ThoughtsAbout these very verses, President Eyring has said, "It will comfort us when we must wait in distress for the Savior’s promised relief that He knows, from experience, how to heal and help us. The Book of Mormon gives us the certain assurance of His power to comfort. And faith in that power will give us patience as we pray and work and wait for help. *He could have known how to succor us simply by revelation, but He chose to learn by His own personal experience*". This is from his amazing talk 'Adversity'. He also says to us, "The Lord always suits the relief to the person in need to best strengthen and purify him or her. Often it will come in the inspiration to do what might seem especially hard for the person who needs help himself". Jesus Christ knows what is best. He knows what we need. He has been there. I find this so comforting.  I was recently thinking about death and it came to me . . . Jesus has already done that, been there, experienced that.  I am sure that the human side of Him was every bit afraid as we are when faced with that which will one day come to each of us.  I can do it because He has already done it, and I don't need to be as afraid because He can comfort me through that experience.  There is NOTHING we can experience that He doesn't know about already.

Tomorrow's Reading (Day 148) -   Alma 7:14-27 
Question - What does it mean to 'make his paths straight'? How do you think we can do that now, in these last days? 


In the kitchen today  . . .  Roly Poly Rhubarb Pudding with custard.  YUM! 

Have a wonderful Wednesday.  We are out to visit Doreen this morning and then I get to talk to my mom this afternoon!  Yay!  Don't forget!

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And I do too!


Tuesday, 24 April 2018

The Simple Woman's Daybook . . .

FOR TODAY, April 24, 2018 
Outside my window ...
Its dry but it is cool and overcast. The two little dogs next door are yip yapping.  They are pretty much constantly yip yapping. They yap when I flush my toilet. As Todd would say, they are quite vociferous! 
I am thinking ...
Hooray for a new Prince and what a sweet little family. I hope they don't stop at three. I would love to see them with a whole houseful of children.  
Charlotte and George arriving to visit their new baby brother . . . 
Charlotte has perfected the art of the Royal Wave!  Now we just have the Royal Wedding to look forward.  I wonder what they will name the new Prince.  Odds are on Arthur, but I don't think they will . . .  maybe Phillip. Phillip would be nice.

In the kitchen ... 
I've done a complete tutorial on Diner Style Hot Sandwiches. The perfect thing to do with leftovers from the roast and a once in a bluemoon treat! 
On my "To Cook" list ... 
Smoky Chicken Flatbread with Crispy Bacon, Avocado, Tomato and Sundried-Tomato Mayo.  From The Cosy Apron.  
Good to know ... 
I am creating ...
From Stitching Together, crochet country dishcloths with printable wrappers. 
Sew Can She, tiny bag pattern, free, also. 
Yarn Cosy Holder by Mareike Meyer on Ravelry.  Love it!  
Flower Garden Tea Cosy, free pattern from Just Jen.  
Lilly Ella, a tutorial on how to make reusable cloth tea bags.  Brilliant!  
I am Reading ...
Letters to Iris, by Elizabeth Noble.
Tess has a secret, one which is going to turn her life upside down. In just nine months time. The only person she can confide in is her beloved Grandmother. But Iris is slipping further away each day. Then chance brings a stranger into Tess's life. Gigi's heart goes out to Tess, knowing what it's like to feel alone.

This book revolves round two families who met when they were visiting elderly relatives in a nursing home. Tess's relationship with her Grandmother had been a strong one, but with her Mother, it's strained. Gigi is married to Richard but she is unhappy in their relationship. Letters to Iris refers to the war, her parents and her brother, Tom, but she never shared secrets from that life. This is a beautifully written story about secrets, acceptance of other people's wishes and of course, love. I suspect when the prologue is read, like me, many readers will shed a rear or two. 
Looking Forward to ...
We have the Zone Leaders coming for supper tonight.  Its always nice to have the young Missionaries in our home. 

Dreaming about ... 

 Country kitchens  . . .  with wood floors and rag rugs . . . and lots of light. 
Good corn on the cob  . . .  I haven't had any in over 18 years  . . . 
Pillows with Red Geraniums on them  . . .  I love red geraniums . . . 

Cafe curtains  . . .
Rooster Tea Pots  . . .  
Something to Watch ...  

Maudie, starring Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke.  The true story of Nova Scotia artist Maude Lewis. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll be inspired. We both thoroughly enjoyed this yesterday and it made me more than a bit homesick. 
A Quote for the day ...

   `*.¸.*´Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ¸. •´¸.•~♥♥♥~•. ~ ღϠ₡ღ¸. ✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ.
         ( ¸. ❀⁀ ⋱‿✿“` * .¸.* ✻ღϠ₡ ღ¸.✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ..
Be kind to unkind people 
    They need it the most.
             ~unknown  * ✻ღϠ₡ ღ¸.✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ..  
Makes me smile ... 
Hares . . .  they are such beautiful creatures  . . . 
Corners of my kingdom ... 
An iconic view of the city of London  . . .  I think London is one of the most beautiful and most interesting cities in the world. So much to do and to see  . . .  filled with history, colour and personality.

And that's my daybook for this week!

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

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

Today's Reading - Alma 5:53-6:8 
Question - What are the things that Alma asks the people to do in this section? What blessings does he promise?  

Thoughts - He tell us to be separate from worldly ways. This year my testimony of this has grown. As I read the Old Testament this has struck me  . . . the Lord separated Noah's family, the Israelites, Lehi's family, Nephi's people, the Jaredites, the pioneers. He wants a people marked with His name, He will be their God, and they will be His people. The ways of the world are easier to accept than question or reject, but they put us in danger of being devoured, as by a ravenous wolf. But Jesus Christ's way is always right, it is the way to peace of conscience and happiness.

Tomorrow's Reading (Day 147) - Alma 7:1-13 
Question - What have you learnt from the reading today? What does Alma teach us about the purpose of the Saviour's suffering? 
Have a beautiful Tuesday!  Don't forget! 

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