Tuesday, 30 August 2016

The Simple Woman's Daybook . . .


FOR TODAY, August 30th, 2016

Outside my window ...
The sun is well up now.  I am a bit later getting started this morning.  After having had a week in which I did not sleep very well, last night I finally slept the sleep of the dead, only waking up three times and being able to fall back asleep easily after each.  Straight from 9:30 pm until almost 6 am.   Wow.  Did I ever need that!

I am thinking ...
I hope that I get to play with my calligraphy today . . . I still need to take a picture for you.

In the kitchen ...

A delicious something to do with all those courgettes/zucchini that are available and clogging up our gardens at the moment.   Courgette Gratin.  It's really really good!

Easy Chicken Enchilada Skillet, from Gimme Some Oven.  This looks fabulous!  I love Tex Mex.  I might have to adapt it a bit but hey ho!

Good to know ...


A sewing machine presser food guide from Love Sewing.

I am creating ... 


Storage Cube Boxes made from fabric, from The Sewing Directory.


A book shelf dollhouse.  From Love and Hot Glue.


Crochet Slouch Hat tutorial from Sewrella.


Sewing Kit in a Jar from  Martha Stewart.


Cute little Knitted Snowmen Ornaments from Flutter By Patch.   These are soooo cute!  I just may have found my grandchildren's Christmas ornie for this year!


This one is pretty cute too!  (I know a litte girl who might like this.)  A free pattern from Alan Dart.

I am reading ...

The Sister, by Louise Jensen
Grace hasn't been the same since the death of her best friend Charlie. She is haunted by Charlie's last words, and in a bid for answers, opens an old memory box of Charlie's. It soon becomes clear there was a lot she didn't know about her best friend.

When Grace starts a campaign to find Charlie's father, Anna, a girl claiming to be Charlie's sister steps forward. For Grace, finding Anna is like finding a new family, and soon Anna has made herself very comfortable in Grace and boyfriend Dan's home.

But something isn't right. Things disappear, Dan's acting strangely and Grace is sure that someone is following her. Is it all in Grace's mind? Or as she gets closer to discovering the truth about both Charlie and Anna, is Grace in terrible danger?

I do so LOVE a good mystery!

I am looking forward to ...
Maybe going into town and doing some window shopping tomorrow.  Todd doesn't get the idea that you can look and not buy.  He goes, gets exactly what he wants, and then leaves.  I like to browse and liking something doesn't mean that I will buy it.  I think perhaps  men and women are different in that way.  What do you think?

I am learning to ...
Use my new phone.  It's a learning curve, but I think I am coming to terms with it!

Dreaming about ...


A pretty roof over the front door  . . .

Designer fabrics  . . . source Rebecca Vose Designs
(What can I say, I like pigs)


Flowers on a windowsil . . .

Welcoming Country hall ways . . .


Love this . . .  minus the leather couch.  I like a fabric couch.

A favourite quote for the day  . . .

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

No work or love will flourish out of guilt, fear or hollowness of heart,
just as no valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no
capacity for living now.
~Alan Watts 

Makes me smile ... 

This photo of my son in law Tom, with Maryn when she was a wee baby makes me smile.  Tom looks so happy.  Tom is the perfect son in law.  I don't know him very well, but what I do know of him makes me feel happy.  He is a great husband to my daughter and a great father to Maryn and Cameron.  He is kind and gentle and he brings out the best in my daughter.  He loves the bones off her which is very obvious.   Nobody could want more for a daughter of theirs than for them to have a husband like Tom.

One of my favourite things  ...

S'mores!  I found this kit for them at B&M.  We have a fire pit.  I am going to drag Todd out there some evening and we will make s'mores!  It's a plan.

Corners of my kingdom ...

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Sheep up at the Horseshoe Pass. They are literally everywhere. So cute.

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!!

Monday, 29 August 2016

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.


I came across this photograph of Maryn this morning.   It is hard to believe that next week she will be starting school, a huge milestone in any child's life.  The years have just flown by.  I hope I get to see a first day of school photo.  She is a delightfully engaging little girl.  I know I am somewhat biased, but I think she is just so beautiful and intelligent.  Mind you her mother is also, so this apple hasn't fallen far from the tree.  I love her to bits as I do all my grand babies.

Being able to serve others in whatever way that I can.   It doesn't really take a lot of money or time to do things for other people, even small and simple things can make a difference.  It can be as easy as picking up the telephone and calling someone you haven't seen in a while to see how they are doing, or it can be as complicated as helping someone with their decorating . . . .  donating time to a worthy cause, volunteering in the community in which you live, helping out a neighbor . . .  seeing a need however small or large and doing your best to help lift the burden of another.  Even a kind word.  A smile.  A hug.

Every little helps.


Our lesson in Relief Society yesterday was based on a talk by Bonnie L Oscarson, entitled Do I Believe.   It was taught beautifully and I got a lot out of it.   I love lessons that make you think and ponder things.     I really love my church.   There is no place I would rather be on a Sunday morning, truly.  I am not just saying that.  It is an integral part of my week, and if I happen to miss a Sunday, then I feel like something important is missing.  I love being able to renew my Baptismal covenants and ponder on the Saviour's atonement when I partake of the sacrament each week.   I love listening to the talks and hearing people's thoughts and impression on things.  Yes, even the talks which are delivered poorly.  I am always able to take something valuable from them.  I love listening to the testimonies of others.  I love the lessons.  I love being in the company of other like-minded believers.  I just love the whole experience.  There may come a day when I won't be able to get to church, either due to old age, or ill health or whatever  . . .  my hope and prayer is that I will have fed myself enough spiritually up until then that it will sustain me when this happens.

But I really hope and pray that this never happens.


How many people waste their lives looking for happiness, never realising that it was already theirs?  I know a few people like that, without naming names.  They have spent their whole life looking at the other side of the street and wanting to be there, rather than where they are.   Inevitably when they get to the other side of the street, it also doesn't fulfill them, and they continue to search and to chase.  The pot of gold isn't really at the end of the rainbow, its right where you are.  Joy in life comes not from wanting the things you don't have, but in wanting and appreciating the things that are already yours.

I am grateful that I have a grateful heart.


Phone dates with friends from afar.   I love these.    I had one on Saturday with my friend Val who lives in Colorado.  We are truly kindred spirits.   I just enjoy these calls so very much.  We have never actually met in person, at least not here on earth, but we feel as if we have always known each other.  Lucy Maude Montgomery had a name for those types of friendships.  She called them Kindred Spirit friendships.  I am grateful for all the kindred spirit friends in my life and the special connections we have.

Yes, you can have more than one.  Its okay.  Do you remember when you were a child and you thought you could only have one best friend?   Life is so much more than that.   Why limit yourself?

Friendships.  I am grateful for each and every one.

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Puppy dog snuggles.  Where would I be without them  . . .

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Each one of you and your lovely comments.   You make my happy place even happier, and I thank you for that.

A thought to carry with you through today  . . . 

Sometimes I need only
to stand where I am
to be blessed.
~Mary Oliver 

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In the English Kitchen today  . . . .  Crockpot Marinara Sauce.  Quite simply delicious!

I wish for you a week filled with abundance. Please know that . . .

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And I do too!

Sunday, 28 August 2016

From the archives of my memory . . .


My daughter in law posted on facebook the other day/night that they were getting ready and packing the car up to take the boys to the Drive In down in Sussex to go see a family friendly double feature of Finding Dory and Pete's Dragon.  It made my heart smile . . .

So did this picture she posted a while later of them getting ready for the film to start.  It is so lovely when you see your children carrying on old traditions with their own children and it brought back many happy memories for me of those days when the kids were small and we would pack them all up into the car for a weekend film treat at the local Drive In theatre.


Going to the Drive In was also a really big treat when I was an older teenager.   They had full car load nights where the whole car load could get in for one low price.  Everyone who had a car used to fill them up with all of the gang and we would all trundle over to the Drive In.  I don't think a lot of movie watching really went on, but it sure was fun meeting up with everyone else and gossiping in the bathrooms, etc.   The trick for a great Drive In experience was to get the right parking space so that you could see the film properly, etc .


Remember those old speakers they had that you needed to hang on the edge of your window?  I always used to be a bit afraid they might break the windows . . .  and sometimes they didn't work, so you would have to change your "ultimate" parking spot for another one with a speaker that did.  This wasn't a problem in later years as you could tune in the sound on the car radio.  But of course the sound quality was never really great no matter it was from a speaker or a radio.  It was always tinny.   We never seemed to care however.  It was a given that the sound would be crapola.  Not like today.

 Going to the Drive In was one of the cheapest ways we had to treat the children to a film when my kids were growing up and it was a top notch family experience.  We would pack up sandwiches and drinks and snacks . . .  blankets and pillows and head off usually on a Friday or a Saturday night.  The kids loved it.  Not only did they get to stay up much later than usual, but they loved to play on the swings and such that lay at the front of the parking area.  We used to park up close to them so that they could wear themselves out a bit before the movies started and we could see where they were.  (Safety first!)


As dusk started to descend people would begin honking their horns with impatence, wanting the movies to begin.  It wasn't considered rude, it was all a part of the fun.  Those first flickering images and ads would send the kids racing back to the car to settle in for the film viewing for the evening.   There was always cartoons first and then the older film, an interlude and then the feature film.  I doubt any of them were ever awake when the feature film started.


Even though we would have brought snacks and food with us, the dancing hot dogs were always so very tempting and of course you could smell french fries and the like in the air, so we would always, always end up buying them some chips/french fries.

And they always tasted sooooooo very good.  Hot dogs always tasted really good as well, but that was a treat I only ever really enjoyed as a teen at the Drive In, never as an adult with a family.  Far too cost prohibitive!


I remember this as being one of the last films we took them to see at the Drive In.  It was in London, Ontario.  The reason it stands out is because we all had a great laugh at the antics of this family and their road trip, never dreaming that less than 24 hours later we would all be piling into our car to make a quick and very unexpected trip to Nova Scotia, having gotten the call that my mum was in hospital.

I never ever see that movie without remembering the lovely evening we spent at the Drive In together as a family.  Oh sure there would have been the inevitable "He's touching my space," "She's looking at me," "I need to go pee" annoyances, but for the most part I only have very happy memories of these times.


Sadly most Drive In Theatres look like this nowadays, having been abandoned and being no longer in use.  Its kind of sad really.  These were a part of the fabric of my youth and early family years.  I know that it is much more convenient nowadays to just pop a dvd in and to pop some microwave popcorn in . . .  but somehow I can't help feeling that there is something very special which has been lost.

I believe its called progress  . . . 

Yesterday when we went to go grocery shopping as we pulled our of our drive we noticed that our next door neighbors car had had its windscreen totally smashed in along with one of the passenger windows on the side closest to the road.   The disgruntled boyfriend of her niece was to blame I later found out.  When I first saw it my immediate thought was that she had been in an accident and I was concerned that she or her son might have been hurt.  I was relieve that wasn't the case, but I was really saddened that someone could do this or would do this to someone else.  She is a single mum who is doing an amazing job of bringing up her son and a really nice person.  I spoke to her later on and she said sadly that there is no proof that he did it.  Bricks don't hold fingerprints, etc.  So she will have to bear whatever burden of cost there is apart from what the insurance pays out as well as feeling frightened that it might happen again.  Shame on him.  If I live to be a hundred I will never be able to understand the mentality of people who do things like this . . .

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Baking in The English Kitchen today . . .  some delicious Orange and Poppyseed Muffins!

A thought to carry with you through today  . . .

Live life in the present,
and make it so beautiful
it will be worth remembering.
~Ida Scott Taylor

Have a wonderful and blessed Sabbath day!  Whatever you get up to today, don't forget . . . 

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And I do too!!

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Learning new tricks . . .

I've been on a bit of a learning curve this week.  I decided that this Dinosaur needed to come into the 21st century and went shopping for a smartphone.  I did get one six years ago, but could never come to terms with using it and so it ended up lanquishing in a box in a cupboard for most of that time, whilst I was locked into a contract and using a much simpler phone. 

I decided though, that since I am quite versant now with my iPad and all the things that it can do, a smart phone actually could be a very helpful tool for me and I would now be able to figure out how to use one properly.

Taking a step like this is a really big deal for an older person.  Young people, it seems, are born with technological know-how running through their veins.  Us oldies on the other hand seem to really struggle with it, or at least I do at any rate.  I can fix a vacuum cleaner but don't ask me how to get onto my e-mail using technology I am not familiar with!


I had done a bit of research online first, and so we decided to go to Carphone Warehouse.  They seemed to have the best prices and deals.  I have to say I was VERY impressed with the service we got.  The girl who waited on me did everything she could for me as far as picking out the phone which would serve me the best.   I told her I wanted a phone which was easy to use, but which also took really great photos because I wanted to start using Instagram and my iPad took really crappy bad photos, not to mention was awkward, bulky and not so easy to carry around.  I thought she would say an iPhone but nope, she recommended a Samsung,which she said took great photos and was a lot cheaper than an iPhone, and actually she said took better photos than an iPhone.  In fact she said it was the phone she used herself.

AND, she got me all set up with it, showed me how to use it, installed the programs for me that I wanted to use, and made sure that when I left the shop I was pretty conversant with it.  The instruction books they put in with these phones/cameras, etc. are really pretty poor nowadays.  I can never figure out anything from reading them, but then I am much more of a tactile learner.  Having all the help that she gave me was a huge help and almost as good as having a young person in the house at home.


I have had it for several days now and I have only had to go back to the shop once to ask questions.  I call that a result!  I had clicked on a video on FB and couldn't get it to go off my screen.  Every time I clicked on FB it was there and I couldn't look at anything else.  Simple solution.  I now know how to get rid of such things.  There was a little return arrow down in the corner that you touch.  I hadn't noticed it.  It was the same with messenger.  The people's faces that messaged me kept showing up with little circle faces and I didn't know how to get rid of those.  She showed me how to do that.  One other biggie was how to access the wifi at home so I didn't need to be using the wifi included with my phone plan.  Again she showed me how to do that.  All of these problems had very simple solutions and were sorted lickety split!

 Yesterday I even managed to change my ring tone and download a game for free.  WOW!!   I even impressed myself!

Another thing I had worried about was that it would be expensive, but it has ended up being just as cheap as my old regular phone was, and I got the phone for free.   I am in a contract for two years, but that's no biggie as I would have had a phone anyways for two years.  My phone useage isn't over the top really. I am not attached at the hip to my phone.  I don't go out and about a lot.   So my wifi usuage will basically only be from the house, or church.  Also I get unlimited texts and voice calls, which is a plus.  With my old phone and plan I had to pay for each one.

I have even managed to take a photograph and upload it onto Instagram.  I was impressed with myself.  You can follow me on Instagram here.  Who knows what I will get up to next!


Sometimes you can teach an old dinosaur new tricks!  What's next?  Self pouties?  Nope, I don't think so.   I may be a dinosaur but even I know that wouldn't be a good thing.   LOL  (It took me years to realise that didn't mean lots of love.)

A thought to carry with you through today  . . .

It's difficult to think anything 
but pleasant thoughts
while eating a home-grown tomato.
~Lewis Grizzard

Spiritual Enlightenment

In The English Kitchen today . . .  a very delicious Blackberry,  Apple and Almond Crumble!

Have a great Saturday!  Whatever you get up to today, be safe and don't forget . . .

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And I do too!!

Friday, 26 August 2016

My Friday Finds

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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!

The new scent from Yankee Candle. Witches Brew.   I got a candle melt in this scent yesterday and it is absolutely gorgeous.  It smells rich and exotic with almost an incense smell.  I love it.  Like the smell of patchouli.  I used to wear Patchouli oil as a perfume when I was about 17.  We all did!


A compendium of five vintage books on pickling, war-time recipes, household tips, etc.  Tis the season and all that!  From The Homestead Survival.   I love these sorts of books!

From Pretty Things for You.  Free pretty mason jar tags to print out.  Love these too!  There are lots of beautiful printables on that page.


Again, from The Homestead Survival,  Fire Cider.   For colds and flu and whatever ails you.


How to make Brown Sugar.  This could come in handy if you are baking and suddenly find that you are out of brown sugar!  From Imagine Acres.


Making your own extracts for cooking and gift giving.  From Learning and Yearning.  I have always wanted to do this.


* Frozen Lemon Trick * Freeze the entire lemon, peel and all. Once frozen, using a grater, add bits of lemon (yes, the entire lemon!) to all your dishes. It will enhance the flavor and aid in digestion besides other things. 


How to can your own homemade baked beans.  From Canning Homemade.   Oh, I do so love baked beans, especially home baked beans, but you don't always have time to do them from scratch do you.  This solves that problem.  ☺ 

It will soon be back to school for the kidlets.  I found a whole passle of  Bento Lunch Ideas.  From Happiness is Homemade.  I wouldn't mind a Bento Lunch myself!


From Thistle Bear.   A beautiful Crochet Pillow Cover.   I love it! 


Some really cure Felt Christmas Ornaments from Crafts Beautiful.  There is this reindeer, a bird, tree, etc.

Lacy Waves Poncho.  A free pattern from Creative Knitting.


Here is a very worthwhile project.  Twiddle Muffs.  These are sensory sleeves that you can make for patients with Alzheimers.  Most hospitals and homes are very grateful for them, or even family members.  You can find loads of free patterns for them and they are a great way to use up bits and bobs. This one is from  Tales from Spring Cottage.


13 foolproof ways to  improve your life and become a better person.  From Nialogique.

And that's my finds for this week. I hope you found something to inspire!

A thought to carry with you through today . . .

After silence, 
that which comes closest 
to expressing the inexpressible . . . 
is music.
~Aldous Huxley

Spiritual Enlightenment 

In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Toffee Banana and Toasted Pecan Loaf!

Have a happy Friday! Be blessed!  I have a very busy day ahead.   Making a casserole to take to a friend who is moving house, just a meal so that is one less thing for them to worry about.  Taking some books I am getting rid of to Ariana's.  (She is looking for cookery books, yay!) and then we are going to go and sit with a friend who hasn't been well so that her husband can go out and get a few bits done that he needs to do.  She can't be left on her own.   Whatever you get up to today, don't forget . . .

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And I do too!!