Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Wednesday morning ponderings . . .

Last evening I laid in a small supply of candy treats, just in case we get some Trick or Treaters this year.   Not a lot, just two bags of small sized candy bars . . . Mars and Milky Ways.  We've never gotten Trick or Treaters really, not in all the time I have lived over here, but . . . I live in hope.

Todd doesn't understand Halloween.  Of course, it is not something he has grown up with, and it is something which is only beginning to become popular over here, having always lingered in the shadow of Guy Fawkes night which is in a few days time.  He thought I could just take chocolates out of the box of chocolate in the sideboard and give them to the kiddies.  I looked aghast at him when he suggested that and told him that one does not give children candy that is unwrapped!

It reminded me of the year when my children were much, much younger that they came back with tins of peas and carrots in their trick or treat bags.  We had moved into a neighborhood of elderly people and they must not have been used to seeing trick or treaters . . . they gave my children what they had to give.  It was quite humorous really, although my children were not amused.  Tins of peas and carrots cannot compete with packets of crisps and candy bars!

Source: via Tamara on Pinterest

I miss the days when I had children around and all of the excitement which lead up to Halloween . . . the picking of costumes . . . the carving of the pumpkins into Jack-o-Lanterns.  Such an exciting time.  They are having an event at the chapel tonight for all the children.  A Car Boot thingie, with prizes given to the best decorated Car Boot, and of course lots of candy will be handed out.  I hope it stays dry for them.   I suppose we could dress Todd up as a Scarecrow and plant him in the boot of our car . . . but I doubt he would go for that.

It is an anniversary for me today.  It was twelve years ago today that I stepped off that plan in Manchester and took up residence in the UK for good.  I was so very tired after having flown all night and my suitcases were super heavy, not to mention that 2 liter tin of Maple Syrup which I had carried the whole way over with me.  It was a time of great excitement for me, as . . . in just a few short weeks,  I would become Mrs Rayner . . . a bride for the third and final time in my life.

As I look over these past twelve years, and see all of the changes that my life has gone through during this time . . .  I am astounded and amazed.   It has been an incredible journey.   Of course I stayed with a woman from our Church until Todd and I actually married, but when we did marry, I moved into a one bedroom ground floor maisonette flat.  Todd had been living as a Bachelor for many years and didn't have a lot in the way of cooking materials, or anything else for that matter.  I had only what I could carry with me.  I had crammed as much as I could into my suitcases . . . and mailed myself a few boxes, but it really wasn't much.

Within a few weeks I had found a job, working at a nursing home across the street from our flat.  I worked there for over a year.  It wasn't the nicest job in the world.  The other girls were very coarse and ignorant, and treated me very badly . . . because I was churchy and didn't drink or smoke, and a foreigner to boot!  I left there to work at a Service Station with Todd and took courses part time to upgrade my skills, studying to become a Chef as well as a Medical Secretary, with the idea in mind that when he retired retired, we would seek employment for me in one of those fields.

As it turned out I was employed full time as a Personal Chef, and we ended up moving down South and spent 7 1/2 years down there, living and working in a beautiful environment.  It was kind of like living in a dream actually, especially the first 5 or 6 years.  I was paid very well.  We got to live in a beautiful cottage, with beautiful gardens.  I got to work in a home with historical value and filled with beautiful things . . . we were isolated in a sort of bubble actually.  It was not like being in the real world.  It was an interesting experience and I learned a lot during those years . . . a lot about life and about many other things . . . I am glad I did it.

I was sorry when it ended, and upset as you will probably all remember, but upon looking back at that time . . .  I can now see that it was the best thing to happen for us . . . God's timing was perfect as it is in all things, and now we are here back where we started, those twelve years ago . . . having come full circle . . . and life is good,  and I am glad.  I have always loved Chester.  We no longer live in a one bedroom flat . . . nor do we live in a beautiful Country cottage, but God has been good to us, and we have a very comfortable three bedroom home with a huge garden.  We love each other very much, if not more than we did when we began our lives together, and I could not imagine being anywhere else on earth.  Here is where I belong and  exactly where I want to be.

Over the twelve years I have seen four of my five children get married, and six grandchildren born.  My baby boy has grown into a man with a good career in the Canadian Air Force, and I would be lying if I said I did not miss living closer to them, and to my parents.  I miss them incredibly, but thanks to the wonder of Modern Technology the world is a much smaller place now, and instant communication is at our fingertips, with Face Time on the i-pad and other things. 

As I ponder over the past twelve years I can see how very wonderful they have been and how very far I have come.   I could never have conceived when I stepped off that plane the great adventure I would take and all the wonderful people I would meet,  and the things which I would experience in the ensuing years . . . my life has been truly amazing and so very, very good. I am so glad I took the chance and lost sight of the shore.

"You can never cross the ocean, unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore."

As the month of October draws to a close . . . the air begins to smell of frosted windfalls.  Leaves drift down leaving most of the branches bare and we begin to see more sky.  The nights draw in earlier and cold seeps in through the cracks beneath the doors and catches out bones . . . tis the time for candlelit nights and fires to warm your toes by, mugs of hot chocolate and lap blankets . . . canoodling by the fire.

I miss the long summer twilights . . . when the day seems to linger indefinitely, but mornings now hold a certain sparkle, and I love to see the shadows of our home fall across the garden, gilded with silver frost after the sun has melted the rest of the crystals on the grass . . . our lives caught up in a crystal palace as it were. If only for a short moment in time, we can be Kings and Queens . . .

"Voices calling and laughing were carried on the wind like Fall Leaves."


Baking in The English Kitchen today . . . a very autumnal bake of Butternut Squash Baked with Tomatoes and Cheese.

Please keep the people affected by Hurricane Sandy in your hearts and prayers.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

The Simple Woman's Day Book . . .

FOR TODAY, October 30th, 2012...

Outside My Window...

  The day is waking up and it is cold.  I can see the sun rising in the window right in front of me.  I love watching the sun rise each morning.  It's my favourite time of the day.

I am thinking...

Source: via Marie on Pinterest

"All the flowers of tomorrow are in the seeds of today."

Everything we do in life has consequences.When we make right choices we reap the rewards and they are good.  When we make wrong choices we reap the rewards and they are not so good.  An acquaintance of mine joined the church a few years ago and from that point on everything seemed to go wrong.  She blamed her joining the church for it all . . . when in reality, everything that was happening was because of poor choices she had made well before joining the church.  Being a member of the church only meant that she now had support she needed to help her get through the consequences of her poor choices.  Sadly she did not see it that way and I have not been able to speak to her for a while now . . . she chooses to no longer be my friend.  I would be her friend whether she was a member of the church or not . . . but alas . . . she is not as broad minded as I am.

I am thankful for...

My family.  I may not be able to speak to them very often and there are still rifts that need healing, but I am confident that with the power of prayer and action, these relationships will one day be whole again.

From the kitchen... 

This is Fennel and Feta Linguine.  I watched Nigel Slater make it the other day on Dish of the Day.  I want to make this.  I have everything I need in the fridge to do it.  Watch this space!  You know I love Nigel Slater recipes.  He's the best.  Todd sadly will not like it, but c'est la vie!  

If he's a really good boy, maybe I  will make him one of these.

I am wearing...

A PINK M&S nightie, with long sleeves, made from brushed fleece.  Warm. My slippers.  Bundling up for the cooler months.  I need to buy a few more long sleeved nighties.  I only have the two.

I am creating...


Working on 
the finishing touches for my Christmas Cook-booklet.  I have had ever so much fun doing this one, and if I don't get it finished soon . . . it will be too late.  I need a kick up the backside!!  (I really do!!)  I WILL FINISH IT TODAY and not allow myself to get distracted by anything else!

Anyone wanting Christmas Cards, needs to order them now.  As I do each one individually by hand they do take some time to put together.  Leave a comment or e-mail me if you are wanting any!  I have all the ones available from years gone past, plus new ones for this year.

If you want some and wait too much longer, it will be too late.  I won't have time to make them and get them out to you.

I am loving these.  I think they would make really nice favors for the women at our RS Christmas Extra Meeting at the beginning of December.

Here is a little peek at the character development I am doing for the children's book I am working on.  It's just an initial sketch, and not concrete at this point, but I like where it is going.

I am going... 
 I am taking my stuff into the gallery on Wednesday (tomorrow) and then on Thursday we have one set of the missionaries coming over for supper.  Other than that I think my calendar is free, which is a good thing because I have much to be doing here at home.  My talk went very well on Sunday by the way.  I had a lot of people come up to me and say they enjoyed it.  Of course they would say that anyways, and so would Todd.  I felt I could have done better, but then you always think of about a hundred different things you could have said after the fact!

I am reading...

Borrowed Light, by Carla Kelly
Julia Darling never expected to cook for some cowboys in Wyoming, but when she breaks off her engagement in Salt Lake City, it's the perfect opportunity for her to escape. Determined to stick the job out, Julia faces her biggest challenge yet - letting go of borrowed light to find her own testimony. Set in the early 1900s.

I am really enjoying this book!  It is a historical romance, but without the smut, and very entertaining.  The characters are very real and the main character is a cook!  Absolutely loving this.  It's refreshing and funny and interesting!  The characters are sweet, loveable and believable.  The perfect escape.


Jesus, a novel,  by Walter Wangerin Jr

With eloquence and beauty, the award-winning author of Book of the Dun Cow, The Book of God, and Paul: A Novel turns his pen to history’s most compelling figure: Jesus of Nazareth. In vibrant language, Walter Wangerin Jr. sweeps away centuries of tradition and reveals a man of flesh-and-heart immediacy. Passionate, intelligent, and irresistibly real, this is a Jesus pulsing with life who will captivate you as thoroughly as he did the men and women who walked with him across Galilee’s golden countryside.
Days of centuries past become today, lit with bright colors of the imagination. Wangerin shows you Jesus through the eyes of the two people who were with him at very the foot of the cross, the two who knew and loved him best: John the apostle, and Jesus’ beloved mother, Mary. . . .

 I am reading this one on my Kindle.  I've read it before, but wanted to read it again.  It's a fab book.  He is a brilliant writer.  I've also read his "Book of God."  Another fab read!  He brings the scriptures to live in a wonderful way.

I am hoping...
I am hoping and praying that anyone in the direct path of Hurricane Sandy will not take chances and be safe.  I really have them all in my prayers and thoughts.  I also pray for those who have already been negatively affected by it.  This is one wicked storm.  They need all the prayers they can get. 

I am hearing...
Nothing new really.
I can hear the boiler running. Clocks ticking.  Mitzie snoring.  Computer keys ticking.  The usual.

Around the house...

I really want to line all of my dresser drawers with paper like this.  What a sweet surprise that would be each time I opened them up.  We have Ikea furniture in our bedroom and it is pretty.  The drawers are lined with yellow and white striped papers, but I want flowers, coz I am a flowery kind of a gal.

I would really, really, REALLY love to have a good old fashioned rocking chair.  I have always wanted one.   My ex and I put a deposit down on one . . . it must have been a good 26 or 27 years ago now, and sadly we never did finish paying for it or get it.  If I had a wooden rocker, I would sit in it in the evenings and do my needlework. I bet it would be a lot better for my back.

One of my favourite things . . .

I love pillow cases.  Especially white pillow cases which have been embroidered or rick racked or lace trimmed.  I am not sure why that is.  I think it is because they hearken back to simpler times.  I know that in "MY" heaven it will be just like it was in the 1950's because that is the time period I love, and because I will be skinny, I will be able to dress like this:

What do you think???

Something new about me ...
I hate spiders.  I am terrified of spiders.  I don't know why.  It's quite irrational.  I have never had a spider hurt me.  They just give me the creeps and if I know one is in my bedroom I cannot sleep until it is gone.

One of my guilty pleasures ...

Gold Fish crackers.  I could eat them until they are coming out my ears.  These are homemade ones and on my list of things to make soon!  I am thinking homemade ones will be infinitely tastier than store bought ones!

Pet Peeves... 

The way that people never go beyond what is expected of them today.  They do what they are paid for and nothing more, and in fact if they can get away with less than what they are paid for, they will do that.  There doesn't seem to be much pride in a job well done these days.  For instance, the bin men were around yesterday.  We are in this new heavy duty recycling scheme now.  Todd mistakenly got a few bits of plastic in the cardboard box.  Even though they were collecting ALL the recyclables, including the plastics and we had more plastics in the right box . . . they left the few bits that were in the wrong box and did not empty them.  The place for them was right there on their truck!  It was only a few bits!  Come on!  What could it have hurt to just make a little bit of an extra effort and put them in the right slot.  Probably about as much effort as it did for them to pick them out and leave them behind.  *Grumble* *Grumble*

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

"Books.  People have no idea how beautiful books are.  How they taste on your fingers.  How bright everything is when you light it with words."
~Rachel Kadish, Tolstoy Lied

I love books.  I have always loved books.  Old books, new books . . . any books.  I love the way they smell and how they feel in your hands.  I love the feeling of anticipation when you open a new book for the first time.  I think it would be a very sad world where there were not any more real books.  I hope that we never get to that place . . . where a book would be obsolete.  Books are beautiful.  Books are important.  Books are necessary.

As a closing thought I would like to leave you with this:

"Things which sound like platitudes become vital, living and powerful when you have to learn them in dark tunnels."
~Elizabeth Elliot
And there you have it . . . my day book for this week. Don't forget to hop on over to the Simple Woman to check out the other day book entries! (Or better yet, do a simple day book entry yourself! It's not that hard and I am betting you would enjoy it!) 

There are some really scrummy Bakewell Sausage Tarts on offer over in The English Kitchen today . . . along with a whole bunch of other goodies!


Monday, 29 October 2012

On being content . . .

"This day by God's mercy I am 29 years of age, and in very good health, and like to live and get an estate and if I have a heart to be contented, I think I may reckon myself as happy a man as any in the world, for which God be praised. So to prayers, and to bed."
~Samuel Pepys, February 23, 1662

I love to read quotes like this.  These words show a man who is happy and content with the life he is living, and to me that is all that is something which should be at the root of any happy life . . . a heart filled with contentment.  No one is happy without thinking they are happy . . .  and having a contented heart is where it begins.

I like to think that I have a contented heart . . . but there are always things I can change, which might make me even more content.  I tend to be somewhat of a worrier . . . and I need to work on that.  Worry never did change a thing . . . but prayer does . . . so perhaps instead of worrying next time I am tempted to do so . . . I should bend my knees instead.

Contented people are those who are able to laugh and who laugh frequently.  They laugh at life, they laugh at themselves, they laugh along with others . . . they are able to see the funny side in most things. Children laugh on average more than four hundred times a day.  (Don't you just love statistics?)  Think about a baby or a toddler . . . it's not hard at all to make one laugh, and it doesn't take much.  You can simply pull a funny face at one, or hide your face behind your hands and then pop it out again and they are off and laughing.  Joy in simple things . . . looking at life with a humorous attitude.  That is the key.  It's all in how you see things.  You could simply see that adult as someone who is stupidly hiding their face behind their hands trying to trick you into thinking they have disappeared . . . or you could see them as someone who is desperately trying hard to make you smile . . . and then appreciate the effort by smiling in return.

I think kindness is another key to feeling content.  My father always told me that being kind never cost a penny, and it is true.  It's not hard to be kind and can start simply by a person trying to be more mannerly, and by that I don't just mean saying please and thank you.  I mean kindness in showing consideration for others . . . if you are in a queue at the shops and you have a full cart, yet the person behind you has only one or two items . . . what can it hurt to turn around and say, "Do please go first.  You have only a few things and I have a full cart." They might look at you a bit surprised, but if you insist, they will break out into a sweet smile and that will make you feel happier too.  Try it . . . it works.  I promise you.

Source: via Marie on Pinterest

Kindness means that when you are in slow traffic on the motorway, you let the person who is trying to edge in from the left, make their way into the front of you, with a happy wave . . . it doesn't mean that you grit your teeth and edge ever closer to the car in front of you in a determination to make sure the person on the left doesn't get in.    By letting them in, you automatically feel better yourself . . . you won't be that much later to your destination really . . . and you've done a good turn.  How bad can that be?  or feel?

Kindness is stopping to open a door for someone who is clearly struggling to do so with arms filled . . . it's standing up on the bus to give someone else a seat when they are clearly more in need of it than yourself, it's helping that short person in the shops to read the item they are struggling to reach on the top shelf, it's taking the time to listen . . . even if you have heard the story a million times before and you are in a hurry to move along.  Kindness costs nothing . . . and yet means the world.

Criticism, judging others harshly, being finicky . . . they have no place on the shelf of contentment.  Sarcasm and pointless negativity likewise . . . how much better to fill your shelf with praise, empathy and silver linings . . . and laughter.

Source: via Marie on Pinterest

"Whoever is merry and cheerful has always a good reason for so being, namely the very fact that he is so.  Nothing can so completely take the place of every other blessing as can this quality, whilst it itself cannot be replaced by anything.  A man may be young, handsome, wealthy, and esteemed, if we wish to judge of his happiness, we ask whether he is cheerful."

If you want to feel happy and lighthearted . . . you need to act that way.  Laugh out loud, be happy, find the silver lining.  Laughter is more than just a pleasurable activity.  It boosts immunity, lowers blood pressure, increases tolerance for pain, is a source of social bonding, reduces conflict, cushions social stress within relationships . . . be they at work in marriage or amongst strangers.  When people laugh together . . . they tend to talk together and to get along better with each other.  I think one of the most exquisite pleasures in life has to be making people laugh . . . and being able to laugh at life and yourself.

Act the way you want to feel, and it soon becomes a habit, and quite natural. Be positive. Be kind.  Don't worry . . . be happy.  Pray frequently and often.  Practice contentment . . . and soon it will be a way of life.

Just my thoughts this morning . . .

My prayers are with those along the Eastern Seaboard of the US as they face this mega storm which is raging it's way up the coast.  May you be safe, and warm and dry.  I spoke to my mother yesterday afternoon and she said they were not expecting too much in the Valley, and I hope not.  She stresses out each time it rains even a bit heavy . . . as her basement is prone to flooding.  We all wish she would move to a place where this wouldn't happen . . . but she is a very stubborn woman and I guess in reality the stress  of moving house at the age of 80 isn't something any of us would want to experience either.


Not a lot on today, a bit of cooking, a bit more work in the craft room and to get cracking on the illustrations for that children's book are on my agenda.  Wherever you are whatever you are doing, I hope your day runs smoothly and well, and that you are . . . content.  Don't worry . . . be happy.

“Things work out, it isn't as bad as you sometimes think it is. It all works out, don't worry. I say that to myself every morning. It will all work out. If you do your best, it will all work out. Put your trust in God, and move forward with faith and confidence in the future. The Lord will not forsake us. If we will put our trust in him, if we will pray to him, if we will live worthy of his blessings, he will hear our prayers.”
 ~Gordon B. Hinckley

Cooking in The English Kitchen today . . . best turkey burgers ever . . . Thai Turkey Burgers!


Sunday, 28 October 2012

Finding true beauty . . .

I think it's probably more difficult to be a woman today than it has ever been.  A lot of us bought into that feminist myth in the 60's and 70's which told us you could have it all . . . and have discovered in the ensuing years that you just can't.  The glass in both kingdoms will only ever be half full . . . you can have one or the other and do them well . . . but you can't do both and do both well, not without something really suffering . . . you just can't burn a candle at both ends without something burning out . . .

Then there is the whole beauty/thinness thing.  We are surrounded on all sides by a beauty/thinness myth, which many of us struggle to uphold.  We are shown pictures of young girls made up to look like women, pictures of young women, with every freckle or flaw airbrushed out . . . a bevvy of celebrities who starve themselves (and models) to look a certain way . . . and models and stars in magazines whose photos have been so airbrushed and contorted that they don't even recognize themselves . . . and we are told this is how we need to look.  This leaves a lot of women wanting, or feeling flawed, or feeling inadequate, ugly, fat . . . unable to ever live up to the standard which has been set for us by a media and industry ever  hungry for more of that hard earned money we've  make from  burning the candle at both ends.

I watched my ex boss struggle with an aging body and face for years.  She had botox shots regularly, and spent a fortune on face creams, make ups, clothes, shoes, etc.  I never saw her eat a decent meal the whole time I worked for her . . . she exercised relentlessly and was always starving.  She took so many vitamins in the morning it's a wonder she didn't rattle when she walked.  She spend hours preening and making herself up every day . . . but very little time building her substance from the inside, not that any of us could see at any rate . . .

In reality there is no beauty to be found in makeup.  Neither do beautiful clothes create a beautiful woman.  The secret lies in being alive, awake . . . a woman with something to offer the world.   True beauty is less about your face and body and more about your smile.  Less about the length of your legs or lack of it . . . and more about the bounce in your step.  Less about the shape of your eyebrows and the length of your eyelashes . . . and more about the twinkle in your eye.  Real beauty comes from being a workable, decisive woman of substance, able to participate in life with a warm smile, generous heart and gentle, teachable and  giving spirit.

Source: via Preston on Pinterest

If you have these qualities you are a beautiful woman . . . and living the life you have been given will bring out even more beauty in your because it is helping to uncover the woman that you are.  With each year that passes, each experience, each sorrow  and each joy . . . more and more of the authentic you shows, and more of your beauty glows.

Life is a living and breathing, magical work of art, and you are the one painting this masterpiece with the help of the Master's hands as you go along.   Be the masterpiece you were created to become.  Drink in life, laugh out loud, be generous and kind to those around you . . . speak with a gentle tongue.

Create beauty around you and you will discover the beauty within.  Plant a garden and get your hands dirty.   Take in beauty where you find it . . . autumn leaves, winter's frost, springtime blossom.  When you appreciate the beauty in another's charm, or another sunset, the smudged painting of your child's hand print presented to you with joy and love, or a beautiful piece of music, or poetry . . . you are saying yes to beauty . . . you are saying yes to God.

The beauty is in the detail . . . and the details are in small and simple things, little pockets of joy which seek us out each day.  There is a way to have it all . . . and a way to be beautiful.  It's just not found in a pot, nor is it found by working ourselves to the death . . . you have to stop and smell the roses along the way, and appreciate the simple pleasures in life with gratitude and with praise . . . you have to work on being beautiful  from the inside out.

Just my thoughts this morning . . .

 “The happiest people I know are not those who find their golden ticket; they are those who, while in pursuit of worthy goals, discover and treasure the beauty and sweetness of the everyday moments.” 
~Dieter F Uchtdorf

I'm off to read over my talk for church this morning, one last time.  I hope that I will be able to convey what the Lord wants me to say, and I hope that someone within the sound of my voice is able to take something from my words that will be to their benefit . . . I wish for each of you a special sabbath day filled to overflowing with beauty and with blessings.


Baking in The English Kitchen today . . . scrummy Lemon and Jam Slices!


Saturday, 27 October 2012

Poetry Saturday . . . An Apple Gathering

I plucked pink blossoms from mine apple-tree
And wore them all that evening in my hair;
Then in due season when I went to see
I found no apples there.

With dangling basket all along the grass
As I had come I went the self-same track;
My neighbors mocked me while they saw me pass
So empty- handed back.

Lilian and Lilias smiled in trudging by,
Their heaped-up basket teazed me like a jeer;
Sweet-voiced they sang beneath the sunset sky,
Their mother's home was near.

Plump Gertrude passed me with her basket full,
A stronger hand than hers helped it along;
A voice talked her through the shadows cool
More sweet to me than song.

Ah Willie, Willie, was my love less worth
Than apples with their green leaves piled above?
I counted rosiest apples on the earth
Of far less worth than love.

So once it was with me you stooped to talk
Laughing and listening in this very lane;
To think that by this way we used to walk
We shall not walk again!

I let my neighbours pass me, ones and twos
And groups; the latest said the night grew chill,
And hastened; but I loitered; while the dews
Fell fast, I loitered still.
-Christina Rossetti

Christina Rossetti  (1830 - 1894) is widely regarded as the most considerable woman poet in England before the twentieth century.  No reading of nineteenth century poetry can be complete without attention to this prolific and popular poet.  Rossetti's inner life dominates her poetry, exploring loss and unattainable hope.  Her divine poems have a freshness and toughness of thoughts, while many of her love poems are erotic, and as often express love for women as for men.

Her work ranged from simple-seeming love lyrics and carols like "In the bleak mid-winter! through dramatic fantasy poems like "Goblin Market" to devotional and mystical meditations on the human and divine.  Her work displays a teasing sense of humor and a Gothic imagination as well as  a strong moral sense.  Born into a largely Italian family in London, she was sister to two members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, and posed for some of their early paintings.  In her own right she worked at the London Penitentiary for Fallen Women, retraining young prostitutes for a respectable way of life.  She published four volumes of poetry, two books for children and a collection of sparkling stories.

Source: via Amy on Pinterest

Brrr . .. it's very cold out there this morning and a heavy frost has fallen.  We saw the gritters were out last night, so bad weather must be expected, and snow in some of the Nothern areas and on higher ground.

My check up at Docs went well yesterday and I am considered to be in very good health, other than the arthritis.  My blood pressure and cholesterol are in good form, probably due to the medications I take for them, which is good and on the little test they do for health, it was unlikely that I will have a heart attack in the next ten years.  So that is good news, as I worry about that with my mother and father both having heart problems.  She did ask if I had a sweet tooth, and so I was told to cut back on the goodies.  I do have rather a sweet tooth I confess . . . liking my chocolate and boiled sweets.  I shall have to contain myself I fear . . .

I got my talk all written yesterday.  It took me four hours, but looks good.  I read it out to Todd and he says it's good and my timings are down right.  I was glad to get that done so now I can concentrate on other things!  (Like finishing the craft room says Todd!)

A bit of inspiration to carry you through Saturday . . .

Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them.
~Leo Tolstoy

Baking in The English Kitchen today . . . Ginger, White Chocolate Chunk and Macadamia Nut Blondies!

Don't forget to put your clocks back tonight!