Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Wednesday morning this and that . . .


 I decided to go into town with Todd yesterday to pay the rent.  It was a pretty nice day weather-wise and I wanted to take advantage of it.    We got on the bus and I paid my fair, ladies first and all that, and then Todd couldn't find his bus pass.  I didn't have an extra £2.20 on me to pay his fare so he said for me to go on in and he would look for his bus pass and meet me by the town hall, and so I continued the journey on my own.   (A small side observation here, why does one bus cost £2 return fare into Chester city centre and another one £2.20.  It doesn't make sense, but hey ho!)  So he got off and I sat down.

Several of my children suffer from anxiety.  They actually take medication for it.  I know I have other family members who also suffer from it.   I didn't think I did as well, but then I noticed yesterday on the bus that I may have well discovered the root of some of the health issues which have plagued me over the past few years.  I sat there on the bus and started thinking about things like  . . . . what if my knees lock in town and I can't get back to the bus, what if Todd can't find his bus pass (he couldn't find his bank card either so we had to report it missing (whole  'nother story) and so he couldn't get any cash either to pay the fare as he had no means), what if I got sick and he wasn't there and I fainted or something on the cobbles, broke my glasses, etc. etc.   As I started having these thoughts, I started to feel that tightening in my chest and all of the feelings I have associated with heart incidents, and then I stopped and I realised . . . .  "THIS IS ANXIETY!"  I was on my way towards a full blown anxiety attack, unless I stopped it right then and there.    So I said a little prayer and started to think about nice things, anything other than all the things that could go wrong and me being all alone to cope with them, and I calmed myself down.

I got off the bus in town and found a bench and parked myself on it and waited for Todd to arrive, which thankfully didn't take that long. His bus pass had been in his pocket all along.  DUH!


But in a way it was a good thing because I think I have recognised the cause of some of my problems and anxiety is at the root of it and if I think back, I have probably always been anxious about certain things and I am probably also a little bit OCD, but I have learnt to control it.   I think I will make an appointment with the Doctor to talk about it, or maybe I will just try to learn how to control it.  I don't think I want another pill to take.

It was so busy in Chester yesterday.  Lots of people out and about.  I suppose this is the last week before School starts up again and there were a lot of people shopping for school supplies and the like.  We paid the rent and I wanted to pick up some fruit and veg at M&S.  

I don't know why it is, but M&S has the nicest fruit and veg.   It seems to last a whole  lot longer when you get it home than the fruit and veg from other shops.  Its kind of weird really when you think about it, but its true.  It is the best.  They had some lovely white fleshed nectarines and plums, so I got some of those and a new vegetable I had never seen before called "Biancoli."


Biancoli is sweet sprouting cauliflower!  Like it's cousins tender-stem broccoli or purple sprouting broccoli, it is the gentler version of cauliflower.  I can't wait to use it!  First developed by  the Japanese,  sweet sprouting cauliflower has been likened to an edible bride’s bouquet, with long, thin-stemmed and tiny white-cream florets. Practical as well as a pretty face, the brassica is said to be sweeter, more versatile and easier to prepare and cook than its everyday counterpart, as well as not having the sometimes-wasteful thick stem.

Watch this space!

Look at what my next door neighbor gave us!  (Yes, this is the same one who had her car windows all smashed in at the weekend.)  We had to do a bit of rearranging, but I am so pleased with the results.   It looks lovely.  Its what they call "Shabby Chic."  We did originally have a bookcase there which we have moved into the front hall.  What a mess we found behind it however.  Cobwebs and BLACK MOLDE.  Ugh . . . that is the wall that backs onto the kitchen and on the other side of the wall is our washing machine and dishwasher.   The wall paper is coming off where the mold is and so we will have to strip that whole wall and paint.  We do want to paint the lounge and dining room anyways, so this just gives us impetus to get it done all the sooner.  I also have to rearrange the wall art.   Those Russian People Bread Boards are ones that I painted a very long time ago, before I even came over to the UK.  I have always loved them.    I did them from a photo I saw in a magazine.


Look at what came in the post yesterday!  I am so excited.  It is my DNA test and it came from Ireland.  I will collect it today and pop it back into the post and hopefully it won't be too long before I find out what my DNA roots are.   This is the best Birthday Present I could have ever gotten. (Thanks Val!)  I have wanted to do this for a very long time.   I am wondering where my DNA comes from . . .  what will they discover.  I am pretty sure there is Native North American DNA, and French/France, perhaps British, possibly German.  Its all very exciting.  I can't wait to see what the results are!


Its hard to believe, but today marks the 19th anniversary of the day we lost Princess Diana.   I can still remember exactly what I was doing when the news came over the telly that she had been in an accident.  I was living in Georgetown, Ontario and I was playing Yoshi's Island with the boys on the video player in the boy's bedroom when my husband called out from our room to say that she had been in an accident.  I remember sitting in the room and watching CNN until we went to bed that night and then dashing out and turning the news on first thing in the morning to discover the news that she had passed away.  Oh what sad news that was.  This was one of life's defining moments, much like when President Kennedy was assassinated or when man walked on the moon.   One of those moments where you remember exactly what you were doing, feeling, etc. when the incident happened.


I remember being utterly amazed by the amount of flowers which were left in remembrance of her by Kensington Palace, etc. and the flowers which were thrown at the hearse as it made its way to her final resting place.  I had never seen anything like it before  . . .  and of course the sadness of watching those young sons of hers walking so bravely behind her coffin. 

Eternally young and loved by many, I pause today to remember a woman who gave much to the world in her short life.

And with that I best leave you with a thought for the day  . . .

"I believe that we can accomplish any object 
that we make up our minds to, 
and no boy or girl ought to sit down and say, 
because they cannot do as well as somebody else, 
that they will not do anything." 
~Heber J Grant

Spiritual Enlightenment

Cooking in The English Kitchen today  . . .  Baked Chicken with Tarragon and Dijon Mustard.  Quite simply delicious!

I hope that you have a lovely Wednesday.  It looks as if it is going to be another fine day here today!  Whatever you get up to don't forget  . . .

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And I do too!!

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!!