Tuesday, 31 January 2017

The Simple Woman's Daybook . . .


 FOR TODAY, January 31, 2017

Outside my window ...
Its dark and cold, but no rain yet.   Long range forecast calls for rain however and lots of it.  And a cold front bringing colder weather.  Oh joy!  My arthritis always gets worse with the colder weather.

I am thinking ...
How can we already be at the last of January?  Wasn't Christmas like  . . .  yesterday???  Would someone please stop time!  However, on the other hand, the progression of time is the only way Spring is going to arrive, so maybe not.

In the kitchen ...

 Honey Garlic Pork Chops.  Todd really enjoyed these.  He is a meat and potatoes kind of a guy through and through.

On my "To Cook" list ...

Skinny Double Chocolate Brownies, from Kleinworth & Co.  Skinny?  Brownies?   YES please!

Good to know ...


 Been doing ivory soap and water for years, but never knew about olive oil.

I am creating ...
 I am working on a sewing kit in a biscuit tin.  The biscuit tin is a black scottie dog that had shortbread biscuits in it.

This is the tin, and its going to be so cute when it is finished.  I am making a scottie dog needle book, a scottie dog in cushion and other things.   I also have about six of these to do . . .


  . . . the same thing with.  We will see what happens.  My eyes are probably bigger than my head and for once I am not talking about food!

 From Little Limpet.  A Valentine Box Card Origami tutorial.  These are so cute!

 I love these embroidered Stuffed Valentine Hearts from Flamingo Toes.   Totally DIY.  ( I really love the names people give to their blogs.  I would love to know the story behind this one.)


 I also love these heart shaped pot holders.  I had bought some a long time ago on Etsy, but that seller is no longer there.  Guess I will have to make my own as the ones I have are getting tatty.   Tutorial on A Spoonful of Sugar.


 From Bugaboo City, a Valentines Day Love Letter Banner.   I adore this.

 And I am looking for the source for these.  They are totally adorable.

I am reading ...


Proof of Heaven,
a Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife, by Eben Alexander MD 

Internationally acclaimed neurosurgeon Dr Eben Alexander always considered himself a man of science. His unwavering belief in evidence-based medicine fuelled a career in the top medical institutions of the world. But all this was set to change.

One morning in 2008 he fell into a coma after suffering a rare form of bacterial meningitis. Scans of his brain revealed massive damage. Death was deemed the most likely outcome. As his family prepared themselves for the worst, something miraculous happened. Dr Alexander's brain went from near total inactivity to awakening. He made a full recovery but he was never the same. He woke certain of the infinite reach of the soul, he was certain of a life beyond death.

In this astonishing book, Dr Alexander shares his experience, pieced together from the notes he made as soon as he was able to write again. Unlike other accounts of near-death experiences, he is able to explain in depth why his brain was incapable of fabricating the journey he experienced. His story is one of profound beauty and inspiration.


I am looking forward to ...
My friend Lura and her husband John's visit in April, then my friend Val and her husbans Steve in May, and Elder Sorenson and his wife also in May, then my daughter Eileen and her husband Tim are hoping to come for the month of July.  So much to look forward to!  Oh yes and meeting up with my Friend Susan Dahlem (Not Quite June Cleaver) in August!  Yay!

Dreaming about ...

Having a kitchen island like this (and a kitchen large enough to fit it!)

A rustic guest bedroom . . .  and a room large enough to hold this  . . .


Sigh  . . .  bright and airy . . .

Can you just imagine  . . .

 Yes, please  . . .

Something to Watch ...

Recently rewatched and were entertained by The Terminal starring Tom Hanks. Enjoyed it every bit as much as the first time around.

A favourite quote for the day  . . . 

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

People can live for a hundred years without really living for a minute.
~The Gilmore Girls

Makes me smile ...

Puppies . . .  any kind.  Kittens too . . . 

One of my favourite things ...  

Vintage kitchenalia . . .  love these bowls.

Corners of my kingdom ...


Scotney Castle, Kent.  We sent many a Saturday there wandering around the grounds.  Just beautiful.

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, 30 January 2017

Snaps and snails . . .

 photo Luke-1.jpg

One of the younger  sisters in my church congregation just had a baby boy recently.    I saw him for the first time a few weeks back.   Wee babies are so beautiful.  His fingers were so tiny and delicate . . . that beautiful little face, so perfect . . . so sweet.    It reminded me of when my own boys were babies, and my girls too.   It was so long ago, and yet . . . it seemed like just yesterday that I was holding them in just the same way and they, too . . . were fresh from our Heavenly Father's presence.    My grandson Luke turns seven today.   He is my oldest son's youngest son . . . this is for him.

  photo Luke-2.jpg

Somewhere between the innocence of babyhood and the dignity of manhood, we discover a delightful little creature which is called a boy.   These creatures come in all different sizes, weights and colours, but all come with the same goal in life which is to enjoy every second of every minute of every hour of every day and to protest loudly when that day comes to an end and the last minute is finished and the adult male in the house packs em off to bed at night.

 photo LukeHalloween2012.jpg

You can find boys everywhere; on top of, beneath, inside of, climbing on, swinging from, running around or jumping to!   Mothers love and adore them, little girls hate the bones off them, older brothers and sisters tolerate them, adults ignore them, teenage girls adulate them . . . and Heaven protects them.

  photo image-3.jpg

A boy is truth with a dirty face, knowledge with bubblegum in his hair . . . and the hope of our future with a frog in his pocket.   When you are busy and wanting peace and quiet . . . a boy is an inconsiderate, bothersome, intruding cacophony of noise.  When you want him to impress, his brain turns to mush, or else he becomes a sadistic, savage, jungle creature bent on destroying the world and himself with it.

 photo 418695_10151204800947247_1025191058_n.jpg

A boy is a mixture of many things.   He has all of the appetite of a horse, the digestion of a sword swallower, the energy of a small atomic bomb and all of the curiosity of a cat.   In him is the imagination of Paul Bunyan, the lungs of  an absolutist, all the daring of a great adventurer, the enthusiasm of a fire cracker . . . as well as all of the shyness of a trembling violet.   When he makes something . . . and he often does . . . he appears to have five thumbs on each hand.

  photo LukeNovember2012.jpg

He likes ice cream and candy, knives and saws, Christmas, Comic Books, Dinosaurs, Video games, daring adventures, mud, his friends, the woods, water, horses and dogs, trains and fire engines, Saturday mornings and his Dad.  He's not into school of any kind, company, girls, getting his hair cut, washing behind his ears, wearing a tie, washing his hands, overcoats, adults, or bed time.   He's the first to rise in the morning and late for supper, but nobody can attack a meal with the appetite of a behemoth like a boy can.   Nobody else can get the pleasure out of trees, forts, dogs and breezes like a boy can.

 photo LukeMarch2012runningaway.jpg

They are magicians which can cram more into one pocket than is humanly possible . . . two rusty knives, two half eaten apples, three feet of string, a variety of rubber bands, an empty Bull Durham sack, a couple of hard candies, a couple of quarters, nickles and dimes, a treasure map,  a packet of bubblegum, a secret decoder ring, a sling shot, a dead frog and a big chunk of something completely unknown and undefinable.

 photo HappyBoys_zps37b133d3.jpg

Boys are wonderful beings.  You can lock him out of your kitchen, or workshop . . . but you can never lock him out of your heart.  You can keep him out of the study, but you can never keep him out of your mind.   He's your captor, your jailor, your boss and master . . . . freckle faced, pint sized . . .  a cat chasing bundle of noise, but at the end of the day when you are tucking him in bed with only the tatters of the day that was and your hopes and dreams . . . he can mend them like new, with three little words.   I love you.  And as those wiry little arms wrap themselves around your neck to say goodnight, you realize that  life is good . . . amazingly, wonderfully and beautifully good.

(Adapted into my own words from a piece by Alan Beck.  All of the photos this morning are of my grandson Luke. )


Happy Birthday Luke!  Grammy and GranTodd love you!   Your Joie de Vivre and boundless energy bring amazing light into our lives.  We hope your day is as brilliant as you are!

Many thanks to you all for your prayers, love and support for Todd and for me during this trial in our lives.  It means the world to me.   Everyone needs a "boo-hoo" "woe-is-me" moment now and then.  Thanks for bearing up with me me through mine.  It could always always be worse, and more often than not I am very aware of that . . . thanks for being with me when I am not!

A thought to carry with you  . . .

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

 *.˛.° ˛°. . 
˛* The closer we are to the shepherd,
the safer we are from the wolves.
~Jarred Wilson  •。★★ 。* 。 

Spiritual Enlightenment  

Cooking in The English Kitchen today  . . .  Tomato Lasagne.  Simple ingredients, beautiful flavours.   Wowza!

Have a fabulous Monday, may your week ahead be filled with small and wonderful things.  Don't forget along the way . . .

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

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Sometimes you just got to let go . . .


 I don't know why it happened but yesterday afternoon suddenly I felt all the weight of everything that has been pressing on me these past months.  I was just sitting on the sofa playing my simple little game, and the tears just began to roll down my cheeks.  I don't know if I have been in denial all these months or what but yesterday afternoon, while my husband was taking what has become his daily afternoon nap, and while I was sitting there all alone, I took my head out of that hole in the ground and I cried.  I actually allowed myself to think the words . . .  my husband has cancer.

Other than when we were sitting in the specialist's office, listening to the words "I'm afraid you have cancer" for the very first time, I have not allowed myself to dwell on them.  I shed a few silent tears in that office on that day . . .  but I had not allowed myself to think of the negative aspect of that since.   I have tried to remain positive, and upbeat . . .  but yesterday . . . I felt the burden and heartache of that diagnosis in a way I had not allowed myself to feel it and I  . . .  cried.

 I didn't want to be a grown-up anymore . . . . having to deal with grown up things, making grown up decisions, having to worry about this or that, having to confront the demons of my soul, having to face up to the difficulties of life . . .  having to face the mortality of the man that I love and of myself . . .  I just wanted to be able to reach out to my mom or my dad or my grandmother and just crawl into their lap and have them tell me everything is going to be okay . . .  and then be able to believe that it is.   I wanted to dig into the biggest hugest sweetest bar of chocolate with abandon and without fear of the extra ten pounds it might bring.  I wanted to bury my face in Mitzie's belly and just lose myself in another world.  (I doubt she would let me.)  I wanted to lose myself in some mega retail-therapy sessions with a bazillion buckaroos . . . I wanted someone  . . .  to comfort me.  But I was alone, with . . .  only my thoughts and my dog . . .  and the Real Housewives of Miami.

And I cried. 

And I let myself feel all the things I had been stuffing down inside my heart for these past months.  I let myself feel afraid and I let myself feel sad and I let myself feel tired and angry and alone.   I was like the steam vent in the lid of a pressure cooker and I just let the steam out until there wasn't any steam to let out left in me . . . 

And I prayed. 

For peace.  For comfort.  For support.  For myself and for Todd.  I am pretty good at praying for other people, at asking for things for other people . . . at doing things for other people.   Yesterday I prayed for me, for us.  And I was able to find the peace I was seeking.  And I was able to find my solace.

Where can I turn for peace? 
Where is my solace 
When other sources cease to make me whole? 
When with a wounded heart, anger, or malice, 
I draw myself apart, 
Searching my soul?

Where, when my aching grows, 
Where, when I languish, 
Where, in my need to know, 
where can I run? 
Where is the quiet hand 
to calm my anguish? 
Who, who can understand? 
He, only One.

He answers privately, 
Reaches my reaching 
In my Gethsemane, 
Savior and Friend. 
Gentle the peace he finds 
for my beseeching. 
Constant he is and kind, 
Love without end. 
~Emma Lou Thayne

All of my life I have been a giver.  Even when I have felt like I had nothing left to give, I have given.  I have always been the strong one.  The capable one.  The responsable one.  The do-er.  Yesterday I allowed myself to be ministered to.  And it was okay.  I let my demons out of the box and granted them the freedom they deserved.

It will be okay.  I will be okay.  No matter what happens.  I am at peace.  For now anyways.  That doesn't mean I won't cry again.  Sometimes it is in the process of letting go that you are actually able to let it go . . .

A thought to carry with you through today  . . .

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

 *.˛.° ˛°. . 
˛*How great, how glorious, how complete

Redemption’s grand design,

Where justice, love, and mercy meet
In harmony divine!
~How Great the Wisdom and the Love, Hymns #195

Spiritual Enlightenment 

Baking In The English Kitchen today . . .  Lemon Curd Muffins.  Divine.

Have a wonderful Sunday.  Todd has had a bad night so he will be taking myself and the family we drive to church today and coming back home.  Then he will come to pick us up afterwards.  I hope that he can get some rest.   Don't forget!

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

Saturday, 28 January 2017

The things we long for . . .

One of the nicest things that happened to me back in 2012 was my reconnection with an old friend. We had been really close at one time, but had somehow lost touch with each other.  I had been looking for her for a number of years. The night we finally connected I was in bed checking my e-mails for the last time before I went to sleep . . . and there it was, a message from her. It brought tears to my eyes and made my heart glad. We've since talked on the telephone  many, many times and we communicate with each other regularly. I vow never to lose her again. We were so lucky to have found each other once more, after all those years . . .

This was quite unlike another experience I'd had just a year earlier when I had found another old friend I had been looking for, for quite a long time . . . whom I'd discovered had passed away from cancer just six months before. I cried then too . . . but for much different reasons.

Have you ever listened to the song sung by Kathy Mattea entitled "Standing Knee Deep in a River and Dying of Thirst?" It's a song about loss . . . about friends we have taken for granted through the years, people we have loved and known . . . and lost . . . and about strangers just waiting for us to discover them, to make a connection with us . . .  but . . .  we turn our eyes away . . .

"They roll by just like water 
And I guess we never learn 
Go through life parched and empty 
Standing knee deep in a river and dying of thirst."

It makes me wonder just how much actually is within our reach . . . within our ability to experience . . . that we miss simply because we are not watching for it, or open to it . . . or take it for granted. How often do we thirst after something we are longing for . . . when it's already all around us. How often are we drowning . . . and yet at the same time dying of thirst . . .

We thirst after happiness . . . whilst drowning in a river of abundance, taking for granted all that we already have received. Failing to appreciate, or even acknowledge at times . . . the many blessings in our lives.

There will always be something which we want . . . something more that we are striving for. It is in the very nature of man to be this way. It's this yearning for more which allows us to discover new worlds and concepts, solutions and cures . . . but if we fail to appreciate what we already have, in the course of looking for something more . . . then we have really lost it all.

To live consciously . . . is to live. Anything else is a waste of a good life . . . and it passes us by ever so quickly.  I think of my mother who is 84 years old . . . and it seems to be quite old to me, but then I am brought up short in my next thought by the realization that she is only 23 years older than myself . . . and the remembrance of how very quickly the last 23 years have passed me by.

Standing knee deep in a river and dying of thirst . . .

Today I will choose to be conscious of who I am and what I have and where I am . . . and to be grateful for it all. I choose to be happy now.

A thought to carry with you  . . . 

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

 *.˛.° ˛°. . 
˛* "Don't waste all of your to-days 
by waiting for a better tomorrow." 
~unknown  •。★★ 。* 。 

Spiritual Enlightenment

  photo SAM_3224_zps7226b490.jpg

In The English Kitchen today . . .  Lemon and Ginger Split Seconds.  Deliciously simple!

 Have a wonderful Saturday whatever you get up to!  Don't forget along the way  . . .

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And I do too!  Bisous!

Friday, 27 January 2017

My Friday Finds . . .

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

From Crabapple Studio, some beautifully embroidered tea towels.  Days of the week. Flower Pots.  Lovely.

Dye your Easter Eggs naturally.  12 tips on just how to do that from Mamabee.  Using natural products.  I love  the deep blue one, oh and the yellow one!  I love them all!

Easy peasy, homemade Easter Eggs with a gift inside.   I have used balloons for paper mache before.  This looks a doddle and what a great surprise!  From DIY Enthusiasts.

Easy Poached Eggs using a sieve.  From Simply Recipes.  I love it!

I love these, but I am matchbox obsessed anyways.   You can look through the windows!  From Paper, Scissors &Superheroes.  I would draw my own house and windows though.

Mason Jar Lights.  A complete tutorial.  From Wiki How.

From the people at BHG.  How to make a small bathroom look larger.  I love curtains on anything. 

Pizza in a mug, from The Typical Mom.   Love this idea.  Love anything in a mug.

The Late Bloomer sweethearts tea towel.  No pattern per se.  Just eye candy and inspiration.

Man's Wallet, but you could also do it for a woman with different fabrics.  A complete tutorial at The Sewing Directory.


 Printable Valentine Cards by Handmade Charlotte.  So cute!

 Mini Chocolate Mail Boxes for Valentines Day.  Such a simple idea and so cute.  From No Biggie.  A complete tutorial.


36th Avenue.  Free printables for an edible box of matches.  These are so cute!


This is really neat.  No source, but it is an umbrella frame with led lights twisted around the spokes and just simply hung from the ceiling.

And finally, How to Crochet a Rag Rug using fabric strips.  From Crazy Mom Quilts.   Simple.

And those are my finds for this week. I hope you were inspired to get out there and do/make something!  

A thought to carry with you through today . . . 

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

 *.˛.° ˛°. . 
˛*"In the midst of life’s greatest storms, 
do not forget your divine heritage as a son or daughter of God 
or your eternal destiny to one day return to live with Him, 
which will surpass anything the world has to offer." 
~Ronald A Rasband  •。★★ 。* 。•。★★ 。* 。 

Spiritual Enlightenment


 In The English Kitchen today a delicious Winter Fruit Salad.  Crispy sweet pears and apples, combined with crunchy Cos lettuce, sweet cranberries, salty cashew nuts and Emmenthaler Cheese all dressed with a delicious Lemon & Poppyseed dressing.  Fabulously tasty!

Have a wonderful Friday.  Don't forget!
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And I do too!