Saturday, 25 March 2017

Allow me to "blather" . . .


 Well, what a week we have had, indeed what a month!!  Happy to say now that Todd has only one treatment left and he will be finished his radio-therapy.  He is not sorry about that.   It is kind of ironic, or maybe not . . .  that the last day of his radio-therapy is also the day I have to pretty much have my book finished.  There is no such thing as an accident, just a happy co-incidence, or God-incidence as I like to call it.  I think, I hope we will be celebrating on Monday evening!  If I was a drinker, I would be icing the champagne now!

This past week has actually been my "Septimana Horribilius."  I think I can call it that.  Knocked back by the worst cold/flu that I have had in over two years, there were a few days when I couldn't even bother to get dressed, and I didn't.   I brushed my hair, and washed, and that was about it.  Even now I still have a cough and some congestion, but compared to how I felt earlier this week, these vestigial remains are a picnic!

 I even resorted to this a few times.  Yes, I did. Me who never naps took a couple of naps. In fact one morning, after I had fed Mitzie, I even went back to bed and didn't crawl out of my hole until after 9 a.m! (I think that was one of the days I didn't even bother to get dressed or put any make-up on.) But I still had to write.   Deadlines mean you have to write no matter what, and I did.

I was largely absent from here for those couple of days, (I hope you have forgiven me) and Todd's dinners were nothing spectacular, I confess, and I probably watched more television than I ever wanted to watch (when I wasn't writing.)

In the mean time, and I do mean


 Here is one comment that got left on my food blog the other day on a post from several years back that I did on "Spaghetti and Toast."

Unknown has left a new comment on your post "Spaghetti on Toast":

Well, there is pleasing me, but not with this diabetes inducing sugar laden excuse for food.

 I chose to ignore it, as I do a lot of things, because I am a nice person like that. But that wasn't good enough.  This person had come back and then leave this comment   . . .

Unknown has left a new comment on your post "Spaghetti on Toast":

So from Mary's comments above:
Energy 244 kcal
Protein 4 g
Total lipid (fat) 0 g
Carbohydrate 52 g
Fiber, total dietary 0g

As taken durect from the can. So let's look at the 'nutritional' content 4g pf protein. Okay, first, what is the serving size? How many servings in a can. Second the only two nutritional ingredients listed are protein and carbohydrates (e.g. sugar) What I would be curious to see off the label is how much added sugar there is.

There is no argument that the UK diet is sugar laden. The lack of fat does not make this 'healthy' by any stretch.

Personally I thjink people should eat this all day every day and then when the obesity and heart attacks hit, there will be one less burden on the health care system.

 They have gotten my name wrong of course.  I am Marie not Mary.   I had not suggested ever that people eat spaghetti on toast every night for their tea, nor was I even suggesting that it was a healthy option.  It was intended as a post about something that was quick and easy and that a lot of people over here enjoy for their tea on occasion.  I never once said that it was healthy.  And personally, I don't see it as "unhealthy" either, but as a once in a blue moon treat, I think its okay.  As a harried mother, even I have resorted to tinned spaghetti, and my own mother did as well. I would be lying if I said otherwise.  Both myself and my children have lived to confess the tale.

 Obviously this person was having a worse week than I was.  I did not publish their comments, but they did kind of wrankle, coming in a week which was already not such a great week.

And then this morning I got up to this comment which was left on my food blog post for Chicken Savoyarde. A most delicious dish I hasten to add.

 Back in 2014 this person had left this comment on that post . . .

why would you ruin this with cheddar cheese? Gruyere and parmesan are quite enough: this is supposed to be a French dish.

 Apparently I had committed some sort of culinary crime by daring to add cheddar cheese to the topping.  My response, a bit tongue in cheek . . . had been this . . .

silamb27, it may be a French Dish, but this is The English Kitchen. It's also MY kitchen. We like cheddar and this dish was not ruined in any way by the addition of some cheddar in the topping. If anything it was even more delicious. To each their own. :-P

 I was trying to diffuse things a bit, and to politely say, one man's meat is another man's poison, and it was my blog after all and I have every right to do things the way I want to do them.

Well, this morning a full three years, and then some,  later . . . this person felt the need to come back and leave this comment . . .

No, not 'to each their own'. Dishes have their own lineage and integrity - and I rather doubt your palette is up to the task of deciding when to override it with your (slightly xenophobic) 'English kitchen/MY kitchen' blather.

 Some people are just rude aren't they?? I have been called a few names in my lifetime, but xenophobe isn't one of them.  This person is clearly slightly un-hinged, but as my mother always said, it takes all kinds.

 I shall take comfort in knowing that I am a much nicer person than that, and that I would never resort to name calling in someone else's space. I am happy that I am a person who allows others the opportunity to celebrate their individuality and their right to express it.  I know I should not take such mean-spiritedness to heart or personally, but I do. Perhaps I need a thicker skin?

Probably so.

Oh, I am so, so, so grateful that the internet was not around when I was a teenage girl. How very wicked a place it can be where people think they are free to say whatever they want about whoever they want and whenever and wherever they want to say it.   Just this past week a food blogger over here, A Girl Called Jack, won a libel case against a prominent columnist who had dared to tweet something libelous  against her, proving that we have finally come to a time in space where you really can't actually get away with saying whatever, whenever and wherever about whomever if you come up against someone with the strength, know how, and dare I say it, "balls," to take you to task for it. Kudos to Jack for standing up for herself.

I have tried to always subscribe to this way of thinking and I actually really hate it when someone else causes me to feel unkind or to want to react in an unkind way.  I subscribe to Thumper's mother's theory which is . . .  "If you can't say something nice, then don't say nothing at all."  Its a better way to be.  I never thought it was so, but it is increasingly becoming a much unkinder world.  There is so much hate . . .  too much hate . . . and it needs to stop.  It makes me really sad that we live in a time where a man feels justified in driving a vehicle randomly down a pedestrian way, knocking and killing and injuring  innocent people simply because he can, and he has a distorted version of how the world should be.  It makes me really sad that we live in a time where one person can spend £1000 on a pair of trousers and millions of children are dying every day of hunger. It makes me sad that our Government spends billions each year in foreign aid, and yet there are children in this country who are forced into the position of being "Carers" to their sick or disabled parents because the Government funding just isn't there to allow them to be children when they just need to be children.  It makes me sad that I live in a world where others exalt themselves so much above everyone else that they think they can say, do, act in whatever way they want to act with impunity.

We live in a fallen 

 When people ask me how can I believe, why do I choose to believe . . .  in God?? My answer is because I must.  I could not survive in such an unkind and unjust world did I not know and believe that there was something much better to look forward to, and a much higher power that I mattered to, and that in the end . . .  All will be okay. That there is always, always light at the end of the tunnel, and that there is nobody who can sink lower than the light of Christ can reach.

Just my thoughts  . . . thanks for listening/reading.


 Baking in The English Kitchen today  . . .  Blueberry and Lemon Breakfast Buns.

 Have a perfectly lovely Saturday.  The sun is shining here and it promises to be a nice day. Perhaps we will take ourselves out somewhere. We will see.  God bless you all.  Don't forget  . . .

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And I do too!

Friday, 24 March 2017

My Friday Finds . . .

A few of the things I find each week that strike my fancy. I hope they strike yours too.

Stay at home Spa Day.  Cathy Filian. Make your own Body Scrubs, Lip Balms and soap!

A Granny Motif market bag. Loving the colours. From Lion Brand. A free pattern.

9 Easy ways to get more counterspace.  I can use all the help I can get in this area. From That Vintage Life.

Red Ted Art.  A simple Easter Chick paper decoration.  This is so cute!

Mini Charm Square Patchwork Placemats.  From Sew 4 Home.

I just love these Chicken Pot Holders.  Love the colours and the fabrics and the way their combs are 3D.  From Sew Inspired. No pattern, just eye candy.

The Idea Room. Chocolate Covered Strawberry Easter Bunnies.  So cute!

Crafts by Amanda. Crochet your own Slipper Sandles.  Neat!

Panda Hall. Friendship Bracelets.  A ton of them.  Nice.

Coconut Bunny Cake Tutorial. Jenny Steffens.  I could not find the actual tutorial.

Bunting from old books.  Again, no source, but how hard could it be?

Free Downloadable Woodland Stamps.  From Paper Crafter.

Bunny Cookies and Milk.  From Munchkin Munchies.  These are so cute!

10 Veggies you can grow indoors.  From Moody Mooch.


 Old Time Pottery.  Easter Bunny and Chick Pretzels.  Cute!  How do people think these things up!

And those are my finds for this week.  I hope you found something of interest here.   So sorry for my absence of a few days.  I have really felt lousy, and today is the first day I have felt half human again.  I was taking all the wrong things and they were conflicting with the meds I am on for my Blood Pressure and Diabetes. We finally got the right ones and I am starting to feel a lot better. Its been no fun!  and I have still had to work on the book, which I am happy to say I only have 1 1/2 chapters to finish plus the introduction.  Whew!  Talk about working right down to the wire.  I have until the 28th still, but . . . time passes so quickly!

Todd only has two more treatments to suffer.  Today and then on Monday.  After his treatment on Monday he will see his radiographer and we will see what happens next.  He is starting to feel pretty tired now, but his appetite is good and so far there has been no burning on his skin, etc.  He isn't too happy about the fact that he feels he has to go pee every five minutes, and then can only do a little tinkle.  It keeps him in and out of bed almost all night, which is probably adding to his tiredness.  Thank goodness we are nearing the end and God willing that will be it!

Plus I got asked to try out for another television show.  I am far too long in the tooth for that now.  I am the most un-photogenic person on the face of the planet.  I am enjoying my life just as it is.  I have no desire to be out there.  I am happy with things are they are thanks.

A thought to carry with you through today  . . .

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

 *.˛.° ˛°. . 
˛If you don't stand firm in your faith,
You won't stand at all.
~Isaiah 7:9  •。★★ 。* 。 

Spiritual Enlightenment

In The English Kitchen today.  Baked Honey and Soy Chicken. Finger licking good!

Have a great Friday.  Don't let the world get you down.  There is a lot of bad stuff going on out there, but there is also a lot of good stuff.  Look for the helpers.  There are always helpers doing positive things in every situation.  Don't forget . . .

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And I do too!

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

. . . .

no post today as I am feeling
rather poorly.
Will be back when I am back up to snuff.
Please pray that is soon.
I have a book to finish and
only a few days to do
it in.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Springtime Mail Exchange Activity

Mail... do you miss mail? Real, honest to goodness, snail mail? Do you miss opening your mailbox/postbox and finding something fun in it...not just bill-payment requests or junk mail? As many of us do more banking online, as well as so much else via the internet, sometimes we don't even receive that many bills in the mail. We can go a while without so much as an envelope in our postbox, TJ & I. And along with so much done online, I know I'm guilty of sending birthday and other greetings more often via online card services. But I'd like to help change that...

How would you like to be part of a little mail project this spring to cheer up our lonely mailboxes/postboxes??!! Would you like to put a smile on the face of someone else and send some fun mail to someone new--maybe find a new friend?!

My LOVELY long-time friend Tracy over at Simple Gifts Pictured and I are collaborating on hosting this Springtime Mail Exchange to bring some happy mail cheer as far and wide as we can! :)))

How the Springtime Mail Exchange works is quite simple. Everyone participating--each person on the participation list--is kindly requested to contact at least ONE person on the list to exchange mail with. Reaching out to many is, of course, optional, but at least one person. That way there's a chance of everyone being contacted and receiving something in the mail. Do think about reaching out to someone on the list you don't know. Let's mingle!

A card or letter is suggested for sending in the mail exchange. Postage being what it is these days--rather high--sending a little gift is optional. So we recommend letters or cards at least. Cards with a handwritten message--or a even handwritten letter--that alone is fun!

Now, this mail exchange is not limited to us folks in the Northern Hemisphere only. It might be called Springtime Mail Exchange, but if you are living in the Southern Hemisphere you are VERY welcome to join us--please do!!

If you would like to be on the sending and receiving end of this fun mail project, please leave a comment here. A blog link or other will help participants meet each other from the participants list. Tracy  and I will compile the list of all participants and their links, and we'll publish the exchange list as soon as it is ready. It might seem soon, but we're aiming for folks to have sent/received cards or letters by Easter! But a send-by date will be announced shortly...

In a time like this, when so much negative seems to be happening around the world, in the news, etc... it can be hard to know what to do, or how to help. Let's do even a little of what we can to spread and share a little happiness, love and peace. What do you say??!! Would you like to join our Springtime Mail Exchange today?! I can't wait to send you a card! :)))


The Simple Woman's Daybook . . .


 FOR TODAY, March 21, 2017

Outside my window ...
The sun is fully up. The birds are singing. Its not raining. I think it will be a clear day. Well, so far. Anyone who knows the weather in the UK, knows that it can change in an instant!

I am thinking ...
I had a brief conversation with my sister yesterday and she said something that made me really think. She said her ideas and dreams had changed from what she had always wanted. I've been thinking about that since and I think she is right. Mine have too. I used to want approval more than anything. I wanted to succeed and I wanted those around me to feel I had succeeded. It doesn't really matter that much to me now, what others may or may not think of me. I suppose I have learned in life that I am so much more than what others see. I do things now because I want to do them, because they bring a measure of joy into my life, not out of obligation, or out of fear of what others will think. I still want to do well at things, and to succeed at the things I set out to do, but more out of the sense of satisfaction that it brings to me than for any other reason. If others enjoy it also, then thats great. If they don't, then c'est la vie. Its up to them. I am not defined by other people's vision.

In the kitchen ...

 Skillet Chicken and Spinach Bowties. A one pan wonder that is quick and delicious!

 On my "To Cook" list ...


 German Skillet with Mustard Cream Sauce. This looks really good. I love all of the ingredients in it. From Fox Valley Foodie.

Good to know ...


 I am creating ...


 Water colour tutorial. Painting the six stroke figure. From Michele's Online Painting.


 From Dreamy Erica.


 Colourblock Baby Quilt. From Nana and Company.  Her book, Sweetly Stitched Handmade. I love her creations.

 Not a craft but something I need to do.  How to declutter books using the Kon Mari method. From Kari Making Lemonade.


Books to read.  Bullet Journaling.  No source, but a great idea.

I am reading ...

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, by  Rachel Joyce

At first glance Harold Fry is a sad, lonely English milquetoast, the human equivalent of a potted geranium. “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry,” Rachel Joyce’s first novel, contrives a way to shake him out of his monotonous life and send him on a voyage of self-discovery. Harold will learn that there is more to life than mowing one’s lawn. Readers will learn that one man’s quiet timidity should not be taken at face value. Potted geraniums have feelings too.

One day Harold receives a letter from an old acquaintance, Queenie Hennessy. Queenie is dying at a hospice that is 627 miles north of Harold’s home near the English Channel. When Harold reads the letter, he responds with a tearful “I um. Gosh.” Then he writes her a postcard and walks down his road to mail it. Then he keeps on going.


I am looking forward to ...
The end of this cold I am suffering from. Its holding me back and making everything twice as hard. I have things I need to get done.

Dreaming about ...

Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower  . . .  Bon Appetit.

Visting Scotland  . . .

Rose gold . . .  but where would I wear them  . . .

Lead glass panels, a country farmhouse sink and drawer pulls, butchers block counter tops  . . .

Being stylish for a change and the colour mustard . . .

Something to watch ...

A tale as old as time  . . .

A favourite quote for the day ...

 `*.¸.*´Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ¸. •´¸.•~♥♥♥~•. ~ ღϠ₡ღ¸. ✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ.
              ( ¸. ❀⁀ ⋱‿✿“` * .¸.* ✻ღϠ₡ ღ¸.✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ.. 
I am a great believer in luck, 
                   and I find the harder I work,
                                    the more I have of it.
                                                      ~Thomas Jefferson ₡ღ¸. ✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ.

Makes me smile ...

Red squirrels  . . .

One of my favourite things ...

This little beauty and the man who brought her home . . .

 Corners of my kingdom ...

Fairy Pools, The Isle of Skye . . .

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!