Thursday, 30 March 2017

My Favourite things . . .

These are a few of my favourite things . . .  maybe you like them too.


When I was a younger woman, I used to really, really love Historical Romance Novels.  It started off with Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor.  That was the first historial novel I read of the romantic type and I was hooked.   I really loved books with Vikings or Scottish Lairds in them.  I don't know why.  They started getting really raunchy however and I found myself having to skip over pages and pages of them.  I never liked the raunchy bits, I'm a romanticist.  Once that happened I lost interest.  Not interested in reading porn, and to me that's what they were.  I want a story with a romantic interest.   I went on then to reading books by LaVyrle Spencer which I loved.  Romance but not raunch.  Now, in my dotage, (LOL), I like mysteries and who dunnits.  Oh, I also went through a Steven King phase.

I know they are so naughty.   I know they are nutrionally unsound, despite what it says on the box. But I love Pop Tarts. And it is a recent thing.   I never ever ate them when I was younger or when my kids were growing up. We favoured Toaster Strudels.  In particular I like these ones and I confess . . .  S'mores ones.  I know they are the epitome of junk food, empty calories, coma inducing sugar fests, but I do like them.

Magicians.  And I don't mean the pull the rabbit out of the hat types of magicians. I like the illusionist-modern-however-did-he-do-that type of magician like Dynamo. They seem to defy the laws of physics and are quite compelling to watch.  I used to love watching Kreskin.  Well, he wasn't a magician I don't think. I'm not sure what he was, but I liked watching him anyways.  I love being dazzled and mystified!

Broccoli. Next to the potato, it is my favourite vegetable. In fact I love every member of the cruciferous vegetable family.  But Broccoli, it's my favourite. I love it in soup, raw (But raw doesn't like me anymore because of my diverticulitis), steamed, stir fried, etc.  I love it any way I can get it.  I think its rather good for you as well. Its not a vegetable we ever had when we were growing up. My father hates all of the cruciferous vegetable family. My mother cooked to please him, and rightly so. Oddly enough Todd is not overly fond of Broccoli either, but he loves cauliflower and cabbage.  The only way I don't like it is if it is way over-cooked.  But then, I don't like any over-cooked vegetable!

Winter Farm by George Callaghan

I love Primitive Folk Art.  I love Primitive anything actually.  Decorating style.  Carpets.  Furniture. Art.  I used to day dream about having a house all done in Primitive everything.

Penny Rugs. I love them. I love making them. I love looking at them. I would love to have more.  I need to go to a charity shop and find some wool to shrink so I can make another one.

Vintage Sewing Machines.  I love everything about them.  The way they look, smell, feel. My mother has an old Singer Sewing Machine.  It worked with bobbins to change the stitches.   It was her pride and joy and we were only ever allowed to touch it after we had already taken sewing at school. As an adult I completely understand that.  I can remember my grandmother allowing me to help her use her sewing machine. It had foot pedals.  Good times  . . .

Fairy tales and Happily Ever Afters . . .  which reminds me. Now that Todd is finished his treatments, maybe I can drag him to Beauty and the Beast  . . .  do ya think?  Maybe not.  We will probably have to wait until it comes out on DVD.  That happens rather quickly these days.

Chester, the city I live in.  I can't wait to show it off to Lura!  I hope we have some good weather when she and John are here!  Only a few weeks now to go!

Cities at night.  They take on magical qualities.  When I was a child I hated going in the car, unless it was at night.  In the day I would always get car sick, at night I never would.  I loved seeing the lights. As an adult I loved to walk through the neighborhood at night and look at all the lit windows and think about the people that lived in the houses.  Every home has a story to tell.

And those are my favourite things for this week.  What are some of yours?

I changed the settings/theme on my food blog yesterday.  I did save the old one to a word document, not that it does me any good because I don't know how to put it back.  Sigh  . . . trust me to mess things up.

A thought to carry with you . . .

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

 *.˛.° ˛°. . 
Please hear me girl:
The world has enough women who know how to do their hair.
It needs women who know how to do hard and holy things.
~Ann Voscamp•。★★ 。* 。•。★★ 。* 。

Spiritual Enlightenment

In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Banana Chocolate Chip Bread.

Have a great Thursday.  I'm off to Costco with my friend Tina! Can't wait!  Don't forget  . . .

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

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Et al ad nauseum . . .

The side effects have kicked in now.  Totally after the treatments.  I hope that they don't take as long to wear off as they did to kick in. Poor Todd.  Battling that along with a "man-cold," he is going through the wars at the moment.  I think he must have gotten a good night's sleep last night however because he didn't wake me up at all travelling back and forth to the bathroom, and has been very quiet all night.  So quiet in fact that I just had to go upstairs and check on him to make sure he was still warm.  I know, silly me . . .  but I had a morbid thought and then it just wouldn't leave my head until I had checked.  He was toasty warm and all is well.

I hate it when I have thoughts like that
That is when my ocd kicks in
and there is no  stopping
me until I check

It happens every time we go somewhere.   It kicks in almost as soon as I go out the door.   Hmmm . . .  did I lock the back door?  Did I turn everything off?  Do I have my keys? Have I got my wallet?  Did I lock the back door? (I usually ask myself that multiple times until I go back in to check.) Did I leave the fridge door open?  Et al ad nauseum.  It drives Todd crazy.  That is, until his kicks in . . .  and he starts to wondering  . . . .

Did he lock the back gate?
flush the toilet?
put on his

Don't laugh.  We have a friend who goes literally everywhere in his slippers.  I think that is a lot more common than we think because, the other day when we were in the car on our way to the shops, we passed a lady in her bathrobe, pj's and slippers walking down the road (we supposed towards home) sucking back on a coffee she had just literally picked up at the Spar, which is the equivalent of your 7/11.  I could not do that.

Before I can go out the door.  Heck, even before I can answer the door.  Every hair must be in place. Make-up applied.  Be suitably attired. Have brushed my teeth. Checked the back door (if I am going out.) Got my bus money. (just in case.) Am wearing clean underwear,  and I always, always, always  . . .

have my 

Please tell me its a woman thing, and not an obsession.  

That's not to say that there are not plenty of things I do obsess on. Because there are.  I have plenty of things I obsess on. Like what's in the Queen's purse?  Have you ever seen her go anywhere without a purse?  She always has that purse.  WHAT'S IN IT?  Tissues?  Change for the phone?  Lipstick? A hair brush?  What?  I need to know!  In fact I think that would make a great game.  What's in the Queen's purse.  You could have a deck of cards which all have articles on them, and a plastic purse.  Shuffle the cards, pick four and put them into the purse and then everyone has to spend the rest of the time of the game figuring out what's in the Queen's purse. Is that a million dollar idea or what?  It's okay. You can steal it.  I won't mind.  Well, maybe just  a little bit. Especially if

it makes you a

I am the Queen of Google.  I quite literally spend oodles of time each day googling things. I can't watch a television show without googling something. Who is that actress married to?  Does she have any kids?  How old is she?  What does her partner look like? What else has she been in?  Where was this show filmed? and that is just the things I look up about the people that are acting in the shows.  Then there are questions like . . .  Is there going to be another series?  How many series have there been?  If there is a new series when is it going to air?  Was it based on a book?   And as I am looking these things up, I am telling Todd what I am finding out.  It drives him mad.  He is always telling me, he doesn't care what they had for breakfast or if they have a pimple on their buttocks.

He's just not

In fact, then he starts obsessing on whether I am actually watching the show we are watching. or am I just sitting on the iPad looking things up.  I end up trying to do it surrepticiously, so that each time he glances my way my eyes are glued on the telly, while my fingers secretly swish across my iPad screen . . .  like a cat silently stalking it's prey across the room. You never see them moving, but they slowly inch their way across.  Its the same with me and google when I think Todd is watching me.  I have the "I'm watching it!" look down to an art.  Or do I? Hmmm . . .

maybe not.

Another thing which drives him crazy to distraction is the fact that I can never, never, NEVER settle in to watch a program,  but what I immediately have to get up and get something.  A glass of water. My pills I forgot to take earlier. A tissue. My knitting. My iPad (see above). The box of chocolates. A few treats for the dog, etc. etc. etc.   I think it is a bad habit.  I think it is a compulsion. I try hard not to, but  . . . it never fails. I will have forgotten something and it will be something I have to have NOW.  He finds that habit of mine really irritating, but then I remind him . . .

At least you are not on your own.
I'm here and you will
never ever be 

Yep, no more hamburgers for Christmas Dinner ever. Sometimes you just have to  . . . 

and with that I will leave you with a thought for today  . . .

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

 *.˛.° ˛°. . 
˛The struggle you are in today,
is helping you to develop
the strength you need for
tomorrow  . . . •。★★ 。* 。

Spiritual Enlightenment

In The English Kitchen today . . .  Byron Potatoes.  These are delicious!

Have a great Wednesday!  (How did that happen?  Wednesday already???)  Don't forget!

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

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

The Simple Woman's Daybook . . .


 FOR TODAY, March 28, 2017

Outside my window ...
The sun is coming up.  Bird's flying high. You know how I feel. Sun in the sky. You know how I feel. Breeze driftin' on by. You know how I feel. Its a new dawn Its a new day. Its a new life. For me . . . .  And I'm feelin' . . .  good!  (Now, if you heard Michael Buble singing that, well, you know me well!)

I am thinking ...
Todd's cancer treatments.  Check.
Book Manuscript finished.  Check.
Forwards, onwards, and upwards!

In the kitchen ...

 Chili Fry Tacos.   Yes.  And they were amazingly good.

On my "To Cook" list ...


OMG Chocolate Desserts.  White Chocolate Blueberry Lasagne. Holy Moly!

Good to know ...


 I just discovered this today.  A service where you can buy a bundle of smoothie mixes.  Of course you could always make them yourself, but by the time you bought all the ingredients, you would be spending way more than this bundle costs. Bears thinking about. Thyme shop.
 I am thinking about it.

I am creating ...

 Free pattern for a Sock Elephant.  Did you know I love Elephants?  From Craft Passion.


 From Frou Frou. Granny Stitch Afghan. I love it!

 Reality Daydream.  Playing Card Holders.  I contend that this is not just for kids. I would love one of these for myself.
Eighteen Twenty Five.  Spring Doily Banner.
Free Printable Spring Art for the home.  From Landeelu.

I am reading ...

Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty.
Jane hasn't lived anywhere for longer than six months since her son was born five years ago. She keeps moving in an attempt to escape her past. Now the idyllic coastal town of Pirriwee has pulled her to its shores and Jane feels as if she finally belongs. She finds friends in the feisty Madeline and the incredibly beautiful Celeste, two women with seemingly perfect lives - and their own secrets.

But at the start of a new term, an incident involving the children of all three women occurs in the playground, causing a rift between them and other parents. Minor at first but escalating fast, until the whispers and rumours become vicious and spiteful, and the truths blur into lies.

It was always going to end in tears, but no one thought it would end in murder . . .

Its a cracker!

I am looking forward to ...
Seeing my book in print. Also participating in this Spring Mail Exchange that Tracy and I are organizing! If you haven't already signed up, you need to.  More details to follow soon! (For those who already have.)

Dreaming About ...
Todd has to back for blood tests in 7 weeks time, and then an appointment with the specialist will follow in about a weeks time after that.  I am dreaming about an "All Clear!"


Walking through fields of wild flowers and butterfies  . . .


 Starry, starry nights  . . .

Starting an art journal . . .


 Scotland  . . .  ahh, to have the money to just jump in the car with the dog and do this  . . .

Something to Watch ...


 Downton Abby on dvd  . . .  it never gets old.

A favourite quote for the day ...

 `*.¸.*´Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ¸. •´¸.•~♥♥♥~•. ~ ღϠ₡ღ¸. ✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ.
              ( ¸. ❀⁀ ⋱‿✿“` * .¸.* ✻ღϠ₡ ღ¸.✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ..
If it costs you your peace 
             its too expensive . . . 
               ~Unknown  ✿“` * .¸.* ✻ღϠ₡ ღ¸.✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ..

Makes me smile ...


  Knowing this to be true  . . .

One of my favourite things ...


 Outdoor flea markets. You never know what you are going to find. I used to love to go to the 400 Flea Market on the way up to Barrie, Ontario.  You could get everything there.  Great bread. Fab meat, and a bazillion other things.  They had a chip van that was outstanding!

Corners of my kingdom ...

 Haworth, the Pennine Village that the Bronte sisters lived in and wrote from.

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!

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

Monday, 27 March 2017

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.

A partner in life who loves me and appreciates me for "me." Who shares my values and appreciates my opinions, even if they are sometimes different than his.  Who will eat pasta when its not his favourite thing to eat because he knows it is one of my favourite things to eat.  Who values all that I do and isn't afraid to show me that he does.  Who thinks about me when he is away from me and always texts me to tell me that he is thinking about me, and loving me. Who treats me as his equal. Who honors and respects me.  Who buys me roses and pizza for Mother's day because he loves me and He knows I love pizza. Who believes in me. Who is proud of me. Who supports me in all my endeavours and believes in my dreams. Who holds my hand in church, and out of church and everywhere we go. Who. Cares. About. For. With. Me.  I love him.  Today is his last radio-therapy appointment. God willing he will not have to have any more treatments, and the radiation will have done its thing.  I was so dreading March and so was he.  It has not been as bad as we were dreading.  Things seldom are.  We are blessed. ☺

I came across this photograph of our Eileen the other day. I think she was about 14 months old. What a little doll she was. Oh how very much I love her.  She is my oldest daughter and we talk literally every single day. When I was a little girl myself,  I dreamed of one day having a little girl of my own.  She would have blonde hair and brown eyes and I would call her Honey.  Well, I had the little girl with blonde hair and brown eyes.  We did not call her honey, but after my ex's army regiment.  It did not matter to me. I had my little girl.  Oh, I loved my son very much also, no worries there, but I could not put barrettes in his hair and dress him in pretty hand smocked dresses. There is something special about sons, but there is something very special about daughters. I think the Mother/Daughter bond is very unique.  I am so grateful that I have a special relationship with this girl of mine.  It is truly a gift and a blessing to me.

This is my other girl in action.  Amanda.  At the recent Canadian Ultimate Games in Ottawa. I stole the photo from her FB page.  She is a true athlete. They came first in Canada.  I am so proud of her. Wife, Mother, Nurse, Athlete . . .  She does them all and she does them well.  

The springtime morning chorus which brightens my mornings.  They have already begun most days when I open my eyes.  I love the song they sing. It puts an extra spring into my step, no pun intended. Springtime in England is particularly beautiful. I love the bird song, and all the flowers that are coming into bloom.  The bumble bee.  The blue skies and the increasingly warmer and brighter sunlight. They cheer my heart. I feel so blessed in Springtime and I thank God for all that He has given us and then I stop in wonder at the thought that all that we see here and now is only a pale imitation of what awaits us on the other side.  Eye can see, nor ear hear, nor heart imagine the beauty of what awaits us. And all because He loves us.

Of all the roles in life I have played, being a wife and mother has been my most satisfying. Its also been the most painful but we won't go there!  I have loved being a wife.  I must have done to do it three times.  I like to think that with each time I got better, lol.  No regrets.  I love my children all so very much.  I am proud of each of them in individual ways.  They are all winners in my books. Decent. Hardworking. Honest. Great parents. Great spouses. I must have done something right along the way. I wish only happiness for them.

Sunday phone calls with mom.  They are such a blessing and they bring such a smile to my face and my heart. You should have heard us yesterday. Mom's memory is not what it used to be, and mine isn't great either!  She will be talking about something and want to put someone's name into whatever it is she is talking about, and I am trying to help by filling in the blanks, and then we are both trying to think of the name of something which we should both remember but can't. I hate it when you can see something, the name or word is right on the tip of your tongue, but you can't spit it out for some reason! Nowadays I seem to forget what I am saying halfway through a sentence.  I am not sure if I should be afraid of that, or if it is normal.  What say you?  Anyways, I laugh at our conversations together.  If anyone on the outside was listening in they would wonder what we are talking about, but it doesn't matter because WE know what we are talking about, lol, at least I think we do!

Dreams that are coming true and while my parents are both still alive to see them come into fruition. I can die happy now.  Just the intro to write now and it is done and dusted.  Whew!  I expect there will be some revising once the Editor gets cracking on his side.  I have my fingers crossed that there are not too many!

A thought to carry with you  . . .

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

 *.˛.° ˛°. . 
˛*If you stumble,
   make it a part of the dance.
    ~Unknown    •。★★ 。* 。 

Spiritual Enlightenment

In The English Kitchen today  . . .  French Beef Au Jus.

I hope the week ahead of you is filled to overflowing with small and wonderful things. Along the way don't forget . . .

═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════ ⊰✿░G░O░D⊰✿⊰L░O░V░E░S⊰✿⊰░Y░O░U░⊰✿
═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════

And I do too!