Monday, 23 April 2018

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.  


My faith.  It is everything to me. Its where I draw most of my strength from.  It helps me to rise above the things life throws at me.  It brings me peace in times of tumult, and comfort in times of distress.  It buoys me up and sometimes carries me.  I don't know where I would be without it. When I feel low, I only need to pray and talk to God, or read the scriptures, dig out some old ensigns, visit lds.org or any number of faith related things and I am soon feeling a whole lot better. 


Family. It, too, is everything to me.  I love all of my children and grandchildren very much.  My sister and brother and their families. My mom and dad. My husband, and his brother and family. Family is a gift from God.  Sometimes things don't go the way we planned them to, but that's okay. We all have a journey to take.  Everyone has a story.  When I hear from one of my children, I am over the moon with joy.  When I get to see one of my grandchildren and speak to them, I am over the moon and back again.  I have five grandsons who know me, who love me and who enjoy talking to me.  That makes me feel really good.   I have two other grandchildren who don't, but its not their fault.  It can't be helped. I love them just the same as the others.  I am still a part of who they are.  

  

This is Jon. He is my middle son's oldest boy. He and Gabriel (my oldest son's oldest son) are only a few months apart in age. He is going to be turning 12 in just a few weeks now.  He was quite talkative the other day when we were facetiming. Normally he is kind of shy and stays in the background a bit.  Not like Jake who is all over the iPad showing me everything.  Josh is a bit shy also. Jake  more than makes up for both of them in his enthusiasm.  Gabriel and Luke are also very happy to communicate with me as well, which is nice.  Life is a funny thing  . . . 


Doors and windows I can close and keep closed.  They have been muck-spreading in the fields around where I live the past day or so.  Thank goodness it hasn't been really hot.  It smells really bad outside, putrid almost.  I hate it when they are muck-spreading. It is really foul, but thankfully with good windows and doors I can shut, I can lock it out. 

  

Todd is feeling a bit better.  He is still not 100% and it had flared up again last night, so we will be trying to get him in to see a Doctor this morning, and hopefully they will do some testing to figure out what it is that has caused all of this. Its been a pretty severe reaction to something, and I worry that if they don't figure it out, next time it will be worse than this time.   


Matilda, who is always keeping an eye on me while I work.  She lives in a teacup on top of the bookcase next to the computer here.  She reminds me of my dear Vermont cousin whom I love very much.  I can see this morning, she has a friend. we were tidying up in the bedroom the other day and I think Todd brought the mouse pin-cushion down to keep Matilda company.  Shows you how observant I am.  I hadn't noticed until just now. 

  

Love  . . .  of God, family, friends  . . .  Just as the Beatles sang long, long ago  . . .  Love IS all we need. 


Books  . . .  books have always been my friend.  Before I was old enough, I was lucky enough to have a father who read to me, always.  Once I was old enough to read on my own, I was never without a good book to read.  If I lived to be a hundred, I could never read all the books I have the desire to read.  Books have carried me to places and helped me to see hundreds of things I never could have seen or experienced.  With a good book, you are never alone. 

  

My hands  . . .  the hands of others . . . hands.  I wouldn't want to be without them. You can see a person's whole life in their hands just about  . . . 


The gift of sight. I got my diabetic eye screening results back the other day and everything is good.  I am so grateful for that.  I would not want to lose my sight.  I never take it for granted.  Being able to see is a blessing.  I would rather lose my hearing than my sight.  

 
In cleaning our bedroom the other day we have 8 pairs of old eye glasses ready to donate to the eyeglass charity. Donating your old eyeglasses is a good thing to do.  They are used to help people who otherwise would not be able to have eyeglasses of their own.  


I have always supped at the Horn of Plenty.  I have never in my lifetime known real deprivation.  I've always had a roof over my head and food in my belly, clean clothes to wear, etc. I try never to take these things for granted, and as humble as I may think what I have is . . .  there are many in this world who would see them as great riches. Wealth is all about perspective.  In a country where people are starving, a grain of rice is a rich blessing.   Where there are those who lack for clean water  . . .  clean water is a special blessing.  We in the West, tend to take all of the things we have for granted.  I hope and pray that I will always remember just how blessed I am to have any of what I have and may I always have a heart that wishes to share my abundance with others who have not near as much.

  

The Dawn Chorus.  It is never more beautiful than it is at this time of year and I am given the gift of it every morning, amazingly, even when it is raining.  


I have a life which is filled with abundance and beauty.  I have been blessed with the ability to bloom . . .  even in the cracks of life.  Others are not so lucky. I am able to see a crack in the sidewalk of my life as an opportunity for growth. This is a great blessing. May it ever be thus  . . . 

A thought to carry with you  . . . 

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

 *.˛.
When the Japanese mend broken objects,
they aggrandize the damage by
filling the cracks with gold, because
they believe that when something has
suffered damage, and has a history,
it becomes more beautiful. •。★★ 。* 。 

  

 

BOOK OF MORMON CORNER

Today's Reading - Alma 5:43-52 
Question - What have you learnt from the reading today? How did Alma gain his testimony?   
 
Thoughts - Alma received his knowledge and testimony by working for it. When I read v46 I think, gaining spiritual knowledge has a price. Being worthy to have the Spirit has a price. I think the price is a desire to know (like Nephi), willingness to find out (like Enos) and sacrifice (like Alma turning his life around) 1. Desire  2. Willingness  3. Sacrifice Those are things to work on. In return The Lord has told us if we ask, it shall be given. If we seek, we shall find and if we knock, it will be opened unto us. Great promises!!
 
Tomorrow's Reading (Day 146) -  Alma 5:53-6:8 
Question - What are the things that Alma asks the people to do in this section? What blessings does he promise? 
 

 
 
In the kitchen today  . . .  Baked Mac & Cheese.  An old favourite.

Have a beautiful day!  I hope your week ahead is filled to overflowing with small and wonderful things!  Don't forget along the way!
 
 
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And I do too! 
 




 

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Sunday morning this and that . . .


About midway through the day yesterday, I started to feel a bit blue, you know . . . same old same old, family stuff  . . .  and then this happened.  Within five minutes of me starting down that old destructive way of thinking,  this happened . . . 

"Hey Mom! Just want you to know I love you!"

This message came through on my iPad from my oldest son.  Talk about a Divine Signature.  Just at the moment I really needed to hear something like that from one of my kids, my Heavenly Father had prompted my son to message me. There is no such thing as co-incidence, only God-incidence.  I firmly believe this to be true. 


That is why I always act on promptings.  If someone's name comes into my mind, I stop what I am doing right away and I say a little prayer, and if it happens again, I will call them, or I will text them, shoot them an e-mail, pop in for a visit if I am nearby, whatever . . .  I might be the answer to someone's prayer, or I might be missing an opportunity for angelic service. We are the Father's hands in many instances . . . 

  

Poor Todd . . .  he went to the Chemist yesterday and was given an anti-histamine to take, a one a day thing. He thought his hives were a bit better, but by last night, no word of exaggeration, he was one giant hive . . .  scarlet, all running into each other, front and back . . . from his neck to his feet. He looked as if he had been dipped in scalding water and was terrifically uncomfortable. Itching and burning  . . . . I got him to take a tepid shower and then I rubbed the cream that we were given for him when he had his radiation therapy all over him and I got him one of my cotton nighties to put on. He was a bit not too sure about that, but I told him he would feel a lot better in clothing that wasn't tight to his body or rubbing, so he did put one on and was grateful for it. I told him it was no different than wearing a hospital gown.  In the old days men wore nightshirts.  Just ignore the ribbons and lace.  

We have no idea whatsoever what has caused this.  The only thing out of the ordinary he has been doing is mowing the lawn.  Perhaps it is that which has caused it?  And we have been soaking our feet in Epsom salts nightly.  Perhaps it is that?  We just don't know.  I really hope and pray that when he gets up this morning, they have abated somewhat.  He will be able to take another one of the anti-histamines and we will go from there.   
  

The Queen turned 92 yesterday and there was a special program on the telly to celebrate this most auspicious occasion. All of the amily were there with the exception of Prince Phillip who is recovering from a hip replacement and the Duchess of Cambridge who is due to give birth any day now. We have not actually watched it yet, but it is on my list of things to watch soon.  I love these types of variety programs. Apparently Tom Jones sings on it as well.  I love me some Tom Jones. I think he is fantastic.  I think the Queen is fantastic too, for her age.  Can't wait for the next series of The Crown. Its great!  

I wonder what Katherine is going to have this time, a boy or a girl? 

  

So this will be happening soon.  Prince Harry and Meghan Markle getting married. I can't wait for the wedding, to see her dress, etc.  It will be the event of the year.  Who doesn't love a wedding!! 



I hve my official commemorative tea towel. Produced with Royal Warrant seal of approval by the Ulster Weavers.  Its right there on the tag.  I love it. Of course we will have to have a special meal to celebrate the occasion. Not sure yet what it will be, but I am really looking forward to it!  


Todd's blanket is coming right along.  I am really liking how the colours are shaping up and going together. I think it looks quite masculine.  I might just keep crocheting these blankets to sell, once I am finished Todd's. I really enjoy working on them.  They are mindless handiwork and help to keep my hands busy when I am watching television with Todd in the evenings. We will see. One can only have so many blankets themselves . . . 

  

Our fruit trees are all in bloom . . .  apple, plum, pear  . . . not so many on the apple or the plum, but the pear tree is dripping in blossoms.  We have much to look forward to . . . 


I did a new recipe a few days back for Stuffed Shells, taken from the Pioneer Woman's book, "Dinnertime." It took a ton of ingredients, and a lot of time. 

  

wilting the spinach with onions and garlic  . . . 


this got chopped and then mixed with two kinds of cheese, and an egg for the filling  . . .   


there was a parsley and basil bechamel for pouring over top . . .  after the marninara sauce. (she uses jarred sauce.) 

  

It took ages to make  . . .  ages . . . 


It did look pretty good when I took it out of the oven. It took twice as long too cook as the recipe said.  She said 30 to 35 minutes, but it was more like 55 to 60.  I had very high expectations, but  . . . 

Sadly, it was just blah! 

There was no flavour to it.  The only bit that really had flavour was the marinara sauce, and I could thank Lloyd Grossman for that. I was so disappointed after all of that effort. I really was.  I ended up scraping the filling out of all the shells and just eating them plain with the sauce that clung to them, with a touch of salt and pepper on top.  So disappointed.  I was truly expecting much, much more from it.  I hate it when you waste a lot of time and ingredients making something and then are totally disappointed in the end, don't you? Her photos were so gorgeous. 


It reminds me of a story I read when I was a child, about a little girl who always wanted the biggest and the best of everything.  She was presented with a table full of gifts, all very pretty  and wrapped nicely, but one was very large and wrapped much nicer than the others.  She could choose any gift from the table that she wanted, but only one.  Of course she chose the flashiest and largest gift of all, only to discover that it was an empty box, the real treasure had been in the smallest box which was wrapped in plain brown paper. 


Things are not always what they seem, and we don't always get what we expect to get . . . 

  

I was promised this  . . . 


And ended up with this  . . . 

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

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

 *.˛.
There is no testimony
without the test  . . . 
~unknown   •。★★ 。* 。 


(an old talk by James E Faust that I listened to last night in bed. Its good.) 

 

In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Pain Perdu with Clotted Cream & Raspberries.  Delicious!

Have a wonderful sabbath day!  Don't forget!
  
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And I do too!  







Saturday, 21 April 2018

Dear me . . .


Someone on facebook posed this question yesterday and I have been pondering the answer ever since.  "If you could go back and give your 18 year old self words of advice, what would you say?"  That question has been rolling around in my mind ever since, and I think I've come up with some pretty good advice! 

That's not to say that my 18 year old self would have
taken it however.  


God loves you.  Put Him first and everything else will fall into place. He will never steer you in the wrong direction. Follow the commandments.  Find someone to share your life with who wants to follow them with you and who wants to also put Him first in their lives.  Don't settle for anything less.  God's love is perfect and immovable.



Education, education, education.  This is one of the single most best gifts you can give yourself.  Education. With a good one, you don't ever need to be reliant on anyone else for anything.  A good education gives you a voice and a choice.   


They're nice to have but, you don't need one in order to become anything.   My sister and I were brought up to think that one of the first things we needed to do was to get married. Then we would always be taken care of. So not true.  Its great to love and to be loved.  Marriage is wonderful. Having a family is wonderful.  But make sure you have done all you need to make you the most secure "you" as possible first, before you do any of those things. A real man, a good man, will empower you to become a better you.  He will not turn you into simply an extension of himself.  You must need each other equally.  You don't need a man to define you, take care of you, etc. You can do those things yourself.  All you need a man for is to love and be loved by, to have a family with, when the time is right for both of you. 


When you do find someone to share your life with, make sure you are evenly yoked.  Someone who has a similar belief system, someone who is supportive of you and what you do.  Someone who is honest and kind and true. Someone who does more than just make your heart go pitty pat. Although that is important too. Someone who has similar interests, who likes many of the same things you do.  Who inspires you. Who has the same values.  Who can make you laugh and make you cry and all the things in between. Who raises you up without putting you down first.   Someone who loves you just the way you are.



Save more, borrow less.  Stay out of debt as much as you can.  There are certain things that you will need to go into debt for, like a home, or a car, maybe your education, but always keep it manageable.  Borrowing on a future that might never materialize is never a good idea.  Never borrow more than you can afford to lose. Always, always, always, put something from each paycheck aside and then leave it there.  Don't touch it unless you absolutely must.  


There is a difference between Needs and Wants.  Try not to be too self-indulgent.  Its okay to splurge and treat yourself once in a while, but don't make it a habit.


 



Move more. Walk. Run. Do yoga, thai chi, etc.  Just move. 

  

Stay away from sugar.  Its bad. Likewise processed foods.  Eat whole and natural, and as much from scratch as you can. 



You are not defined by your past. You don't live there anymore.  Learn from your mistakes, but don't carry them with you.  Don't look back.  


If you fall, get back up. Dust yourself off, start all over again.  The only failure in life is in giving up.  Believe in yourself and in the power of your dreams.  You are so much more than your mistakes and your failures.  Don't let them define you.



And don't ever forget it.  I might also add, you IS enough. 


Its a gift from God.  When the time is right, and you is right, and you have found the right person to share it with.  Have one.  At the end of the day . . .  family is everything.  More important than friends, more important than work. Its just everything.  



 Its okay to be happy. 

What would you tell your 18 year old self if you could? 

A thought to carry with you  . . . 


Its a picture one today  . . . 

 

In the kitchen today  . . .  Jammy Buns.  Moreish.  I made these to take over to Doreen.  I thought she and Billy would enjoy them.  Of course Todd and I enjoyed some first.  😉 

Early last evening Todd remarked that  under his arms was itching and burning.   he was loaded with hives.  They were all over his belly and his back and under his arms.  I told him to take a shower and then we covered him with calomine lotion and penaten cream.  Hopefully this morning they will be settled down. If not, he will go to Boots and get some Benedryl.  We have no idea what caused them.  He finished mowing the lawn yesterday, maybe he got over-heated??

Have a lovely Saturday.  Don't forget! 

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And I do too!