Sunday, 28 May 2017

Sunday, Sunday . . . .

I've been sitting here this morning reflecting on how much life can change in a year.   For instance last year this time, Todd and I were still serving on our Mission, working daily with the young Missionaries and others in the Mission field. Life was hectic but in a very good way.  Flash forward a year and we are finished our Mission.  We knew that would happen, eighteen months is only eighteen months afterall and we so enjoyed our time, but the end came at the right time.  God's timing is always perfect.  Last year this time we had no idea that Todd would get cancer and I had no idea that I would be writing a cookbook for publication, both before the end of the year.

Life is a funny old thing.  Forest Gump was right 
when he said life was like a box of 

You do never know
which one you are going to get. 

Sometimes you get a cream centre, sometimes you get a nut, and  . . .  sometimes you get coffee.  Its okay I don't mind the coffee flavoured ones.  Well . . .  maybe a little, but I just swallow it and look for another one to take the taste away.  Does anyone like the coffee flavoured ones?  I wonder . . .

anyhoo . . . 

Change happens.   Life is in a constant flux with ebs and flows, ups and downs, ins and outs, good and bad, joy and sorrow.  There is really only one constant . . . 

“As a young man, President Hinckley worked on a farm during summers and on weekends and holidays. On that farm he grew healthy and learned to work. And there near the soil and close to nature his confidence in God grew like the hundreds of fruit trees and vegetable seeds he planted, tended, and harvested.

“‘After a day of good, hard labor, my younger brother Sherm and I would sleep out under the stars in the box of an old farm wagon,’ President Hinckley [recalled]. ‘On those clear, clean summer nights, we would lie on our backs in that old wagon box and look at the myriads of stars in the heavens. We could identify some of the constellations and other stars as they were illustrated in the encyclopedia which was always available in our family library. We identified some of the more visible patterns in the heavens, but our favorite was the North Star. Each night, like many generations of boys before us, we would trace the Big Dipper, down the handle and out past the cup, to find the North Star.

“‘We came to know of the constancy of that star. … As the earth turned, the others appeared to move through the night. But the North Star held its position in line with the axis of the earth. Because of those boyhood musings, the polar star came to mean something to me. I recognized it as a constant in the midst of change. It was something that could always be counted on, something that was dependable, an anchor in what otherwise appeared to me a moving and unstable firmament’ ”

~Gordon B Hinckley

God is love and
He is always

On that we can depend.

Sometimes I get mail . . . look at what arrived in the post yesterday, bringing smiles along the way.

We got the cutest postcard from Lura and John.  It was a real surprise and so thoughtful.   They may have left their hearts here in the UK, but a little piece of our hearts go with them wherever they are.  Love, LOVE the thatched cottage, and the little heart cutout.  So clever.  so pretty.  See the rainbow just above the roof?  That's a reflection from one of the crystals in my window

Maybe one day I will have this many, but for now,
I have three, and I love how they
sparkle and leave rainbows on
all that they


Here is something else which came in the post yesterday.  A delightful card from our Monique.  Such a thoughtful gesture and it could not have arrived at a better time.  Thank you so much Monique! 

The envelope is so beautifully stamped.  Love the verse.

"Memory is a child
walking along a seashore.
You never can tell that
small pebble it will pick
up and store away among
its treasured thihngs.
~Pierce Harris


 The card inside also beautiful and that necklace  . . .  so sweet.  Thank you my dear friend. Merci Beaucoup from the bottom of my heart.  There are no accidents.  You were inspired. Your thoughtfulness lifts me up and helps keep me afloat.  Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Are we not all ministering angels?
Never ignore a prompting
of the heart

That is how HE uses us to help bless those
in HIS keeping

 I am blessed.  Truly blessed.  Life changes.  It never stays the same.  Its in a constant flux, but it is always good.  God is in control.  We trust in Him. Always.

We won't be going to church today. Todd has had a bad night.  He seems to have more bad than good nights these days, so he is staying in bed.  When I got up, he had not slept a wink.  He did too much yesterday.  I told him to slow down, but you know men  . . .  he would not.  Anyways, last night no sleep.  I am praying he is sleeping as I write this and that he manages to get at least a few hours.

Insomnia, it is such a pain.   I have suffered with it my whole life.  Especially when I have something to do the next day of importance.  Its like a curse.  Last time I flew home to Canada, no sleep for three days.  I wish I was not like that.  It is annoying. It makes you not want to do anything, go anywhere. It runs in my family.  My father has it and both of my siblings and I suffer from it to a degree.  My mom however . . .  she could sleep on the head of a pin. Some people are just lucky that way I guess. 

In any case today I will watch the Mormon Channel while Todd sleeps, read my scriptures, listen to some good music.  I will still feel the power of His love, even if I cannot be at church.

And with that I am off.


In The English Kitchen today  . . . White Chocolate Mousse with Strawberries.  Simple and tasty.

Be blessed.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Saturday wanderings of the mind . . .


 Ahhh . . . Chester.   I think I live in one of the most beautiful cities in all of the UK.  I know that residents of other towns and cities would beg to differ, but we are all entitled to our own opinions are we not?   This is the place I came to live 17 years ago when I moved to the UK and this is the place I missed every day of the 7 years that I lived down in Kent.  Its just a beautiful city filled with beautiful people and architecture and spirit. It has so much to offer.

 You can walk into its centre any day of the week and it is alive.  There are buskers making music, and people walking arm in arm, shoppers galore, young and old.  I just love this city.  Its filled with history . . .  it reeks history.  Most towns and cities in the UK do . . . admittedly, but again  . . .  I love Chester.  Always will.

The city recently opened one of it's newest structures.  It's been in the making for several years now at the cost of over £37 million.  It houses a new Cinema, Theatre and modern/up to date Library. Its just beautiful.  Inside and out.  I went into town with Todd the other day for my eye test and he took me on a tour of it.  He's been in to it several times now.  Its phenomenal, but then it better be for the money it cost!  Red carpeting throughout, a lovely children's library, plenty of armchairs throughout for people to sit and read on, lots of technology for the tecchies, coffee shops and bars, and of course the cinema and the theatre where people will be ale to see both film and live theatre productions.  This will be a great asset to an already great city.

This is a sight I thought I would never see in my city . . . policemen armed with guns, heavy duty guns.  Patrolling out streets.  Outside the town hall.  After the atrocity in Manchester earlier this week our country is at a Critical level re terrorism, meaning that another attack is expected imminently. Scary stuff.  Troops are also being deployed to help police the streets of all major cities, centres, events, etc. in an attempt to keep our citizens safe.  I am not sure it is entirely possible to keep our citizens safe, but we can try.

We are living in a bad, bad world.  I was reading this morning that dozens of Coptic Christians have been killed and injured in an attack on a bus in Eygpt.  Attacked whilst on their way to church, by armed gunmen, wearing masks . . .  because they are brave like that, these terrorists.  They like to wear masks.  Despicable.

I don't know what to think.
Its all quite frightening.
All of it.

 I have this big beautiful family and all of these lovely children and grandchildren and I worry about their future. About the world they are going to have to deal with, live with, survive . . . .

I guess that is where faith comes in.  We need it now more than ever.  I don't think things will ever get any better, not this side of the millennium . . . they are only going to get worse.  Peace comes from our faith in and of the Saviour.  Read the scriptures.  Pray.  Hope.  Love.

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. ~John 14:27 


Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.~Proverbs 3:5


These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. ~John 16:33 

Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.~Isaiah 12:2

I believe that ultimately Good will prevail.  The man in the white hat will win. Evil will be defeated. I may not see it in my lifetime, but it will come.  I have no doubt, and that is how I go on.

“Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail. … Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not” (D&C 6:34, 36).

The sun has deserted us this morning.  It is showering.  We have had a glorious few days however, and I think even these showers will clear. Its been almost too hot to sleep and we had to dig the fan out of the cupboard.  Todd was saying last night that he feels literally exhausted.  He's been trying to get some work done in the garden, but it takes all of his energy to do it. I want to ask the young men/elders quorum in our Ward to help, but he doesn't want me to do that.  Too proud I guess!  Our shed doors need scraping and painting. One of our patio chairs has disappeared?  It must have blown away in a wind storm and we didn't notice it being gone until now. 

The Clematis and Honeysuckle are going mad and are filled with bees . . .  buzz, buzzing.  It's lovely.  The Honeysuckle smells beautiful. Our roses are filling with buds and our strawberries are covered with flowers.  We should get quite a few I am thinking, if the slugs don't get there first!

I have not heard from my Editor this week.  I will have to e-mail him and ask him what's up.  I haven't received any advance yet, which I thought I was supposed to receive when the finished manuscript was submitted, but maybe that meant with all the edits done.  That's probably what it meant.  I am so not in the know with how these things work!

I am babbling so I will end this now with a cheerful thought for the day, enough doom and gloom!


Are you dancing?  

I sure hope so! 

In The English Kitchen today . . .  Pull Apart Cinnamon Roll Bread.  This was gorgeous! 

Have a great Saturday.  Don't forget . . . 

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

Friday, 26 May 2017

My Friday Finds . . .


A few of the things I find each week which pique my curiosity and make me think, want to create, inspire me to do and be  . . .  maybe they will do the same for you!


Reversable bag.  So simple to make.  From You Can Do That.

Hearth and Vine.  Dried Orange Garland.  Lovely.


DIY Twine Lights.  Genius.  From Pocket Full of Dreams.


 Kindle Cover Tutorial.  From She Knows.

 Houseplants that will de-toxify the air in your home.  From Cierra Country.


 Moving towards Peace. The ancient art of burning sage.


 Fabric Bowl Covers.  From Hearth and Vine.

 24 tips on how to create the perfect Bullet Journal.  I so want to start a bullet journal.  This is from Gurl.


 Flickr.  WashiTape on the edges of pages.  Love this idea.

 Gooseberry Moon.  Free Printable Botanical Gift Cards.  Love these.


 Watercolour Camera Clip Art.  All sorts on Etsy.


 The Health Benefits of Celery.  I love celery.

 Crochet Baby Ripple Sweater.  Free pattern.  From Pardon My Chaos.


 A complete Layette from Women's Weekly.  Not free, but not expensive either.

 Fabric Scrap Bookmarks.  From The Crafty Mummy.


 View from The Great Island. Homemade Magic Shell.


 How to style your home like a pro.  From the people at BHG.

 And those are my finds for this week.  I hope that something piqued your curiosity!

A thought to carry with you  . . .

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

 *.˛.° ˛°. . 
˛Owning our story and
loving ourselves through
that process, is the bravest
thing that we will ever do.
~Brene Brown.° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •

Spiritual Enlightenment


In The English Kitchen today, Roasted Tomato and Asparagus Salad.  Delish!

Have a superdy duperdy Friday.  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!

Thursday, 25 May 2017

My Favourite Things . . .


These are a few of my favourite things. Maybe some of them are yours too!


Jill the Squirrel on Instagram. She is so cute!  She also has a YouTube channel.  She is adorable. Mega personality plus.  I could watch her for hours.

Amish. Anything.  I am in love with the Amish.  The way of life.  The food (especially the food). The people.  It is my dream to one day visit Amish country.

Homemade Mac and Cheese.  I especially like my sister's recipe for the stove top one.  Its delicious.  You can find it here. Its a real winner.

Houses with names.  I have always wanted to own my own home and give it a name.  Like  . . . Misty Meadows . . . or Journey's End . . .  that type of thing.  It is the romantic in me I think  . . . Oh sure, we could name our house, but it would seem a bit pretentious because it isn't ours and its a row house. Sigh  . . .

Cinnamon. Anything. I love the taste.  I love the smell.  I love cinnamon.

All things Beatrix.  Potter, that is.   I love her art, books, story.  The movie Miss Potter which I have watched literally almost a bazillion times. (okay slight exaggeration there, it only feels like that to Todd, lol)  I have never been in HillTop however, although we have tried many times.  Its always full up when we go, no parking left, etc.  One day I will get there.  Did you know there is a Beatrix Potter World?  I know!  I did not know that until the other day when my friend Tina was there with her family.

Its called The World of Beatrix Potter. Its at Crag Brow, at Bowness-on-Windemere.Interactive exhibits tell the story of Potter's writing and her importance to Lakeland conservation.  I hope to go there one day!

Tea Cup and Snack Plate sets.  I love them. I don't have one, but I would if I could.  If I ever win the lottery I want to collect them.  I know.  I'm wierd. Its okay.

They can actually be quite pretty.

Travel shows.  I am not such a good traveler now that I am getting older.  So much hassle involved, with airports, packing, etc.  But I am a great armchair traveler.  I love to see new places and learn about them.  

My favourite ones are Michael Portillo's Great Train Journies.  He has gone to some very fascinating places.  All by train. 

I also quite liked "An Idiot Abroad."  (Well, except for the swearing.)  Karl Pilkington is the Idiot.  In season 3 he travels with Warwick Davis, the dwarf and it is quite funny.  Warwick is so positive and Karl is so negative.  They quite balanced each other out and it was quite entertaining.  I don't think they have made any new ones.  

Geneology programs like Who Do You Think You Are.  I find them fascinating.  But then again, I really enjoy geneology.

Plastic storage tubs.  Small ones for food, stackable.  Larger ones for other things like bedding, Christmas Decorations, etc.  I keep all my stuff in plastic storage tubs.  Herb teas, rice, cereal, noodles, gravy powders, etc.  Foodwise, things stay fresh and they stack neatly in the cupboard.  I put labels on them so I can instantly tell what is what.  Our Christmas Decorations are out in the shed. Likewise labeled, etc.  They are unbreakable.  Washable.  Sterile. etc.

Picnic Baskets.  (We actually have this one.)  I love them.  This one is nice, albeit a bit on the heavy side, bit it has real china and knives and forks, glasses, etc. We also have a wicker one. We haven't been on a picnic in a while.  I think we need to go on one soon because I love picnics!

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

A thought to carry with you  . . .

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

 *.˛.° Every positive change in your life begins with
a clear, unequivocal decision that,
you are either going to going to either do something,
or stop doing something. ~Unknown •。★★ 。* 。

Spiritual Enlightenment

In The English Kitchen today . . .  French Onion Chicken.  Done in the crockpot/slowcooker.  Sized just for two but easily multipliable.  Quite simply delicious.

Have a great Thursday.  Don't forget!

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And I do too!