Monday, 30 April 2012
If you were to walk down to the end of our garden . . . waaaaay down to the end . . . tucked back amidst the branches of leaf all green, which grows thick and tall and dark like a wall . . . down near the bottom, tucked in just so . . . if you looked, very, very carefully, you might see a very tiny door. So tiny that you might be forgiven if you missed it entirely, but it's there . . . you just need to really look for it . . . be patient.
Can you see it??? It's there . . . right there . . . tucked into that trunk, woven into the bark just so . . .
Now lift up the corner of the doormat . . . underneath you'll find the key. It's very tiny, but it's there . . . Just pick it up and fit it into the lock on the door. Gently now . . . you won't want to disturb anyone overly much. Be very very quiet . . .
Swing the door open, ever so slowly . . . be careful now . . . you don't want any fairy dust to burst out into the air and make you sneeze. That won't do at all . . .
There . . . ahh . . . now scrunch way, way down . . . and look inside
You might see a table and chairs all set up for tea . . . upon a moss covered floor . . . the chairs set just so. To the untrained eye, they may look like a bunch of twigs, but those of us who know can see the pattern there amongst the twig and leaf and moss . . . tis set and waiting. Little acorn cups waiting for the brush of a fairy's finger to fill it up with nectar sweet and cool . . . trickled in from the dew of an early morning leaf, gathered for just such a purpose.
Look closely . . . and hold your breath . . . right there in the corner . . .
Just look at all the goodies. Set out upon a teensie twig table, as if they were expecting you and me . . . or some other fair company . . . sweet treats and blossom fit for a queen . . . or two or three, a basket of tempting fairy delights. Iced fairy cakes? Who knows for sure . . . not me.
Everything is so tiny and sweet . . . small basins to wash small hands and feet . . . a tiny stool set just so, dried twig brushes to keep things clean, to make them glow. Nutshell pots just small enough to hold a fairy's charms . . . a shelf with herbs and tiny leaf . . . gathered by a fairy's arms.. . . twill make no sense to us . . . but a fairy knows . . . a fairy knows . . . just what makes magic so . . . just what makes magic so . . .
Look closer still and you might see . . . some tiny boots, and slippers too . . . amidst perfume of honey dew. A winter vest, woven of moss . . . just right for wearing beneath a coat . . . the perfect size and weight to keep a fairy warm on a cold, cold day . . . but not today. The sun shines . . . only a tiny skirt fashioned from the petals of a rose will do . . . layers upon layers of soft sweet pink, which fall across the legs just so . . .
Shhh . . . be very very quiet . . .
We daren't wake her up. She sleeps amidst the moss and leaf . . . a tiny bed for her to keep . . . her toes tucked in beneath the sheets of gossamer thread . . carefully gathered from a spider's web . . . clusters of forget-me-nots above her head. Sweet fairy dreams in the light of day . . . but that is when they sleep you know. that is when they sleep.
The warmth and light of any day makes them quite . . . quite drowsy, they say . . . They must not risk being seen you know . . .
They prefer to bask in moon lit glow . . . as clouds fade across a darkening sky and the moon creeps high . . . listen carefully. You may hear the soft flutter of their wings as they dance across the sky . . . unfurled and flitting here and there . . .
Across the water . . . quickly now . . . quickly now. Do not blink, or you will miss them you know. They are quite fast and leave you wondering . . . did you . . . or didn't you . . . what was that flicker across your eye . . . that small light which dances across the darkening evening sky . . .
By light of moon, they sing their songs and bound and leap amidst the fronds . . . of fern . . . and dance upon the moss, of forest floor and beaten paths. Frolicking here and frolicking there, as if they have no single care, not like you and me. Not they . . . not like you and me.
Now breathe . . . now breathe . . .
Sunday, 29 April 2012
What am I thinking about this morning . . .
I had a fabulous day yesterday with a couple of really sweet friends, and great gals. We walked and talked and laughed and ate, and laughed some more and talked some more. it was a wonderful day and was over far too quickly. Life is good when you have friends in it that you can be so comfortable with . . . that you feel like you have known and loved them forever, even though it's only been a couple of years. Life is amazing that way. I can barely put one foot in front of the other this morning, my knees are shot, but it was worth every minute of joy that I felt yesterday. I hope that they will forgive me for putting this picture of them here. It's not a recent one, I know, but I thought it just oozed their beautiful spirits and I wanted you to feel some of what I feel when I am around them. Can you feel the joy and the love??? Job done.
On one of our very first trips to Germany together, Todd and I were wandering down the cobbled streets in Frieberg, hand in hand . . . and we can across a street which was totally draped in Wisteria.
It was woven into the very brickwork of the walls . . . and hung across the street from one side to the other, all the way down the whole street . . . it's deep purple clusters all magically etherial . . . seemingly placed there just for our wonderment and pleasure. I didn't know what Wisteria was at the time, I only knew that the sight of this cobbled street with all of those beautiful hanging purple flowers draped across it took my breath away with it's beauty and the surprise of it all. Forever etched in my mind. I will never forget the moment. Better still is the fact that I shared it with the man that I loved then . . . love now . . . and always will . . .
Pansies. I love pansies. Next to Sweet Peas, they are my favourite flowers. They have such sweet little faces. No wonder that another name for them is "Hearts Ease." Just to gaze into their eyes, brings such sweet and tender feelings into my heart. I came across some in my old bible the other day. They had been pressed between it's pages, placed there with love and tenderness many, many years ago . . . the first blooms ever given to me by a boy, now a man . . . their blossoms plucked from my mother's front garden in a moment of impulse, with a measure of joy. I was reminded of the very moment they had been given to me . . . a moment filled with breathlessness, and the tender sweetness and innocence of first love. So too . . . they are a reminder to me that you can love someone deeply, and yet at the same time dislike them with an equal passion. I married that boy and it ended badly . . . there is a part of me that will always love him for what we once had, and . . . well, I'll just leave it at that because there are some things that are always best left unsaid . . .
Keys . . . our lives are full of keys. They may not look like keys, but they are keys all the same. Smells and sounds and textures that unlock the doors to our memories . . . bringing back special feelings and longings since forgotten, but not really . . . they were just waiting for the right key to open the door and let them out.
Keys . . . that we use to lock up the things in our hearts that we would rather not think about, or feel, or remember.
Keys . . . that can open the doors to brighter futures and new lives . . . if we would only take a chance and turn the key in the lock . . . what are we afraid of? Change seldom comes easy, but is often worth far more than the angst and trouble that it takes to get from here to there.
As the wind and the rain beats upon the glass of the windows of my house, my mind wanders to sunny summer days and picnics in the park. That sound of insects humming in the air and the smell of warm grass, chattering voices, happy laughter, butterflies flitting here and flitting there. Special looks exchanged between lovers and friends, a verse or two read out loud from an old book . . . words that have meaning only to you, and to him. Secret glances, coy looks from lowered lashes, a blush or two . . . or even three. Can we ever go there again? Oh yes . . . oh yes . . . I just did.
Warm snuggles and wet kisses . . . paws that smell wonderously like popcorn. I like to bury my nose in them and in her soft warm belly and just breathe her into my heart. There is a special place deep within . . . that is reserved only for her. It will always be her place . . . the letters M -I - T - Z - I - E are carved there indelibly and this spot will never belong to another. I never thought I could love with such a passion again. She proved me wrong. I am glad.
My life is oh so good . . . and filled with joys and moments and love and blessings. It is filled with chance and opportunity, and thankfully . . . a heart that is not afraid to embrace them, each and every one. I find joy in simple things. I find peace all around me. It's always been there, and always will be . . . like a well that I can draw from and drink deeply of it's sustenance whenever I wish and choose to do so.
I pray that today . . . it is the same for you.
Saturday, 28 April 2012
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise;
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,
I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! and if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Funny . . . I have known the first fiew lines of this Sonnet, all of my life it seems . . . but had never read the rest of it . . . until today. Elizabeth Barrett Browning was one of the most prominent poets of the Victorian Era, her poetry being popular both in the UK and in America. Her last book of poetry was published by her husband, Robert Browning, after her death.
Born in Coxhoe Hall, situated between the villages of Coxhoe and Kelloe in the Country Durham, on March 6th 1806, she was to be the eldest of 12 children. Later on in the year she was born her father purchased Hope End, and they moved there. She was educated primarily at home by her brother's tutor. She was thought to be an intense, studious and precious child. She writes that at the age of six, she was reading novels, at eight she was completely entranced by Homer, and at ten . . .studying Greek and writing her own Homerian epic, the Battle of Marathon. Her earliest poetry efforts were gathered into a book by her mother. Her father called her the "Poet Laureate of Hope End." So it seems that she was greatly encouraged by her parents. I think that is a parents' job, to encourage their children in the talents that they express. She watched her brothers go off to school knowing that there was no chance of that education for herself. Elizabeth was very close to her siblings and had great respect for her father: she claimed that life was no fun without him, and her mother agreed. Her first known poem was written at the tender age of eight.
At about age 15 Barrett Browning began to battle with a lifelong illness, which the medical science of the time was unable to diagnose. All three sisters came down with the syndrome although it lasted only with Elizabeth. She had intense head and spinal pain with loss of mobility. Apocryphally it was told that she fell while trying to saddle a horse or was creating the illness but there is strong evidence that she was seriously sick. The illnesses of this time were, however, unrelated to the lung disease she suffered in 1837. This illness caused her to be frail and weak. She was described at this time, as having "a slight, delicate figure, with a shower of dark curls falling on each side of a most expressive face; large, tender eyes, richly fringed by dark eyelashes, and a smile like a sunbeam". She began to take opiates for the pain, as they did in those days, and would become dependent on them for much of her adulthood; the use from an early age would have contributed to her frail health. Biographers such as Alethea Hayter have suggested that this may have contributed to the wild vividness of her imagination and the poetry it produced.
Her 1844 volume Poems made her one of the most popular writers in the country at the time and inspired Robert Browning to write to her, telling her how much he loved her work. He had been an admirer of her poetry for a long time and wrote "I love your verses with all my heart, dear Miss Barrett" praising their "fresh strange music, the affluent language, the exquisite pathos and true new brave thought." He met Elizabeth on 20 May 1845, in her rooms, and so began one of the most famous courtships in literature. Elizabeth had produced a large amount of work and had been writing long before Robert Browning had. However, he had a great influence on her writing, as did she on his.
The courtship and marriage between Robert Browning and Elizabeth were carried out secretly as she and her siblings were convinced their father would disapprove. Six years his elder and an invalid, she could not believe that the vigorous and worldly Robert Browning really loved her as much as he professed to. After a private marriage at St. Marylebone Parish Church, they honeymooned in Paris, after which he spirited his wife off to Italy, in September 1846, which became her home almost continuously until her death in 1867, in her husband's arms. Browning said that she died "smilingly, happily, and with a face like a girl's. … Her last word was—… 'Beautiful'" .
I have enjoyed learning more about Elizabeth here this morning, and I hope that you have too.
I am off to Runcorn today to meet with my friends Sheilagh and Trish and then we are off the Aintree to a big Craft Show that they have their each year. I went with them last year as well and really enjoyed it. We're also popping in to Ikea, which will be a first for me! I hope that you all have a lovely Saturday! I know that I will, despite the rain!
Baking in The English Kitchen today, Old Fashioned Molasses Crinkles!
“When life is hard, remember - we are not the first to ask, 'Is there no other way?”
~Jeffrey R Holland
Friday, 27 April 2012
There is nothing that brings a song into my heart more than the sight of one of the first harbinger’s of spring, the pussy willow. I can remember as a child, gathering bunches of them to grace our family home and being very excited to do so. Even now when I happen upon them I like to do the same. Their long slender twigs and soft grey buds make the finest of Springtime decorations. I'm quite sure that the trees don't mind me borrowing just a few . . .
They're my only weakness . . . as Dorcas Lane would say. (Do you not just love that series, Larkrise to Candleford??? I do. I could watch them over and over again.)
There is a legend about how they came about, that I think is very sweet and lovely. A cat once gave birth to several unwanted kittens. The cat's owner threw them into a river. As they floated off, the mother cat ran along the banks of the river mewing so plaintively that the willow trees bending down near the water took pity and leaned down their branches even lower so that the kittens could climb out to safety. Ever since then, we have had beautiful pussy willows every spring.
Somewhat of a tall tale to be sure, but how wonderful a thought . . . and something to bring a smile to your face the next time you stroke one of those soft grey buds on a pussy willow branch.
It is at this time of year that I miss living in our little cottage down in Kent. Surrounded by Orchards, the air would be full of the smell of apple wood burning as the farmer burnt his gleanings from the winter's pruning. The orchards themselves were beginning to turn into a sea of beautiful blossom. The Estate was always covered with Daffodils and tulips blooming profusely, in huge clumps, so very pretty. The Daffodils were very early this year and are almost done now as are the tulips, but everywhere the trees are coming out in leaf and the birds are nesting.
One thing I miss most about down south is the great variety of birds we saw in our garden, and yes . . . I even miss the cheeky squirrels. We get mostly sparrows here, and the odd robin or two. Pigeons of course and morning doves. Occasionally we will see a pair of Gold Finches at the finch feeder, which are always nice to see. I have seen a pair of Kestrils flying overhead and a few days ago I actually saw a raven on the grass. We are quite close to the Welsh mountains, so it had probably come down from there. I miss all the tits and wagtails, etc. that used to visit our garden in Kent, but I am grateful for the birds we do get. I have ever been an Ornithologist . . . commonly known as a Birdwatcher!!
That is a great love that both my sister and I share . . . watching and feed the birds. When we lived a lot closer to each other and she would come to visit me, we often took ourselves off on bird watching walks together, and berry picking expeditions. The largest bird we ever saw was a huge heron that was sitting on a fallen down tree near the pond by an old farmhouse my ex and I rented once upon a time. We managed to get fairly close to it as well, before it flew off . . . gliding over our heads as it left . . . amazing us with it's wingspan as it did.
I guess I've always been a nature lover and that is something that Todd and I also share with each other and one of the things that made us fall in love with each other . . . our mutual love of all that our Heavenly Father has created. Tis a wonderful thing, being able to share these things with the one that you love . . . oh . . . yes, I am so very blessed. ☺
A few days ago a friend asked me if I would do one of my paintings, using a scripture that she loved, but with a little boy and a girl in it. I was happy to do so as I loved the scripture as well . . . and as you know I do love to paint.
This is what I came up with. I quite enjoyed doing it and I think I have managed to create some clouds in the sky as well. It's not perfect, but I think I learn something new each time I sit down to create in this way. I so wish I had been allowed to go to Artschool when I was younger . . . but alas, I was not. Nevermind, I am enjoying figuring things out as I go along!
I have something very tasty to show you this morning. I hope you will forgive me . . . this is quite quite QUITE scrummy. I think this will be our new garlic bread . . .I may never make the other kind ever again.
Cooking in The english Kitchen today, Onion, Garlic and Cheese Pluckit Bread.
“We are not perfect. The people around us are not perfect. People do things that annoy, disappoint, and anger. In this mortal life it will always be that way. Nevertheless, we must let go of our grievances. Part of the purpose of mortality is to learn how to let go of such things. That is the Lord’s way. Remember, heaven is filled with those who have this in common: They are forgiven. And they forgive.” ~Dieter F Uchtdorf
Thursday, 26 April 2012
Well, the weather here in the UK has been really pants this past week. Rain, rain and . . . even more rain! Mitzie just sits at the window and looks out at the back garden with longing. I don't think that being out in the rain would bother her overly much, but it's far too mucky out there when it's wet like this and so we keep her away from it. I guess this is well and truly April Showers time.
The weather seems to be changing all over the world. The seasons seem to be swinging back and forth and not what they've always been. They are calling for the coldest May here in one hundred years, with cold temps and maybe even snow in some places. That always fascinates me that they can predict things like that. They don't seem to be able to predict the weather with any accuracy on a daily basis over here (it's so changeable), but they can predict weather a month ahead??? Hmm . . . I hope they are wrong. On a positive note though, they have said that June/July and August are going to be quite nice! We shall see!
I've been enjoying reading Stephanie Neilson's book, Heaven Is Here. I almost cannot put it down. It's not that the writing is brilliant, although it's quite good to be sure . . . I think it's because it's a true story and because I have read her blog for years, it feels like I am reading about a friend. (Although in complete honesty, she would not know who I was from a hole in a wall!) I lay there in bed last night and was reading about her first few hours after she regained consciousness after her accident. She'd been in a coma for months and months. It was quite horrifying . . . she could hear everyone around her, but was unable to speak or move much except for her eyes.
That has always been a nightmare thought of mine . . . being trapped in my body and feeling helpless. I can remember when I was a young mum, being afraid that I would have a stroke or something during the night and that nobody would know. That somehow my children would end up starving to death because I was a carrot or a potato laying upstairs in my bed unable to communicate ot let anyone know something was wrong. Did anyone else ever worry about things like this??? I was often on my own with the children because my husband was in the Military and away. It seemed like for every week he was at home, he was away for another two! If anything had happened to me, my babies would have literally been on their own.
I was talking to a young mum the other day and related to her that when I had my fourth baby, I had three in diapers. I look back on those days now and am amazed at how well I coped with it all. Because my oldest daughter was developmentally handicapped, she wasn't trained until she was about 4 years old. There was only 23 months between her and her yonger sister, and then I had a new born, who was only 22 months younger than her! Three in diapers, not a pamper in sight. It would have been far too expensive to use disposable diapers. Somehow I managed to cope with it all, but it amazes me now.
I also suffered with mild post natal depression. It wasn't something that was really recognized back then though. I just somehow managed to get through it in silence. My husband was away a lot of the time, and believe it or not, I didn't have any friends that I could talk to. We used to joke that everytime I got pregnant it was a sign that we would be moving. Amazingly enough this was true. Other than my first child, I never gave birth in a place that was even remotely close to family, and I had always just moved to a new place, so I had never had a chance to make new friends either!! I can remember looking at all the other new mums during my stays in the hospital, with all of their flowers, cards and visitors . . . and feeling quite, quite lonely.
But I got through it . . . as we do. Life goes on and we end up stronger for having experienced what we've experienced. That's a good thing really.
I fell completely in love with this afghan on Pinterest yesterday! Don't you think it's beautiful?? I am going to make one like this for myself. It looks as pretty as a flower garden, and in fact it's called Flowers in a Row. It reminds me of the counted cross stitch that I used to do. I always loved to do samplers, and if they were garden samplers I loved them most of all. I only ever very rarely got any of it framed. Much of it is laying in a box up in the loft. I always loved doing counted cross stitch, but we could never really afford to have it framed properly. I haven't don any in years now . . . my eyes just don't co-operate with all of that fine work anymore. We do get older don't we, and things change, so do our interests.
As a younger woman I used to do a lot of sewing, crochet, cross stitch, etc. I never had the time to paint though. Painting requires time and a space to be able to do it where you can be completely alone . . . I have that now, but I didn't have that back then. It was much easier to pick up a crochet hook, needle and thread or knitting needles. I could do that as I sat and watched the children play. It didn't require my total concentration. Anyways, I think I am going to crochet myself this afghan. It's something I can do in the evenings while we are watching the television. A no-brainer really.
I was thinking yesterday afternoon, that I would love to host a Bridal Shower for my daughter during the time I am home for her wedding. We will be there for about two weeks, one week before the wedding and one week afterwards. It would be nice to have a get together with all of my cousins and such, and do something like this for her. I am sure there will be other showers for her, but I won't be over there for them, and I seriously doubt that any of my family will be invited, so this would be an opportunity for my family to shower her with love and good wishes. I'm going to ask my mom on Sunday if this would be possible. (It will be in her house so it's probably best to get permission first I think!) Exciting times!
I have ordered these bed linens as a wedding gift for them. She was telling me on the phone the other day that they have bought themselves a bedroom set and she has a "Bed in a Bag," which has pretty much everything in it for one bed . I thought it would be nice for them to have another set to use so that they can change their bedding every week. I have this set myself and it's quite gorgeous! I hope that she will like it. It's also something that we will easily be able to take over with us in our suitcases. There won't be a lot of time for shopping once we get there and they are shutting down the local Zellers as well, so there really won't be anyplace nearby to shop either. Apparently they are putting in a Wal-mart, but that won't be until August so I hear. I don't know what my mom will do without Zellers! She shops there every week when she can. She loves their Senior's day where she gets a further discount on all of their sale prices. I think she has enough toilet paper bought and stored to keep her going for a few years!! I kid you not. She also has years of points collected as well. I hope she'll be able to use them at some point.
Well, I have probably prattled on for long enough this morning! You're probably quite, quite tired of it all by now. Some days I am inspiring, and some days I just prattle on. I hope it's a happy mix! I won't be completely un-inspiring today though as I'll leave you with a happy thought!
“Love is the very essence of life. It is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Yet it is not found only at the end of the rainbow. Love is at the beginning also, and from it springs the beauty that arched across the sky on a stormy day. Love is the security for which children weep, the yearning of youth, the adhesive that binds marriage, and the lubricant that prevents devastating friction in the home; it is the peace of old age, the sunlight of hope shining through death. How rich are those who enjoy it in their associations with family, friends, and neighbors! Love, like faith, is a gift of God. It is also the most enduring and most powerful virtue.” ~Gordon B Hinckley
Happy Thursday one and all!
Cooking in The English Kitchen today, Parmesan Crusted Turkey Steaks with a Tomato and Peppadew Relish!
Wednesday, 25 April 2012
Have you ever dreamt about what you would do if you suddenly came into a lot of money?? I sometimes do. There have been HUGE European lottery offerings over here in recent years, sometimes as high as 170 million pounds, which is mind boggling. How could you even put a dent in that kind of money? I am sure it would be earning interest faster than you could spend it. I don't really buy lottery tickets . . . so I don't really have much of a chance of winning, but that doesn't stop me for dreaming about what I could do with that kind of money if I ever had it. It doesn't hurt anyone and hasn't cost me a penny.
First of all I like to think that everyone in our families would never have to worry about money ever again. All the children's student loans and mortgages would be paid off and decent new family cars would be purchased for each one. Trust funds for the grand children's educations would be set up, and a hefty amount of savings deposited into each family account for a rainy day. Not enough that they would never have to work again . . . working teaches us so much and provides important emotional and spiritual growth . . . but they would be financially secure.
Then there are my parents, brother, sister, Todd's brother and his family. It goes without saying that they would be provided for as well in a reasonable way, with no mortgages, new cards, etc. I would build my parents a retirement home, just the right size, with everything on one level, all the mod cons, and with someone to come in and clean for my mom each week. A new car and a driver to take them wherever they needed to go each week. I'd love to have them come and live with me . . . but whist my dad would probably be up for it . . . my mom is just stubborn enough to want nothing to change . . .
Then there are things I would love to do to make a difference in the world. I know I could not solve everyone's problems, but I would love to give a sizable chunk to children's charities . . . worthwhile ones which provide good food, clean water, clothing and educations to children that would otherwise never have any of those things. When I was working down South, Todd and I sponsored two children in Africa, a little boy in Ethiopia and a girl in Tanzania and we got so much pleasure from doing so. It broke our hearts to have to give it up when I lost my job and we have never lost the hope that one day we would be able to sponsor some more children.
I am always telling Todd that I would never want to move from where we live right now. I am happy and content here. He, of course would want to immediately move to a big house in the country. Having worked in a big house for all those years, I would never want to really have a big house of my own . . . too much cleaning and space. I could never hire anyone to clean my house. I'd be cleaning it up before they came, and I would never want other people knowing my personal business . . . so I would go for a small house out in the country. I'm sure we would compromise somewhere. I'd also want a new car to drive. A nice compact model, automatic and easy to manoeuvre in and out of spots. Todd . . . he wants a Jaguar. That's a man for you! I think a nice house with about 4 bedrooms (plenty of room for the kids and grand kids etc. when they came to visit) a dining room, family room, utility room, LARGE kitchen and lounge would be fabulous as well as a studio of my very own to play in.
A holiday home would also be nice . . . somewhere warm that we could escape to when the winter winds blew and the rain fell. A place that we could go to with our families from time to time and all relax together.
I'd like to be like the Secret Millionaire and give money anonymously to people who really need it, and deserve it. I would be a bit like that man on the beach throwing starfish back into the sea I think . . . I wouldn't be able to save them all of course . . . but I'd make a difference to each one that I could. What a happy thought that is.
I sometimes look at my husband's back whilst he is bent over working or reading in bed and I think about what a hard life he has had. He was born during WW2 and his father was a window washer. He had to leave school when he was 15. His mother took him downtown to find him a job and he's worked ever since. He's worked really hard through the years as well . . . in shops, on farms etc. some of it quite heavy labour too . . . milking cows at 5 in the morning, shovelling out other people's muck, etc. He only ever very rarely gets a new piece of clothing. All he has to wear, except for the suit we bought new when we got married, has come from charity shops for the most part. I would so love to be able to give him some of the finer things in life. Now that he is in the winter of his life, it would be so nice to spoil him in a variety of ways . . . oh, I guess I do that anyways, as best as I can . . . so it's all good.
At the end of the day . . . we already have all that we need and our lives are very good. We are content and happy with our circumstances. We have love and we have health and we have a good outlook on life from every perspective. We have our faith and the security that it brings to our lives and we have each other, and our little Miztie. Anything else is just icing . . .
I have been lucky enough in my life to have been able to see both sides of the coin. Having worked for the really wealthy, I have been able to observe that personal wealth can become a prison of sorts and a detriment to spiritual and personal growth. Some people have so much that money and possessions become their Gods. Their lives become an exercise in trying to keep what they have, and in trying to get more of it. They never have enough. They are never content, always wanting more . . . never realizing that what they really need, and what would bring them the most joy . . . is something that cannot be purchased . . .
To be happy is easy enough if we forgive ourselves, forgive others, and live with thanksgiving. No self-centred person, no ungrateful soul can ever be happy, much less make anyone else happy. Life is giving, not getting.
~Joseph Fort Newton
It's nice to dream of course . . . but you should never dream so much that your reality becomes tinged with longing and regret. Money cannot buy happiness . . . true joy and happiness comes from being content with what you already have . . . and in serving other's as best as we can, sharing that which we have been so abundantly blessed with . . .
It is in the giving that we really start living . . .
Baking in The English Kitchen today, a delicious Dried Cherry, Apricot and Almond Breakfast Loaf. Fat free and very tasty!
“God expects you to have enough faith and determination and enough trust in Him to keep moving, keep living, keep rejoicing. In fact, He expects you not simply to face the future (that sounds pretty grim and stoic); He expects you to embrace and shape the future--to love it and rejoice in it and delight in your opportunities. God is anxiously waiting for the chance to answer your prayers and fulfill your dreams, just as He always has. But He can't if you don't pray, and He can't if you don't dream. In short, He can't if you don't believe.” ― Jeffrey R. Holland
Tuesday, 24 April 2012
FOR TODAY, April 24th, 2012...
Outside My Window...
It is wet, wet, wet . . . April showers and all that. It's very cool as well. Roll on summer! (Not that I am wishing my life away or anything!)
I am thinking...
I had some really deep thoughts last night, and I remember thinking to myself. I'm going to mention that tomorrow . . . but like yesterday, they have gone. I should have written them down!
I am thankful for...
I called my daughter yesterday afternoon. Eileen, the one who is getting married in July. We had a lovely conversation. I love that she has never judged me or found me wanting. She has always just simply loved me. She may not agree with my religious beliefs, but she believes in my right to have them and it is just simply something we never talk about. She loves the Saviour with all of her heart and she knows I do too. She learned how to pray and to love the Saviour and her Heavenly Father from my example. I always kept a Godly home, and we always walked the Saviour's path. I am thankful for that.
From the kitchen...
I think I need to bake, coz there's not a lot of shakin going on in there! I'm slipping! Nah . . . I'm just being good.
I am wearing...
A Blue nightie, my robe and my slippers. I'll get dressed once Todd gets up.
I am creating...
I haven't done anything since I did this the other day. I have some ideas though and I have some cards to do for an order. My fingers are itching to get into my craft room and play.
I have been thinking about sewing an Elephant toy for my granddaughter for Christmas. I thought it would be something different. I have a whole big plastic box full of different fabrics and I think it would be really cute!
I am going...
We were going to go in to town today, but if it is raining, I don't know if we will still go or not. I have some pearl earrings that I wanted to give to my daughter for a wedding gift and I was thinking I would like to look for a necklace or a bracelet to go with them.
I am reading...
Heaven Is Here, by Stephanie Nielson
I think you would pretty much have had to be living under a rock over these past four years not to have heard of the story of Stephanie Nielson, who blogs over on The NieNie Dialogues. She was in a really bad accident in 2008 when the light plane her husband and his flight instructor were flying crashed. She was burned in over 80% of her body and her life changed completely. She has been an inspiration to so very many people in the world since then, with her honest and poignant writings. I am a fan and I could hardly wait to read her book.
It arrived in the post yesterday and I have not been able to put it down since I cracked it open. It's beautifully written and I am really enjoying it. I highly recommend it to anyone. I think it is a runaway Best Seller!
I am hoping...
I posted one of my favourite scriptures on my FB page last evening. I often post favourite quotes etc. on there. Not because I am trying to convert anyone or for any other reason other than the fact that I love to share the things I love with others. I figure if they inspire me they might inspire someone else. This is the scripture:
And whosoever receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up. D&C 84: 88
I have never had any negative comments before about anything I have posted on my FB page. Yesterday was the first time. There are those that would say this isn't scripture because it does not come from the Bible and is not cannonized. I say that Scripture is all that inspires one to be a better person and to live a better life. I make it a point to always respect other's belief's and religions, and I would hope that other's would respect mine.
I am hearing...
Nothing new really. Mitzie is snoring away on the sofa. The keys are tapping. The birds are singing. The odd car drives by. The clock is ticking. It's very quiet actually . . . a typical early morning.
Around the house...
I have always dreamed of having a swing on a front porch. A place that I could sit on summer evenings and watch the world walk by. A place to relax and feel all cosy and comforted. Of course one has to actually have a front porch in order to have a front porch swing . . . but then again, one has to have a dream in order to have a dream come true . . .
One of my favourite things . . .
Is watching old films and television shows. This week we have watched Gone With The Wind, The Glen Miller Story and two of the Walton's films that they made. (We finished watching all of the series and now are doing the movies.) I don't know what it is about these old movies and shows . . . but I never tire of them. I can watch them over and over again. There is no swearing, hardly any violence, if any at all . . . no gratuitous sex . . . they're just sweeter. In our lesson in Relief Society on Sunday we were talking about how much things have changed in the world over the past 20 or 30 years. I am not sure if it has become a more dangerous place than it always was, or if it just seems so because nothing is kept sacred anymore and we read more about things that happen, not only locally but around the World and years ago we never used to hear about them. There seems to be a general loss of traditional values . . . I guess I love to watch these old films and shows because they take me back to a gentler, sweeter time . . .
Something new about me ...
I am very squeamish when it comes to food. I know . . . that doesn't seem possible, but there are certain things you could coat with chocolate and I still would never eat them, not knowingly at any rate. Snake, frogs legs, snails, squid, insects of any kind . . . these all come to mind right away. I also don't like fish that tastes really fishy or shellfish of any kind. Yes, I only like boring mild flavoured fish. I also don't think I would enjoy eating rodents or things like pigeon, kangaroo, ostrich or turtle, etc. I am not fond of game at all, so I doubt very much that I could eat them either! I do think I would starve first. But then again . . . one never knows for sure do they? I hope I never have to find out!!
One of my guilty pleasures ...
I love marshmallows. I love the way they feel in my mouth. I love the way they taste. I love that they don't have any fat in them. I know they have lots of suger, but c'est la vie! You can't have everything!
A few plans for the rest of the week...
I am going for a haircut tomorrow, then we are having our Relief Society Additonal Meeting for April on Thursday evening. On Saturday I am going to Runcorn and Sheilagh, Trish and I are going to the big craft show at Aintree. We went last year and had a blast! I can't wait! There is always sooooo much to see and do. The best part is sharing it with two lovely ladies. We are also going to pop into Ikea. Can you believe I have never been to an Ikea???? I know!! I am looking forward to that too!!
Here is picture thought I am sharing...
“The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself."
~Henry Miller (1891 - 1980)
I find joy in everything around me . . . in the very minute, and in the very large. I look at the world through eyes that find awe and wonder in everything . . . with eyes that never fail to see the magnificence of the Creator's handiwork, and a heart that cherishes it all completely.
As a closing thought I would like to leave you with this:
You cannot go through life on "borrowed light."
~Dieter F Uchtdorf
We need to find out own light, and once we've found it, we need to care for it, strengthen it and keep it burning . . . our testimonies of the truth are probably one of the most valuable things we will ever have and we must guard them very carefully.
And there you have it . . . my day book for this week. Don't forget to hop on over to the Simple Woman to check out the other day book entries! (Or better yet, do a simple day book entry yourself! It's not that hard and I am betting you would enjoy it!
Cooking in The English Kitchen today . . . some delicious Buffalo Turkey Burgers! Oh these are fabulous if I don't say so myself!!