Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Wednesday mutterings . . .

adjective (lak-uh-dey-zi-kuh l)

without interest, vigor, or determination.

Lately I have been feeling a bit lackadaisical.  And I don't know why.  I can't seem to get myself interested in much of anything. I go up to my craft room, with ideas in my head, but then I sit down in my chair and *pouf* all gone, or at least any enthusiasm for what I was going to do is gone. This is so not like the normal me.  I am usually overflowing with enthusiasm, for everything.

I want to be doing, but when it comes right down to doing . . .  I can't be asked.

I feel like I have really hit the wall.  In the past I have had plenty of visible reasons on occasion to feel this way, but right now I don't.   My husband has been cleared of cancer (fingers crossed it doesn't return), I have a cookbook coming out soon, I will actually be a published author.  That both excites and scares  me.  I have all that I need and am lacking in nothing physically really.  I have a great man who loves me, and a loving dog. I have tons of faith and a God who loves me more than I can even begin to comprehend.  Why do I feel this way?


Most days I feel like I am just going through the motions. Its like I am carrying this intense sense of grief on my back. I feel invisible, but I just keep putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward, because I don't want to stand still.  I am afraid that if I choose to stand still, and give in to it,  I will completely lose it. 

The truth is

I think about my children every day, almost every moment of every day. I try not to.  It is like picking a huge sore scab.  I think I have moved beyond the hurt feelings and despair about them, the sense of loss,  but . . . something will happen, or be said, or not said . . .  and I realise I have not.  Its all still there. The hurt and the sad feelings are still there, and I don't know how to get rid of them.  I'll just have to keep praying for some sort of release from all of this. Its all I know how to do.  Its all I can do. Prayer can move mountains. Prayer has moved mountains. 

I love them with all of my heart, but they make me
really sad, really, really sad,
and they also make
me feel incredibly

and every day that I feel that way I think that the person
who left that really nasty comment on my blog a number of years ago is right.
I am going to end up alone and unloved at the end of my life
by the very people who are supposed to love you
forever and forever, no matter what.
I can see it happening
I can

Sometimes it is really hard to understand why we feel the things that we do, or why other people choose to treat us the way that they do.  It is all out of our hands.  We cannot make other people do the right thing.  We cannot make people love us or care for us. But boy oh boy, that doesn't mean that their lack of doing the right thing doesn't make us feel really hurt. I think perhaps I am suffering from a broken heart.  But its not like suffering from a broken heart which has been broken by a husband, or a lover, or a boyfriend.  Husbands, or lovers, or boyfriends can be replaced.  Children can not. 

And yes I know I am blessed . . .  they are healthy.  They are alive.  They are happy.  My poor Todd has lost ALL of his children.  He has outlived every one of them, which he always reminds me of when I start to feeling low about this situation . . . so I can't really talk to him about how I feel. He just doesn't and can't understand. So I hope you will forgive me for unburdening my soul this morning.

This too will pass, it always does.  I am not looking for sympathy or attention.  I really am not.  Any anyone who says or thinks that I am . . .  is wrong. I am just trying to unburden some of what my soul is feeling. I will just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other and believing that some how, some way, some day . . . He will make it all right. I will let my faith continue to carry me through the abyss I face more often than not.   It can always, always be worse.  I  know this. 

Tomorrow is another day.

And I will.
I will never give up.
or give in.


In the English Kitchen today . . .  Heavenly Ham & Cheese Hots.

Don't forget . . . 

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And I do too.  


Tuesday, 17 October 2017

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY, October 17, 2017

Outside my window ...
It's still quite dark, but the winds of yesterday have all died down.  It was really windy last evening.  Once the sun comes up we can see what damage has been done. Fingers crossed, not much.

I am thinking ...
Some days are diamonds, some days are dust.  I wonder what today will be.  Hopefully a diamond. I think largely the choice is mine to make.  Today I choose to be a diamond day!

In the kitchen ...
On my "To Cook" list ...
SM's Skinny White Chicken Enchiladas.  These look mighty tasty.  I love Tex Mex food!  
Good to know ...
Have done this. You can also set a saucepan of water on top and bring it to the boil for hot water.
I am creating ...

Snap Guide, how to create an Expanding Mini Album by  Joanne Bain. The finished album is really pretty.

Lulu Loves,  Crochet Granny Shawl. A complete tutorial.

The Green Dragonfly, a very pretty crochet lace edging.  I love this. There is also a video, complete tutorial.

A Little Gray.  Double Trouble Pot Holder Tutorial.  

Craft Elf, curly snowman ornament.  Crochet.  

I am Reading ...

FAITHFUL, by Alice Hoffman  

Growing up on Long Island, Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt.

What happens when a life is turned inside out? When love is something so distant it may as well be a star in the sky? Faithful is the story of a survivor, filled with emotion, from dark suffering to true happiness, a moving portrait of a young woman finding her way in the modern world. A fan of Chinese food, dogs, bookstores, and men she should stay away from, Shelby has to fight her way back to her own future. In New York City she finds a circle of lost and found souls, including an angel who’s been watching over her ever since that fateful icy night.

Here is a character you will fall in love with, so believable and real and endearing, that she captures both the ache of loneliness and the joy of finding yourself at last. For anyone who’s ever been a hurt teenager, for every mother of a daughter who has lost her way, Faithful is a roadmap.

I have just started this book, so its early days, but so far so good.

I am looking forward to ... 

Watching the last episode every of George Gently.  They say it will be broadcast on October 30th.  Sad to see the series ending. It has been Ace. I suppose the actors want to move onto other projects.

Dreaming about ... 


A different type of white picket fence  . . . 


Pretty laundry rooms  . . .


A table for two and that old wooden floor  . . .   


A kitchen large enough to swing a cat . . . 


Laura Ashley . . .  yes please  . . . 

Something to watch ...

The Shack, we watched this last evening and both thoroughly enjoyed it.

A quote for the day ...

  `*.¸.*´Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ¸. •´¸.•~♥♥♥~•. ~ ღϠ₡ღ¸. ✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ.
              ( ¸. ❀⁀ ⋱‿✿“` * .¸.* ✻ღϠ₡ ღ¸.✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ..
Courage is the first of human qualities,
because it is the quality which guarantees all the others.
                ~Winston Churchill ღ¸.✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ.. 

Makes me smile ...

Corners of my Kingdom ...

Lancaster Castle in Lancashire  . . . founded in the 11th century . . . 

And that's my daybook for this week!

  ⋱ ⋮ ⋰
⋯ ◯ ⋯ Take time to enjoy the small *´¯`.¸¸.☆
  ⋰ ⋮ ⋱ blessings in life.*´¯`.¸¸.☆

✿¸.•*¨`*•..✿✿¸.•*¨`*•..✿ ✿¸.•*¨`*•..¸✿ ✿¸.•*¨`*•..¸✿ ✿¸.•
░░░░░░░░░░░░░ ░░░░░░░░░░░░ ░░░░░░░░░░░░

Wherever you go and whatever you do, I hope there's a great day ahead of you! Don't forget!

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And I do too!!     

Monday, 16 October 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.  
The Children's Sunday School program in our church is called Primary.  I have served as a member of the Primary Presidency for many years during my time in the church and also as a teacher.  I love the children.  Once a year, towards the end of the year, the whole of one Sacrament Meeting (after the passing of the Sacrament) the time is given over to the children in our Ward and they put on a special presentation for the Ward/Congregation in which they show us all that they have been learning throughout the year.  They sing the songs they have learned and sung, present any talks they might have given, tell us about the lessons they have learned. etc.  Yesterday was our Ward Primary Presentation and it was just lovely.  It always is.  The children were so well behaved and did such a wonderful job in showing us all that they have learned. They sang their little hearts out!  We have a huge Primary  of over 40+ children.  It was very heart warming to see them all up there.  In a lot of churches today the pews are filled with old people. I love that our church is a happy mix of old and young. I think it is pretty special, and yes, I am a bit biased, lol. Todd and I enjoyed their presentation very much!  Its one of our favourite sacrament meetings of the year!

Last evening as the European Area of the church we had an opportunity to go to our chapels and see a special Area Broadcast just for us.  It was being broadcast from Frankfurt Germany and Elder Russell M Ballard, one of the Apostles was speaking along with Elder Quentin L Cook, another apostle.  There were some other leaders and their wives also.  It was only an hour and a half long, and the broadcast for us in our chapel was fraught with wifi issues.  The signal kept breaking up.  There was only about 25 or so of us there and Todd kept making I want to go home noises (he is not the most patient person at times, and incredibly patient at others) but we persevered and stayed to hear most of it. There was a beautiful spirit in attendance.  I enjoyed all the talks and I was especially moved by Elder Ballards talk.  These men and their wives are amazing. I could happily have listened to them for hours and hours. I took notes!  But then I always do.  It is easy to forget what has been said afterwards, but I find if I take notes then I can remember things much more easily.  A lot of the focus of the talks last night was on keeping the Sabbath Day holy and with reverence, and for every generation . . .  if you are parents of young children, or single adults, or older people.  There was something to be learned and of inspiration for everyone.

We were talking in the car on our way home.  The sun was just setting and there was tons of traffic on the road, the red backlights stretching on for miles seemingly in front of us, and somehow the topic got around to how do we know if God is real, and the thought came to me  . . . 
I know that God is real.  Throughout my life He has manifested His
presence to me in real, tangible and meaningful ways. In ways that I know were
meant just for me to see, and to feel, and I know that He will do the same for You if you allow Him.
All that is required is a tiny smidgen of faith on your part, a mustard seed of faith as it were.
If you apply that mustard seed of faith into your days,  
you will witness the miracle of God's presence
in your life also, and I guarantee that you will discover that He is there, 
and that He is real, and that He loves you very much.

Apple Pie.  It had been a long time since I had had any and I had forgotten just how good it was. My mom made the best apple pies.  I think everyone's mom makes the best apple pies.  Sometimes we would have it with a slice of cheese and it was soooooo good.  I picked up an Apple Pie at Costco the other day because Todd was wanting one and I didn't feel like making one.  I had a tiny sliver and I was in heaven.  Not as good as mom's for sure, but still really good!  Now I am going to have to make one.  I used to make a really good one, Apple, Cream and Crumb Pie.  Maybe I will make that . . . . or maybe I won't because that one is SOOOO good I will be far too tempted to imbibe! I literally have no will-power when it comes to dessert. I know I should, but I don't. Its better for me to just not have it around. 
Hurricane Ophelia is supposed to hit landfall today.  There is an amber warning out for Northern Ireland and a red warning out for the Republic of Ireland, it will also be pretty dicey for North Wales and the West of England, Cumbria, Scotland, etc.  I think we may be at the very edges of it so we can expect plenty of rain and high winds also, but hopefully not as damaging as in other areas.  Right now it is really calm out there.  You would never know a bad storm was in the offing.  My oldest daughter Eileen is really afraid for me, but I kept reassuring her last night that we would be okay.  She watches the weather channel and she takes it all to heart. We are in a safe area and we have plenty of water and food in the house and we have no need to go out anywhere.   We are actually pretty protected here in Chester.  We hardly get any adverse weather.  We do get a lot of rain, but all told we are pretty safe here.  We are very blessed! 
A few of the snaps I have taken recently of Mitzie to show our Eileen when we are chatting on Facebook.  As you can see she is always by my side.  What a wonderful companion she has been for these past seven and some years.  I don't know what I would do without her. 
My friend Valerie who always posts the most amazing things on her facebook page.  She always makes me smile or think.  Happy thoughts. In a sea of negativity in this world, she is a bright spark.

This is totally 100% true.   

My friend Warren also posts the most amazing things.  He was my homeroom teacher in Grade Seven, and is now my friend on facebook.  How crazy is that!  He is also a spark of light in a sea of negativity.  He is also a distant relation sort of. My mother had an Aunt that died when she was young and left behind some children.  Her Uncle remarried and had more children, and Warren is from that line of children.  


Autumn which just keeps giving.  We don't get as many bright colours over here as they do in Eastern Canada, because we don't have all the maples, but we do get colour and I am very grateful for that! 

What she said!

And with that I will leave you with a thought for the day . . . 

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

 *.˛.°Life is like riding a bicycle.
To keep your balance, 
you need to keep moving.
~Albert Einstein   •。★★ 。* 。 

In The English Kitchen today  . . .  a Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Pasta Bake.  Seriously tasty!

Have a great day.  May your week ahead be filled with a multitude of small and wonderful things.  Don't forget!
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and I do too!


Sunday, 15 October 2017

Sunday Morning This and That . . .

What a lovely time I had yesterday afternoon.  A group of ladies from church were getting together to celebrate our good friend Margaret's getting the all clear after her battle this past year with Throat Cancer.  In all truth I did not know most of the ladies there because they are from another Ward/Congregation, but I did know a few and remembered some from when Todd and I were on our Mission and had visited that Ward.  Some have been friends of mine for 17 years now, since I first moved over here.  It was Margaret's husband who married Todd and myself, and Lesley (the hostess of the party) met her husband James on the same LDS chat page that Todd and I met on.  She reckoned since I got very lucky there, she might too, and she did! 

The best part though was the reason that we had all gathered, and that was, Margaret having won her battle.  What a great blessing! 

Jay, Jimmy and Merrill

Watch a British game show called "Pointless Celebrities" last night for the first time.  Jay was appearing on it with his brother Merrill.  We had never watched the show before but thought it was quite good. Jay and Merrill were the second couple of celebs booted out of the game.  Pointless is a celebrity version of the general knowledge quiz in which contestants try to come up with the answers that nobody else could think of. The pair with the lowest number of points at the end of the show wins.  What hampered Jay and Merrill was their lack of knowledge on coffee.  They were doing alright until the question came up which countries grow the most coffee in the world.  Of course they know not a lot about the subject (Most Mormons don't!).  If you get a wrong answer, you automatically get 100 points.  Nevermind, it looked as if they were having a great time and they were really good sports I thought.  It was so funny, Merrill said, Greece.  I don't think any coffee is grown in Greece.  haha, it was rather funny!

Jay and his wife have settled well into our church Ward.  I have to say what nice,  nice people they are.  But I would expect nothing else.

This week I received a comission to do a piece of art for someone's mother for Christmas. Of all the grandchildren.  There will be 10 characters in the piece and only two are girls.  This will be a great challenge for me, as you know  . . .  I have not been doing any art at all this year.  It is nice to have a purpose for getting back with my brushes however and I am deffo up to the challenge.  Already ideas are going through my mind.  Finding time to do it will be the greatest challenge.  I don't know what has been happening to my days, but they seem to be evaporating into the ether. 

I am doing wooden ornaments for the Grandchildren this year for Christmas.  I ordered some wooden shapes from a company called ArtCuts.  These are not the shapes I got.   I got Christmas Puddings, Christmas Robins, Snowmen, Scottie Dogs and Christmas Trees.  I am going to decoupage them.  This company also has beautiful Japanese Papers.  I am quite looking forward to this.  I hope that they turn out alright.  They will be unique for sure! 

My recipe for Lamb Tacos is amongst fourteen being considered for a prize for the best recipe for National Curry Week on Lamb, Tasty, Lamb. I guess it goes according to how many people add it to their favourites.  There are a lot of tasty recipes in the running.  I think fourteen altogether.  It was fun just being asked to participate.  and I thought the Tacos came out beautifully.  We really enjoyed them at any rate.   

Its Munch & Mingle after church today.  We usually never stay to it as I like to get home to call my mom with time to spare.  She has certain programs she likes to watch on Sunday mornings and I need to time my call around them. I know she would be okay with me calling any time, but I don't like to disrupt her day very much. We are all creatures of routine and she is used to me calling at a certain time.  If I am late I know she frets and sometimes even tries to call me to see if everything is okay.  I am not bothered about missing Munch & Mingle really. I have never been a mingler.  I know I come across as being very outgoing on here and I guess I am to a degree, but I really am essentially quite shy.  I've never been a huge fan of buffet types of meals either, even if they are just snacks.  I like knowing who brought what.  Yes, I am a germaphobe and having had food poisoning twice in my life I am not really keen on ever having it again! 

We are supposed to be getting some really nasty weather hitting us from tomorrow morning.  Hurricane Ophelia is going to be paying us a visit and they are predicting winds in access of 80mph. Ophelia has become the sixth major hurricane of the 2017 season after it was upgraded to a Category 3 storm. Storms of this strength are extremely rare and Ophelia's current location is the farthest east a major Atlantic hurricane has ever been seen. If the storm were to hit Britain at its current strength, it would be among the most powerful weather systems ever to hit the UK mainland. While Ophelia is expected to slow down by the time it hits the UK, the Met Office has issued severe weather alerts and warned there could be potential power cuts, disruption to road and rail networks, and damage to buildings. Western England, Northern Ireland and parts of Scotland will be most affected by the storm winds, with coastal areas expected to face the brunt of the weather conditions.   I expect here in the North West, and being not too far from the coast as we are, our conditions will be pretty bad.  We are expecting lots of wind and rain. Hopefully it will not be worse than that!

I am thinking about getting a smaller Tabletop tree for Christmas this year.  Since we switched around all our furniture down here and we have the fish tank  and computer desk in the area we have usually had the tree, I am thinking we don't have a place to put the big tree.  Todd says it can go in front of the front window, but I think it will be then blocking the television for anyone sitting in the arm chair. It is a bit of a dilema.  I am sure I will have made up my mind before too long. We will see.  Tatiana is supposed to be coming for Christmas again this year.  I don't think she will find it quite as exciting as the last time as we are no longer on our Mission and we don't have the youngsters around us quite as much. In fact it has been a couple of months since any were even to the house. To be honest I have slowed down a lot with feeding them. I used to try to have all three sets over at least once during a month, but this past couple of months we have only had the sisters, and only once, for lunch.  I find that come supper time, I am pooped.  Todd says I get up too early  I don't think it is that.  I think I am just getting older and with all the problems I have had with my knee, etc. it is wearing me down.  That's my story anyways, and I'm sticking to it!

And with that I will leave you with a thought for the day . . . 

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

 *.˛.°F.E.A.R. has two meanings.
Forget everthing and run, or
Face everything and rise.
The choice is yours.
~unknown    •。★★ 。* 。 

In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Oaty Apple Crumble 4 One.  Todd really enjoyed this!

Have a blessed Sunday!  Don't forget!
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And I do too!