Sunday, March 07, 2021

Meatfare Sunday and Dear Friends Over for Sunday Dinner

It was so wonderful seeing our dear friends who we
sponsored for their wedding!
We enjoyed a delicious beef roast, 
roasted brussel spouts, roasted cabbage, mashed potatoes
and cheesecake for dessert! 
I used this recipe for the beef roast, done in my big crockpot! 
I am thinking if I do this meal again,
I want to have some roasted carrots as well. 
It's a new adjustment for me as I am trying to work on my 
writing more and that means less time for other things,
including my time for dinner preparations. 
I finished the last Miss Read book,
A Peaceful Retirement
and really enjoyed it.
I am working on short reviews for both books of hers that 
I read recently... 
Unknown who commented:
YES! I have Miss Clare remembers and have read it!
I think I have all of the Miss Read books now!
I fully understand your tears! 
Granny Marigold, you would love both
Changes at Fairacre and A Peaceful Retirement.
I actually prefer the Thrush Green series if I had to choose
however, I have a feeling Miss Read, the author, loved Fairacre more!
They are all such lovely books and such peaceful places to visit!
I felt a very strong pang of sadness after our friends left,
they are such special friends to us and
it is hard to say goodbye, even when you know it's a short
visit for them... things change and we fully support
their move, even though we miss them.
They have a chance to build a life together that has a 
lot of things I would have loved to have if I was younger
and in a different situation. 
Thank God for visits and for friendship!
I cheered myself up by reading Miss Read's
A Peaceful Retirement later today, which
I finished already as it is a smaller book.
Miss Read did a lovely finish,
it's like she helped us say goodbye to the series,
showing hope and care for those we cared about 
in it and having things close in a lovely hopeful way.
She really does us a world of good,
as they say. 
And cheering me up further was writing small book reviews
for Miss Read's books. 
And I am glad to get my tables back in order and have my writing 
table again for my Chromebook.
My many years of using my Chromebook on my lap
on the couch are over indeed, as I need to sit 
with better posture or I suffer for it later!
I am glad I have my writing.
It helps me in a lot of ways, including
comforting me with the loss of friends that we have
had this past year (losing various local friends to moves etc)
and makes me feel like I am progressing in something.
Progressing towards what I am not sure yet,
but movement of some sort at any rate.
Well, I should go. It's early, not yet 11 
but I have not done any of the dishes yet from lunch.
I hope you all had a nice day and that it had moments of peace in it!
I am so grateful for today and the peace and beauty
and dear fellowship it had!
God bless you all and keep you! 

Saturday, March 06, 2021

In Love with the Beauty of It All

(I took this picture above 5 years ago it seems)

First picture I ever got with the Cross at my local church
being shown with the light blubs distinctly photographed.
I am quite pleased.
It's a bit blurry but the best I have gotten of this aspect! 

I wish I could describe the beautiful darkness of church at night
when it is dark out.
The candle lit for confession is so beautiful, 
it's a white thick candle, so warm, with light beneath the flame
in the candle, it's just deeply beautiful; I wish I could always remember it.
I am in love with the beauty of church,
it is so beautiful it nearly sears the heart. 

Finally got the Christmas runner taken down
and my Husband helped me with replacing the light bulb
in the base of the lamp.
He holds it up while I replace the light.

Ready for tomorrow's lunch after liturgy!

Finished this Miss Read book today,
that I began last night.
So much remembering in it,
it's like everything of the past many years
in the novel series history is remembered.
I feel it helped me actually process the passing of time in this life
and the changes that it brings.
I have no idea what our life will hold;
I know what I hope for and that is simple 
that we can live our lives in peace, go to church and 
die as Christians.
Not really a simple wish but as high as I would ever want.
I am thankful for this day
and for vespers and confession afterwards.
Lent is coming.
May God have mercy on us and save us!

Friday, March 05, 2021

Friday: Beauty in the Ordinary (and really great book news!)

It's actually Saturday, the first moments of the day.  Again, up past Midnight.  I set up the table for our dear friends coming this Sunday for Sunday dinner (lunch that is).  I did another edit of all 5 things (3 reviews, 2 essays) but have to type in the changes.  That won't happen till earliest this Monday.  I realized that I have a new author to look into.  I wrote about this HERE on my public Instagram feed.   See HERE for more information on an author who was a friend of DE Stevenson and neighbour too!  

I am reading a Miss Read book.  One of the last Fairacre ones.  Which I don't know if I read before.  I have owned it for some time however.  I love her books so much, such treasures!  I have a feeling this one may make me cry though.  When I was reading the very beginning and Miss Read (the character) is talking to Miss Clare, I could just hear my Grandma's voice.   I talked to her, my Grandma, this afternoon.  She wondered if I would call as I often do on Fridays.  My Grandma was resting between doing things.  She's going to be 91 this June.  I dread the day that I won't be able to call her on the phone and hear, Elizabeth, hi how are you?  fine? I'm good too."  

It's funny.  When I am quiet and alone, I can still hear my childhood friend Tim's voice.  It's young but a bit gravely, low for the age he was when he died.  We were both 10 then and I was madly in love with Tim.  I've written about him before! He had leukemia.  For years, every August I would fall apart for a day or so when his death anniversary rolled around.  Until I had a service for him in my church in Ottawa and I had such healing then.  But I've never forgotten him and I just know that he is in heaven with Christ and that he's not far and his prayers are still with me.  To some that may seem strange, but even to Miss Read, I don't think it is.  Not when you read about Miss Clare.  Anyway, it's a comfort, remembering Tim.  AND then thinking how God gave me my Husband when I was in my mid-30s and how blessed I am.  

Well, dear ones.  I need to go now.  Tomorrow will be busy and I hope to have a zoom meeting at 10 AM and here it's half past midnight.  

God bless you, keep you, comfort and guide you! 

OH! My friend posted this on FB and I copied it.  I have seen likes of it before but if you need a good clean laugh, read on below! :)

I know.  I laughed too.  God keep you dear ones! 

Thursday: Grey, Hilarious and Quiet

If you know me in real life, you will know that my hilarity comes without being intentional.  Today I saw half of a grapefruit in the trash, on top of it's own peel.  Got it out, washed it and then told my Husband he had thrown away half of a grapefruit.  It took him very little time to (politely) set me straight.  I had thrown it away myself, not thinking about the mess of peel containing half of a grapefruit.  Because I know my memory verses my Husband's, I believe him.  And I found it funny.  I can totally see myself accidentally doing this.  I had been distracted by my writing, my own thoughts.  I do think that God must often laugh at me, with love...

Spent a lot of the morning editing and writing.  It's funny how some weeks this works for me and other weeks just fall, splintering, to pieces.  It feels exciting, productive, to be working on my writing again.  Soon, I will be making phone calls though, while I fold laundry.  

Talked to my Mom for a very worthwhile hour of time.  She had gotten a card with pictures form her sister, my Aunt J. and had pictures from the 1950s and 1960s which I do hope to see next time I visit.  I am realizing I need to get my Mom's memories down more and how valuable they are.  While talking, for the most part, I was putting wet laundry on dry racks and folding the mountain of towels and such that had been waiting for me to fold.

I feel tired at present, but happily so because I got through edits on FIVE different essays/book reviews.  I think 2 of the book reviews are nearly ready.  The essays, they take longer.  

Took a brisk walk, cold again and grey out but felt like sunshine internally.  A nice feeling! Talked again with the Cafe owner, they are putting up window treatments now, it looks really nice.  Sounds like they may have vegan options, so I am happy about that and hopeful that they can open in a month like they wish to. 

Finally figured out why I could not switch accounts on my Chromebook for Instagram. I needed to download the app on my Chromebook to do so.  I have done now.  It's better on my phone than Chromebook but at least I can type in the private message section for whatever account I want on my Chromebook.  So that is an improvement. 

We were doing a family zoom tonight, such a blessing, and some of the kids put this up as their background.  I don't have kids so I did not realize that there were memes created for their age group. It was funny but it made me think as well.

Of course this is a funny meme, showing what it is like to be a kid when a Mom sees one of her friends and spends time talking to her, probably relieved to talk to someone her own age.  Of course the kid, being a kid, is not so interested in the adult conversation.  I know enough kids from church to see this happening, plus of course my nieces and nephews.   But when I thought about this meme, and the fact that is clearly aimed to communicate a child's perspective and be funny, it made me pause.  Do we realize that social media is being aimed at our children?  And that by seeing a meme they can relate to (not a bad thing in itself) they are attaching meaning to social media memes.  This in and by itself does not worry me, per say.  [I like books/art/comics for kids, so why not memes?]

However, are kids being talked to about social media and how to gain discernment about things like memes?  I write this in all seriousness.  I have a few social media friends who are teens and I feel that they follow a lot of trends and post a lot of memes that are giving voice to what they feel passionate about.  However, I know enough to know a lot of social media is promoting things that I actually find harmful. Memes that are misleading.  And I am concerned about the teens I see who are swallowing memes whole, without taking time to know things like 

1. Who made the meme?
2. Who is behind the idea that the meme is supporting? 
3. What the meme actually implies, explicitly or more implicitly? 

Of course I personally don't know how to trace who created a meme that one finds suddenly on the Internet, but it is still worth thinking on and talking about with others. 

Well, it is late. I worked really hard today.  That felt good.  All that writing work.

Oh, about that grapefruit.  I still was eating at dinner.  It was so tart! Too much so.  Then I thought of Deb Perlman's Grapefruit Pound Cake that I made for +Patrick's mercy meal.  And that brought me quickly to the thought of honey.  I grabbed some honey that I have on the counter that crystallized and can't easly be stored in my pantry (it leaks).  One bite of grapefruit with a thick blob of honey is a great flavour combination.  Felt like I was transported to an more elegant era, where I would have such flavours at a high tea with crystal and fluted glass of champagne!  Clearly, I must remember this. 

DV, Until tomorrow! May God have mercy on us and save us!

Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Wednesday: Warmer, Sunshine, a new Cafe and Marion Cunningham's Rescue Biscuits

Hi Elizabethd! So glad about the letter!
I am glad you like Marion Cunningham's 
Rescue Biscuits! they are such a joy!
Above is the recipe,
and here is what I have written before about how I make them
slightly different, using the same recipe:
I follow the recipe but not the instructions to roll and shape
the biscuits but instead do the 'drop biscuits' way
and merely drop them onto the pan with parchment paper.
It's amazing that, while they bake into what looks like
one big connected pile of biscuits, they actually separate 
so easily.  And they are so light, much better than if they 
were worked more, pressed and shaped. 
I wrote about these biscuits before, HERE and HERE.
If I can help, Elizabeth, with this more, you know where to reach me :)
So, a new day today.
Was a bit less anxious over all.
Sunshine was lovely!
A woman in my city had lost her dog and was reunited with it
and I am just happy for her. 
I know how much a pet can mean to a person.
So back in 2019, a cafe nearby was advertised in a newer 
building but then it never materialized,
the pandemic hit and everything changed.
Well, if you read my blog you know that my Husband and I take
walks every day.
I started noticing work done on the Cafe I think late last year.
Then it seemed to stop and then start again.
And all of a sudden there was new signs up for it.
Then today I saw a guy by a window, appearing to be
taking off some of the cling film window stuff 
(since I don't know what it's actually called) that was
advertising the space but hiding the windows from view,
as the film was opaque.
I went to look, talked with the guy,
found out he is the new owner of the Cafe and learned
that they hope to open in a month or so and
that it was going to be a breakfast/lunch place.
Well, here's to hoping.
It would be fun to have in the area. 
Some places make it here and some don't. 
So I worked on essays some more.
We took a good walk.
I made veggie burgers for lunch and then forgot about them
while I was doing some writing and then my Husband came in
and asked when was lunch and low and behold the burgers were done
(my toaster oven turns off once the time for baking that you set is done)
and so I quick toasted the English muffins, and we had a salad
and that was lunch; with an orange.
Dinner was quickly made as I was in the middle of an essay edit
and so I baked potatoes in microwave, had spinach salad and 
another orange and called it good.
My Husband was able, about a month or so ago, to fix up
our printer to print over WiFi.
FINALLY I could print whenever I wanted to 
(I pretty much ditched my laptop, it's not even plugged in
and so I use only my Chromebook which does not have
drivers for the printer so I can only use it over WiFi...)
And, ack and alas, it's stopped printing that way again.
Sigh. Well. My Husband printed things for me tonight
and tomorrow I need to do the following:
1. Take out the beef roast I am making for a special dinner
this Sunday.
2. Get out the white table cloth and put it on our spare small table.
Other than this, I need to:
3. Do something with our potatoes because they are all sprouting, as it were. 
4. Take out our leftover-in-the-freezer seed cake and start eating it.
5. Get out crockpot to cook beef roast in so it is ready.
Lent starts in less than 2 weeks!
Well, tomorrow is another day.
Every day that I have like this one, I am so thankful for.
A day that was quiet, with sunshine and peace.
Every day, I ask God for more of the same.
May God have mercy on us, save us and show us the way!

Tuesday: Woke Up to Sunshine & Roasted a Chicken in the Evening

Sunshine is such a wonderful sight to behold! My Husband asked me to fix his glove, stating that he did all of the plate hanging (2 nights, 1 day of work) and I could do this for him.  It was a fair thing to say.  :)  Then I discovered that his glove has a nearly nickle coin size hold in the centre of the palm of the hand.  We will see if we have a patch that can work.  I was thinking that it was some stitching that had to be fixed but this is a very different type of problem.  

I made the bread for breakfast! I put it on the toast rack (the bread was still steaming hot when I cut the slices) and that really helped it stay dry.  It's a really filling bread and so nice with jam.  I am slowly using up jam that we were given over the years that I never got to before (I have a penchant for raspberry or cherry or apricot jam and some of the ones we were given are of a sweeter fruit).  For the first time in a few years, it feels, I found Smuckers raspberry jam - I had not seen it in 'a coon's age' as they say or used to say.  I have been buying the Bonne Maman raspberry jam but Smuckers is cheaper and for my Husband's birthday cake, next month, perfect.  For toast though you can't beat Bonne Maman, at least on this side of the ocean.  Though I have had some jams, esp cherry, that are good from other sources. 

My Husband is reading through some of Andrew Lang's Fairy Tale books and he found this one yesterday and loved it. It's called the "Story of Wali Dad the Simple-Hearted" from The Brown Fairy Book by Andrew Lang.  It's a fun sweet read and really funny too.  My Husband caught on to how funny it is, I was reading it 'straight' and it was not until he commented on it that I realized how this is.  Now you see why I can miss jokes or that someone was teasing me as I was taking it in as 'Gospel truth' and not thinking about it being funny.  

I posted my review of Sean's new book.  See HERE for the review.  It's such a great story and I can happily recommend it to you! 

I managed to put on the patch for my Husband's glove.  It was easy and the patch I had, from an old sewing box I got for about 6$ at a garage sale has a bunch of them! I called home to be sure to know how to do it; my Dad answered.  He told me that my Grandma used lots of iron on patches when he was a kid and she would sew the edges when it was still hot to be sure it stayed.  I loosely sewed the edges of the ironed on patch and my Husband is happy with it. 

I am very happy to tell you that I found a used copy of Victtoria Cottage by DE Stevenson and it is coming in the mail - I had listened to it on audible but did not own a copy.  And I really wanted to, after reading it.  So that's a happy thing.  I also ordered this book by Flannery O'Connor.  She's a voice I want to have in our personal library.  I think once I get this book, I will have all of her works that are published (letters, stories, novels).  I don't find her to be easy reading, as in she is a bit cryptic, but she is seeing things that a lot of people don't even consider, much less see. 

So I was downright depressed and anxious about some news I heard today.  I am not going to repeat it here.  Lots of praying and discussing and more praying has happened.  

This evening, I made potatoes and I made Marion Cunningham's Rescue Biscuits to go with my roast chicken which I did the same as last time (same herbed oil, same white wine, butter...but I roasted it at 450F for about 1 hour ten minutes).  I got everything (except the skillet I used for the chicken) cleaned up.  Dishwasher filled.  Sewing things all put back away. Tomorrow is laundry.  I am working on more book reviews and trying to get back to my essay edits.  

I have not been keeping up with my 5K steps outside the house but have usually nearly 4K steps and good heart points.  I am doing what I can and hope for better.  My goal is health, getting stronger and not gaining weight.  I already did that, now just trying to stay stable, as I have been for 5ish years now.  

Tomorrow: laundry.  Maybe a bit more house cleaning.  Meals.  I hope for some more writing/editing.  Maybe a bit of goal setting to do.  I also have more letters that are not getting done.  Always more to do.  I am so happy to have ordered those books today.  

May God bless us, protect us and have mercy on us!