Monday, August 19, 2013

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today... I'm linking to The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my window..
.grey clouds scudded by earlier this morning, now blue skies and puffy white clouds sail past as if they have places to go and people to see.

I am blessed I am to have a  hubby who never minds getting in the kitchen to mix up a batch of oatmeal raisin muffins -- something for our breakfast tomorrow. 

I am thankful...for said hubby...see above!

In the kitchen...Spent the morning puttering. Let's see, first we cleared out some out-of-date things from the frig (ew, no they weren't green or fuzzy, but high time for the compost).  Then we got out the ingredients to make chicken stock and get it simmering.

Which then became chicken noodle soup...with a twist...for lunch. Included in the soup were the usual suspects of carrot, celery, onion, parsley and chicken pieces. Instead of long noodles, we used elbow macroni, and to that we added a can of chickpeas, freshly chopped dill, green onions and garden peas.  Oh yes, I fried up a couple slices of pepper bacon and cut that into tiny strips, which added a slightly smoky, peppery flavour. (I told you it was chicken noodle soup with a twist). Paired with a crusty bun, both hubby and I smacked our lips with satisfaction at the mix of flavour, texture, and colour.

I am wearing...a longish sleeveless tunic with floral-like swirls of violet, sea-green and white set off with bold strokes of black (kind of reminds me of stained glass). It's long enough to be a dress on a hot day or paired with slim leggings on a cool one.  Or, in my case, I tend to wear lots of sleeveless, warm or cool, so today it's a dress sans leggings.  

I am creating...this posting right now and another one about wrong turns that I started I few days ago and which we'll post soon. 

I am prepare a new dish for dinner tonight...Thai chicken and pineapple stir fry. As it's a bit coolish for sitting on the deck (all that scudding and speed traveling of those earlier clouds are now replaced with rainy grey ones...wait, wait, well now they're blue again...oh my...the vista keeps changing every time I peer out the window).

We're going to eat it in front of the television (gasp) and watch the PBS mystery we taped...there's a clue of what era I come from.  Did anyone see The Lady Vanishes last night?

I am wondering...what time is it... seems I've been pencil chewing typing here for ages. 

I am reading...
Daphne du Maurier, A Daughter's Memoir, by Flavia Leng. A treasure find at the recent annual library book sale for 50 cents!  Enjoying the look at du Maurier's family as seen through her middle daughter's eyes. They grew up in the house that inspired the book Rebecca... cool!  (Now I want to read the book again or watch the movie.)

The Shelter of Each Other, Rebuilding Our Families, by Mary Pipher, Ph.D. Also a treasure find this past weekend. Ever since I first read about this book in an old issue of Victoria magazine, I wanted to read it. And now I can, and all for the staggering price of 50 cents.  My first taste of her writing and I think I'm going to enjoy it.

Writing Along and With Others, Pat Schneider (e-book). A new author to me, but I like her already. Ms. Schneider shares some interesting things that not only work for writers...topics like dealing with the inner critic and finding one's voice and not being afraid to be true to it...stuff many of us deal with at some point. She's got a new book out that I'm interested in checking out.  It's about writing as spiritual practice, How the Light Gets In.  More things to's such a hard life for a reader!

I am sit here long enough that amiable hubby will start clattering the pots and pans in the kitchen so I can finish this up....bent ear... nope... it's quiet. He did chop the garlic and ginger earlier, I always tell him he's my sous chef, as he's marvelous and patient with chopping it into the teeniest of pieces.  Not me...chop the pot. 

I am looking forward to...beginning a new writing adventure in a couple of weeks. I start an online memoir writing course Toward Completion: Memoir Writing with author and book editor Lisa Dale Norton of the Santa Fe Writing Institute. I first 'met' Lisa through her book, Shimmering Images, A Handy Little Guide to Writing Memoir and when I went in search of her website and we emailed abit about the course, I knew I wanted to take Lisa's class.

I am learning...something about my writing self I never saw before. It comes from working on two articles I'm doing for a writer's award with my writers' fellowship. Will share more later.

Around the house...(sounds) Beethoven playing on the radio and adding a classical touch to my perfectly ordinary day. (smells) homemade rye bread just baked...oh yes, I forgot to say I put bread to rise earlier, and now muffins just being brought out of the oven.  

I am pondering...why my behind is getting antsy and my tummy is rumbling and that maybe it's time to start supper and wrap this thing up (LOL)!

A favorite quote for today...comes from one of my mom's childhood stories. As a young girl and learning to cook, one day she proudly says to her older brother as he's wolfing down whatever she's prepared, "I made that up from my head."  In true brotherly fashion, he replied, "It tastes like it."  Don't ask why, but this makes us giggle every time it comes up in our 'remember when' conversations.  It's become one of those metaphoric code words within the family. 

One of my favorite when the day has a tranquil sense that starts first thing in the morning....where one is free to carry on those everyday jobs peacefully and with cheer in one's heart...where little projects and potterings get done with ease and no sense of hurry, pressure or frustration.  Today has been such a day. 

A few plans for the rest of the week...finish writing tweeking two pieces that will go along with an application I'm putting in for our writing fellowship's Barnabas Award. Due by the end of August.   

A photo peek into my day...Here's a look at the house that inspired Manderley in Daphne du Maurier's book, Rebecca. Now, I'd love a 'peek' into Rebecca's morning room... that was the room that 'haunted' me the most when I first read the book as a young woman. I wanted a room just like that. Except I wondered if I'd be a little afraid to have everything that perfect. I hope it's in the plan... for methinks my dream of my ideal writing room is still connected to that room. (And no, there will be no invitation extended to Danvers!)

I could live about you?

   Photo source:

It's been a joy sitting here writing and think about things today.
Hope you find some of your own enjoyment in reading my ramblings.'s wishing you a beautiful rest of the day!



  1. Yes, well, certainly it is lovely. I could live there if I had a staff or does that go without saying? I am wondering why du Maurier would burn her own house the book that is...that has got to mean something! I enjoyed reading about your puttery day. You fleshed it out so nicely.

  2. Hi Brenda, I love the way you broke it down into so many segments.So fun and inspiring to read.

  3. Hello Brenda, I loved reading about your day. It's full of the ordinary things that you elevate to the extraordinary by paying attention. I'd like to read all three of the books you have. I remember reading the article by Mary Pipher (or an interview with her) in Victoria, too, and thinking, at the time, that would be a wonderful book to read.
    Your soup sounds delicious. It's one of those things that you can probably never duplicate exactly.

  4. It is interesting reading how others spend their days. I loved the detail, the clouds, the sounds in your house, the cooking, they all painted a vivid picture in my mind.

    The house is beautiful, just as long as there is no Mrs Danvers in residence.

  5. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog today (Reflections by Kathy)! I've enjoyed my brief glimpse into your day, through your daybook post, as well. Your 'chicken noodle soup with a twist' sounds delicious :)

  6. Your soup sounds AMAZING!!! I love eating food full of flavor and color. It also makes cooking so much more fun to see all of those fresh ingredients together. Your day sounds lovely and like you have gotten a lot accomplished! I too have a husband who doesn't mind mixing it up in the kitchen with me:) He is such a blessing!

  7. Brenda - I did so enjoy your "ramblings". Many moons ago I read Daphne's book - Rebecca - I think I need to revisit it (it is one of those books one enjoys when it has been a long time ago that it was read). Take care and enjoy your soup (sounds excellent). Also I will be over for that stir -fry - be sure and save me some (LOL)!

  8. What delicious soup with a twist!
    The house that inspired Manderley is near Fowey in Cornwall, called Menabilly. It is a Georgian house and was where Daphne du Maurier stayed. It's now in private hands.

  9. I've read a lot of daphane du maurier's books through the years...even if I don't know how to spell her name lol


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo