Monday, January 04, 2016

January. The Simple Woman's Daybook

Annie Spratt/

When I started blogging back in 2008, I came across a lovely meme that I would link to occasionally. The Simple Woman's Daybook was a lot of fun. The hostess provided a static list of sentence openers for participating bloggers to answer in any way they chose whenever they joined up. It was a great way to meet new bloggers and an easy way to create a new post for those 'not sure what to write about' days.

As the years passed, I lost track of it, but recently I found it again and the amazing thing is that it's still active after all these years ... obviously a blog event people enjoy participating in.

The Daybook Edition is posted on the first Monday of every month and, over the coming year, I plan to make it a regular post for my own 2016 blogging journey.  So, without further ado, I'm delighted to offer my January edition.

Here's wishing you a beautiful first week of the new year.


For Today...

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Outside my window... it's been cold and sunny with clear, pale skies. Calm and quiet. Lots of birds.

I am thinking... about supper and that it seemed to creep up to this time of day awfully fast today. Where did the day go?

I am thankful... for a home that keeps me warm; a pantry full of food that nourishes me; a husband who makes me laugh even though he keeps telling me he doesn't know any funny stories; for fingers that can hold a nice pen to write notes to special people, play the piano, and touch the face of a loved one.

I am wearing... a sea green patterned blouse with black pants and black suede fleece-lined slippers.

I am creating... order out of chaos. With all the lovely holidays over, I'm beginning the process of putting away Christmas ornaments and holiday dishes. I'm also straightening the pantry and sorting through craft materials I no longer use, gathering them into plastic baggies for the reuse store.

I am going... on a month's holiday to England with my husband later this year. A long-awaited dream about to come true. Some garden tours and antique browsing and grand house snooping will be included on the itinerary. Tea at Claridges and maybe taking a day cooking or baking class in their kitchen also on the wish list. Can hardly wait. PS. Oh yes, we've got A Fine Romance nearby for reference. We're hoping to catch a few of the same places, and keeping fingers crossed to meet up with a blogging friend or two while we're there ... that would be the icing on the cake!

I am wondering... if you watched Downton Abbey last night and if you enjoyed it as much as I did. There were a few hilarious bits with Mrs. Patmore as the world's best friend, a nail-biter or two concerning Lady Mary, not to mention Lady Violet at her wittiest and Daisy in her boldest, best moment. All told, an overall most satisfying first episode of this final season. As well, I sure enjoyed the lovely mosaic of bits and pieces from all the seasons with interviews and behind the scene peeks in the prior show Countdown to Downton.
I am reading... a novel called The Third Grace by Deb Elkink. I got a copy for Christmas. It's the author's debut novel and it's turning out to be a most interesting story about a young woman who once fell in love with a French exchange student visiting her family's Nebraska farm. Her name is Mary Grace but Francois (the young student) renames her Aglaia -- after the beautiful Third Grace of Greek mythology. It sets 17-year-old Mary Grace longing for something more than her parents' simple life and faith. As the story unfolds, now fifteen years later, Aglaia finds out that the past casts long shadows. ...

I am learning... a Chopin piece on the piano -- Etude in E Major. I started learning it years ago but never completed it. (I think life got in the way.) This past fall, I dug out the music and started all over. It took a while to wrap my mind and my fingers around all the notes on the keyboard, but slowly, slowly, slowly, the music puzzle has been unraveling. It's my desire to work away at it -- bar by bar by bar-- over the coming months. Maybe it will take me a whole year. Will I ever master it? Probably never in a professional concert pianist's style, but I'd love to be able to play it enough for my own pleasure and enjoyment.

For inspiration I listen to the gorgeous pianist Lang Lang ... his artistry always deeply touches me when I hear and watch him play. Funny thing, I never feel discouraged by his brilliance, for there is something about the beauty of his gift that stirs me to find my own place in learning this favourite piece.

In my garden... the snow looks like worn laundry piles along the back fence. The downy woodpecker is feasting at the peanut/sunflower suet bag. The sun has set so low in the sky the garden is dark with evening shadows.

In my kitchen... we're making scalloped potatoes and ham for supper. And, earlier today we brought order out of chaos in our freezers. After all the routing around in them over recent weeks for meal ingredients and Christmas baking, it needed organizing. Now I know what's in there again.

A favourite quote for today...
here's one my sister shared with me from a fellow named John McPhee: "If you put a drop in a bucket every day, after 365 days, the bucket is going to have some water in it." It doesn't take much, does it, to make some progress over a period of time. I'm keeping that in mind for this coming year. Small beginnings count too.

One of my favourite things... Finding beautiful cards and notepaper for writing encouraging notes when the spirit moves. Letter writing has been a favourite activity for decades now. I don't do it as much as I once did, but it's still a lovely pursuit that gives joy to the sender and little glimpses of fun and beauty in a mailbox to the receiver.

From Pinterest board room... Let's you and me have tea and talk of a hundred things. Shall I pour?

Artist: Susan Branch / Pinned from here

Linking today with The Simple Woman's Daybook


  1. A post of lovely thoughts and images (and sounds, too). The music is playing as I write. The Simple Woman's Daybook offers the framework for a varied glimpse into your world. I remember working on that piece of music and being utterly confused with the timing. Best of luck!

  2. Everything sounds as it should be post Christmas. I've been sorting and organizing a tiny bit today too, and hope to progress further with that ... just like your 'drop in a bucket' ... one day I may see the results of my work! Good luck with the Chopin piece, it sounds quite complicated. Have a great week Brenda :)

  3. How exciting that you are going to make a trip to the UK! Very exciting indeed. Sounds as if you are getting organized and I am very impressed that you have set yourself to learn Etude in E major or was it minor? I'll check in a minute. Off to listen...

    1. He's quite a performer...couldn't watch too long.

  4. Lang Lang is such a wonderful pianist, we have several CDs featuring him.
    I wonder if you will be coming anywhere near the South West of England on your travels?

  5. Thanks so much for the link to The Simple Woman's Daybook---I had not heard of this and have not blogged in quite some time as I have had no inspiration. This makes a wonderful starting point for clogged minds! I put Christmas away yesterday and have several clutter piles to attend to today.
    The UK?!!! excited for you. I am sure there are several stops from A Fine Romance on your list? The trip of a lifetime ☺.

  6. I love this Brenda. And what a great way to get to know you better. A month in England?!?! How wonderful! What an exciting thing to look forward to. And I commend you on re-learning to play the piano. I'd love to sit and play on mine, but of course, it takes a lot of practice. A little each day, as your quote says, and you'll be playing!
    January 6 being tomorrow, I am thinking it's time to start putting away the Christmas things. We will leave a few lights up though, to cheer us through these dark days.

  7. I remember this meme, as well. Always a treat. You have a lot to look forward to, my friend, including those scalloped potatoes and ham for dinner.

  8. This post idea is great, I will look over at that website, thank you!
    I like Lang lang- he has such a delicacy of touch and a humbling sensitivity!My mother in law is mad on him! The Chopin is lovely- Chopin is too hard for mee- I only can play some of the mazurkas and preludes such as the Raindrop prelude!x
    Hurrah, you are coming to England, that is lovely! I hope you will have a wonderful time!!!

  9. I've seen another meme similar to The Simple Woman's Daybook where questions are answered and these types sure do promote a creative mind.
    Your trip to the UK sounds wonderful and I'm sure you'll have lots to share from it. Good luck with the Chopin, not sure my fingers could work out a piece like this any more.
    I have to go back and read some of your December posts, I didn't have the inclination for too much reading and comments back then.

  10. interesting blog...I too loved watching Downton Abbey-will miss it...

  11. Lots of great things! Your trip to England sounds very exciting indeed! I do hope that you love it a lot. If you are hoping to visit Highclere where Downton was filmed you need to book, you cannot just turn up on the day, but you can do at Basildon Park where I work which was the inside of their London House. Not a sales pitch, just saying as I know that some American Bloggers have tried to visit Highclere and been disappointed as as you are a Downton fan! I hope that you are enjoying the new series, it is great isn't it! xx

  12. Does your upcoming U.K. trip include a visit to Highclere Castle?!?

  13. What a great post, so much to interest and a trip to my favorite place to look forward to. That photo at the top is simply lovely.

  14. I have never heard of Lang Lang. I'm listening to him on Spotify right now and I am enjoying it. :) Have you ever heard of Yiruma? Wonderful is all I can say. Also,I really enjoyed this post and the daybook idea.

    Hope you are well!



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