Monday, October 10, 2016

October. The Simple Woman's Daybook

Photo by Cecil Vedemil /

It's been a few months since I wrote a post for The Simple Woman's Daybook. But I feel the tug to create something for October. We've been busy, what with working in the garden with hubby, and also helping my mom following her knee surgery, so I was a little surprised when I looked around one morning to find Autumn deftly ensconced in our corner of the world. I thought, oh lovely, with all the colours so handsomely vibrant there will be a splendid backdrop for our Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend. It hasn't turned out quite that way as you will see when you read further.

So, here it is ... I hope you enjoy October's edition of The Simple Woman's Daybook. And a very happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian family and friends.

Hugs to you all,

For Today...

Outside my window... I love to gaze out my kitchen window and I was doing just that the other evening. Although it had been a sunny day, it was one of our much cooler days -- with temperatures hovering near freezing throughout the day. Yikes! That felt much too early.

With the evening shadows lengthening, the kids from the house behind us were out in their backyard. Wrapped in heavier jackets and knitted toques, it seemed they were outside to enjoy one final great trampoline jump before the season changed. I watched, mesmerized, as toque-donned heads bounced up and down. They were making the most of this last hurrah!

While I was at it, I thought I should take a couple of smartphone photos to capture the vibrant carpet of leaves under the trees and shrubs in my garden, before they all get blown away or dusted in frost.


I am thinking... how much fun it is to have a day to just play. After making turkey soup, I'm free to sit here at my computer and think ... to dream up something from my heart to share with you in this post.

I am thankful... for turkey dinners and pumpkin pie. I am thankful for good health and vitality. I am thankful for my dear mom who is now recovering and gaining strength after her knee surgery. I am thankful for my husband who is one of the kindest men I know. I am thankful for my wonderful family and my lovely set of friends who make the journey through life bearable, enjoyable, and so worth it.

I am wearing... a floral summer dress -- it's loose and comfortable to work in as I chop onions, carrots, zucchini for the homemade turkey soup we're simmering using yesterday's carcass.

I am creating...
very little these days in writing or artsy projects. Busy with needful work around the house and yard. Visiting my mom. Then hibernating inside the comforting covers of books by authors who share gentle messages of hope and beauty. Authors like Alexander McCall Smith in his No. 1 Ladies' Detective series with the kind detective, Mme Ratmotswe; Jan Karon in her Mitford series; Lucy Dillon in her British romance and life stories; Susan Branch in her 'heart of the home' books.

I am going...
this week to stay with my mom for a week or two as she convalesces following her surgery. I look forward to spending this time with her, to be chief cook and entertainment committee, not to mention fetcher and carrier of items that add comfort to the patient. We might read stories aloud. Or play scrabble when brains feel up to it. Maybe watch some old movies together. Fortunately, Mom and I share our love of twinkle lights, so we'll be cozying up her place when we get settled this week.

I am wondering... if I could squeeze hubby into my little suitcase, as I'm going to miss him dreadfully while I'm away.


I am reading... Oh my, these past few weeks I've read more novels than I have in ages. They were my down-time pleasures after busy days. A friend on Facebook recommended a new-to-me British author, Lucy Dillon, and her book A Hundred Pieces of Me. I fell in love from the first paragraph.

Here is a description:
"Reeling from her recent divorce, Gina Bellamy suddenly finds herself figuring out how to live on her own. Determined to make a fresh start—with her beloved rescue greyhound by her side—Gina knows drastic measures are in order.

First up: throwing away all her possessions except for the one hundred things that mean the most to her. But what items are worth saving? Letters from the only man she’s ever loved? A keepsake of the father she never knew? Or a blue glass vase that perfectly captures the light?

As she lets go of the past, Gina begins to come to terms with what has happened in her life and discovers that seizing the day is sometimes the only thing to do. And when one decides to do just that...magic happens."  ~ from, Product Description

I love Ms. Dillon's writing for more than one reason:
  1. She's British, and her books are filled with little descriptions that remind me of our recent trip to England, i.e., the landscapes, the shops, the references to local cultural things like the Classic FM radio station which I started listening to when I got back from England;
  2. The beautiful dogs that are always an integral part of her stories, and though there are sad rescue cases of abandonment or neglect, these sweet dogs, thankfully, turn out not to be victims of cruel or horrid abuse (which I could not stand to read);
  3. Although the main characters go through hard situations, the author writes her stories in a more kindly and gentle way, so the reader can read without getting herself all tied up in knots with anxiety of what might pounce out on the next page or chapter;
  4. I love the way Ms. Dillon brings the threads of the various story lines together and loose ends are tied up in satisfactory ways. Her stories make me want to read everything she's written.

I am hoping... that dear hubby is making cold turkey sandwiches for lunch -- a little turkey, some stuffing, mayo, and cranberry sauce. I can hear the tea kettle, not to mention cups rattling in their saucers. Oh boy, oh boy.

I am learning... to take things one day, one moment, at a time. For grace comes to us moment by moment, just in time to help us through a given situation. I don't need to keep trying to figure it all out ahead, trying to wrestle the details into place, when Someone else holds the GPS for all my life moments. I'm learning to relax and enjoy the ride.

In my garden... After taking the photos of the leaves carpeting the garden, the very next morning it was all covered in soft, fluffy snow. Oh no! was my first response. I could see frost maybe, but not snow. Not yet. But even as I was lamenting, I couldn't help but notice how sweet that birdhouse looks with those tufts of snow on its roof.

In my kitchen... we made a small turkey dinner yesterday. The first time ever without family or friends around us to help celebrate. Although it was quiet, there was a companionable sweetness to it as hubby and I made our preparations and set the dining table with festive place settings for two. The turkey and stuffing, not to mention the homemade pumpkin pie, were all delicious.

A favorite quote for today... "Beauty was not simply something to behold; it was something one could do." ~ Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye

A peek into one of my days...
You might find me sitting by the fireplace on one of these cooler afternoons or evenings. The side lamp would be turned on so I could read, and the twinkle lights hanging across the dark lattice room divider, would be adding a certain glow to the dim corner.

One of my favorite things... The good gifts I have the privilege to enjoy today: clean sheets and pillowcases, hot water, leftover stuffing and gravy, lavender scented soap, and yes, I'm even going to say it out loud, toilet tissue. The comforts of every day life that most of us enjoy here in North America. I pray for blessings of good gifts to come to every person in this big old world.

From Pinterest board room... Isn't this photo below a lovely scene of autumn? Let's see, there is the gorgeous fall colour scheme, a comfy chair with a soft plaid blanket, a sweet kitty on the needlecraft pillow, a teacup and a book, all at the ready for a cozy afternoon. What more could a person ask for? NB. This photo was pinned from warrengrovegarden.


Post Script...
I'll be away from my blog while I'm at my mom's. Here's wishing you all a beautiful week and month ahead. Whether it be autumn leaves or wintry snowflakes ... it's all cozy when one is armed with tea and twinkle lights.