Monday, May 04, 2020

The Simple Woman's Daybook: May Edition

Image by Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life, Spring 2019
Still waiting for them to bloom this year

"I love early mornings when it feels like the rest
of the world is still fast asleep and you're the only one
who's awake and everything feels like it isn't really real
and you kind of forget about all your problems because for
now it's just you, the world and the sunrise. "

It's eight weeks since our corner of the world went into isolation. I woke up the other morning and, though my head told me it was Saturday, I couldn't wrap my mind around the fact. It didn't feel like a Saturday. I don't know what day it felt like, every day runs into the next one now. At least I do know that it's a new month which means it's time for the May edition of The Simple Woman's Daybook.

I'm sure glad you stopped by, and I hope you enjoy your visit today.


" She followed her heart
and was happy "

Outside my window... There are predictions of rain this week. Yes, please, we'll take some. A good soaking rain would wash away the last of winter and properly wake up everything. The tulips in the garden are now up so we'll have a second wave of colour in a couple of weeks. And just yesterday, the shrubs and trees started budding out.

I am thinking... about these words by American teacher, poet, author Lucy Larcom (1824 - 1893): "God be thanked for the thinkers of good and noble thoughts! It wakes up all the best in ourselves, to come into close contact with others greater and better in every way than we are." So true!

I am thankful... for the good things that are coming out of this Covid-19 business. There are horrid things for many people, and for that I'm terribly sorry and sad. But in the midst, the goodness of people is also very present, with kindness breaking out in waves across the planet. It makes my heart glad.

One of my favourite things (today)... enjoying the deliciousness of a toasted tomato, mayo and fresh basil sandwich on sesame seed brown bread.

I am wearing... jean capris, long-sleeved t-shirt (so I can open my window), and black slippers. And yes, I do get dressed with lipstick every morning. I'm not a jammies-through-the-day kinda girl. I'm all for comfort, but for me, getting dressed sets the tone for my day.

I consider myself a lucky girl to have been at the hair salon just days before the self isolation instructions came down. So, if I do say so myself, I'm still looking pretty decent in that department, even if there's nowhere to go right now.

Image by Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life

I am creating... a pleasure spot on my desk. It happened quite accidentally. One day a few weeks ago, I set these rolls of ribbons on the edge of my desk to be used momentarily. Sitting there ever since, they've shown up in a few photo shoots. I'm now loathe to put them away for I delight in this little vignette—there's a feeling of anticipation, as if a package waits to be wrapped for some special person. I love presents, don't you?

I am watching... the Portrait Artist of the Year series on YouTube. A contest for British portrait artists, my friend Joy mentioned she likes watching an episode when she's folding laundry. We've been enjoying an episode when we have tea in the afternoon. It's so inspiring to see such talent and creativity.

Image by Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life

I am reading... a really wonderful book by Christie Purifoy: Placemaker, Cultivating Places of Comfort, Beauty, and Peace. Her writing is poetic, and I find myself lingering, often rereading passages, like this one on page 22:
"We live in particular places, but we also live in particular times . . . I have come to understand that no place on earth is insignificant, and no shelter is truly anonymous. Beauty can be found almost anywhere . . .
The rushing world has convinced us that beauty is something extra, not the thing itself. I would never have guessed . . . that the hand that compels us to stop and stare at something as insignificant as a beautiful tree in flower, might be the hand of God. Rarely do we know what is at stake when beauty surprises us into stillness and we pause to listen, even for a moment, to creation's song. "

I am listening to... Giovanni Marradi playing Just For You, a lovely three-minute piece of piano music with nature doing its spring dance on video. In our upside down world, some things are still beautiful, and this music reminds us to 'trip out in joy' over it.

In the garden... The pots of tulips are still sending out their brilliant vibes. These orange-red-yellow blooms have now opened to the size of small dinner plates.

Image by Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life

Image by Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life

I am learning... something I should know. I finally looked up the word 'fitfully' because I could never remember whether it meant 'always' or 'sporadically'. According to, fitfully is an adjective: coming, appearing, acting, etc., in fits or by spells; recurring irregularly.

Now when a person says, 'She slept fitfully last night', I finally know it means she slept in fits or by spells, intermittently, which actually means she'll probably wake up grumpy in the morning....haha.   

Image by Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life

In the kitchen... I made a lemon loaf on the weekend. After mixing the batter and putting the loaf into the oven, I realized I'd completely forgotten to add the lemon zest. It was still sitting in the grater. A lemon loaf without lemon? But by then it was too late to add, so I made a glaze, mixed in the forgotten zest, and when the loaf came out of the oven, drizzled it over top while still warm. Not quite as lemony, but still delicious. The recipe is HERE.

Shared quote... "I regard a love for poetry as one of the most needful and helpful elements in the life-outfit of a human being. It was the greatest of blessings to me, in the long days of toil to which I was shut in . . . that the poetry I held in my memory breathed its enchanted atmosphere through me and around me, and touched even dull drudgery with its sunshine." —LUCY LARCOM

A moment from my day... 

Image by Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life

" Incorporate a one-flower meditation
into your daily rituals. "

* * *

Wishing you the darling buds of May.



  1. Just lovely, in every way, Brenda. There is so much beauty and inspiration all around us if we can but see it! Your photos are stunning. Do you recall the name of the tulips in your first photo? The dark ones. I'm wanting to grow some in pots next spring.

  2. Always a joy, Brenda. I'm glad that the springy ribbons have been hanging around. So cheery!

  3. The tulips are so beautiful . I have also saved the recipe for that lemon Loaf. I must make that soon, after all, I have lots of time on my hands now.

  4. Dorothy In PA4 May 2020 at 23:36

    So many things to absorb from today's postings. What speaks to me most is the concept of a pleasure spot on the desk, a pleasant "still life" upon which to gaze during fits of creating. "Fits" is an abbreviation of your new word.

    Placemaker sounds like a lovely book. I will search the shelves at Amazon for it.

  5. I'm going to look for Placemaker. I've been creating little sanctuaries and shrines in our apartment. Earlier this year, I was at a quiet retreat and we sang the hymn "Lord, Prepare Me to Be a Sanctuary". It has been repeating over in my mind...thinking about those people who bring comfort to others in these times.

  6. Delightful, from the beautiful tulips bookending the post to the reading and eating suggestions.

  7. Beautiful tulips and that Lemon Loaf look divine! Have a great weekend and thank you for stopping by :)


  8. During the weekend, I like to lounge around in my pajamas.

    But during the week, I have to be dressed (in more comfy clothes, but not sleepware) while I'm in work mode.


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