A Simple Woman's Day Book

FOR TODAY ~ Friday 14th March 2014

Outside my window...Everything appears to be in a transitional mode. Winter is about to unwrap its cold grip whilst spring gently moves in to embrace with it's delights of sounds, colour and possibilities. Outside my window, the back field is ominously waiting for the farmer. I'm not sure what's on his plan and maybe it's nothing, but I'm still hoping that springy, bouncy lambs will arrive any day now to delight us. I've noticed that a field of sheep seems to be a lot rarer sight these days. I remember there used to be lots around when we last lived here. Most of the other fields have been turned over by the plough ready for planting. The rich treacle black soil which has been strategically patterned in their straight lines worked beautifully by the farmer and his plough.
There's the odd whiff of manure wafting on the breeze some days, that reminds me of my grandmother...no she didn't smell odd it's that she used to say when smelling that particular smell...."take a deep breath and breath it in...it's good for you!" I must admit at a tender age of around 8 years old, that was probably when I came to the opinion that most things that are good for you either don't smell or taste particularly good.
The trees are pushing buds out that with an encouraging burst of sun and a little rise in the temperature will no doubt transform the garden when they do open. There are new plants from my recent trip to the Garden Centre sitting on the back step waiting for me to decide where they will be best situated. I want to give them the best home possible to make them happy and provide profusions of perfume and flowers for my future floral displays during the coming months. At the moment the daffodils are smiling their sunny bright yellow which can't help to but lift the spirits. 
I can now see more of the old wall having pruned the honeysuckle back to a reasonable amount. It was in danger of taking over the whole pathway. I have had quite a few sessions of pruning recently and at times been a little unsure of what I'm doing...am I being too harsh or not harsh enough?...but then I think a hair cut never killed anyone, did it?. Hopefully that will apply to plants too.
There's a rather fat wood pigeon who's obviously indulged in too many of my sunflower heart seeds. He's trying to balance on the fence post and looks extremely incapable but he's giving it his best shot.
This rear bird feeder has two beautiful goldfinches perched and pecking away, whilst a siskin and chaffinches sit patiently waiting for the mask raiders to move on. (Click here to see goldfinches details)
Oops...I nearly forgot...there's the scaffolding which obviously I've got used to seeing through now, due to the fact I almost forgot to mention it. I have to confess I'll be glad when we're able to remove it completely and all of the window replacements are finished, but I think it'll be here for a little while longer. 
I could go on and on about what I can see from my window but I think that's probably enough for this entry. After all you have a life and are probably busy with places to go and people to see etc.

I am thinking...that I haven't written a Day book entry since last November and how much has happened since then. Don't worry I'll not revisit all that's happened...keeping in mind the length of this entry shouldn't compete with War and Peace!

I am thankful...for fabulous little things that arrive in my letterbox from all over the world. Little notelets or thank you cards saying how much my blog means to them. It never ceases to amaze and humble me. Beautiful sentiments which come as such a surprise. Thank you each and every one of you for your kind thoughts. I love to blog but to know that you enjoy reading it means so much to me. 

In the kitchen...
A little fruit cake but hopefully over the weekend a coffee cake might appear. My sister has sent me a recipe with a photo, so she's set me the challenge. When big sister speaks I listen! (lol)

Here's a photo of her coffee cake...pretty yummy eh?
I am wearing...jean's and a t-shirt, but I've a thermal vest hidden underneath ensuring that I'm cosy when nipping outside plus my fleece. Muffy and I walked early this morning and the breeze ensured we kept up a brisk pace which is a miracle with madame's little length of leg ^..^

I am creating...
a painting YAY! I know I'm as surprised as you. I never had it on my plan for today, but it just sort of happened. It's a kingfisher. I've wanted to draw one for some time now, so I'm happy that I'm finally getting to do it. Depending on how it turns out you may see it soon. Oh yes...and I'm knitting a blue penguin jumper...yes you read that right a penguin pullover! (click here to view)

I am going...on a few trips but I'll post about them later perhaps. It's a question of watch this space I'm afraid. 

I am wondering...how some people become very special to you. I'm not talking about family...that goes without saying. But take for instance a conversation that I've just had with a friend whose living in another part of the world and whom I haven't spoken to for months. But that didn't matter because we just immediately reconnected. Before we knew it we were giggling like school children. This friend has always been special to me and I always feel lifted or inspired when I've spoken to her. She always seems to say the right thing no matter what the circumstances...I'm hoping she doesn't read this because she'll know it's her and she'll be full of it! 

She can be an absolute scream having me in stitches or tears, but also she can be so serious and profound when the occasion necessitates. A true friend. 

Oh what the heck...here she is looking stunning and so youthful she couldn't possibly be the grooms Mother surely? (Ok...a little over the top I know, but she's bound to see this...plus I'm a little older than her...well a few months in fact, so I can say these things) Don't worry, I've just contacted her to check if she okay about posting this photo and she's given me her permission. Now look at those smiles...what an absolutely wonderful family photo...don't you agree? 

(Photograph courtesy of  Nicholas and Carol Frost Photography) 

 If you'd like to revisit a Fairy-tale Scottish Castle Wedding then click here for Part 1 and Part 2

I am reading...gardening books. I've got lots to catch up on because surprisingly enough I've forgotten so much. What needs planting where/when/how? I'm wanting raised beds for a veggie plot too, so there's lots to do, think about and organise. No doubt I'll be following up with regular posts on my progress.
But I've also got lots of books that haven't been read yet. I unpacked them onto new book shelves last week, so I'll be picking out a new one soon. I always get excited at the prospect of starting a new book.
Any ideas what I should read next?

I am hoping...that I'll be able to plant out all of my new purchases over the next few days. Times getting on for chitting (pardon me but that's a gardening term) also I have a wild seed mat that will hopefully flower and help the diminishing numbers of bees, if I can get it into the ground soon enough.  

Around the house...there's less dust which I'm happy to announce. But my week of free time with no builders is about to end and they'll be back on Monday. Hey ho...you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.

I am pondering...on whether I'll find a new front door design that I like and will work for the property. I've decided on one, but once fitted it just doesn't work and I hate dislike it. I can't blame anyone for this, but it's got to go. An expensive error and one that I've learnt from, so I'm going slowly with choosing another to replace it. It's now becoming an obsession as I'm finding that my head is on a swivel when I'm out driving checking other front doors, which isn't the best idea or safest. Hopefully I'll get there soon.

A favorite quote for today..."Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant" Robert Louis Stevenson

One of my favorite things...is having my family all in one nest and that's about to happen. But this time instead of it being for just a brief period ie holiday it'll be a little more permanent than that. I'm not sure how long but my daughter is coming home to live with us. It's a long story but lets just say its a new phase in her life and an exciting one. It'll be wonderful to have her here everyday. We speak everyday now, so I know we have such a massive amount in common and get on so well...I just hope that will carry on. 

A few plans: To balance my time better...work, rest and play but not necessarily in that order. 

A peek into my day... 

I decided that you can see my unfinished drawing of the kingfisher because that has been part of my day today.

I've just noticed that I've included my wrist brace in this photo. I decided to give my wrist a rest from the brace. I hate wearing it and my skins not too happy about it either, but I've put it back on now. One more week wearing it should do it, then I'll downgrade to a tight bandage for support...by the way my ribs have recovered so they were only cracked and not broken thankfully.

Well that's it for this week folks...I'm linking up with Peggy over at The Simple Woman then off duty...whoohoo it's Friday night! 
Thanks Peggy for hosting once again. 

Why don't you make a cuppa and head over there? They'll be lots to see. 
Have a wonderful weekend everyone...
...Toddleloo for now 

A Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY ~ Friday 11th October 2013

Outside my window...I have just been privileged to watch two deer ambling slowly along the boundary of the back field near to the wood. A young buck and his female friend were munching tasty roots with the odd turn of the head towards me. Can they possibly know I'm spying on them through my binoculars? 
The diet of roe deer varies and includes brambles, buds and leaves of deciduous trees and shrubs, herbs, rose plants, ivy, ferns, heather, conifers and grasses, so there are lots to chose from around here! At the moment their pantry (larder) is bountiful! Roe deer are common all over Scotland (and much of England) so we are lucky that most days we have a brief sighting. 
For instance, when returning home and driving up the lane last evening, we turned a rather sharp bend in the road and there up on the wall stood a doe. She didn't wait for us to stop and take a photograph (which would have been rather dangerous on that particular part of the lane...but I'd have tried) She gracefully leapt into the air clearing the fence and wall with ease. 
It all happened in a matter of seconds, but it was a magnificent sight of such a beautiful creature up close which will stayed etched in my mind. 
So what else is outside my window today? Thankfully not the gale force arctic wind that has been visiting us for the last two days. Everything is still this morning. The birds have returned to the feeders, even though one was blown completely off the tree and emptied all over the floor. I laughed to myself when I thought about the mice that would come for their usual scavenge for anything that had dropped from the feeder only to find an abundance of seed like Mount Etna waiting for them! 
So why didn't I sweep it up? Well, I thought there would be many thankful mouths eager to do the job for me.
The washing is hanging out on the line and dancing to some unique tune that only they can hear. 
But there's a little sad to report I'm afraid. Most of the Virginia Creeper's leaves have fallen in a heap at our back door. Maybe it wanted to enter to be out of that cruel wind? 
Most of the trees haven't lost their leaves yet, but I know it's just a question of time. 
And finally there's what I would describe as a Simpson sky (from the TV show The Simpson's) A cartoon kind of sky with pockets of blue with fluffy white clouds.
Yesterday, I saw a double rainbow not once but twice! (More of that below) 
Maybe I am having a lucky week and should buy a lotto ticket? Emoji
Ahh...here comes a little sunshine. Now that is lucky! 

I am thinking...about yesterday and the fact that when the wind was so strong it upped and blew the BBQ cover away. When I say away, I really mean away! I searched every inch of the garden and beyond but couldn't see it anywhere. It's not like I could miss it. It's quite large and black! 
It had completely vanished and was a total mystery. I had a vision that a local sheep might have had it land on its back causing quite a stir amongst it's flock by wearing the first sheep mac! Emoji Very this season! 
I gave up searching but later in the afternoon it mysteriously appeared again. I haven't a clue where it went, but thankful it returned. It's now securely fastened down with ties!  

I am thankful...that it appears we've all made the transition from Australia to the UK with relative ease. Of course there are people and things we miss but generally we seem to be settling in really well. There's still a long way to go and there's our first winter to get through of course, but I'm confident we'll make it. 
McMuffy isn't so sure...she felt that icy arctic blast the other day so she's keeping her passport handy just in case! ^..^

In the kitchen...There's a freshly baked cake in the cake tin and two new fresh herbs pots on the window sill. I love to have fresh herbs near to hand and they do thankfully seem to like living in my kitchen. I've got mint, basil, dill, coriander and thyme at the moment. The Aga remains cold, but not for long. The engineer is coming to give her a fitness check next week and then hopefully she'll be given a clean bill of health. We have lots of plans for our adventures and will no doubt share some of them with you.

I am wearing...Dare I say it...? Emoji
Joggers again with a sweat shirt (there's even a thermal vest hidden under there, but don't tell anyone. That's just between you and me). I think this might be my screensaver wardrobe for the next few months with the addition of the odd giblet when necessary. By the way, a giblet is my name for a gilet. It's just that I started saying giblet and it's stuck ever since. 
For those of you whom may not have heard that word before...it's a quilted sleeveless waistcoat. I have a few in different colours and find them so useful when I just need a little something extra. 

I am creating...well I haven't actually started yet, but I will. I want to create another calendar for next year. I know I better get a move on hadn't I. 
Last year I had such fun drawing and creating a calendar, so I thought I'd draw something for the re-opening of my Etsy store. I know I stated that I'd open shortly and that was months ago but how did I know that the time would disappear like it has. I don't know what on earth I've been doing to waste the time! Emoji

I am going...to start to decorate a room next week. I know how exciting is that? Rock star lifestyle and all that! We've got some sofa's arriving in just under two weeks so the pressure is on. There's a lot to do before they arrive and then we have the nerve biting question of will the sofa's even get through the door! 
Once more it appears I'm living on the edge. 

I am wondering...why I can't keep these journal entries brief. I've notice that other people can just answer each of these questions within one sentence. I have no idea how they can do that. I'm in awe. (I'm making a conscious effort here to keep this answer brief...but it's impossible for me) https://secure.quebles.com/content/hotmail/emoticons/1511767.gif

I am hoping...that I won't upset anyone with my next little story. I'll set the scene first. 

My hubby has been involved in the weekly weigh-in since he started in his new company. It includes incredibly detailed spread sheets so obviously they had him at 'hello'. The spread sheet shows everyone's name and their weekly recorded weight. The big weigh-in takes place on a Thursday morning and only takes a few minutes for everyone to step on the scales, but it's amazing how many people suddenly develop spontaneous meetings or problems that need their immediate attention, hence they miss the weigh-in. These problems seem to arise more so, especially when the group might have had a meal out the night before! 
My hubby has been fit and cycled at least 30 kilometres to and from work when we lived in Melbourne, but the bike has remained static and growing cobwebs since we arrived here. But that may be rectified shortly because for two weeks now he's been a hairs whisker away from being 'The Naughty Boy'. 
Yes, that's a large group of ******aged men that are feared of being given the title of the weekly naughty boy! If you are awarded this terrifying title for putting the most weight on then you are awarded 'the Buddha' ornament to sit on your desk all week highlighting your naughtiness! 
Grown men have heard from woman that taking your shoes off can help in these circumstances, but they've even taken it further by taking off their watches before being weighed and there's even been talk that the scales may have been tampered with! 
Well they are a group of engineers after all, so I suppose anything can happen! 
The Buddha was very close to spending some time quality time with my hubby this last week, but someone else was slightly more naughty. So you can imagine his reaction when I told him that there was some freshly baked cake to accompany his evening cuppa...mental battles commenced...but he gave in! 
But joking aside It is a fantastic organised event and everyone pays a small fee to enter each week. So far the money they have raised for charity exceeds £15,000 pounds over the last three years. 

I'm reading...Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
It is an International Bestseller and rightly so. 
Its subject matter is and has been one of great debate.
I'm finding this book slightly disturbing because as the news has shown the subject matter contained within this book is all too real. It shows that in nineteen minutes you can bring the world to a screeching halt and Peter Houghton (a much-bullied New Hampshire teenager) did just that. On a beautiful March morning, he went into school with guns instead of books, and started shooting! The town is obviously left reeling.
I have to say I am enjoying reading the book although perhaps enjoying isn't the right word to use but it is riveting. I'm only a third of the way through so I can't comment too much at the moment, plus I don't want to spoil it by doing any more research before I've read it.
I have read all of Jodi Picoult's books and never been disappointed and I don't think that will change any time soon.
About the Author (extracted from Amazon):

I grew up on Long Island with my parents and my little brother, the product of a ridiculously happy childhood. My mom says I've been writing as long as she remembers - my first masterpiece was "The Lobster That Was Misunderstood," at age 5. I honed my writing skills beyond that, one hopes, before I headed off to Princeton, where I wanted to work with living, breathing authors in their creative writing program. Mary Morris was my teacher/mentor, and I really do believe I wouldn't be where I am today if not for her guidance and expertise. I had two short stories published in SEVENTEEN magazine when I was in college. However, when I graduated, a desire to not eat ramen noodles exclusively and to be able to pay my rent led me to take a job on Wall Street (not a great idea, since I can't even balance my checkbook). When the stock market crashed in 1987, I moved to Massachusetts and over the course of two years, worked at a textbook publishing company, taught creative writing at a private school, became an ad copywriter, got a master's in education at Harvard, got married, taught at a public school, and had a baby. My first novel was published shortly after my son was born, and I've always said that the reason I kept writing is because it's so much easier than teaching English.

In fourteen years, I've published thirteen novels: Songs of the Humpback Whale, Harvesting the Heart, Picture Perfect, Mercy, The Pact, Keeping Faith, Plain Truth, Salem Falls, Perfect Match, Second Glance, My Sister's Keeper, Vanishing Acts, and the upcoming The Tenth Circle, this March. Two of my books (Plain Truth and The Pact) were made into Lifetime TV movies; Keeping Faith will be another. My Sister's Keeper is in development at New Line Cinema to be a feature film. And there isn't a single day that I don't stop and marvel at the fact that when I go to work, I get to do what I love the most. My husband Tim and I live in Hanover, NH with our three kids, a dog, a rabbit, and the occasional donkey or cow.

I have already bought Bridget Jones' 'Mad About The Boy' and it's waiting on my bedside cabinet because I think after reading Nineteen Minutes, I might need something lighter to read. 
I find when I read a thought provoking book or something similar to this one, I need to take time before moving on to the next book but when I do it will be a light-hearted choice.
For example...I started reading a chapter of 'Nineteen Minutes' whilst sitting in the hairdressers last week when suddenly I became aware that tears were brewing. 

It doesn't seem right to say I'm enjoying reading it because it is so emotionally charged but it is a riveting, poignant and thought-provoking novel. 

I am hoping...to carry on in good health to enable me to fully appreciate all that I have.  

I am looking forward to...having a trip down South to visit family soon. We haven't seen everyone since we first landed back in July.

Around the house...My son is studying in his room, McMuffty is gently gruffing to let me know that it's getting near her dinner time. Everywhere is tidy but what's not done now will have to wait. There are two fires giving warmth and a glow, setting the scene for a relaxing Friday evening. The wine is chilling and the meal prepped. Don't you just love Friday nights? 

My favourite quote of the day...Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend ~ Albert Camus

One of my favourite things...is taking photographs! I am at a stage when I can't leave the house without my camera. Since I started blogging I've progressively got worse. I can't resist snapping away at the most bizarre things and at odd times. Things come into my my eye line and I have to take a shot because I know that they can change or disappear in an instant. Take the other day for instance...a double rainbow appeared. 

A few plans for the rest of the week: A bit of everything really...you name it and I'll probably be doing it! Well within reason obviously...no ski-diving again this week! I don't think my body could take it! ;D

A peek into my day...It starts. The autumn leaves begin to fall.

 So that's it for this week; I hope you enjoyed your October visit and if it's your first time reading my day book entry, I hope you'll be back again soon.
Don't forget to pop over to The Simple Woman's Daybook and check out the other day book entries.

https://secure.quebles.com/content/hotmail/emoticons/1511763.gif I hope to see you again soon...Have a wonderful weekend.
Have fun and hopefully the sun will shine for you!!!
~ ♥ ~

A Simple Woman's Day Book

FOR TODAY ~ Friday 27th September 2013

Outside my window...I've waited and waited before completing this section of the Daybook by answering all the other questions first, because I was hopeful that the grey blanket that enveloped us this morning would lift...and so it has, just! The clouds are still low over the hills in the distance, but there are small pockets of blue appearing. I'm hoping that they expand. 
The sun has just peeking out but it seems very shy today. I'll wait a wee while before I head out with the lawn mower...I don't want to frighten it away. Oops it's gone again!
The field at the back of the house is still and empty with only the silent growing of the lush green grass now that the wheat has been harvested. I'm hoping that we may have lambs come to prance and bounce about in the spring. When we had our first year here we were privileged to have them come to stay and it was fantastic to watch their antics. There was never a dull moment. 
We've been lucky to have a couple of deer coming into the field grazing, which is so special. I'm hoping that they settle and stay for a while.  
The wild grasses on the peripheral of the field have dried out now, their seeds scattered by the wind and birds. 
The trees are still green although the night air grows chilly. There is just a yellowish tinges to a few of the upper most leaves. I'm looking forward to the autumn colours but not the lower temperatures. I suppose you can't have one without the other! 
The large black and white milk tanker has just passed down the lane after collecting today's milk from the local dairy farm. Seeing it pass when you need milk can be very frustrating! I want to stop him and syphen off a few pints...hehe.
If you want to see my view then click here although it's not today's view, but it is very similar other than the sky. The photo was taken on the 1st September.
For those who might be new visiting I am taking a photo on the first day of the month to show how it changes over the coming months.
I apologise if Muffy's snoring is distracting, but she's had a busy morning...up early for her walk, chasing the neighbour's cat down the lane, checking the garden for overnight intruders and meeting the boiler service/repair man! 

I am thinking...that I really must take time out today to thank everyone who visits my blog because without you I'd just be wasting so much time tapping away at my keyboard. I know how busy lives can be these days which makes the fact that people stop to read what I'm nattering about even more precious. For you to take the time to let me know they've been here is just the icing on top of the cake ;D 
I adore seeing that you have visited...yes even the ones that never comment...I know you are out there because my globe tells me, plus where you are in the world and how many times you've dropped by. I'm truly staggered by how many countries spread so widely across the globe come to my little part of the world. So if we have never chattered I'd just like to send you a huge thank you, in fact everyone gets a huge thank you today. Maybe one day you might be brave enough to say 'Hi'? 

I am thankful...for the above.

In the kitchen...Everything is tidy. There are no cakes or baking surprisingly enough, but that could be corrected soon. 

I am wearing...my working gear because I'm going to be like a turbo charged demon any second, charging through all my chores this morning. So at the moment it's joggers, long-sleeved t-shirt, and a fleece (yep I'm afraid so...well it's a little chilly sitting here until I get up and running). Anyway I needed them on this morning for McMuffty's walk. Don't worry I'll get dressed up after I've finished my jobs and showered ready for Friday night! Yay!

I am creating...a new home which is taking up all of my time. I desperately want to keep creating my art, but it's difficult to fit it in at times. But I WON'T give in to all the other demands...I will keep trying. I have visited a few little galleries this week and even chatted to some lovely artists. They have kindly given me lots of information about local classes that I will research over the coming week. I also want to carry on with drawing my cards and there's a few other ideas jumbled in my mind that hopefully will form an orderly queue. 

I am going...to continue to reaquant myself with the local area and what's out there. It's been strange because some things are so familiar to me but only once I've rediscovered them. They have been tucked away in my memory but more and more are resurfacing.  
I've got castles, parks, galleries, historic buildings and much much more lined up. Phew! 

I am wondering...well this is a strange one and maybe not one for you to read if you're having your breakfast or lunch! It's about poop! Well I did warn you but it's not as bad as you might be thinking...it's just that something come's into our garden each night and leaves a call card shall we say. I can't for the life of me work out what it can be. I've gone through the usual suspects cats, foxes, badgers, hedgehogs, deer, etc and they just don't fit. I've even gone to google images to check! Did you know you can find poop images out there...yeah I agree it's so gross unless you need to know :( and I wish I didn't need to know. 
I forgive you if you want to move on to the next question but if there's anyone out there that might have a clue then please let me know. 
Now comes the description....
It's quite small green pellet like rounds in one pile all grouped together. The whole thing is about 2 inches in diameter max. I was thinking of posting a photo of it but thought that was pushing our friendship a little too far. I'd be interested to hear your verdicts...polite comments only please! 
I can't believe that I've put this in my post today, but it's really bothering me...Sorry now on to more pleasant things.

I'm reading...The Ivington Diaries by Monty Don

Monty Don and his wife Sarah moved into their semi-derelict farmhouse at Ivington in 1991. Their garden is the most tangible symbol of the spectacular way in which they have since thrived. Springing with amazing vigour from the soil behind the house, this space has been central to Monty's life; ever since he dug the very first border, he has obsessively written about it. The Irvington Diaries is a personal collection of Monty's jottings from the past fifteen years. Generously illustrated with his very own photographs, and beautifully packaged, this book promises to be one of the most delightful garden books ever published. 

Now I know why I love the month of May...just read Monty's eloquent description in the photo above. He discribes it so beautifully. Oh how I wish I could write like that.

About the Author: Born July 8, 1955 in Berlin, Germany. Montagu Denis Wyatt "Monty" Don is a British television presenter, writer and speaker on horticulture, best known for presenting the BBC television series Gardeners' World. He was brought up in Hampshire, educated at a variety of schools and at Magdalene College, Cambridge. 
He and his wife, Sarah, set up and ran a costume jewellery business in the 1980’s but the business collapsed, since 1988 he has worked full-time as a gardening author, journalist and broadcaster. 
If you'd like to read more about Monty click here
He also suffered a mini stroke in 1988 read here for more details about his incredible recovery. 
Monty has written many books so this one won't be my last.  

I am hoping...that my son's course hits the spot and keeps him on track. So far so good. He seems to be enjoying it which is wonderful. But I'll carry on crossing my fingers and toes just in case. 

I am looking forward to...getting my veggie plot under way. It's going to be a lot of hard work but I'm hoping that it will all be worth it. I love to go out into the garden to pick flowers to bring indoors, so to be able to nip out for a tattie (potato) or carrots for dinner will be brilliant. I think there's nothing better and it's so rewarding.
I know I need to start the preparations soon because there's such a lot to do and spring will be here soon enough. Did you notice that? I just skipped over winter with ease! 

Here's a photo of my latest pickings from the garden.

Around the house...there are a lot of spaces which needs to be filled. I'm not one for clutter or minimalism so I want to reach the right balance. There needs to be lots of shopping trips soon.

My favourite quote for today...Ordinary riches can be stolen; real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you ~ Oscar Wilde

One of my favourite things...is a Friday night. It can be the simplest of nights just lighting the fire and candles, a good meal and a glass of wine, then settling down for a relaxing evening after a hectic week. My daughter sometimes travels from Edinburgh to stay for the weekend and then I'm a really happy bunny having all of my chicks in the one nest :D  
A few plans for the rest of the week: A bit of everything really...you name it and I'll probably be doing it! Well within reason obviously...no ski-diving this week! 

A peek into my day...we are organising a few extensions (Gasp)

Not the usual conservatory, garden room or even a greenhouse extension (those are on my to-do list) but bird nesting boxes. Since we arrived back to this property the bird population in our garden has grown exponentially. To carry on looking after their welfare I want to provide not only good food and water but safe homes to enable them to hang around and provide beautiful sights and sounds to be enjoyed by all. I've just got to work out where the best sites are located. It'll be an on-going project that hopefully we'll reap the rewards when spring comes.  
I'm wanting to put up owl boxes too because I've heard them calling so I know they're here. 

 So that's it for this week; I hope you enjoyed your visit and if it's your first time reading my day book entry, I hope you'll be back again soon.
Don't forget to pop over to The Simple Woman's Daybook and check out the other day book entries.
I can't believe that I've only just managed to write this Daybook for September...I nearly missed it!
https://secure.quebles.com/content/hotmail/emoticons/1511763.gif I hope to see you again soon...Have a wonderful week.
Have fun and hopefully the sun will shine for you!!!

A Simple Woman's Day Book

FOR TODAY ~ Tuesday 20th August 2013

Outside my window...I'm gazing at the undulating landscape. I can see for miles over the farmland down to the river bank. There's a big expanse of sky stretching for miles plus the woods. 
I know that I'm very lucky to have this view from my window and trust me, I'm appreciating it. Maybe a little too much some times because it does take my attention. But then I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. Well not all of the time anyway :$
The photo below was taken before 6am, just as the sun was waking up for the day.

Unfortunately the sun obviously wasn't feeling particularly strong today...maybe it had put too much effort into yesterday...so it's decided to go for a little rest. The sky has a thin grey blanket now with baby blue patchwork woven in-between. If I gaze right across to the hills beyond I can see what the weather is likely to do in an hour or so. At the moment the clouds are looking rather heavy, but there's brightness and hope that the sun will have rested soon and be back with us.
The grass in the field outside is now a vivid green and growing quite high. It waves to me as the soft breeze passes by.  I'm hoping that the farmer decides to put sheep in for the coming lambing season. When we lived here previously we had lambs to watch and keep us amused. Now that was distracting! If no-one is listening I'll admit I must have spent hours watching their antics! (That information is just between you and me you understand ;D)
From a side window I can see my son's handy work from yesterday. He cut a huge laylandii hedge that must have been over 15ft in height! See what happens when you go away and leave these things...they grow!
I was a little nervous with him perched up the ladders with an electric hedge cutter in hand, but we managed without incident. I was the safety adviser for the job and stabilizer for the ladders using my humongous weight to keep them stable. Don't forget I'm married to 'Captain Safe' so those sort of things get drummed in over the years!
Muffin is contently curled up in her basket. She's enjoying having a 180 degree view even without leaving her bed! Typical female...she doesn't like to think she's missing anything. There's the odd gruff and little snorting noises resonating periodically but generally she's silent.

I thought I'd include the photo below in this section of my day book because it was taken at the end of one day last week. I never normally featured this part of the day which is a shame...so here you are.

A misty sultry August evening.

I am thinking...that the owl we've heard "terwit-terwooing" hopefully will be a regular visitor to our garden. 
When we first arrived here there were very few wild birds in the garden, but now with three feeding stations constantly being replenished we have an abundance! 
Here's just a few that we've seen so far...robins, wrens, blackbirds, bull-finches, goldfinches, blue-tit, great-tit, magpies, wood-pigeon, buzzard, sparrow-hawk, crows and chaffinch. And seagulls on occasions in the field.
They don't seem to be bothered by us at all and just go about their business leaving us to watch them with wonder. 

I am thankful...that I'm able to appreciate nature and all of its wonder. I'd hate to be oblivious to it's splendor. I hope that I've passed this on to my children too.  

In the kitchen...hmm...no cakes or baking. I had a Date and Walnut cake in the cake tin, but it seems to have disappeared in record time. Maybe if time permits I'll bake something this afternoon. I did see Nigel Slater bake a very scrummy looking lemon cake last night.  

I am wearing...jeans, long-sleeved t-shirt and zipped sweat-shirt. Slippers are keeping my toes cozy just in case! Oh yes and a revelation I'm wearing nail varnish. It's not as it seems because I'm wearing it to hide the state of my nails after gardening for three weeks! Now I know where that saying 'green fingers comes from! 

I am creating...'thank you' cards for all the wonderful pressies and kind thoughts from friends and family across the globe. I'm really behind but trying to get them into the post as soon as possible. I may even be able to show you one tomorrow if I get to finish it! 

I am going...nowhere! Ha! 
I couldn't resist that one after travelling for 24 years but seriously I'm not really going far at the moment. The main reason being that we are managing with one car. My car is somewhere on the high seas...still on it's way here from Australia. She's having her own little adventure but she should be here in a few weeks. It hasn't bothered me too much up to now as there's always something that can keep me occupied here, whether it's indoors or outdoors. I'm going strictly with the weather and it's been good, so I've been able to have lots of fresh air! 

I am wondering...why we have butterflies who are insisting on living in the house with us. I've now seen three. They're pretty insistent too. I've gently guided them to the open door and watched them fly about outside only to turn around and come right back in. They like to settle in the inglenook which is fine during the day but we are lighting the fire sometimes at night now. All of a sudden we have butterflies flying around the room away from the heat! Very nice but it's really bizarre. 
This particular chap took a liking to the kitchen and settled on my mint plant. I'm thinking they are coming in as the temperature starts to cool. I'm not sure if they die or whether they settle somewhere for winter. I've got so much to research because what I did know about UK wildlife and plants seems to have disappeared.   

I'm reading...Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey. 
Even though I haven't finished reading this novel (what's new?) I'm recommending it anyway because it's sensational. Yes I said sensational.
I'm really quite annoyed that I'm not able to spend as much time as I'd like reading it, but then that's always the case, especially at the moment with settling in after our big move. 
The book covers really tough topics...racism, injustice, hypocrisy, jealousy, abuse, a beautiful love story, and a wonderful best friends story. I have the feeling that I'm not going to want to finish this book. I've also heard that the audio version is fantastic too, so maybe I'll have to sample that too.

About the Book:
Late on a hot summer night in 1965, Charlie Bucktin, a precocious and bookish boy of thirteen, is startled by an urgent knock on the window of his sleep-out. His visitor is Jasper Jones, an outcast in the regional mining town of Corrigan. Rebellious, mixed-race and solitary, Jasper is a distant figure of danger and intrigue for Charlie. So when Jasper begs for his help, Charlie eagerly steals into the night by his side, terribly afraid but desperate to impress. Jasper takes him to his secret glade in the bush, and it's here that Charlie bears witness to Jasper's horrible discovery. With his secret like a brick in his belly, Charlie is pushed and pulled by a town closing in on itself in fear and suspicion as he locks horns with his tempestuous mother; falls nervously in love and battles to keep a lid on his zealous best friend, Jeffrey Lu. 
And in vainly attenmpting to restore the parts that have been shaken loose, Charlie learns to discern the truth from the myth, and why white lies creep like a curse. In the simmering summer where everything changes, Charlie learns why the truth of the things is so hard to know, and even harder to hold in his heart.

About the Author:
Craig Silvey was born in Australia on New Years Day 1982. He is a novelist and musician. 
He grew up on an orchard at Dwellingup in South-West of Western Australia. He currently lives in Fremantle.
Jasper Jones is Silvey's second novel (debut novel was called 'Rhubard') Jasper Jones was published in 2009 by Allen & Unwin Australia. The film rights for the novel have been sold to the Australian director Rebecca O'Brien. Silvey is also the singer/songwriter for the indie/pop/rock band 'The Nancy Sikes

I am hoping...to organise a trip to Glasgow for next month. Well its not really a hope it's going to have to happen so I need to sort out the details soon. 

I am looking forward to...each day. I know that sounds a little twee...but that's the truth. I just look forward to each day and what it might bring. I adapt my day accordingly to hopefully get the most out of it. Sometimes that's not easy but you can always find something if you look hard enough.

Around the house...Everywhere looks quite organised and tidy considering just under a month ago there were packing boxes EVERYWHERE. Just don't look in the spare room please...it's still chockablock with our bits and pieces. 
The logs are stacked alongside the wood burner which warms my heart...we'll be fine when (not if) the weather turns. There are also books on the bookshelf which always makes me feel happy and content.
A favourite quote for today..."There are only two ways to live your life: one as though nothing is a miracle, the other is as though everything is a miracle" ~ Albert Einstein 

One of my favourite things...Is to know that I have so many people who care about me. It's a good feeling. 
A few plans for the rest of the week: A bit of everything really...you name it and I'll probably be doing! Well within reason obviously...no ski-diving this week! 

A peek into my day...I'm as busy as a bee!

Bee busy on my tree.

 So that's it for this week; I hope you enjoyed your visit and if it's your first time reading my day book entry, I hope you'll be back again soon.
Don't forget to pop over to The Simple Woman's Daybook and check out the other day book entries.
Thanks for popping in...I really appreciate your time especially if you stop to leave a comment.
I see your flags flying around my globe and it makes me smile. 
It's good to know you're out there listening to my natterings. 
https://secure.quebles.com/content/hotmail/emoticons/1511763.gif I hope to see you again soon...Have a wonderful week.
Have fun and hopefully the sun will shine for you!!!