Sunday Thoughts ~ December, 9th

“A Christmas candle is a lovely thing.  It makes no noise at all, but softly gives itself away; While quite unselfish, it grows small.” ~ Eva Logue

*

Good morning, dear friends.  How wonderful, that we are once again blessed to find ourselves in this glorious season of love and giving.  

This morning I am sharing the thoughts of Ruth Carter Stapleton.  They clearly spoke to me ~ I hope they will to you as well.

“Christmas is most truly Christmas when we celebrate it by giving the light of love to those who need it most.” 

Truly, I do not believe there is anything more beautiful than a person, or group of people, who strive to make life sweeter and more beautiful for others by sharing their own light.  

Wishing you and yours magical December days.

Scatter Love and Light!

Au Revoir,

Sandra

Image, viatumblr

A Special Cookie Recipe

“My favorite part was when my grandfather and I would make a special trip to Firpo’s Bakery for red and green Christmas cookies. ” ~ Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Good morning, sweet friends.  Tis the season to be baking, “Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.”  So, as promised, here is a favorite recipe for the week.  All the recipes you will receive are special in our home and are tried and true.  This delicious treat is one of my most favorites and is marvelous with a cup of tea or coffee.

English Butter Toffee Cookies

Ingredients:

1 and 1/2 sticks of butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp. vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 and 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup English Toffee Bits, (plain – not chocolate covered)

Heat oven to 350.  Combine sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla in large mixing bowl.  Beat at medium speed, scraping the bowl often, until mixture is creamy.  Add flour, baking powder, and baking soda, reduce speed to low.  Beat until well mixed.  Stir in toffee bits by hand.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls.  Roll in granulated sugar.  Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Flatten each with the bottom of a glass to – 1 and 1/2 inch circles.

Bake 9-11 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.  Sprinkle with sugar while warm.  Cool completely on wire racks.

 

Have a beautiful day and weekend.  Happy Baking! 

 

 

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

 

 

Images: via tumblr

“A Frame of Mind”

Oh, Christmas isn’t just a day.  It’s a frame of mind . . . and that’s what’s been changing.  That’s why I’m glad I’m here.  Maybe I can do something about it.” ~ Kris Kringle, Miracle on 34th Street

Wonderful photo of Mr. Kringle.  Rather handsome, don’t you think?

Good morning, dear friends.  Ah, the beauty of the season.  It is found on every corner and in every home.   And above all, it is in the beauty of the smiling faces of those we love.  Such beauty and joy makes our hearts pound a little harder. So, to add a little beauty to your day, Mr. Kringle  has some thoughts he would like me to share ~  for your “frame of mind.”

“The joy of brightening other lives becomes for us the magic of the holidays.” ~ W. C. Jones

Trees are being decorated and their beauty is being celebrated by grand illuminations all around the world.  These special times are happening in cities and small towns, and neighborhoods across our land.

Storefronts are glowing.

Cities and towns are sparkling.

santa-land: “ active all year round christmas blog! ”

All, with the warm glow of love.

the-coldharbour-road: “Prospect Park West (by lucybennetttt) ”

“The only blind person at Christmastime is he who has not Christmas in his heart.” ~ Helen Keller

Ah, don’t you love to bring out the ornaments?  We simply unbox memories.  We all have favorites and they all have stories.

And upon the trees, they go.  So that, once again, we may be a child and delight in our precious memories gathered over the years.

I’m not gonna lie - I’m pretty much a traditionalist (real tree, specific type of needles, colorful glass ornaments of all types, colored lights), but I kind of want a tree like this. If I had an office, or a boutique, I’d do this.

Everyone enjoys being ‘Merry’ ~ and making memories. 

“I wish we could put some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month.” ~ Harlan Miller

Wreaths are placed on our doors, saying ” Merry Christmas, everyone!”

We hang them inside.

Decorate our chandeliers.

And,  our mantels.

Almost every possible place receives a touch of Christmas magic.

“It’s the month of cakes and candles, snow and songs, carols and joys, laughter and love…it’s December.” ~ Unknown

We fill the house with wonderful smells of ginger and cinnamon.

snowflakesandsleighbells: “ want more winter/holidays/snow on your dash? follow snowflakesandsleighbells!` ”

And we make things too pretty to eat . . . almost.

“Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas.” ~ Dale Evans Rogers

I received a Christmas package a few years ago tied beautifully with this same ribbon.  And, I saved it.  Because the beautiful ribbon, which tied my package, was tied with love from my dearest friend, Janet.

We seem to love to fuss over our packages.  Always adding a special touch to the packages of those we hold so dear.

“It’s in the singing of a street corner choir, it’s going home and getting warm by the fire.  It’s true, wherever you find love, it feels like Christmas.” ~ Unknown

battements-d-elle: “@battements-d-elle ”

 

The beauty of this glorious season fills our hearts ~ gives us great joy.  

So as this post travels and makes its way to you,  Mr. Kringle and I hope it will find you in the Christmas “frame of mind.”

Amour et joie à vous, chers amis!  (Love and joy, dear friends)

 

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

 

Note:  Images ~ (Via Tumblr) Unless otherwise stated, I do not claim ownership of these photos. These photos are the work of tremendously talented people and I simply compiled them for your enjoyment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Magic of December, 1st !

“Suddenly December…the magic begins.” ~ Unknown

Wake up sweet friends, it’s December first! Perhaps you are wondering, “Why is she so excited about December first?” Find your coffee and a comfy chair and let me tell you. 

“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.” ~ Hamilton Wright Mabie

I love Christmas.  I love the fuss, the decorating, the lights, the sparkle, the baking and of course, thinking of gifts for those I love.  I absolutely adore the entire package and anyone who truly knows me will confirm this. 

In our home, the Christmas season begins December first.    I know you are wondering, why December first?   So, here is the story ~ one I hope you will enjoy.

“Wake up “darlin!”  It is December 1st, the beginning of the most magical, beautiful time of the year.”  Those were my mother’s words to me, every December 1st.  And to mom, it was a season full of love and beauty.  Every December, I thank her so much for this beautiful gift she gave me repeatedly each year, from when I was a young child until she passed away.

“I truly believe that if we keep telling the Christmas story, singing the Christmas songs, and living the Christmas spirit, we can bring joy and happiness and peace to this world.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale

Our mothers are so very precious.  If they have passed away, our memories of them are our personal treasures we tuck away in our hearts and hold them ever so close.  Mothers instill in us our values and give us gifts we treasure throughout our lives.  While many of these gifts “come tied up with strings,” many do not.  I was blessed beyond measure with a mother who gave me an abundance of gifts not “tied up with strings.”  These gifts, not purchased in a store, were from her heart.  She wanted me to understand the real meaning of Christmas, why we give and exchange gifts and she especially wanted me to understand ~ the message of Christmas is love.  Truly, I ‘believe’ she was successful.

Each year on December 1st, she always, always did something special for me and others she loved.   For me, it might have been her homemade cinnamon rolls, a special dinner, new ribbons for my hair, a new pair of socks, or my favorite ~ a pan of her famous peanut butter fudge. 

She also might spend the afternoon helping me make pomander balls or cookies to give to our neighbors.  Always something small, but it served as a sweet reminder as to how special the day and days to follow should be.

 “It’s Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.” ~Keith Baines

As the years went along, I grew up, married and moved away.  Always, a tiny package would arrive, marked “Do Not Open Until December 1st.”  The sweet package was from mom, and she never failed to phone me before I left for work on this special day.  I can still hear her soft Mississippi drawl and her kind words.  She would ask about my plans to make the day special for others, especially plans I had for Mike.   The conversation would always end with her words, “I love you ‘darlin’ – scatter joy.”  Just a note ~ absolutely no one can say ‘darlin’ like someone from the Deep South.

Through the years, many friends and coworkers have often looked at me rather puzzled when they were first introduced to my December 1st tradition.  However, once they understood how, why, and from whom it originated, they relished in the joyful atmosphere. I can tell you they adored being sprinkled with a bit of mom’s Christmas magic.   The sweetness of the day lingered with them.  As the years unfolded, they would say to me – “It’s almost December 1st.”  This special joy has been returned to me many times.  Still today, I often hear from friends and former coworkers on December 1st.   Mom’s tradition touched the lives of many.

As for Mike ~ well, he has enjoyed this special day for 46 years.  He has more Christmas ties than are in the men’s department of Macy’s.  Christmas ties are a perfect gift for a teacher, also Christmas socks.  And, if you were to ask him about his all-time favorite December 1st gift, he would answer, “Merry.”  Merry was our black Labrador retriever.  Her proper or registered name was Merry Christmas of Crabapple.  Her name suited her perfectly ~ my goodness she was Merry.  Every day she lived, glowed like an overabundantly lit Christmas tree.

“When we recall Christmas past, we usually find the simplest things give off the greatest glow of happiness.”  ~ Bob Hope

It really is “the simplest things,” which make this special season glow.  Mom’s sweet tradition enriched my life and, I know, the lives of many.  A lovely tradition which costs little, shows more love than there are words, and creates such wonderful memories.  So, from mom to me to you – “It’s December 1st” enjoy this most wonderful, magical time of year and… scatter joy! 

 

Do you have a special tradition which you and your family enjoy during the Christmas season?  I hope you will share.  

Wishing you and yours, a most beautiful and special December!

 

And, until we meet again…  “May you have heaven in your heart, starlight in your soul, and angels all around you.” ~ Unknown

 

Au Revoir,

Sandra

Sweet friends, I wish I could bake these and give each and every one of you a lovely bag full.  But, as I can’t, I am doing the next best thing and sending you the recipe. Happy December 1st!

Butter Sugar Cookies

Note:  This was my grandmother’s recipe.  She submitted it to be printed in her church cookbook, The First Presbyterian Church of Collins, Mississippi. 

Ingredients:

1 cup – 2 sticks butter, softened (do not substitute the butter)

1 cup sugar

½ tsp. vanilla or almond extract

1 egg

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 350.  Cream together butter and sugar.  Add vanilla and egg, mixing well.  Sift flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar.  Add gradually to butter mixture, mixing well.  Chill dough for an hour or two.  Make dough into small balls.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet and flatten with a fork, or bottom of a glass, that has been dipped in sugar.  Make sure each cookie is sprinkled with sugar.  Bake 15-17 minutes (my oven-14 min.), or just until edges begin to turn golden.  Let stand on cookie sheet 2-3 minutes.  Remove to a rack and cool completely.  Sprinkle with colored sprinkles if desired.  Store in airtight container.

 

Photos: viatumblr

Note: I do not claim ownership of these photos. These photos are the work of tremendously talented people and I simply compiled them for your enjoyment.

 

 

 

Fruitcake, Anyone?

“The ultimate in longevity is the Christmas fruitcake.  It is a cake made during the holidays with fruits that make it heavier than the stove it is cooked in.” ~ Erma Bombeck

Happy day, dear friends.  Have you given any thought to your holiday baking?  Every year, I enjoy going through my recipes and deciding which creations of goodness  I will attempt.  Even though it is a little early to prepare some recipes ~ it isn’t for fruitcakes.

 

 

Fruitcakes are best aged a little, and especially if they are allowed to age with apple brandy.  I prefer using Calvados, a French apple brandy.  It only takes a wee bit, however, it truly creates magic.  All this being said, today I am sharing my fruitcake recipe.  It is not difficult.  You need a really, really large mixing bowl, patience to prepare the pans and of course, Calvados.
Note:  This recipe makes one 10inch tube pan or 2, 9x5x3 loaf pan size cakes.  This cake freezes extremely well.
Ingredients
3 – 7 1/4 oz. packages pitted and chopped dates
1 lb. candied pineapple, roughly chopped
1 lb. whole candied cherries, plus a little extra to decorate tops of cakes. 
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 tsp. double-action baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 lbs. pecan halves ( yes, you read that correctly)
Cut wax paper to fit your pans.  Grease pan well and then grease wax paper, before placing in pan.
Preheat oven to 275 degrees
In large ( really large) bowl, add dates, candied pineapple, and cherries.
In another small bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt.  Sprinkle this mixture into the bowl containing fruit.
Mix fruit and dry ingredients well with hands – separating pieces so that all are coated well.
In another medium bowl, beat eggs until frothy.  Gradually add 1 cup sugar and beat until blended.
Add egg mixture to fruit mixture.  Mix well with hands.
Add pecans and mix until nuts are evenly distributed and coated with batter.
Pack into pans.  At this point you can decorate the top of the cake with extra cherries, this is optional. 
Bake for about 1 and 1/2 hours.  When done tops of cakes will look dry, extra baking does no harm.  I usually bake them for about 2 hours, 15 min.
Remove from oven and let stand about 10 minutes.  Turn out onto wire racks and carefully pull off waxed paper.  Drizzle with brandy – about 2 Tbls. per cake or 4 if using a tube pan.
These cakes take several hours to completely cool.  Once they are completely cooled, wrap in cheesecloth which has been soaked in a little brandy.  Then, wrap tightly in foil and either refrigerate or store in a cool place.
If you enjoy fruitcake, I promise you will love this recipe,  and me for sharing.  It is like no other I have ever tasted.  And, it isn’t  “heavier than the stove.”
Happy Baking!

Au Revoir,

Sandra

Note:  Should you have any questions about this recipe, just send me a message under the ‘contact section’ of this blog.

Photo:  Michael Lambiotte

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Thoughts, November 25th

 

Good Sunday morning, dear friends.  I hope you, your family, and friends had a wonderful Thanksgiving. 

As we begin the most beautiful season of the year, there is something I would like to share this morning.  The verse is one I have had for many years and it serves to remind me of the real meaning of Christmas.  Perhaps you have read it before and if so, I hope you will enjoy it again. 

If you look for Me at Christmas

you won’t need a special star ~ 

I’m no longer just in Bethlehem,

I’m right there where you are.

You may not be aware of Me

amid the celebrations ~ 

*

You’ll have to look beyond the stores

and all the decorations.

But if you take a moment

from your list of things to do

And listen to your heart, you’ll find

I’m waiting there for you.

You’re the one I want to be with,

you’re the reason that I came,

*

And you’ll find me in the stillness

As I am whispering your name.

       Love,

  Jesus

 

Wishing you and yours a most beautiful day. 

May the love and beauty of this glorious season bring you great joy and renew your child-like sense of wonder.

 

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

Images: via tumblr

Note:  “If you look for Me at Christmas,” author unknown

 

Sunday Thoughts ~ “Over The River”

Good Sunday morning, dear friends.  Are you ready for Thanksgiving?  We do make such a fuss, but it is a fuss which brings joy to many.   We fuss and celebrate because we are grateful.  And speaking of being grateful, I want to tell you how grateful I am for each and every one of you who reads my blog, takes a moment to comment, sends me a note, or shares my thoughts with others.  I may know you personally or our friendship may be virtual.  However it may be ~ truly, I am grateful for you, your kindness and support.  You mean a great deal to me.
                                           
I hope you will enjoy the journey, “Over the River” this morning.  Not to worry, the trip is short.
  leahberman: “autumn chill yosemite valley, california instagram ”
Over the river, and through the wood, to Grandfather’s house we go; “

“the horse knows the way to carry the sleigh through the white and drifted snow.”

“Over the river, and through the wood, 

to Grandfather’s house away!

We would not stop for doll or top,

for ’tis Thanksgiving Day.”

 

“Over the river, and through the wood ~

now Grandmother’s cap I spy!

Hurrah for the fun! Is the pudding done?

Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!”

I hope “Over the River” has evoked wonderful childhood memories.  My mom would always sing this to me ~ she knew every word.  She would even sing it in the summertime when we would travel to Mississippi to visit my grandmother.  I have included a little information about the piece at the end of this post.  The poem was written in 1844, by Lydia Maria Child.  

Many of you may be traveling over rivers and mountains to be with loved ones this Thanksgiving.  I wish you a safe and beautiful journey.  And, as you gather with your family and friends around the table, pause for a moment to ~ “Hear blessings dropping their blossoms all around you.” ~ Rumi

Be the change you wish to see in the world.

 While we are counting our blessings, let us all be grateful for what I believe to be one of our sweetest.  And that is:  It doesn’t matter where we live or how old we become… 

“Forever on Thanksgiving Day the heart will find the pathway Home.” ~ Wilbur D. Nesbit

 

 Wishing you and yours a Beautiful and Happy Thanksgiving,

filled with Blessings beyond measure.

 

Faire De Doux Souvenirs ( Make Sweet Memories)

 

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

 

 

Note:  “Over the River and Through the Wood” was originally published in 1844 as a poem written by Lydia Maria Child. The poem was published in Child’s book of poems Flowers for ChildrenVolume 2, and was originally titled “The New-England Boy’s Song about Thanksgiving Day.” In time, Child’s poem was set to music by an unknown composer, and over the years many children have grown up singing the song in school or community holiday programs.

Traditionally “Over the River and Through the Wood” is sung as a Thanksgiving song, in which the original lyrics say,Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!” rather than “Hurrah for Christmas Day!” Another lyrical change was that the original poem read “Grandfather’s house” rather than Grandmother’s house.” The original poem also contained 12 verses.

Images ~ (Via Tumblr) Unless otherwise stated, I do not claim ownership of these photos. These photos are the work of tremendously talented people and I simply compiled them for your enjoyment

 

 

 

 

 

“Stray Gifts”

“Pleasure is spread through the earth in stray gifts to be claimed by whoever shall find.”~William Wordsworth

Good morning, dear friends.  Welcome to “Maison De Jardin,” I am so happy you are joining me this morning.  I hope you will find pleasure in the “stray gifts” I have claimed. Personally, I believe we are all in need of a bit of inspiration from time-to-time.  At least I am.  While something may not be my style preference or yours, I can always enjoy the beauty ~ beauty never fails to lift my spirits.  It makes my heart sing.   And there has been magnificent beauty in my view this past week.  So much so, I had to begin another post (you will see later).  So find your coffee or tea and let me show you some of these lovely things.  I hope they will make your heart sing also.  I will refrain from too much chatter and let the voice of marvelously talented souls and beautiful images, speak to you.  

“Architecture is frozen music.” ~ Goeth

experienced12: “ allthingseurope: “ Gloucester Cathedral, UK (by Saffron Blaze) ” expereinced12 Take time to learn about history or the world, it’s fascinating. ” Gloucester Cathedral ~ Gloucester, England

queenbee1924: “ Rosslyn Chapel, Scotland, popularized in The … | Abbeys~Cathedra…) ” Rosslyn Chapel, Scotland

naimabarcelona: “ Interiors ”

I wish I could tell you where this magnificent home or building is located, but that was not identified.  Isn’t it beautiful?  Do notice the cherubs, I have such a fondness for them.

“In every man’s heart, there is a secret nerve that answers to the vibrations of beauty.” ~ Christopher Morley

Don’t you love fabulous staircases and gorgeous windows?  I found several, but these two I thought were standouts.

From imgfave.com

“Chandeliers are marvels of drop-dead showiness, the jewellery of architecture.” ~ Peter York

Speaking of chandeliers, here are a few lovelies to add a little sparkle in your morning.  Which one is your favorite?

lagarconnierebbsalerno: “ www.lagarconniere.it La Garçonniere B&B de charme in Salerno - Amalfi Coast ”

lagarconnierebbsalerno: “www.lagarconniere.it La Garçonniere Bed and Breakfast de Charme in Salerno - Amalfi Coast ”

 

 

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“It’s the beauty within us that makes it possible for us to recognize the beauty around us.”~ Henry David Thoreau

It is one thing to see a beautiful room, but it is clearly another when the room is surrounded by beauty.  And it is yet another when we are totally captivated through our awareness of the beauty.

 

Image may contain: people sitting, table and indoor

“The presence and appreciation of beauty are central to the good life.”~ unknown

 

.

Flowers are those little colorful beacons of the sun from which we get sunshine when dark, somber skies blanket our thoughts.” ~Dodinsky

Should your heart be in need of a little sunshine ~ these beauties should make your day more beautiful.Image may contain: plant and flower

Image may contain: flower and plant

“In the garden, Autumn is, indeed the crowning glory of the year, bringing us the fruition of months of thought and care and toil. And at no season, safe perhaps in Daffodil time, do we get such superb colour effects as from August to November.” ~ Rose G. Kingsley

“The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

When in nature, often we walk alone, simply to savor every moment with few distractions other than those gifted, by Mother Nature.

“The life of the individual has meaning only insofar as it aids in making the life of every living thing nobler and more beautiful.” ~  Einstein

And isn’t this the world we all desperately desire?  

For ourselves and the littlest among us.

LA FIN

I do hope you have enjoyed your visit this morning.

And, until we meet again ~

“May you have heaven in your heart, starlight in your soul, and angels all around you.” ~ Unknown

 

 

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

Note:  Images ~ (Via Tumblr) Unless otherwise stated, I do not claim ownership of these photos. These photos are the work of tremendously talented people and I simply compiled them for your enjoyment.

Image,Architectural Digest Magazine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Thoughts

“Let nothing come between you and the light.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Good Sunday morning, dear friends.  It is wonderful to see you. I do hope wherever you may be, you are seeing something you deem lovely.  Perhaps, light streaming through a window in your home, the way it is streaming through the windows of the beautiful Netley Abbey (photo aboveinformation about the Abbey is at the end of this post).  To me, the photo represents the beauty and peace ~ both important to our human well being.  

This week I came across the following thoughts from Katrine Stewart.  I wonder, have you ever heard the term “soul project?” I had not.  After reading her thoughts, I thought you may enjoy them also.

“Soul projects bring a smile to your face, light to your eyes, new energy to your heart, joy to all around you. Soul projects are like healing ointment on the sore places of your life.  Beethoven went for walks in the countryside. Golda Meir polished her silver teapot. Josephine, Napoleon’s wife, tended to her roses. Claude Monet gardened. Katharine Hepburn wrote her journal in bed with breakfast. Winston Churchill liked to paint. Einstein took long baths. Mendelssohn listened to the music of Bach. Mother Theresa listened to the silence of her soul.”

My take on  Ms. Stewart’s thoughts:  It is important for each of us to have something we enjoy doing.  I enjoy gardening, reading, cooking, writing this blog, and my list goes on.  But, I had never thought about these things which make my heart sing as “soul projects.” However, they are, and we all need one or more.  Because, in my opinion,  they calm us, clear our minds, and help us to recognize the beauty of compassion for ourselves, those we hold dear, and our fellow man.  Thereby, enabling us to see “the light.”

In closing on this November 11 morning, I ask you to take a moment to remember all our veterans and those currently serving in our military.

Good Evening ladies, thank you for the beautiful floral centerpieces. Tonight and Wednesday, let's pin POPPIES. Enjoy. The poppy is the symbol of remembrance.

  May we always remain forever grateful to them and their families for their sacrifices.

                                                                                             

 

Wishing you and yours a most beautiful day.

And, until we meet again ~ 

“May you have heaven in your heart, starlight in your soul, and angels all around you.” ~ Unknown

 

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

Note:  Netley Abbey is a late medieval monastery in the village of Netley near Southampton in Hampshire, England. The abbey was founded in 1239 as a home for monks of the austere Cistercian order. Despite royal patronage, Netley was never rich, produced no influential scholars nor churchmen, and its nearly 300-year history was quiet. The monks were best known by others for the generous hospitality they offered to travelers on land and sea.

Images: viatumblr,pinterest 

 

Sunday Thoughts

“The nights draw in…the days seem cooler now…the leaves fall from the tree’s like floating golden angels… they crunch beneath your feet and crackle like a roaring fire.  It is good to be home and snug indoors.”  ~ Unknown

Good Sunday morning, dear friends.  It is hard to believe, but November has arrived.  And, it is so good to “be home and snug indoors.”  Home is such a wonderful blessing.

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” ~ William Arthur Ward

As many of you know, I am a great fan of Alexandra Stoddard.  In one of her books several years ago she wrote about keeping a Gratitude Journal.  She felt, in lieu of our rapidly changing world, it was important to stop for a moment each day and think of things we are grateful for.  Her idea was to list daily, five things which touched us and that we appreciated.  I can tell you when I looked back through the pages of my journal, it was amazing how keeping a simple little journal made me so aware of even the smallest things I appreciated, but believe I had taken for granted until I wrote them down. Ordinary things ~ a hot shower, sweet smelling soap, clean sheets, a warm summer breeze, the list goes on.

Now, I wish I could tell you that I still keep my journal, I don’t. But, I can tell you the year I did was life-changing.  I became truly conscious of all the many beautiful details of life, I try never to take them for granted, and thank God each day for all my many blessings.  Gratefulness adds such abundance to our daily rounds and therefore, enriches the lives of those we love.

“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.” ~ G.K. Chesterton

Today, more than ever, I believe it is important for each of us to practice gratefulness. Not just in November ~ but every day.

Perhaps, if we did, Cynthia Rylant’s words would become commonplace.  And, wouldn’t that be wonderful?

“In November, people are good to each other. They carry pies to each other’s homes and talk by crackling woodstoves, sipping mellow cider. They travel very far on a special November day just to share a meal with one another and to give thanks for their many blessings – for the food on their tables and the babies in their arms.” ~ Cynthia Rylant, In November 

Wishing you and yours a most special November.  May your days be filled with blessings for which you will be forever grateful.

 

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

 

Note:  Images ~ (Via Tumblr) Unless otherwise stated, I do not claim ownership of these photos. These photos are the work of tremendously talented people and I simply compiled them for your enjoyment.