The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Joy in the simple things.

After my post on Friday I headed off to see my Aunt.  She had messaged me and said she has ripe plums and to come and pick them!  So off I went!

It was a gorgeous afternoon!  The plum tree is huge and it was covered in beautiful huge lilac plums.  The prettiest colour!  And there were so many!  I was armed with baskets,  my Aunt was armed with buckets and we chatted and worked away picking fruit.  It was a pretty warm day too but mostly we were in the shade of this beautiful tree.   We filled container after container.   Then we took a break.  I felt we had been doing a pretty good job but when I stood back and admired our work you couldn't even tell we had picked any!  We literally made no impression at all!  The tree was still absolutely covered!

We decided a cup of tea would be a good idea and took a break.  There were stories of some of my Dad's adventures and plum recipes.   My Aunt always makes a pot of tea and gives me a big cup and saucer covered in roses.

I wear pearls a lot but as I was talking with my Aunt I decided I need to wear them all the time.  She was wearing the most gorgeous large baroque pearls and they were so lustrous they lit her face in a kind of halo of light.  They were so stunning.  So note to self to wear my pearls.  And here she was having an afternoon of fruit picking wearing her pearls.
I told her how stunning they looked and she told me she always wears them to bed.  That way if an ambulance comes they will see her wearing her pearls and treat her well.
Maybe I better start wearing my pearls to bed!

With a very hot day forecast my Aunt was organised to stay indoors the next day.  She had drinks in the fridge and a plan if the power goes out.  I also noted she has a cooler in the lounge room and a cooler in her bedroom.  Just the lounge room was on and she would swap when she goes to bed if it was hot.  With power prices now it is much easier to heat or cool one room you are using than a whole house.  Most of our homes are open plan now as when they were designed electricity was affordable.  Now the rooms you can close up are probably much more sensible!
Other aspects of her preparedness are her rainwater tank,  plenty of supplies and her hammer near the front door in case she needs to smack someone in the head.

Then it was back to more plum picking.  Now I am thinking of what to make.  Plum jam,  crumble (crisp), cobblers, my use it up fruit cake with yoghurt...  Then I am considering exactly how much freezer space does Mums freezer have now?
My Aunt knew that most of the fruit trees I had to pick from near me are now all knocked down.  She said as she rides her bike she sees new houses going up and they plant a lawn and have a couple of trees or shrubs planted out the front.  She said what a waste. They could have fruit trees!  "People think just because there is plentiful food now that there always be"  but one day they will be sorry...

So it was wonderful and joyous and I loaded all these baskets into the car.   My Aunt said how it runs in the family to love fruit trees and especially lemons and also to hate golf.   Generations have loved fruit picking, lemons and hated golf.  And here I am the exact same!
All this was great fun to me.  My Aunt increasingly reminds me of my Nanna which is really nice.
Nanna was so happy with simple things like some flowers or some eggs and some lemons!  I can't think of anyone happier than she was.  She was just so enthusiastic and so friendly.

My Dad mentioned this last time we went mushrooming.  I said how Nan would have had a great time.  And Dad said oh yes she would love it!  And how he remembers picking up wood for the fire and Nan would be so excited to be picking up wood!  She would say "oh look at this beautiful bit" and he laughed, he said she could get excited over a nice tree stump. haha!

So all this joy over simple things.   Yesterday I started making jam and I cut up enough plums to make a crumble.  I was so happy doing this.  I couldn't have had a better day!   The colour of the plums is beautiful, a deep ruby.

I have days of working through my baskets of plums.   Nanna would have loved it!
Nanna had a way about her. She could get anyone to do anything.  One time the Doctor came to her house as a house call.  While he was there she asked him if he would go up the ladder and clean the kitchen light as she could't manage it and he was tall. And he did.

I am thinking it is a bit wonderful to find simple things so much fun!  By bedtime I am thinking this was a beautiful day.  Being industrious like this just makes my heart happy!

What are the simple things that you really enjoy?   I can think of so many.  Picking up bags of pinecones for the fire,  going to the beach, picking flowers for the house, collecting eggs...
I said recently that I would rather be making jam than on a jet.  Truthfully I would rather be home than most places!  I love a good outing but honestly I am heading off tomorrow down south to see Hilde,  go op shopping with her and to the discount grocery store and fruit and veggie shop.  I am looking forward to this so much you would think I'm going to the French Riviera.    😊

Have a great week!  xxx


  1. Joy in the little things! I find so much joy when we go to Florida or Hawaii in picking up shells. I have no idea what I'm going to do with them but I love it. I have a lot in a basket in the guest room. My grand daughter and I love going through them and exclaiming how pretty they are. I would love a pretty plum tree in my yard neat!

  2. Dear Annabel,
    Wonderful memories of your Nan and you are making cherished memories with your Aunt. I miss my ancestors. They are long gone, but were there while I was growing up.
    I agree with your aunt. Fruit trees, fruit bushes, herb beds, and vegetable beds, are more sensible than planting grass. Grass is an enormous waste.
    Enjoy the bounty😃

  3. Dear Annabel,
    What a nice time you had! Your Aunt sounds very sensible and very fun. I like that she rides her bike everywhere, picks fruit in her pearls, and keeps a hammer by the door. I think we could be friends!
    I, too, enjoy the simple things. Fresh flowers on the table, clean linens, homemade goodies, the crackling of my record player, getting my hands dirty in the garden, fresh air in the house, watching the animals, sipping sweet tea in the summer and coffee by the fire in the winter- these are the things I enjoy. Home is my favorite place, and it contains my favorite people. I tell my husband that if I could go anywhere in the world that I wanted, it would just be wherever he is.
    Thank you for a lovely post. Have fun putting up all those beautiful plums!
    Love, Kelsey

  4. Annabel I wish I had your energy...especially in the heat! I love hearing about your Aunt especially about the hammer at the door and the pearls :-) She sounds like such a character. I am sure there will be lots of happy recipients of your plum jam etc.

  5. I cant remember if I have ever had homemade plum jam. Sounds delicious. My mind wandered onto making some sort of plum chilli sauce, sort of a Chinese saucy ingredient. I'm sure there are recipes out there for something like this. Would be delicious on duck or chicken.
    I enjoy sitting at my sewing machine and watching as pieces of fabric come together into something useful and beautiful. I enjoy the early mornings on the doggy beach near our house, talking to other doggy people and watching the fur babies having a wonderful time. I love casting out my fishing line. It doesnt matter if I catch anything or not. It's the actual act and the peace associated with it. Mind you catching dinner is a big thrill as well. I enjoy paddling in my kayak on the calm waters of our beautiful bay and sometimes seeing a dugong rolling around in the water. My nephew calls them 'Sea Puddings' and this is such a good description. I love being at home and being surrounded by our things that tell a story of our lives.
    Home is my haven and Life here is really good.

  6. Annabel, I am happiest when I'm in my home just doing, I truly get joy out of being a homemaker and look forward to each new day in the role of 'the keeper of my home.'I love my God-given job!

  7. Annabel,
    What can I say other than you are a woman after my own heart! The simple things are the ones I enjoy best. One of the things for me is picking berries and my Todd too. If he finds a wild berry patch he is always sure to come and get me and the simple task of picking berries with my baby who is almost a man is something I cherish! Drying sheets on the line is another.
    I think your aunt is so great! And so sensible too. I keep bug spray by my door instead of a hammer. LOL. Your fruit looks so pretty and yummy both! maybe you could bottle some plum syrup and sell or barter it or with all those plums you can get how about some plum wine? Oh yes!
    Either way I just love seeing the photos of all of the lovely produce you get! LOL tell your aunt one of my favorite sayings is plant food not grass! Haha!

  8. You are speaking my language! I'm all about finding joy in the ordinary.

    I had a good chuckle over your aunt. She sounds like a character!

  9. Dear Annabel, your Aunt sounds like my kinda lady. You know this has been my mantra for years. I long ago stopped watching the news, finding it too distressing. Then I realised that it's largely due to the immediate availability of news, that we are constantly bombarded. Once upon a time, news took days to reach us, by which time the situation was usually very very different. Now we see things as they unwind, and feel so helpless that it is of course, upsetting. I know now, that if it takes a few days for me to hear 'news', the same principle will apply. Aid will have reached those in need, the professionals will have done their job, and whilst I can feel empathy for those affected, I don't feel like I should 'do something'. Mostly, I believe in doing the very best I can for my own family, and that if everyone else did the same, the world would be a different place. I love your thoughts on prayer and bible study, and will add that simply living in the moment, rather than worrying about things that may simply never eventuate (which can be a side effect of 'the news') is also a useful strategy. Today is all we have. When we get to tomorrow, it becomes 'today'. Sieze it, treasure it, make the most of it. We never know when we won't get another. Sending love. Mimi xxx

  10. What a joyous post! It's lovely to hear someone so happy instead of grumbling about this or that! Simple joys, simple pleasures!
    I love staying home, pottering, cooking, baking bread or biscuits and especially love winter time. We don't follow any sport so if we are not heading away, I like to snug in on a Saturday and not move.
    We've been given a Vegepod so I am keen to get that filled and planted this coming weekend. I've never had a little veggie patch before so I'm keen to try carrots, tomatoes and potatoes, even.
    I must inquire around and see if there is anyone with apricot or plum trees that I could get some. I love making jam.
    Cheers - Joolz xx

  11. What a wonderful day, Annabel.

    Your aunt reminds me of my paternal grandmother. NanaH (everyone knew her by that name) had a huge suburban backyard with fig trees, mulberry trees, apple trees, peach trees and even a mango tree - every inch of the yard was productive. It was great fun as kids to climb the trees, eat fresh mulberries and play hide`n`seek. Sadly, she`s long gone and so is the garden - 12 townhouses now occupy the site and not a plant in sight.

    It`s nice to see your aunt`s plums going to a good home. Enjoy the jam making,


  12. I loved your stories about your Aunt and your Nanna! My Mom made plum jam when I was a small child and we had a plum tree. It is a favorite of mine! Well done!

    Our daughter who is now the missionary in Germany was first a missionary to China seven years ago. My husband gave her money to buy pearls for me at the pearl market. She hand selected the pearls and they were strung just for me. My husband gave them to me for my 50th birthday. They are so wonderful and I treasure them. Annabel, you would make a fine Southern belle along with your Aunt!

    We are not a golfing family either but our middle son asked a girl out when he was a freshman in college and took her mini golfing and she beat him soundly. Then he found out her grandmother was the first female professional golfer in the USA and her grandmother started teaching her to golf when she was two! She is now our daughter in law.

    * Please continue to pray for Alli, the teenager with cancer in our church. They do not expect her to live through the week and she has been in uncontrollable pain. She is on a constant morphine drip now and has had some relief. I cannot imagine what her Mom is going through. Thanks all. *

    1. Dear Lana, this is so very sad. She and her family remain in my prayers. Mimi xxx

    2. Lana a prayer was just said by myself for Alli.

      What a beautiful story of how you got your pearls :) .


    3. I will pray for sweet Alli and her family. What a terribly sad time for them all.


    4. Dear Lana, Oh that is terrible. I am praying. I hope they can relieve all her pain. My heart really breaks to hear this, as soon as you are a Mother this becomes unimaginable. We lift her up in prayer and her family.
      Your pearls sound wonderful! What a beautiful gift.
      So sorry Lana to hear this news... With love

    5. Thank you all for praying.

  13. Thankyou for this beautiful post Annabel.
    I love your writings of your aunt, is she the author? It sounds like her from her book.

    You have a beautiful heritage and are passing on an equally beautiful legacy and we get to be blessed by it too through your writings.

    I have only recently been getting to know one of my dad’s cousins and when she recently visited my garden she commented that is was so much like her granny’s garden (my great granny). I don’t remember my great granny or her garden but I’m chuffed to think somehow the garden style travelled through the genes!

    1. Dear GardenDel, Yes this Aunt is the author. It sounds like you have carried on many ways of your Great Grannie! I love it! Gardens are really beautiful. Even as I water in the evening I find that really peaceful and a good way to end the day! With love

  14. Oh those plums look divine. I recall growing up and plum trees and blackberry bushes were everywhere beside the dirt roads-- unfortunately as farming practices changed these were mostly cut down. I also am a homebody- I am yet to find any greater contentness than our little house out in the country. Enjoy those plums!

  15. Plums are one of my favorite fruits!! Unfortunately because of fruit fly we have had to pull our plum and peach trees out. I have seen a plum paste in the shops to have with cheese. I also stew and freeze them to have with breakfasts. Next year I will try bottling.
    I have had a lovely few days after the visitors have left tidying, reorganising and moving things around the home. I have created a mess in every room of the house but there is a purpose behind it and the end result will be lovely and comfortable.

  16. Annabel, I usually read your blog on my phone but do not post immediately as I should because I usually second guess what I'm going to say.
    I always love your posts any day any time. I love how you share your family times with us.

    Julia Child always wore her pearls too!

  17. Plums are my favorite! We planted a plum tree in our suburban yard two summers ago, and I can't wait to someday pick a harvest like yours. I love to make a rustic plum galette and also jam. I agree, I would much rather be making jam than on a jet! Thanks for a reminder of the simple joys of home.

  18. Hello Annabel and fellow bluebirds :) .

    What a lovely cheery post Annabel and your Aunt sounds like a sweetie :) . She had a couple of good messages while you were both picking fruit being use your special things everyday and keep your garden to things that produce food and are useful for your family.

    I love your plum jam and crumble to they look lovely and so well presented. Have a wonderful time with Hilde tomorrow.

    We are likewise with our gardens here although we are renting in the fact that all our garden beds are filled with food producing plants, herbs or berries. I think it insulates you from inflation, enables you to spend less on groceries and supplies both your family and if an abundance others.

    I think your aunt has the secret to life which is to be excited about the little things in life. I also get great delight from the simple things in life such as picking vegetables, watching our vegetables grow, picking up kindling from under the 3 Eucalypt trees on our property for kindling and seeing how the pile on the veranda is growing, the satisfaction at deep cleaning a room and seeing how much better and lovely it smells and looks.


    1. Dear Sewingcreations,
      I think a garden of fruit and veggies is added food security, health and savings. Also I think something more as working in the garden, harvesting, it is all good for the heart and body too!
      I love pickling up kindling too! When I was at the farm I walked in the cool of the evenings. I took a bag each time and collected chloe kindling and pinecones for next to her fireplace... thinking well ahead until winter. To me this was lovely!
      Yes wrote a series and your comment reminds me of it. It is called The Joy of Work I think... It was glorious. It described that good feeling of accomplishment and enjoying how nice things are. I think this is so true.
      With lots of love,

  19. I loveyour Aunty's hammer by the door - my Mum used to have an old softball bat of mine near the front door "just in case" - we were never sure just in case of what though. Our apple tree is loaded again this year, I woke up to a lawn full of half eaten apples thanks to the fruit bats and the cockies - and still the tree is bowing down. I can't wait to start making pies and drying apple rings and even perhaps apple jelly this year. Simple things always bring so much pleasure - it's why littlies love the box and wrapping more than the gift - but this old world is doing it's best to make us forget how to just be and enjoy the things we have. We are so blessed that we can find joy in things like plums (or apples) and helping them to bless our families. Have a lovely week, Cath xxx

    1. Dear Cath, I am loving the baseball bat as well. Good "security system" !
      We are kindred spirits as I know you love a fruit tree just as much as me. I think apples may be the most useful fruit of all since they can be used with mains or deserts.... just so many good things. We have an apple tree but it is only a couple years old, it has about 12 apples on it though!
      I would like to make mint jelly that has apple in it. I have tons of mint....
      Yes this world is full on trying to suck the joy out of us at times. We have to keep our eye on the prize and I keep reminding myself that we know how things turn out in the end. How would like be without faith I don't know...
      I hope you have a great year Cath, with love

  20. Dear Annabel,

    Wow all those plums, how lucky you are! I love plum jam!

    I enjoy many simple things in my life, especially time alone to do just what I want. I like to go walking and talk with my God, to sit outside and listen to all the sounds around me, like the birds and the gentle breeze blowing through the wind chimes. I love taking a walk around my garden, and talking to the chooks. I also like to bury myself in a good non fiction book and increase my knowledge. Most of all I love being at home, preparing simple food, and being a homemaker.

    Your aunt sounds like she is fun to be around. We all need people like this in our lives. I loved her pearl advise. This would stand for many things in our lives. Our journey on this earth is fleeting, so don't save things for special occasions, use and enjoy them now! I used to keep all my special things hidden away in cupboards, now I use them instead!

    I am with Mimi about watching the depressing news or TV in general. Our TV barely goes on anymore, we prefer to relax by playing our old records and sitting to read blogs or do craft etc.


  21. sounds like a very simple & fun family! & yes love simple things; love watching the butterflies & bees going from flower to flower, it slows you down to stop & watch nature.
    loved all those plums! so many! i do love the old fashion varieties, dark flesh types especially. your jams look very delicious & lovely presentation!
    thanx for sharing

  22. Those plums look heavenly! They would cost a fortune where I live. How lucky you are to have an Aunt who is so generous. I too love pearls, simple yet elegant and you can where them with jeans and still look great. Your home is beautiful, you have done a wonderful job! I too would rather have old and fix it up as I choose, they don't make furniture like they use too! Have a wonderful week, hugs Patti Ann

    1. Dear Patti, I love pearls and jeans! That is kind of my style. Thank you re my house. My mixture works out in the end and I like old style things too. I jus think they are better, have character ... At first Andy couldnt figure me out. Especially re rust. I really like rust but he always wanted to de rust and fix things so this confused him greatly! haha!
      I better check out the going rate for plums for my Vicky Challenge. I made a bit more jam today and will use some for little gifts too. It is delicious! Thank you Patti, with love

  23. Such a fun post to read! One of my very favorite sayings is, "Enjoy the little things, for one day you will realize they were the big things."
    I've always felt like I'm so odd or that I should have been a housewife of the 50's. I truly enjoy being a homebody and taking care of my husband. I enjoyed all the years raising our children and all the sweet memories from that time. After reading so many of your followers comments I've realized I'm not so odd after all! It's just that us women that feel the same way are spread throughout the world! Thank you Annabel for bringing us all together. ❤
    Melody in OR

    1. Dear Melody, Thank you! I think I am in love with 50s home keeping style too and although I am so glad we have washing machines etc I love old thing like hand mixers, rolling pins, aprons, canisters.... I love it all. I would like to have a wood stove too and will I think if we end up on the farm.
      I think its beautiful you are a homebody and like looking after your husband! This is lovely! Yet honestly we would be howled down in some circles! Well goodness and sweetness are a joy to see! With much love

    2. I also love the 50's style! In fact I have a 50's dinnette table and chairs. I have several red handled utensils and a hand beater that is fully functional. I also have some canisters and love most kitchen items from that era. I do however like my modern conveniences as you do. We used to have a beautiful wood stove that I could cook on in our old home. Unfortunately we don't in this home. We are hoping to again have one someday. It would definitely help in case of electric loss. I hope the rest of your week is wonderful!
      ❤️ Melody in OR

  24. Annabel what a lovely post, I smiled at your story. What makes me happy is time at home also. Something I love is having a stash of newspaper already separated into two sheets and folded into a stack in my cupboard and peeling all my scraps and waste into that and walking it to the compost bins. Stupid, but I love it. I feel connected to the earth somehow. I take simple pleasure sitting outside with my hens. I adore them. I love wiping down the benches after cooking. I love folding up and ironing the tea towels I made (yes I iron them). I love fluffing up the donna on the bed. I love sweeping the floor. I love planning my meals and trying new recipes. I love being away from negativity and hatred.

    What I also really love is finding you and this group, because I'm not weird, I fit into this group of people who interestingly have very very similar ideas on how the world should be run, how bureaucracy has gone mad, how the simple nurturing ideals from times gone by when there was no computers, mobiles, face time and information overload, how those times were easier and kinder and safer and that is where I like to be. I'll probably never meet you all but I love to belong. I have absolutely loved the week of posts, and wish it was like that every week. Imagine each day having and Annabel post (I know you are shuddering at this Annabel, but to me it would be bliss).

    In my own little patch I'm trying to re create the ideals of the past, but with the nice things like dishwashers and steam irons and computerised sewing machines but still striving for the simple life. It's the only way to be.

    Bless you Annabel from the bottom of my heart, and the other ladies who so generously contribute too. Fi xx

  25. What a sweet day with your aunt! Truly a simply joy! I'm with you on the pearls...... I love that she wears them to bed!

  26. The simple joys are the best. How wonderful on all that lovely fruit, and that it is available to you. What precious memories and your Aunt sounds like a lovely lady.
    Have a blessed day.

  27. What an uplifting post and comments! I, too, love being at home and cannot understand women who say they would be so bored if they had to stay home. Maybe it's being dissatisfied with "small things". If you can enjoy the small and simple, you can be happy pretty much all the time.
    I love going to bed on fresh line-dried linens, waking up to the birds singing, making a meal that is completely home-grown, making jam to have for the winter. Last summer, we discovered a big patch of black raspberries out behind our garage. They had never been there before, but I guess birds had dropped seeds and now we have another fruit crop.
    I also like going garage-saleing with my husband on a Saturday morning and finding something to use in our home, then coming home, washing it all up and putting it in its new place.
    I could go on and on! So looking forward to these posts. Thankyou so much Annabel!
    Blessings, Marie

  28. Dear Annabel and lovely bluebirds , this is a lovely post Annabel about your day with your aunt . I loved reading about her pearl wearing while picking plums . I don’t feel so odd now ,with how I dress ,being home based .
    My aunt in a home (because she is sick not senile) still manages to wear her own style with a funky edge ie big necklace, colour patch in her hair to match her outfit . She is the best inspiration for being oneself no matter that her body is failing .
    I had a lovely birthday with my family around and fish n chips at the beach as they didn’t want me to cook .
    Although I haven’t replied to all of your recent daily posts I have appreciated them and been inspired. I’ve had family and little ones around and less time , a little one is here now with me for the day ,we have the timer then it’s off to get ready and go out .
    Lana -what a gorgeous pear story !
    Prayers said for sweet Alli and family x
    With love Maria xxx

  29. "Enjoy the little things, for one day you will realize they were the big things." Oh how true.
    So wonderful to hear you were building memories with your aunt.

    My fondest times are with my Grandchildren or Son when we are out foraging or thrifting. It seems standing under a tree picking that the most wonderful conversations occur, or when in a field picking flowers. My Son to this day loves telling his children of foraging with his Mom and how he would look forward to the pies or jams that were produced.

    It is the simple things in life that form our memories, I cherish ones of my Grandmother mushroom hunting while we were out on a picnic, my Aunt letting me know it was time to walk across the street and pick hickory nuts from the woods together.

    Now I try to build memories with my Grandchildren, foraging, gleaming, baking and canning. I feel more secure knowing they will have basic skills others their age do not and may never have.

    I can sit and crochet and let the world slip away, it is so calming, well until I hit a complicated pattern and get frustrated. But then when I overcome it, I am jubilant. My husband thinks I am a tad bit off because I get excited seeing elderberries blossoming beside the road, or mullein, a field of dandelion. I think herbs, food, he thinks weeds.

    Thank you for sharing your day with us.

    (PS: Sorry I have been AWOL, I have been down ill and am just starting my mend to recovery.)

  30. You must make plum syrup! It's heavenly! My college roommate lives in Montana (NW US) and has plum trees. She has sent me her plum syrup several times and it's my very favorite.

    Your aunt sounds like someone I would just LOVE to spend an afternoon with. The comment about the pearls and the ambulance set me off in a fit of giggles!

  31. I too am sending prayers for Alli and her family. Fi

  32. Loved this! You are my kinda girl, Annabel :). "Rather be home making jam than on a jet" -- so cute! And true. Man, you girls worked hard! You're so blessed to have family members still living that connect you to your past. Talking about how your Nan loved simple things, and your dad remembering. That priceless. Reminds me of two yrs ago when I saw my last living link to my dad....I cried. Joyous cry, ya know?
    I love what you wrote about your Aunt wearing her pearls! for the ambulance guys ;) Really makes me want to wear mine -- it will remind me of you and your Auntie :)
    Well, much love and kudos on your gorgeous plum jam!

  33. The plums are beautiful. I love to can jellies and jams also. Your Aunt sounds like a lovely person. It truly is the simple small things that bring the most happiness!

  34. Dear Annabel,

    What a bounty you brought home, and sounds like you had a lovely time with your Aunt! I giggled at the "hates golf" bit. Also at the story about your Nana and the doctor changing the light! :)

    I love weeding in my sounds weird, but it is so relaxing. I also love seeing my shelves of canned goods in my pantry, smelling freshly baked bread, climbing into a freshly made bed of sun-dried sheets, giving my girls kisses good morning (when they're still asleep...and even though they're teenagers, their cheeks are still just those of my little babes when they're still asleep!!:)), and having dinner by candlelight, which we do every night! I also love the smell of old fashioned roses...taking the lid off a jar of dried rose petals in the middle of winter: it always smells like honey and summertime.

    I am smiling just thinking of all those things!

    xx Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen,
      I love your dinner by candle light and sun dried sheets... and teenager kisses. So beautiful. Life is good when we think on these kinds of things! With love

  35. What a lovely day you had. Your Aunt and Nanna seem like such sweet ladies. Very respectful and mannerly too. Thanks for sharing. (It has encouraged me to look at things a little differently rather than being a sour puss when I have to pick up of the chores I don't enjoy.)

    1. Dear Christina,
      Thank you! I am just reading "The Long Winter" as part of one of Patsys classes. I have a feeling this one will also improve my love of picking up kindling. Being able to provide warmth is a blessing. I have heard f people so cold they end up buying furniture and anything at all to survive. So to me a good weed heap and lots of basket of kindling is better than money in the bank! I also love the look of it! And who needs a gym when we are out doing al these kinds to things! On top of this the last few years the home stores have sold little bundles of sticks tied up as they look so nice! I laughed at that one as who cant pick up sticks! Thank you for commenting! With love Annabelxxx

  36. What a wonderful post about your Aunt and your Nanna. Gosh those plums--could they be anymore perfect? It is wonderful to find joy in the simple blessings--which actually are really special blessings. I find joy in the morning sky when I go in my kitchen each morning. I also love to see sunshine pouring through the windows, the good smells of home cooking, looking at full faces of children (when they still have that baby fat/chubby cheeks), or touching a baby's skin, holding a baby, smelling roses that the scent takes me back to when I was a child and we had red roses growing on a trellis that held up our clothes line. I like a cozy clean bed, the quietness so that I can think, I like watching an ant crawl around, I love watching birds in the trees, hearing birds sing, morning coffee, a good visit with my sister in law who is also a great friend. I like spending time with my 3 brothers and talking about our growing up days. Oh, there are so many 'simple' things to be thankful for. Like the old hymn says, "count your blessings, name them one by one, count your many blessings see what God has done..." I would rather be home creating something whether it be a craft or jam, or a good meal than doing something 'exciting'. Observing and being outside in nature make me the happiest. I used to only find happiness in shopping--now I hate to shop--refuse to go to malls! And I've never cared for golf either!

    1. Dear Joy, Your list is full of gorgeous things. I agree with you that being out in nature is a very good and restoring thing. And peaceful. It does me so much good. And once I loved shopping and now I hate to go into the mall or crowded spaces and department stores etc. Just the same! I enjoy a fruit and veggie shop or an op shop but thats about it! We are very much the same! With love

  37. Hi Annabel and everyone,

    What a wonderful day - the plums are beautiful and I love the jam that you made with them. Annabel, I am also a "pearl girl" and am wearing my earrings right now! They really do go with everything and are so pretty.

    Simple things that make me happy: a hot cup of tea, sitting in front of the fire on a rainy or grey day, baking - I love the entire process, how meditative it can be, and how it makes your whole house smell good, walks in nature, reading a good book, knitting, planting and harvesting, watching birds at the feeders or going about their bird business in nature, spending time with my husband just talking or going for a walk, grooming the horses (sometimes dusty, but very satisfying!), and, perhaps weirdly, organizing things. I love when my fridge/pantry/bookshelves/craft supplies/etc. are neatly arranged and I can find everything easily. It brings such a feeling of contentment and relaxation.

    I hope everyone has a great day,

  38. Hi Annabel,

    I enjoyed reading about your visit with your fun aunt, and I am impressed with all that plum picking! I haven't seen a plum tree where I live, and fruit trees aren't around. My mother remembers that my great grandmother's yard had plenty of fruit to pick, and there were nuts too. She would make ice cream and sometimes make snow cones to sell nearby, and my great granddad would go to the bay and bring home fresh crabs.
    Something simple that brings me contentment is using my tea kettle on the stove and preparing a cup of tea, and also using a pretty plate. Today I had a quiet, very satisfying time completing the last strips and binding my very first pieced quilt block. Not bad for starters. I will try and improve the next one. Best wishes to you and all your reading visitors. Alexine in Maryland

    1. Dear Alexine, Thank you! I would have loved your Great Grandmothers garden! And your Great Granddad and his fishing for crabs! What lovely memories.
      I am the same with a cup of tea and a pretty plate. Beautiful. Well done on your quilt! That is an achievement! Many thanks! With love


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