Faith Family Friends

Celebrating the Joy of Living & Home Making ~

Baking, Cooking, Decorating, Tea Time, and taking Inspiration from those I love and the world around me...

A sharing of my heart and my home from a Christian perspective

...with a wee bit of whimsy added.

Thursday, 15 August 2019

A Time to Live

What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven in to the lives of others. ~ unknown

Hello my dear friends! I have been away for a little over a month and so much has happened since I took my break. I will try to bring you up to date in this post.

About three weeks ago, I had a lovely visit with my two aunts and a cousin who came over from New Brunswick to see my mother and me. Alas, my mother was sleeping and unresponsive when they visited her at the nursing home. That was disappointing! We did however enjoy each other's company when they came to my home.

My middle son arrived the end of July and we had a wonderful visit. We spent a lot of time together and he spent a lot of time by himself out at the beach and walking around the city of Charlottetown, his old stomping grounds. 

It was definitely a different kind of vacation this year!

While he was home, my mother passed away. We had gone in to visit her on Sunday afternoon, the 4th of August, and she passed that night. It was as though she had been waiting for him. Since December, she had seen all three of my boys. One lives here but two of them live very far away. The youngest lives in the States and the other lives on the west coast. She was less than a month from her ninetieth birthday.

So, most of last week we were busy making arrangements and cleaning out her room at the nursing home.

My mother on her eightieth birthday.

Our youngest son was in Portugal at a Math Conference and unfortunately, he couldn't get his ticket or accommodations refunded so he couldn't be here. 

My brother, who lives in Indiana, had heart surgery two days after my mother passed so he couldn't make it either. He has recovered and is back home.

The funeral was small and private and my mother is resting with my Daddy now.

Almost every evening, my middle son would go out to the beach and take a walk by himself. I guess he thought about his grandmother while he was out there, and just life in general. He lives a very busy lifestyle so he drank in the calm and quiet of the beach when no one was around. These are two of his pictures. 

Our middle son left Sunday evening to fly back to his family, and on Monday, Hubby returned to work after his two weeks of vacation. I had company on Monday afternoon so I haven't really been by myself. I'm not sure it has really hit me yet that my mother is gone because of course I had family around me and I've been so busy. 

Yesterday, Hubby had the day off so we went to Cavendish where we toured Green Gables again. We hadn't been there in about ten years so it was nice to go again. I will share some photos next time I post. I have some photos from my youngest son's trip to Portugal as well which will be in another post. 

When my children were growing up, I used to tell them to live this day as though it was their last. Hopefully, by instilling that kind of attitude in them, it would help make them kinder and to do their best to make the world around them a better place just by being here. 

The death of a loved one makes you so much more aware of your own mortality; to make the best of the time you have been given. Till next time, God bless you, and be sure to live your best life right now!

Live in such a way that the world will be glad you did. ~ Mark Lucado

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Monday, 15 July 2019

Christmas in July

I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all year. ~ Charles Dickens

Hello my lovely friends! I decided to do one more post before my son comes home for a visit. My grandson is also coming home on the weekend so I'm pretty happy!

It's July and I haven't done a Christmas in July post for a while so I thought now would be a good time. I know many of us like to celebrate this in the middle of summer. Christmas is always such a happy time. Even Hallmark has dedicated the month of July to feature their Christmas movies. 

Do you know where Christmas in July originated? Well, I looked it up and apparently the precise beginnings of the celebration is not very clear. Some say it began in Europe while others claim it started 84 years ago at a summer camp in North Carolina. Still others claim it began at another time and in a different place.

Regardless of when it actually started, oftentimes we here in the northern hemisphere crave the cooler temperatures of wintertime when we are sweating and uncomfortable from the heat and humidity. Well, to be honest, I don't crave the wintertime but it seems many do. 
We are less than six months from Christmas and we miss the holiday spirit and other traditions that the holiday season evokes. That ultimately leads folks to thoughts of the holiday season and Christmas trees, gift giving, and yes, even snow. I like to think that during the holiday season, there is just a little bit more love and caring for others being shed abroad in our hearts, don't you? 

Some of you like to put up a little tree in celebration of this event. I don't have mine up this year because I'm busy preparing for my company. However, my four foot tree trimmed in robin egg blue, pink, and gold would make an excellent tree for this occasion.

This time of year I always think of my father because his birthday was in July and he adored Christmas. He passed his love for Christmas and all its magic on to me.

Celebrate love. It is the breath of your existence and the best of all reasons for living. ~ Author unknown 

My father adored Old Country Roses. It was his favourite china pattern so I am using it today in memory of him.
One year, my sweet hubby gifted me with this vintage OCR teacup on my Daddy's birthday in remembrance of him.

"I believe I could be a model child if I were just invited out to tea every day." ~ Anne Shirley of Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery

My family gifted me with the OCR teapot for my birthday a few years ago. These pieces are very special to me in many ways and I know my father would have been delighted that I have them! 

I love how Royal Albert pays such attention to detail like the gold leaf on the handle. 

...and a bouquet of roses on the spout. 

Most of my OCR pieces are gifts from family members. 

Please help yourself to a tea sandwich. There is both egg and chicken salad; my favourites for tea time.

My light fruit cake, mince tarts, and donut holes make up this plate of treats. The fruit cake and donuts were my grandmother's recipes.

One of our Christmas traditions was Daddy and I would make donuts together. I would make up the batter and cut them out and he would slip them carefully into the lard and watch them closely. Some we left plain and some we sugared, while others we covered in cinnamon sugar. After he passed, I continued to make them by myself. Now my hubby helps me because it can be a big job as I still make everything from scratch. They are old-fashioned donuts and you can't buy those in a bakery.

I usually make sticky date pudding twice a year; once at Christmas and once during the summer. So we will have some today.

This rich date pudding is so scrumptious sitting in a warm pool of toffee sauce.

Everyone loves my sugar plum cookies so I always freeze some. I took some out to enjoy with our tea.

Here we have a plate of sugar plums, gingerbread, and pumpkin nut bread.

You know, we are all blessed with special people in our lives and my father was one of those people. He taught me what was important in life and he took me to church every Sunday. It's a pity  he didn't live long enough to see how his grandchildren turned out. He would have been so proud to know that one of his great grandchildren has been named after him.

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

I hope I have inspired you to celebrate a little Christmas in July. It could be as simple as decorating a little tree or hanging a wreath. You might bake a treat you only make at Christmastime. Maybe you could do something nice and unexpected for that little old lady in the nursing home who you know never has visitors. Or surprise someone special with a little something "just because." How about a movie night with a loved one and sip hot chocolate while watching one of Hallmark's lovely Christmas movies? 

I think it's nice to have a break in the summertime when we can remember how beautiful Christmas is! It is not only the happiest time of year but it is also a time when others go out of their way a little more to make someone else feel special. It is showing good will toward men. Would that it could last all year!

Christmas is a time to open our hearts to God and His gifts. Just like the rest of the year. ~ Author unknown

Thank you so much for your visit and I'll see you when I get back in August. Till then, take care and enjoy your summer. Hugs to all.

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi