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.

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Everything's Coming Up Roses...Or Not!

The shortest day has passed, and whatever nastiness of weather we may look forward to in January and February, at least we notice that the days are getting longer. ~ Vita Sackville-Wes

Hello dear friends! I have been missing in Blogland the last few weeks and decided I ought to post something so you all know I'm still here.

It's a brand new year; a brand new decade actually, and I have been reflecting on the past year or so. "Everything's coming up roses," is not quite true here in my home; only on my china. 

The past year was a difficult one for our family. The new year hasn't started out well either, but I have decided to put one foot in front of the other and move forward. I refuse to let my woes get the best of me. 

The Lord knows the trials we are going through and if we allow Him to, He will take us through those times with as much grace as possible. 

Appreciation can make a day - even change a life. ~ Margaret Cousins

I honestly believe that we all have something we can be grateful for, even when everything seems to be falling apart! If we set our minds on what we are grateful for, we can enjoy the beauty, the joy, and the blessings that come our way each day. Philippians 4:8

Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. ~ Maya Angelou

After the Holiday season, I was wiped out and I still don't have a lot of energy. My condition will not get better and I have come to terms with that long ago, but sometimes, I still think like I did before I was diagnosed with a form of muscular dystrophy. I am not Super Woman, and I have discovered and come to the bleak conclusion that I can no longer do certain things. I'll be honest, it has been a hard pill to swallow! Christmas dinner is one of those things. We will have to do something different next year and I already have a plan in mind. I do love Christmas in spite of all the work I put into it. My hubby has been after me the past number of years to stop making a big dinner because it wears me out. I have been stubborn and wouldn't give in to it, and I always pay for it afterwards.

It's been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will. ~ LM Montgomery - Anne of Green Gables 

I have done some baking however for which my hubby is thankful! I like being in my kitchen and creating something delicious on my good days. One must keep the home fires burning even when things are not ideal. 

Home made cinnamon rolls and bran muffins.

I received some sad news from my brother since my last posting. He lives in the US and he called me on my birthday {New Year's Day} to tell me that he has lung cancer. He is my only brother and we were fairly close growing up, but because he lived away for so many years, Calgary, Alberta, and now in Indiana, we rarely see each other, and we have grown apart. But he is still my little brother and he needs prayer. Thank you to those of you who will pray for him! His name is Dennis.

Needless to say, I have been concerned for him because he told me he probably doesn't have long. Neither one of us can travel so I daresay I shall never see him again. When our mother passed last August, he was unable to attend the funeral because he had heart surgery that week. It was his fifth surgery in recent years so he hasn't been well for a while. It is all very sad and I feel helpless. All I can do is pray for him and believe the Lord will take care of him. I'm so thankful for childhood memories.

I don't know what lies around the bend in the road but I'm going to believe the best does. ~ LM Montgomery

Now that I have brought you up to date, I would like to share a little tea time with you.
I haven't had a proper tea in quite some time so I made a few tea sandwiches and arranged those on the tiered stand with some bran muffins, cinnamon rolls, and sugar plums. I had cut up some fruit cake too but there was no room for it on the stand. Tea sandwiches are egg salad on whole wheat and tuna salad on ciabatta bread. 
You have seen my Grace teapot before and the cups and saucers are Old English Roses and Paragon.

Hubby will enjoy this later this evening. My tea is a spicy rooibos. Would you like to join me? 

You owe it to everyone you love to find pockets of tranquility in your busy world. ~ unknown

A cuppa always helps one to relax and feel better, don't you think?

The pretty flowers are a bouquet that I received Saturday night at a church function. Every winter the board of elders holds a dinner for the pastor, the elders, and their wives. So this is mine. I love the shasta daisy!

May your life always be like a pot of tea... Overflowing to warm the soul. ~ an Irish blessing

February is on the way and winter is moving on, for which I am also thankful! Thank you for visiting and enjoy this last week of January, dear friends.  

Friends are flowers in the garden of life. - unknown

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi


  1. Oh, Sandi, I am so sorry to hear about your brother. I, too, have a younger brother, so I can relate to how you are feeling. I will pray for both Dennis and you.

    I can also understand your frustration at wanting to do it all, but not being able to. Back in 1994 (when I was 33), my health was a mess, and my doctor told me I was "looking at a lupus diagnosis." I had no choice but to scale back and slow down, but it took me a couple years to accept that. I kept running and doing for as long as I could, but I eventually crashed. After finally slowing down, I ended up moderately regaining my health, but even today (25 years later!), I have to minimize my activity level. Too much Energizer Bunny creates stress for me, and the old health problems return.

    All that to say, I do understand that you want to do certain things and that it is so hard to say "no" to doing them. But you have an amazing attitude, so I have no doubt that whatever you do for Christmas dinner next year will be wonderful and beautiful!!

    Your tea tray looks lovely and yummy. I need to do something fun like that for myself.

    The flowers are so beautiful. Such a bright spot in a dreary, colorless winter.

    Blessings and hugs,

    P.S. I changed my blog name. I am no longer This Beautiful Life, but am Writing to Remember.

  2. Hi, Sandi. I know what it's like to be overwhelmed with the holidays. This year was our turn-my 2 boys take turns in a goofy rotation we do depending on who has what going on. I had a knee replacement---in October, so we had to adapt...No full size Christmas tree, decor was from 3 totes, but lots of lights and colorful vintage linens. Dinner was scaled down to a buffet for 13---from a formal meal. Horror upon horrors, we used paper plates and plastic glasses and silverware. We still had candlelight and way too much food, which was immediately split in containers and sent home. Everyone brought something---and it was about our Gathering, the sharing, a silly gift exchanges, good food, and carols in the background, and no devices.

    It's not about a perfect blogpost meal---it's about family and nothing else. We had such a wonderful time---NO one took photos, except a few silly share! It was one of the Merriest Christmases in a long time!

  3. Sandi, this season of life( aging) is hard. We cannot do the things we once did. Even though I still feel young inside, I cant go like I once did! I hope you will find a new normail for you allowing for physical limitations. I am so sorry to hear about your brother. Again, this season of life where we are losing those that are dear to us is HARD. Hugs and Prayers to you. Your tea table looks so pretty and I am sure it is a mood lifter on these winter days. Here in North Alabama, it has been a very dreary January. I am hoping February will bring some sunshine. Daffodils are starting to bloom so spring cannot be far behind.

  4. Oh Sandi, I am truly sorry to hear about your brother Dennis, and I will keep him in my prayers. Having lost my oldest brother to leukemia last year, I know what it feels like to lose a brother that you love. I am thankful to still have another brother and a sister, but losing our oldest brother was hard for us all. Recently I have also said farewell to three different dear friends, and that has been hard to think about. As we age we see so many with difficulties and health issues and those going on before us when we still think of them as too young. I am also sorry for your personal health issues, and pray that God will grant you strength for each day to do the things that you really need to do, and then some of the sweet things you love to do. Just take it one day at a time and let the Lord give you strength and grace for each new day. He may show you special things in this time that you never knew before. And we really don't have to do such elaborate dinners, etc., anymore. I know I am not able to do as much as before. We have been simplifying our holiday dinners, etc., for the last few years as well. I want more time to spend just enjoying being together rather than worrying about cooking and cleaning. So we keep it simple, and no one has complained a bit. Praying for you now. I love your beautiful posts, and seeing your lovely table and tea times. Do what you can and what you love. But keep it simple. Blessings to you today dear friend.

  5. I'm so sorry to hear about your brother. Keeping you both in my prayers.

  6. Thank you for the update, Sandi. I've always admired your resilience in the face of adversity.

    I'm very sorry to hear about your brother. I'll remember him in my prayers.

    You always set the prettiest tea tables--your vignette could be for a calendar!

  7. Dear Sandi ~ I am so sorry to read the news about your dear brother. May you both feel God's loving presence surrounding you at this time.

    You set such lovely table settings and your food always looks wonderful. As we grow older and have our limitations, we definitely need to change the way we have done things. May we be given the grace, peace and joy to live each new day we are blessed with. I know you will have a lovely holiday dinner next year whatever you decide to do.

    Love, hugs & prayer ~ FlowerLady

  8. Dearest Sandi, I am so sorry to read this about your little brother. I will lift Dennis up to our Lord and you. I know you have been through so much. Asking God to give you a fresh dose of energy dear lady. Asking our Lord to cover your brother with himself in such a way that Dennis has a peace that will surpass all understanding. And as always...I love your beautiful tea tables. I agree with Margie....your vignette could be for a calendar. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  9. Thank you for updating us, Sandi, on what's going on with your life. I so admire your positive attitude, and your love of your home and family. Prayers will be said for Dennis, your dear brother. Your tea table and those cheery flowers made me smile on this cold, dreary day. Love and hugs are sent to you....

  10. Dear Sandi. I'm so sorry to hear about your brother Dennis and your health issues. I hope your energy comes back and you are feeling better as this Winter turns to Spring. You are a great baker. Your husband is a lucky man that you make all those goodies for him. Cinnamon rolls are a favourite in my family also. I made a banana loaf this morning and forgot to put the eggs in. A sign of old age.
    Take care and get a lot of rest. Keeping Dennis and you in my thoughts and prayers. Thelma xo

  11. I'm so sorry about your brother Sandi. I'm glad you gave us an update on your health too. You're in my thoughts.


  12. So sorry, Sandi, to hear about your health and especially about your brother. Will be praying.

    I have a new blog. Would love it if you could visit it.

    My best to you,
    Linda S.

  13. Dear Sandi,
    My prayer for you is as each day passes, you will feel stronger. And I would love to spend teatime with you! It all looks delicious and so very pretty. How nice to receive that lovely bouquet in the middle of January..
    Our memories are certainly a treasure. Your brother Dennis is in my prayers.
    Blessings, Linda

  14. It all ways seems like trials seem to bundle up--making such a huge burden you wonder how you can haul it around. I hope you can MOVE through this, reconnect with your brother, share your past experiences and the joy of those times--make everything easier. Facing mortality IS daunting, for all of us...only if we succumb to it... instead of like my grandmother who said, "Make sure I go out with lipstick, a new dress, a chicken under my arm and a full bottle of wine." I have to smile every time I think of that.

  15. Your tea time looks delicious! I am praying for you and your brother, may the good Lord take care of you both! That is a beautiful bouquet of flowers and certainly will brighten these long dreary days of winter... Hugs.

  16. You've had quite the journey these past months and now I'm so sorry for your brother's sad news. Putting one foot in front of the other ... sometimes that's all we can do. I ask the Lord to give you and your brother courage and strength and even a spirit of humour to help you through these days moment by moment, step by step.

    Your tea looks so inviting and delicious. Egg and tuna, yum, two of my favourite sandwiches.

    Wishing you a beautiful weekend, Sandi.
    Brenda xox

  17. Sandi,
    Thanks so much for taking the time to visit! I am so sorry to hear that you are not feeling well.....Christmas was such a whirlwind for us that I wondered how I did it when I was still working...Last year, it was hard for me to accept that I could not do things that I used to d and wanted to do...So far, I have managed to continue doing those things but I will admit that it is harder and I do need to pare down a bit, which I have been doing....Your tea pot and ta cups are lovely!! I always enjoy visiting you because you always bring brightness to my day!!Happy Belated Birthday to you, dear friend!!

  18. You set the most magnificent table. I am praying for you and yours. I am so very sorry about your brother. 2019 was quite difficult for all of us too. I ray 2020 is a better year. HUGS and LOVE to you sweet friend.

  19. Sandi, so sorry about your brother. Last time I lost a loved one and was thinking about all the recent losses, I came up with a morbid but funny sounding line that lightened the moment; but this might not be the right time to share it with you. Your proper tea looks lovely, and I would especially enjoy those beautiful sandwiches.

  20. Hello Sandi,
    So sorry to hear about your brother, and I hope that you are feeling better. Your tea and treats look delicious! Keeping you and yours in my prayers.


I am delighted to have you visit me and I read every comment. Please forgive me for not being able to visit you all as there are so many of you lovely bloggy friends now. I will visit as much as possible. I wish you a day filled with JOY!

Also, due to the amount of spam I've been getting, I have had to set Comment Moderation. ~ Sandi