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.

Monday 11 July 2022

A Time to Say Good-bye!

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. ~ Sandi

Hello my dear blogging friends! I have been absent from my blogging for a few months, and I feel I should let you know what is going on with me.

Before I get into all of that, I want you to know that the past fourteen years have been a joy to me! I have invited you to my Tea parties and HOME parties and we have had such a good time, haven't we? I have shared numerous posts of my collection of Rose Chintz china which I am especially fond of. Many of you know the story of where most of it came from and my dear Auntie P who gifted it to me.  

I have shared my extensive collection of china and teapots with you, and I have shared some of my stories. We have walked our beaches together, and we have toured Green Gables together. It has been a lot of fun.

                       The Haunted Wood at Green Gables.

The truth is, and it pains me to tell you this, the past year in particular, has been very difficult. Most of you are not aware that I have some fairly serious health issues which I will share with you now. I don't need to share everything. I only wish for you to understand some of my struggle and why I have made a decision. 

When I was in my mid-thirties, I became very ill with a neuromuscular disorder which affected all of my voluntary muscles as well as my lungs. It has caused me a considerable change in life style and has made me extremely accident prone. With a compromised immune system, I am vulnerable to all manner of health issues.

Up until that point, I had always been very active and high energy with a very strong constitution. When I was first diagnosed, I made up my mind that whatever happened, I was going to fight this with everything within me. I also knew that God would be with me and He would see me through it all. 

At the time of my diagnosis, my three sons were still quite young. One was in his early teens, the middle guy was a tween, and my youngest was just a little boy. I knew my kids still needed their mom; especially my youngest, so I tried especially hard to lead a normal life for their sakes. Every time I looked into the big blue eyes of my little boy, I knew I couldn’t give up. I had to keep going and live as normally as possible.

                       My take on a Victorian sponge cake.

It took a couple of years for the specialists to get me levelled out with medication so I could operate as normally as possible. During that time, most of my activities came to a halt. I was not able to attend church and I was judged rather harshly for that. Some folks didn’t understand nor did some of them really try to. While I was housebound, I read my Bible and I spent a great deal of time in prayer. So, my time was not wasted.

Because of my condition, I had some very bad falls. Sometimes my legs would give out on me and oftentimes if I was especially tired, I could trip over my own feet. Stairs are not my friend. 

Broken bones, sprained and strained muscles, as well as torn muscles and ligaments became a way of life for me. My physiotherapist once told me because of my disorder, I was probably going to be seeing him for quite some time. He was right of course. Accidents happen when I least expect them.

After a number of years, I became strong enough to return to church and ministry. I had spent seven years at home but I grew a lot and I ministered to a lot of people. The Lord can use us even when we are incapacitated if we allow Him to. 

My 4th of July cake.


                          My favourite Rose Chintz and lilacs.

When Hubby and I resigned from our pastorate, I started blogging because I felt I needed an outlet of sorts for creativity. You see, I had been the music director and I also wrote short stories for the bulletins. Blogging helped fill the void and I got to know so many lovely ladies the world over. It has been wonderful!

                         Two of our fabulous beaches.


This photo below was taken by my son and I love the ripples he caught in the sand.

At that time, I was still getting out to the beach for walks which was probably my favourite thing to do, and thrift shopping, as well as having friends in for tea. But I was not able to drive any longer and I became very dependant on my hubby to get me around. It is a good thing that he didn't mind. Hubby is a very patient man!

                              One of my thrifted teacups.

My husband and I had Home Bible study groups for over thirty-five years, before and after we resigned from our church. I always enjoyed preparing treats for the groups and entertaining in my home. It gave me much pleasure to minister to others.

                             Roses from my garden.

In 2013, I had a couple of very bad falls, and I began experiencing more difficulty. But I managed to keep a positive attitude. I knew that I would be able to minister to others more effectively if I counted my blessings instead of my woes. Of course we all know having a positive attitude can take one a very long way. My Lord enabled me to do that for a very long time, and I am grateful. I told myself there were others much worse off than me, and we all know that to be true.

But, as I became more and more incapacitated, little by little, I was not able to do the things I used to do. This annoyed me to no end. You see, I always challenged myself. Now, my body was really challenging me. Sometimes I got angry because I was losing control. But I still knew that God was much bigger and wiser than I am and I always trusted Him to get me through the hard times, instead of giving in to that anger.

I am stubborn! Perhaps that is a good thing, because I don’t like giving in to things, especially pain. On the other hand, I tend to overdo and then I pay for it. Sometimes I will have another accident because I did overdo. It is frustrating! 

I guess I have always wanted to be strong and not give in to weaknesses. I didn’t want to be a burden to anyone, especially my family. 

I am obviously an A type personality and it’s difficult to admit that I have to start taking better care of myself. I can’t bake as much as I used to and that is incredibly hard on me. My hands are so bad that I cannot peel an apple or a potato. I cannot spend any more than five to ten minutes on my feet or my back causes me extreme pain. In regards to this back of mine, I need surgery but they don’t recommend it because it is an 8 to 10 hour surgery, and because of my condition, I am a risky case. I was told by a surgeon and my neurologist that it probably wouldn't work anyway.

More and more my hubby has taken over the role of house keeper. This is a very hard pill for me to swallow. I can no longer shop, go for walks, or enjoy a coffee in the evenings down at the boardwalk like we used to do. My life has become very difficult and yes, boring!

I have been hesitant to confide in you because I have strived to keep my blog upbeat and as interesting as I am able. But I feel my time in Blogland is coming to an end. I have had a wonderful time hosting parties and sharing. A part of me wants to continue but it has become increasingly hard for me. 

Shooting a tea time for example is especially difficult because I have to get the china out and set it up. My hubby isn't always here to help take the china down for me. He works part time at a job he loves and he goes to the gym. He is also involved in the church. He is still very active and he needs to be.

I always liked to share a treat with a recipe when I had a tea time, but it is becoming increasingly difficult for me to do that. I don’t get out much so pictures of the Island and other things that interest me have come to a standstill. 

So, my dear blogging friends, I have so enjoyed my time with all of you here in Blogland, but I think it is best to close down. Perhaps one day I will start a site on Facebook, who knows? When I feel up to it, I may try to visit some of you.

My love and thanks go out to all of you for coming to visit and leaving your delightful comments over the years. You have all been such an encouragement to me. A few of you have been especially kind to me, sending me cards and gifts over the years. You know who you are, and I will always appreciate your thoughtfulness. 

It has been lovely belonging to such a caring "village" of blogging friends.

Please take good care of yourselves, stay well, and remember God loves you, and so do I! I will miss you.

FYI ~ The pictures I have shared on this post are from some of my postings from over the years and I hope you enjoy them.

                             Sunset at Victoria Park.

When asked if my cup is half-filled or half-empty; my only response is that I am thankful I have a cup. ~ unknown

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Monday 28 March 2022

Tea with Anne and Me

Happiness is often the only thing 
you can give without having it,
and it is by giving it 
that you acquire it. ~ Voltaire

Good morning and a Happy Spring to you all, dear friends! 

Spring brings with it a promise of lovely things to come...
We throw off our heavy coats and boots and relish the bare ground beneath our feet.
It's the season of renewal and there is a sense of expectancy in the air. Folks wear a smile and there is a noticeable spring in their step.

When springtime arrives, I oftentimes do think of childhood days and Anne of Green Gables. I have all the books! Have you ever read them? If you haven't, then I suggest you do because you will love them. They are delightful! And if you are fortunate enough to own a copy of Kevin Sullivan's 1985 Anne of Green Gables TV series, then watch it again for a trip down Memory Lane of days gone by. It is by far the most accurate story telling from the book. The more recent versions stray too far from the original writings and many conversations and subjects are not a part of the book. It bothers me a great deal to see the innocent story that LM Montgomery penned, distorted in the way it has been. 

It has actually been quite some time since I have set a tea table with Anne of Green Gables in mind and I decided it would be fun to do one again. I must give Pamela a shout out because it was reading of one of her comments that I decided to do this post. I hope you enjoy!

Tucked away on the east coast of Canada, is a little island called Prince Edward Island, and on this island is a charming place called Green Gables.

It is not a figment of her imagination, but a real place, which our famous author Lucy Maud Montgomery brought to life in her stories, Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, among others. 

LM Montgomery's redheaded heroine, although she is a fictional character, is famous the world over and she brings to Prince Edward Island thousands of tourists every year. It is thought that Montgomery's heroine was based upon her own life as a girl; a young girl in the late 1800s who grows up on PEI and experiences life through her vivid imagination and extraordinary vocabulary which sometimes gets her into trouble. It is a story that will warm your heart and make you laugh. 

When I was a girl, my family had moved from New Brunswick to PEI and I was very lonely for the extended family we left behind. I was shy and I was an "outsider" because there weren't many families from "away" moving to the Island at that time. I didn't quite know where I fit in you see.
I had quite the imagination as well and I took solace in reading the Anne books and fairy tales, anything that would whisk me away from my lonely life.
My father used to play golf at Green Gables and he would always take my brother and me along with him. My brother and I had the run of the place and each time Daddy went golfing, we had the most fun. It was while walking through the Haunted Wood and Lover's Lane, as well as touring the Green Gables house that I felt a real kinship with Anne.

So, here is my Anne. Her hair is indeed very red or titian, although it doesn't look like it here. The light was playing havoc with the colours.
She is here just long enough to bid you, "Hello!" and then she will go back to her special place. She was the last Christmas present from my father, so she holds a very special spot. 

This is an earlier image of her from another post. You can see her braids are quite red and she has green eyes like me.

On the tea table is one of my favourite table cloths. It is one of a kind which I have named Bernideen. I brought out some pieces in different china patterns in a pink theme because of course, Anne loved pink although she couldn't wear it very well because of her red hair. 

Please join me for some tea sandwiches and Anne's favourite, ice cream.

"I can just imagine myself sitting down at the head of the table and pouring out the tea," said Anne, shutting her eyes ecstatically. "And asking Diana if she takes sugar! I know she doesn't but of course I'll ask her as if I didn't know." ~ LM Montgomery - Anne of Green Gables

The teapot I found at our Anne of Green Gables Store a few years ago. Isn't she lovely, decorated with those beautiful pink roses?

I set out three of my LM Montgomery books. The wee birdie is there, just because...Spring is here!

I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string. ~ LM Montgomery - Anne of Avonlea

My other little Anne doll, is also from my father. Her arms and legs are filled with Island sand. The tulips are just starting to open and are the most delicate shade of pink.

The tea sandwiches are egg salad on white bread and cucumber with cream cheese on whole wheat.

"Dear old world. You are very lovely and I am glad to be alive in you." - LM Montgomery - Anne of Green Gables

Anne's favourite; ice cream, and some homemade strawberry preserves on top will be our sweet today. 

"The ice cream was delicious, Marilla, and it was so lovely and dissipated to be sitting there eating it at eleven o'clock at night." ~ LM Montgomery - Anne of Green Gables

The tulips have finally opened! You can barely tell from the picture that they are of palest pink.
A lot of people prefer their tulips standing straight and tall, like soldiers. I prefer them dancing a bit like they are here, but that is only my preference.

This concludes my tea for today. Although things are not as they should be in this world at the moment, I will end my post with the last line in Anne of Green Gables. It is comforting to know that He is still in control. 

" ' God's in his heaven, all's right with the world,' " whispered Anne softly. ~ LM Montgomery - Anne of Green Gables

I hope I brought a little pleasure into your day. Thank you for joining me and God bless you!

Some of the pieces used in this post are:
Hampstead teapot
Lavender Rose 
Anne China doll and an Anne sand doll 
Anne books

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Thursday 24 March 2022

Happy Spring!

That is one good thing about this world...there are always sure to be more springs. ~ LM Montgomery - Anne of Avonlea

Spring is finally here and I am so happy to have the winter over with! 

On the little cabinet are some lovely daffodils. I love these flowers, don't you? They are so dainty and golden yellow that one can't help but smile to see them.

When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
~ William Wordsworth

We are seeing more songbirds everyday and it is truly a delight to watch them out our back windows. This time of year, although we may still receive some cold and nasty weather, we know it is not going to last long. 

I don't know about where you live, but here on PEI, we see a definite change in everyone's mood now that Spring is here.

Robin Williams once said, "Spring is nature's way of saying, 'Let's party!'" 

I think that is how most of us feel here on the Canadian east coast once the winter comes to an end.

Since I have some pretty daffodils, I decided to bring out my Sadler teapot for a cup of tea. This one is called Spring Crocus.

My teacup is a Paragon.

Hubby has been helping me with the spring cleaning. My silver tea set was in dire need of polishing and he did such a super job. 

He actually enjoys polishing the silver so I just let him go to it. 
He did the silver tray today and all my little tea spoons are done. He is such a great help to me.

I am working on another post and when I have it ready, I will post it.

Have a lovely rest of the week, dear friends! I hope you are all excited with this new season here. God watch over you all and bless you!

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Monday 7 March 2022

A Little Bit of This and A Little That

Love seems to be something that keeps filling up within us. The more we give away, the more we have to give. ~ Mr. Rogers

Hello dear friends! Sorry I have been absent for a while. I have just had a lot going on.

Although we celebrated Valentine's Day in February and hopefully spread a little love around, who else is happy March is here? Just a few more weeks of snow here on little old PEI, and it will start warming up a bit. Already the few goldfinches we have had all winter are showing some bright yellow on their darling heads. I can't wait till they are all back!

I brought some of my cranberry glass collection out and set it on the mantel for a little pink in celebration of Valentine's Day. It has since been removed and put back in the family room where I usually have it displayed. The elegant pitcher on the far right is my oldest piece; a wedding gift from my aunt and uncle. The wreath has joined the rest of my Christmas decor until next November.

February was a busy month. Hubby and I had a lot of appointments and our New Brunswick family came over for a visit on the long weekend.

I baked a chocolate cake for Valentine's Day and we enjoyed it when our son and his family were over. I cannot tell you how happy we are to be able to see them so often!

My little granddaughter helped cut up the strawberries for the cake and helped decorate it.

I always try to have some treats made when they are over so the cake went over well. I also made more fudge and they took some home with them.

My son had not had "gunk" in a very long time so I made that for one of our meals. It is really goulash but when I was growing up, my brother always called it gunk, so here in our home, we still call it gunk. Sprinkle on some cheddar cheese and you're ready to go. I miss my brother! He will be gone two years this month but the "gunk" always brings a smile when I serve it.

The kids loved it because I had not made it before when they were here.
I also made some Potato Dogs which I knew the kids, including the big ones, would enjoy. These are just split beef wieners with creamy mashed potatoes and cheese on top baked in the oven.  

On the table is a pretty bouquet of yellow tulips from my hubby. What a welcome sight they are during these cold winter months! They just lend a lovely touch of springtime to one's home. I don't know about you, but fresh flowers especially this time of year just give you a little lift.

A little tea using my Royal Albert Tea Rose cup and saucer.

My sister-in-law, Norma, dropped in a couple of days ago with a sweet treat for me. She was cleaning out her cupboard and found this red transferware plate. She had noticed that I have a collection of it so she brought it over to me. I love it of course! The chocolate peanut butter balls she also brought, which was very thoughtful of her.

This is the stamp on the back of the plate and it was made in England. 

My hubby got his shingles vaccine on Wednesday and he had been laying low for a couple of days. I had to cancel mine because I had a bug and had to reschedule for the end of the month. It was a good thing that both of us weren't down. Come the end of the month, he may have to look after me.

As I was doing my devotions this past week, I came across a well known verse from 1 Peter 4:10.
"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others."

This has given me a little more clarity concerning some of the decisions I have to make. One of which, I am still trying to decide where to go from here with my blog.

Before I close, I want to share my sunflowers for the Ukraine people. God bless and protect them!

Till next time, take care, and remember a smile is the best facelift!

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Wednesday 2 February 2022

Happy February!

Our days tend to be happier

and more fulfilling when 
we give people around us
a bit of our heart rather than
a piece of our mind.
Because when we choose 
to see the good in others,
we end up finding
the good in ourselves. 
~ marcandangel

Happy February, dear friends!
I hope to be back soon. Meanwhile, take care!

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Wednesday 12 January 2022

After the Holidays

It is always possible
to be thankful for
what is given rather
than resentful over 
what is withheld.
One attitude or the other 
becomes a way of life. ~ Elisabeth Elliot

Greetings, my dear friends! It is January, and how quickly the holidays have come and gone! I hope you all enjoyed the holiday season! 

I am reevaluating several things right now. I am not one to make new year resolutions but this year, decisions have to be made, and I need to take better care of myself. More about this in an upcoming post.

I still have three trees up and Hubby is happy they are still up. The Island is dealing with a lot of sickness right now so, it's nice to still have some pretty lights around. We will take our time putting Christmas decorations away. There really is no hurry.

How wonderful it was to have my Michigan family here for a few days! It had been three years since they were here. They drove all the way from MI and did just fine without running into any  problems. Of course, Mama was praying that the tests would go well and the weather was good!

Unfortunately, our Christmas did not go as planned for Hubby and me! We were all supposed to go over to NB to spend Christmas with our son and his family. But I was in no shape to travel. My back has been so bad that I had to stay put and not make the two hour drive to NB. But I was thrilled that everyone else got to spend the holidays together. 
My family has not spent Christmas together since 2007, so it was a great celebration.  Everyone had a marvellous time!

HAPPY are they who take life day by day, complain very little, and are thankful for the little things. ~ unknown

They cooked a thirty pound turkey with all the trimmings. This is Jason, our handsome cook, gardner, meteorologist, son-in-law, and my granddaughter.

Notice how the gravy is sitting in a well made in the mashed potatoes. Jason is amazing in the kitchen!There were mashed potatoes with gravy, root vegetables, homemade cranberry sauce, which my youngest son made, savoury dressing, and salad. Yum! I'm sorry I missed it! Most of all, I missed celebrating with everyone!
Jason and my youngest grandson.
Jordan and Carina who haven't seen one another in a few years. Family reunions are wonderful!

The family, minus a few of us.

The tree.

My little grand fur baby, Boomer. He's tuckered out because he had a very busy day with a houseful of company as well as another pup!

Our New Year always begins with a birthday. This is my birthday bouquet; a gift from my son and his girlfriend.

We had a dangerous blizzard the other day and I made some sticky date pudding with warm toffee sauce just before it arrived. It was so good! 

We got 38 cm of snow and the winds were 102 km. Those were probably the highest winds we have had in years. We didn't lose our power however which was a huge blessing! Apparently there is another one headed our way again this weekend and the winds are supposed to be even higher! I am yearning for springtime already. I think Boomer is too. Up until this year, he hasn't seen much snow because he lived in BC.

Boomer and I hope your New Year is off to a great start! Thank you for visiting and do take care.

As I live each day may I make a difference
And touch one heart....
Each day it is my goal
To bring smiles and laughter
Into a soul! ~ author unknown

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi