Simple Kindness

Within a few weeks of arriving here we visited the Huntingdon Ward for the first time. I met an older, British sister there who was from Liverpool. I told her how much we liked the Beatles and that we had gone to Liverpool just to visit sites from their past. We recently returned to the Huntingdon Ward and this sister came up to me and said, “You are the one who likes the Beatles, right? I brought a postcard for you…” and handed me a postcard that said,  “Liverpool–Home of The Beatles” on it. It has been about 2 months since we were there last, so this sister must have been bringing this postcard to Church each week in the event we returned so she could give it to me. I was very touched by her simple, thoughtful gesture.



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Yankee Ingenuity

I wanted to check out the little artsy knick-knack store down the road for a table-top Christmas tree, as the large one in the shed out back is too big to fit anywhere in this house; I can’t imagine where our predecessors put it. We drove the 15 minutes over there but no luck. I knew what I wanted–a miniature version of the one at home in my living room…

Home once again, my eyes fell on the two wooden canes by the front door (also left by our predecessors…)…With a few of the branches from the tree in the shed, I could put together an acceptable table-top tree…

Three hours later and my efforts were rewarded with the perfect little tree. I wedged the “trunk” into the basketweave of a small child’s table and tucked in 4 linen napkins around the base. Then the string of colored lights completed the picture. Maybe a few more decorations later on, some sort of angel for the top, but for now it is sweet. My companion and I then strung the white lights around the front picture window and we are officially festively decorated for Christmas!


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Happy Guy Fawkes Day!

We are hearing the fireworks and saw a few in the skyline on our way home tonight–

Bonfire Night...The Lewes Bonfire Society's parade through Lewes, in East Sussex, as part of their bonfire night celebrations. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday November 5, 2013. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Bonfire Night…The Lewes Bonfire Society’s parade through Lewes, in East Sussex, as part of their bonfire night celebrations. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday November 5, 2013. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Remember, remember, the fifth of November
Gunpowder treason and plot
We see no reason
Why Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot ….

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The Top 10 Best Things About Being Married


A few days ago as we were driving the Sister Missionaries to an appointment, one of them (out of the blue) asked, “What is the best thing about being married?”

Now that is a question to ponder! Which I have done for the past few days, and now am ready to share the fruits of that ponderizing…The Top 10 Best Things About Being Married are (in random order as I think of them):

  1. Having someone who knows you so well and loves you unconditionally anyway.
  2. Having a built-in Buddy System–I don’t know what would have happened to me if my Buddy wasn’t with me on Mt. St. Helens that day…)
  3. Having someone to share adventures with (“Oh, look! A…sunset/mountain/deer/castle/etc.”)
  4. Having someone who is always looking out for your interests. (The other day in the BX we were wandering around separately when Rich found me to “show me something.” He’d found a pair of Clark’s shoes just like the ones I have for the mission and are quickly wearing out. He didn’t know I’d put a “watch” on Ebay for them, as I couldn’t find a pair anywhere to buy before coming here. Knowing how hard it is for me to find shoes that fit comfortably, he insisted we buy them, as “you never know how long they’ll be available or when they’ll be back.”)
  5. Having someone to eat up the goodies we’re given and politely accept, but I can’t/won’t eat.
  6. Having someone to “divide and conquer.” Whether that is in volunteering (I answer the phones at the chapel, he rakes the leaves; I read the stories at the library, he shelves the books) or housework (he is so much better at vacuuming than I am, and is the self-designated Laundry Guy) or a myriad of other things, two make work not only easier, but more enjoyable. This has been especially evident in negotiating the driving over here. He tackles the mechanics of left-side driving and keeps us alive, while I navigate and keep us on track.
  7. Having someone who helps you improve and become a better you. This applies to everything from editing my writing for blogs, to gently pointing out shortcomings and encouraging efforts to overcome.
  8. Having someone to take care of you when you’re sick. (“let’s try this essential oil on your cough/back/injury, etc”)
  9. Having someone who shares your goals and dreams, both temporally and eternally, and helps you along the path to reaching them.
  10. Having someone who shares your values and supports your Big Ideas (“Let’s sell our house and buy a BIGGER house that will accommodate family reunions better!”)
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The Norfolk Way

Brussels Sprouts Stalk

Brussels Sprouts Stalk

Went to the farm stand this morning for some garlic for pesto and saw this lovely stalk of Brussel sprouts. The vendor told me this is the “Norfolk Way”: they get the whole stalk and set it outside. It lasts for months and you just pull off what you want at the moment (“For instance, ‘I think I’ll have a few in my stew today…'” she says).  I couldn’t resist and walked home with the garlic and the Brussel sprouts (and pears and peaches…)

I’ve always wanted to know about rosehips and how to make rosehip tea and today, as I looked out my kitchen window and saw the rose bush going to seed…I did a bit of research, gathered them up and voila! Rosehip tea and syrup; (discovered that ladybugs like them too!)

a stylish stile

a stylish stile

“There was a crooked man, who went a crooked mile; he found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile…”

On our visit to Swaffham Prior (which, technically is in Cambridgeshire, not Norfolk at all…) this week we came upon an honest-to-goodness stile!

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Things that make me…

Traffic flowing smoothly!

Traffic flowing smoothly!


Every day as we head out in the car, there will be a new spider web attached to both side mirrors. No matter if you wipe them off or flush them out with the hose, there are two new webs the next morning.  We’ve discussed this anomaly with several other people and they all experience the same phenomenon.


Turned the front porch light off when we got home and stood in the driveway looking up at the “billions and billions of stars!” So many more seem visible here than back home. I sometimes complain about the lack of streetlights on these rural roads, but this is definitely the upside of that. It was beautiful.


Following the Garmin today along a rural farm road, we are the only car to be seen for miles…and suddenly (and for the first time!) Ms. Garmin blurts out, “Traffic is flowing smoothly on your route.” Yep. Got that one right.

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Learning new things

Our dangerous daily departure driveway

Our dangerous daily departure driveway

Creep and Peep: This is what we do when we leave our driveway each time–edge out slowly, creeping/inching our way as we look one way then another for that sudden rush of a vehicle going 70 mph on our small barely-wide-enough-for two-cars lane. It’s the same process entering any road, where more than likely there are hedges blocking one’s view of the road.

Lemonade is Sprite: okay, I’m a slow learner–twice now I’ve asked for “lemonade” in a restaurant and have been given Sprite. I’m now sticking with water.

Women never wear the pants in a family: because “pants” is the word for “men’s underwear.” Women wear trousers. Yep. I made that mistake once in a conversation with a British woman and was quickly corrected.

We are in a protective bubble:  a) I am the navigator; the eyes-on-the-road for sudden dangers. So it was my fault when I said, “all clear” as Rich backed up…and hit a pole. BAM! CRUNCH! I truly didn’t see it, but the damage was done…or was it?? We got out to assess and saw that the pole was now leaning a bit away, but there was not a scratch on the car! Miracle! and…b) I noted the rear tyre (yes, I spelled it correctly) looked soft, but Rich said he’d just checked them and they were fine, so…off we went to London, 2+ hours away. There and back again, and we checked the tyre pressure when next on base: 9 pounds of pressure in that tyre! We filled it up, drove it home, and it was already down again. Luckily we have a garage next door and Braun found a nail in the tyre, which must have been there 3 days ago before we headed to London, yet it held for all that driving until we could get back home and get it fixed. Miracle!

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Making Discoveries

Here’s an update to an earlier post.


After checking with the landlord, we learned that there is weekly pickup of green waste. We had overlooked these cute little bins outside, (which from the looks of them, had never been used before by previous tenants) meant for our food waste. We’ve cleaned the very little one up and tucked it under the sink for easy access.

Bought some clothesline and pins, established a clothesline in the backyard, and now it’s done nothing but rain….but we are ready for the next breezy/sunny day!

After preparing a few “Sunday roast”-type meals, I felt I needed to obtain a gravy boat. A ward member told me the little second-hand bric-a-brac shop next door to us actually had loads of dishes, tea cups, etc., so I walked over to have a look. The side building contained loads of stuff and after gingerly rummaging around (cups with dead bees in them and one with a live spider!) I found a perfect gravy boat for “only two quid”! The proprietor also had a lovely chocolate lab in the yard, which she (jokingly, I hope) said I could also have for two quid. I was sorely tempted.

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Glorious Reunion

I was reading the latest issue of the Ensign Magazine and this article by Susan L. and C. Terry Warner was so wonderfully full of synchronicities and Divine Rendezvous that I had to add it here. Enjoy!

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Settling in


So, now that we’ve been here for a month, here’s a little recap of adjusting to Life In England:

Federdecken: We arrived to a completely furnished home, but one thing that was lacking was our bedding of choice–federdecken. We tried for a week using the spreads that were here, but finally broke down and ordered new federdecken from Debenham’s in Bury St. Edmunds. Heavenly! It’s not really cold enough to use them at the moment, (but we still do) but I know they will be absolutely wonderful come winter.

Ventilation: We keep the windows open every day (and some at night) to help with ventilation. If not, we come home to a stuffy/musty house. Don’t know how long we can do this, as we have been warned that winter is bitter cold, and we also as a result battle flies, mosquitoes and wasps daily, but for the moment we prefer the fresh air flowing. Our predecessors  left us an ample supply (about 50…) fly-swatters, so we are all set.

Diffuser: Also to help with the air quality, one of my first purchases was a UK voltage diffuser for my essential oils. (The bag of oils constituted about 1/3 of the weight allowance of Rich’s checked bag…) We keep it in our bedroom at night, diffusing lovely lavender to help us sleep and Purify to clean the air.

Compost: that is, the lack thereof. I sadly deconstructed my wonderfully rich compost bin in Washington before I left, piling the compost, worms and all, around every bush and plant in my backyard. I’ve been a composter everywhere I’ve lived since 1993 and it physically pains me to have to throw food waste in the trash bin. I’m seriously thinking of asking the landlord if I can set up a compost pile here. Two years is plenty of time to get some nice rich loam from it.

Fentiman’s Ginger Beer Botanical Ginger Drink with Herbal Extracts: (see photo) We just found this at Sainsbury’s! It is the best Ginger Beer I’ve ever tasted–a rich, sharp ginger taste and not too sweet; no artificial stuff  and lots of good stuff. I thought of my son-in-law, Ben and know he’d love it.

Driving: I think we are finally getting the hang of this driving on the left side (I’ve actually stopped calling it the “wrong side.”) I saw an American car on base the other day, and seeing the steering wheel on the left side seemed very strange to me. Rich is so focused on the road, staying in his lane and avoiding hedgerows, curbs, bicyclists, pedestrians and oncoming cars, that his sense of direction overall has greatly diminished. I, on the other hand, being in the role of navigator, have a greater awareness of our location and the surrounding geography. We are an effective team….

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