Friday, April 26, 2024

Friday Favourites


Today I awoke to the soft beat of rain punctuated by a chorus of birds singing their morning songs. It's a soft rain, soaking into the welcoming earth. With the rain warmer temperatures are here and I've been putting my tomato plants outside each day. 

The lilacs are opening and look beautiful with raindrops hanging like crystals. I love the scent of lilacs, do you? They are such old-fashioned flowers, and the bushes live for a very long time, often outliving the houses they were planted near, a testament to someone who craved a bit of beauty. 

I am thinking about a question I read recently - "What do you look forward to each day?" I confess that I mostly go about my days not anticipating very much, but taking each moment as they come. I think there are many pleasant moments in my days, but I let them pass by without acknowledging them. I don't want merely to look back and see them, but to anticipate moments with a small, or large, measure of excitement. These things don't have to be amazing or momentous, but they should fill me with a bit of joy. For example, I have one square of dark 78% chocolate after lunch and another after dinner. Looking forward to that melting bit of richness will only add to the delight of it. 

I am thankful that my dad's 90th birthday party was a great success. We had an open house for friends, neighbours, and extended family, followed by a dinner with my siblings, and their children and grandchildren. Four generations, in all, about 36 of us. Not all could make it. Dad was very pleased, as was my mother. Katie, our daughter-in-law, made the beautiful cake. 

I am doing a bit more sewing these days, using up fabric. Hopefully I'll finish a few things soon and show you what I've made. It's always more fun starting projects, I find, than finishing them. 

I am reading The Secrets of Winter by Nicola Upson. There are several books in the series; this is not the first. If I like it I'll order the remainder in order from the library. It's a mystery set in the years between the First and Second World Wars, portraying the writer Josephine Tey in a fictional setting. 

In my kitchen today I roasted a chicken and am now simmering the carcass for stock. I do love making soup. The one pictured is a beef vegetable soup with ground beef, onion, carrot, green beans, rutabaga, tomatoes, and oregano. Soup-making is a creative venture. I made Vanilla Pudding to use up egg yolks I had in the fridge. Iris and Cora will enjoy it when they visit this afternoon. 

In the garden, besides the lilacs, pink rhododendrons, tulips, and bluebells provide colour. With all the rain everything looks fresh and vibrant. 

How are things in your corner? Is your garden coming awake? 


  1. I enjoyed your newsy spring post, Lorrie. So many things in it to create a frisson of delight as I read... lovely flowers, yummy cake. I'm interested in the author you mention who writes 'Josephine Tey' novels. I just finished reading S.J. Bennett's latest novel "A Death in Diamonds" in the Her Majesty The Queen Investigates series. Pure delight - this one is a prequel to her other novels, set in 1957 when Elizabeth II is a young Queen.

  2. Four generations - glory to God! I can well imagine how pleased your parents were. The cake is a work of art, and looks delicious, too!

  3. Your post is a lovely ode to spring. The photograph of the lilacs covered with raindrops is just beautiful!

  4. I remember the first time I came upon a lilac in bloom. I must have been 8 or 9 and was amazed at the wonderful scent. Every year I manage to bring in at least one or two blooms to enjoy. Our old bush is very tall and has flowers only at the top.

  5. The garden is awakening and nearly all is in bloom, but heavy rain spoiled some of my peonies. We need a little bit of sun to let some flowers bloom. I am sure your father enjoyed his birthday and beautiful cake! I am impatient to see your sewing!

  6. Lilacs, both purple and white are such a joy. I love their scent. This is such a season of expectation in the garden, new things every day.

  7. What a wonderful post. Soup, chocolate, flowers and lilacs. Yours are just a bit ahead of ours but we're close behind. I've read five or six of the Upson books and I enjoy them. There's definitely character development with the sequencing but the mysteries are solid and stand alone. I haven't read this one yet but the setting sounds interesting.

  8. That cake looks amazing. How wonderful to have such a meaningful celebration for your father with family and friends. That soup looks good and filling. I hesitate to call my areas of special growth a garden but things are really greening up nicely with lots of potential color just under the surface. Dandelions are the predominate color right now. :) Happy weekend to you.

  9. The cake is wonderful, I'm glad your father enjoyed his special day. We had a lilac tree in the front garden when I was a child, it seemed huge to me then and a joy when it was in flower. I've read quite a few of the Nicola Upson books and really enjoyed them.

  10. Dearest Lorrie,
    Congratulations to your Dad for his 90th!
    You must have Dutch connections, considering that cake is full of dark chocolate hail...
    My Pieter is fighting for life for reaching his 95th on Monday.
    We both need prayers.

  11. Oh, those lilacs—I can smell them...

  12. I can almost smell the lilac from here. I’ve got the latest Nicola Upson on my shelf waiting to be read. I don’t recall reading the one you mention although it could be under a different name over here. Glad the 90 th Birthday went well. B x

  13. Your post paints such a beautiful picture of the joys of spring, Lorrie.
    Your dad's 90th birthday celebration sounds wonderful, and that cake looks amazing. 😋
    Happy Sunday!

  14. Good morning Lorrie!
    What a beautiful morning to wake up to!
    Your flowers are beautiful, the birthday cake looks delicious. It is very beautiful to celebrate a birthday and to have the whole family happy around you.
    Be strong and celebrate beautiful events!

  15. AA and enjoy your father! Happy birthday to him!!

  16. Lovely post and lovely pictures! Soon the lilacs will be in bloom here too...
    Have a happy sunday and take care!

  17. The cake is so beautiful and I'm glad you had lots of family there to celebrate! I know he was happy. Enjoy your Sunday!

  18. Your lilacs are so lovely and that soup looks delicious.
    So pleased that your dad's 90th birthday party was a great success.

    Enjoy these last few days of April.

    All the best Jan

  19. Happy Birthday to your dad.. such a wonderful milestone and to be surrounded by generations of loved ones. Blessed.

  20. Belated Happy Birthday to your father - incidentally I have just been reading an article regarding different foods they should be included in our daily diet, and two squares of dark chocolate can increase your mood for the better.

  21. Yes, my garden is finally coming awake! Some of my tulips and bleeding hearts have started to bloom!

  22. marilyn m5:59 PM

    My garden is probably about in the same stage as yours. Love, love the lilacs. What a pretty birthday cake. Your soup looks pretty special too. The book you are reading is right in the era I love reading about. Enjoy!

  23. Yes, I love the scent of lilacs. You captured such beautiful photos with the raindrops on them.
    It sounds like your Dad's 90th birthday celebration was very special and the cake is amazing. He was sure to feel loved.
    Despite a cooler spring with little rain, the garden is alive and I enjoy seeing what's new from day to day.


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