birthdays, books, cookies, endless gifts, family, Friday's Favourites, Island Life

December 1st Blessing List


Hi there! Mr Squirrel and I want to give you a very warm welcome to Friday’s blessing list! He’s a very good-looking little chap and posed nicely for his picture. I think he deserves to be the featured photo on this week’s Friday’s Favourites!

And here’s another extra – taken just this morning. The sun came up in a blaze of golden glory. I grabbed my camera, ran outside, (yes in my pjs!) and captured the magic seconds before the sun disappeared behind the clouds.

Such beauty in nature! And it happens every day – what a gift! I’m counting it along with these:

1. Wonder

I’ve had a movie gift card tucked away in my purse since last Christmas and I finally used it this week. Sarah and I, along with some friends, saw the movie Wonder. It’s based on the book by R. J. Palacio. It’s a heart-warming movie, with a beautiful message of kindness and friendship. It has its comic moments too. It’s one of the best movies I’ve seen in years.  And now I really want to re-read the book.


2. Audio-books

I love listening to audio-books when I’m doing household chores. I discovered this series a few years ago and  listen to it every year. Dr Chrissi Hart (who has a lovely English accent) reads every single book in the Narnia tales. And does an awesome job! And on top of that? It’s free! Check it out here

3. Baking

Baking is one of the household chores I do as I listen to audiobooks. But I love to bake so I’m not sure I’d classify it as a chore. 🙂 I recently tried a new recipe for Ginger Crinkles – a favourite cookie around here. I’ve tried lots of recipes but this is one of the best – Jamie Deen’s Old-fashioned Ginger Crinkles  Spicy, chewy and so good! Just in time for Christmas baking. Do you bake for Christmas? What are your family’s favourites?

4. Grand-daughter time

Josie got off the school-bus at our house for the very first time last week. What fun! We had a snack and then played a game. I bought this Memory game at the Missions store. After I explained the rules, she proceeded to win the game hands down!  Smart little cookie! and pretty too. Here she is with John, all dressed up for a Father-Daughter Princess Ball in aid of A21.

A proud daddy and an excited little girl!

They had such fun!

5. 1st Birthday

Cian, our youngest grandchild, and the fourth of the 2016 babies, turned one year old yesterday!

I had fun creating this watercolour birthday card for him!


Happy birthday sweetheart!! Wish we were with you to celebrate your special day! ❤


So glad you joined me this week! Thanks for coming by!

Many blessings,

with love,

For more Friday Blessing lists, visit Susanne at Living To Tell The Story
cookies, Recipes

Jumbo cookies

I remember these cookies from the bakery in the little town where I grew up. You could buy them, two for a nickel.

My mom always made baked goodies for our family, but somehow, these bakery cookies seemed like a special treat. Just to walk into that little shop, with the fragrance of freshly-baked bread, and the rows and rows of cookies, squares, cupcakes and pies lined up temptingly beneath the glass counter, was a delight.

And then, to choose! Oh my. How to spend that precious nickel, probably earned by gathering empty pop bottles in ditches and returning them to the grocery store, two for a penny.

I never spent my nickel on squares or even a cupcake, as pretty as they were –  I always wanted cookies. But there were so many delectable kinds to choose! Gingersnaps, with sugary, crackling tops, competed with sugar cookies with a big fat raisin in the centre. And then there were molasses tuffies, sour cream cookies, oatmeal raisin and chocolate chip cookies. But my mother made all these kinds at home – delicious, no doubt, but not so rare a treat.

However, she never baked Jumbo Cookies. Jumbo cookies lived up to their title – they were so big! I’m sure that was part of their irresistible draw. They were delicious too, chock-full of sweet raisins and a melt in your mouth texture.

I don’t recall any impatient bakery shop workers – although, I wonder, now, what they thought of the little girl standing so long in front of that counter. It was no quick process. I can still remember the sticky feel of the nickel gripped tightly in my hand and the almost dance as I shifted from one foot to another, gazing at all those delectable goodies.

Such a delicious dilemma – but I almost, always, made the same decision – “Two Jumbo cookies, please”.

When the choosing was all over, and the baker slid them into the little brown paper bag, I handed over my nickel and headed out the door. And, oh,  that first sweet moment when I opened the bag and took a deep whiff of that fresh-baked, sugary fragrance. And the first bite? Well, I was in cookie heaven.

It was many years before I finally found a recipe that came close to that memory. It wasn’t in any book or online either. I found it in the recipe box of a lady in her eighties, well- known for her wonderful baking.

Jumbo Cookies

2 cups small raisins simmered with 1 cup water until the water is dried up. Let cool.

1 cup shortening
2 cups white sugar
3 eggs

Add raisins

Blend 4 cups flour, 1 tsp soda, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp allspice

Add to creamed mixture

Roll out, cut in circles ( the bakers from the bakery shop used a cookie cutter with scalloped edges and I’m still looking for one!) and bake. My elderly friend didn’t put an oven temperature on the recipes card but I baked them at 350F for 12 min. Keep an eye on them though, as they can brown too quickly. They should be quite light on top and light brown on the bottom when they are baked. Cool on wire racks.

I made my cookies average-sized. Probably my childhood self would be quite disappointed with me.

After all, they are JUMBO cookies. 🙂