"With Pomp, Power & Glory the world beckons vainly, In chase of such vanities why should I roam?While Peace & Content bless my little thatched cottage,And warm my own hearth with the Treasures of Home."*Beatrix Potter

Friday, 12 February 2016

Home by the Fire.

February at the cottage has brought beautiful clear bright skies & chilly days.
All along our garden hedge at the side of the church Snowdrops pop up their delicate little heads. Such a pretty gentle pure flower that adds such joy the the garden at this time of year. Soon the jolly sunny Daffodil will be blooming all around the village, already they are standing tall just waiting to open.
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The Rooks in the Spinney at the end of the garden are flocking & starting to nest. They are one of the busiest birds & chatty too while they work building their nests up high in the Pines. 
It is wonderful to hear the songbirds in the early hours when the sun is rising. Spring seems just around the corner & our thoughts are on the vegetable patch & what we are going to grow this year.
Last year we bought a piece of land off our neighbour who wanted to make his garden smaller. Our plans for this land is to make an orchard using old heritage varieties, so there will be much to do once the weather gets warmer. We levelled  & cleared the land of trees & bushes in the Autumn finding some lovely old items from times gone by. 
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Life has been wonderfully busy at the cottage, I do love a busy kitchen & that is where we have been spending most of our days near the wood burning cooker.
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I have been experimenting with different types of bread.
This one was a country loaf with Basil & tomato in it.
A lovely bread to have with a hearty soup.
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A little touch of Spring.
I found this beautiful 1920's tea set last Summer, it's perfect for Spring time.
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The twins decorating little boxes.
They love to be at the table with you.
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I had some coloured glace cherries to use up from Christmas so added them to rock cakes instead of raisins.
The children loved them & they looked so pretty too.
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The smell of fresh bread is one of the simplest joys.
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Fruit Bran Loaf & Wartime Ginger Oat Biscuits.
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This is the first time I have made these little biscuits & they were lovely.
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Wartime Ginger Oat Biscuits.
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In a pan melt 4 ozs of margarine with a dessert spoonful of golden syrup & 3 ozs of demerara sugar. If you can not get golden syrup honey might work or a light corn syrup.
Add to the pan 4 ozs of self raising flour & 4 ozs of oats, plus a tea spoon of ground ginger.
Mix well & spoon small rounded balls on to a greased tray.
Bake for 12 minutes at 325 / 170  
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Making quiche & mincemeat maids of honour.
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A visit to the Maud Foster Windmill.
They sell the most wonderful stone ground organic flour.
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I purchased some strong Spelt flour for bread making.
This is the first time I have used this flour, it has a lovely flavour.
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Making Marmalade.
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The oranges & lemons brought a little touch of sunshine to the kitchen.
I had never made Marmalade before, there was such a wonderful smell while making it.
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Jolly little jars of sunshine.
It tasted beautiful & I will make it every year now.
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We have quite a few meat free days in the week.
This is a favourite of our's Wartime Woolton Pie.
It's root vegetables cooked in stock with a mash potato & cheese topping.
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You can find the recipe on the internet, Lord Woolton was Minister of Food in the Second World War.
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Ma larkin's Shortbread from her little cookbook.
I use this book so much & really recommend finding a second hand copy, they are out of print now.
I use the quiche recipe from that book as well.


Cinnamon Raisin bread for Sunday tea.
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I use the same bread recipe most of the time & play around with it, this dough was made with half whole wheat flour.
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Little everyday cinnamon buns.
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In a bowl mix 4 ozs of margarine with 4 ozs of sugar until soft.
Add 4 ozs of self raising wholemeal flour, a drop of almond essence & 2 eggs. Add a drop of milk to make a soft dropping consistency.
Fill small cake cases & sprinkle tops with plenty of cinnamon & a little sugar.
Bake in a moderate oven for 15 minutes, check after 12 minutes.
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I have another 1930's bow scarf on my needles.
This one is for myself, I do love vintage greens.
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Wholemeal Madeira Cake from Delia Smith Book of Cakes.
Another wonderful book you can find second hand which I use all the time.
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A new book arrived in the post last week.
I have the others in the series which are wonderful. This book is full of history, idea's & such lovely photo's.
I have been making my way through all the Miss Read Fairacre Series this Winter, such a wonderful series to disappear into each night before bed.
I can see me reading them again & again.
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The twins all ready for a little disco in their new 1950's style dresses.
father Christmas bought them their faux pearl necklaces.
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Homemade sausage rolls & fruit cake.
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Light Fruit Cake recipe.
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Cream 6 ozs of margarine with 6 ozs of soft light brown sugar.
Then add 3 eggs, 4 ozs of plain flour & 4 ozs of self raising flour.
Lastly mix in 6ozs of dried fruit & 2 ozs of glace cherries.
Spoon in to a greased & lined 7 inch cake tin & spinkle top with sugar.
Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours at 325.
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Saturday Tea.
A weekly tradition.
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The joy of board games.
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I found some raspberries & blackcurrants from our garden at the bottom of the deep freeze so I made a pie using bramley apples as well.
Lovely for our Sunday dinner.
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We made London Buns for the first time but used lemon zest instead of mixed peel.
The girls love to bake & get great joy from serving them at tea time.
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Last week we popped over to a lovely market town called Louth.
They have a reclamation yard, we are looking for a new old scullery sink to replace our even older one.
It's a wonderful place to have a rummage.
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Another quiche, a great way of using our eggs now the sun is out & the chickens are back to laying.
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Custard cake for lunch.
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This is just my basic sponge recipe that I have posted before but I add a thick custard to the middle.
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My love for this little boy just grows & grows.
He is my shadow & gives such joy.
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Every evening he is here closely by my side.
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A few new finds from our local antique yard the other day.
It was cold but lovely to get out & find some treasures.
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Thank you dear readers for all your comments, I read & appreciate every one.
I hope you enjoy the recipes.
Fondly Michelle
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59 comments:

  1. Michelle your blog is just delightful, I really look forward to your posts, some fabulous baking xxx

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comment, you are so kind.
      Fondly Michelle

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  2. I have just found your wonderful blog, and I really enjoy looking at your pictures. You live in such a pretty place, and your cottage is just heaven. Thank you for sharing your life, and I look forward to seeing more. Julie X

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    1. Thank you Julie for your kind words.
      Fondly Michelle

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  3. Ooooh may I come and stay with you.......? I have a the stork wartime recipe book so I am going to try your recipes and seek out some of my own , and I think we are going to start having traditional teas once a week too!
    This blog is so wonderful.
    Julie xxxxxxxxxxx

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    1. Oh please, traditional teas are wonderful.
      Fondly Michelle

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  4. Your blog is a joy to read and I look forward to each new edition.

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    1. Thank you very much Jane.
      Fondly Michelle

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  5. Michelle, you always bake the most delicious looking goodies! I can tell you have great JOY in the kitchen. Your twins look so adorable all dressed lovely and complete with pearls. They are taking after their mother in the kitchen. I always love visiting your cottage! ♥

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    1. Thank you Martha Ellen, I do love to be baking in the kitchen.
      Have a lovely weekend.
      Fondly Michelle

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  6. I so look forward to reading your blog Michelle, your photographs are lovely.
    Your kitchen must be a wonderful place to be.
    Thank you so much for taking the time to share your recipes. The Bero book has been a family favourite for as long as I can remember but I am going to look on ebay for Ma Larkins recipe book. I love the Darling Buds and have the DVDs but wasn't aware there was a cookery book to go with the series.
    I hope you all have a very good weekend.

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    1. I hope you can find the recipe book, its a joy.
      Have a lovely weekend and thank you for your lovely comment.
      Fondly Michelle

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  7. Dear Michelle,

    Your home is lovely and you always inspire me! I am going to try the recipes that you have shared.

    I love the Miss Read books! I have probably read them about 10 times! :-)

    Your orchard plans sound lovely!

    I will have to look for Wartime Farm. I am enjoying Victorian Farm.

    Have a lovely day!

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    1. Miss read is wonderful isn't she.
      Hope you enjoy the recipes.
      Fondly Michelle

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  8. Michelle, your photos always look like they've come from a magazine. You must be getting excited about next month!

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    1. Thank you Cathy.
      Yes March is an exciting month, with Easter and the twins birthdays too.
      Fondly Michelle

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  9. I look forward to seeing a post from you pop until my news feed and so does my mum as I share it to her facebook page so she can read what you have been up to. She isn't very good today with her depression so I know this post will lighten her day as it has mine. Your kitchen must be a wonderful homely place to be I adore the fact that you bake so much and with the girls to love your art deco yellow tea set you bought its beautiful. I am going to try those cinnamon buns they look and sound delicious I have been making vegetable soup today and chocolate cake ready for the weekend. Love the sound of your orchard and will look forward to seeing what you are planning to grow in the vegetable patch I am still digging up my carrots from last year. Have a lovely weekend, dee x

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    1. Oh I hope your Mum is more cheerful today, Spring will soon be here maybe that will help.
      Enjoy the cinnamon buns, we love chocolate cake.
      Fondly Michelle

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  10. Yet another delightful post!!! Oh I do hope, this means, you will be posting here, more often. :-))))

    You mention margarine in these recipes. They are from War-time cook books, so I can see why the recipes call for margarine. It's all we had.

    But today, with sweet butter available, you don't still use margarine, do you?

    Btw, I remember getting to mix the white "goo", in the bag... Break the yellow coloring gel thing, and kneed and kneed and kneed the bag, till the "goo" looked yellow. Trying to make us think we had a butter "replacement"...

    I remember ration stamp books too.

    War-time memories... Because I was born in 1937. :-) Old enough to have some memories.

    Of course, we do not have it as bad, over here in the States, as the British did. Of course not. But soon, there won't be anyone around, who actually has first-hand memories, of World War II time.

    Don't mean to end, on a "downer note"! Just a piece of my particular history. :-)

    Did you talk to your Grandmothers and Grand Aunts, about their war-time memories? Since you love the old recipe books and memorabilia...

    Happy coming Spring hugs, to you!
    Tessa

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    1. Both my grandparents were in the RAF so lots of history there.
      Yes we still use margarine, a baking one called Stork, we use butter too.
      Fondly Michelle

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  11. All this things looks so cozy!
    And so many delicious bread, cake and pie's!
    Thank you for sharing this, it's inspiring!

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    1. Thank you Carolien for your sweet words.
      Fondly Michelle

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  12. Thank you, Michelle, for sharing your wonderful cottage life with us. I always look forward to your posts as they cheer the day. I show my husband who is always interested in your latest baking and vintage finds too. I'm going to try the Ginger Oat Biscuits and Light Fruit Cake recipes this week. It's lovely to see your twins enjoying their baking and craft sessions. It reminds me of happy times when my three girls were young. Its good to be inspired by you. Looking forward to your future posts, Jane Mounsey or Spensey

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    1. The biscuits are lovely Jane, I hope you and your husband enjoy them.
      have a lovely weekend and thank you for your kind words.
      Fondly Michelle

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  13. Even if I'm in a bad mood, your blog makes me so happy!! Love the stories, the pics, the recipes. Thank you for blogging!!
    Warm regards,
    Marleen (from the Netherlands)

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  14. A new follower here from the middle of the Canadian prairies! I have to say, your blog resonates very deeply within my soul. Its a beautiful day for me when I see a post! Tasha Tudor and Beatrix Potter are my 2 heroes as well. Bravo to you! Best, Dianna

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    1. Welcome Dianna,
      Thank you so much for your lovely comment.
      Have a lovely weekend.
      Fondly Michelle

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  15. Thank you for the recipes, can't wait to try them out! Your blog is delightful. I'm enjoying it so much...we share the same interests x

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    1. Thank you Mandy, enjoy your baking.
      Fondly Michelle

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  16. Some great recipes there - I will copy them out and try them. I'm looking forward to hearing about what heritage trees you have been planting in your orchard. I bet you had a lovely time at the reclamation yard. Those jam spoons are similar to ones I have in my drawer (I used to collect old and unusual spoons).

    Your George cat is just like one of ours, who I call Theo but my husband insists on calling Whiskers!

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    1. Oh I like the name Whiskers.
      Hope you enjoy the recipes.
      Fondly Michelle

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  17. Michelle, is the 1930's bow scarf done in double knit please ? I love the green colour of your latest scarf :D

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  18. I have missed my visits to your welcoming cottage while I have been away, and now I have moved to WordPress I have to log in to view and comment on Google. Sighs.
    Such a lovely, spring tea service. Perfect to brighten up these last few days of winter and herald spring ~~~ and it would be even more perfect for March 1st!

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  19. Thank you Deborah, I was so pleased to find the tea set.
    I hope all is well with you, are you still on IG.
    Fondly Michelle

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    1. IG disaster struck. I accidentally logged out on my laptop which logged me out of my ancient iPod. Now I cannot get back unless I buy a new device. Very sad about this.

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  20. Another lovely post and thank you for including some of the recipes. I will give them a try.

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  21. Michelle, I love your posts and the lovely pictures of your darling little girls. I also love the Miss Read books and have almost all of them except the cookbook, which I cannot find here in the states. I also enjoyed the Nella Last books, and have read them over and over again. What a resourceful person she was! Happy for you that you have more room for trees. The children will enjoy them, too. I loved picking fruit and canning as a child. Thanks for the recipes, Anne

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    1. Thank you Anne for your lovely comment. Yes it is lovely to plant new trees and see them grow.
      I found the cook book on Amazon, they might post to America.
      Fondly Michelle

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  22. Thanks for sharing the recipes, going to try & give it a go. I love Miss Read books, I have the whole series :) x

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  23. Love your blog and I'm going to try some of these recipes. Makes me hungry just reading your blog.

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  24. Just found your blog and it's wonderful. Love all the revipes you so generously share and how you manage to create such an old world homeliness. I will be back for more! Jenny

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  25. Wonderful pictures and stories. I started from your first post and have just read this post. I love to see your baked treats and am planning to pen them down and try to figure out the right quantities for Dutch use ;)
    Thank you so much for the wonderful recipes.
    I just started an ascot bow scarf too, after finishing a 1940's cardigan.
    Have a wonderful day and thank you so much for sharing.

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  26. My dearest Michelle,
    your blog scents of ancient, of good, of beautiful precious past times ...
    I so admire you while keeping alive ancient traditions and ancient ways of life in your ordinary life, it's not easy, but it's so wonderful ... that's one thing linking us, i also live in an ancient home in the country, immerged in woods and meadows and my family's life is not different from that of the previous generation .. or maybe even before !
    I love your twin girls and I thank you so much for posting your recipes - so very precious - and for your way of blogging, please, never change, my friend !

    Have a wonderful new week, my loving friend,
    sending so much love to you,
    with sincere admiration and esteem
    Dany

    P.S.: Hug and kiss your puss, I'd love to do it, please do it instead of me !!!

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  27. I always smile and enjoy my visits here. It is like going back in time. You live life and I love it.

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  28. What a joy to have found your blog - such a pleasure to read! Thank you for sharing your lovely recipes & it's nice to know there a quite a few Miss Read fans out there...

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  29. Once again I thought I had commented but had only read your sweet post.. If I am on the tablet I cannot comment so that is what is going on. I loved all of your wonderful baking, my friend.. You are a baker extraordinare I believe... So happy that Spring is just around the corner here as well although the tulips have come through it will be awhile before we have snowdrops which I so love.. I like digging up a few and using them on the Easter Dinner table.. Take care, dear heart.. xo

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  30. I have been meaning to catch up with your blog for ages and it is a joy. You are a girl after my own heart. I love your most recent post and I'm going to read it properly in a moment but the photos are fantastic. I love my kitchen and my kitchen table, too, which my husband made for us. If you fancy, pop across and see what I get up to. Can't wait to read lots of your posts.

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  31. Sorry, also meant to say I have the war time book that you do and I was born in Louth!

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  32. What a great spring daffodil tea set! Just lovely! Very pretty colour yarn you are using for the bow tie scarf. Thanks for all the recipes too. It's always so nice to visit.x

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  33. I love your blog. I visit it often and it makes me feel good. With the words can not express the wonderful feelings that come with it. thank you sincerely. Alessandra .Italia. Lake Maggiore .

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  34. I love your blog. I visit it often and it makes me feel good. With the words can not express the wonderful feelings that come with it. thank you sincerely. Alessandra .Italia. Lake Maggiore .

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  35. Hello Michelle, Isn't it exciting that Spring is just around the corner?! The birds that visit us daily are singing so sweetly lately - it's wonderful hearing them. As always, I love visiting here. It's a delight reading your posts and seeing your lovely pictures of family, home, baking, handwork, found treasures, interesting books, and handsome George. Thank you so much for sharing your blessed corner of the world. Kindest regards, Lynnea

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  36. Oh my goodness! That is a lot of good baking! Love it! Happy days.

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  37. Wonderful article, a bunch of high-quality material. I’m going to point out
    http://awriter.org/
    to my girlftriend and ask them the things they think.

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  38. Hello! I just found your blog, and am amazed at your beautiful baking. Your photos are great. Your blog is like a mini trip to England! I am anxious to read back posts. Also love your knitting..... fellow knitter of baby sweaters and dresses.

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