Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Escape to the Chateau Seasons 1-3 preview

My winter binge-watching favorite......

ESCAPE TO THE CHATEAU follows U.K. residents Dick Strawbridge and his partner Angel as they leave their two-bedroom flat in Southend for a beautiful 45-room chateau in northern France. The only problem is it doesn't have electricity, water, or proper plumbing.
https://binged.it/2RdS8ww

" Well done children "


Thursday, January 16, 2020

Winter Reading

 
 
We have had the strangest warm weather these past few days.
Here it is, the middle of winter, and the temperatures have reached a balmy 73 degrees yesterday, folks were running around town, in shorts and flip-flops !
My Iris shoots are popping up out of the ground, twelve inches tall already.
Next week we are in for a true taste of winter, temperatures down in the teens, so out come the scarves and gloves once again.
A good excuse to stay home, and indulge in a nice pot of tea and biscuits, and some rather lovely reading material.
 
 

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Nesting

On a rainy day, what is better than napping inside a cardboard box.





Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Dust

I'm committing myself to doing a little dusting today.
Where does all the dust come from in the wintertime, it shows up uninvited every day.
We change the filters in the central heat system faithfully on the first day of the month, but no matter what, there always seems to be a layer of dust covering the tabletops.
Funnily enough, when warmer weather arrives, and I'm busy pottering outside, It doesn't come calling..... *smile*.
 
 

Friday, January 3, 2020

Winter Days

We are surely in the nesting phase of Winter, cold, wet and more cold.......
The kind of cold that makes you want to snuggle inside, and cocoon from the outside world. 
Stay warm and safe dear friends.
 
 
  


"Surely everyone is aware of the divine pleasures which attend a wintry fireside; candles at four o’clock, warm hearthrugs, tea, a fair tea-maker, shutters closed, curtains flowing in ample draperies to the floor, whilst the wind and rain are raging audibly without."
 ~ Thomas De Quincey 1796 

Brambly Hedge : Illustrated by Jill Barklem


Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Ring Out The Old, Ring In The New

And so another year is coming to an end.
I'm grateful to look back and say it was a pleasant year, a year filled with milestones, and lots of happy memories..
Our new great-granddaughter  has filled our days, bringing new spirit and much happiness into the fold.
As the New Year makes its presence, I am mindful to leave less of a footprint on this magnificent planet we all call home, and offer a kinder word or action towards my fellow man.


  

 
I truly wish each and every one of you, a New Year filled with much love, peace, good health and happiness.
Your friendships have encouraged, enlightened, and have brightened my days throughout this past year.
Here's to a 2020 filled with the same !
Many Blessings, and A Happy New Year.
x



                                                       
A Happy New Year! Grant that I
May bring no tear to any eye
When this New Year in time shall end
Let it be said I've played the friend,
Have lived and loved and labored here,
And made of it a happy year.

~Edgar Guest
 



Thursday, December 26, 2019

Winding Down on Boxing Day



We've ate, drank and made merry.
Over-indulged in all the traditions of the season that makes this magical celebration.......magical.
Laughter was in abundance.
  
 


 
Recipe books are returned to their bookcase- home.
It's a ritual I go through every holiday,  drag out the recipe books, yet end up making  the same tried and tested dishes as the previous years.
Tradition prevails.



 
The gatherings are over, the house is tidied.
Time to enjoy a few hours of BritBox and  a nice pot of tea and biscuits.
I hope your Christmas was just as lovely.
 
 

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Peace On Earth, Goodwill To All Men

I've so enjoyed our visits back and forth throughout the year, all the sweet comments written, and well-wishes when a word of encouragement was needed.
We truly wish each and every one of you, friends and family, near and far, all the blessings of a Joyous and Merry Christmas.
 
May you have the gladness of Christmas which is hope;
The spirit of Christmas which is peace;
The heart of Christmas which is love."
 
~Ada V. Hendicks

 


 
When Christmas bells are swinging above the fields of snow,
We hear sweet voices ringing from lands of long ago,
And etched on vacant places
Are half-forgotten faces
Of friends we used to cherish,
And loves we used to know.

 
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox



Saturday, December 21, 2019

The Longest Night

The longest night of the year, with a crescent moon as it's companion.
Winter arrives.
 


" Lighting one candle
from another -
Winter night "
 
~ Buson

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Sleepy Days

I requested the help of a certain ginger kitty in helping with a little decorating, so far this is the response.
It appears I am on my own.


Tuesday, December 17, 2019

We'll Leave The Light On For You

The sweetest little galvanized- house arrived today.
Lit with votives, in the fading light, it looks quite magical.
Perfect for that little Christmas table.


Friday, December 13, 2019

Winter Moon

 


 
 
Brightly the moon like a jewel is beaming,
White in the east, o'er a lone landscape gleaming,
Over the meadows and over the snow,
Glimmering, shimmering, silvery glow.

Low in the east, when the gloaming is ending,
Slowly this white winter moon is ascending,
Looming so large and appearing so nigh,
Satellite framed by a star-spangled sky.

High in the sky, with soft radiance teeming,
Nigh to the time when men, women, are dreaming,
Weird is her splendor on valley and hill,
Cold is her gleam upon river and rill.

Brightly the moon like a jewel is shining,
White in the west she is slowly declining,
Beautiful Moon ! Which beams gorgeous and grand
Over the homes of our own Native Land.
 

~Charles Nevers Holmes. 1926

Thursday, December 12, 2019

A List Of Goodies

The English Christmas goodies have started to arrive, I shall have to hide them, from myself.
Years ago,  it was almost impossible to find English Christmas foods in the U.S. but nowadays with the click of a mouse, or a stroll to the import aisle at Publix, they are easily found.
It surely makes those memories of Christmas in England around the table, feel so much closer.


 



 



Happy, happy Christmas,
that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days;
that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth;
that can transport the sailor and the traveller,
thousands of miles away,
back to his own fire-side and his quiet home!

~Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers, 1836
 

Monday, December 9, 2019

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

The weather has been milder than normal for this time of the year, but all that may change tomorrow as whispers of snow are in the forecast.
The Christmas decorating is slowly getting finished, I seem to do less each year.
Hope you are all plodding along nicely.
 
 
 


 
Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat
Please put a penny in the old man's hat
If you haven't got a penny, a ha'penny will do
If you haven't got a ha'penny, then God bless you!



~ Tradition English nursery rhyme





 
 
 
 

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Christmas Scents

 

One of my favorite Christmas activities,  in early December, when the cold weather has set in and thoughts are turning to decorating, are to make dried orange slices for hanging on the tree.
The aroma is intoxicatingly festive, and fills the house with the fresh smell of oranges.
If you desire you can sprinkle a few with a light dusting of cinnamon, not too heavy an amount as this tends to make the oranges darker.
When they are hung from the branches and the twinkling lights shine through they remind me of  Nature's stained-glass.
 

Two or three Navel oranges.
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees.
Prepare your pan with nonstick spray or a baking mat. ...
Slice oranges into 1/4″ slices or thinner. ...
Pat dry with a paper towel.
Place oranges in a single layer on the prepared pan, ensuring they do not touch.
Bake for up to 6 hours or until completely dry.
Hang from the tree with jute or ribbon.

                                                                              🎄

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Christmas Cracker Traditions




Each year as I'm busying myself with the Christmas decorating, my thoughts turn to home.
The traditions at Christmas that have stood the test of time throughout many English households.

The partaking of mince pies, raspberry trifle, sausage rolls, steamed plum pudding, and Christmas cake laden with dried fruit , marzipan and Royal Icing...hard as a rock.
Gathering around the television or the radio and listening to the Queen's Speech.
Afterwards a tipple of traditional sherry, or port, toasting the season and good health to all !

The pulling of the Christmas crackers before eating turkey dinner, wearing the paper party hats, laughing at the silly paper jokes inside, and delighting in the small prizes, most often magic tricks, or plastic trinkets.

Happy times, that are gratefully forever etched in our memories ..........

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Woolly Socks And Flip-Flops.

We've been spoiled up until this point, with warmer than usual days, many not requiring the wearing of a jacket..
The last few pleasant days of Autumn, with sunshine aplenty.
 
Later today, the  temperatures will cool and fall into the thirties, no more flip-flops, now the winter boots and woolly socks appear.
The birds have taken to their nests, the turkeys lead their flocks to the nightly roost.
Winter days will soon be here,  but in just 117 short days, Spring will once again return.
 
 
 

 
 





 

 
 
 
“The leaves fall, the wind blows, and the farm country slowly changes from the summer cottons into its winter wools.”

~ Henry Beston : Northern Farm




Thursday, November 28, 2019

Thanksgiving Blessings





Count your blessings instead of your crosses;
Count your gains instead of your losses.
Count your joys instead of your woes;
Count your friends instead of your foes.
Count your smiles instead of your tears;
Count your courage instead of your fears.
Count your full years instead of your lean;
Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.
Count your health instead of your wealth;
Count on God instead of yourself.

~Author Unknown

 
A Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving from our home to yours............
 

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Being Thankful

Rain has fallen on and off for most of the day, making for the perfect opportunity to gather my Thanksgiving recipes.
Our Thanksgiving is a low-key affair, since like most families, our little close family, now includes in-laws, and extended family members, and time has to be split between both.
That's ok too,  this way we all have a chance to enjoy family, food and fellowship, and be grateful for the many blessings.
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Timeless Treasures

A lovely #10 McCoy mixing bowl bought for a mere twenty dollars today.
I bought the larger sister bowl #12 some thirty years ago, and paid four times the price.
Christmas has come early !