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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Onwards And Upwards

I truly thank each and everyone of you for your kind get-well wishes, over the past few days the sniffling and sneezing has been vanquished, and I'm once again back on my feet.
Being down the rabbit-hole for almost a week was no fun, especially this close to Christmas, so now I'm playing catch-up.

This afternoon, I accomplished a little inside decorating.
Our tree is an Alpine Tree, tall and skinny, and doesn't require any furniture to be moved around.
The mantle is  finished, except for a few dried orange slices and cinnamon sticks.

  


The silver is polished


 


The Christmas crackers await Christmas wishes and giggles



 


 On the porch, the old wooden sleds have been decorated with boughs of fresh Cedar.
The birds have decided to make it their nightly roost.
'Tis the season for sharing...
 
 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Under The Weather


I've gone and picked up some kind of delurgy, fever, chills, aches and pains, even my hair hurts.
Sod's  Law has a way of appearing, most often when we least expect it.
I'm off to the doctor tomorrow, hopefully he will root through his trusty medicine bag, and produce a potion, putting me to rights.
In the meantime I should heed my own words......
 
 

 
I don't 'do sick' very bravely.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

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 ..........



Monday, December 8, 2014

Silence




The old wooden garden bench, half-crumbling away, sits silently;
 with only a blanket of lichen as it's companion.

 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

What The Dickens

 

Several years ago, our small town, was graced by a visit from Gerald Charles Dickens, great-great grandson of the author 'A Christmas Carol '.

It was the highlight of the town's Victorian Christmas Festival, a seventy -five minute on stage performance and one-man show of a descendant of the beloved author Charles Dickens.

Gerald Dickens performed the dramatization with just a chair, a hat stand, a candle, his top hat, and a walking stick for props. The rest of the show was brought to life with his voice, facial expression, mannerisms, and energy.
Since the story is so well known, Dickens said he didn't have to worry too much about explaining the plot.

Everyone loved the story, and a closeness and camaraderie developed in the audience as we watched a talented storyteller enact his great-great grandfather's story with love and passion.
Fortunately for me, the audience struggled to understand the actor's Cockney accent. It created dead silence voids, where an appropriate applauding should have followed a punch line.
Mr. Dickens had been making note of this, and asked if I would accompany him on stage and help the audience participation, with a few prompting gestures.
*Gulp*
Would I accompany him on stage ?

Needless to say it was the best Christmas gift I could have received, and dare say, everyone in this town, is still talking about it to this very day.......
I know I am
*Wink*.

 
 
"I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year."
A Christmas Carol ~Charles Dickens, Ebeneezer Scrooge,

 
 
"To Josephine
 my Warrington friend".

~ Gerald Charles

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Making A Start


I've decided to go minimal on the Christmas decorating this year, at least that's my intentions.
I do seem to have trouble knowing where to stop, once I've started.
For many years, I would hang twinkly faerie lights from every eave of the house, every tree in the yard, even the bird houses would get a mini-set of twinkle.
I would be the crazy neighbor, hanging lights from the porch long after dark, whilst the rest of the world snuggled inside.

This year, the front porch has been decorated with a fresh Balsam Fir wreath, and the doorway draped with a fresh-cut cedar garland, both sharing their intoxicating heady scents of woodland.
Antique wooden sleds stand sentry on either side of the door, awaiting the arrival of our first snowfall.
Simple decorations shared from Nature's bounty.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

And The Rains Came

We have been deluged with rain today.
Cold, wind-driven rain, the ground is soaked, the creeks are overflowing their banks.
Winter is in the air....


 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Nesting

I thought about doing a little Christmas shopping today, that's about as far as I got.
By the time all the Thanksgiving dishes were put back in their place, and the house tidied, I talked myself out of venturing amongst the masses.
Opting instead, for decorating the Christmas tree, lighting the candles, and sipping copious amounts of hot chocolate, my two favorite felines lay close by.
Oliver snored, Tom-Tilly watched.
'Tis the season.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Being Thankful

Tom-Tilly has not taken her eyes off Oliver since he returned home, even as he sleeps at the Thanksgiving table, she's not letting him out of her sight.
It's so sweet.
 



We have so much to be thankful for on this day, we hope you share a wonderful meal and spend time with those you love.
Many blessings my dear friends.


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 Happy Thanksgiving from our home to yours !

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Joy

Our boy has returned home, a little worse for the wear, but we had to share the happy news !
Thank you for all of your kind comments and well-wishes.
Your support encouraged us not to give up.
A Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families.
We most certainly have a reason for celebrating.



Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sad Days

Our beautiful ginger Oliver cat has been missing for three days now.
We are busy putting up posters and knocking on neighborhood doors.
I can only hope he has gone walkabout, and will return soon.
Our hearts are heavy.
 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

New Discoveries

Tom Tilly has just discovered that sleeping and playing in a brown paper sack, is much more fun than playing with plastic balls.
 
 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Turkey Talk

I happened upon this Johnson Brothers Barnyard King plate at one of the local antique shops several years ago.
One plate all by itself, I could only imagine what an entire dinner service would have looked like.



I'm going to display it for the Thanksgiving season, the colors on this picture do not do the piece justice, they are all hand engraved and made in England.

Barnyard King, what could be a more fitting name.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

No Takers

A dark November day, 
Rainy and cold and there are whispers of snow in the forecast.
The birds have retreated to their nests.
The geese flew south overhead.
Squirrels busily transported their overwinter stash to secret hiding places.
Wild turkeys led their flock to the nightly roost.
 
 




 
 
 
 



 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Slowly Changing





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

~ Henry Beston : Northern Farm

 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Dulce Domum "Sweet Home"

The weather has turned chilly, and wet, a typical dreary November day.
I seem to be in the midst of a hibernation, only roused on the days I need to meet outside obligations.
What is it about the changing seasons, that leave us wanting nothing more than a cozy place to nest.
A place in front of the hearth, surrounded by the tea kettle singing on the hob, slippers warming by the fireside, and a portly cat purring at our side.
A time to daydream.


"What a ripping little house this is! Everything so handy! "

~Mole's house: Wind in the Willows

Monday, November 10, 2014

Lest We Forget




 
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

In Flanders Fields ~ Lt.-Col. John McCrae (1872 - 1918)

Dedicated to all the brave men and women whose unselfish sacrifices and bravery shall never be forgotten.
Thank You.

Cottage Love







The cottage homes of England
   By thousands on her plains,
They are smiling o'er the silvery brooks,
   And round the hamlet-fanes.
Thro' glowing orchards forth they peep,
   Each from its nook of leaves,
And fearless there the lowly sleep,
   As the bird beneath the eaves

~ Felicia Hermans  1793 -1835
 
 
 
Lilliput Lane : Double Cottage.
Part of the BLAISE HAMLET COLLECTION : http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/blaise-hamlet/


 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Long Gone

I spent time cleaning around the garden today, the sun warmed my face, and two special kitties were my constant companions.
We had our first hard freeze of the season a few nights earlier, and so any flowers still in bloom, had now died.
It's always a sad time viewing the empty window boxes, and flower pots, which were so full of color, a few days earlier.








The Morning Glory vines were still full of blooms, but sadly their lives were cut short.
How they made me smile each day.

Sleepover