Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Making A Start.

The Christmas decorating has begun.  
A little here, a little there, and before you know it, the house is transformed with the magic of Christmas.
I think we could all use a little magic right about now....



Sunday, November 22, 2020

Older Than Dirt

I've been busy giving some of the Blue Willow and Staffordshire Ware pieces a bath. 
I'm not sure why, it seems I often get the urge to spring clean in the fall. 
I think it has something to do with the changing seasons, the coolness of the Autumn air, the heady scent of spiced-mix candles magically weaving their spell.



This gathering of antique 'blues' are collectively over a half millennium in age. They are still beautiful after all their years of service, and oh, what stories they could tell !
I often find myself wondering what tales the little creamers could tell, if only they could talk.
Sitting around a Victorian ladies tea table, listening to the latest fashion news from Europe.
Or quietly displayed in the cabinet of a fine Southern Antebellum home laying in wait to be used for a special dinner, in celebration of a loved one, returning home from some foreign war.


 
Lots more to go.....

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Donkey Love

My daughter's little farm is home to four miniature donkeys and one regular sized donkey, J.D.
J.D. is in his late twenties, his age is approximate, we think he could be older since he was a rescue from a local farmer.
He's the King of the Castle, his girls adore him.....





 

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Soup's On

Our first freeze of the season came last night, blanketing the landscape in a hoar frost.

We still had plenty of flowers in bloom, yet sadly no more.
It's the perfect time to warm up with a hearty bowl of homemade soup.



Navy or Northern Beans
Cabbage
Onions
Carrots
Celery
Ham Hock
Smoked sausage or Kielbasa sliced
Chicken Stock
Bay Leaf
Garlic powder 
Salt and Pepper

Soak beans overnight, discard water, add chicken stock, ham hock, smoked sausage, herbs, and seasoning, bring to the boil and then simmer for one hour. 

Add chopped cabbage, onions, carrots, celery, continue to simmer for an additional hour and a half.
Add water if needed.

Serve with buttermilk cornbread, or your favorite loaf of crusty bread.
Yum !


Sunday, November 15, 2020

The Turning Of The Leaf

Finally, a little Autumn color has crept in.

Just in time for a blustery wind, to blanket the ground with Autumn brilliance.

Raking leaves sits at the top of the "to-do" list.

And a portly kitty spends her days chasing them.



 
 

  
 
 
 




The turning of a leaf
dancing in an autumn sun,
and brilliant shades of crimson
glowing when a day is done...

~Hazelmarie "Mattie" Elliott, "




Thursday, November 12, 2020

November Days

Our weather feels more like Summer days than Autumn. 
Eighty-three hot degrees at the beginning of the week, and more of the same today.
Flowers are beginning to re-bloom and  the Lady Bugs have made their predictable annual visit.
I ran to town on an errand this morning ,and was surprised to see that folks are already decorating their houses for Christmas , I guess this means I can go ahead and eat the mince pies now.😀

 
 



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


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

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.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

"…as nearly perfect a little place as I ever lived in"

I'm whisking you away to a place with special ties, a place where my grandmother and I visited most every year, The English Lake District.
If you share a love of Beatrix Potter as I do, I have a treat in store.....
Courtesy of Britain's ITV3 television program 'Living the Dream' we are treated to an incredible visit inside Yew Tree Farmhouse, home of Beatrix Potter.


The life of Beatrix Potter is a fascinating story in itself, one that has a lot to offer children particularly as an insight into the constraints and expectations of women in the Victorian Era. Ahead of her time she defied convention to become not only one of the great storytellers and artists of her age but also a landowner, farmer and conservationist .


(Helen) Beatrix Potter (1866-1943)

Yew Tree Farm with its distinctive ‘spinning gallery’ is in the beautiful Lake District, in a stunning picturesque setting it is ideally located for all Lakeland activities.
 
The Farm House was built in 1693 and is one of the most photographed farms in the North. Yew tree was owned by Beatrix Potter in the 1930s and is still home to many of her furnishings, Yew Tree farm featured as ‘Hill Top’ in the movie ‘Miss Potter’ starring Rene Zellweger.
 
Beatrix called the Lake District in England her beloved home. She owned several farms in the local area, Yew Tree Farmhouse being her favorite. Yew Tree Farmhouse is partly of 17th Century date or earlier, with a new end added in 1743.
 
This date, and the initials of the then owner, George Walker, are cut in the ironwork of the front door. The farm gets its name from the yew tree, some 700 years old when it blew down in 1896.

"…as nearly perfect a little place as I ever lived in, and such nice old-fashioned people in the village." -Beatrix Potter



Video credit: yewtreefarm1/ITV3

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Red Sky At Night




                                                         A peaceful sunset this evening. 
                                        Cooler temps, after a warm and breezy Autumn day.
                                                         Peace.....such a lovely thought.


Sunday, November 1, 2020

Fall Back

 

Last night at exactly 2 am our semi-annual clock fiddling took place once again.
An hour backwards from Daylight Saving Time, affording an extra hour of sleep on these colder mornings.
Just enough time to remind us, that the year is winding down, and soon, a long sleepy winter will be our companion.
A time to regenerate our weary souls, and make new plans for the coming year ahead.
A time to dream.



 

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Trick Or Treat

 We'll leave the light on for you.

 


" By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes,
Open, locks,
Whoever knocks ".
 
Shakespeare / Macbeth 1606

 
 
 

 

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Simple Pleasures



"The real things haven't changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong."
                                                         ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

Monday, October 26, 2020

Still Bloomin'

With milder than normal temperatures, these few early weeks of Autumn, the Morning Glory vines are still blooming their little hearts out.

This Grandpa Ott variety, returns year after year, without any help from the gardener.
The vines wrap their tendrils around the weathered-wood fence, and grace us with beauty, all summer long.

The flowers are a sumptuous Royal Blue trumpet with a contrasting purple star.
A strikingly beautiful combination.
Not quite the Autumn palette, yet nevertheless, we'll enjoy their presence until the first freeze of the season, and then it's " show-over ".


 

  


Saturday, October 24, 2020

Barnyard Folly

When your artsy-daughter feels the need to add more barnyard friends to her menagerie.
Barnwood creations.


 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Cottage Love




cottage small be mine, with porch
Enwreathed with ivy green,
And brightsome flowers with dew-filled bells,
'Mid brown old wattles seen.

And one to wait at shut of eve,
With eyes as fountain clear,
And braided hair, and simple dress,
My homeward step to hear.

On summer eves to sing old songs,
And talk o'er early vows,
While stars look down like angels' eyes
Amid the leafy boughs.

When Spring flowers peep from flossy cells,
And bright-winged parrots call,
In forest paths be ours to rove
Till purple evenings fall.

The curtains closed, by taper clear
To read some page divine,
On winter nights, the hearth beside,
Her soft, warm hand in mine.

And so to glide through busy life,
Like some small brook alone,
That winds its way 'mid grassy knolls,
Its music all its own.

Love in a Cottage ~ Daniel Henry Deniehy 1828-1865
                                                            

Monday, October 19, 2020

Slowly Changing

 
 “Autumn...the year's last, loveliest smile."
John Howard Bryant



 
 
 
Autumn has well and truly arrived.
Cold frost-laden nights, and sun shining brighter than a new penny by day.
Flower pots are emptied and stacked in the potting shed, and leaves are continually raked.
Hearty stews and soups have taken the place of lighter fare, and the fireplace has been lit more than once, this past week.

I entered this world on a cool autumn evening, day's such as this are like a coming home of sorts, a kinship to my genetic roots.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Time For Tea ....

When you are raised in a culture of hot tea-drinkers, from the time you are old enough to enjoy a  milked-down version in your baby bottle, through infancy and youth and young adulthood.
Continuing throughout your life into senior days, you rarely pay any attention to your daily habits until someone points them out.

The first thing that most English people do when people stop by the house, is to put the kettle on. Tea mostly, or coffee if you prefer, it's embedded in our DNA.
We were watching re-runs of Downton Abbey today, I couldn't help but smile as I watched the offer of "tea ?" being suggested at every twist and turn. 
When a visitor drops by, when good news is received, after bad news is received, when a helping hand is needed, or a little encouragement is welcomed.
 
Tea drinking in many cultures is the centuries-old tradition and universal language of civility, and social nurturing, a little more partaking these days would be a good thing.





"THE CUP FOR ME.

"Let others sing the praise of wine,
Let others deem its joys divine,
Its fleeting bliss shall ne'er be mine,
Give me a cup of tea!

The cup that soothes each aching pain,
Restores the sick to health again,
Steals not from heart, steals not from brain,
A friend when others flee.

"When sorrow frowns, what power can cheer,
Or chase away the falling tear
Without the vile effects of beer,
Like Pekoe or Bohea?

What makes the old man young and strong,
Like Hyson, Congou, or Souchong,
Which leave the burthen of his song
A welcome cup of tea.

"Then hail the grave Celestial band,
With planning mind, and planting hand,
And let us bless that golden land
So far across the sea;

Whose hills and vales give fertile birth
To that fair shrub of priceless worth,
Which yields each son of mother earth
A fragrant cup of tea."






Thursday, October 15, 2020

Seasons Changing

Over the last couple of days, the remains of hurricane Delta has taken away our sunshine.

The dark clouds linger overhead, making for dark and dreary days. If I didn't know the difference I would think we were in the depths of winter, even the house has taken on a different hue.

The days are noticeably shorter,  dark by 7:00pm now, the wild turkeys lead their flocks to the nightly roost late afternoon, and the last of the hummingbirds are leaving for their winter homes.

Orange pumpkins and Chrysanthemums are replacing summer blooms, now fading fast.

 
 

Monday, October 12, 2020

Missing You

How I miss this beautiful face, it would have been his kitty-birthday today.

Happy Birthday in the land of the Rainbow Bridge, to my precious boy, you are missed beyond words.




💔

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Rain-Filled

Our day is dark and rain-filled, the looming remnants of Hurricane Delta .
It's hard to imagine the destruction a fierce storm unleashes on the coastline, when inland, it's remains fall softly to the parched ground, a welcomed sign of relief.

The house-painters worked on the outside of our home yesterday, not the best timing with a hurricane looming in the Gulf, but we've been on the waiting list for quite some time now.
Beggars can't be choosers.