Why is it that small things we remember growing up, seems to have such an influence on our taste, as adults ?
My grandma Ciss used a tea kettle on her stove to boil water.
It was a sturdy kettle made from chrome-plated copper, and built with a raised element at the bottom in order to conduct the heat more efficiently from her gas stove.
When the water was at boiling level, it whistled, to let you know it was ready.
It lasted a lifetime, or so it seemed to me.
As soon as I set up housekeeping, I always wished for one of those kettles.
I shopped specialty catalogues endlessly, until one day, I came across the very same kettle, in the Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Collection. "Imported from England" caught my eye.
My choice was the one made from solid copper, lined with tin, without the element, and more suitable for use with an electric stove top.
It was shipped with a lifetime warranty, and a lovely little keepsake card, telling how it was handcrafted, and the name of the original craftsman, whose talent it took to create it.
It gets used everyday, reminding me of all the times my grandma served pots of tea to family and friends alike.
The local "bobbies" (policemen), walking the neighborhood beat, were a staple around her kitchen table.
I can hear them now, shouting through the front door letterbox......."Put'the kettle on Ciss".
Buckets full, with the odd peeking of the sun in between, enticing you into the garden with the hope of getting those much needed chores done.
Just in time for the beginning of the annual County fair, it always seems so.
Three days of continuous rain, for which we are grateful, even if her timing is a bit off.
A break in the heat
away from the front
no thunder, no lightning,
just rain, warm rain
falling near dusk
falling on eager ground
turning toward the clouds
cooling, soothing rain
splashing in sudden puddles
catching in open screens
that certain smell
of summer rain
I have always felt that old pieces of
furniture have souls.
They have been a part of a family's household, have
witnessed births, celebrations, milestones, and even deaths.
When I bring an
old piece into my own home, it's as if I am the new caretaker, mine to love
and enjoy for only a few short years.
A temporary position, until it passes
along to the next homestead.
Last year I brought a century old Kentucky
Pie Safe into our midst, a much-loved piece of furniture, that has served it's
utilitarian purpose well.
I can imagine all of the homemade pies that have
sat upon it's shelves....... still warm from the oven.
stacks of linens, or dinnerware, or served as a pantry, in some
distant rural farmhouse.
Each time I pass it by, I can't help but smile.
I know not how it may be with others
Who sit amid relics of
That date from the days of their mothers' mothers,
But well I
know how it is with me
I see the hands of the
That owned each shiny familiar thing
In play on its knobs and
And with its ancient fashioning
behind hands, growing paler and paler,
As in a mirror a candle-flame
images of itself, each frailer
As it recedes, though the eye may frame
shape the same.
On the clock's dull dial a foggy finger,
Moving to set
the minutes right
With tentative touches that lift and linger
In the wont
of a moth on a summer night,
Creeps to my sight.
On this old viol,
too, fingers are dancing -
As whilom--just over the strings by the
The tip of a bow receding, advancing
In airy quivers, as if it would
The plaintive gut.
And I see a face by that box for
Glowing forth in fits from the dark,
And fading again, as the
Kindles to red at the flinty spark,
Or goes out
Well, well. It is best to be up and doing,
The world has no use
for one to-day
Who eyes things thus--no aim pursuing!
He should not
continue in this stay,
But sink away.
Yesterday I ran into
an old friend, we once worked together in the veterinary field, and seems like
once or twice a year our paths cross.
We shared what is currently happening in our busy
lives, asked how all the kin folk are keeping, and laughed about our escapades
when we spent our younger days working side by side.
When we said our
goodbye's I continued with my errands, and returned home to
be greeted on the porch by the meows of Oliver the cat, closely followed by Tom kitten.
What a great day
It seems to me the older I get, terrific days are not composed of
winning the lottery, a promotion, the expectations of a getaway
Instead, I've started to find happiness in the normal things of
life: the love of my family, the luxury of pottering about the garden, the
escapades of Oliver the Cat and Tom, a mammogram that is normal, sleeping late on a
rainy day, an impromptu visit from a grandchild, a beautiful sunset or a full
moon on a starlit night.
"As the years pass, I am coming more and more to
understand that it is the common, everyday blessings of our common everyday
lives for which we should be particularly grateful."
"He who is born with a silver spoon in his mouth is generally considered a fortunate person, but his good fortune is small compared to that of the happy mortal who enters this world with a passion for flowers in his soul."
" The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color. Often at night there is lightning, but it quivers all alone. "
Each year despite the lack of rain for days on end, we are graced with prolific blooms on the Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus ) bushes.
This particular bush was a volunteer, a single seed or two carried by the wind or possibly a bird.
It is also a second generation plant, the original bush belonging to my husband's mother who shared it's propagated beauty from her garden to ours.
Oftentimes they are considered an invasive plant, since they tend to spread so easily, but we enjoy their endless blooms, and tend to agree with the A.A. Milne quote..... “Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them.”
An unexpected rainfall fell last night, filling the creeks and streams to capacity.
We had horrendous winds, and today the sound of chainsaws filled the air, cleaning up all the broken tree limbs and even large trees.
The temperatures have lowered to an almost perfect summer day.
A little bit of peace and serenity, in an otherwise chaotic world.
A few days ago I mentioned we had been seeing a grey and white kitten scurrying around the garden, a tiny little thing, scared of it's own shadow.
I was sure it was abandoned or even maybe a feral.
He had been living under the potting shed, and if a person was to get too close, off he scampered to his safe little hidey-hole.
We've coaxed him out with food and treats and toys and kind words, and even though he's still a little skittish, we are slowly gaining his trust.
He absolutely loves Oliver cat, I think he believes it's his long-lost mother. Oliver has been so kind, not one paw-slap, or hiss, just a 'roll his eyes' look of disbelief when this little fellow takes over the food bowl.
We think he's about four months old, still a mere baby. It always amazes me how these tiny bodies survive the elements, and live off the land.
I'm still asking around the neighborhood to see if anyone has lost this sweet baby. In the meantime we'll be working on his social skills, and those blessed fleas !
"Come along inside ~ We'll see if tea and buns will make the world a better place."
~ Wind in the Willows
To do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing, to contemplate the beautiful thing: that is enough for one man's life.
~ T.S. Eliot
"If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there"
Contentment is not the fulfillment of what we want,
but the realization of how much we already have.
Where we love is home - home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.
~Oliver Wendell Holmes
A London Telegraph featured blog
everyone else is taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
A British Weekly Featured Blog.
"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters
compared to what lies within us."
' There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much dimished by a cup of tea.'
Now winter nights enlarge
This number of their hours;
And clouds their storms discharge
Upon the airy towers.
Let now the chimneys blaze
And cups o'erflow with wine,
Let well-tuned words amaze
With harmony divine...
"Tell you what I like the best --
'Long about knee-deep in June,
'Bout the time strawberries melts
On the vine, -- some afternoon
Like to jes' git out and rest,
And not work at nothin' else!"
~ James Witcomb Riley : Knee Deep in June
“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.”
~ John Wesley
Question not, but live and Labour Till yon goal be won, Helping every feeble neighbour, Seeking help from none; Life is mostly froth and bubble, Two things stand like stone, Kindness in another's trouble, Courage in your own.
"What a ripping little house this is !
Everything so handy ! "
~ Wind in the Willows.
" If you would prefer NO music, Please scroll down to the bottom of the blog, to PLAYLIST and click the large two bar button"
The Shed..."In the potting shed, our hearts, the pleasures of home, and the glories of the garden merge. Its practical character eases our garden labors. Its romantic nature enriches our lives. Here is peace, and beauty, and a sense of purpose."
~Linda Joan Smith :The Potting Shed
Stories don't always end where
their authors intended.
But there is joy in following them,
wherever they take us.
Sweet friends who lend me their ear
Thank you for your lovely comments x
If I should die, think only this of me: That there's some corner of a foreign field That is for ever England.
~ Rupert Brooke
Scones and Clotted Cream
Homesteading in Winter
"There is nothing in the world, More beautiful than the forest Clothed to its very hollows in snow. It is the still ecstasy of nature, Wherein every spray, Every blade of grass, Every spire of reed, Every intricacy of twig, is clad with radiance." - William Sharp
Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
By singing: -- "Oh, how beautiful!" and sitting in the shade.
I'm Late, I'm Late for a very important date,
No time to say hello, goodbye, I'm late, I'm late, I'm late ...
"We're all mad here"
~ The Cheshire Cat
from Alice in Wonderland
I rule. No really, I do.
I like pigs
Dogs look up to us Cats look down on us Pigs treat us as equals.....
A British expat transplanted into the lush Tennessee countryside.
Wife, mother, grandma.
The other character in this plot, being Oliver the cat, gingerness and aloof.
I'm a lover of old. Time-worn, antiques, quilts, primitives, heirloom pieces, potting sheds, English literature, poetry, Battenburg lace, blue willow, cottages, white ironstone dishes, English transferware, worn-out picket fences, teapots, old bird houses, moss-covered clay pots, gardening, all creatures great and small.
"And they loaded up their trucks and they moved to Tennessee....hills there are, swimming holes, country stars".