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Monday, February 28, 2011

A Host Of Golden Daffodils

Oh, the very delight of daffodils in bloom, the seasons rewaken.


I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling leaves in glee;
A poet could not be but gay,
In such a jocund company!
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud ~William Wordsworth ( 1804 )

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Saying Goodbye


Sadly we were faced with the saying goodbye to yet another family member yesterday, the First Sergeant's aunt Maxine.
A victim of Alzheimer's her last days were spent in the thoughts and memories of her own little world, leaving the family with a desperate need to communicate from the outside.
Such a cruel disease, a silent thief.

Maxine loved to grow flowers, in particular Irises, the Tennessee State flower. Her Iris beds were filled with many Antique varieties a sight to behold when they were all in bloom.
She was an accomplished quilter, hand-stitching heirloom after heirloom. Many of her quilt pieces were salvaged well-worn swatches from her moma's and children's dresses.

The Iris symbolizes faith, hope and wisdom, something aunt Maxine
was abundantly gifted with.
No doubt, she's already laying out her Iris beds up in heaven.

Godspeed Aunt Maxine.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Batten Down The Hatches

Tornado season is once again upon us.
The Tennessee Valley endured a sleepless night of tornadic mayhem, trees down, roofs blown off, flooding.
A tornado touched down within three miles of our home, wreaking havoc in it's path.
Thankfully there was no loss of life.


The morning mists settled over the drenched landscape, a serene yet eerily silent mirage, showing little sign of earlier ruination.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Almost Whole


Oliver returned to the veterinarian today, and thankfully he had healed well enough for his splint to be removed.
I had quite gotten used to being poked in the face each morning with that 'pirate leg'.
Thank you for all for your kind well-wishes throughout this dastardly endeavour.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Nesting


Birds' Nests

The summer nests uncovered by autumn wind.
Some torn, others dislodged, all dark.
Everyone sees them: low or high in tree,
Or hedge, or single bush, they hang like a mark.

Since there's no need of eyes to see them with
I cannot help a little shame
That I missed most, even at eye's level, till
The leaves blew off and made the seeing no game.

'Tis a light pang. I like to see the nests
Still in their places, now first known,
At home and by far roads. Boys knew them not,
Whatever jays and squirrels may have done.

And most I like the winter nests deep-hid
That leaves and berries fell into;
Once a dormouse dined there on hazel-nuts,
And grass and goose-grass seeds found soil and grew.

~ Edward Thomas (1878-1917 / London / England)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Dishy Love

What is it about us ladies and our love of dishes.
I confess to loving all varieties, from ironstone to fine china.
My everyday dishes are Pfaltzgraff, country white, simple yet elegant.
There's also the Blue Willow dishes, lots of them, since I am forever 'finding' new pieces, it is an ongoing love affair.



The Royal Albert Old Country Rose collection are my fine bone china dishes, a timeless set of delicate dinnerware.


A few years ago I started collecting the Johnson Brothers Friendly Village dinnerware, each plate decorated with various seasons of the year, they are so versatile and well .....'friendly'.



Oh I have others, Red English Castle transferware, Harvestime transferware, Blue English scenery transferware, and yet another set of fine bone china bought for me as a young bride by the First Sergeant.

I've been looking for a pie safe in which to store the everyday pieces. An old primitive piece, that has graced a family homestead, whose shelves could tell tales a country-mile long.
A piece similar to this one. Isn't it beautiful, sadly it's hundreds of miles away.
The search continues.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Awakening Days

The warmer weather we were afforded this past week, has forced the Iris shoots to poke through the soil.
I trust they know that Winter is not yet over.

The bird feeders have been a flurry of activity, and I've witnessed Spring cleaning of the birdhouses. A busy little Carolina Wren, with her beak full of feathers, moss and sticks, flinging it all so recklessly with little regard for it's former tenant.

The flowers I keep inside brighten my Winter days and pacify my need, until the garden will once again be bursting with life.

"Winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart."~ Victor Hugo

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Gentle Giant


"The tree which moves some to tears of joy,
Is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way.
Some see Nature all ridicule and deformity, and some scarce see
Nature at all.
But to the eyes of the man of imagination, Nature is Imagination itself. "

~ William Blake, 1799, The Letters

Photo taken at The Hermitage: Home of President Andrew Jackson, Nashville, Tennessee.
Click image to see the pheasant in the wood.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Bargain Of Beauty


Sometimes it pays to procrastinate.

Just one day after Valentine's Day, my daughter (the bargain-hunter), returned from a shopping trip to Walmart, with a baker's-dozen pots of blooming Tulips.
All had been marked down to a mere $1.25 a pot.

Each individual pot holds three huge bulbs, all beckoning to be planted in the warm, fertile soil of Spring.
I look forward to enjoying their beauty indoors until then.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What's A Cat To Do ?


It's exhausting doing nothing.
No squirrels to chase
No trees to climb
No birds to watch
No mice presents to bring home to mom
No moles to dig up
No dirt to roll around in
Somebody please spring me.......

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Early Spring


"Harshness vanished. A sudden softness
has replaced the meadows' wintry grey.
Little rivulets of water changed
their singing accents. Tendernesses,
hesitantly, reach toward the earth
from space, and country lanes are showing
these unexpected subtle risings
that find expression in the empty trees."

~ Rainer Marie Rilke, Early Spring

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Oliver's Home !


I collected Oliver from the Veterinary Hospital this morning, healing nicely, and the staff bragged endlessly on his loving personality.

I'll have my work cut out since he is used to being both an indoor and outdoor cat, I have to confine him for another two weeks, and he is already showing his disapproval.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Snow Storm

Four o' clock this afternoon, yet more snow !!


Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow, and, driving o'er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air
Hides hills and woods, the river and the heaven,
And veils the farmhouse at the garden's end.
The steed and traveler stopped, the courier's feet
Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit
Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
In a tumultuous privacy of storm.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Going "Home"


It snowed again last night, falling swiftly and silently, blanketing the landscape within an hour.
A driving, wet snow, with enormous snowflakes.
More of the same is predicted for tomorrow, is there no end ?

We buried a family member today, and yes, it was snowing.
The First Sergeant's cousin, who had suffered with health problems over the last few years.
A much-loved son, brother, and friend, whose time on earth was cut short at the young age of fifty eight.
A beautiful and heart-touching service, we sang hymns with only the accompaniment of our own voices, it lifted spirits.
Godspeed Douglas......

Thank you for all of the Oliver 'well-wishes'.
He continues to improve, and hopefully I will be bringing him home to recover further in the next day or two.
I've surely missed his furry ears and whiskers :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Down The Rabbit Hole


Lately, I seem to have been spending endless hours in the company of me, myself and I.
I'm tired of gazing at brown landscapes, I'm tired of cold weather, I'm tired of Winter.

To add to the tawdriness my sweet Oliver cat, has been the victim of a cat attack, and is spending his days and nights confined to a local Veterinary Hospital, the only consolation being, he is in excellent hands.
I miss his presence.

" Come along inside...
We'll see if tea and buns can make the world a better place."
~The Wind in the Willows~

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Flowers In Winter


How strange to greet, this frosty morn,
In graceful counterfeit of flower,
These children of the meadows, born
Of sunshine and of showers!

How well the conscious wood retains
The pictures of its flower-sown home,
The lights and shades, the purple stains,
And golden hues of bloom!

It was a happy thought to bring
To the dark season's frost and rime
This painted memory of spring,
This dream of summertime.

Flowers In Winter ~ John Greenleaf Whittier (1807 - 1892)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Thoughts Of Home


The Manor Farm

The rock-like mud unfroze a little, and rills
Ran and sparkled down each side of the road
Under the catkins wagging in the hedge.
But earth would have her sleep out, spite of the sun;
Nor did I value that thin glilding beam
More than a pretty February thing
Till I came down to the old Manor Farm,
And church and yew-tree opposite, in age
Its equals and in size. The church and yew
And farmhouse slept in a Sunday silentness.
The air raised not a straw. The steep farm roof,
With tiles duskily glowing, entertained
The mid-day sun; and up and down the roof
White pigeons nestled. There was no sound but one.
Three cart-horses were looking over a gate
Drowsily through their forelocks, swishing their tails
Against a fly, a solitary fly.
The Winter's cheek flushed as if he had drained
Spring, Summer, and Autumn at a draught
And smiled quietly. But 'twas not Winter—
Rather a season of bliss unchangeable
Awakened from farm and church where it had lain
Safe under tile and thatch for ages since
This England, Old already, was called Merry.

~ Edward Thomas 1878-1917