Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Old Barn



Oh! a jolly old place is grandpa's barn,
Where the doors stand open throughout the day,
And the cooing doves fly in and out,
And the air is sweet with the fragrant hay.

Where the grain lies over the oaken floor
And the hens are busily scratching around,
And the sunbeams flicker, and dance, and shine,
And the breeze blows through with a merry sound

The swallows twitter and chirp all day
With fluttering wings in the old brown eaves,
And robin sing in the trees which lean
To brush the roof with their rustling leaves.

The timid mice in the corner glean
A harvest sly from the scattered grain,
And the insects hum in the well-filled lofts,
And build their nests on the window-pane.

Oh! dear old barn, where my childish days
Were passed full oft, how I long to be
Only a child again, to play
Beneath thy roof with the old-time glee.

The Old Barn ~ Mary Dow Brine 1816-1913

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

In Anticipation

The Hummingbird feeders have been thoroughly cleaned and refilled and hung beneath the tree, in anticipation of the "spotters" traveling through. I probably won't see many until the weather warms, but at least I can get on their radar by having the feeders hung.

The Bluebird boxes have already shown activity of feathering and nesting, as have the little Carolina Wren houses and the Robins nests. It's all so exciting.


"Those little nimble musicians of the air, that warble forth their curious ditties, with which nature hath furnished them to the shame of art."

~ Izaak Walton

Monday, March 28, 2011

Optimism

Lately the world seems to be at all Odds and Sods.
Earthquakes, tsunamis, uprisings, wars, unemployment, it's hard to watch the evening news and not be affected by all the suffering and hardships.

I feel the need to escape and recharge my mental batteries, luckily with the click of a mouse, I find myself knee-deep in a field of English Bluebells, gloriously waving around in the warmth of a Spring day. A "happy place."



Were I to live a thousand years
I still would know that flaming thrill,
That rush of joy when first appears —the golden daffodil.

A thousand times my heart would sing
When purple irises unfold;
Or when forsythia's branches bring
Their dazzling showers of gold.

I could not see an almond tree
With branches all a rosy glow
But that a tide of ecstasy
would through my being flow.

Were I to see, a thousand times,
Blue scilla bells amid green grass,
I know I'd hear their fairy chimes
As I would pass.

Were I to live a thousand years
I'd never watch the nesting birds
Except through eyes bedimmed with tears,
My tongue bereft of words.

Were I to weave ten thousand lays,
Knew I a thousand songs to sing,
I still would lack the power to praise
—the miracle of Spring.

Silver Lining ~Wilhelmina Sitch 1888-1936

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Last Taps


The First Sergeant and I attended the funeral of a dear friend today.

A retired Air Force veteran, we had met by sheer chance when both of our families moved to the area, whilst transitioning from military to civilian life
Over the years, our families have shared celebrations throughout life, births, marriages, Christmases and sadly deaths.

As I sat inside the funeral home I couldn't help but think of all the wonderful times we had shared with this family.
The laughter we had shared throughout the years.
I watched his wife, daughters, son, grandchildren and great grandchildren say their goodbyes to a fun-loving, compassionate, endearing, human-being, a true American hero to all.

The rain came down, the Air Force Honor Guard sounded the Last Taps, we laid our friend to rest.
I cried for the loss.
God Speed Melvin, you were one of the good guys.......

Caught Cat-Napping






Gentle eyes that see so much,
paws that have the quiet touch,
Purrs to signal "all is well"
and show more love than words could tell.
Graceful movements touched with pride,
a calming presence by our side --
A friendship that takes time to grow -
Small wonder why we love them so.
~ Author Unknown ~

Friday, March 25, 2011

Mother Nature Plays A Joke

I should have known better.

Here I was bragging away at how everything down in the South was blooming and pretty, after a week of temperatures in the seventies and eighties, and tonight we have a frost warning.

The First Sergeant, knowing I was chomping at the bit to buy the porch ferns, made the trip to our local Farmer's Co-operative and bought four of the prettiest, greenest Boston Ferns yesterday, tonight they lay on the garage floor.


I'll baby and feed them, until the weather breaks, at which time they'll take their turn hanging from the front porch, as all others, gone before, have.

Mother Nature and I, have to talk.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sweet Spring

Reading the blogs of my Northern friends, who are experiencing yet more snowfall today, I decided to share a little of the Spring colors blooming here in the lower States.
Your turn is next, keep the faith !

The Redbuds in bloom



The Cherry trees are in full bloom


The Bradford Pear trees, always one of the first to bloom, and the last to lose it's leaves each Fall.



"For winter's rains and ruins are over,
And all the season of snows and sins;
The days dividing lover and lover,
The light that loses, the night that wins;
And time remembered is grief forgotten,
And frosts are slain and flowers begotten,
And in green underwood and cover
Blossom by blossom the spring begins."

~ Algernon Charles Swinburne, Atalanta in Calydon

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Mother Nature's Nightlight


The moon looks upon many night flowers;
the night flowers see but one moon.
~ Jean Ingelow

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Keep Calm And Carry On

It has been a Higgledy Piggledy week.
I've been trying to put on a brave face since my knee surgery on Monday.

The first couple of days whilst under the influence of pain medications, not too bad, now as the week wears on I'm left with facing the real truth, of days, possibly weeks of hard work of recuperating ahead.
I'm left to adhere to the advise of my favorite WW II inspirational poster.

A beautiful basket of flowers was delivered yesterday, in an attempt to make me smile .





It did , and was such a little welcomed sunshine into a week of unknown.


I've spent far too much time in bed, my faithful feline offering any compassion he was able.

The weather hit 80 degrees today, far too warm for this time of the year. I stepped out onto the porch just in time to catch a Carolina Wren stealing yet more moss off the wreaths.


Between her, and the remainder of the nesting birds, this is where it's all disappearing to.


I hope it makes their little homes more cozy and welcoming for their newborn.
I apologise for not visiting with you lately, and look forward to doing so in the next few days.
Enjoy your weekends !

Friday, March 18, 2011

Woodland Carpet


"An altered look about the hills;
A Tyrian light the village fills;
A wider sunrise in the dawn;
A deeper twilight on the lawn;
A print of a vermilion foot;
A purple finger on the slope;
A flippant fly upon the pane;
A spider at his trade again;
An added strut in chanticleer;
A flower expected everywhere ..."

~ Emily Dickinson,

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Bit O' Blarney


May The Luck Of The Irish be with you on St. Patrick's Day.....




May the Irish hills caress you.
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.

~ Irish blessing.


To turn off the PLAYLIST scroll to the bottom of the sidebar and click the large round button

The Beauty of the Emerald Isle, a treat for your wee Irish roots.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Springing To Life

With balmy temperatures in the mid seventies last week, the Bradford Pear trees are showing off their Spring blooms, in complete contrast against today's lingering grey skies.



Spring the Sweet Spring.

Spring, the sweet spring, is the year’s pleasant king,
Then blooms each thing, then maids dance in a ring,
Cold doth not sting, the pretty birds do sing:
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!
The palm and may make country houses gay,
Lambs frisk and play, the shepherds pipe all day,
And we hear aye birds tune this merry lay:
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!
The fields breathe sweet, the daisies kiss our feet,
Young lovers meet, old wives a-sunning sit,
In every street these tunes our ears do greet:
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to witta-woo!

~Thomas Nashe (1600)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Safely Under Cover


That little bird has chosen his shelter.
Above it are the stars and the deep heaven of worlds.
Yet he is rocking himself to sleep without caring for tomorrow's lodging, calmly clinging to his little twig, and leaving God to think for him."
~ Martin Luther

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Just A Little House


An Old Woman Of The Roads.

O, TO have a little house!
To own the hearth and stool and all!
The heaped up sods upon the fire,
The pile of turf against the wall!

To have a clock with weights and chains
And pendulum swinging up and down!
A dresser filled with shining delph,
Speckled and white and blue and brown!

I could be busy all the day
Clearing and sweeping hearth and floor,
And fixing on their shelf again
My white and blue and speckled store!

I could be quiet there at night
Beside the fire and by myself,
Sure of a bed and loth to leave
The ticking clock and the shining delph!

Och! but I'm weary of mist and dark,
And roads where there's never a house nor bush,
And tired I am of bog and road,
And the crying wind and the lonesome hush!

And I am praying to God on high,
And I am praying Him night and day,
For a little house—a house of my own—
Out of the wind's and the rain's way.

~Padraic Colum 1881 - 1972

Friday, March 11, 2011

Feathering

Somebirdy has been very, very busy.


Oh, there's music in the forests
And there's music in the glen,
As the birds are warbling greetings
To the spring that's come again.
All their piping is so merry
That the woodlands seem to ring,
With the praises of the birdsongs
For the coming of the spring.
Join the joyous woodland chorus
And raise high your voice in cheer,
Join the birdsongs in thanksgiving
For the springtime of the year!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sweet Revenge

When I have more on my 'to do' list than I seem to accomplish I eat chocolate.
Cake, chocolate bars, chocolate digestive biscuits, I'm not picky, I scoff the lot.
I put it down to desperation, and all those years of being around 'sweets' in a bakery, right there at my fingertips for the taking.
Old habits are hard to break.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sleeping Moggie

I am pleased to announce that Oliver's leg injury has completely healed, the only traces remaining, his fur is yet to grow back.


It's been quite a surprise that he has decided he likes being an inside cat.
Other than spending a few hours on the porch inside his cage each evening he is content to stay indoors.
Hopefully, we won't have any more confrontations with Tom cats on the prowl.
Thank you for all of your kind comments and concerns, he's thinking about starting his own blog >^..^<

" Sometimes he curls up on my pillow during the night and I don't know he's there until I yawn and my mouth closes on a whisker. "
~Astrid Alauda

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Rain Boots Mandatory


This Middle Tennessee valley was blessed with several days of glorious sunshine throughout the week.
Temperatures warm enough to shed Winter coats, and exchange with short-sleeved shirts and flip-flops.

Today most of the entire area is under a flash flood warning, up to three inches of rain predicted in a twenty four hour period, temperatures back in the 'normal' range and potential tornado threats.
The weather is certainly never a bore around this lush valley region.


Little birds are busy building their nests.
This one is a left-over on the porch wreath, I see signs of new fluffing and tweaking.


The Iris have made their way through the dampened, soft earth.
Signs of Spring are surely all around us.


"March bustles in on windy feet
And sweeps my doorstep and my street.
She washes and cleans with pounding rains,
Scrubbing the earth of winter stains.
She shakes the grime from carpet green
Till naught but fresh new blades are seen.
Then, house in order, all neat as a pin,
She ushers gentle springtime in."

~ Susan Reiner, Spring Cleaning

Friday, March 4, 2011

Make Hay While The Sun Shines



We stumbled across an 'Oliver' antique horse-drawn hay mower circa 1900 this week.
Sadly we are void of horses, but it makes a grand piece of yard art.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Pay It Forward


I have always been amazed by the wonderful friends we meet through this craze called blogging.
Words of encouragement, sympathy, and an overall feeling of camaraderie.
The sort of people I would enjoy sitting down and sharing a pot of tea with.

A sweet fellow blogger http://mamabugsphotos.blogspot.com/, who I visit with most days to enjoy her spectacular photographs, had read my post about collecting Royal Albert Old Country Rose china.
She had contacted me by e-mail a few days ago, asking if I had a teapot to go along with my dinnerware.
I replied "I do, but it's the everyday teapot, not the more elegant one, I have seen available."
Christine told me she had bought herself that elegant teapot version, with future plans of adding more of the pieces.
Now several years later, she still just owns the teapot, and would like to offer it as a gift, to be enjoyed alongside my own collection.

The teapot arrived yesterday, all sparkling and new, and as pretty a piece as I have ever saw.
I have placed it in my kitchen for the time being, within gazing distance.
That kindness just made my day.

I am truly amazed at random acts of kindness, and have an enormous faith in humanity.
Just last week, whilst working at the Spay and Neuter Clinic, an elderly lady showed up to have her dog spayed, she thought it was a free service.
A gentleman standing next to her who had just had his own pet altered, randomly paid for the lady's pet's surgery.
I confess to wanting to hug his neck.

We need more random acts of kindness in today's society, I for one will be paying it forward.
Thank you dear Christine, I will forever treasure your beautiful gift.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Through Bare Trees


"Through bare trees
I can see all the rickety lean-tos
and sheds, and the outhouse
with the half-moon on the door,
once modestly covered in
summer's greenery.

Through bare trees
I can watch the hawk perched on a distant branch,
black silhouetted wings
shaking feathers and snow,
and so can its prey.

Through bare trees
I can be winter's innocence,
unashamed needfulness,
the thin and reaching limbs
of a beggar, longing to touch
but the hem of the sun."

~ Lisa Lindsey, Bare Trees