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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Stressed ?

Oliver has mastered the art of relaxation to purrfection.






We should all take lessons ........



Monday, May 30, 2011

Land Of The Free Because Of The Brave

They fell, but o'er their glorious grave
Floats free the banner of the cause they died to save.
~Francis Marion Crawford

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Lest We Forget

"Your silent tents of green We deck with fragrant flowers;
Yours has the suffering been, The memory shall be ours."

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow



They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

~ Laurence Binyon: For the Fallen 1914

Thursday, May 26, 2011

May Blossoms

"It was the month of May, the month when the foliage of herbs and trees is most freshly green, when buds ripened and blossoms appear in their fragrance and loveliness.

And the month when lovers, subject to the same force which reawakens the plants, feel their hearts open again, recall past trysts and past vows, and moments of tenderness, and yearn for a renewal of the magical awareness which is love."

~ Sir Thomas Malory, La Morte d'Arthur


Bicycle basket filling out nicely



When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other.


~Chinese Proverb







A new garden statue drying in the sun


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Caught Cat-Napping

Who among us hasn't envied a cat's ability to ignore the cares of daily life and to relax completely?
~Karen Brademeyer























Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Say Cheese


My home county of Cheshire, England is known for being the birthplace of famous author Lewis Carroll, of Alice in Wonderland fame.
It also holds the bragging rights to making some of the best cheese in the land, Cheshire Cheese.

Cheese was mostly stored in a cheese-keeper, as refrigerators were uncommon.

My grandmother's cheese-dish sat on her kitchen table, always with a nice piece of Cheshire cheese beneath, and a jar of pickled onions close by.

I fell in love and purchased this Royal Winton cheese-dish some thirty years ago, at an antique sale in Cheshire.
It's from the 'Country Diary Collection' and the delicate display of flowers reminds me of my grandmothers.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Glory Of The Garden



Our England is a garden that is full of stately views,
Of borders, beds and shrubberies and lawns and avenues,
With statues on the terraces and peacocks strutting by;
But the Glory of the Garden lies in more than meets the eye.

For where the old thick laurels grow, along the thin red wall,
You will find the tool- and potting-sheds which are the heart of all;
The cold-frames and the hot-houses, the dungpits and the tanks:
The rollers, carts and drain-pipes, with the barrows and the planks.

And there you'll see the gardeners, the men and 'prentice boys
Told off to do as they are bid and do it without noise;
For, except when seeds are planted and we shout to scare the birds,
The Glory of the Garden it abideth not in words.

And some can pot begonias and some can bud a rose,
And some are hardly fit to trust with anything that grows:
But they can roll and trim the lawns and sift the sand and loam,
For the Glory of the Garden occupieth all who come.

Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
By singing:--"Oh, how beautiful!" and sitting in the shade,
While better men than we go out and start their working lives
At grubbing weeds from gravel-paths with broken dinner-knives.

There's not a pair of legs so thin, there's not a head so thick,
There's not a hand so weak and white, nor yet a heart so sick.
But it can find some needful job that's crying to be done,
For the Glory of the Garden glorifieth every one.

Then seek your job with thankfulness and work till further orders,
If it's only netting strawberries or killing slugs on borders;
And when your back stops aching and your hands begin to harden,
You will find yourself a partner in the Glory of the Garden.

Oh, Adam was a gardener, and God who made him sees
That half a proper gardener's work is done upon his knees,
So when your work is finished, you can wash your hands and pray
For the Glory of the Garden, that it may not pass away!
And the Glory of the Garden it shall never pass away!


Rudyard Kipling, 1911

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Walk in The Woods

Now is the time of the illuminated woods.......
when every leaf glows like a tiny lamp.

~ John Burroughs








Oak trees come out of acorns, no matter how unlikely that seems.
An acorn is just a tree's way back into the ground.
For another try.
Another trip through.
One life for another.



~Shirley Ann Grau




















Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Blooms Despite Gloom

We haven't seen the sun in the past four or five days, he's been hidden behind rain clouds.
It's an unusual time of the year weather-wise, because May in the south means sunshine, and last night the temperatures dipped into the forties.

Despite the cooler days, and lack of sunshine, the flowers are beginning to bloom.

Antique climbing rose


Japanese Water Iris






Peter Rabbit keeping and eye on the pond





Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Silence

God has three beautiful new angels in his care.
Three bright young men who tragically lost their lives in an automobile accident earlier last week.
Vibrant, and carefree, they were sons, grandchildren, brothers, friends, and sweethearts.
Their families and classmates said their goodbyes today, our town is in mourning.

A poem begins as a lump in the throat,
a sense of wrong,
a homesickness,
a love sickness.
~ Robert Frost





I HAVE known the silence of the stars and of the sea,
And the silence of the city when it pauses,
And the silence of a man and a maid,
And the silence for which music alone finds the word,
And the silence of the woods before the winds of spring begin,
And the silence of the sick
When their eyes roam about the room.
And I ask: For the depths
Of what use is language?
A beast of the field moans a few times
When death takes its young.
And we are voiceless in the presence of realities—
We cannot speak.




~ Edgar Lee Masters 1869

Monday, May 16, 2011

Home-Thoughts From Abroad


Oh to be in England
Now that April's there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England - now!

And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark! where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops - at the bent spray's edge -
That's the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children's dower-
Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower.

Home thoughts from Abroad ~ Robert Browning 1812-1889

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Blackberry Winter

We've been having a cold spell the past several days.
Old-timers in the South know this as Blackberry Winter, or Dogwood Winter, which mainly describes a brief period of cold weather that coincides with the time the blackberries are in bloom, or the dogwoods are blooming, (typically in early to mid May).

Despite the colder temperatures, several days of rain, and plagues of cicadas, the flowers seem to be flourishing.



The First Sergeant spent the entire day, hammering and sawing, huffing and puffing.
When it was all finished he called me outside to take a look.

A new planting bed, re purposed out of the split cedar fence posts bought last summer, and now the perfect home for this years Morning Glory plants, and others.



The birds are all snuggled away in their nests




We seem to have lost Igor the frog.
Sadly, nary a sighting of him in the last three days.

I can only hope his mating calls have been returned by a lady frog, and he'll return to the pond with his new family hopping behind.



Saturday, May 14, 2011

Taking A Rain Check

Mother Nature sent rain to our valley today.
Buckets full, with the odd peaking of the sun in between, enticing you into the garden with the hope of getting those much needed chores done.

The rain really isn't the deterrent these pests are !
Invasion of the brood XIX cicadas, and covering everything in sight.







Even my trusty garden helper has taken to lying down on the job.


They'll be no weeding between the flowers today.















We'll do our best to keep them down South !