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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

In An Old Barn

 
 
Tons upon tons the brown-green fragrant hay
O'erbrims the mows beyond the time-warped eaves,
Up to the rafters where the spider weaves,
Though few flies wander his secluded way.
Through a high chink one lonely golden ray,
Wherein the dust is dancing, slants unstirred.
In the dry hush some rustlings light are heard,
Of winter-hidden mice at furtive play.
Far down, the cattle in their shadowed stalls,
Nose-deep in clover fodder's meadowy scent,
Forget the snows that whelm their pasture streams,
The frost that bites the world beyond their walls.
Warm housed, they dream of summer, well content
In day-long contemplation of their dreams.


~ Charles G. D. Roberts (1860 - 1943 )

Sunday, January 27, 2013

No Takers

Even the birds stayed inside today.
Rain washing away Winter's grime.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Winter Days


The recipe books are once again sitting snugly on their shelves, instead of being strewn about the kitchen counter tops.
It's a ritual I go through every holiday. Drag out the recipe books, and yet make the same tried amd tested dishes as the year before.
Tradition prevails.


We're  having a blast of Arctic weather blow through today, there's whispers of the "S" word in the forecast.
I'm leaving the tartan tablecloth in place for a little while longer, the colors warm and inviting, giving dull Winter days, a much needed splash of vibrancy.

It's the perfect weather on a late blustery afternoon for indulging in lots of tea, and enjoying a shortbread biscuit or two.




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

~ Kenneth Grahame, "The Wind in the Willows"


Friday, January 18, 2013

Timeless Treasures

It seems I tend to surround myself with objects that bring back memories of my childhood in England.
One collection in particular is English Staffordshire Ware.
One look at those pastoral village scenes, and I'm transported back to my grandmother's kitchen, where her cupboard displayed shelf upon shelf of these timeless treasures.

I can see the kitchen table covered in a freshly-starched embroidered tablecloth, the milk-jug sitting atop, awaiting the first of many pots of tea served throughout the day.
Treasured memories of gentler times........
 

 
I'm joining up with  Bernideen's Open House today~ http://bernideensteatimeblog.blogspot.com/
Thank you for hosting !

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Soup's On

As with much of the nation we are experiencing a blast of cold wintry weather.
The frozen precipitation kind.
It's predicted for much of the coming week, with no more of the seventy degree weather we have been enjoying these past few days.
Such is the pleasure of living in the American South, one day wearing flip-flops, the next furry Ugg boots.

 
 
I've made a hearty fifteen bean soup today, chocked full of country ham, celery, onions, tomatoes, carrots, garlic, rosemary and chili spice.
Served with a slice of buttermilk cornbread, it's the ideal comfort food, on a Winter's day.
Come join us for a bowl.
 
 
 
 
We'll leave the light on for you ! 
 
 

 
 
If you feel like making your own pot, here's the original recipe.
I also add sausage meat,  ( of your choice) or country ham pieces 
Fresh Rosemary (1tablesoon) crushed
Two chicken stock cubes
Two sliced carrots
Two stalks of celery
Three cubed potatoes
One bay leaf

 Original 15 Bean Soup® recipe Hurst Beans

Monday, January 14, 2013

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)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The 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.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Mid-Winter Stroll

 
 
" The rapid nightfall of mid-December had quite beset the little villages they approached on soft feet over a first thin fall of powdery snow.
Little was visible but squares of a dusky orange-red on either side of the street, where the firelight or lamplight of each cottage overflowed through the casements into the dark world without.
Most of the low latticed windows were innocent of blinds, and moving from one to another, the lookers-in, so far from home themselves, watched a cat being stroked, a sleepy child picked up and huddled off to bed, or a tired man stretch and knock out his pipe on the end of a smouldering log."


Ratty and Mole, In The Village. ~ Wind in the Willows.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Winter Silence

"I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure in the
landscape - the loneliness of it - the dead feeling of winter.
Something waits beneath it - the whole story doesn't show."

~ Andrew Wyeth  
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Wait Is Over



The most anticipated television event of the year is here! Downton Abbey Season 3 premieres Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013, at 9pm ET.
Wedding guests descend on Downton Abbey, one being Cora's freewheeling American mother, who tries to loosen up her in-laws. (120 minutes; Check local listings.) 

Make yourself a nice pot of tea, finish off the Christmas cake, be sure to use the best china.
The wait is over.......

Friday, January 4, 2013

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

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Time To Tidy

Oliver has taken to sleeping amongst all the Christmas wrapping paper, ribbon, and bows in the spare bedroom, and now it's time to tidy the chaos, and put everything back in it's place.
He isn't pleased, not even a tiddly-bit.