Sunday, December 31, 2017

Ring Out The Old, Ring In The New

And so another year is coming to an end.
I'm grateful to look back and say it was a pleasant year, a year filled with milestones, and lots of happy memories..
As the New Year makes its presence, I am mindful to leave less of a footprint on this magnificent planet we all call home, and offer a kinder word or action towards my fellow man.

  

 
I truly wish each and every one of you, a New Year filled with much love, peace, good health and happiness.
Your friendships have encouraged, enlightened, and have brightened my days throughout this past year.
Here's to a 2018 filled with the same !
Many Blessings.
x



                                                       
A Happy New Year! Grant that I
May bring no tear to any eye
When this New Year in time shall end
Let it be said I've played the friend,
Have lived and loved and labored here,
And made of it a happy year.

~Edgar Guest
 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Winter Days

We are surely in the nesting phase , cold, cold and more cold.......
The kind of cold that makes you want to snuggle inside, and cocoon from the outside world. 
Stay safe and warm friends.
 
 


"Surely everyone is aware of the divine pleasures which attend a wintry fireside; candles at four o’clock, warm hearthrugs, tea, a fair tea-maker, shutters closed, curtains flowing in ample draperies to the floor, whilst the wind and rain are raging audibly without."
 ~ Thomas De Quincey 1796 

Brambly Hedge : Illustrated by Jill Barklem



Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Winding Down

We've ate, drank and made merry.
Over-indulged in all the traditions of the season that makes this magical celebration.......magical.
Laughter was in abundance.
 
  



 
Recipe books are returned to their bookcase- home.
It's a ritual I go through every holiday,  drag out the recipe books, yet end up making  the same tried and tested dishes as the previous years.
Tradition prevails.



 
 
The gatherings are over, the house is tidied.
Time to enjoy a few hours of quiet and  a nice pot of tea and biscuits.
I hope your Christmas was just as lovely.
 
 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Peace On Earth, Goodwill Toward Men

And so This is Christmas.....

I've so enjoyed our visits back and forth throughout the year, all the sweet comments written, and well-wishes when a word of encouragement was needed.
We truly wish each and every one of you, friends and family, near and far, all the blessings of a Joyous and Merry Christmas.
May you have the gladness of Christmas which is hope;
The spirit of Christmas which is peace;
The heart of Christmas which is love."
 
~Ada V. Hendicks

 


 
When Christmas bells are swinging above the fields of snow,
We hear sweet voices ringing from lands of long ago,
And etched on vacant places
Are half-forgotten faces
Of friends we used to cherish,
And loves we used to know.

 
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox




 
 

Friday, December 22, 2017

It Is Christmas

It's pouring down here today. So much so that we are under a flood watch through much of Saturday.
Not the best kind of weather to be finishing up the last of the shopping, but if you are all done, then it's the perfect day for nesting.
 
 









 It is Christmas in the mansion,
Yule-log fires and silkin frocks.
It is Christmas in the cottage,
Mother filling little socks.
It is Christmas in the highway,
In the thronging, busy mart.
But the dearest, truest Christmas
Is the Christmas in the heart.
Author Unknown

 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Longest Night

Equal light, Equal dark....






" Lighting one candle
from another -
Winter night "
 
~ Buson
 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With String

Yesterday I braved the masses and finished up my Christmas shopping, at least I think so.
I've still to do the final list-checking, but for once I've gotten ahead of the game, and wrapped all of the gifts.
I'm usually a Christmas-Eve wrapper, in panic mode no less.
My daughter used to help me wrap all of the gifts, but since she has her own family to take care of, I'm left to my own devices.

 
 
Today, I'm taking a little time to relax.
With the winter moon high in the sky, and  the landscape covered in a rain-filled mist, I'm treating myself to an evening hearthside tonight.
Twinkling trees, candles glowing, a pot of tea and Christmas shortbread,  I'm settling in for a date with Dylan Thomas, the popular and much-loved Welsh poet.



 

A Child's Christmas in Wales film, a timeless tale, delivers with gentleness a glimpse of a child's Welsh Christmas and takes you on a journey back to the magic and marvel of boyhood " where no two moments were ever alike, and life was embraced with belief instead of doubt ."
Purely magical !
 


 

Friday, December 15, 2017

List-Ticking

My Christmas list is slowly getting finished.
A few more gifts to seek out and wrap, and  then it's on to making a batch of fudge and pecan praline candy.
Our Christmases are not nearly as busy as they once were when the grandchildren were small and the toys were endless, that's OK too, less is more.
I hope everyone is plodding along nicely.
 



 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A List Of Goodies

The English Christmas goodies have started to arrive.
I shall have to hide them, from myself.
Years ago,  it was almost impossible to find English Christmas foods in the U.S. but nowadays with the click of a mouse, or a stroll to the import aisle at Publix, they are easily found.
It surely makes those memories of Christmas in England around the table, feel so much closer.
 
 



 



Happy, happy Christmas,
that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days;
that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth;
that can transport the sailor and the traveller,
thousands of miles away,
back to his own fire-side and his quiet home!

~Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers, 1836
 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

A Mid-December Stroll

Snowflakes fell from the sky, unusual for this time of the year, in Tennessee.
No accumulations, just gently falling, like a dusting of confectioners sugar on a bare landscape.
 
 



" 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


Friday, December 8, 2017

English Christmas Cracker Traditions





 
Each year as I'm busying myself with the Christmas decorating, my thoughts turn to home.
The traditions at Christmas that have stood the test of time throughout many English households.

The partaking of mince pies, raspberry trifle, sausage rolls, steamed plum pudding, and Christmas cake laden with dried fruit , marzipan and Royal Icing...hard as a rock.
Gathering around the television or the radio and listening to the Queen's Speech.
Afterwards a tipple of traditional sherry, or port, toasting the season and good health to all !

The pulling of the Christmas crackers before eating turkey dinner, wearing the paper party hats, laughing at the silly paper jokes inside, and delighting in the small prizes, most often magic tricks, or plastic trinkets.

Happy times, that are gratefully forever etched in our memories ..........


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Christmas Magic

One of my all-time favorite Christmas cards, from the American Humane Association.
It just melts my heart.
 



Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Sleepy Days

Just as predicted, cold weather is upon us.
I requested the help of two kitties in finishing a little decorating, so far this is the response.
It appears I am on my own.

 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Woolly Socks And Flip-Flops

We've been spoiled up until this point, with warmer than usual days, many not requiring the wearing of a jacket.
Today the high is 72 degrees.
Those last few pleasant days of Autumn, with sunshine aplenty.
 
Later this week, the  temperatures will cool and fall into the twenties, no more flip-flops, now the winter boots and woolly socks appear.
The birds have taken to their nests, the turkeys lead their flocks to the nightly roost.
Winter days will soon be here,  but in just 87 short days, Spring will once again return.
 
 

 
 




Saturday, December 2, 2017

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

 


 
Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat
Please put a penny in the old man's hat
If you haven't got a penny, a ha'penny will do
If you haven't got a ha'penny, then God bless you!


~ Tradition English nursery rhyme