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



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

 

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 !
 


 

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


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Christmas Magic

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



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.
 
 

 
 




Thursday, November 30, 2017

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.
The making of the cheese dates back to the early 16th century, and is considered the oldest in Great Britain.

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.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheshire

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Turkey Talk

I came across this Johnson Brothers Barnyard King plate at one of the local antique shops several years ago.
One plate all by itself, I could only imagine what an entire dinner service would have looked like.



I'm going to display it for the Thanksgiving season, the colors on this picture do not do the piece justice, they are all hand engraved and made in England.

Barnyard King, what could be a more fitting name.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Wind

We have a wind advisory out today, blustery and menacing.
Birds were literally flying sideways.
 
 
 
Oliver cat and Tom -Tilly have spent hours chasing swirling leaves, now they are snuggled in their beds, wore out from the day's fun.
 
 

 
My granddaughter came bearing gifts.
Sweet little wool Christmas ornaments, guess who they resemble.....
I couldn't be more tickled.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Soup's On



A dark and dreary day.
Rain is falling.
The perfect time to warm up with a hearty bowl of homemade soup.

Cabbage and Bean Soup

Navy or Northern Beans
Cabbage
Onions
Carrots
Celery
Ham Hock
Smoked sausage or Kielbasa sliced
Chicken Stock
28oz can of whole tomatoes
Bay Leaf
Salt and Pepper
Basil and thyme to taste.

Soak beans overnight, discard water, add chicken stock, ham hock, smoked sausage, herbs, and seasoning, bring to the boil and then simmer for one hour.

Add chopped cabbage, onions, carrots, celery, chopped tomatoes,  continue to simmer for an additional hour and a half.
Add water if needed.

Serve with buttermilk cornbread, or a nice crusty French loaf.

Yum

Monday, November 13, 2017

Salt Box Houses

Primitive New England saltbox houses.
I do seem to have a soft spot for them.


Saturday, November 11, 2017

Lest We Forget

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

~Francis Marion Crawford

 

God Bless  all the service men and women, without whose unselfish commitment, our lives would be forever changed.

 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Oliver Love

Eight years ago, on a cold November day,  this handsome, ginger boy stopped by our house and said hello.
I gave him a handful of treats, and then he disappeared as mysteriously as he came.
He returned the following spring, and despite my best effort to try and find his family he decided to call our humble abode, home.
We couldn't be more blessed.
 
 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Holding On

The trees were just beginning their Autumn show, a little over a month ago.
And when we were finally receiving some much needed rain, we had our first freeze of the season.
Everything seemed to stop.
 
 


Yesterday, we awoke to an incredible sunrise, it cast an orange hue across the landscape. The difference a month makes, between changing landscapes.
 The grass has now gone to bed until Spring.
Leaf-raking begins.

 
 
 
We still have color on the trees, and more to come, from the late-comers of the woods.

 

 


There's talk of an upcoming power outage on social media.
In reality, this is a regular drill used by the Army Military Auxiliary Radio System also known as MARS to test what would happen if there ever were a large scale power or communications outage.

A statement released by the defense department says:
“The exercise will simulate a power outage scenario, it will not impact public or private communications. There will be no power outages of communication systems. This exercise is designed to improve readiness, build cooperation and public awareness, and better prepared to defend the nation.”

In the event, things do not go as planned. I'll see you on the other side.
The best of luck to us all.
 

 
 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Pottering Days



Ooh, it's been a glorious day......
A breezy porch-sitting day.
The temperatures have warmed, not too much though, the kind of day, where you can wear your flip-flops without getting cold feet.
A day to busy myself doing chores, and putting a summer's garden to rest.
Pumpkin bread bakes, the aroma is intoxicatingly delicious, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger.



Autumn, a favorite season.
 
 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Silence




"When everything that ticked has stopped,
And space stares, all around,
Or grisly frosts, first autumn morns,
Repeal the beating ground."



 Emily Dickinson, Time and Eternity, LXXV

Saturday, October 28, 2017

For The Love Of A Cat

Oliver came bearing gifts this morning.
A squirmy snake......
Trick or treat.
🐍
 
 


"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains un-awakened"
 
~Anatole France

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Long Awaited

I can hardly contain my excitement.
It's raining bucket-loads !!


image credit : unknown.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Rainless Days

We have been without significant rainfall for over a month.
Usually by mid-October, we are surrounded by brilliant orange, and red leaves on the trees, but sadly they are turning brown, and falling to the ground.
Interesting, since we had a wet spring and summer, and now a dry, brown Autumn.
The Autumn Joy Sedum however, is turning a delicious shade of crimson.
 
 


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Season's End

The first time I laid eyes on this incredible English landscape painting, was in my hometown museum, I was smitten.
Depicting the ordinary, mundane chores of a gardener, at seasons end.
It reminded me of watching my grandfather, as he put his garden to rest after a successful growing season,  piles of now-spent rhubarb leaves, and endless stacks of  withered flowers.
I couldn't have been more than four years old at the time, but what an impression those days left on my early life.
A season ending, to begin again anew in just a few short months.
 
 

                                                                     Evening_Brockham
 
               Edward Wilkins Waite  (14 April 1854 – 1924)
 
 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Season Of Mists

Our day started with a thick, soupy fog, and much cooler weather than we have had in weeks.
It lingered all morning long, making driving quite dangerous.
Of all days, I had appointments to keep, and putting them on hold wasn't an option.
By noon, the fog had lifted, and sunshine had made an appearance.
A typical Autumn day, I tried to forget it was Friday the 13th.


 


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Home Sweet Home

 
 
Braided rugs
Tea-filled mugs
Flowers in jugs
Familiar hugs
Heartstring tugs
Home........

🏠

Monday, October 9, 2017

Autumn Days

Mother Nature must have heard our pleas for rain and obliged, courtesy of hurricane Nate.
The trees are slowly beginning their changing of color, yellows, oranges and reds.
Pumpkins are now decorating porches and gardens.
The songbirds busily returning to their winter homes.
The kettle is on the hob, and two sleepy felines are curled up by the hearth.
Autumn the gentle season.....

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Poldark Season 3 Reminder




Season 3 of Poldark returned last weekend on Public Broadcasting Service, Masterpiece Theatre.
I confess to being a latecomer in watching this incredible series, watching my first episode half way through season 2, and very quickly became hooked.
Luckily season 2 was repeated recently, in a prelude to the now showing season 3. Ross Poldark
( Irish actor,  Aiden Turner), and the entire cast keep me riveted to the screen.
Season 3 Episode Two airs tomorrow at 8PM Central time.
Older episodes can be found online via YouTube or the Public Broadcasting Service library.
Be still my beating heart.........

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Shine On Harvest Moon

The Harvest Moon brightened up the night sky as soon as the sun set.
According to NASA, the Harvest Moon is the closest full moon to the autumnal equinox, which was Sept. 22 this year.
The October Harvest Moon is the first in over a decade.
For several evenings, the moonrise comes soon after sunset. This results in an abundance of bright moonlight early in the evening, which was a traditional aide to farmers and crews harvesting their summer-grown crops. Hence, the name “Harvest” Moon!
Simply magical !


It is the Harvest Moon! On gilded vanes
And roofs of villages, on woodland crests
And their aerial neighborhoods of nests
Deserted, on the curtained window-panes
Of rooms where children sleep, on country lanes
And harvest-fields, its mystic splendor rests!
Gone are the birds that were our summer guests,
With the last sheaves return the laboring wains!
All things are symbols: the external shows
Of Nature have their image in the mind,
As flowers and fruits and falling of the leaves;
The song-birds leave us at the summer's close,
Only the empty nests are left behind,
And pipings of the quail among the sheaves.

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Rain-Less

We have been without rainfall for over a month now.
Our Autumn days have been unusually dry, considering throughout the Spring and Summer seasons we had more than our share of rain.
The lack of moisture will affect our Fall leaf show, trees have begun to lose their leaves, with very little color in sight.
The sunsets however remain spectacular.