Monday, December 31, 2018

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..
A new great-granddaughter added to our little family, bringing new spirit and much happiness into the fold.
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 2019 filled with the same !
Many Blessings, and A Happy New Year.
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
 



Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Done And Dusted

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



Monday, December 24, 2018

Peace On Earth, Goodwill To All 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 21, 2018

The Longest Night

The longest night of the year, with a full moon as it's companion.
Winter arrives.
 


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

 

Saturday, December 15, 2018

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 13, 2018

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.
 



 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Evening Visitors

Under a cold spell for the past few days the resident deer have been showing up at the water trough.
A group of eight does, mamas and their babies.
All fat and healthy, they have quite a variety to choose from in the nearby pasture and woods.
My arborvitaes  however, seem to be their favorites.
 
 

 

Sunday, December 9, 2018

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
 
 
 

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Farewell, Mr. President

A Life Nobly Lived.




                                                  George H. W. Bush (1924) - (2018)
                                            41st President of the United States of America.


                                                                " Mission Completed "
                                                                       Godspeed





Tuesday, December 4, 2018

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





 
 
 

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Making A Start

The Christmas decorating has begun.
A little here, a little there, and before you know it, the house is transformed with the magic of Christmas.



Later this evening, the tree will get decorated, sparkly faerie lights, dried apples and orange slices, baubles and red wooden-bead garlands.
Rust-colored Christmas bells, and  grape-vine mini wreaths.
Ornaments from seasons past,  reminding of treasured memories.

Hot chocolate simmers on the stove, as two portly felines watch with interest.
'Tis the season.
                                                                         

                                                                             🎄            

                           

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Special Delivery

Our precious granddaughter and our new great-granddaughter Ensley Kate.
We are blessed beyond words.....
 
 
 
 


Monday, November 26, 2018

Sleepy Days

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

 

Monday, November 19, 2018

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.
Each Thanksgiving it takes center-stage on my buffet, the colors on this picture do not do the piece justice, all hand-engraved and made in England.
Barnyard King, what could be a more fitting name.

From our home to yours.....A Happy Thanksgiving.



Sunday, November 18, 2018

A Little Bit Of Brit



Settling in for a night of English television programs.
Our local Public Broadcasting Corporation airs three British shows back to back on Sunday evenings, I would be happier with them spread out throughout the week, but I'll take whatever I can get.
Especially when the main character in Poldark is the handsome Irish actor Aiden Turner.
 *drool*
 
 

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Sunshine Returns

 


“It was one of those sumptuous days when the world is full of autumn muskiness and tangy, crisp perfection: vivid blue sky, deep green fields, leaves in a thousand luminous hues. It is a truly astounding sight when every tree in a landscape becomes individual, when each winding back highway and plump hillside is suddenly and infinitely splashed with every sharp shade that nature can bestow - flaming scarlet, lustrous gold, throbbing vermilion, fiery orange.”
        ~ Bill Bryson

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Nesting



Several of our western counties were blanketed with snow today, luckily we were not included.
There's a cold, blustery north wind blowing, and rain has saturated the ground for the past three days.
Birds are hunkered down in their nests, the ones who are brave enough to venture out, are flying sideways.
The cats are happily sleeping, they have started putting on their winter bellies, as with the rest of the household.
*sigh*
 
 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Hobbit Days



Goodness the weather has turned cold and damp.
The wind has howled, and temperatures dropping to a wintry mix later tomorrow.
The town is full of sickness, colds, flu and lots of pneumonia, I've been trying to stay home as much as possible, since I tend to be one of those 'susceptible to bronchitis' types.

I made a hearty homemade beef stew today, chocked full of vegetables, with an aromatic tomato base, and spices.
It's a Southern recipe, easy, and delicious.
 
 

Always best accompanied by a skillet of buttermilk cornbread. Or a hearty loaf of crusty bread.



Nothing fancy, just basic Beef and Vegetable Stew.
One and a half pound of stew beef, or hamburger meat
A large onion chopped
Two ribs of sliced celery
Cut up potatoes
Sliced carrots
A large can of whole peeled tomatoes chopped up in bite sized pieces
Can of chili beans with the sauce
Can of sliced green beans
Can of peas
Can of corn if I have it.
Beef or vegetable stock
Chili powder
Bay leaves (2)
Garlic powder
Parsley fresh
Salt and Pepper to taste
Most anything you like to throw in the pot....sometimes I add cabbage.

Southern Cornbread
1 1/4 cups of buttermilk or milk
1/4 cup of vegetable oil or solid shortening (melt if solid shortening)
2 cups of buttermilk cornmeal mix
1 ounce of melted butter
1 beaten egg
Oven temp 425 degrees

Place a cast iron skillet, or cake pan with a small amount of shortening inside the oven until the shortening melts and pan is hot.
Add mixture, bake for 15 / 20 minutes until golden brown
 

 

Sunday, November 11, 2018

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.

 

Monday, November 5, 2018

The Turning Of The Leaf

Finally, a little Autumn color has crept in.
Just in time for a blustery wind, to blanket the ground with autumn brilliance.
Raking leaves now sits at the top of the "to-do" list.
 

 
 


  
 
 
 




 


...I see
the turning of a leaf
dancing in an autumn sun,
and brilliant shades of crimson
glowing when a day is done...

~Hazelmarie "Mattie" Elliott, "