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.



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.
 
 

 

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





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
 

 

Thursday, November 1, 2018

November

It's a windy and wet start to November.
The Halloween decorations are being returned to their storage boxes for another year.
Meanwhile, Mother Nature is treating us to her own spectacular autumnal display.
 
 



“The leaves fall, the wind blows, and the farm country slowly changes from the summer cottons into its winter wools.”

~ Henry Beston : Northern Farm

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Trick Or Treat

We'll leave the light on for you.
 


" By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes,
Open, locks,
Whoever knocks ".
 
Shakespeare / Macbeth 1606

 
 
 

 

Monday, October 29, 2018

National Cat Day

Today is National Cat Day.
Most of my readers are aware we have two cats that are a huge part of our family here in Tennessee.
Both cats chose our humble little abode, to call their own, and watching their antics, and sharing our days with these two sweeties, brings many smiles to our faces.
Oliver is the marmalade and white boy, and is approximately nine years old, and then along came Tom-Tilly, a tiny little girl who literally lived beneath my potting shed, and is now four years old.
We originally thought she was a 'he' and we named him Tom-Kitten, you can read about her story here: http://abritintn.blogspot.com/2014/07/tom-kitten.html
We love them both dearly.


Friday, October 26, 2018

Tea And Scones

Some days it's good to do nothing. No deadlines to meet, no chores to complete, no lists to check twice.
A day for sipping cups of tea and curling up by the fireside with a portly feline or two at your side.
A gentle rain is falling as I type, a dark and cozy Autumn day, to be savored.
A simple day.
                                                        
 
 

 
" The best kind of rain, of course, is a cozy rain.
This is the kind the anonymous medieval poet makes me remember, the rain that falls on a day when you'd just as soon stay in bed a little longer, write letters or read a good book by the fire, take early tea with hot scones and jam and look out the streaked window with complacency. "

~Susan Allen Toth, England For All Seasons

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Bewitched

If you need a little smile today
x
 


Monday, October 15, 2018

Special Delivery


 
My sweet boy Oliver loves a cardboard box better than food, well almost...…..

                                                           😺

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Long-Awaited




Our trusty weatherman has predicted we'll be finally experiencing some Fall-like weather this week.
No more of the ninety degree days, but temperatures much cooler, and  seasonal.
I can't wait to open the windows at night, enjoy the crisp air, and fall asleep to the sound of the screech owl calling.
*ahhh*

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Indian Summer

A breezy porch-sitting day.
The temperatures have warmed, to the point where Summer days have returned.
It's 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.
Chili cooking is put on hold, indulging in light salads and fruit plates instead.
The air conditioner continues to hum.




An early American writer described Indian Summer well when he wrote, "The air is perfectly quiescent and all is stillness, as if Nature, after her exertions during the Summer, were now at rest."
      ~ John Bradbury 1817

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Floating Along

Another day of rain.
Six inches of the stuff, the ground is soaked.
It seems as though an entire Summer's rainfall has fell in one week.
Even Freddie the frog has taken to higher ground.






Cold, wet leaves
Floating on moss-colored water
And the croaking of frogs -
Cracked bell-notes in the twilight.
 
~ The Pond, Amy Lowell

 

Sunday, September 23, 2018

And The Rains Came

A cozy steady rain has fallen all day, reminding me of home in England.
There were several Fall festivals planned this weekend, but sadly were canceled due to the downpours.
I sat on the porch as the rain clattered on the tin roof, and reminded my husband, that no amount of rain would ever cause a cancelation of anything in England, it was just something we co-existed with,  umbrellas and rain shoes were always part of our daily lives.
No inconvenience,  just sharing this incredible planet, we all call "home"....
 
 
 
 
 
 
 




How beautiful is the rain!
After the dust and heat,
In the broad and fiery street,
In the narrow lane,
How beautiful is the rain!

How it clatters along the roofs,
Like the tramp of hoofs
How it gushes and struggles out
From the throat of the overflowing spout!

Across the window-pane
It pours and pours;
And swift and wide,
With a muddy tide,
Like a river down the gutter roars
The rain, the welcome rain!

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Friday, September 14, 2018

Hurricane Sunset

It is hard to imagine, after a day filled with mayhem and devastation to our neighbors in the Carolinas , that Mother Nature would offer us,  in the adjoining state,  such a spectacular and peaceful sunset.

My thoughts and prayers are with those effected by Florence's fury.


Monday, September 10, 2018

The Calm Before The Storm

Our days have turned sun-less.
Dark clouds linger overhead, and there is an aura of stillness in the air making for dreary days.
If I didn't know the difference I would think we were in the depths of Autumn.
I've resisted the urge to make a comforting pot of chili and cornbread, however the candle-lighting has already begun.
 
 
 


Thursday, September 6, 2018

Royal Lace



It's the time of year when the hedgerows and meadows, are once again filled with wildflowers.
Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota)
This wild version of the carrot is one of the most common and best known "weeds" we have.
It's hard to imagine what a fallow field would look like in late summer without the white flower heads bobbing in the breeze.

It is thought that the carrots escaped from the gardens of the early European settlers in North America, having thrived in the wild to become what we know as Queen Anne's Lace.


 
 
It is so called because the flowers resemble lace; the red flower in the center represents a blood droplet where Queen Anne pricked herself with a needle when she was making the lace. The function of the tiny red flower, colored by anthocyanin, is to attract insects.
 
 The plant is commonly referred to as Cow Parsley  ( Anthriscus sylvestris )  in Great Britain.