Thursday, December 5, 2019

Christmas Scents

 

One of my favorite Christmas activities,  in early December, when the cold weather has set in and thoughts are turning to decorating, are to make dried orange slices for hanging on the tree.
The aroma is intoxicatingly festive, and fills the house with the fresh smell of oranges.
If you desire you can sprinkle a few with a light dusting of cinnamon, not too heavy an amount as this tends to make the oranges darker.
When they are hung from the branches and the twinkling lights shine through they remind me of  Nature's stained-glass.
 

Two or three Navel oranges.
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees.
Prepare your pan with nonstick spray or a baking mat. ...
Slice oranges into 1/4″ slices or thinner. ...
Pat dry with a paper towel.
Place oranges in a single layer on the prepared pan, ensuring they do not touch.
Bake for up to 6 hours or until completely dry.
Hang from the tree with jute or ribbon.

                                                                              🎄

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

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 ..........

Sunday, December 1, 2019

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..
The last few pleasant days of Autumn, with sunshine aplenty.
 
Later today, the  temperatures will cool and fall into the thirties, 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 117 short days, Spring will once again return.
 
 
 

 
 





 

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

~ Henry Beston : Northern Farm




Thursday, November 28, 2019

Thanksgiving Blessings





Count your blessings instead of your crosses;
Count your gains instead of your losses.
Count your joys instead of your woes;
Count your friends instead of your foes.
Count your smiles instead of your tears;
Count your courage instead of your fears.
Count your full years instead of your lean;
Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.
Count your health instead of your wealth;
Count on God instead of yourself.

~Author Unknown

 
A Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving from our home to yours............
 

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Being Thankful

Rain has fallen on and off for most of the day, making for the perfect opportunity to gather my Thanksgiving recipes.
Our Thanksgiving is a low-key affair, since like most families, our little close family, now includes in-laws, and extended family members, and time has to be split between both.
That's ok too,  this way we all have a chance to enjoy family, food and fellowship, and be grateful for the many blessings.
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Timeless Treasures

A lovely #10 McCoy mixing bowl bought for a mere twenty dollars today.
I bought the larger sister bowl #12 some thirty years ago, and paid four times the price.
Christmas has come early !
 

 

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Oliver Love

"Oliver look this way and smile"

 
 
 
 
" You forgot to open your eyes "
 


"Perfect".

Friday, November 15, 2019

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

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Tea-Sipping Day

Mother Nature sent us a sprinkling of snow, just enough to remind us that winter is just around the corner.
The arctic blast of air lingers, furry Ugh boots, now replace dollar store flip-flops.
I've been working on my Christmas list, accompanied by two portly kitties at my side, and lots of lovely tea. 
Bone-chilling days, but spectacular autumn sunsets.
 
 

Monday, November 11, 2019

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.
 
 
 

Saturday, November 9, 2019

The Nesting Season

The ground is soaked from a day of rain. Much needed rain, for which we are grateful.
I've been busy running errands today, ticking off my to-do list.
Hearty soups have now become the meal of choice.
Nights are noticeably cooler, and darkness falls before the clock strikes five.
Candlelight glows.
The nesting season begins.
                                                     

Monday, November 4, 2019

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.
And two portly kitties spend their days chasing them.
 

 
 


  
 
 
 




 


...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, "
 

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Fall Back

 



This coming Sunday at 2 am our semi-annual clock fiddling takes place once again.
An hour backwards from Daylight Saving Time, affording an extra hour of sleep on these colder mornings.
Just enough time to remind us, that the year is winding down, and soon, a long sleepy winter will be our companion.
A time to regenerate our weary souls, and make new plans for the coming year ahead.
A time to dream.
 
  

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Garden Chores Await

                                         
 Remington the Horticulturist ~ Charles Wysocki
 
*******
 
"Spring flowers are long since gone.
Summer's bloom hangs limp on every terrace.
The gardener's feet drag a bit on the dusty path and the hinge in his back is full of creaks."-

~Louise Seymour Jones

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Autumn Silence



I had a doctors appointment yesterday, or so I thought...
Got all dolled up and signed in at the reception desk, only to be told it was next Monday, I think I am losing the plot.
I detest going to the doctors, I seem to suffer from "white coat syndrome." My blood pressure shoots up, and the physicians seeking an accurate blood pressure reading are frustrated.
So repeat next week.

To make up, I'm enjoying a day of quiet time . The trees are changing color, and Autumn leaves are making a show, finally.
Some days it's good to do nothing. No deadlines to meet, no chores to complete, no lists to check twice.
Bliss.


Saturday, October 19, 2019

Pottering Days



Ooh, it's turned into 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.
 

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Shine On Harvest Moon

The Harvest Moon brightened up the night sky as soon as the sun set.
For several days before and after the full moon, the moon hangs in the sky like a great, glowing lantern and prolongs the light far after sunset. It rises about the time the sun sets, but more importantly, at this time of year, instead of rising at its normal average of 40 minutes later each day, the moon seems to rise at nearly the same time each night.
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


Friday, October 11, 2019

Serenity

View of the local dam in my hometown. Autumn in England.
 
 
 
 
 
This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,--
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.
 
William Shakespeare "King Richard II", Act 2 scene 1 
 
 

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Holding On

The arbor- trellis roses are still blooming their little hearts out.
Perfect sunny days, and mist-laden, cool nights, affording them once last chance at a flush of beauty, before the first frost appears.









'Tis the last rose of summer
Left blooming alone;
All her lovely companions
Are faded and gone;

No flower of her kindred,
No rosebud is nigh,
To reflect back her blushes,
To give sigh for sigh.

I'll not leave thee, thou lone one!
To pine on the stem;
Since the lovely are sleeping,
Go, sleep thou with them.

Thus kindly I scatter,
Thy leaves o'er the bed,
Where thy mates of the garden
Lie scentless and dead.

So soon may I follow,
When friendships decay,
From Love's shining circle
The gems drop away.

When true hearts lie withered
And fond ones are flown,
Oh! who would inhabit,
This bleak world alone?


The Last Rose of Summer:  Thomas Moore 1805
 

Monday, October 7, 2019

Misty Autumn Morn




 
I Saw old Autumn in the misty morn
Stand shadowless like Silence, listening
To silence, for no lonely bird would sing
Into his hollow ear from woods forlorn,
Nor lowly hedge nor solitary thorn;—
Shaking his languid locks all dewy bright
With tangled gossamer that fell by night,
Pearling his coronet of golden corn.  

~ Thomas Hood : Autumn (1798-1845