Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Have A Seat.

It seems every Christmas I spend most of my shopping days browsing the antique stores.
I like to buy gifts according to my own likes and dislikes, so it only seems natural that I tend to buy antique dishes, or unusual pieces as gifts.
It also gives me the opportunity to look around the shops and treat myself to a little treasure or two.

Today, whilst shopping with my daughter, we came across this wonderful old chair.
At first glance it appears to have belonged in a rectory of sorts, maybe even an old Manor House.
I'm not sure of the wood, possibly maple, or poplar.

I was smitten on impact, and proud to announce it has found a new "forever home".

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas To All.

"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. Hendricks

Wishing you and yours, a wonderful Christmas.
May you all be surrounded with much love and blessings.

Your friendships have been a true a blessing throughout the year !
Hugs to you all,

From our home to yours.......

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Winter Solstice Begins.

Now winter nights enlarge
This number of their hours;
And clouds their storms discharge
Upon the airy towers.
Let now the chimneys blaze
And cups o'erflow with wine
Let well-tuned words amaze
With harmony divine...
~Thomas Campion

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Day at The Hermitage

Amidst all the shopping, and hustle and bustle of Christmas preparation, I took a much needed diversion this week, to visit one of my favorite historic homes The Hermitage.
Home of the seventh president of the United States ANDREW JACKSON
Term- March 4, 1829 to March 4, 1837
Andrew Jackson -

The front of the mansion

Back of the mansionGroundhog guarding his burrow on the grounds

Belted Galloway's on the farm
Three hundred year old cedar
Slave quarters View of the original log cabin used by Jackson
Andrew and Rachel's burial tomb
Renovation underway on the front of the mansion

The Tulip Grove built for Rachel Jackson's nephew.
Info credit: Wikipedia

Monday, December 7, 2009

A List Of Goodies.

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

I've made my Christmas list and checked it twice.

Lots of Christmas Crackers. Check.
Plum Pudding. Check.
Bird's Custard. Check.
Plenty of Yorkshire Gold Tea. Check.

Pickled Onions. Check.

Mince Pies. Check.

Cadbury's Collection Chocolate Biscuits. Check.

Sled: For snow, Christmas Day. Check.
"Timeshare" Oliver kitty,
requested his presence for Christmas Day. Check.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Tartan And Table.

Seems my table this Christmas will have a distinct Rabbie Burns flare.
There is something so warm and inviting about the color of Tartan, not as "stuffy" as some of the more formal tablecloths I've used in past Christmas's.

I'ts still a work in progress, needing the Christmas Crackers and few more pieces from England, which are a must have each year.

''Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thanket.''
~Robert Burns (1759-1796),

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Mr. Toast's Tea.

Today is the event of the anticipated Mr. Toast's First Annual Christmas Tea, held in the snow-filled mountains of Aspen, Colorado.
It is planned to be the most magical of times.
Please won't you join us, there will be lots of delicious treats, and of course the very BEST of teas.
You may read all about it here.......

I'm running behind schedule, one of those unfortunate things I'm afraid.
However, I have notified our gracious host and he is most understanding.

I'll be wearing this tapestry gown, I hope you approve.

We have the accommodations booked, and shall be arriving shortly.

I'm delighted to bring all the guests a little Christmas gift, I hope you'll enjoy.

Oooh, I'll be bringing along a friend........
I do hope it's OK.


Friday, November 27, 2009

The Comforts Of Home.

Winter is the time for comfort,
for good food and warmth,
for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire:
it is the time for home.
~Edith Sitwell

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner ?

Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving, from our home to yours.....

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Best Of Bluegrass and Irish Music.

I need a little inspiration, as with most of us at this time of the year.
All the shopping, decorating, cooking, list-making, errand-running, it all seems to overwhelm my spirit.
Oh, I'll get there, but I need a little encouragement.
I've played this video previously, but since it does the trick, I'm playing it again.
If this doesn't get you reeling......nothing else will.
Yip !

Please be sure to turn off the PLAYLIST by scrolling all the way to the bottom of the sidebar, and clicking the large ROUND button.

Videocredit: Youtube/tarodnet

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Feline Visitor.

To say I'm a cat-lover would be an understatement, I adore cats.
The first cat that I was owned by, came from a family of feral cats on my uncle's allotment.
A bundle of yellow fur, mum and I transported him home in my dolly's pram.

I had to hold him with one hand and push the pram with the other, when I arrived home, my arm was nothing short of a bloody mess, he did not take kindly to humans.
I didn't care, I had my cat.
We named him Brandy, he used up most of his nine lives, and lived to the age of nineteen.

Last year, I lost both of my dear cats to illness. I longed for another, yet despite that urge held off making the commitment.
I think I just needed down-time.

In the middle of winter sitting on the porch and enjoying the Christmas lights, I heard a faint "meow".
A small orange and white cat appeared out of nowhere. I gave him a treat, petted him endlessly, and smiled.
Those familiar feelings, made me feel whole again.
I didn't see him again until this week.

Out of the blue, same friendly greeting, only this time a grown cat. If he could speak "human", I dare say he his words would have been
" Hello, I'm back, remember me ?"
He's been here for three days.
I think he may have a family, I'm going to ask around, if not I think I may have found my next cat, or he has found me....

I call him Oliver "Ollie" for short, he doesn't seem to mind, just as long as he gets petted, and there are plenty of treats.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Home Sweet Home.

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

Poem: Home Sweet Home by ABritinTN

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nesting Days.

Today we had our first rainfall in almost three weeks. It's one of those dark, quiet days, the kind that begs you to nestle in the fold, put a soup in the pot, and enjoy the coziness of home.

A new potting shed wreath from recycled willow tendrils and berry vines.

Leaves to welcome the season.

Leaves that are demanding attention.

I always think better over a cup of tea ;)

Monday, November 16, 2009

An Imposter Amongst Us.

" Ladybird, ladybird fly away home,
Your house is on fire and your children are gone, "

Ladybugs or Ladybirds as they are called in England, were always considered a sign of luck, if one was to land on you.

As I am sitting here writing, there are three ladybugs (ladybirds) walking across the ceiling. These warmer than usual Autumn days, today 74 degrees would be a reasonable explanation for these cute little bugs to still be present, or so I thought.

After a fellow blogger also commented on the prolific presence of the ladybugs I started to wonder, why they are still hanging around the garden and now inside the house, daily.

It turns out that the true Ladybug bright red with spots with which we are all so familiar, is being threatened at an alarming rate, by an impostor Ladybug, The Harlequin Ladybug.

Harlequins are native to Asia but were introduced to the U.S. a quarter of a century ago to control aphid populations.
Since then they have become the country's most common species, threatening the survival of North American ladybirds and other aphid predators such as butterflies.

They were subsequently sold in continental Europe by biocontrol companies, and are believed to have arrived in Britain on plants from Holland, Belgium or France.
Unlike their red and black-spotted British counterparts, harlequins come in a rainbow of colours, most commonly orange and yellow.

They have up to 21 spots. They eat aphids, the staple diet of Britain's own ladybird species.
When those run out, they are happy to eat their competitors instead.
Even humans aren't exempt - Professor Majerus a scientist at the University of Cambridge England, said there were increasing reports of harlequins biting people in the late summer as they run out of food.

The Ladybugs have quickly become the Nuisance Pest of the Year, as thousands of Americans British and Canadians are being bombarded by and infested with ladybugs, in their homes.
As autumn approaches, the adult beetles leave their summer feeding sites in yards, fields and forests for protected places to spend the winter. Unfortunately, homes and buildings are one such location. Swarms of lady beetles typically fly to buildings in September though November depending on locale and weather conditions.
Beetle flights are heaviest on sunny days following a period of cooler weather, when temperatures return to at least the mid-60s. Consequently, most flight activity occurs in the afternoon and may vary in intensity from one day to the next.

Besides just being pesky, the Asian Lady Beetle also emits a distinct odor when they are disturbed (such as when you try to swat at them in your house) or when they gather in groups. They also can leave behind a yellowish liquid that can stain carpets or other surfaces.

Turns out they're not so "lucky" after all.
Photocredit: University of Cambridge

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Little Home.

The Little Home
Edgar A. Guest

The little house is not too small
To shelter friends who come to call.
Though low the roof and small its space
It holds the Lord's abounding grace,
And every simple room may be
Endowed with happy memory.
The little house, severely plain,
A wealth of beauty may contain.
Within it those who dwell may find
High faith which makes for peace of mind,
And that sweet understanding which
Can make the poorest cottage rich.
The little house can hold all things
From which the soul's contentment springs.
'Tis not too small for love to grow,
For all the joys that mortals know,
For mirth and song and that delight
Which make the humblest dwelling bright.