Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Whimsy And Whiskers

In our travels down ' blog highway' we oftentimes run across blogs which are near and dear to our hearts.
You know the ones I'm describing , they literally have a way of drawing us in.

Several weeks ago I was left a lovely comment by a dear lady who had visited my blog, and in return, I paid her a visit.
I am so glad I did....
Her blog is one of the most delightful, and enchanting places, I get completely absorbed in it's whimsy.

It's creator Jeri Landers is an artist, author and illustrator, who also shares a passion for gardening, love of animals, and storytelling.
She paints and brings her characters alive, in the same talented and whimsical style as Beatrix Potter.
"Hopalong Hollow, where the blueberries grow sweet, and the moss feels soft beneath your feet."
Set in the woodland of Hopalong Hollow she tells the tales of Mrs. Whiskerkins, Trudy Webbytoes, Bushky Bushybottom and all the creatures who dwell in the hollow.

Trudy Webbytoes

Home for Jeri is the surrounding lush, green hillsides of rural northeastern Tennessee, she lives in a 120 year old house, named Ochre Moon Manor with her husband and a menagerie of creatures great and small.

Stop by and pay her a visit..... you'll be completely enchanted !

© Jeri Landers

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Wandering Path

On top of the earth
where green touches the hills ~
in spring, in summer, with daffodils,
with dandelions scattered through untilled fields,
with waterfalls and ferny fronds
companioning winding creeks; and
grassy knolls surrounding sunlit ponds...

That is where my heart thrives ~
among dahlias, lilacs, and rosy thorns
scenting life with fragrant morns,
and gentle nights of rounded moons,
inhaling reminiscent blooms
of many lost, yet, joyful Junes...

Warming seasons created to
make lips smile, hearts leap,
feet dance to earthy song;
and earth's turning, ever-moving
old winter right along...

'Til spring emerges, and summer follows
into every nook, into every hollow,
with greening leaf and budding flower
bestowed by Mother Nature's power..

An overwhelming gift of rarest beauty,
a rejuvenation, a resurrection of life ~
when earth renews, when earth revives...
Yes, that is when my heart truly thrives.

~ Hazelmarie Elliott

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sweet Spring

That God once loved a garden we learn in Holy writ.
And seeing gardens in the Spring I well can credit it.

~Winifred Mary Letts

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Their Back !

The Hummingbirds are back!

Most of us can’t wait until April every year to start putting out our Hummingbird feeders.
We love attracting those little birds that are so much fun to watch.
Here in the South near Nashville we get lots of the Ruby Throated Hummingbirds, and welcome their return each year.

Before hanging up your hummingbird feeder, make sure to clean it out really well.
In the glass feeders use a rinse of 10 parts water to 1 part bleach solution. (If you have a plastic feeder, be careful. The bleach may discolor it). Rinse it really well with hot water.
Let the feeder cool before adding your nectar.

Your homemade nectar can be made from 1 part sugar (white/cane sugar) to 4 parts water. The traditional way of making your nectar calls for *boiling to make it easier to dissolve the sugar and to purify the solution so that it will stay fresh longer.
Let the nectar cool before pouring it into your feeder. -Please DO NOT add red food coloring or dye, or honey to the nectar.

You may store any unused nectar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.*I do not boil my nectar, according to Lanny Chambers, "It's not necessary to boil the water. The microorganisms that cause fermentation don't come from the water; they are transported to the feeder on hummingbird bills.

"Hang your feeder and enjoy!!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Visit With The Bunny

Here comes Peter Cottontail,
Hoppin' down the bunny trail.......

Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.
Walk softly and carry a big carrot.
Everyone needs a friend who is all ears.
There’s no such thing as too much candy.
All work and no play can make you a basket case.
A cute little tail attracts a lot of attention.
Everyone is entitled to a bad hare day.
Let happy thoughts multiply like rabbits.
Some body parts should be floppy.
Keep your paws off other people’s jellybeans.
Good things come in small sugar-coated packages.
The grass is always greener in someone else’s basket.
An Easter bonnet can tame even the wildest hare.
To show your true colors – you have to come out of your shell.
The best things in life are still sweet and gooey.

~ Author Unknown

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Reporting For Duty

The weather has warmed.
The sunshine on my face, feels friendly once again.
There is lots of work to do around the garden, planting, raking , scrubbing, and banishing all signs of Winter.
It's a time of rejuvenation, I'm ready to roll up my sleeves and report for duty.

The cock is crowing,
The stream is flowing,
The small birds twitter,
The lake doth glitter
The green field sleeps in the sun;
The oldest and youngest
Are at work with the strongest;
The cattle are grazing,
Their heads never raising;
There are forty feeding like one!
Like an army defeated
The snow hath retreated,
And now doth fare ill
On the top of the bare hill;
The plowboy is whooping—anon-anon:
There's joy in the mountains;
There's life in the fountains;
Small clouds are sailing,
Blue sky prevailing;
The rain is over and gone!
~William Wordsworth

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The House With Nobody In It

click to enlarge

Whenever I walk to Suffern along the Erie track
I go by a poor old farmhouse with its shingles broken and black.
I suppose I've passed it a hundred times, but I always stop for a minute
And look at the house, the tragic house, the house with nobody in it.

I never have seen a haunted house, but I hear there are such things;
That they hold the talk of spirits, their mirth and sorrowings.
I know this house isn't haunted, and I wish it were, I do;
For it wouldn't be so lonely if it had a ghost or two.

This house on the road to Suffern needs a dozen panes of glass,
And somebody ought to weed the walk and take a scythe to the grass.
It needs new paint and shingles, and the vines should be trimmed and tied;
But what it needs the most of all is some people living inside.

If I had a lot of money and all my debts were paid
I'd put a gang of men to work with brush and saw and spade.
I'd buy that place and fix it up the way it used to be
And I'd find some people who wanted a home and give it to them free.

Now, a new house standing empty, with staring window and door,
Looks idle, perhaps, and foolish, like a hat on its block in the store.
But there's nothing mournful about it; it cannot be sad and lone
For the lack of something within it that it has never known.

But a house that has done what a house should do,a house that has sheltered life,
That has put its loving wooden arms around a man and his wife,
A house that has echoed a baby's laugh and held up his stumbling feet,
Is the saddest sight, when it's left alone, that ever your eyes could meet.

So whenever I go to Suffern along the Erie track
I never go by the empty house without stopping and looking back,
Yet it hurts me to look at the crumbling roof and the shutters fallen apart,
For I can't help thinking the poor old house is a house with a broken heart.

~The House with Nobody In It Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What Angels Must Sound Like

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and clicking the LARGE round button.

Sung to : Symphony No. 9 "From the New World"-ll / Dvorak

Dedicated to my fellow blogger Betsy in the tragic loss of her young friend.


Video credit: Youtube/iloveLebra

Monday, March 22, 2010

Thoughts of Home

The Manor Farm

The rock-like mud unfroze a little and rills
Ran and sparkled down each side of the road
Under the catkins wagging in the hedge.
But earth would have her sleep out, spite of the sun;
Nor did I value that thin glilding beam
More than a pretty February thing
Till I came down to the old Manor Farm,
And church and yew-tree opposite, in age
Its equals and in size. The church and yew
And farmhouse slept in a Sunday silentness.
The air raised not a straw. The steep farm roof,
With tiles duskily glowing, entertained
The mid-day sun; and up and down the roof
White pigeons nestled. There was no sound but one.
Three cart-horses were looking over a gate
Drowsily through their forelocks, swishing their tails
Against a fly, a solitary fly.
The Winter's cheek flushed as if he had drained
Spring, Summer, and Autumn at a draught
And smiled quietly. But 'twas not Winter—
Rather a season of bliss unchangeable
Awakened from farm and church where it had lain
Safe under tile and thatch for ages since
This England, Old already, was called Merry.

~ Edward Thomas 1878-1917

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Country Corral

So they all went away from the little log house.
The shutters were over the windows, so the little house could not see them go.
It stayed there inside the log fence, behind the two big oak trees, that in the summertime
had made green roofs for Mary and Laura to play under.

~ Laura Ingalls Wilder /Little House on the Prairie

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Bit O' Blarney

May The Luck Of The Irish Be With You On St. Patrick's Day.....

In honour of St. Patrick himself......

There’s a dear little plant that grows in our isle,
‘Twas St. Patrick himself, sure, that sets it;
And the sun of his labor with pleasure did smile,
And with dew from his eye often wet it.
It grows through the bog, through the brake, through the mireland
And they call it the dear little Shamrock of Ireland.

If'n yer 'ave a little o' the "green" running through yer veins, we'll be a'celebrating today.........

Who knows...we may be lucky enough to find a Pot O' Gold....

Be sure to say "Good Morn" to the wee fairies..........

Grab yer old walking stick.....

Cog over the careful now..

A little further up the lane......

Watch out fer the sheep.......

We'll rest and have a bite of lunch....

Will yer be having corned beef and cabbage ?

A nice piece of soda bread with that ?

What will yer be drinking .......Maybe a pint of Guinness ?

We'll be on to the shenanigans now.......

Well......would you just look at that !
Glory be......

Credits: Video/you tube/shastasheene

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Mothering Sunday In England

Today is Mother's Day in England.
Since we celebrate the day at different times of the year, England being in March, and USA in May, I feel it is only appropriate to mention both of them during the year.

This post is dedicated to all our wonderful mums, without whose unselfish, love and devotion
our lives would be forever changed.

"Happy Mother's Day" mum, I hope your day is filled with muchiness.

"A Mother holds her children's hands for a while
.......their hearts forever."

His Mother
Even He that died for us upon the cross, in the last hour,
in the unutterable agony of death,
was mindful of His mother,
as if to teach us that this holy love
should be our last worldly thought - the last point of earth
from which the soul should take its flight for heaven.

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Mother Love ~ James John Hill

Who ran to help me when I fell, And would some pretty story tell, Or Kiss the place to make it well? My mother."

~ Anne Taylor

Reading to Mother ~ John Morgan

A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.

~Tenneva Jordan

Friday, March 12, 2010

Alice In Wonderland

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As previously planned, my granddaughter and I went to see the new Alice in Wonderland movie today.
Rated PG for fantasy action/violence involving scary images and situations and for a smoking caterpillar.
We decided not to see the 3-D version instead opting for the 2-D.

The storyline is of nineteen year old Alice who once again falls down the rabbit hole, that takes her to Underland; a strange world inhabited by anthropomorphic creatures in search of someone to save them from the dreaded Red Queen.
The character of the Mad Hatter played by Johnny Depp was one of the most colorful and entertaining portrayals to date, together with the role of Alice, superbly played by actress,
Mia Wasikowska.

Not a movie I would recommend for small children, but if you're an Alice in Wonderland fan, a definite "two thumbs up"...... an Alice in Wonderland on steroids if you will.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Early Spring

"Harshness vanished. A sudden softness
has replaced the meadows' wintry grey.
Little rivulets of water changed
their singing accents. Tendernesses,
hesitantly, reach toward the earth
from space, and country lanes are showing
these unexpected subtle risings
that find expression in the empty trees."

~ Rainer Marie Rilke, Early Spring

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Just A Little House

An Old Woman Of The Roads.

O, TO have a little house!
To own the hearth and stool and all!
The heaped up sods upon the fire,
The pile of turf against the wall!

To have a clock with weights and chains
And pendulum swinging up and down!
A dresser filled with shining delph,
Speckled and white and blue and brown!

I could be busy all the day
Clearing and sweeping hearth and floor,
And fixing on their shelf again
My white and blue and speckled store!

I could be quiet there at night
Beside the fire and by myself,
Sure of a bed and loth to leave
The ticking clock and the shining delph!

Och! but I'm weary of mist and dark,
And roads where there's never a house nor bush,
And tired I am of bog and road,
And the crying wind and the lonesome hush!

And I am praying to God on high,
And I am praying Him night and day,
For a little house—a house of my own—
Out of the wind's and the rain's way.

~Padraic Colum 1881 - 1972

Monday, March 8, 2010

Grinning Like A Cheshire Cat

The grandchildren and I have a movie date this week, with the much anticipated release of the Walt Disney Productions picture Alice in Wonderland.

Tim Burton takes a stab at Lewis Carroll's timeless tale of a young girl lost within a fantasy land with this 3-D production of Alice in Wonderland, co-starring Johnny Depp as The Mad Hatter.

I'm curious to see how this magical and imaginative tale will compare to previous presentations, especially since my hometown in England is home to it's renowned Victorian author, Lewis Carroll.

Lewis Carroll - 1832-1898
Born on January 27, 1832, in Daresbury, Cheshire, England, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was the son of a clergyman, and the third child born to a family of eleven children.

Carroll published his novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in 1865, followed by Through the Looking Glass in 1872. Alice's story began as a piece of extemporaneous whimsy meant to entertain three little girls on a boating trip in 1862.

Both of these works were considered children's novels that were satirical in nature and in exemplification of Carroll's wit. Also famous is Carroll's poem "Jabberwocky," in which he created nonsensical words from word combinations.

Cheshire Cat: If I were looking for a white rabbit, I'd ask the Mad Hatter.
Alice: The Mad Hatter? Oh, no no no...
Cheshire Cat : Or , you could ask the March Hare, in that direction,
Alice: Thank you, I think I see him......
Cheshire Cat: Of course, he's mad, too.
Alice: But I don't want to go among mad people.
Cheshire Cat: Oh, you can't help that. Most everyone's mad here
Cheshire Cat:You may have noticed that I'm not all there myself.

Photo credits: Literature Network. Wikipedia.

Friday, March 5, 2010

March Days

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot
and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light,
and winter in the shade.
~Charles Dickens

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Glass Flowers

The calendar shows the first day of March, and yet we are forecast more snow in the eastern counties including our area.
I'm feeling the need for flowers, yet it is still too early, and so settling for the glass variety is my only option on this snowy March day.

I'm feeling renewed already !