Sunday, May 30, 2010

Lest We Forget

"Your silent tents of green We deck with fragrant flowers;
Yours has the suffering been, The memory shall be ours."

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

~ Laurence Binyon: For the Fallen 1914

Friday, May 28, 2010

Class Of 2010

Tonight is our granddaughter's high school graduation.
A joyous time, and yet it's also sad, leaving friends behind who have been a part of your daily routine, for the better part of the last twelve years.

Megan Elizabeth has been a blessing in our lives. A sweet, caring, little girl, a joy to be around.
She loved to play dress up, as do most little girls, I've tried to remind her, that even when she is in a world of grown ups, it's good to take time out for play.

She'll be graduating with the recognition of being an Honor Student and also a Tennessee Scholar, we couldn't be more proud.

We'll be the loud family in the crowd....hooting and hollering !

Congratulations Megan Elizabeth : Class of 2010

****** You are indeed a shining star ******

Believe In Yourself And Your Dreams Will Come True
Know what you can and want to do in life.

Set goals for yourself and work hard to achieve them.

Strive to have fun every day.

Use your creativity as a means of expressing your feelings.

Be sensitive in viewing the world.

Develop a sense of confidence.

Be honest with yourself and with others.

Follow your heart and adhere to your own truths.

Know that the more you give the more you will receive.

Believe in yourself and your dreams will come true.
~ Susan Polis Schutz ~

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Treading Water

"A pool is the eye of the garden
in whose candid depths is mirrored
its advancing grace. "
~ Louise Beebe Wilder

The days have been excessively hot this past week. Normal temperatures at this time of the year are usually between 72 -75 degrees, and pleasant.
Over the last few days, the temps have soared into the low 90 degrees, with almost suffocating humidity, and undoubtedly due to the recent floods, there are mosquitoes everywhere....

We have a new visitor taking up residence at the pond, a young bullfrog. He's been making his amorous calls day and night, summoning any eligible female within earshot to venture his way.

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

A new Japanese water Iris in bloom " Holden's Child"

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Following The Road Less Traveled

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

~ Robert Frost (1874–1963). Mountain Interval. 1920.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

You'll Find Me In The Garden

Life has seemingly taken over at present, there is much that needs doing. I plan to be spending
time in the potting shed......

Contemplating and intending.

Digging and potting.

"And when your back stops aching and your hands begin to harden...You will find yourself a partner in the Glory of the Garden.".

~ Rudyard Kipling

There is no gardening without humility. Nature is constantly sending even its oldest scholars to the bottom of the class for some egregious blunder.
~ Alfred Austin

Planning a new herb garden, and taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Spring Rain

The world is wet today
luxurious, damp, drenched
drops hug the leaves,
anoint the still budded lilac blossoms
before their blooming
rich purple and plum
made richer by their watery skin
New leaves under the weight
droplets heavy, hanging
bowing the white pine needles
undersides exposed to drink
drink in the morning
hushed in the rain
temperature near the dewpoint
sprouts of just planted flowers
eager from the parched soil
new puddles bloom too
on the ground, the driveway
collect and gather
without the smell of summer rain yet
tears splash and spread
silent shimmers, heralds, messengers
in the spring rain.
~A Spring Rain : Raymond J. Foss

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Lovely Lavender

If I could choose but one plant in my garden it would be lavender.
One whiff of it's subtle fragrance, and I'm whisked back to my childhood and memories of my grandma's favorite Yardley's English Lavender toiletries.
Legend tells us that lavender was brought to England by the Romans. It was a highly valued plant due to it's healing, soothing and insect repelling properties.
Lavender oil was also used for massage.

The Lady of the Manor used lavender for culinary and medicinal purposes, and kept a still -room for preparation for use by family and staff.
Victorian ladies enjoyed lavender, turning their faces towards the sweet scent and inhaling it to calm their fluttering hearts.

A member of the mint family, and cousin to rosemary, lavender can be used like rosemary in many dishes.
The flowers, can be dried and tied in bunches, laying them in linen closets, or tucking them in dried flower arrangements and scattering sprigs wherever you choose.
A gentle shake or a fond pet of the plant releases the fragrance from early spring to frost.

" here's your sweet lavender
sixteen sprigs a penny
that you'll find my ladies
will smell as sweet as any "

~ The Lavender Seller's Cry, London, England 1900

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Domestic Treasures

They've swaddled newborn babies, and made impromptu living-room hideouts for giggly grandchildren.
Wrapped around chilly shoulders at ball games, stood sentry on Winter nights at the foot of beds , cascaded over weather- worn picnic tables, and cradled beloved pets as they leave this earth.....
Through it all, American Quilts remain eloquent symbols of domestic comfort.

First introduced to the American Colonies by the English in the eighteenth century, the art of quilting quickly became the most common form of needlework, fulfilling the need of both pleasure and utility.

Seemingly worthless scraps of fabric, painstakingly stitched together. Equal parts thrift, patience, skill and artistry, the completed quilt a triumph to it's maker, a joy for the viewer to behold.

Long ago removed from their bedrooms, these treasures are used in countless creative ways from porch to pantry, bringing life to a home.

A Christmas surprise handmade by my daughter, her first attempt at machine quilting.
** The picture of the Bears Paw quilt ( mustard trim),
made from scraps of The First Sergeant's grandmother's dresses.
Each time I look at this quilt, I see grandmoma, Miss Lily........

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Glory Of The Garden

The Glory of the Garden
Our England is a garden that is full of stately views,
Of borders, beds and shrubberies and lawns and avenues,
With statues on the terraces and peacocks strutting by;
But the Glory of the Garden lies in more than meets the eye.
For where the old thick laurels grow, along the thin red wall,
You will find the tool- and potting-sheds which are the heart of all;
The cold-frames and the hot-houses, the dungpits and the tanks:
The rollers, carts and drain-pipes, with the barrows and the planks.

And there you'll see the gardeners, the men and 'prentice boys
Told off to do as they are bid and do it without noise;
For, except when seeds are planted and we shout to scare the birds,
The Glory of the Garden it abideth not in words.
And some can pot begonias and some can bud a rose,
And some are hardly fit to trust with anything that grows;
But they can roll and trim the lawns and sift the sand and loam,
For the Glory of the Garden occupieth all who come.

Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
By singing:--"Oh, how beautiful!" and sitting in the shade,
While better men than we go out and start their working lives
At grubbing weeds from gravel-paths with broken dinner-knives.
There's not a pair of legs so thin, there's not a head so thick,
There's not a hand so weak and white, nor yet a heart so sick.
But it can find some needful job that's crying to be done,
For the Glory of the Garden glorifieth every one.

Then seek your job with thankfulness and work till further orders,
If it's only netting strawberries or killing slugs on borders;
And when your back stops aching and your hands begin to harden,
You will find yourself a partner in the Glory of the Garden.
Oh, Adam was a gardener, and God who made him sees
That half a proper gardener's work is done upon his knees,
So when your work is finished, you can wash your hands and pray
For the Glory of the Garden, that it may not pass away!

And the Glory of the Garden it shall never pass away!

~ Rudyard Kipling 1911

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Blackberry Winter

We've been having a cold spell the past several days.
Old-timers in the South know this as Blackberry Winter, or Dogwood Winter, which mainly describes a brief period of cold weather that coincides with the time the blackberries are in bloom, or the dogwoods are blooming, (typically in early to mid May).

Oliver likes to follow us around the garden, and play his favorite game of hide and seek.

Despite the cooler and much wetter weather, the flowers are flourishing.


Climbing Purple Clematis and New Dawn Rose

Camelot Rose

Antique Iris

Monday, May 10, 2010

They're Back....

Is it my imagination or have the Lightning Bugs returned at an earlier time this year ?

As we sat outside in the warm night air, we watched as the darkness of the woods was lit by the twinkling lights and mating rituals of the Lightning Bugs, or Fireflies as known to non-Southerners.
Meeting and creating beautiful luminescence together.

Close your eyes and think back to the long hot summers of childhood.
Playing outside until late in the evening, sitting on the front porch eating ice-cold watermelon slices, listening to the crickets chirp, and the tree frogs sing.

Remember catching Lightning Bugs and keeping them in a Mason jar ? They glowed beside you all night long sitting on your night table......Innocence and childhood going hand in hand.

We cannot recapture our childhood, but we can still enjoy the magic of the Lightning Bugs, nature's living lanterns............

Photo credit: jamelah

Sunday, May 9, 2010

To Our Wonderful Mothers

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

"Happy Mother's Day", 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

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, May 7, 2010

Blowing In The Wind

It's been an unusually windy day, the kind of day which is perfect for hanging out the washing.

What is it about washing billowing in the breeze on a washing line ?

Is it not just so gloriously suburban and romantic, to see white pillowcases and children's clothes, strung out in rows, telling us that this is a house where it's occupants are loved and cared for ?

Lacy underwear, towels and sheets, soccer shorts, table linens; it's so uninhibited, and they tell volumes about the occupants of the house they are adorning.....

"The maid was in the garden, hanging out the clothes
When down came a blackbird and pecked off her nose.
She made such a commotion that little Jenny Wren
Came down into the garden and pegged it on again."

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

About The Place

The difference in the Clematis in just two weeks is encouraging. I wasn't even sure if it would bloom this first growing season, but it has outdone itself.

A little cottage hideaway in the potting shed.

An endless collection of bird houses.

A garden visitor to the bird feeder.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


With all of the surrounding devastation and constant depressing news, I feel the need to escape and recharge my mental batteries.

Luckily, with the click of a mouse, I find myself knee-deep in a field of English Bluebells, gloriously waving around in the warmth of a Spring day.
A "happy place."

It's important to stay optimistic, and keep the "can do" spirit alive.

"Real optimism is aware of problems but recognizes solutions;
Knows about difficulties but believes they can be overcome;
Sees the negatives, but accentuates the positives;
Is exposed to the worst but expects the best;
Has reason to complain, but chooses to smile."

~William Arthur Ward

Monday, May 3, 2010

Govenor Declares a State of Emergency

The Governor has a declared a state of emergency for Tennessee.
Floodwater continued to rise in downtown Nashville, shutting down most of lower Broadway including First and Second avenues.
The Schermerhorn Symphony Center and numerous buildings downtown near the Cumberland River had lower-level flooding.

More than 7 inches of rain fell on Saturday and 13.53 inches had fallen by 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, a new two-day record.
Just two days into the month, this is already the wettest May in Nashville's recorded history and fifth wettest month in city history. Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen called it an "unprecedented rain event."

The guests at Opryland Hotel Sunday were moved to McGavock High School and other hotels. Gaylord Entertainment, the owners of the hotel, confirmed that there was 6 feet of standing water inside the hotel.
All rivers are at least 4 to 10 feet about flood stages.

Officials in Tennessee were preparing for more deaths and for the Cumberland River, which winds through the Music City, to crest more than 11 feet Monday afternoon, putting portions of downtown in danger of the kind of damage experienced by thousands of residents whose homes were swamped by flash floods.

Many residents are in the process of cleaning up, flood water and mud covering everything it came in contact with.
Other residents sadly no longer have homes to return to, since neighborhoods are still under fifteen and twenty feet of flood water.
Please keep these people in your thoughts and prayers.

The Corp of Engineers are planning to release flood gates on nearby dams, at midnight tonight, in an effort to lower the water levels.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Water, Water, Everywhere

Flooding update....
It continues to rain, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency are saying this is the worst flooding since back in the 1970's....
Schools are closed, authorities are telling everyone to stay home, we've had eight storm related deaths in the State, extensive flooding, and two tornado touchdowns.

We have been hammered !

Back of the property.

Looking more like a lake, than a stream.

Thank you for all of the well-wishes, they are truly appreciated !
It's an official thirteen inches of rainfall in the last 24 hours, that's a LOT of water.....
The creeks are flooded, the Interstates are closed at various points, and homes have been evacuated.
Our home is NOT flooded, other than the back of the property, where the creek runs through.
My heart goes out, to those whose homes are, such a daunting task lays ahead.

The skies are still heavily laden with clouds, more rain is predicted all day today, together with tornado activity.

The Clematis is happy at least.

Town square still flooded.

My granddaughter's best friend's yard.

Granddaughter's best friend's four foot swimming pool, completely covered their fish pond also !