Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Down The Rabbit Hole

Our Internet modem decided it was time to take leave of absence this past weekend, and just like that.... poof..... we were void of connecting to the world of cyberspace and all of it's wonders.
It's almost scary how dependent and intertwined our daily lives have become with modern technology at out fingertips.
Truthfully, the first few days, I felt lost, no checking e-mails, or reading favorite blogs, it's a strange feeling of the world moving on without you.
Thankfully, a new modem arrived today, and I've got my wings back.
Forgive me if I've not visited in the last week, I've been down the rabbit hole ..........

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Summer Delights

Summer is upon us, hot, humid days, warm, breezy evenings.
This time of the year, the flowers are watered everyday, miss one time, and they have shriveled beyond repair.

It's the time of year to do a lot of 'porch sitting', preferably with a nice cold glass of lemonade or iced tea.

"Tell you what I like the best --
'Long about knee-deep in June,
'Bout the time strawberries melts
On the vine, -- some afternoon
Like to jes' git out and rest,
And not work at nothin' else!"
~ James Witcomb Riley : Knee Deep in June

Indulge in a bowl of sweet strawberries and ice cream

Old chairs made 'new' again

Delights of the garden
Tea in the garden, between chores.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tying The Knot

Donning my pearls for a special occasion

This weekend The First Sergeant and myself were guests at a dear friend's daughter's wedding.
Is there anything sweeter than a simple, country style wedding, surrounded by all things good in life, friendship, food and fellowship.....

Simple yet elegant, the wedding theme was the perfect combination of Southern charm and romance.

Congratulations to the gorgeous bride and handsome groom, we wish you a lifetime of happiness together.

"Come, let's be a comfortable couple and take care of each other! How glad we shall be, that we have somebody we are fond of always, to talk to and sit with. "

~Charles Dickens

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Favorite Paintings

I have a love for old Victorian paintings, in particular paintings that depict scenes of children with their pets in playful settings.
The popular work of English artist Arthur Elsley ( 1860-1952 ) being one of my most favorites.

All of his paintings feature children with animals, dogs, horses, kittens and puppies, and are true to life situations.

His works were so popular during his lifetime that many of his paintings were reproduced as prints, and were often used in calendars, advertisements, books and magazines.

More Frightened Than Hurt

Friday, June 18, 2010

Summer Rain

Mother Nature heard my plea and sent rain to this lush Tennessee valley today.
If you listened carefully you could hear the trees and flowers, heaving a big sigh of relief, their roots and foliage drinking in every last drop of moisture.

It's raining; it's pouring.
The old man is snoring.
He went to bed and bumped his head,
And he couldn't get up in the morning

Oliver thinks it is a good day to snooze, something he has mastered to a perfection.
The Bacopa baskets continue to bloom despite the extreme heat
I managed to gather a few flowers, in between rain showers
A new pot of Daylilies waiting to be planted
A break in the heat
away from the front
no thunder, no lightning,
just rain, warm rain
falling near dusk
falling on eager ground
steaming blacktop
hungry plants
turning toward the clouds
cooling, soothing rain
splashing in sudden puddles
catching in open screens
that certain smell
of summer rain
~ Summer Rain : Raymond A Foss

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Enduring The Heat

Around the garden the flowers are feeling the stress of this late Spring heat....
In the mid ninety degrees, we have to water everyday.
No more blooms on the Clematis, just the remaining canes, which promise new growth next season.

Peter Rabbit standing guard at the pond
Blue Salvia

Day lilies Stella d'Ora

Rose of Sharon


Lambs Ears



Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Brit Indulgence

As with many expats, there are certain foods and sweets that we forever crave from our homeland.
The desire does not diminish over time, if anything, it seems to increase, knowing that it is something not readily available, and that we have to go to great lengths in order to satisfy the yearning.

My main source of procuring English food items, involved placing an order online to one of the specialty import shops, usually three of fours times a year, or a visit to our nearest Military Base, where the commissary stocks their shelves with ample selections of International foods.
Thankfully these are no longer my only options.

Ever since the Publix grocery store-chain moved into town, I have my very own imported English food isle, everything a sane Englishman or woman could possibly desire !

All the biscuits ( cookies) and chocolate bars a person could eat.
Bottles of favorite cordial drinks, and tins of beans and custard powders, and gravy-making OXO cubes, and pickled onions, and HP sauce.......oh the selection is endless.

This was all placed in my shopping cart today ;)
I ate the Crunchie chocolate bar, on the way home ... sorry no picture :)

Life is good.........

In An English Country Garden

How many kinds of sweet flowers grow
In an English country garden?
We’ll tell you now of some that we know,
Those we miss you’ll surely pardon.
Daffodils, Heart’s Ease and Flox,
Meadowsweet and Lady Smocks,
Gentain, Lupine and tall Hollihocks.
Roses, Foxgloves,Snowdrops, blue forget-me-nots,
In an English country garden.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Reflections On A Summer's Day

To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.
~ Jane Austen

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Afternoon Repose

No need to knock, the door's open...

" Come along inside...
We'll see if tea and buns can make the world a better place."
~The Wind in the Willows~

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

First Flight

One minute they were feathered siblings sharing the nest.
Cozy and safe from harm.
The next, their wings spread wide, their spirits soaring, they ventured into the unknown.
Be safe my little friends ........

click to enlarge

" I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment, while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance that I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn."

~ Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Royal Lace

Around the garden, the wildflowers are in bloom..
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 is hard to imagine what a fallow field would look in summer without the white flower heads bobbing in the breeze. The Bird's nest name comes from the dried flower heads that curl up to resemble small bird nests.

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.
Indeed the roots can be eaten just like a small pale carrot if harvested while still young and tender. Pull up a plant anywhere and smell the root. You will find it smells just like a carrot.

It is so called because the flower resembles 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, coloured by anthocyanin, is to attract insects.
The plant is commonly referred to, as Cow Parsley ( Anthriscus sylvestris ) in Great Britain.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Mountain Visit

After her graduation from High School last week, our granddaughter headed off to spend some well-deserved vacation time in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.

She stayed in the mountain town of Gatlinburg, at the foot of Mt. Le Conte.

Cascading waterfalls in Pigeon Forge

The Little Pigeon River
Entrance to Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Cherokee North Carolina, via the mountain roads

Got carrots ?

Top heavy
Hiding behind this tree, where you can't see me !
Native wild black bears

Cades Cove (my favorite place to visit) an isolated valley and was called 'home' by many early settlers.
It is part of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, with breathtakingly beautiful views.

Early settlers cabins

A visit to the Ripley's Aquarium

The Great Smoky Mountains are an awesomely spectacular place , if you ever have the chance to visit, I encourage you to do so.
You'll fall in love with their beauty.
Hope you enjoyed Megan's pictures, it was sweet of her, to share them.
Click any picture to enlarge