Friday, July 30, 2010

Tea Party Jabberwocky

I had a little tea party
This afternoon at three.
'Twas very small-
Three guest in all-
Just I, myself and me.

Myself ate all the sandwiches,
While I drank up the tea;
'Twas also I who ate the pie
And passed the cake to me.

~ Jessica North Nelson

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lavender And Linen

I don't think a day goes by, without I burn a candle.
There is something so relaxing and welcoming, about the fragrance and flicker of a burning candle.
I found a wonderful candle a few days ago, in my favorite grocery store Publix. A combination of Lavender and Cedarwood, in a soy wax blend.
The scent is heavenly.

I 'spect I've had a little spending spree lately, since I also bought six beautiful, vintage-linen napkins off eBay. They arrived yesterday, all crisp and pretty, the embroidered pattern, even
lovelier than expected.

"ladies fair, I bring to you
lavender with spikes of blue;
sweeter plant was never found
growing on our english ground."
~ Caryl Battersby

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I like pigs, especially the Primitive variety.
Apparently, I'm in very good company....

"I am fond of pigs.
Dogs look up to us.
Cats look down on us.
Pigs treat us as equals. "

~ Sir Winston Churchill

Monday, July 26, 2010

Returning Visitors

Moma deer and baby returned today. The fawn is getting bigger, although still sporting it's spots until the first Winter.
Mom hides her baby in the field of tall grasses and wildflowers, and only gives us a glimpse here and there.

click to enlarge
Two of my favorite summertime wildflowers are back, the Joe-Pye Weed, and the Black-Eyed Susan.
Each year the field is brimming with yellow and purple flowers as far as the eye can see.

The Joe-Pye Weed, Eupatorium purpureum, is an amazing plant that is an herb, a wildflower, a butterfly plant and an ornamental for the flower bed.

It obtained its name after a Native American herbalist, named Joe-Pye, cured fevers using the Eupatorium plant. Though we tend to think of it as a wildflower in the U.S., it's long been an ornamental plant in England where our cottage gardens are so popular.

Black-Eyed Susan Rudbeckia hirta (Asteraceae)
The Black-Eyed Susan is probably the most common of all American wildflowers. The characteristic brown, domed center is surrounded by bright yellow ray florets. The plant thrives in most soils in full sun.
A true sunshine worshiper that forgives neglect.
I always think it is a 'happy' looking little plant.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

O' Winter Where Art Thou ?

Just about the same time each Summer, when the air is HOT and stagnant, the weather gauge is showing over a 100 degrees, and it's almost unbearable to enjoy the outdoors, my thoughts turn to Old Man Winter.
I'm not a lover of heat, and the older I get, the less tolerant I've become.

What can I say....I'm of English blood, Norsemen, Vikings and such, my comfort zone is a cool and rainy climate, not humid and hot.
It seems the excessive heat-wave has hit most of the country, so the best advice is to stay indoors under the comfort of air conditioning.
If you have no choice but to brave the elements, adhere to the advice of the experts; drink plenty of water, and wear a hat.

They have a cute Southern saying in these parts..........
"It's hotter than a billy goat in a pepper patch."
Nary a truer word spoken !

Saturday, July 24, 2010

For The Birds

There is something about birdhouses that tug at my heart strings.
I just can't seem to say NO.
They are scattered about the porches, in the garden, in the kitchen, and generally all over.
Some of them are well-used by expectant parents returning year after year, to raise their young. Others just for decoration.

The First Sergeant is looking forward to retirement days, he has birdhouse-building plans in mind, to idle away the hours.
As 'Martha' would say....."It's a good thing."

A Victorian Charmer

Country Primitive

In The Potting Shed

Country Cottage Gourd
"Those little nimble musicians of the air,
that warble forth their curious ditties,
with which nature hath furnished them to the shame of art."
~ Izaak Walton

Friday, July 23, 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, July 22, 2010

A Serving Of Yumminess

The Georgia peaches are here ! and in the South, that means but one thing ....
Fresh Peach Cobbler.

This recipe is easy to prepare, yet deliciously tasty.
Easy Peach Cobbler

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted ( 1 stick )
1 1/2 cups Self Rising flour
1/2 cup water
2 cups of sugar (divided)
1 1/2 cup milk
4 cups peeled, pitted and thinly sliced fresh peaches (5 to 6 medium peaches)
Several dashes ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Pour the melted butter into a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, 1 cup sugar, and mix well. Stir in the milk, mixing until just combined. Pour this batter over the butter but do not stir them together.

In a small saucepan, combine the peaches, water, and remaining cup of sugar and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Pour the peaches over the batter but do not stir them together. Sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg if desired.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until the top is golden-brown. Serve warm or cold. Top with favorite ice-cream.....yumm.

Wednesday, July 21, 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

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Last Chance Highway

There is nothing more heart-wrenching than seeing a mother dog and her precious litter of puppies abandoned on the side of the road.

Unwanted pets are a major problem here in the Southern States. Chronic overpopulation and the misunderstood need to spay and neuter, fills the shelters beyond capacity ending in many unnecessary euthanizations.

This summer, Animal Planet will change that with "Last Chance Highway", an eight-part series that focuses on the monumental mission of a dedicated handful of rescuers.
The stakes are high for Shelly Bookwalter and Kyle Peterson and for the soon-to-be-euthanized dogs they are fighting to save.
Each week, they organize a band of volunteers to take part in a unique mobile adoption campaign.
Shelly leads an effort to find homes in the North for strays and unclaimed shelter dogs. And every week, Kyle and crew member, Lucas, climb aboard their big rig to transport more than 150 dogs thousands of miles to meet their new families. It's an exhausting ritual but one that finds homes for more than six thousand pets every year.
Be sure to turn off the PLAYLIST by scrolling to the bottom of the sidebar and clicking the LARGE round button.

Kyle is the first to admit "What the groups do is the hardest part,"
"The best part is to deliver them to their families. We see the homecoming, and that's the most rewarding part. In the dog community what we're doing has been well received since we started six years ago. The whole goal of the show was to make the general public aware, and now they are."

A simple surgery would stop so much of this dying," Bookwalter said. "Please adopt a dog from a local shelter and save a life."

Check local listings series airs Saturday evenings on the Animal Planet.
Be sure to have a box of tissues close by.

All animals available for adoption are listed on Adopt a pet on Petfinder
P.E.T.S. Animal Rescue Road Trips

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Summertime Sittin'

GROW old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in his hand
Who saith, `A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!''

~ Robert Browning 1812-1889

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Beeing Busy

Like trains of cars on tracks of plush
I hear the level bee:
A jar across the flowers goes,
Their velvet masonry
Withstands until the sweet assault
Their chivalry consumes,
While he, victorious, tilts away
To vanquish other blooms.
His feet are shod with gauze,
His helmet is of gold;
His breast, a single onyx
With chrysoprase, inlaid.
His labor is a chant,
His idleness a tune;
Oh, for a bee's experience
Of clovers and of noon!
~ Emily Dickinson : The Bee (1830)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Among The Trees

The linden, in the fervors of July
Hums with a louder concert.
When the wind Sweeps the broad forest in its summer prime,
As when some master-hand exulting sweeps
The keys of some great organ, ye give forth
The music of the woodland depths, a hymn Of gladness and of thanks."

~ William Cullen Bryant, Among the Trees

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Places Of The Heart

There is a special place I like to visit, just a few miles down the road, nestled in the loveliest of Tennessee countryside.

Regular readers have been introduced to my passion in previous posts, it's an old Antebellum and historical home, working farm, bed and breakfast, cottage industry crafts, and luncheon tea room.
The quote directly from the 'farm's' website...epitomizes the experience.
'The rolling hills and a winding country road along stone fences lead to an antebellum gem.Leave your worries behind and follow your heart to a very special place in the country.From the moment you walk onto the impressive veranda, you will feel the gracious southern hospitality'

Very recently my work schedule has changed, no more working Saturday's. One thing I have looked forward to doing, is spending the day at my favorite farm.

Sadly, I received an e-mail from Emily the proprietor, telling me they had suffered a fire in the main house. After a busy day of guests and in the middle of the night, she awoke to the sounds of breaking glass.
Together with her husband, they fought the blaze with nothing more than water hoses.

The damage was confined mostly to the gift shop, caused by a lamp that snaps directly onto a shelf.
Melted wiring, paintwork, inventory, historic glass panes in the front door, but luckily all repairable, and the main reason to be grateful, no one was injured.

Emily tells me it didn't damage the kitchen, and so if I'm up for it, we can still eat on the veranda.
Sounds perfect to me !

Friday, July 9, 2010

Summer's Bounty

Each year I hang Boston ferns on the front porch.
I have tried hanging flowers in pots, they do well for a couple of months, and then before Summer is over, I have to replace them.
By a series of trial and error, I find the ferns not only last the entire Summer, but are still flourishing through Halloween and until the first hard frost comes along.

This wonderful Summer bounty is the product of my son-in-law's hard work.
I just had to pat him on the back.
The garden lies behind his home, similar to an allotment plot, not very big, but he tends it daily and has become quite the gardener.
Doesn't it all look lusciously good !

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Saintly Watch

Out and about around the garden....

The First Sergeant came home with this lovely St. Francis of Assisi statue a few days ago. It's a stone/resin likeness of the beloved patron saint of animals and the environment.

There are several new flowers in bloom, Coneflower/White Swan

Daylily/Entrapment Daylily
Daylily Irish Elf


Maine Birdhouse