Thursday, November 29, 2012

Favorite Paintings

I've always shared a love of old Victorian paintings, in particular paintings that depict scenes of children with their pets in playful settings.
The popular work of English artist Sir 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.


A Helping Hand

Hard Pressed Time To Get Up

Wait A Minute

Monday, November 26, 2012

Turkey Trot

It's been a dark and dismal day here in our middle Tennessee valley.
Not a day to be out and about, instead a day to be spent inside, indulging in a little fluffing and cooking.

Around about three in the afternoon each day, the wild turkeys appear.
A flock of thirty or more, spend the better part of an hour feeding and foraging and then head towards the trees to their nightly roost.

They have become quite accustomed to my appearance, and boldly trot on over to the bird -feeders close to the porch.
Funnily enough, I didn't see them whatsoever, the week of Thanksgiving !

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Making A Start

I've decided to go minimal on the Christmas decorating this year, at least that's my intentions.
I do seem to have trouble knowing where to stop, once I've started.

For many years, I would hang twinkly faerie lights from every eave of the house, every tree in the yard, even the bird houses would get a mini-set of twinkle.
I would be the crazy neighbor, hanging lights from the porch long after dark, whilst the rest of the world snuggled inside.

This year, the front porch has been decorated with a fresh Balsam Fir wreath, and the doorway draped with a fresh-cut garland, both sharing their intoxicating heady scents of woodland.
Antique wooden sleds stand sentry on either side of the door, awaiting the arrival of our first snowfall.
Simple decorations shared from Nature's bounty.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Stressed ?

Oliver has mastered the art of relaxation to purrfection.

We should all take lessons ........

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Turkey Talk

I happened upon this Johnson Brothers Barnyard King plate at one of the local antique shops several months ago.

One plate all by itself, I could only imagine what an entire dinner service would look like.

I'm going to display it for the Thanksgiving season, the colors on this picture do not do the piece justice, they are all hand engraved and made in England.

Barnyard King, what could be a more fitting name.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Soup's On

A dark and dreary day.
We awoke to a freezing fog, the landscape blanketed with a hoar frost.
The perfect time to warm up with a hearty bowl of homemade soup.

Navy or Northern Beans
Ham Hock
Smoked sausage or Kielbasa sliced
Chicken Stock
Bay Leaf
Salt and Pepper
Rosemary to taste.

Soak beans overnight, discard water, add chicken stock, ham hock, smoked sausage, herbs, and seasoning, bring to the boil and then simmer for one hour.
Add chopped cabbage, onions, carrots, celery, continue to simmer for an additional hour and a half.
Add water if needed.

Serve with buttermilk cornbread.
Yum !

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Lest We Forget

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

In Flanders Fields ~ Lt.-Col. John McCrae (1872 - 1918)

Dedicated to all the brave men and women whose unselfish sacrifices and bravery shall never be forgotten.
Thank You.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Simple Pleasures

"The best kind of friend is the kind you can sit on a porch swing with, never say a word, then walk away feeling like it was the best conversation that you ever had."

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Simple Day

Some days it's good to do nothing.
No deadlines to meet, no chores to complete, no lists to check twice.
A day to lounge in the comfort of your pajamas and woolly socks, to gaze out of the window and watch the falling leaves drift slowly to the ground.
A day for sipping cups of tea and curling up by the fireside with a portly feline at your side.
A simple day.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

November Days

"When everything that ticked has stopped,
And space stares, all around,
Or grisly frosts, first autumn morns,
Repeal the beating ground."

- Emily Dickinson, Time and Eternity, LXXV

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Last Rose

Over the arbor, the climbing antique rose has several new blooms, The canes are filled with new buds just waiting to burst open, but sadly after Wednesday's predicted freeze they will have lost their chance.

'Tis the last rose of summer
Left blooming alone;
All her lovely companions
Are faded and gone;

No flower of her kindred,
No rosebud is nigh,
To reflect back her blushes,
To give sigh for sigh.

I'll not leave thee, thou lone one!
To pine on the stem;
Since the lovely are sleeping,
Go, sleep thou with them.

Thus kindly I scatter,
Thy leaves o'er the bed,
Where thy mates of the garden
Lie scentless and dead.

So soon may I follow,
When friendships decay,
From Love's shining circle
The gems drop away.

When true hearts lie withered
And fond ones are flown,
Oh! who would inhabit,
This bleak world alone?

The Last Rose of Summer:  Thomas Moore 1805