Saturday, December 31, 2016

Ring Out The Old, Ring In The New

So another year swiftly comes to a close.
I would be telling a fib if I were to say this past year has been a good 'un.
After falling and breaking my ankle early in February, I have spent the entire year, trying to get back on my feet, literally.
I'm hoping 2017 will look upon me more favorably, and because I'm not taking any chances, I have the black-eyed peas cooking in the crock-pot as I type.

I truly wish each and every one of you, a New Year filled with much love, peace, good health and happiness.
Your friendships have encouraged, enlightened, and made me laugh my frock off throughout this past year.
Here's to a 2017 filled with the same !
Many Blessings.

A Happy New Year! Grant that I
May bring no tear to any eye
When this New Year in time shall end
Let it be said I've played the friend,
Have lived and loved and labored here,
And made of it a happy year.

~Edgar Guest

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Bringing Home The Tree

A lovely little surprise Christmas gift, courtesy of our local Cracker Barrel restaurant.
Tucked away neatly inside our order, a salt and pepper old fashioned  'Woody'......Bringing Home The Tree.
We felt like the Griswolds.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Peace On Earth, Goodwill Toward Men

And so This is Christmas.....

I've so enjoyed our visits back and forth throughout the year, all the sweet comments written, and well-wishes when a word of encouragement was needed.
We truly wish each and every one of you, friends and family, near and far, all the blessings of a Joyous and Merry Christmas.
May you have the gladness of Christmas which is hope;
The spirit of Christmas which is peace;
The heart of Christmas which is love."
~Ada V. Hendicks


When Christmas bells are swinging above the fields of snow,
We hear sweet voices ringing from lands of long ago,
And etched on vacant places
Are half-forgotten faces
Of friends we used to cherish,
And loves we used to know.

~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox


Friday, December 23, 2016

Done And Dusted.

I made the mistake of venturing amongst the market crowds today.
At least people were in a festive mood, many decked out in their Christmas red sweaters and twinkling necklaces hung around their necks.
I'm finally finished with my shopping, and couldn't wait to return home, indulge in a shortbread biscuit or two and a nice pot of tea.
Hope everyone has a little relaxing time, before the big day.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Christmas Is Coming

Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat
Please put a penny in the old man's hat
If you haven't got a penny, a ha'penny will do
If you haven't got a ha'penny, then God bless you!

~ Tradition English nursery rhyme


We're having a blast of Arctic weather blow through in the next few days.
It's a rare occasion when the temperatures drop into the single digits.

Hope you are staying warm and cozy in your little corner of the world.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Woolly Socks And Flip-Flops

Winter has settled in, bare landscapes now prevail.
We've been spoiled up until this point, with warmer than usual days, many not requiring the wearing  of a jacket.
Last night temperatures cooled and fell into the twenties, no more flip-flops, now the winter boots and woolly socks appear.
The birds have taken to their nests, leaving me with just one sweet little friend.
Such are the days of winter.

Monday, December 12, 2016

A Christmas Spirit-Lifter

When the weather turns chilly, and I'm looking for something to stir my Christmas spirit, I make a batch of Spiced Tea.

The combination of oranges, cinnamon and cloves are a delight to the senses, perfect for sipping fireside late evening, and watching the Christmas tree twinkling in the dark..

Spiced Tea Mix
    2 cups Sugar
2 cups of orange Tang
3/4 cup instant tea
1 envelope Kool-Aid Lemonade
1 tsp. cinnamon
1-1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1-1/2 tsp. ground ginger

Combine sugar, tea, tang, lemonade mix, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in a medium mixing bowl; stir well.
Pour into a 1-pint wide-mouth jar with tight-fitting lid.

Use 2-3 teaspoons in a cup of  boiling water.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

They're Off...

Not a minute too soon, with forecasts of Winter weather moving in over the next few days, I took a trip to the post office early this morning and posted off the Christmas cards.
Mostly to relatives and friends in England, and other parts of the U.S.A.
It seems each year, there are fewer and fewer to make out, as my address list continues to shrink.
I think it is still an important part of the overall Christmas goodwill, and look forward to catching up on people's comings and goings throughout the year.
Don't you agree ?

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Autumn's Waning

The days are seemingly flying by.
Can you believe that we are already into the month of December ?
The month, where for the most of us ladies, find ourselves running around in circles, chasing our tails. 
The month of decorating, planning,  list-making, and shopping......ooh, the endless shopping.
The weather is mild for December, in just four short months, Spring will return........unbelievable..

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Wildfires Burn

After enduring weeks of no rainfall, and consequence parched dry land, we finally had rain last night.
A gully-washer of a rain, which helped our state-wide drought, but sadly today I awoke to news about Gatlinburg, our beloved Smoky Mountain get-away is on fire.
Mandatory evacuations have taken place, in both Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, buildings have burned and the entire Sevier county is under a wildfire threat.
Please keep these folks and animals in your thoughts and prayers.
 Credit: Tracey Stephen Oaks.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Autumn's First Freeze

I awoke in the middle of the night, to an unfamiliar sound........rain.
Finally, the rain gods have heard our plea, and after weeks of dry, hot, weather, a gentle rain fell for close to two hours.
Moisture of any kind is a welcome relief, although sadly tonight, it changes from the wet variety, to the frozen kind........

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Sunshine Days

It's a balmy 80 degrees in our fair neck of the woods today.
Sunshine and blue skies.
Still no rain, but the weather gurus have gazed into their magic 8 balls and they tell us we are in the running for showers, possibly this weekend.
I'm doing a rain dance.
The Mister has headed to the creek to fish.
Savoring these last few chances to indulge, before Autumn's gentle days have disappeared.
The cats slept.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Thanksgiving will be upon us next week, I have been making my menu list and checking it twice.
Ours is a low-key affair, since like most families, our little close family, now includes in-laws, and extended family members, and time has to be split between both.
That's ok too,  this way we all have a chance to enjoy family, food and fellowship, and be grateful for the many blessings.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Rainless Days

Surrounding wildfires have caused the skies to become thick with smoke, the smell of burning undergrowth lingers in the night sky.
There is an air-quality alert issued for the entire state.
Still no sign of rain for the last ten weeks, I'm worried about the wildlife in the area.

I ventured out to do a little 'pre-season' Christmas shopping, but since I'm one of those who is a 'susceptible to bronchitis' type it didn't take long and I had to throw in the towel....
Cough, cough.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Time For Tea

A dear longtime English friend stopped by for a visit yesterday, her timing couldn't have been better.
You know how it is, some days you'd just like to pull the bed-covers over your head, and let the world pass you by..........
She came bearing gifts, a lovely wool shawl, and a box of Ty-phoo tea, I'll save the shawl for winter, we both indulged in the tea-drinking.

There is something to be treasured about the ease of spending time with an old friend.
Of being in the company of someone who knows you inside and out, and you them, in the way that just seems to happen, when months turn into years, and years turn into a lifetime.
It’s like a massage for the soul. You have no idea how much tension you’re carrying around until you’re in an environment so comfortable that it all drains away.

A Cup of Tea

When the world is all at odds
And the mind is all at sea
Then cease the useless tedium
And brew a cup of tea.

There is magic in its' fragrance,
There is solace in its' taste;
And then laden moments vanish
Somehow into space.

And the world becomes a lovely thing!
There's beauty as you'll see;
All because you briefly stopped
To brew a cup of tea.

J. Jonker, Amsterdam, c.1670

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Warmth Of Candlelight

I'm a candle-burner.
No matter what season of the year, you'll find candles burning in my home.
I'm drawn like a moth to the flame, they comfort me, console me, wrap me in their warm glow.
Nothing says "Welcome Home" better than the soft glow of a burning spiced-candle.
Do you enjoy burning candles ?

Friday, November 4, 2016


After our trip through Arley Hall and Gardens, last Autumn, we stopped in at the gift shop, where I was introduced to the works of a very special lady.

Sally Anne Lambert has been illustrating books for children since 1984 when, in her final year at university, she was asked to illustrate “The Gingerbread Man” for Pavilion Books in Covent Garden. It was a wonderful introduction to publishing and she has been illustrating ever since, for a wide variety of publishers both in the UK and America.

The gift shop carried a delightful line of greeting cards, the creative works of Sally Anne, such attention to detail, and quintessential Englishness, I was happy to bring several back to Tennessee, as a reminder of  "England's Green and Pleasant Land".


So bright the witching moon,
Each beam a spellbound thread:
In it's light, the hare
Lifts his listening head.


Take a look at these incredibly delightful illustrations, and see if you don't agree.
The 'Rogues Gallery' made me smile...........

Friday, October 28, 2016

Sunshine And Shadows

The calendar tells us it's almost November, and yet our days are still filled with hours of sunshine.
86 degrees worth of the stuff, and no rain in over five weeks now.
Watering the shrubs has become a ritual, the ground is parched and cracked.
November days ahead and we are still wearing shorts and flip-flops.
At this rate, we'll be doing our Christmas shopping in them.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


In Tennessee the colors of the season are making a show, we seem to be surrounded by orange, browns and reds.

The leaves fall, the wind blows, and the farm country slowly changes from the summer cottons into its winter wools.

Henry Beston, Northern Farm


Monday, October 24, 2016

The Durrells In Corfu

Our local Public Broadcasting Service station was off the air for ten days......ten long days.
The broadcasting tower required maintenance, which apparently can  only be undertaken by a few specialized technicians..
One thing that appeased it's regular viewers was the offer of watching most of it's content online, you didn't have to have the prestigious PASSPORT code, which is issued to it's contributing members, so programs like Poldark, Downtown Abbey, and the new series The Durrells in Corfu were available if you had internet access.
The Durrells in Corfu is now my latest love from Masterpiece Theatre.

Keeley Hawes (Upstairs Downstairs) stars as an intrepid widow who decamps from dreary England to a sun-dappled Greek island with her four recalcitrant children, ages 11 to 21, on this six-part adaptation of Gerald Durrell’s My Family and Other Animals and its two sequels. The Durrells in Corfu airs Sundays, October 16th - November 20th, 2016 at the special time of 8pm ET on MASTERPIECE on PBS.

Treat yourself to a fun-filled hour on Sunday nights, it's a lovely escape.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Scarlet Ball


"October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came-
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band."

~ October's Party, George Cooper.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Home Sweet Home

                                                 " A person travels the whole world over
   in search of what he needs
   and returns home to find it. "

           ~George Moore

Monday, October 17, 2016

Rain Dancing

No rain in over a month now, the ground is parched and cracked.
Normally this time of the year, we are having a peak show of color, when the trees magical transform from summer greens to their brilliant fall palette, but signs of brown, dead leaves are all around.
I've noticed the deer have been venturing closer to the house, they hear the splutter of the pond pump, and it must sound mighty inviting right about now.