Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Ring Out The Old, Ring In The New

And so another year is coming to an end.
I'm grateful to look back and say it was a pleasant year, a year filled with milestones, and lots of happy memories..
Our new great-granddaughter  has filled our days, bringing new spirit and much happiness into the fold.
As the New Year makes its presence, I am mindful to leave less of a footprint on this magnificent planet we all call home, and offer a kinder word or action towards my fellow man.


  

 
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 have brightened my days throughout this past year.
Here's to a 2020 filled with the same !
Many Blessings, and A Happy New Year.
x



                                                       
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
 



Thursday, December 26, 2019

Winding Down on Boxing Day



We've ate, drank and made merry.
Over-indulged in all the traditions of the season that makes this magical celebration.......magical.
Laughter was in abundance.
  
 


 
Recipe books are returned to their bookcase- home.
It's a ritual I go through every holiday,  drag out the recipe books, yet end up making  the same tried and tested dishes as the previous years.
Tradition prevails.



 
The gatherings are over, the house is tidied.
Time to enjoy a few hours of BritBox and  a nice pot of tea and biscuits.
I hope your Christmas was just as lovely.
 
 

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Peace On Earth, Goodwill To All Men

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



Thursday, December 19, 2019

Sleepy Days

I requested the help of a certain ginger kitty in helping with a little decorating, so far this is the response.
It appears I am on my own.


Tuesday, December 17, 2019

We'll Leave The Light On For You

The sweetest little galvanized- house arrived today.
Lit with votives, in the fading light, it looks quite magical.
Perfect for that little Christmas table.


Friday, December 13, 2019

Winter Moon

 


 
 
Brightly the moon like a jewel is beaming,
White in the east, o'er a lone landscape gleaming,
Over the meadows and over the snow,
Glimmering, shimmering, silvery glow.

Low in the east, when the gloaming is ending,
Slowly this white winter moon is ascending,
Looming so large and appearing so nigh,
Satellite framed by a star-spangled sky.

High in the sky, with soft radiance teeming,
Nigh to the time when men, women, are dreaming,
Weird is her splendor on valley and hill,
Cold is her gleam upon river and rill.

Brightly the moon like a jewel is shining,
White in the west she is slowly declining,
Beautiful Moon ! Which beams gorgeous and grand
Over the homes of our own Native Land.
 

~Charles Nevers Holmes. 1926

Thursday, December 12, 2019

A List Of Goodies

The English Christmas goodies have started to arrive, I shall have to hide them, from myself.
Years ago,  it was almost impossible to find English Christmas foods in the U.S. but nowadays with the click of a mouse, or a stroll to the import aisle at Publix, they are easily found.
It surely makes those memories of Christmas in England around the table, feel so much closer.


 



 



Happy, happy Christmas,
that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days;
that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth;
that can transport the sailor and the traveller,
thousands of miles away,
back to his own fire-side and his quiet home!

~Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers, 1836
 

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Christmas Cracker Traditions




Each year as I'm busying myself with the Christmas decorating, my thoughts turn to home.
The traditions at Christmas that have stood the test of time throughout many English households.

The partaking of mince pies, raspberry trifle, sausage rolls, steamed plum pudding, and Christmas cake laden with dried fruit , marzipan and Royal Icing...hard as a rock.
Gathering around the television or the radio and listening to the Queen's Speech.
Afterwards a tipple of traditional sherry, or port, toasting the season and good health to all !

The pulling of the Christmas crackers before eating turkey dinner, wearing the paper party hats, laughing at the silly paper jokes inside, and delighting in the small prizes, most often magic tricks, or plastic trinkets.

Happy times, that are gratefully forever etched in our memories ..........

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Thanksgiving Blessings





Count your blessings instead of your crosses;
Count your gains instead of your losses.
Count your joys instead of your woes;
Count your friends instead of your foes.
Count your smiles instead of your tears;
Count your courage instead of your fears.
Count your full years instead of your lean;
Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.
Count your health instead of your wealth;
Count on God instead of yourself.

~Author Unknown

 
A Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving from our home to yours............
 

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Being Thankful

Rain has fallen on and off for most of the day, making for the perfect opportunity to gather my Thanksgiving recipes.
Our Thanksgiving 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 17, 2019

Oliver Love

"Oliver look this way and smile"

 
 
 
 
" You forgot to open your eyes "
 


"Perfect".

Friday, November 15, 2019

Silence





"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

Monday, November 11, 2019

Lest We Forget

They fell, but o'er their glorious grave
Floats free the banner of the cause they died to save.

~Francis Marion Crawford

 
 
 

 God Bless  all the service men and women, without whose unselfish commitment, our lives would be forever changed.
 
 
 

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Garden Chores Await

                                         
 Remington the Horticulturist ~ Charles Wysocki
 
*******
 
"Spring flowers are long since gone.
Summer's bloom hangs limp on every terrace.
The gardener's feet drag a bit on the dusty path and the hinge in his back is full of creaks."-

~Louise Seymour Jones

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Pottering Days



Ooh, it's turned into a glorious day......
A breezy porch-sitting day.
The temperatures have warmed, not too much though, the kind of day, where you can wear your flip-flops without getting cold feet.
A day to busy myself doing chores, and putting a summer's garden to rest.
Pumpkin bread bakes, the aroma is intoxicatingly delicious, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger.



Autumn, a favorite season.
 

Friday, October 11, 2019

Serenity

View of the local dam in my hometown. Autumn in England.
 
 
 
 
 
This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,--
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.
 
William Shakespeare "King Richard II", Act 2 scene 1 
 
 

Monday, October 7, 2019

Misty Autumn Morn




 
I Saw old Autumn in the misty morn
Stand shadowless like Silence, listening
To silence, for no lonely bird would sing
Into his hollow ear from woods forlorn,
Nor lowly hedge nor solitary thorn;—
Shaking his languid locks all dewy bright
With tangled gossamer that fell by night,
Pearling his coronet of golden corn.  

~ Thomas Hood : Autumn (1798-1845
 
 

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Rain-Less

The lack of rain in our fair city is causing the pastures to turn yellow.
The trees are stressed beyond measure, and I fear there will be a lot of replanting taking place in the early spring.
Burn bans have been issued across the state, but a careless cigarette tossed from a car window, can ignite a field fire and destroy hundreds of acres, in the process.




 
 
There is a stillness in the air, a slowing-down of sorts.
Nights are closing in fast, and darkness falls before the clock strikes seven.
Candlelight glows.
 
 

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Ode To Autumn

There is a subtle change in the air.
Cool mist-filled mornings, and daytime temperatures are seasonably pleasant.
Trees are slowly changing from greens to oranges and browns,  Autumn has unmistakably
arrived.

 
 
 
 
 



 
"Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells."

~ John Keats

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Morning Wake-Up

How loud does your alarm clock MEOW ?
 
 

Friday, September 20, 2019

The Crawleys Return

Well, it's  time to polish the silver, and put the kettle on, because today our favorite Yorkshire estate in early 20th-century Britain is back with a feature film airing today in theaters.
The opulence returns.


Thursday, September 19, 2019

Tennessee Countryside

Sometimes all you need is a mid-week drive down a country road.
 
 

 


 

Monday, September 16, 2019

Say Cheese



My home county of Cheshire, England is known for being the birthplace of famous author Lewis Carroll, of Alice in Wonderland fame.
It also holds the bragging rights to making some of the best cheese in the land, Cheshire Cheese.
The making of the cheese dates back to the early 16th century, and is considered the oldest in Great Britain.

Cheese was mostly stored in a cheese-keeper, as refrigerators were uncommon.
My grandmother's cheese-dish sat on her kitchen table, always with a nice piece of Cheshire cheese beneath, and a jar of pickled onions close by.

I fell in love and purchased this Royal Winton cheese-dish some thirty years ago, at an antique sale in Cheshire.
It's from the 'Country Diary Collection' and the delicate display of flowers reminds me of my grandmothers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheshire