Thursday, December 31, 2020

Ring Out The Old, Ring In The New

And so another year is coming to an end.
A year that will certainly go down in the history books, and one filled with madness and mayhem.
Not long into the start of 2020 our county was hit by a F-3 tornado destroying everything in it's path for an unprecedented 53 miles. Lives lost and even today, the rebuilding continues.

At the same time the COVID -19 virus appears, leaving it's mark across the world. One I fear will be an ongoing battle even with the hope of new vaccines available.

As if this wasn't enough, on Christmas morning a deranged madman decides to decimate an entire district of historic buildings in downtown Nashville, completely destroying businesses and homes many built before the Civil War, causing devastation and senseless disruption for thousands of people.

As the New Year makes it's presence, I am grateful for all the good things in life,  mindful to leave less of a footprint on this magnificent planet we all call home, and remember to 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 2021 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 24, 2020

Peace on Earth, Goodwill To All Men

I've so enjoyed our visits back and forth throughout the year, all the sweet comments wriitten  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


Sunday, December 13, 2020

Time-Worn


The creaking silence of age.

I like Old.
Great Depression
worn-in (not worn-out)
favorite quilt
classic car.

I like the way Old feels.
Sheets washed a thousand times
frayed around the stitching
busting from stories.

I like the way Old sounds.
Creaky wooden floors
heaters that pop and snap
doors that slam like they really mean it!

I like the way Old looks.
chipped paint
worn corners
rust
not from neglect or carelessness, but from use.

I'd live in an Old house
with a big Old front porch.
One that heaves to tell me someone is home
and echos of little feet running across it.
I like Old.

~Holy Glasgow

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Christmas Magic

 One of my all-time favorite Christmas cards, from the American Humane Association.

It just melts my heart.
 



Sunday, December 6, 2020

Christmas Memories

 



 
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, December 3, 2020

Christmas Scents



One of my favorite Christmas activities in early December, when the cold weather has set in and thoughts are turning to decorating, are to make dried orange slices for hanging on the tree.
The aroma is intoxicatingly festive, and fills the house with the fresh smell of oranges.
If you desire you can sprinkle a few with a light dusting of cinnamon, not too heavy an amount as this tends to make the oranges darker.
When they are hung from the branches and the twinkling fairy lights shine through they remind of Nature's stained-glass.

 

Two or three Navel oranges.
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees.
Prepare your pan with nonstick spray or a baking mat. ...
Slice oranges into 1/4″ slices or thinner. ... 
Pat dry with a paper towel.
Place oranges in a single layer on the prepared pan, ensuring they do not touch.
Bake for up to 6 hours or until completely dry.
Hang from the tree with jute or ribbon.

                                                                              🎄

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Woolly Socks And Flip-Flops

We've been spoiled up until this point, with warmer than usual days, many not requiring the wearing of a jacket.
The last few pleasant days of Autumn, with sunshine aplenty.

Last night, the  temperatures fell into the twenties, no more flip-flops, now the winter boots and woolly socks appear.
Mother Nature sprinkled the landscape with snow, just enough to decorate for the season.
The birds have taken to their nests, the turkeys lead their flocks to the nightly roost.
Winter days will soon be here,  but in just 109 short days, Spring will once again return.
 
 
 

 
 





 

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

~ Henry Beston : Northern Farm


Thursday, November 26, 2020

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............
 

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

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.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

"…as nearly perfect a little place as I ever lived in"

I'm whisking you away to a place with special ties, a place where my grandmother and I visited most every year, The English Lake District.
If you share a love of Beatrix Potter as I do, I have a treat in store.....
Courtesy of Britain's ITV3 television program 'Living the Dream' we are treated to an incredible visit inside Yew Tree Farmhouse, home of Beatrix Potter.


The life of Beatrix Potter is a fascinating story in itself, one that has a lot to offer children particularly as an insight into the constraints and expectations of women in the Victorian Era. Ahead of her time she defied convention to become not only one of the great storytellers and artists of her age but also a landowner, farmer and conservationist .


(Helen) Beatrix Potter (1866-1943)

Yew Tree Farm with its distinctive ‘spinning gallery’ is in the beautiful Lake District, in a stunning picturesque setting it is ideally located for all Lakeland activities.
 
The Farm House was built in 1693 and is one of the most photographed farms in the North. Yew tree was owned by Beatrix Potter in the 1930s and is still home to many of her furnishings, Yew Tree farm featured as ‘Hill Top’ in the movie ‘Miss Potter’ starring Rene Zellweger.
 
Beatrix called the Lake District in England her beloved home. She owned several farms in the local area, Yew Tree Farmhouse being her favorite. Yew Tree Farmhouse is partly of 17th Century date or earlier, with a new end added in 1743.
 
This date, and the initials of the then owner, George Walker, are cut in the ironwork of the front door. The farm gets its name from the yew tree, some 700 years old when it blew down in 1896.

"…as nearly perfect a little place as I ever lived in, and such nice old-fashioned people in the village." -Beatrix Potter



Video credit: yewtreefarm1/ITV3

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Red Sky At Night




                                                         A peaceful sunset this evening. 
                                        Cooler temps, after a warm and breezy Autumn day.
                                                         Peace.....such a lovely thought.


Thursday, October 29, 2020

Simple Pleasures



"The real things haven't changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong."
                                                         ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

Monday, October 26, 2020

Still Bloomin'

With milder than normal temperatures, these few early weeks of Autumn, the Morning Glory vines are still blooming their little hearts out.

This Grandpa Ott variety, returns year after year, without any help from the gardener.
The vines wrap their tendrils around the weathered-wood fence, and grace us with beauty, all summer long.

The flowers are a sumptuous Royal Blue trumpet with a contrasting purple star.
A strikingly beautiful combination.
Not quite the Autumn palette, yet nevertheless, we'll enjoy their presence until the first freeze of the season, and then it's " show-over ".


 

  


Saturday, October 24, 2020

Barnyard Folly

When your artsy-daughter feels the need to add more barnyard friends to her menagerie.
Barnwood creations.


 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Cottage Love




cottage small be mine, with porch
Enwreathed with ivy green,
And brightsome flowers with dew-filled bells,
'Mid brown old wattles seen.

And one to wait at shut of eve,
With eyes as fountain clear,
And braided hair, and simple dress,
My homeward step to hear.

On summer eves to sing old songs,
And talk o'er early vows,
While stars look down like angels' eyes
Amid the leafy boughs.

When Spring flowers peep from flossy cells,
And bright-winged parrots call,
In forest paths be ours to rove
Till purple evenings fall.

The curtains closed, by taper clear
To read some page divine,
On winter nights, the hearth beside,
Her soft, warm hand in mine.

And so to glide through busy life,
Like some small brook alone,
That winds its way 'mid grassy knolls,
Its music all its own.

Love in a Cottage ~ Daniel Henry Deniehy 1828-1865
                                                            

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Seasons Changing

Over the last couple of days, the remains of hurricane Delta has taken away our sunshine.

The dark clouds linger overhead, making for dark and dreary days. If I didn't know the difference I would think we were in the depths of winter, even the house has taken on a different hue.

The days are noticeably shorter,  dark by 7:00pm now, the wild turkeys lead their flocks to the nightly roost late afternoon, and the last of the hummingbirds are leaving for their winter homes.

Orange pumpkins and Chrysanthemums are replacing summer blooms, now fading fast.

 
 

Monday, October 12, 2020

Missing You

How I miss this beautiful face, it would have been his kitty-birthday today.

Happy Birthday in the land of the Rainbow Bridge, to my precious boy, you are missed beyond words.




💔

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Rain-Filled

Our day is dark and rain-filled, the looming remnants of Hurricane Delta .
It's hard to imagine the destruction a fierce storm unleashes on the coastline, when inland, it's remains fall softly to the parched ground, a welcomed sign of relief.

The house-painters worked on the outside of our home yesterday, not the best timing with a hurricane looming in the Gulf, but we've been on the waiting list for quite some time now.
Beggars can't be choosers.



 

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Season's End

The first time I laid eyes on this incredible English landscape painting, was in my hometown museum, I was smitten.

Depicting the ordinary, mundane chores of a gardener, at seasons end.
It reminded me of watching my grandfather, as he put his garden to rest after a successful growing season,  piles of now-spent rhubarb leaves, and endless stacks of  withered flowers.
I couldn't have been more than four years old at the time, but what an impression those days left on my early life.
A season ending, to begin again anew in just a few short months.
 
 

                                                                     Evening_Brockham
 
               Edward Wilkins Waite  (14 April 1854 – 1924)
 

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

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


Friday, September 18, 2020

'Til They're Clean And Sparkly



 
The most beautiful of late September days today. Cooler temperatures and mild breezes.
I've spent the majority of the time cleaning away Summer's dirt and grime, 
Windows are washed, and porches swept, late afternoon I baked two loaves of banana nut bread, one to keep, and one to send home with my visiting granddaughter.
A simple day, to be savored.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

And The Rains Came

Deluged with rain today, bucket loads of the stuff, the town creek has flooded, and water is standing everywhere.
The flowers look bedraggled, water-logged in fact.
This picture of the Autumn Joy Sedum was taken mid-week, it's finally in bloom, and turning a delicious shade of crimson.
Autumn is just around the corner.




Thursday, September 10, 2020

Summer's Bounty

Enjoying a taste of the last Summer strawberries.
I'm freezing the remainder, to indulge in, on a cold Winter's day.
Topped with a dollop of clotted cream, or maybe use them to make a  lovely batch of strawberry scones.
Accompanied by a nice pot of tea.
*grin*
 
 
 

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Seasons Changing

Summer is fading fast, last night the temperatures dropped to the perfect sixty degree range, and finally the humming of the air conditioner was silenced.
School children have once again returned to their classes, albeit on  a staggered schedule, and towns are slowly rolling out their sidewalks, to gently encourage some kind of normalcy.
The rhythm of life continues......