Saturday, November 28, 2015

Making A Start

I'm trying 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  Balsam Fir wreath, and the doorway draped in a  White Pine and Cedar garland, freshly shipped from the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.  Antique wooden sleds stand sentry on either side of the door, in the event we are treated to a surprise Christmas Day snowfall.
The little Wrens have decided to make it their nightly roost.
'Tis the season for sharing...


Thursday, November 26, 2015

November Moon

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.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Countdown To Thanksgiving

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............

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sunshine And Shadows

Goodness the weather has turned bitterly cold.
The sun has shone all day long, but the wind has been horrendous, and temperatures have barely made it over the freezing mark.
A hard freeze blanketed the ground overnight, and a repeat performance expected tonight....

I thought about venturing out to the Christmas market... that's as far as I got.
Some souls are braver than others.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Recycling Nature's Way

Each year, as Fall comes to an end, I remove the Boston ferns from the front porch.
I buy them early in the Spring from our local farmers co-operative, and with a faithful watering, and the occasional feeding, they grow into huge plants which we enjoy  all season long.
They are lush and green, and offer lots of shade, but after the first few hard frosts of Autumn hit, and the leaves turn brown,  I'll transport them to the trees and offer them to the birds as a winter refuge.

I have tried hanging them in a room and watering all winter through, it makes a huge mess, so I've given up, and resigned myself to the fact that each spring as soon as the farmers greenhouse flings open it's doors, I'm there waiting in line .......



Friday, November 20, 2015


The old wooden garden bench, half-crumbling away, sits silently;
 with only a blanket of lichen as it's companion.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

And The Rains Came

We have been deluged with rain today, buckets of the stuff......unrelenting and soaking everything in sight.
The wind is howling and creating havoc.
The trees are shedding the last of their leaves, Winter is fast approaching.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Friendship Days

Monday started out dark and dreary.
I gave some thought to looking around a few shops, and seeing what is available now the Christmas season is drawing closer.
Instead, I had a visit from a wonderful friend, a dear lady who has been in my life for many years, and has shared the ups and downs of expat life together.
I visited her hometown when I was in England recently. A medieval city founded as a Roman fort in AD 79.
Chester and my hometown share the same county and is a popular tourist destination to thousands of visitors to Britain each year.
It's streets are lined with some of the best timber-framed architecture throughout the land.
We enjoyed a pot of tea, and Scottish shortbread biscuits, as we reminisced and giggled like two school girls.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Three Teas, Please Ivy....

Almost every evening before turning in for the night, my husband and I watch Last of the Summer Wine, on Public Broadcasting Service television.

Last of the Summer Wine is a gentle, romantic comedy, which graced the British TV screens for  almost forty years. It was an inspired choice of location, for the charm of the region perfectly matches the warmth and humour of the characters, capturing the idyll of lazy summer days and the sort of amusement belonging to a long forgotten golden age.

The beautiful Holme Valley stretches down from the high Pennines along the River Holme towards Huddersfield, in West Yorkshire. Holmfirth is the main town, it offers visitors a delightful mixture of weavers cottages, Victorian hillside terraces with "top and bottom" houses, a rushing river and mills, all surrounded by breathtaking Pennine scenery.

During my trip home last month, my dearest brother treated us to a lovely day out over the Yorkshire Pennines, and a ramble around Holmfirth. We took the tour bus, and stopped at the various locations around the town, all so familiar after seeing them night after night on our television screen.


After the tour, we stopped at Sid's Cafe, and enjoyed tea and and buns, just as the characters did in the series.
"Three teas, please Ivy".


If you're interested in reading about the series, I've included this link.

Monday, November 9, 2015

No Takers

A dark November day, 
Rainy and yet surprisingly warm for this time of the year.
The leaves continue to fall.
The birds have retreated to their nests.
The geese fly south overhead.
Squirrels busily transport their overwinter stash to secret hiding places.
Wild turkeys lead their flock to the nightly roost.
A ginger kitty sleeps.



Friday, November 6, 2015

Slowly Changing

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

~ Henry Beston : Northern Farm

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Arley Hall and Gardens

On one of the most perfect autumnal days we visited Arley Hall and Gardens. A delightful country house situated within a few miles of my home.
If you are interested in reading more I've included a link. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arley_Hall
I can only imagine the beauty of the gardens during a mid-summer month.

If you are interested in seeing photographs of the inside, here is the link to their website :