Good morning! Welcome to "Morning Musings".

Musings: to meditate, think, contemplate, deliberate, ponder, reflect, ruminate, reverie, daydream, introspection, dream, preoccupation, brood, cogitate.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

And the Winner Is

Downton Abbey Season 5 begins a week from this Sunday--January 4th. . . .

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Deck the Halls

I've been decking my rooms with garlands decorated with fruit and birds.  I usually do my dining room in all white, but this year I decided to use the traditional colors of green and red.  I started with the dining room. . . .

Thursday, December 11, 2014

View Outside My Kitchen Window - December

With the wind howling last night and ice covering the branches earlier in the week it is beginning to feel a lot like winter. . . .

Saturday, December 6, 2014

A Tasha Tudor Christmas Celebration

In 2011 The Historic Odessa Foundation in Odessa, Delaware had a wonderful exhibit called A Joyful Tasha Tudor Christmas.  The curator did an excellent job of capturing the look and feel of a Tasha Tudor Christmas.  The exhibit was set up in the Wilson-Warner House (1769).  In several of the photos I will point out the items that are reminiscent of Tasha's home.

The creche in the bread oven, the tin oven, stockings hung from the mantel, the tea service, spinning wheel, loom-woven coverlet, lustreware tea set, and candles. . . .

Thursday, December 4, 2014

MD Chapter TTMS Christmas Celebration

The Maryland Chapter of the Tasha Tudor Museum Society's December Gathering was held at Dollie's Tea Room in Clear Spring, MD today.  Here I am getting ready to leave with my basket containing my handmade gift for the gift exchange and folders for the three new members joining us today. . . .

Monday, November 17, 2014

When I'm 64

When I was 16. . . .
My 16th Birthday Roses from Ken

Sunday, November 9, 2014

View Outside My Kitchen Window - November

November is synonymous with Thanksgiving.  It's when we turn our thoughts to getting together with family.  When I was a young child we'd always go to my Mamaw and Papaw's farm for Thanksgiving.  I remember going down the gravel road a few miles to pick out our live turkey from another farm.  Then we moved north when I was 11 and we'd sometimes go to my grandmother and grandfather's house but more than likely my mother hosted Thanksgiving.  Now that I think about it, I wonder why we didn't go to my mother's mother's on Thanksgiving like we did my father's mother.  I can't ask my mother because she's been gone now 20 years just after Thanksgiving that year, but this year her death date falls on Thanksgiving.  This is what I've been thinking about while looking at the view outside my kitchen window this month. . . . .

Thursday, November 6, 2014

MD Chapter TTMS - November Gathering

The Maryland Chapter of the Tasha Tudor Museum Society (TTMS) had their November Gathering today to make Tasha's gingerbread ornaments.  The table was set for lunch. . . .

Monday, November 3, 2014

Autumn Drive

Wanting to take advantage of the last warm day of Autumn color we put the top down on the Roadster and headed for the Western Maryland mountains.  I plotted out a route, checking "no highways"on Google Maps, and chose the southern route.  We'd head west through Maryland on back roads, cross the West Virginia panhandle, and finally back into Maryland. . . .

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Endless Mountains

Last weekend we attended a family wedding in Connecticut, then headed home by way of the Endless Mountains in Pennsylvania.  Our destination was Eagles Mere, a quaint little village that sprung up around the mountain-top Lake Lewis, now called Eagles Lake.  A bit more history of the region can be found here.  We arrived 10 minutes after 4:00--ten minutes too late to visit the Museum in the Visitor's Center. . . .

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

View Outside My Kitchen Window - October 2014

It is the middle of the month already.  We are well into Autumn, although the upper 70's temperature and humidity we came home to yesterday belies that fact.  Today we are having thunderstorms!  We were up in Connecticut over the weekend for a family wedding and then spent two days in the Endless Mountains in northern Pennsylvania, where we had rain also, but we hiked in it anyway wearing heavy coats because of the chill.  Now we are home and must see to bringing in the plants and putting away outdoor furniture.  I've already brought down the storm windows.  The Dahlias are still in bloom, but the Cone Flowers have all faded. . . .

Monday, October 6, 2014

Waterford Fair

The October outing for the Maryland Chapter of the Tasha Tudor Museum Society was to the 71st annual Waterford Fair last week.  The little village of Waterford, VA closes their streets to car traffic and opens it up to hoards of people eager to experience a bit of colonial America.  Waterford was settled in 1733 by a Quaker from Bucks County, PA.  It soon became a thriving farming community centered around the Janney Mill.  You can read more about the history of the community here and how they have been preserving their community's view.

There were four houses open to us that day, but only one let me take photos inside.  I didn't photograph very many craft booths either because of their "no photography" signs.   But I did get lots of photos of the charming houses.  Below is a slideshow of my photos of the day with music from two artists that were playing that day, Bob Bellamy and Wendy Barlow.  If you love their music, as I do (I bought 2 CDs), you can purchase it here.  To view full screen, once you click on the Play ➤ , click on the YouTube icon.  This will give you a better quality picture.  Then click on the 4-corner box in lower right-hand corner to go full screen. . . .

I also made this little video of the one-man band and friends seen in the slideshow. . . .

.•*¨`*•. ☆ .•*¨`*•
Take Joy!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Downton Abbey

The costumes from the Downton Abbey TV series have been one of Winterthur's most popular exhibitions.  It continues through January 4, 2015, which happens to be when Season 5 begins here.  I will admit right up front that I lost interest in the TV series after the second season when PBS started running it past 10:00!  But I have kept up with the buzz about it from time to time whenever people have commented about the show on Susan Branch's website.  I know that I have several readers of my Blog who love Downton Abbey, so this post is for you. 

I hope you will enjoy this brief tour.  I did not capture every costume or every sign.  There were too many people in the way at the beginning of the exhibit to get good photos, and I neglected to go back later because of my gift shop "adventure" at the end. So, you might enjoy reading these articles by others who have visited the exhibit for more information:  Washington Post; Smithsonian; Huffington Post; and this is an interview with Maggie Lidz, one of the three co-curators of the exhibit.  Note:  To make the photos larger, click on them.

Outside the Museum. . . .

Friday, September 26, 2014

Children's Gardens

I must have fallen in love with gardens when I was a child in the 1950's because of Papaw & Mamaw's farm in Mississippi. Papaw, a widower, built the house for my grandmother soon after they were married in 1917.  This blurry photo was taken of the flowers that lined the walk up to Mamaw's front porch in 1974.  Mamaw was 77 by then and would live another 20 years in that house and another 6 in a nursing home.  We moved so often that my parents had no interest in gardening.  Mamaw's flowers and her farm were very special to me. . . .
We kids loved playing "house"around these big oak trees. You can just make out the huge roots that grew out of the ground of the one next to this one.  These made little compartments that we designated as the "rooms" of our house. . . .and the bushes in the back ground, cut into the shape of a chair and couch, further captured our imaginations. . . .
So it's no wonder I love visiting Children's Gardens whenever I can. . . .

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Longwood Gardens

In 1906 Pierre S. du Pont was 36 when he bought the Peirce farm because he'd heard the 100-year-old arboretum was to be destroyed.  George Peirce had purchased 402 acres in 1700 from William Penn's commissioners.  In 1798 his twin great-grandsons began planting 15 acres of various specimens of trees.  By 1850 the arboretum had become a place for locals to picnic.  By 1906, however, the Peirce heirs had neglected its upkeep and after passing through different owners the trees were to be sold to a lumber mill.  This is when Pierre du Pont stepped in.  Because of his love of the countryside and his boyhood love of running water, he set about turning his new summer home, Longwood, into what is now billed as one of the top 10 public gardens in America.

Longwood Gardens now covers 1,077 acres.  The Conservatory that Pierre built covers four acres.  It also houses a ballroom and music room.  This is where he and his wife, Alice, whom he married when he was 45 years old, would entertain their guests.  The couple never had children so much of their philanthropy work centered on the needs of children--public schools, universities, and hospitals.  The house they lived in was not at all grand.  It was built in 1730 as a simple brick farm house.  In 1914 Pierre du Pont had a matching addition built which was connected to the original house by an atrium. . . .
Architect's rendering of addition to the Peirce-du Pont House, c. 1913

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


In 1951 Henry du Pont opened his home and gardens, Winterthurjust north of Wilmington, Delaware, to the public.  He'd spent years collecting Americana, adding on to the mansion in order to house his collections.  The du Pont de Nemours (they dropped the latter part of their name) came here from France in 1800 to escape the political unrest there.  As the brochure states, they would leave an indelible mark on the Brandywine Valley.  You can read more about the family here.  

After picking up our tickets we went outside to wait for the garden tram.  It was an overcast morning, threatening rain at any moment, but it never came, so we were able to enjoy a refreshingly, cool walk around the grounds. . . .

Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Return to Childhood

We've just returned from two days of visiting the gardens of Henry du Pont at Winterthur in Delaware and Pierre du Pont at Longwood Gardens in Pennslyvania.  But before I can tell you all about these visits I must settle something with myself. . . .

This year I've been reading one entry a week from the 52 essays in Alan Cohen's little book entitled Wisdom of the Heart.  This week's, interestingly, is entitled "Resignation from Adulthood."  Lest I give my readers the wrong impression I decided to re-title my post in a more positive tone.....but I love how he starts his essay.  He said, "I've decided that I'd like to accept the responsibilities of an eight-year-old again.  I want to go to McDonald's and think that it's a four-star restaurant."  The reason this struck me is that I'd just written in my journal this morning about the B&B we'd stayed in the one night we were away.  As you can see it was a very nice place. . . .

Friday, September 5, 2014

View Outside My Kitchen Window - September

I took this from a slightly different angle because I wanted you to see my Dahlias.  This is the first time I've planted tubers and didn't realize they got so large. . . .

Friday, August 29, 2014

Tasha Tudor Day Celebration

I hosted the first gathering of the Maryland Chapter of the Tasha Tudor Museum Society at my home yesterday. . . .

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Gabriel's Garden Tour

Hello!  I'm over here on the front stoop!  My name is Gabriel.  Fiona Goosefeathers over at Hopalong Hollow Gazette gave a tour of her Mistress's garden.  Mom thought that was a great idea so she decided since she's been so busy getting ready for her Tasha Tudor Tea she'd ask me to take you on a tour of our garden for her. . . .

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Annapolis Secret Gardens - 2014

The weekend of June 7th & 8th the Hammond-Harwood House sponsored their 15th Secret Garden Tour of Annapolis, Maryland town homes.  Here is a selection of photos of our pleasant afternoon walking tour through the quaint neighborhoods of old Annapolis. . . .

132 Charles Street. . . .

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Inspirational Music Video

I've not had much to say because I've been immersing myself in all things Tasha Tudor this month in preparation for starting the Maryland Chapter of the Tasha Tudor Museum Society.  I came across this video on YouTube by Wayne Wallace set to David Neuvue's "Be Still My Soul".  The video reminded me of a Monet painting and coupled with the music you can become quite lost in the wonderfulness of God's beautiful creation.  If you click on the lower right-hand corner you can make the video full screen.


Sunday, August 3, 2014

View Outside My Kitchen Window - August

Well, I'm back, as you've seen from the posts I've done lately.  This was the view outside my kitchen window earlier today. . . .

Monday, July 28, 2014

Monet's Giverny Garden

 ♫Sur le fil♫

I've been immersing myself in Monet's garden in Giverny this month. . . .
Irises in Monet's Garden

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Best Blueberry Muffins

We went blueberry picking last week.  I discovered Frog Eye Blueberry Farm for the first time last summer when I was looking for an All-American activity for our French exchange student who was spending three weeks with us.  When we got home I looked through my recipe book and found The Best Blueberry Muffins recipe in a little Muffins cookbook by Elizabeth Alston.  They really ARE the best blueberry muffins I've ever tasted, so I thought the recipe was worth sharing with you.

First, you must get in your car and drive to Frog Eye Blueberry Farm.  You will come upon a little hamlet called Burkittsville. . . .

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Thunderstorm Safety

Hello everyone!  Because of all the thunderstorms we've been having lately I decided to republish my post from last year on lightning safety....

All's quiet now but two hours ago this is what it looked like from my front window....

....and from my front porch....

Thursday, July 3, 2014

View Outside My Kitchen Window - July

Summer is officially here.  The two H's--heat and humidity--have descended upon and enveloped our area.  It's the time of year I hide in the air conditioning.  This is why I prefer winter.  If I'm going to stay indoors, I'd rather it not look so pretty outside!  I look out my window and want to be out there, until I open the door and feel I'm about to walk, fully clothed, into a steam bath.

We did not always have central air in this house.  The first six summers we had to rely on the whole-house attic fan. I'd close up the house and open the basement door to draw up the basement's cooler air.  But that never really helped with the humidity.  I am SO grateful for my A/C!!

Here's the view outside my kitchen window right after an afternoon thunderstorm this week (hence, the steam bath). . . .

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Our Artist Vacation - Day 5

Day 5 and we wake up in the lower level of my brother's and his wife's house in Cheshire, CT.  Their cat, Lucky, has been inadvertently shut in with us and has made his bed next to my hip all night.  I'm hoping his name is a portend of what our day will be like.  After Ken drives me the 45 minutes to Danbury he's going to call the dealer in Massachusetts to see what's happening with the minivan.  He had planned to do his own sightseeing in the area while I spend the day at the Friends of Gladys Taber (FOGT) Reunion at the Crown Plaza.  We already had a room here for the night rather than going back to my brothers because it puts us 45 minutes closer to home.  We planned to get home by mid-afternoon so we could celebrate a couple family birthdays and Father's Day.  I joined FOGT just so I could attend their reunion because Susan Branch was their slated speaker.  I have read bits of Gladys Taber's books and enjoyed them, but it is for Susan that I'm here.  When Ken drops me off the A Fine Romance van is parked along the curb and Joe Hall is speaking with a gentleman....

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Our Artist Vacation - Day 4

We woke up to the sound of rain. Today was the Tasha Tudor House and Garden tour!  I did this tour in 2012 and it had rained then, too, while I was on the tour.  Oh, well.  Last time our group lucked out and was in the house when it started to pour, but the house was so dark it was hard to see every thing I wanted to see.  We were not allowed to take photographs, so I had to depend on my mental camera to record every detail.  The photos and paintings you will be seeing were taken off the Internet, or scanned from books about Tasha by Richard W. Brown.  A few are from my last visit which you can read about here.  Afterall, how can one expect to talk about Tasha Tudor and not show pictures?!  

We needed to be in Marlboro, VT by 8:45. We got there in plenty of time and I didn't have any trouble finding the place this time, now that I knew where it was.  The family does not put out signs even on the tour days because they do not want passersby to just pop in.  People come from all over the world for this tour, and I'm sure would feel they had a right to sneak a peek for their efforts even if they weren't invited.  

You turn off the main road and travel a mile or so on this road....

Monday, June 23, 2014

Our Artist Vacation - Day 3

We arrived at the Readmore Inn in Bellow Falls, VT, at the end of a very rainy Day 2.  I never did get an outside photo of the Inn because of the rain and because it was shrouded in bushes and trees.  This photo is from Google street view and was taken when the leaves were off the trees.  I wanted you to see the size of this Victorian house.  It's twice as deep as it is wide....

Friday, June 20, 2014

Our Artist Vacation - Day 2

In order to see everything we wanted to on Day 2 we were on the road by 7:00 a.m.  We drove back into New Hope, PA and crossed the river to Lambertville, NJ.  This saved us from having to pay a bridge toll if we'd crossed at the closer Rt. 202 bridge.  We wanted a quick breakfast so we stopped at this Coffee Bar....

As we headed back north, the sky had clouded up considerably.   By the time we reached Catskill, NY it was raining and quite chilly.  We had hoped to tour the grounds of the Thomas Cole house, but had to settle for just the house tour.  *Thomas Cole mentions this song in an 1843 letter to C.L. Ver Bryck

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Our Artist Vacation - Day 1

In 2006 we spent 10 days touring various homesites/ museums of famous writers in New England.  You can find the first of nine posts about that trip here.  Last week, on June 10th, we headed north again.  The theme this time was artists.  We did not especially plan it that way, but we kept finding a connection to painters and sculptors at each of our stops.  Our first stop on Tuesday, after dropping Gabriel off at our son and daughter-in-law's house in Baltimore was Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ.  Here is a photo my daughter-in-law sent me that evening of Gabriel enjoying the city night lights along the Inner Harbor....

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Beyond the Garden Gates - 2014

Last month we once again attended the annual garden tour in downtown Frederick, Maryland.  This year I thought I'd include information directly from the brochure for each house so that you can get a better feel for each garden.  I like touring private gardens to collect ideas for my own.  Won't you join me for some inspiration.....

Monday, June 2, 2014

View Outside My Kitchen Window - June

If you came of age in the 60's you recognize the song that's playing.  That's what I've been thinking about lately as I stand at my kitchen sink looking out my kitchen window--I will be 64 later this year.  I don't know when I started showing my age.  It seems to have crept up on me.  Ten years ago people thought I was 44, not 54.  

Sunday, May 25, 2014


My most favorite garden center is just 3 miles from my house.  It's more than just a plant nursery, it's a nursery of wonderful ideas for your garden.  Nancy Walz's Surreybrooke is located in Middletown, Maryland and has been a place I go to purchase some of my most unique flowers each year.  I made my first visit of the season last week and wanted to share the photos I took.  Nancy's Surreybrooke is a place you can wander to see the plants in their natural setting.  I just need to tell her where I saw the plant in her garden and she'll show me where to find it in one of her greenhouses.  Throughout the grounds you will find historic log cabins moved to her farm and reconstructed.....

Monday, May 19, 2014


Whimsy:  Playfully quaint or fanciful behavior

Cicely Mary Barker "Lavender Fairy"
Cicely Mary Barker was born in Surrey, England in 1895.  She was frail as a child and suffered from epilepsy.  Her father, an artist himself, encouraged her artistic talent.  At first she took a correspondence course in art and later when her epilepsy abated she attended the Croydon School of Art.  When she was 17 her father died, financially strapping the family.   She was already selling her art for greeting cards and eventually to magazines and books to help the family's finances.  By the time she was 27, in 1923, she was able to sell her illustrations and poems to a publisher.  Her first book, Flower Fairies of the Spring, was published.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Living in the Clouds

I couldn't resist a walk in the woods this morning to capture the ethereal fog that was swirling through the trees on our little mountain, which means it is more likely clouds than fog.  I will take you on a walk in the beginnings of my little Enchanted Woods.  I have great plans for it....

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Lady of Shalott

John William Waterhouse "The Lady of Shalott"

The Lady of Shalott

                                  Lord Alfred Tennyson1809 - 1892
                                 On either side the river lie
                                 Long fields of barley and of rye,
                      That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
                      And through the field the road run by
                      To many-tower'd Camelot;
                      And up and down the people go,
                      Gazing where the lilies blow
                      Round an island there below,
                      The island of Shalott.

                                 Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
                                 Little breezes dusk and shiver
                                 Thro' the wave that runs for ever
                                  By the island in the river
                                  Flowing down to Camelot.
                                  Four grey walls, and four grey towers,
                                  Overlook a space of flowers,
                                  And the silent isle imbowers
                                  The Lady of Shalott.

                        By the margin, willow veil'd
                        Slide the heavy barges trail'd
                        By slow horses; and unhail'd
                        The shallop flitteth silken- sail'd
                        Skimming down to Camelot:
                        But who hath seen her wave her hand?
                        Or at the casement seen her stand?
                        Or is she known in all the land,
                        The Lady of Shalott?

                                 Only reapers, reaping early,
                                 In among the bearded barley
                                 Hear a song that echoes cheerly
                                 From the river winding clearly;
                                 Down to tower'd Camelot;
                                 And by the moon the reaper weary,
                                 Piling sheaves in uplands airy,
                                 Listening, whispers, " 'Tis the fairy
                                 The Lady of Shalott."

                          There she weaves by night and day
                          A magic web with colours gay.
                          She has heard a whisper say,
                          A curse is on her if she stay
                          To look down to Camelot.
                          She knows not what the curse may be,
                          And so she weaveth steadily,
                          And little other care hath she,
                          The Lady of Shalott.

                                 And moving through a mirror clear
                                 That hangs before her all the year,
                                 Shadows of the world appear.
                                 There she sees the highway near
                                 Winding down to Camelot;
                                 There the river eddy whirls,
                                 And there the surly village churls,
                                 And the red cloaks of market girls,
                                 Pass onward from Shalott.

                          Sometimes a troop of damsels glad,
                          An abbot on an ambling pad,
                          Sometimes a curly shepherd-lad,
                          Or long hair'd page in crimson clad,
                          Goes by to tower'd Camelot;
                          And sometimes through the mirror blue
                          The knights come riding two and two.
                          She hath no loyal Knight and true,
                          The Lady of Shalott.

                                 But in her web she still delights
                                 To weave the mirror's magic sights,
                                 For often through the silent nights
                                 A funeral, with plumes and lights
                                 And music, went to Camelot;
                                 Or when the Moon was overhead,
                                 Came two young lovers lately wed.
                                 "I am half sick of shadows," said
                                 The Lady of Shalott.

                           A bow-shot from her bower-eaves,
                           He rode between the barley sheaves,
                           The sun came dazzling thro' the leaves,
                           And flamed upon the brazen greaves
                           Of bold Sir Lancelot.
                           A red-cross knight for ever kneel'd
                           To a lady in his shield,
                           That sparkled on the yellow field,
                           Beside remote Shalott.

                                 The gemmy bridle glitter'd free,
                                 Like to some branch of stars we see
                                 Hung in the golden Galaxy.
                                 The bridle bells rang merrily
                                 As he rode down to Camelot:
                                 And from his blazon'd baldric slung
                                 A mighty silver bugle hung,
                                 And as he rode his armour rung,
                                 Beside remote Shalott.

                          All in the blue unclouded weather
                          Thick-jewell'd shone the saddle leather,
                          The helmet and the helmet feather
                          Burn'd like one burning flame together,
                          As he rode down to Camelot.
                          As often thro' the purple night,
                          Below the starry clusters bright,
                          Some bearded meteor, trailing light,
                          Moves over still Shalott.

                                His broad clear brow in sunlight glow'd;
                                On burnish'd hooves his war-horse trode;
                                From underneath his helmet flow'd
                                His coal-black curls as on he rode,
                                As he rode down to Camelot.
                                From the bank and from the river
                                He flashed into the crystal mirror,
                                "Tirra lirra," by the river
                                Sang Sir Lancelot.

                          She left the web, she left the loom,
                          She made three paces thro' the room,
                          She saw the water lily bloom,
                          She saw the helmet and the plume,
                          She look'd down to Camelot.
                          Out flew the web and floated wide;
                          The mirror crack'd from side to side;
                          "The curse is come upon me," cried
                          The Lady of Shalott.

                                In the stormy east-wind straining,
                                The pale yellow woods were waning,
                                The broad stream in his banks complaining.
                                Heavily the low sky raining
                                Over tower'd Camelot;
                                Down she came and found a boat
                                Beneath a willow left afloat,
                                And around about the prow she wrote
                                The Lady of Shalott.

                          And down the river's dim expanse
                          Like some bold seer in a trance,
                          Seeing all his own mischance -
                          With a glassy countenance
                          Did she look to Camelot.
                          And at the closing of the day
                          She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
                          The broad stream bore her far away,
                          The Lady of Shalott.

                                Lying robed in snowy white
                                That loosely flew to left and right-
                                The leaves upon her falling light-
                                Thro' the noises of the night
                                She floated down to Camelot:
                                And as the boat-head wound along
                                The willowy hills and fields among,
                                They heard her singing her last song,
                                The Lady of Shalott.

                         Heard a carol, mournful, holy,
                         Chanted loudly, chanted lowly,
                         Till her blood was frozen slowly,
                         And her eyes were darkened wholly,
                         Turn'd to tower'd Camelot.
                         For ere she reach'd upon the tide
                         The first house by the water-side,
                         Singing in her song she died,
                         The Lady of Shalott.

                                Under tower and balcony,
                                By garden-wall and gallery,
                                A gleaming shape she floated by,
                                Dead-pale between the houses high,
                                Silent into Camelot.
                                Out upon the wharfs they came,
                                Knight and Burgher, Lord and Dame,
                                And round the prow they read her name,
                                The Lady of Shalott.

                         Who is this? And what is here?
                         And in the lighted palace near
                         Died the sound of royal cheer;
                         And they crossed themselves for fear,
                         All the Knights at Camelot;
                         But Lancelot mused a little space
                         He said, "She has a lovely face;
                         God in his mercy lend her grace,
                         The Lady of Shalott."

Monday, May 5, 2014

View Outside My Kitchen Window - May

As you can see, there's much more green to be seen from the view outside my kitchen window on this fine May day.  My thoughts of late have been of new life.  Spring not only brings the sprouting of flowers and leaves, but for us, a granddaughter.  Yesterday we were delighted to spend the afternoon with Olivia June (aka Olive) and capture these many faces of our three-and-a-half-week-old newborn grandbaby....

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day
Nothing gold can stay.
         --Robert Frost

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Ft. Frederick Market Fair

Ft. Frederick in Maryland was built during the French and Indian War in the late 1750's after the British were defeated in Western Pennsylvania in 1754.  It was a place for British soldiers to garrison and where settlers could take refuge during the many Indian attacks spurred on by the French.  You can read more about its history HERE.

We arrived at the Fort for an entirely different reason:  Shopping!  Each Spring for the past 20 years sutlers (people who followed an army and sold provisions to the soldiers) have set up tents to hawk their 18th-century wares in this bucolic setting.  Everyone--men, women, children--dress in authentic clothing....
(To enlarge photos, click on them)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Peter Rabbit and Friends

It's a beautiful Spring afternoon with all the pinks and different shades of green emerging from the brown and gray.  All the villagers have come out on such a fine day.  They are gathered around Squirrel Nutkin to see the pictures of their lovely English countryside in Susan Branch's exciting book, A Fine Romance.... 

artist: Susan Branch

You can read more about Susan's visit to Hill Top Farm where Beatrix Potter's little friends live.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

First Steps

Usually I choose the songs for my posts by their titles after I've written the post.  I figure if the title matches my theme, then the composer, who titled his piece, probably felt what I hope my post conveys.  This one, Primi Passi, translates to First Steps.  It's headed a blank post for over a year now because the words to match have not come..... until today..... because today, I'm in a mood.....  A north wind is blowing in colder air after having 80 degree temperatures the first two days of the week.  Rain has been falling since last night greening everything up overnight it seems.  This is certainly the First Steps of Spring.  I just hope the impending frost tonight won't damage the flowers already in bloom....  

Friday, April 11, 2014

Waiting for Color

Spring is getting here, slowly but surely.  I looked up that idiom.  It means "slow but unstoppable." I sure hope so!  When I use it I mean, "Surely, Spring will come, won't it?!"  Except for a few daffodils and other Spring bulbs things still look pretty brown around here.

In the meantime, I thought I'd play around with my photo program and see if I could make a slide show of flowers over the years from my garden.  Turn up the volume and make it full screen to get the full effect....

I hope this helps tide you over until Spring comes to your part of the country.