Friday, December 31, 2010

A NEW YEAR



Starting over.  
Beginning again.
Turning a new leaf. 
A clean slate. 
Full of anticipation.
Eager for change.

A New Year brings opportunity. 



A timeless clock may be the perfect way to enjoy life!  
Of course in our world that's just about impossible.  Dear friends, enjoy each minute, each hour, and every day.  As the hands turn on your clock, and time moves on, grab each precious moment and make the most of it.

Happy New Year.......may it be the best one ever!


Images from Sleepy Poet Antiques, Charlotte, NC

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Beautiful landscape.............


The look on the Chickadee's little face says it all......................brrrrr!  Let's get this cold garden back to normal, enough snow, ice, and temperatures in the teens, we want warm.  It's amazing how these tiny birds survive through a Winter such as this one.


Only the garden ornaments can stand long days and nights as cold as these recent ones.


Although it WAS pretty that first day, now the snow is melting and by New Year's Eve the predicted 60 degrees will turn it all to slush..............until then I wait, feeling much like this, frozen in time with a heavy head!  


No mall shopping for leftover bargains.............don't need them anyway.  No walks in the park - I'm fearful of driving on the ice to get there........ 



...............and my cycling days are just a memory!


So I circle the garden, snapping images before the beauty disappears.  The potting shed looks like a cabin in the woods..........


............with icicles dripping, green leaves still hang on the Akebia vine which tolerates the cold well.


The Christmas tree in the gazebo DID get decorated after all.  Now it stands as part of the Winter wonderland.............and will be there for some time until warmer days arrive!  Look how the snow formed a row of pretty miniature 'pine trees' on the lower gazebo screen - just noticing this as I post - Nature's decoration is everywhere.



So little Chickadee, stop frowning and stick it out for a few more days...........warm weather will return.........



.......and meanwhile you have a choice of housing to shelter you.  


These bird boxes have been the nesting sites of the Chickadees for several Springs.  I like to think they may also be their nighttime homes in cold weather.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Birds of the air.............


....................and of course, the squirrels, always hunting through the garden for acorns which fortunately were prolific this year.


Seems that an acorn diet quickly becomes boring, and digging for them through 8 inches of snow a real chore..........


.........so a dessert of birdseed is still enjoyed despite the upside down acrobatic moves required to get it!


A good spot for bird watching is here, standing just inside the doorway of the potting shed where I'm able to see the birds at the feeders yet they are unaware they are being watched and photographed.


The female Towhee with a fallen sunflower seed in her beak.  Towhees almost always feed from the ground...............


.........and her handsome mate watching from a branch.


Never a lack of Cardinals in the garden..........the brilliant red male, noisy and boistrous...............


................and his lovely mate, more subtle in color but beautiful and ladylike.


Titmouse, left, and a sparrow on the mixed seed feeder........


..........and the Titmouse taking a seed from the feeder which it will crack open on the branch.



Always my favorite, tiny Carolina Wren, photographed through the dining room window.  Perhaps the most sensible bird when it comes to staying warm and dry.......visiting the front porch (where it was most likely born last Spring as we always have a nest there!), fluffing up, and just hanging about out of reach of the bad weather.  Note the height of the snow on top of the fountain.

Do you enjoy watching birds?  Do you fill feeders year round?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Baby it's cold outside...........


Yesterday we stayed around the house enjoying the perfect snow.   A thick and heavy 7-8 inches, but dry as a bone.  After an hour or more in the garden taking lots of photos, my boots were still dry and any snow falling from the trees just brushed off the layers of clothes I'd piled on for warmth......no wet stuff here.



Perfect snow for the neighborhood children to make snowballs and build snow persons..........my little neighbor Raya's handsome guy sported a nifty silver hat..............


Raya in the early morning snow - Boxing Day 2010


The temperature did not rise much more than this yesterday...................28 degrees by mid-afternoon, then plummeted downward and is only 16 degrees as I write this morning, brrrrrrr!!!!


DH trudging off to search for the newspaper buried in the snow.............................


............and after raking around the mailbox area, found it, much to his delight!


Thankful for the woodpile feeding our blazing hearth.  Thankful that we are safe and warm in the cottage on these very cold days and nights..............and that we don't have to drive anywhere until the roads are safe again.  


Next post, more of the wildlife in the snow covered garden.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

White Boxing Day.......


The back garden - Boxing Day 2010


White Christmas arrived late yesterday evening, gently covering the piles of dry leaves piled at the curb, leaving a sliver of white on the tops of cold birdbaths and feeders.  As we turned in for the night, after a lovely Christmas Day shared with family, it was already morning...........the loveliness of Christmas departed in soft silence.


Mr.& Mrs.Cardinal having breakfast as the snow continues to fall.


This morning awaking at 8 AM, the light was so bright I knew what I'd see on opening the blinds........snow, snow, and more snow!  A Winter wonderland, about 6 inches have fallen and it's still coming down.


I'd been wishing for at least one day of being 'snowed in'. Deep snow, falling for hours, making the world beyond the windows a quiet and beautiful land................making the neighborhood look like the countryside. 



Front garden early morning - December 26, 2010

       WISHES COME TRUE..................




Hope you each made unforgettable Christmas memories..............may the coming year be special in every way.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Greetings.....

Time for a blog break dear friends.....................here's wishing you a wonderful and blessed Christmas time with family and friends.




Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas past......and future


Time is running away.....................fast forward to Christmas.
Are you ready?  Don't fib if you're not, it's OK........who truly is.  For many it's those last minute things, the rush of the season, the excitement of knowing there's not much time left, that makes Christmas so wonderful. 


For me, Christmas preparations are changing.  The heady days of bustling through packed malls and department stores for hours on end are no longer enjoyable.  The nighttime secret wrapping, the mechanics of putting together and hiding of kids' toys are just a memory...............all fun when one is young and more able, now something we see young neighbor families do instead!


As for the kitchen chores at holiday time......................now I understand why there are gourmet shops!  No, I don't order hams and turkeys to be delivered sizzling at the door (we don't eat meat).  I don't stay home baking the weeks before Christmas when instead I can be savoring the delights of a city dressed for the holidays - this year Washington, last year New York. 

Next year, who knows where I'll be.  Prague called this year but didn't happen, perhaps for the best seeing as how the airports are mostly shut down and weather horrendous across Europe.  I long to spend one more Christmas at home in England........snowed in at an elegant country estate, in a little farmhouse (heated please!) on wild Dartmoor near my Devon home, or ensconced in a quite posh London hotel, close to Harrods would be perfect! 

All images from Anthropologie's beautiful windows in their Georgetown, Washington, D.C. store this past weekend.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Capital memories....................


Washington Monument - December 2010

It had snowed a couple of inches before we arrived in our nation's Capital on Friday...........but roads and sidewalks were cleared and the atmosphere was definitely full of holiday cheer despite the nip in the air.

December evening 2010 - Washington D.C.

This is the apartment building where I lived in the 60's - top floor left hand corner.  I looked out toward beautiful old bustling Georgetown.  I walked a few blocks to my office.  I did not own a car.  I bought groceries in a tiny corner shop across the street.  I loved the city life after growing up at the English seaside.............but I was definitely homesick at times.  I was twenty and full of dreams.


The old canal running through Georgetown.

Anthropologie's Georgetown shop displaying pretty Winter outfits................style for big city streets.

 Bright Christmas windows.

The Capitol dome across the frozen Potomac River from our hotel window in Crystal City, Virginia.

Always fun to revisit the past...........memories are precious.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Off to the North!




I'm heading North for the weekend, following the snow.....................for some Christmas tree gazing, shopping, visiting friends and old haunts. 

Have a wonderful pre-Christmas weekend.

Do you like to return to places you've lived in days gone by?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

More Christmas Decor.....

CHRISTMAS is coming and I'm trying to not get stressed over things such as decorating, baking, card writing, and gift wrapping..................because some of this may not get done by the 25th around these parts!


With bitter cold weather, the outdoor decorating has been put on hold.......even the tree in the gazebo has not been decorated, it's just sitting there looking like.....well a green tree!  Nothing wrong with that.  Here indoors I have put up many Christmas items and these are some of my favorites.  Above, the beautiful NOEL garland made and gifted to me by Jenny at SuzAnna's Antiques


Mercury glass balls mix well with my folded/pleated/vintage books.


The rosemary 'tree' smells so good and fits where a  Christmas tree can't go.


The real meaning of Christmas is tucked in this corner by the front door.


Cherubs trumpet from the mantel.


Silvered filigree trees gleam in evening candlelight.


.....................and my good wishes for you are coming through the cold, crisp air as you ready for the Christmas season.
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