Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Reading

Christmas With Rosamunde PilcherI've decided to make a Christmas reading list.
Here are the books on the list:
1. Christmas with Rosamunde Pilcher
2. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever-Barbara Johnson
3. An Irish Country Christmas-Patrick Taylor
4. I Saw Three Ships-Elizabeth Goudge
5. The Christmas Mouse-Miss Read
6. The Sister of the Angels-Elizabeth Goudge

Does anyone have another good Christmas book to recommend? I'm hoping to have lots of time for reading in front of the fire!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Book Challenges

I'm thinking of taking this challenge beginning in January. The reason I'm hesitating is because I tend not to finish challenges of this sort. I'm a 'have-to-be-in-the-right-mood' type of reader, and just because a book is on a TBR list doesn't mean I'll read it. I'm a little rebellious that way. Makes no sense, I know, especially since I'm the one taking the challenge. No one has a gun to my head making me read.

Here's a challenge I began last January. I made a list of books to read for it and then deviated wildly from it. Oh well, at least I read more Irish books than I would have if I hadn't taken the challenge.

So I think I'll take the classics challenge. You only have to list seven books. I'll think about it and get back to you. The challenge may be in only picking seven!

What challenges are you taking right now; book or otherwise?

Monday, November 28, 2011

More Photos Around the House-Part 3

This little bust was the first one I ever won when I was in a recital at age eight. It was also the last recital I was ever in!

This photo is looking from the parlor, through the foyer, and into the dining room.

This bowl of treasures are things my husband has found walking through the fields of Georgia. He spends a lot of time helping farmers with their crops. He also knows I'm a sucker for all things old whether they're broken or not. One of the sweetest gifts he's ever given to me was the bent spoon lying on top. He thought it might be valuable. Of course it isn't, but the thought is priceless to me!

I adore this little delft lamp. I have some matching antique tiles to put up over the parlor fireplace someday soon.

This old-school phone belonged to my maternal grandparents. It's the only one that works when the electricity goes out.

And here are my vinyl 33's left over from the day. I have a record player and play them occasionally on a Saturday night. Why a Saturday night? I really don't know. That's just when I'm in the mood.

A few photography books for inspiration.

The Bailey family crest.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Vignettes Around the House

I've spent some time on the couch during the Thanksgiving break reading, relaxing, and just looking around at the house. I'm a VERY visual person and like filling our home with beautiful objects both large and small.

I'll spread the photos over several days so as not to give you visual overload.
I've been on an England kick lately. I love English country decorating and have incorporated bits and pieces of it into our house.

Little Tom of England is a children's book about an American boy and an English boy and how they learn about each other's culture. It's mostly filled with English history which I absolutely adore! It was a cute book. My legs are underneath those books, and right across from me in the blue ticking chair is my favorite reading buddy Princess.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Around the Yard in November

Here are a few photos of the land around our house. There's cotton planted in the field behind us. It's a sad excuse for a cotton field, but this individual boll is pretty, I think.

This is a cherry laurel tree growing around the edge of the field. I had to look it up to know what it was. The berries aren't edible as they contain cyanide.

I'll never tire of seeing the rising sun casting long rays through the pecan limbs.

I made this split-rail fence from black locust rails brought from Tennessee. It separates the formal gardens from the wild ones. The sycamore tree is a volunteer that sprouted about fifteen years ago. It's grown quite a lot during that time. I love the white, peeling bark. It really shines when the sun hits it.

I've been cooking and cleaning most of the day; doing some decluttering, too. It's been a good piddling day. Have a warm, love-filled Thanksgiving tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Going Home To The New Country

In a previous post, I talked about going home to the 'old country'. Last Thursday I went home to visit my parents in Tennessee, the 'new country'. I have so much fun visiting with my parents when I'm by myself. We fall into a very comfortable mode of talking, eating, sleeping, walking, and anything else I feel like doing. I stayed four nights and had a grand time.

Daddy's been replacing their shingled roof with a metal one. Here are some photos of him up there. Keep in mind that he'll soon be 76 years old. Needless to say, I did a lot of praying while I was home. One night when it rained, he had to climb up there in the rainy dark to put the plastic back around the chimney to keep it from leaking.

He said they had never hired a handyman or repairman to fix anything....ever! They do it all themselves. I find that amazing.
I'd love to be that self-sufficient.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Choosing a Miracle

"There are only two ways to live your life; One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." Albert Einstein

And all the difference in the world is in the choosing.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Going Home

“It is England we love, we Americans,” she had said to her father. “What could be more natural? We belong to it—it belongs to us. I could never be convinced that the old tie of blood does not count. All nationalities have come to us since we became a nation, but most of us in the beginning came from England. We are touching about it, too. We trifle with France and labour with Germany, we sentimentalise over Italy and ecstacise over Spain—but England we love. How it moves us when we go to it, how we gush if we are simple and effusive, how we are stirred

imaginatively if we are of the perceptive class. I have heard the commonest little half-educated woman say the prettiest, clumsy, emotional things about what she has seen there. A New England school ma’am, who has made a Cook’s tour, will almost have tears in her voice as she wanders on with her commonplaces about hawthorn hedges and thatched cottages and white or red farms. Why are we not unconsciously pathetic about German cottages and Italian villas? Because we have not, in centuries past, had the habit of being born in them. It is only an English cottage and an English lane, whether white with hawthorn blossoms or bare with winter, that wakes in us that little yearning, grovelling tenderness that is so sweet. It is only nature calling us home.”
Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Shuttle

Have you ever gone to a place and immediately felt like you were home? I have felt that way in England and Scotland. You don't even have to go there, though, to feel that resonance. You can read a book set in a certain place and feel the same way. I found this quote by the author of The Secret Garden, Little Lord Fauntleroy, and The Little Princess that describes this feeling. I think there's something in our genetic code that makes us feel at home in certain places. Too many people have described this happening for it not to be true.

Is it just a coincidence that most of my ancestors come from England, Ireland, and Scotland? I've never been to Ireland, but I bet I'll feel the same way there. I love the music; absolutely love it. Whenever I hear Celtic music, I feel it down to the core of my being. It draws me, it says, "Come home." I want to. Someday I hope to live somewhere in the British Isles for a month or two. I wonder if I'd miss the US if I did that? I'd love the chance to find out!

What Does Your Life Lack?

On the list below, I need more creating, long walks, and love; always more love. Can't get too much love. What about you?

Enjoy a Cuppa Today!

This morning I've enjoyed my favorite tea Yorkshire Gold. This afternoon I'll probably have Earl Grey decaf. What's your favorite kind of tea, and when do you have it?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Waiting for Mail

"Ah but she liked mail. Always had. One never knew what might turn up in the mail. It was like the lottery in which one could hit the jackpot at any moment." (Jan Karon)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Great Book Title!

Will Jesus Buy Me a Doublewide? ‘Cause I need More Room for My Plasma TV- Karen Spears ZachariasProduct Details

I was reading Billy Coffey's blog and saw that he's coming out with a new book. You know on the back of the book where different people make recommendations? Well, this woman, Karen Spears Zacharias, wrote one. And you know how it always tells something about the reviewer, as in what she's written, if she's a speaker, if she's a doctor, etc.?

Well, Ms. Zacharias wrote the above book. What a hoot! I LOVE that title. Anyone read it? I may have to read it just because the title is so great!

Snow Day by Billy Coffey

Snow had always been one of the wider gulfs between grown-ups and children. Adults wanted to get rid of it as soon as possible and so get on with their lives; children wanted to keep it around for as long as possible and so enjoy theirs more.

This quote is from Snow Day by Billy Coffey. I first heard of him when I was reading his blog He's one insightful man, so I was glad to see his book in my local library.

I mostly enjoyed it but felt that at times he was too didactic; trying to cram in way too many lessons learned in a short amount of time. One day actually. I'd recommend it, though. It made me think.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Beau, the Wonder Dog

Our Bishypoo, Beau, is the dog of the hour. This morning he led us to the deer my husband killed right before dark last night. It ran off into the woods after being hit and couldn't be tracked in the dark.

It always makes me nervous when a deer is shot, runs off, and has to be tracked. Sometimes you find it and sometimes you don't. I can't stand to think that all that meat is lying in a ditch or the woods somewhere close by but can't be found.

My husband got up early this morning to go look for blood drops, but with so many red leaves on the ground, he wasn't very hopeful of finding any. I told him I wanted to go with him; not because I wanted to see a dead deer. I didn't. I just love getting out into the woods for any reason. It brings back many memories of my childhood when I would go rabbit hunting with my grandpa or just walk through the woods as quietly as possible with my daddy. Darcie wanted to go, too.

So the three of us piled into his pickup truck. I asked if he wanted Beau to go help us, since he's always chasing squirrels and running around a lot with his nose to the ground. I figured he might be a good tracker. He said to bring him, so we loaded Beau up, too.

We drove across our field to where my husband thought he hit the deer, and started looking there. No blood was seen, so we walked into the woods a little ways. I had my eye on Beau whose downed nose was going back and forth. I saw the minute he was on to something and was surprised that he didn't bark. I guess I'm used to Grandpa's beagles baying as soon as they lock onto a scent. I walked away from the other two following Beau deeper into the woods. He stopped and began sniffing like crazy. I walked over and saw dried blood spots. I called to Gayle and showed him what Beau had found. He was pretty excited to know we were on the right track.

We split up again with me just watching and following Beau. He went a little deeper into the woods and I saw the deer's body. He never did bark. Strange. I called everyone over to see, and Gayle began examining the buck to see where the bullet entered and all the other things men look for such as number of points on the rack, estimated weight, size of rack, etc. I was too busy praising Beau and scratching his ears to pay much attention to the deer. I don't like seeing dead animals but am glad for the meat for the freezer.

Later I heard Gayle talking to our son-in-law on the phone. He was just bragging on Beau and saying that we never would have found the deer if not for him. Not a bad morning's work for a furry, white lap dog.