Thursday, November 29, 2018

SUMMER ROSES

On a cold, chilly evening I was looking at some photos of roses.  I thought I would share them for my next post.

"Oh dear!  Is Summer over?"
I  heard a rosebud moan,
When first her eyes she opened
And found she was alone.
"Oh, why did Summer leave me,
Little me, belated?
Where are the other roses?
I think they might have waited."
Soon the little rosebud
Saw to her surprise
Other rosebuds opening,
So she dried her eyes.
Then I heard her laughing
Gaily in the sun,
"I thought Summer was over.
Why it's just begun."
by
Oliver Herford


(Sharing a few memories of summer.)

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

DECK CAM VIDEOS

Today I am posting six videos from the deck cam.  The racoons have gone to bed for the winter, and no other night creatures come and visit any more.  The birds are enjoying their feed, and I do scatter it on the deck rail to entice them closer to the camera.  At this time of the year the birds tidy up for me, and if not then the rain does a very decent job. And then there's always the broom!

The birds flit in and flit out sometimes.  You will also see a squirrel.  These only last a few seconds.  I have been wondering about making them a little longer if that's possible.  I haven't really investigated that too much.  If they were any longer I think I would have to buy hundreds of batteries.

Also I have no control on what videos you will see at the end.  I wish you didn't have to see any of those but there may be something that might interest you.  I won't be recommending any though, as I am never sure what you will be seeing.  They change from viewing to viewing.

Hopefully what you see here will bring a few seconds of smiles.  

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

A COUPLE OF DAYS AFTER THANKSGIVING...

we took a ride to see the Festival of Lights at a park in the next town over.  
It was fun.  I tried to take photos but only one or two came out.  I thought perhaps I might do better taking a short video with my iPad, which you can listen to above.  
It was a nice leisurely drive.

Later I suggested we stop at our local coffee shop and get a hot chocolate.  It made for a very pleasant end to the day.  These photos were taken on our way to the car. The lighting was nice and bright.
 As you can see, everywhere is decorated for the upcoming season.



















GOLDFINCH







Monday, November 26, 2018

MONDAY FOOD POST - BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

Hello everyone, I hope you all had a wonderful  weekend.  Those of us who celebrated Thanksgiving last week with friends and family, I hope it was a great one.   
Ours was very enjoyable, and we spent it with our son and daughter-in-law and a dear friend.  A small group this year and a joyful one, with lots to be thankful for.  For our special meal I decided to start off with a butternut squash soup.  

A friend told me that she hadn't long ago tried this soup with ginger, and that it was very nice.  I did a search on line and saw that Mary Berry, of Great British Bake-Off fame, had a recipe which included ginger.  Above you can see our son and daughter-in-law about to enjoy the soup.  They both said it was delicious, we thought so too.

Mary Berry's Butternut Squash Soup
Serves 8
Vegetarian and dairy free
You can view the original recipe here.

European and American conversions were used, so I have left those in for any overseas blogging friends.  

You will need a large 7 pint/3.5-4 litre deep-sided saucepan.  

Preparation time: less than 30 minutes.  Cooking time: 30 minutes to 1 hour 

3 lbs. 5 ozs/1.5 kg of peeled and deseeded butternut squash, cut into 1-1/4 inch cubes 
1 large onion, roughly chopped 
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped 
1 sweet red pepper, deseeded and cut into cubes 
4 tablespoons of olive oil 
1 tablespoon of honey, optional 
2 inch/5cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped 
2-1/2 pints (5 cups)/1.5 litres vegetable stock 
Salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Farenheit/ 200C/
180C Fan/Gas 6.

Place the prepared squash into a large resealable freezer bag with the onion, carrots and red pepper.

Add half the oil and salt and pepper, and toss everything until the vegetables are evenly coated. 

(My gallon bags were too small for all the ingredients, so I split these them up between two bags.  Next time I will just put everything into a big bowl, pour the oil over the top and mix thoroughly in the bowl.  The bags were an easy solution to mixing though.  I also had to use two pans for roasting, but I swapped them in the middle of cooking time to ensure even roasting).

Put everything into a large roasting pan and spread out to form a single layer.

Roast in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until tender and slightly browned.  

Drizzle with the honey if using, 5 minutes before the end of cooking time.

Now get the large deep-sided pan you are using next, place on the stove burner and turn to medium-hot. Add the remaining olive oil and when hot, add the ginger and cook for one minute.  
Pour in the stock and bring to a boil.  Add carefully the roasted vegetables, salt and pepper. 

Remove the saucepan from the heat and, using a hand blender (I used an emersion blender), blend the mixture until smooth, or to taste.  

Return to the heat to warm through and serve hot with crusty bread.

If covered and chilled in the fridge, this dish can be made up to 3 days ahead.

If  stored in a freezer-proof bag or container, this soup freezes well up to 3 months.

Ready-prepared butternut squash can be found in your produce section at the supermarket (this is what I used).  

If you are using your own home grown squash, they are easier to peel.

If taking from the fridge reheat in pot on medium heat until nice and hot.  

Same thing if you have frozen it, except take the soup out the night before to thaw in fridge.

A small spoon of sour cream, cream fraiche or plain Greek yogurt goes nicely on the top of this soup.

Now a favorite soup and will be made again.


 I enjoyed these special Thanksgiving flowers.




Have a great week everyone and thanks for stopping by.





Friday, November 23, 2018

OLD FAVORITES - PART 7 - LAST OF THE SERIES


"People are like stained-glass windows.  They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."

~Elisabeth KĻ‹bler-Ross~







Thursday, November 22, 2018

OLD FAVORITES - PART 6

Going back 45 years....
Gregg was sent to the UK on an exchange tour with the Royal Navy. (Some of you might remember this story, these having been shared before, but not for a long time.) When he joined what was to be his first British ship, part of his welcome aboard was to be given a special Thanksgiving meal, the captain even asking their navy cook to bake him the appropriately decorated cake.  He was very touched by this kind gesture and it remains one of the many great memories he has of his time with the Royal Navy.
Below is the menu.  Enlarge if you want a clearer view.
As often happens whenever we share any of our old photos, they jogged a few memories which we chatted about for some time.

Happy Thanksgiving 
to family and friends who are celebrating today.



Wednesday, November 21, 2018

OLD FAVORITES - PART 5


"When you are sad my Little Star, go out of doors.  It is always better underneath the open sky."

~Eva Ibbotson~
A Countess Below Stairs




Tuesday, November 20, 2018

OLD FAVORITE - PART 4


When I Am Among the Trees
by 
Mary Oliver

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
   but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, "Stay awhile."
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, "It's simple," they say,
"and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine."








Monday, November 19, 2018

OLD FAVORITES - PART 3


"If ever should you need me
Just take a walk outside,
And cast your thoughts upon the winds
And watch the Cardinals fly."

~Author Unknown~





Sunday, November 18, 2018

OLD FAVORITES - PART 2


“Struggling to stand on wet green land, 
Mother nervously at hand
New born foal on spindly legs 
Welcomed to the world by chilly winds.
First steps taken tentatively,
Gives his first joyous whinny,
Strengthening legs....he stretches out
Soon...proudly, he struts about.
Of his mother....he takes no heed”
Galloping now with such great speed.”

~Author Unknown~



Saturday, November 17, 2018

OLD FAVORITES - PART 1


I have chosen seven favorites that I am going to post for seven days, including this one. If you remember them from the last time I shared, I hope you will enjoy the repeat performance.

Have a great weekend everyone.


Friday, November 16, 2018

WISE WORDS - THE MASTERPIECE OF BEES


"There is one masterpiece, the hexagonal cell, that touches perfection.

No living creature, not even man, has achieved, in the centre of his sphere, what the bee has achieved in her own: and were some one from another world to descend and ask of the earth the most perfect creation of the logic of life, we should needs have to offer the humble comb of honey."

~Maurice Maeterlinck - The Life of the Bee, 1924~

(My photo is of a bee taken at Meadowlark Gardens last summer.  I already miss the bees and flowers.  Lovely to be reminded of them, especially when the weather is cold and we have snow on the ground.)







Thursday, November 15, 2018

DAD'S BIRTHDAY AND LAST POST FROM WILLIAMSBURG...

It would have been my Dad's 102nd birthday today.  He passed away 25 years ago and in some ways, as those of us who have lost loved ones feel, it is as though he is still here.  He was a 30 year career police officer, spending the duration of WWII in the navy, and one of his ships was the HMS Jamaica.  Dad was well liked by many, knew no strangers and loved by us, so Happy Birthday Dad, you will always be missed.


When we woke up and looked outside, there was a thin layer of snow on the ground.  It is going to snow for another two hours, and then will turn into rain, which should take care of the snow, hopefully!

Last post from Williamsburg

 There are only a few photos to finish off our trip.  I didn't take any to share of our family as I know they value their privacy and I respect that.  Suffice to say we had a wonderful time, and are looking forward to our next get-together, hopefully before Christmas.


I was surprised to see flowers still blooming.

Not knowing the restaurants in the area very well, you never know what to expect.  But I looked on Yelp, put a few basic requirements in the search engine, and they showed several places.  Cochon met all our needs.  It also had excellent reviews so we arranged to meet our family there.
It is located in Williamsburg but not downtown, only a short drive though.  Not a large place at all, which was fine by us.  There was a largish party just leaving and a few tables taken for the time we were there, and a few people arriving.  It was a popular place.  We chose the lunch hour so that we could all get home in the daylight.  It is open from 11.30 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. for lunch, and from 5.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m. for dinner.  We made sure to make a reservation.  You can see the days and hours of operation on their contact page
It had friendly service and great food and I would recommend it to anyone.
Gregg had a pork barbecue sandwich with French fries, and I had a salad which came with two mini crabcakes.  

After a lovely long lunch chatting, we said goodbye and started our journey back north, in good weather this time. The sun was out the whole way. This isn't our house, just a neighborhood we drove through along the way.  I loved how the sun made those golden leaves glow as it was going down.  We got home well before dark.
That's all from Williamsburg for this trip.  I hope we get back before Christmas.

Thank you all very much for following along and I hope the rest of your week is a great one.



Wednesday, November 14, 2018

MORE PHOTOS FROM WILLIAMSBURG IN VIRGINIA


We have been back for a couple of days now.  It is Wednesday evening (the 14th) and we have just had our first winter advisory.  Snow is expected in the morning but it is supposed to turn into rain for the rest of the day.  I think those of you who live further out will get more than we will - I am thinking of my friend in Winchester, and I know some of my blogging friends are out there also - and I will just say, stay warm and stay inside if you can.  I really worry for my friends going out in snow and ice.  I also wish we could send some of this weather out to California to help with those horrific fires. 

Getting back to my second post on our trip to Williamsburg, we awoke to sunny skies and decided to get out early and take a walk in Williamsburg.  The main road is blocked off to traffic.
There was a farmer's market taking place also.
And there were lots of dogs, a very dog-friendly place here.
We never pass a book store without taking a look around.
No books today but I did pick up some greeting cards.
A very pretty day compared to yesterday.  Below is The Dog Street Pub.  We didn't check that out but I am sharing the link so that you can.  Whenever I color letters in red it is usually a link to other places.
"Nature will bear the closest inspection.  She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain."
~Henry David Thoreau~
"I see the turning of a leaf dancing in an Autumn sun, and brilliant shades of crimson glowing when a day is done."
~Mattie Elliott~
Well, maybe not a lot of crimson here, but a lot of Autumn gold.
I enjoy looking at the old Colonial-style buildings,
and I see that the town is starting to decorate for the holidays.  Hmmm....I am not quite there yet.
This is Thomas Jefferson.  He always gets a lot of company to sit (or stand) next to him.  He is seen here writing the Declaration of Independence.
My turn!
We walked on the grounds of the College of William and Mary.   
Below, if you enlarge the photo, you can read a short history.
We are approaching the statue of Norborne Berkeley, who was the governor of the Virginia colony from 1768 to 1770, and also a member of the board of visitors at this college.
He is buried in the crypt of the Sir Christopher Wren Building, shown nearby in these few photos.
Before coming to Virginia he was a Member of Parliament for Gloucestershire.
He was a very popular governor, born in England in 1717.
I am not sure what this building is called but as I stand in front of the statue looking towards the Wren building, this one is on my right.

We are in what is called the historic triangle, walking along these lovely brick pathways.   
We are at the other end of the Farmer's market.
I saw the candy store advertised a few days ago, when I was looking on line for places to visit in Williamsburg.  It has an excellent reputation and was very busy inside.  I bought a few items to give as gifts, for those friends I know who have a sweet tooth.  There is a Facebook page here.
One last shot of the dogs we saw.
If you ever want to visit Williamsburg, here is their website with useful information.  

It was time to move on to meet up with our family at the restaurant, but I will share those photos next time. Thank you for stopping by and I wish you a very happy day.