Wednesday, November 15, 2017


Dear Friends, I have some projects to attend to, so I am taking a blogging break.  

"She said, "May today there be peace within.  May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be.  May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith, in yourself and in others.  May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.  May you be content with yourself just the way you are.  Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.  It is there for each and every one of us."

~Saint Therese~

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


This is the last in the series of old photos of Gregg's first cousins, twice removed.  A fun loving pair of sisters in their early years...

and a fun loving pair later in life.  Sweet ladies, still smiling.  I wish I had met them but am so happy I have these photos.

You can see all that I have shared of this family if you click on the links below. 

"Horse and Buggy"
"Off to School"
"Six Sisters"

Monday, November 13, 2017


I am not posting my usual Monday recipe, so that I can share my sister-in-law's photos from her trip to Shanghai last week.  Her husband was on a five-day business trip and she accompanied him.  She kept in touch by texting when she could.   

First of all, an Afternoon Tea at the one of the hotels.

Another meal, not sure what everything is but it all looked excellent. I thought the dry ice effect underneath the dish of shrimp made a wonderful presentation. 

In the photo below, the large globe was a dessert.  We were told it was fried dough with air inside.  Not overly sweet.  

Here are photos she took while sight-seeing.

A few facts I read about.  Shanghai has a population of 24 million people as of 2014.  It is the most populated city in all of China.

It has the longest metro system in the world and beneath the city of Shanghai there are 365 miles of tunnels and track.  There are 364 stations spread throughout the city, connecting major attractions, making it easy for international visitors to navigate.

The dialect of Shanghai is known for its distinct pronunciation, which differs greatly from the standard Mandarin spoken in and around Beijing.  The Shanghai dialect or Shanghainese, is only 70 percent intelligible for standard Mandarin speakers.  However, Shanghai is such an international city, a large proportion of the locals will have a strong command of the English language.

In 2016 Shanghai was named the most attractive city for expats for the fourth time in six years by International Talent Magazine.  48,000 expats were polled and asked to rank their city on categories such as living environment and policies for foreign professionals.  Shanghai is home to over 170,000 expats as of 2015.

The best time to visit Shanghai is in the spring and Autumn.  Summers have temperatures in the 100 range, along with high humidity levels.  Winter temperatures hover around freezing and it is very damp.

If you are interested in souvenirs, Shanghai is famous for its Silk, Antiques, Porcelain, Chinese Painting and Calligraphy.  

Through an online search I learned that the name of Shanghai means "Above/Upon the Sea", which alludes to the city's location along the Yangtze River Delta near the South China Sea.

Early in its history, Shanghai was a fishing village.  In AD 1292 Yuan Dynasty established it as a country.  Presently it is the largest city in China and eighth largest in the world.

Shanghai cooking is sweeter than other areas in China, and they consume more sugar than any other part of China.

In 1986 the White Magnolia was adopted as the city flower.  The White Magnolia is among the few spring flowers in the Shanghai area.

It sounded like a great trip.  The following photos she was almost back home.

I hope you have enjoyed my sister-in-law's latest travels.  She always has my thanks for letting me share them.

Friday, November 10, 2017



Photos were taken at the end of August.

Peruvian Lilies, one of my favorite flowers.  

A welcome bench lies beyond those plants.

The brightness of the yellow marigolds paired beautifully with the black ornamental peppers.  Here's a close up of the peppers.

I came across a Sweetgum tree and it had these interesting spiky spheres growing on it.  It is known as a capsular head.  It is a dry fruit composed of many chambers, which splits open when it matures, to release its seeds.  You can read more on this page, which is where I found my information.

Waiting for next year's residents.

More residences below.

Does anyone know what this plant is called?

Here's a closer look.

This is all from Green Spring Gardens, until we go there next year.  

Thursday, November 9, 2017


Another in a series of old photos of the same family, Gregg's first cousins, twice removed.  

You can see those other photos if you click on the links below.  

"Off to School"
"Six Sisters"

Wednesday, November 8, 2017


(A photo I have shared before.  I thought these sweet children would be a perfect fit for the Parents Prayer below.)

"Help me give my children the best...
not of trappings or toys, but of myself, cherishing them on good days and bad days, theirs and mine.

Teach me to accept them for who they are, not for what they do; 

To listen to what they say, if only so they will listen to me.

To encourage their goals, not mine, 
and please, let me laugh with them and be silly.

Let me give them a home where respect is the cornerstone, integrity the foundation, and there is enough happiness to raise the roof.

May I give them the courage to be true to themselves, the independence to take good care of themselves, and the faith to believe in a power much greater than their own.

See that I discipline my children without demeaning them, demand good manners without forgetting my own, and let them know they have limitless love no matter what they do.

Let me feed them properly, clothe them adequately and have enough to give them a small allowance, not for the work they do but for the pleasure they bring.

And let me be moderate in all things, so that the joy of getting will help them discover the joy of giving.

See that their responsibilities are real, but not burdensome, that my expectations are high but not overwhelming, and that my thanks and praise are thoughtful, and given when they are due.

Help me teach them that excellence is its own reward and not the glory it brings.

But when it comes...and it will...let me revel in each honor, however small, without once pretending that it's mine.  My children are glories enough.

Above all let me ground these children so well, that I can dare to let them go."

~Author Unknown~

(If you would like to see where I got this photo from, it is amongst all the posts from the Scottish Festival in Virginia.  We attended the festival in September 2009, and to see all the posts I shared of that day, you can click on this link.  Long time blogging friends may remember them, but will hopefully enjoy them again.  It was an amazing day spent with good friends.) 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017


Two versions of the same photo.  The one below I added the frame when I was doodling on my Paint Shop Pro program on Sunday afternoon.  Gregg was watching a baseball game and I was playing on the computer.  

This is a beautiful sculpture I saw on our road trip last May.  We were in Santa Fe at The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture.  It was created by Doug Hyde, cast in bronze and is entitled "People of the Red-Tailed Hawk“.  You can read about it on this page.  If you scroll down you will see its photo and also learn more of the man who created it.

One of the many reasons I love the southwest is that I come across these sculptures, and saw many in Santa Fe especially.  I find myself studying every detail.

Saturday, November 4, 2017


Once in a golden hour
I cast to earth a seed.
Up there came a flower
The people said, a weed.

To and fro they went
Thro' my garden bower,
And muttering discontent
Cursed me and my flower.

Then it grew so tall
It wore a crown of light,
But thieves from o'er the wall
Stole the seed by night.

Sow'd it far and wide
By every town and tower,
Till all the people cried,
'Splendid is the flower!'

Read my little fable;
He that runs may read.
Most can raise the flowers now,
For all have got the seed.

And some are pretty enough,
And some are poor indeed,
And now again the people
Call it but a weed.

The Flower by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Friday, November 3, 2017


This is the latest in a series of old photos I have been sharing of one particular family.  As mentioned in those previous posts, they are Gregg's first cousins, twice removed.  This is one of the cousins off to school, we're guessing high school age.  In many of the photos the family had lovely smiles on their faces.  Their father was an immigrant from Germany.

You can see those other photos if you click on the links below.

"Six Sisters"