Wednesday, May 27, 2020


To live content with small means,
To seek elegance rather than luxury,
And refinement rather than fashion,
To be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich,
To study hard, think quietly, talk gently, and frankly,
To listen to stars and birds, babes and sages 
With open heart,
To bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, 
Await occasions,
Hurry never - 
In a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, 
Grow up through the common.  
This is to be my symphony.

My Symphony

Tuesday, May 26, 2020


I have run into a problem with my laptop, something to do with the latest Windows Edge which was downloaded automatically while it was in the sleep mode.  Afterwards I couldn’t get on the internet. Trying to find out what the problem is, but my in-home tech expert (hubby) is telling me he is not sure how to fix it, so we might have to get professional help, which means we might have to send it away in the current climate. I can use my iPad but it is not always possible for me to leave comments on every blog I visit.  If you don’t see me for a while, that’s the reason why.  Fortunately I have several posts already to go, like this one, which was easy enough to add my first paragraph on.  I can do other posts also. Just not as fast as I can on my laptop.  

One day late for my recipe but I didn’t want to miss recognizing and honoring Memorial Day. 

I have a few recipes that I don't remember where I got them from, and this is one of those recipes.  No link today. These were very good but I found them a bit messy. Keep extra napkins on hand. 

Cheeseburger Sliders

2 lbs. ground beef
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 white onion, diced
6 slices cheddar cheese
12 dinner rolls or Hawaiian Sweet Rolls
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 350 deg. F (175 deg. C).

Combine the beef, salt, pepper and garlic powder in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, mixing thoroughly, then pressing into a flat, even layer.  Bake for 20 minutes.  

Drain the liquid and set the cooked beef aside.  

Slice the rolls in half lengthwise.  

Place the bottom half in the same baking dish.  

Place the cooked beef on the rolls, followed by the onions and cheese.  Top with remaining rolls.  

Brush the tops of the rolls with melted butter and sprinkle the sesame seeds on top.  

Bake for 20 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted.  

Slice into individual sliders and serve.

We had different opinions on this recipe, but I am putting it on here as I enjoyed it for the most part.  If we made it again I would just do one portion, and Gregg could have his cheeseburger. It is all to do with our different tastes.  Gregg felt that the finished version of the meat was more like a meatloaf and he has never enjoyed meatloaf.  I love meatloaf.  

He also prefers burgers done in a fry pan or on a grill than an oven. I have to say that he is a great burger chef and knows what he is doing, and I do love his cheeseburgers. 

He is a great sport letting me try this recipe, as he had doubts in the beginning.  We take turns on the meals we choose, and most of the time we enjoy what we cook equally. I was hopeful he would enjoy this more than he did.  We both said it was worth making as we always enjoy the process. 

We always seem to need longer time for our meals than recipes call for.  We found 20 minutes needed to be almost 30 minutes. I should get an oven thermometer to check, but it is a relatively new oven. 

The rolls separated as the top layer was put on, and during the process they slid off a bit.  

We had half of a tray left of Hawaiian Rolls in the bread box and used those, cutting ingredients by half.

We also grilled the onions before adding them with the cheese and bun tops for the last 20-25 minutes of the cooking.

Side dishes, as you can see in my photos, were our favorite beans, topped with extra grilled onions.  We always have a can of our favorite in the pantry.  Leftovers are good the next day as another side dish for our next meal.   

A few small dill pickles and sliced tomato finished it all off and it made a nice casual supper.  

Thanks for looking and enjoy the rest of your week. 

Monday, May 25, 2020


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

From Laurence Binyon's poem 
“For the Fallen”
written in September 1914.

Friday, May 22, 2020


My contribution to Fences Around the World.  Thank you for hosting Gosia!
More Virginia countryside from some time ago.

If you would like to see other Fences Around the World, or join in with your own, you will find the link here.  

Thank you for looking and 
I wish you all a very happy and safe weekend.

Thursday, May 21, 2020


Here is a photo of a lamb my niece took three days ago.  When they, my niece and nephew, shared it with me, I asked if I could put their photo on my blog and they said yes. I will have more in a few days.  Thank you My Darlings!

I found the following diagram online of all the different sheep there are.  Hopefully if you enlarge the photo, you will be able to see their names.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020


Revisiting a trip I took to England in June 2015.

Where we stayed there was a small garden, and one day I was delighted to see a European Robin.  

They were and still are very popular illustrations to put on Christmas Cards as you probably know, and I remember them from those cards that popped through the letter box each December.  I don't remember seeing them when I was growing up, but then I wasn't as interested in observing birds as I am now.  I was always happy to see the seagulls swoop into our garden from the age of 15 onwards, when we moved nearer the seaside, and always when we visited the beach.  But I was beyond happy to get my first real sighting of this dear little Robin.

The next day I saw a Common Wood Pigeon...

and also a male Blackbird.  

 We kept ourselves busy sight-seeing on our English holiday, but it was nice to come back and sit in the garden.  Our Robin kept us company quite a lot.  We think she may have had a nest in the bushes.

Today I am joining Anni and Eileen in their memes, I'd Rather B Birdin' and Viewing Nature with Eileen.

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your day.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020


Travel the world and you'll surely come to see
Ev'rything there is a part of you and me
Never let doubt put you in a spin
Ev'rything out is a part of in
Ev'rything wants you complete as you can be.

We each are meant to share our song
You'll find it sang within you all along
Small but strong.

Imagine that world stretching far and wide
Needing that song that you hold inside
Needing your gift to complete a grand design
Offer your gift to the world
And watch it shine.

~Lyrics by John Bucchino~
Music by Ian Fraser
From Simeon's Gift
You can read all about Simeon's Gift
 on this blog.  Click on the red lettering
if interested.

I have a book in my collection of 
"Julie Andrews Collection of Poems, Songs and Lullabies."  Its first edition was in 2009 and I think I have had it for as long.  I love the poems inside and when I remember that it is there, I take it off the bookshelf and start rereading them.  

So, there I was, dusting off the bookshelf again, and I picked up my copy.  It had been a while and it stopped me in mid swipe.  I went to sit down in my favorite corner, to start reading, dusting forgotten for the time being.  I had already put the kettle on as it was time for a cup of tea, and a good read.  The dusting can wait don't you think?

I picked this piece for my post today.  I also was curious about the title and truthfully I don't remember the story, but sometimes I just need to give the old brain box a dusting too.  Always good to get that refresher.  The link in red lettering above will take you to a review of Simeon's Song. 

Sunday, May 17, 2020


You can try all kinds of fancy fillings for this type of baked potato, but on this particular occasion we wanted something plain, not fancy.  I found the recipe here.

Twice-Baked Potatoes by Makinze Gore

Servings: 6
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Total time: 2 hours

6 large russet potatoes, scrubbed clean
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Kosher Salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1-1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
2 green onions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Pat potatoes completely dry with paper towels.

Polk potatoes all over with a fork, then rub with oil and sprinkle with salt.

Place potatoes on oven rack and bake until potatoes are pierced easily with a fork.  Mine always take about 1 hour and 15 minutes for our preference, but check after about an hour for yourself.  

Place on a large baking sheet and let cool until you can handle them easily without burning yourself.  Cut a thin layer off the top of each potato lengthwise.   

Scoop out the insides of each potato leaving about a half-inch border.  

Place the insides of the potato in a large bowl.  (You can put the tops of the potato and roast them on the tray for a snack.)  

Add butter, milk and sour cream, and mash with a potato masher until the butter is melted. Mash until everything is combined and you have your desired consistency.  Next, fold in the cheese and the green onions until those are mixed in.  Season with salt and pepper.

Fill the potato shells with the potato mixture, and place on a large baking sheet.  When evenly divided between the potatoes, put grated cheese on each one.

Bake until cheese is melted and it all looks golden brown and crispy, about 15 minutes.

You can garnish with more sliced green onions.

This is one of our favorite ways to fix potato.  It makes a meal on its own or you can serve it with your favorite salad, or meat and veg.
I don't bother oiling the potato or sprinkling with salt the first time I put them in the oven.
We didn’t have the green onion but had everything else and it was a winner. 
Great for fixing extras and putting in the freezer for another day. 

Friday, May 15, 2020


From my archives.
We found these pretty horses on one of our trips in the Virginia countryside a few years ago.  

Thank you for hosting Gosia.  
If you would like to see other Fences Around the World, 
or join in with your own, you will find the link here.

Thursday, May 14, 2020


Found while driving some back country roads in Virginia.
I wish I could remember where it was.  I would love one of those bird houses now.

Enjoy your day and 
thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020


We stopped and ate lunch in one of the pubs, The King William IV.  This is where we discovered how much we liked cider.

The four of us thought our meals were excellent.  Our niece ordered a chicken dish...

Our nephew and Gregg ordered a Thai Chicken Curry

I had the Steak and Mushroom Pie cooked with Merlot...

and we shared the Cajun-seasoned onion rings (obviously as these meals were on the menu in 2015, they could have changed several times since).
I am always on the look-out for inspirational signs, and this was on one of the walls in the restaurant.
After lunch we looked inside a few shops.  One was W.H. Smith and hubby grew to love their stationery selections from his two years spent in England.  He purchased a couple of fountain pens this day.  
I had forgotten how hilly it was so we certainly got our exercise that day, with lots of steps up and down between streets.  It was nice to see the familiar and smaller family-style shops instead of the large supermarkets that we are used to.  
We also passed by pretty courtyards on our way back to the car.

We walked over the River Dart bridge.
There were older school children rowing down the river.
It was fun watching them for a while; a school physical exercise class perhaps?  I would have enjoyed that PE class.  A teacher was in the last boat and there was at least one young adult in the others.  A rope tied each boat to the one in front.
I have always thought this river was very pretty.

The bird is a Jackdaw.  I found the following information at this link.  There are a lot of pop-ups on its site, so decided to share the following information about this interesting bird if you don’t want to deal with those. 
"The Jackdaw, also called Daw, (species Corvus monedula), crowlike black bird with gray nape and pearly eyes, of the family Corvidae (q.v. order Passeriformes).  Jackdaws which are 13 inches (33 cm) long, breed in colonies in tree holes, cliffs and tall buildings.  Their flocks fly in formation around the site.  They lay four to six light, greenish blue eggs that are spotted and blotched.  The bird's cry sounds like its name, "chak".  The species ranges from the British Isles to central Asia.  Eastward it is replaced by the white-breasted, white-collared Daurian jackdaw (C. dauuricus).“

Before going back to the cottage we drove to Torquay (one of those funny spellings again as it is pronounced "Torkee").  My niece had heard about the aquarium and we all enjoy those so we were looking forward to it.  However, by this time the clouds had darkened and it was very wet and windy, with huge white caps on the sea.  After almost being blown over trying to walk down to the aquarium, with heavy rain stinging our eyes, we decided it would be better to go another day, when it wasn't raining.  The walk was invigorating but you can only take so much invigorating, eye-stinging rain-walking.

One last stop at the three village shops, which are all joined together.  There was a newsagent, a hair salon and a general store for essentials.  They have been there for as long as I can remember.  My mother and sister visited the hair salon on occasion, and my father bought all the newspapers from the newsagent, and we would  pop into the general store if we needed anything just before a main shopping trip.
The man behind the counter of the general store was amused as we all walked into the shop in single file, and asked us to join the conga line.  We also looked sopping wet, though we were sure to dry our feet and tried not to overly drip everywhere.  It was a small shop and not a lot of room, sort of like walking into your front room.  Loved it and the friendly people inside, and it took me right back to when I lived in the village.  

There were waist-high freezer containers in the middle, quite a lot of variety.  Our purchases were cider, two six-pack packs of eggs and bars of chocolate.  The lady thought our purchases were amusing, and asked if that was all we were going to get.  With a smile I told her that I thought we had covered all the necessary food groups (not telling her we had done our main shopping the day before) and she laughed.  These shops are just up the hill from where we were staying, and Gregg enjoyed a walk each morning to get the newspaper, and also any necessary items we might need before we started our day.  We were all in a good mood after our lovely day out, but were exceedingly tired and slept well that night.

Thanks for following along with this old post, and I hope your day is a great one.