Monday, October 31, 2022


"Will you walk into my parlour?" said the Spider to the Fly?

"Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;

The way into my parlour is up a winding stair, 

And I have many curious things to shew when you are there."

"Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "to ask me is in vain, 

For who goes up your winding stair can ne'er come down again."

"I'm sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high;

Will you rest upon my little bed?" said the Spider to the Fly.

"There are pretty curtains drawn around; the sheets are fine and thin,

And if you like to rest awhile, I'll snugly tuck you in."

"Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "for I've often heard it said,

They never, never wake up again, who sleep upon your bed!"

Said the cunning Spider to the Fly, "Dear friend

To prove the warm affection I've always felt for you?

I have within my pantry, good store of all that's nice;

I'm sure you're very welcome - will you please to take a slice?"

"Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "kind sir, that cannot be, 

I've heard what's in your pantry, and I do not wish to see."

"Sweet creature!" said the Spider, "you're witty and you're wise,

How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eyes!

I've a little looking-glass upon my parlour shelf,

If you'll step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself."

"I thank you, gentle sir," she said, "for what you're pleased to say,

And bidding you good morning now, I'll call another day."

The Spider turned him round about, and went into his den,

For well he knew the silly Fly would soon come back again:

So he wove a subtle web, in a little corner sly,

Then he came out to his door again, and merrily did sing,

"Come hither, hither, pretty Fly, with the pearl and silver wing;

Your robes are green and purple - there's a crest upon your head;

Your eyes are like the diamonds bright, but mine are dull as lead!"

Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little Fly,

Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by;

With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew,

Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue -

Thinking only of her crested head - poor foolish thing!  At last,

Up jumped the cunning Spider, and fiercely held her fast.

He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den,

Within his little parlour - but she ne'er came out again!

And now dear little children, who may this story read,

To idle, silly flattering words, I pray you ne'er give heed:

Unto an evil counsellor, close heart and ear and eye,

And take a lesson from this tale, of the Spider and the Fly.

The Spider and the Fly (1829)


Mary Howitt

Thanks for stopping by!
From our house to yours, my family and I 
would like to wish you all 
A Very Happy and Safe Halloween

Mary Howitt was born Mary Botham on March 17th, 1799, in Coleford, Gloucestershire, England, and died on January 1888 (aged 88) in Rome, Kingdom of Italy.  She was an English poet, the author of the famous poem The Spider and the Fly.  She translated several tales by Hans Christian Andersen. Some of her works were written in conjunction with her husband, William Howitt.  Many, in verse and prose, were intended for young people.

The first photo is one I took in our neighborhood, in the dark with my cell phone.  I used my ArtCard app to turn it into a painting, and added several themed graphics I found at 

Our family photo was taken after son dropped in for a visit.  Selfie ensued and I once again played with my apps after he left. 

(My Monday Morning Recipe will be posted tomorrow instead.)

Sunday, October 30, 2022


here are a few photos and illustrations.

One of my online jigsaw puzzles I completed.
Neighborhood decorations.
Outside a restaurant on the outskirts of Williamsburg.

A few artsy effects from Artcard on my iPad, bats came from Pixabay.
Signature witch from Pixabay.Com, and a free font found here.  All put together on Paint Shop Pro, this particular version of PSP I have had for many years.

Added note: I found an article on the dangers to wildlife when people use those spider webs all over the garden.  You can read the article here.

Thursday, October 27, 2022


I have enjoyed looking up a few of the homes in the town.  This is the Bowden-Armistead House, a three-story Greek Revival surrounded by black wrought-iron fencing.  (There is a good explanation of what Greek Revival is at The Spruce.)  It is an antebellum relic, the last remnant of the post-colonial homes and businesses present before the 1930s restoration of Williamsburg was finished.  I also looked up 'antebellum'.  It is defined as "Occurring or existing before a particular war, especially the American Civil War."

The Bowden-Armistead house is privately owned so is not open to the public.  I noticed a few privately owned homes along the road.  I was surprised and wondered how many tourists had walked through their gates without reading the sign.  This one was built in 1858 by prominent lawyer Lemuel J. Bowden, and the locals were astonished at the cost, which was more than $10,000.  It is located on Williamsburg's main street.

I loved the old wrought iron fencing.
Stepping right back into the past with all its history.  There is more information at this website.
You will find several people walking around town or at the entrances of some of the old stores, dressed in colonial garb.  They must have been asked a thousand times for a photo, but they are always gracious and speak as if they were actually from colonial times.
On one of our trips here many years ago, I remember a colonial gentleman with a lovely smile,  nodding his head as he touched his hat to say, "Good day to you Mistress."  I could get used to that!
Old-world charm at its best, very gracious indeed, and they do the town proud. 
The leaves put on a gorgeous display of Fall, and the weather was incredible!
Here is a poem from Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
"Go sit upon the lofty hill, 
And turn your eyes around,
Where waving woods and waters wild
Do hymn an autumn sound. The summer sun is faint on them
The summer flowers depart
Sit still - as all transform'd to stone,
Except your musing heart."
That's the end of my post today.  There will be more as soon as I can put another post together.

Have a great day and...

Wednesday, October 26, 2022


The answer would be yes!  One of the many things I enjoy about this place is that I can always count on seeing dogs being taken for walks around town.  I managed to get photos of a few of them.  The only dog I had a chance to be introduced to by their human was Mackenzie Rose.  She was adorable!  
Everyone else was busy getting somewhere.
These were across the street.
“Old dogs, like old shoes, are comfortable. They might be a bit out of shape and a little worn around the edges, but they fit well.”  
~Bonnie Wilcox~
“No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as much as the dog does.”  
~Christopher Morley~
And these two were out of there, their little legs were moving very fast, but they were chuffing along like a steam engine going uphill. Perhaps they will be back?

Thanks for looking and enjoy your day.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022


 Gregg and I were in Williamsburg from Thursday to Sunday.  We were there to join in the celebration of a nephew getting married.  The Bride and Groom had glorious weather and it was a wonderful gathering of family and friends. 

Not wanting to drive up on the same day as the wedding rehearsal, we left 24 hours earlier and was able to enjoy a leisurely walk around Colonial Williamsburg.  It has always been one of our favorite places.  We have taken many people who visited, from both sides of our family, friends also, all of whom enjoyed it tremendously.  Most of Gregg's immediate family have lived not so far away since the 60s. I have been coming here off and on since we were married, as we only lived an hour's drive away for several years. Even now it is only a short three-hour drive.

I saw the above artwork on the wall of one of the gift shops. I thought it was delightful!
The painting shows part of The Bruton Parish Church, which was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1970 as a well-preserved early example of colonial religious architecture.  
The church was named after Bruton in the County of Somerset, England.  The name honored the prominent Ludwell family and Governor Sir William Berkeley whose ancestral homes were from Bruton.  It traces its roots back to both the Church of England and the new settlement of the Colony of Virginia at Jamestown in the early 17th century.
There is a lot of history at this website also.  It says it was the first Anglican church built in 1660, and its first rector was Reverend Rowland Jones.

In 1761, merchant James Tarpley presented the church with a bell. Bids for a steeple or belfry to house the bell were let on January 1, 1769. The vestry awarded a £410 contract for a brick tower surmounted by a wooden octagon and for miscellaneous repairs, to Benjamin Powell that September 14. The addition can be seen from outside the church, as the steeple bricks have a darker color than the salmon-hued bricks of the rest of the church. Tarpley's bell is still in use.

From this website, I read that among the Williamsburg notables buried beneath the marble flagstones inside the church was Governor Francis Fauquier, one of the best loved of the colonial governors, who died in 1768. 
The same year an English organ was installed. Gaolkeeper Peter Pelham was hired to play it for £25 a year, a position he held until about 1802. Pelham brought to church with him a prisoner from the Gaol, whose job it was to pump the instrument. The organ remained in service until 1835. The present organ, the church's fourth, was presented by John D. Rockefeller Jr. in 1954.

There is a lot more interesting history at the links provided above.  I will have more posts of our time in Williamsburg when I can put them together.

Monday, October 24, 2022


We have just returned from a long weekend to Williamsburg, Virginia.  The weather was gorgeous and the only time it rained was yesterday, on our journey home. It was a sprinkle and didn’t last long.  When the traffic became heavy on the freeway, we detoured on country roads for most of the way home.  Thank you for stopping by and for all your lovely comments.  I will be catching up with you in the next few days.  

I don't make too many desserts, but Gregg and I were talking the other day, and he told me he wouldn't mind having apple dumplings one night.  He used to get them years ago, a few years before he met me, and that at one time they had been his favorite dessert.  

So, it had been a while, I had this thought mulling around in my head for a couple of weeks, and I asked him if he would like me to make his apple dumpling. I didn't need to ask twice.  We immediately made the grocery list and bought what we needed that day, and he once again joined me in the kitchen.  It was fun putting this together.    

I found a recipe at and the original recipe is at this link.  Her last recipe posted was in August 2020, but she has been kind enough to keep her blog open. If you visit the website you will see her photos make these apples look like a work of art.  I haven't formed pastry around an apple since my home economics class back in the day, and I need a lot more practice.  But oh, my goodness, they might not have looked as pretty, but they tasted fantastic and thank you Bunny!

There is a video 'how-to' at Bunny's website for quick reference.

Homemade Apple Dumplings: serves 6


Sauce Ingredients:

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons butter

Dough Ingredients:

2 cups all flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoons salt

2/3 cup Crisco shortening

1/2 cup milk

6 small Macintosh or Gala Apples about 3 inches in diameter 

Make the sauce first so it has time to cool down.

Make the dough and refrigerate until you have peeled and cored your apples.

Sauce Directions:

Put all the sauce ingredients together in a medium saucepan. 

When it comes to a boil, let it boil a minute or two to thicken a little bit.

For the dough:

Place the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Cut the shortening into the flour mixture with a pastry blender.  Add milk all at once. Stir with a fork until the dough just forms a ball. Place in the refrigerator until you have peeled and cored the apples.

Peel and core the apples. You can keep the apples from turning brown by placing them in cold water while you work.

Divide dough into six equal portions and roll them out on a lightly floured surface individually. You can also roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface long enough to fit 6 apples on it and cut the dough into six squares.

Place the apples on a dough square, fill the center with butter, sprinkle sugar over top then sprinkle cinnamon over top.

Mold the dough around the apple, making sure there are no opening for the filling to escape from. 

Place the apples in a 13x9 inch baking pan. 

Space them about an inch apart. 

Pour the sauce over the dumplings , then sprinkle with sugar. 

Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 35 minutes. 

Spoon the sauce on the bottom of the pan over the apple dumplings after they come out of the oven.

If you prefer to cut and paste instead of clicking on the above link at the beginning of this post, here is the address.

What did we think?  Definitely a 10 out of 10.  We made a few changes.  I had a packet of puff pastry in the freezer, which I used instead of making the pastry in the recipe.  I wondered about the puff pastry instead of the shortcrust, and suggested that I make shortcrust next time.  "Nope" said Co-Chef, definitely use this again.  

There is more than enough dessert for two people with one apple dumpling.  We cut the ingredients in half and only made three.  We will share the third tomorrow.

I used a smaller dish that was big enough for the three dumplings, but did not allow a one-inch space as suggested in Bunny's recipe.  The dough expanded as expected and wasn't as nicely browned in those areas that touched.  This did not detract from the taste but I will follow the instructions next time.

We added a scoop of vanilla ice cream which was excellent, but Co-Chef mentioned how nice it would be to make a Rum Sauce.  That's what he remembered from his younger years.  He was 18 years' old when he first ate his apple dumplings. 

I thought it was going to be a hard act to follow.  More often than not, our memories of those favorite dishes in our youth, are hard to compete with.  However, this one did and I am happy it met up to expectations.

Bon App├ętit Everyone!

Friday, October 21, 2022


A post I am revisiting from my old blog dated 3-13-14.  We were on a road trip. 

I often wonder how TexWis Girl is.  Don't you wonder about old blogging friends we don't hear from now?  Whatever she is doing I wish her well, and thank her again for pointing out that these are mules and not horses.  I thought of myself as a real city girl that day and yes, I am smiling.  A Mule is half horse, half donkey so I guess I was half right, and yes I am still smiling.  Wherever you are, thanks for the correction TW :)  I thought of removing the poem because it's all about horses, but I like it so decided to keep it as is.

"Somewhere in time's own space
There must be some sweet, pastured place,
Where creeks sing on and tall trees grow

Some paradise where horses go.
For by the love that guides my pen,
I know great horses live again."

Mules also I would imagine, but this is a lovely poem, and they certainly are very handsome.

It's those long ears isn't it?  And maybe I wasn't paying as much attention to detail as I should have done.  Now I look at their expressions, they look a little disgusted that I confused them with horses.

Captain Stanley Harrison, described as a pioneer of racing in Winnipeg, Canada, born in Lancashire, England, March 24th, 1885 and passed away in January 1980. He was one of eight children born to James and Annie Harrison.  He moved to Canada in 1904.  A very interesting life if you click on his name below the poem.