Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Today's Animal Encounters

I had another pre-closing inspection today at the house I sold. I visited with the neighbors who have a donkey and a goat. I slipped behind the fence to photograph them up close. We will be fast friends before long. The goat is somewhat shy. The owner was pulling all of the flower stems from her rhubarb as they are inedible. She has a wonderful garden and grows everything she and her husband eat in the summer. I want to be their neighbor too.

Two Spring Lambs and An Idea

Monday, April 23, 2012

Romantic English Country Renaissance Garden

It's absolute perfection, isn't it? via house to home

A Royal Family Picnic

"September 8, 1960 - Aberdeenshire, Scotland, UK - Baby Prince Andrew perches on Prince Philip's lap during a picnic on the grounds of Balmoral Castle. Also pictured are Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, and Princess Anne." Image by ©Bettmann/CORBIS
Where's the picnic basket? Why is there no mention of the dog? I can't believe this picture is over half a century old and it seems like yesterday, doesn't it? 

Kitchen Entrance

Do you have anything growing in pots outside? I have moved the geraniums that I've wintered over to decorate either side of my front door and they look so nice. I have pansies too. In past years, I've put them outside on the balcony in the back. I like my new arrangement better. I took this photo at an open house recently.

An Otter Giving Thanks

You know I love otters and I thought this would be a great photo for starting the week.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Cranberry Bread Fresh Out of The Oven

I baked Cranberry Bread today using fresh cranberries. It was a chilly rainy day and I wanted to bake something using the ingredients I had on hand. I didn't have an egg so I searched online for a substitute and ended up using 2 Tablespoons flaxseed meal, 1/8 teaspoon baking powder and 3 Tablespoons of water. It worked. I didn't have any orange juice so I used soy milk and a little crushed pineapple and a hit of lemon flavoring. I didn't have any nuts so I left them out. I used coconut oil as the shortening and to grease the pan. It was still very good even though I improvised quite a bit. 

I have such admiration for food bloggers who take detailed photos of the cooking/baking process. I am a very messy cook and for one little loaf I filled up one whole side of my double kitchen sink. 

Fritillary Meadow ~ Cricklade, Wiltshire UK

Teleport me there ~ NOW! I have been advised that these are not tulips at all but snake head fritillaries. The dark ones actually have checkered skirts. via

Snake Head Fritillary photo ©Macs Cream of the Crop

Have a Happy Earth Day

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Who Do You Think Should Die on Downton Abbey?

My friend Stacey at Stacey Snacks says her mother-in-law read in the NYTimes that Maggie Smith is staying on and that makes us all happy. We are told however that “Somebody will be born, and somebody will die, somebody pretty key in the cast, unfortunately, [is] not going to make it.” Which character are you willing to give up? This article might help you choose after reviewing comments about each member of the upstairs family and their downstairs staff. 

Nice White Country Kitchen

It's a sweet white kitchen. I don't care for the purple/lavender accessories but that's just me. via

A Lonesome Horse

I was being watched yesterday while I was waiting for an inspection at a house I have under contract. Wouldn't you be thrilled to have this beautiful horse as a neighbor? There is a donkey and a white goat on the other side. I want to move there!!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Waiting for The Wind

My dandelions are in full puff mode. The dark clouds have just rolled in but the sun is peeking through. We should be getting that much-needed rain over the weekend. Have a great one!

Pink Dogwood

I don't have any flowering trees on my property. There are a few in the neighboring parkland that are 'visually' mine. I never even think about them until this time of year. I photographed this beautiful pink dogwood yesterday when I stopped to check one of my listings. There is a white one right beside it. Sorry I didn't photograph it for this beautiful quote below.
"After all, I don't see why I am always asking for private, individual, selfish miracles when every year there are miracles like white dogwood." ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Nothing monumental here. Just a nicely tied length of saved rope inside an old garage constructed from salvaged wood. I love this form of recycling. There is no more old-growth lumber and the only way you can get some is to hang around a site where something old is being torn down! Waste not, want not.

Plant Quality Seeds

Photographed from the April 2012 edition of Country Living Magazine

Tiny Back Porch

A small back porch is better than no porch at all. Everything old is new again. Architectural firm's website. More views of this cottage by the sea.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Waiting for Easter Brunch

My mother always looks as if she just stepped out of a band box polished shoes and all. I wear most of my clothes rough dried :)

We were waiting for the phone to ring on Easter Sunday. Our friends invited us to their lovely Easter brunch and it was delicious. My mom is legally blind but still manages to look great. She is an inspiration at 91 years of age. She doesn't dye her hair either. I think she looks amazing!

A Nice Story about Getting Chickens

Here is a nice little post about a family in the UK and their 'girls' - they don't want their dog to know they are chickens. Read story here.

A Kitchen Garden in Full Swing

Photographed from the second floor.

A closer look.

To the left of the sundial.
Here are more pictures from a realtor open house a couple of weeks ago. The one with the dog hair plaque and the chickens. The upstairs master bedroom overlooks this wonderful herb and kitchen garden and the barn with chicken coop and potting shed too. That's where the owners' interests lie. I know they will miss this place when they move and I am also quite sure they will do this again at their next place. That's just the kind of people they are! Change is good and so is downsizing.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Newborn Lamb Sleeping with Boy

March 16, 1940 A newly-born lamb snuggles up to a sleeping boy. Photo by Williams/Fox Photos/Getty Images -- Goodnight. Sleep Tight! via

Lilacs at My Kitchen Window

It is nice to have fresh flowers in the house and they prompted me to clean up the mess behind the faucet for the photo. This vase was left in one of the cupboards when I bought my cottage in 2001. I adjusted the exposure of this iPhone photo so my dirty windows are overexposed. Wouldn't it be great if we could just take a picture and clean our homes so easily. Sigh.
I took this one with my iPad.

Horses Passing My Cottage

These two horses and riders clippity clopped past my cottage sometime over the weekend. Now you can also see my front lawn that is still uncut and will stay that way until we have some much-needed rain. The ground is like concrete and is cracking open. I could check my blog to see when we last had rain but I'm almost afraid to look. I did work on some outdoor planters so it doesn't look as if I am completely oblivious to outdoor work. I picked some lilacs at the home of a friend and the house smells wonderful. I did 521 twirls with my hula hoop after dinner last night in case you are interested. For some reason there are no realtor open houses in my town today. Maybe everyone has the blues after paying their taxes. See you later!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Maggie Smith Rumors at Downton Abbey

Say it isn't so. There are whisperings that Maggie Smith has not renewed her contract beyond Season 3's Christmas Special. Hopefully she will reconsider and stay on once she realizes that the series cannot possibly go on without her. via

Top 10 Maggie Moments from Season One

Top Maggie Moments from Season Two

Distracted from Doing Housework

I can so relate to this painting. I am distracted by anything and everything any time I start to organize or clean - especially by my books. 
Artist: Édouard John Mentha (also Menta) 
1858 Genève 1915 
Library interior with maid reading.
I would be hopeless in this room too! via

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Beautiful Paint Color for A Bedroom

I love this sage green wall color and the wooden ceiling too. And the windows. And the cozy size of the room. via
PS--Tonight after dinner I did 424 continuous spins with my weighted hula hoop. That is a record so far! I want to be able to do 1,000 without stopping. That's my goal right now.

Cat and Owl Calligraphy - So Beautiful

Click photo to enlarge and you will see that there is a mouse in the owl's beak. I dearly love this folky antique drawing snd handwriting exercise. The fragile calligraphy drawing was produced by the schoolteacher, Jacob Labotz, as part of a series of sketches with poems that he gave to students sometime in the 18th century. via BibliOdyssey
The Dutch text reads: 
"De kat spreekt tegen den Uijl 
Uijl gij doet mijn onregt 
de muis is mijn toegelegt 
Den uijl spreekt tegen de kat 
Kat gij moet weten 
het ongegoste broot word't meest gegeten"
I think there is some sort of dialogue going on about who deserves the mouse.

Cottage Flowers

Have a beautiful Spring Sunday. I love these pink flowers in front of this stunning English home, don't you? via

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Daisy Sunshine Antique Wood Stove

I photographed this great old stove in an old barn today. Don't you love the name? Daisy Sunshine!

Lovely Bedroom

Mill Valley Reovation by Benjamin Dhong Interior Design. I love the walled-in privacy porch off the lovely bedroom with the cool round window. Have a great weekend.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Have a Relaxing Weekend

The nights are still chilly but we are supposed to have a warm weekend. Enjoy lying on your back in front of the heater if you can. via

Martha Stewart doesn't live here

And thank goodness for that. This another sign from the house with the chickens and the plaque about the dog hair. There is more to life than having a perfect house, isn't there? 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Perfectly Wonderful Wrap Around Porch

Yes, please. This looks like an amazing place, doesn't it? via

This indoor plant nook is too lovely for words. It's pretty enough to be a painting, isn't it? I wonder how many years this geranium has been in this spot? via

My Favorite Split Rail Fence

This is my favorite style of split rail fencing requiring no 'set' posts in the ground. It's sort of a balancing act and is self supporting. Read a real description here. I photographed this one from my car with my iPhone on Tuesday after I left the open house with the chickens. 

Spreading Wild Violets

I bought a new lawn mower this year to do the front lawn. It's too tight to get my riding mower in there plus it slings the clippings up against the house and makes a big mess. My old one bit the dust last year and I went one whole season using the old 'reel' mower from the dark ages. I still use it but for big jobs and spring cleanup I prefer a power mulching mower. I got just what I needed at Sears. It has big back wheels and it's RED. Wahoo. I can't wait to fire it up but I'm going to wait a little longer until the violets that have invaded the lawn start to shrivel a little more. They look like miniature orchids up close. These are considered to be a weed by some but I happen to love them and can't bear the thought of chopping their beautiful heads off.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Webster Romping under Cloudy Skies

Webster had a fine time on our mid-afternoon walk today. Who needs a visiting puppy to have fun? I hula hooped and he ran in circles in the cool April air under stormy skies. We are back to normal again. 

Spectacular Bedrooms from Architectural Digest

Which one is your favorite? There is something special to love about each one.