Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter 2016

♫ Music ♫

We enjoyed Easter weekend with family as it is always our tradition.  Our son and his boys came for Easter and spent the night.  Before they arrived the Easter Bunny had left a basket for the grandsons.  Since we have been having construction going on in the kitchen and dining room, we put the construction on hold and just worked around the uncompleted room and enjoyed our Easter dinner.  The counter-top will be installed on Wednesday and I can hardly wait to have that put in and then we can finish this project.

I set the table before they arrived as I find it is easier to get this done before family arrives.

I used my Mama's Meakin ironstone on a white lace tablecloth.  I needed to brighten the table with some sunny yellow napkins that I have had for years.

Working with a white tablecloth I needed to add more color.  So I bought out the Beatrix Potter vase and filled it with colorful egg picks.

Being the only woman at the table, I'm not sure anyone paid any attention to the decor of the table, but I surely did.

We colored eggs the day before.  It's our tradition to make a madras egg.  Grayden, aka Bear, and Samuel enjoyed  seeing what they could come up with.

I was quite remiss in taking photos of our weekend together.  When Grady and the boys were ready to leave today I asked them to please let me take at least one photo of them before they left for home.

Even though I have very few photos to share, we enjoyed a great time with each other.  Besides, it's not about the photos, it's about the memories we shared.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Happy Spring!

The calendar is reminding me that today is the first day of spring!  It's also our grandson Alex's thirteenth birthday!  How can that possibly be?  Sometimes I feel like time is passing so quickly! 

The boys always decorate their parties with streamers and balloons.  Children teach wonderful lessons about how to live a happy life.  I try to pay attention to their lessons.

This past week was our grandson Samuel's spring break.  We all decided to take the train up to New England to visit Samuel's parents.  Here are a few photos from our visit.

If you love to bake as I do, no trip to Vermont is complete without visiting King Arthur Flour.

King Arthur Flour was founded in 1790 and has over 225 years of history in flour and  baking education.  You can find the very best in equipment baking needs. 

Samuel always enjoys going to the Montshire Museum of Science.  We all enjoyed the morning viewing the current exhibits.  


We also visited Simon Pearce.  Simon Pearce is well known for its beautiful blown glass tableware.   Mr. Pearce came to America from Kilkenny, Ireland  to build his business.  

We were able to view the glassblowing in process.  Simon Pearce likens this process to a ballet.  I couldn't agree more.

"I searched until I found Ireland in Vermont"  Simon Pearce

Of course the best part of our trip was being with loved ones that we miss.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Happy Things

Spring seems to have come a little early to our neck of the woods.  It's so wonderful to have the warmer temperatures, even if they are a little too warm for late winter.  Sunshine always brings joy and happiness as we look into the garden and see the daffodils beginning to bloom!

The hellebore's are blooming!

The pansies that were planted in the fall, love the advent of spring.

We are in the mist of a little renovation between our kitchen and dining room.  My kitchen is small and I've always dreamed of removing the wall between these two rooms.  We have hardwood floors and we didn't want to disturb them.  So we decided to remove a half wall instead ..all the way to the ceiling!  This has opened up the whole area and makes me feel like I have a larger kitchen!  It is not one inch larger, but gives the eye more room to roam!  Grayden is doing the work, taking his time being very careful as he removes each piece involved.   Next we are ordering a quartz top for the half wall.  I'll let you have a little peek at the progress thus far.  I will show you when it's finished.

Dining room sheet rock removal

Studs exposed

Kitchen view

It's not easy for me to have such a mess in our home.  My daughter asked me how I was doing with it all.  I told her I was doing okay.  It is quite dusty and messy and the vacuum has been used more than ever.  The whole house will be painted after this project is complete.  How do you do when there are renovations taking place in your home?  

I also was the winner of a wonderful apron from Susan.  She has a wonderful blog about her baking adventures inspired by her mother.  Please visit her at  Susan also specializes in stamping and paper crafting realistic paper flowers.

 Susan has made over 135 aprons that she gifts to her readers!  I am the lucky recipient of two of her beautiful creations.  Thank you, dear Susan for the joy you send out to the world!



Monday, March 7, 2016

Colonial Williamsburg Gardens in Winter

♫ Music ♫

Most of us are anxious to begin gardening.  When I'm looking for inspiration in my own garden, I like to visit other gardens.  Visiting a garden in the winter can be a great help.  Even though little may be happening, seeing the bones of the garden is helpful.

Even though I do not have the proper amount of sun for a vegetable garden, I enjoy seeing methods used in Colonial Williamsburg.

There is a great vegetable garden on the Duke of Gloucester Street that is maintained by Colonial Williamsburg.  Its officially known as the Colonial Nursery.  You can purchase plants, books and many beautiful items that tempt any gardener.  Let's look around at this vegetable garden in zone 7.

The use of cold frame gardens can help you get a head start on planting.

A cozy filling of straw around the cold frame allows it to be properly insulated.  If you have planted tender plants, you must open these frames while the sun shining on them to avoid cooking your plants.

Cloche jars serve the same purpose, and also needs to be removed as the sun shines on your tender vegetables.

Beside or behind every home is a lovely garden.  I love the design of this one.

Each garden is defined by lovely picket fencing.  Each fence has unique designs.

The gardening department in Colonial Williamsburg is enormous.  Just knowing how much work goes into my small garden, makes me appreciate the work that goes into these gardens.  Gardening workshops are held in Williamsburg if you are interested in planning your own colonial garden. Tours are popular in spring when Williamsburg is especially beautiful.

"To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow."

Audrey Hepburn


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Bruton Parish Church Rector and Colonial Williamsburg

Did you know that Colonial Williamsburg was restored because of the rector of Bruton Parish Church?   In 1926, the Reverend Dr. W. A. R. Goodwin dreamed of preserving Williamsburg's historic buildings.  He tried many times to secure funds from wealthy businessmen.  He approached Edsel Ford and was turned down.  He persuaded John D. Rockefeller, Jr. to fund the preservation.

Dr. Goodwin wanted the buildings that figured in the founding of our nation to be left to the ages.  Most of the remaining structures were in bad shape.  Dr. Goodwin and Rockefeller began to restore a few of the buildings.

Williamsburg was the capitol of Virginia when the colonist dreamed of freedom and independence.  Virginia encompassed land that stretched west to the Mississippi River and north to the Great Lakes.  Williamsburg was the capitol from 1699 to 1780 of this vast land.  It was here that the concepts of our republic were formed under the patriots, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, George Mason,  Peyton Randolph and others. These same men worshiped at Bruton Parish Church.

The enormous project that Dr. Goodwin and Mr. Rockefeller pursued cost a fortune.  Many buildings had to be removed and others were rebuilt on the original foundations.  Colonial Williamsburg continues to be a living museum for many generations to enjoy.  Over the years we have visited Colonial Williamsburg many times.  We have had Patriot Passes that enabled us to visit as many times in a year as we wish.  This week we did not go into the buildings that require a pass.  You can still enjoy much of Colonial Williamsburg in the shops, the taverns, the gardens, and the general beauty of strolling down the Duke of Gloucester Street.

Walk with us as we continue down the street toward the Capitol.

On our left is the Governor's Palace.  It's always been a favorite spot for me.  The palace green is lined with trees and serves as a backdrop for many annual events.

Continuing on down the Duke of Gloucester Street there are shops to stop and visit.  Inside them are mostly period items.


After leaving the shop we continue on down the street and see the Magazine on the right.  This structure housed all of the munitions of the day.

Chowning's Tavern is a great spot to enjoy lunch or dinner or afternoon refreshment.

A lot of the homes that we see as we walk along, are rentals for short stays or for long term lease.  There are strict codes of what can and cannot be seen in the front and back of these homes.

The buildings that are open for tours are marked with the British East India flag.  Our current flag is patterned after this flag.

You can even have your letters posted here at the Colonial Post Office with the Colonial Williamsburg stamp.

I could live in this sweet little cottage!

Or maybe this one!

To me, it doesn't get any more charming than this!

BrickHouse Tavern

King's Arm Tavern

The King's Arm is a favorite of ours, but it was closed this week.

I must admit I didn't know what this meant.  After a little research I found that this is referring to the possibility of being tarred and feathered for being disobedient to the crown.  Yipes!  Even though it was threatened in Williamsburg it was never carried out as it was in Boston.

The Capitol is at the end of the Duke of Gloucester Street.  This is where the Virginia delegation voted to declare independence from England.

Thank you for walking with us in this special place.  I'll post some of the other interesting places in Williamsburg.  Even though the gardens are asleep, I think you would enjoy seeing the bones of some of the gardens.♥