Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Beatrix Potter Gallery

Today I'd like for you to go with us to a most special gallery in Hawkshead, England.  Beatrix Potter's first visit was noted in her journal:

"Went to Hawkshead.  Had a series of adventures, asked the way three times, lost continually, alarmed by collies at every farm, stuck in stiles, chased once by cows. "
Journal entry for August 19, 1882

My journal entry for our visit there last fall is a little different, but I can see how all of those adventures happened to Beatrix!

Riding in the English countryside it's always nice to have a car in front of us.  

It's kind of like a guiding light for us folks that are not used to driving on the left.

The golden leaves made a lovely tunnel to drive through.

Sheep grazing and soaking up the beautiful fall sunshine.

Hawkshead is a lovely little village that has dealt in wool trading since the early seventeenth century.  Having shops and banks and inns it was here that William Heelis had his law office.  Beatrix used his services to purchase some of her properties.  Of course, you know he later married Beatrix Potter.

Beatrix Potter Gallery in former law office of William Heelis

You may recognize many places around Hawkshead as it inspired Beatrix to use in her little books about the adventures of Peter Rabbit and friends.  Hawkshead has changed very little since Miss Potter visited this area.

Going inside of the gallery we are greeted by a lovely fire.  This gallery is run by the National Trust.  I can't say enough about the wonderful job they do taking care of so many properties.

Mandy Marshall's lovely Herdwick products are sold in the gallery.  She is hosting along with Susan Branch a picnic in May at her home, Castle Cottage.  I know some of you lucky souls are going to this event.  Castle Cottage was the home of Beatrix Potter and William Heelis.

I'll be sharing photos later about Hilltop and Castle Cottage.  We can't possibly come to the Lake District without visiting there!

The gallery is full of original works of art by the amazing Beatrix Potter. 

After looking at Beatrix Potter's lovely work we walked around Hawkshead and had a lovely lunch.

I hope you can find something you will enjoy for lunch.

Grayden had the chicken, brie and cranberry panini.

And I had the Coronation chicken salad.  Delicious!

Great thought above our table!

Walking around town we continued to see beautiful flowers.  Aren't these baskets lovely against the white?

We enjoyed walking the same streets as Miss Potter and her future husband, William Heelis.  Come with us next time as we continue our Golden Anniversary trip in Britain. ♥

Friday, March 23, 2018

Family Visits

When family members live a distance away it's always fun to get together for quality time.  Our daughter came for a visit the past few days that thrilled us.  She lives in New England.   Her son lives with us while he's attending college and it's particularly nice for both of them to visit in person.  It's also nice for her Mama and Daddy. 

We sometimes have busy visits and I must say this was one of them.  Our middle grandson turned fifteen this past week so we all celebrated with him.

We had beautiful weather on Sunday, so we took a long walk on our Heritage Trail.

Samuel and his Mom

Rappahannock River

On Monday we decided to visit Monticello.  We all love history in our family and our daughter requested we go visit the home of Thomas Jefferson again.  We enjoyed a lovely lunch at Michie Tavern and then drove up the mountain to take the tour of the home of our third president, the author of The Declaration of Independence, Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, and the father of The University of Virginia.

Monticello enjoys a lovely view of the valley and into the Blue Ridge mountains.

It was threatening rain but we carried our insurance umbrellas to assure it would stay dry.

The gardens have been planted with vegetables as well as flowers.

Photographs are not allowed inside of Monticello, but the Mulberry Row area can be photographed.  These were the slave quarters.  The real workers that made Monticello the place it was.

We knew snow was predicted for us during the week, so we wisely visited Monticello before the turn of weather.

We received four inches of heavy lovely snow on the first full day of Spring.  This is quite late for us!

Because of the snowstorm our daughter's train was cancelled for her trip home.  I can't say we were unhappy about her having to stay another day.

I was happy to be able to pick the daffodils that were lying on the ground today.  I really meant to pick them before the snow fell. Most all of our snow has melted and maybe Spring really is on its way.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Waiting for Spring

This year more than ever, I've anxiously awaited for Spring to arrive.  Even though it's not been a particularly bad winter, I'm ready to play in the garden.  

For the first time ever, we have a pair of bluebirds in our garden.  It's such a happy sight to see them flitting about eating and preparing to build a home together!  

Here is the couple taking turns at the suet feeder.

It's quite surprising to see them up so close to our home.

Inside I've added a shamrock banner to the kitchen window.

I've never had a pot of shamrocks.  My new blog friend Teresa has the most lovely ones in green and purple.  We looked all over for them and now they are everywhere.  I understand they make great houseplants, so we'll see.

This is my first time making Irish Soda bread in my Mama's cast iron pan.  It was yummy with tea.  I used This recipe made with raisins as my family is not a fan of caraway seeds.

The side garden was freshened up with the mulched oak tree chips that was removed last year.  We've had several bouquets of daffodils that always say Spring to me.

The hellebores are blooming quite profusely in our beds.  Their sweet little nodding heads remind me that Spring is coming even on the last of cold winter days.

Another reminder that Spring is coming is when I can hang the sheets outside.  When we had a tree removed last year, I lost my clothesline.  No fancy line here, just clothesline strung between two trees.  It makes me happy to hang our linens outside!  Today is so windy I had to use extra clothespins.

We are excited to have our daughter come on the train tomorrow for a visit.  We'll also be celebrating our grandson's fifteenth birthday.  Sending you happy days my friends. ♥