Tuesday, September 25, 2018


Come join us again as we travel back to England to celebrate our Golden Anniversary.  We decided that we must go into Durham to visit a most famous cathedral.

Durham Cathedral is The Cathedral Church of Christ, Blessed Mary the Virgin and St. Cuthbert of Durham.  This 900 year old church is the seat of the Bishop of Durham.  The Norman architecture is considered one of the finest in Europe.  In 1986 it received the World Heritage status by UNESCO. 

Durham is a beautiful old city that really reminded us of other European cities we have traveled.  It lies beside the River Wear in northeast England in County Durham.  It's easy to see the cathedral from miles around, but finding a parking space was a little harder.  After driving around we realized we had been passing the car park.  

The bearded Neptune lead sculpture shows him raising his trident over the dolphin.  He certainly has a presence in the Market Place of Durham. 

This is a sculpture of The Marquess of Londonderry named Charles William Vane Tempest Stewart.  He was a soldier that lived in the area and later owned many of the coal mines as well.  He built the Seaham Harbour and is credited with selling the coal cheaper and easier from the harbor. 

St. Nicolas church is on the edge of the Market Place.  Many folks gathered here among the lovely surroundings and beautiful architecture and flowers everywhere.

There were several guides along the street directing tourists to various places of interest.  After speaking with her, she recommended a lovely little spot for lunch where we enjoyed a very nice quiche and salad.  We followed her directions up a quaint alley way to dine alfresco at Venel's Cafe.

After lunch we made our way to visit the Cathedral.  My pictures in no way do this beautiful building justice.  Its imposing presence in Durham is noteworthy to say the least.

No photos are allowed inside to keep the quiet beauty and reverence of such a house of worship.  

It gave us goosebumps to realize that for more than 1,000 years people have worshiped God on this site!

Durham Cathedral touched my heart in many ways.  Its beauty alone and then the profound sounds of the magnificent organ playing as we toured the inside of this iconic building.  The stained glass windows are mainly from the 19th century as the Medieval glass was destroyed by the iconoclasts during the Reformation.  They considered icons of saints to be blasphemous.  I'm afraid some of the Puritan ancestors that came to America were responsible for this deed!  We spoke with a gentleman in Salisbury that pointed that very fact out to us.  If you want to know more about Durham Cathedral you can go HERE 

Durham Castle is directly across the street from the Cathedral.  It now serves as the University College, Durham.

Durham Castle construction began in 1072 under William the Conqueror.  

Can you imagine attending college in a castle?

And in the shadow of Durham Cathedral?

As we were leaving we noticed the beautiful vines (I believe it's Virginia Creeper) wearing their lovely Autumnal clothes.

Durham is a very busy city that is obviously beloved by its citizens as well as its tourists.

It was time for us to leave and drive "home" through the upper Yorkshire Dales into Cumbria.  What a lovely day we have enjoyed.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Miss Minerva's Tearoom

It's so lovely when my husband surprises me with an afternoon of something I enjoy.  He really knows my heart and asked if I would like a ride to Culpeper and visit Miss Minerva's Tearoom.  We had the afternoon to ourselves and headed out to take a drive into the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains.

It's always peaceful and serene to drive toward the mountains into rural areas.  Our sweet little town is no longer little and I find I always breathe deeper as we travel down the highway to a place that is full of farms and fields.

The newly baled hay is waiting along the edge of this farm for the livestock to eat in the coming months.

The last time we were in Culpeper Miss Minerva's was closed, but today we called ahead and were happy to know they would be waiting for us.

Here is Miss Minerva's Tearoom.  Isn't it darling?  Love the lace curtains at the window.

After we were seated and reviewed the menu we decided to order the Full English Tea.  I then wanted to thank Miss Minerva for her hospitality.  She has jewelry and hats if you wish to dress more appropriately.

The kind hostess then brought us the most wonderful tea sandwiches and scones along with clotted cream and strawberry jam and sweet little desserts to have along with our tea.  Grayden (the chocoholic) ordered the Mayan Cacao tea and I got a pot of Cream Irish Breakfast tea.  Everything was delicious and baked by the owner.   

We ate every bite, except the little chocolate muffins which were bagged for us to take home and enjoy!

There is a small gift shop that offers teapots and cups and saucers and teas inside of the tearoom.  

After finishing our tea we wanted to take a walk around the shops that surround Miss Minerva's.  All kinds of cute boutiques and antique shops are available to tempt.

It was really hard not to buy more of the Beatrix Potter figurines!  The prices were not bad, but my windowsill is full!

In another very unique shop we spied these very unusual lamps!  Grayden was fascinated by them.

The shopkeeper told us they were made by a local man who called them his junk lamps!

The creativity of man never ceases to amaze me!

Culpeper is such a sweet little town, but we are reminded that it is growing as well.

I've mentioned these LOVE signs before.  It's the Virginia tourism slogan--Virginia is for Lovers.  These signs can be spotted all over our state.  

In one of the shops I saw this cabinet door painted with Piglet and Pooh's quote.  It's a favorite of mine.  A perfect quote to sum up our afternoon. ♥

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Early Autumn Yearnings

Can you feel Autumn knocking at the door?  Having a couple really cool days last weekend got me in the mood for Autumn days ahead.  Even though the humidity has returned, a few fall wreaths are arranged around our home and not just on the doors.

Autumn is my very favorite time of the year.  After the summer heat and humidity my Autumn soul is ready for a respite.

The leaves are falling from the old oak out front.  Probably from exhaustion as much as anything.  Most of our trees have a ways to go before we see the lovely changing of the leaves.  We need much cooler days and nights for that to occur.  I picked a few black gum leaves that always seem to be the first to show their color.  Lovely shades of orange and red leathery leaves are bought inside to fill the dough bowl with seasonal finds and dried hydrangea blossoms.

"Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile."
William Cullen Bryant

The dogwood berries are turning their lovely shades of red.  All to entice the squirrels that seem to enjoy them immensely.  The birds will have their chance to enjoy a few as well.  Watching nature through the years reminds me that they know when seasons are changing.  It also tells me they know when a storm is brewing.  Very few birds are busy in our garden today.  Maybe they are seeking shelter where the winds will not harm them.  I hope if you are in the path of the storms that are coming you are prepared as best you can. 

The morning glory has yet to bloom and now I believe it probably won't!

Most of you reading share my love of dishes and today Grayden and I put the Old Britain Castle dishes in the china cabinet and put the Friendly Village dishes in the cabinet in the kitchen for daily use.  The Hearts and Flower dishes are stored in the server.

The change of seasons gets me in a nesting mood.  I realize there are more important issues in our lives, but these little things make me happy. 

My home is where I can be creative.  I'm so thankful to have a roof over my head and food to eat and many, many blessings.  My home and family are my joys! ♥