Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Finding Joy at Christmas


This year has been a challenge for all of us.  We've been following the guidelines to stay safe.  Covid-19 reminds me that life can change in a moments notice.  I've always been a person that tried to roll with the punches.

Believing tomorrow will be better has always helped me to face difficulties.  My faith has taught me to rely on the One that is in control.

Still, with all that said,  I've been in a funk that surprises me.  I'm an introvert so the isolation doesn't bother me like my friends and family are experiencing.

Finding joy posting my thoughts here for the last six years has been a goal to share.

How can I do that when joy seems elusive?

I have experienced problems with depression throughout my adult life.

Why on earth would I share these thoughts with you today?


Because I know it is important to be real.

Because I know that I'm not the only one to have these feelings.

Because I know it will pass.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Lanhydrock in Cornwall, England


How would you like to come with us to one of the special Victorian country homes in Cornwall, England?  We visited this most special place when we were in Great Britain for our 50th anniversary three years ago.  Make sure you have on your walking shoes as this is an enormous property!  The estate takes up 900 acres with miles of footpaths and beautiful woodlands.  If you wish to bring along a picnic this area would be great.

The beautiful parkland that surrounds this property is spectacular on this lovely Autumn afternoon.  We are told that the property is managed organically so the area is a haven for wildlife and a great variety of  wildflowers.

After we walk through the Gatehouse we will continue up the path to the home that once belonged to Thomas Charles, 2nd Lord Robartes, his wife Mary and their ten children.  In 1881 there was a fire that ruined Lanhydrock where his mother Juliana perished.  He inherited the home on the death of his father and had the home rebuilt for his family.

You can see Juliana's portrait in the home as we tour.

And what an enormous home it is!  Let's all go inside and have a look about.  

Notice the lovely woodwork as we walk about the home and the interesting plaster work on the ceilings.

There are over 50 rooms to view here, so we will look at a few of them before taking a look at the property. 

The dining room is set for us to enjoy a meal if you didn't bring your picnic.  Notice the lovely woodwork if you can take your eyes off of the table.

This display is so beautiful with the different flower patterns on the china.

Be sure to read this meaningful ancient prayer that is framed.

Take a look out the windows as you pass by. The views are amazing!

I'm always interested by the kitchens in these large estates.  Of course the staff that ran these homes was huge.  Take a look around with me and imagine all the wonderful meals that were produced here by these hard working men and women.

Are you thinking of Downton Abbey like I am?  Mrs. Patmore would surely be hard at work here.  

There are many rooms to see here, so let's take a look further around.

Remember that the family had ten children.  Their rooms are charming and full of great toys.

There is so much to see here, but we must take a look around the property.  Look out the leaded window!

The gardens were designed by George Truefitt in 1854.  Juliana Agar-Robartes and her head gardener Joseph Bray planned the plants for the extraordinary setting.  The gardens remain the same except for gravel paths dividing the flower beds instead of grass.


The 7th Viscount Clifden, Gerald, loved gardening and added camellias, rhododendrons, and Himalayan magnolias to the gardens.  I can just imagine how lovely it would all be in bloom in spring!

The 167 year old Irish Yews that surround the garden and home are expertly maintained. The 29 yews are pruned in July and August.  It takes two weeks to complete the task.  They are fed liquid seaweed fertilizer every 6 to 8 weeks starting in May.  These yews have played a part in the medical world.  Up until recently their bark was sent away to help with cancer research.  The active molecules in the bark improves cell stability. 

St Hydroc has been the patron saint of Lanhydrock's church since a visit in 1478 by William Worcester to the Bodmin priory of St Petroc's. Built in the mid 15th century the church may have incorporated an earlier small church or chapel.  It was remodeled during the 1620's when John Robartes extended Lanhydrock house. The Robartes family crypt lies beneath the old family pews situated to the east end of the south side (nearest the house).

Lanhydrock is maintained by the National Trust and continues to be one of its most visited sites.  I can certainly see why.  I do hope you enjoyed touring this special place with Grayden and I.  We enjoyed reliving it with you!  



Friday, October 16, 2020

Fifty-Three Years of Love

We celebrated our 53rd anniversary on Wednesday.  Every year I ask myself how can all this time have passed!  We are both blessed to call each other best friends.

Grayden and I often dance to our favorite music after dinner.  One of our favorite songs speaks to the love we share.

Time After Time  🎶

During this strange time of the Pandemic we are pretty much staying home except for our daily walks and trips to the grocery store during senior hours.  Sadly we recently had to change our walks from the beautiful trail along the river to walking the sidewalks around the trail, but not on it.  Unfortunately we had been running into many people that are not adhering to the social distancing guidelines.  Frankly, we both are quite sad about this situation, but we want to stay safe, so we are doing what is best for us.  It was getting quite stressful and that is not how we want to start our days!  Do any of you find this to be true when you are out and about?  I'm quite disappointed in my fellow man at this point!

On a happier note, Grayden asked me if I would like to take a ride down to the river and enjoy the gorgeous day that was our anniversary.  There are usually not many folks there in the afternoons so we headed down to enjoy the sunshine and the river.

The river is one of our favorite places to relax and reflect on the day.  

It was also my birthday.  Everyone knows I love flowers.  


I placed this lovely arrangement from our daughter in the living room.

And this Autumnal arrangement from my sister in the Florida room.

Receiving many phone calls from family made a wonderful day for both of us.  So much has changed in a year in all of our lives.  I hope you can find joy in the little things, which are the big things, in life.  I pray you are staying safe, my friends.


Tuesday, September 29, 2020

It's Finally Autumn

It's finally here, my favorite season, glorious Autumn.  The crisp cooler mornings make our walks more pleasant as we continue to enjoy all that Autumn brings by the river.  The butterflies are still lighting our patio with their lovely presence.

 Soon October will be here and the flowers will fade with frost.  Plants that vacation in our basement for the winter will be brought inside. 


"By all these lovely tokens September days are here, With summer's best of weather And autumn's best of cheer. " 

Helen Hunt Jackson

The Autumn Crocus (Colchicum) have been blooming in the garden. 

I really like to plant white flowers in the back of our yard.  The white begonia always lights up the dark areas.  I see we have a crack in this large pot.  I've had it for years and will miss its presence in my garden.  I save shards to fill other large pots in the Spring.  I also fill large pots with plastic pots that annuals come in so I don't have to use so much of my precious compost.  I use compost that we make in all of our pots.  My flowers love it.

Come inside with me and I'll show a few of my Autumn decorations.  Please use the side door, my friends.

I don't use a lot of orange in my Autumn decorations as our walls here are crimson.  I don't mind this wreath on this door on the inside because the orange is softened by the white door.

I put away my Old Britain Castle dishes and bring out Friendly Village for Autumn.  The cut glass piece belonged to my Mama and always stayed on her buffet.  I filled it with dried fruit and a battery operated candle.  It has a timer and comes on when it gets dark, which is by 7:30 these days.

This arrangement is in the living room on the coffee table.  It is also a battery operated candle.  

Though not exactly Autumn florals, I have lilies from Lidl ($2.99) on the dining table.  Grayden buys these for me and we enjoy them so much when there are no blossoms from the garden.

I collect salt and pepper shakers and bring out the owls in Autumn.  We also enjoy real candles.

In the Florida Room on the sewing machine I placed some of my Jim Shore pieces.  

I've had this Autumn floral arrangement forever as most of my decor fits that category!

Another battery operated candle that I placed a wreath around.  

On the mantle in the Florida Room I just placed a Autumn wreath.  

This has been a difficult time for all of us.  I hope you are coping well.  I must admit I've been feeling a bit sorry for myself.  Knowing that Autumn is upon us has renewed my spirit somewhat.  Take care of yourselves, my friends.💓