‘Sunday Thoughts’ ~ “Home Sweet Home”

“There is a magic in that little world, home;  it is a mystic circle that surrounds comforts and virtues never known beyond its hallowed limits.” ~ Robert Southey 

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Good Sunday morning, dear friends.  I hope this finds you well and happily snuggled in your sweet home.  Honestly, I can tell you, “There isn’t a day that goes by when I do not give thanks for our dear home.”  It is such a haven in these stressful times in our world, not to mention that it is so warm and cozy on these brutally cold January days.  And I am sure you feel the same.

Isn’t this home above lovely?  Ah, blooms make everything simply gorgeous!  Understand, I am not rushing spring as I know she will return(probably before we are ready) in all her glory.  And, I do so enjoy the peace and beauty of winter.  However, since we are having such a cold month, I thought perhaps a few luscious blooms and gentle words would warm your hearts.

Home, by Nikki Banas, from “Walk the Earth”

Find the people and places that make you feel at home. 

Find the ones who take care of your soul and make you feel like you can be completely yourself around them. 

Find the ones who light you up from the inside out. . . and encourage you to be yourself. 

Find the places where you feel at peace, the places you could spend forever exploring and wandering. 

Find the places that make you want to see even more of the world and make you happy to be alive . . . 

And whenever you find one of these people or places, hold onto them so tight. 

Tell those people you love them often.  Visit those places as much as you can. 

Never let go of those people or places, because when you find peace, love, and joy in this world, it is worth more than gold. . .

It is where you are meant to be.

 

 

“There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.” ~ Jane Austin

 

Winter is such a wonderful time for reading.  And a perfect time for garden dreaming.  I do love old garden books and I am grateful to have several that belonged to my mom.  They are all full of treasures.  

It is a joy to read lovely books such as “The Secret Garden.”  I would be thrilled to come across an old copy such as the one above.  The book was originally written in 1911, my copy is from the mid-1950s, but I imagine the one above is much older.  I have lost count of the number of times I have read this book.

 

Hardcover Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme Book

Do any of you read cookbooks?  They are like novels to me.  My latest addition to my cookbook collection is, “Chocolate Desserts,” by Pierre Hermé and written by Dorie Greenspan.  An absolute gem of a book, filled with decadent recipes and easy-to-follow instructions. 

“Flowers are nature’s fine jewelry. Particularly in the springtime, they gleam with flair and entice with sweet scents.” ~ Angie Weiland-Crosby

At the start of this post, I did mention I would share a few luscious blooms.  Therefore, before I forget to do so ~ a few whispers of Spring appear below.

syflove: “hyacinths ” “There is a silent eloquence In every wild bluebell. . .” ~ Anne Bronte

 

“Daffodils are yellow trumpets of spring” ~ Richard L. Ratliff

 

“If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness.”  ~ Therese of Lisieux

Dear friends, I hope these few whispers of spring have not given you an early onset of spring fever.  But if it has given you a wee touch of the fever, don’t scold yourself.  Spring has been inspiring writers and poets for centuries.  Nature comes alive in the spring.  Our souls are once again filled with blooming flowers, spectacular green meadows, singing birds, sunshine, and magnificent joy.  Such a splendid time to be alive.

“Tulips make me happy.” ~ Rebecca Wells

 

Thank you so much for your visit.   Know I wish you and yours a gorgeous day.

And. . . 

I hope while you are enjoying your sweet home, you too “will think to yourself, what a wonderful world.” ~ Louis Armstrong

Please visit here.

 

 

Amour,

Sandra

 

Images:  Tumblr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Sunday Thoughts’ ~ Sillage?

“Remember, people will judge you by your actions, not your intentions. You may have a heart of gold but so does a hard-boiled egg.” ~ Maya Angelou

hard boiled eggs

 

Good morning, my friends.  I hope this finds you well and taking winter in stride.  Please don’t think I have gone completely ’round the bend’ and no, this post is not about hard-boiled eggs.  However, Maya Angelou can go directly to the point of an issue, as she does in the quote above.  

Lately, it seems as though everything I pick up to read, at some point, mentions how our actions are impacting others.  Even the tiniest of things.  When this happens, I always feel as though I should pay attention to these gentle nudges.  So I am, and I thought perhaps I should share my thoughts with you. 

Do you ever feel as though your actions may not be as thoughtful or considerate of others as they could or should be?  Or, how we are all connected and therefore, our actions often even impact strangers?   Many times, I think we fail to think outside of our own families.  This is quite normal and I am ever so guilty of this.  While our families always come first, there are others in our world. However, when I receive my ‘gentle nudges’ it reminds me that I have a responsibility to folks I do not know, as well as my family.  There lies my reason for this post.  It is my hope that you may be encouraged to pause and give the subject some thought as well.

“Never underestimate the valuable and important difference you make in every life you touch. For the impact you make today has a powerful rippling effect on every tomorrow.” ~ Unknown

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Flowers bloom with your love and care.  They add beauty to the world.  Strangers who pass by enjoy our efforts and beauty lifts everyone.

oldfarmhouse: “Mama_Jbird (@mama_jbird) • Instagram ”

Children grow and will learn to use equipment with real motors which will keep their homes and gardens tidy.

I like to think we are making a little progress toward the care of our beautiful land, marshes, rivers, streams, oceans, and all wildlife living in such places.  Perhaps finally,  we are learning to walk more softly upon the earth.  Yes,  all of the things mentioned above have a tremendous ripple effect. Not only for today but for tomorrow as well.

However, dreadful COVID has shown us we are not being as thoughtful or considerate of others as we should.  And, that also has and continues to have a tremendous ripple effect.    The rise in the number of cases and deaths is proof.  I feel so badly for our health care workers, who are worn to the point of no return.  In our small state, we had over  1,700 nurses who did not renew their licenses.  This is a crisis for everyone.  Why so?   Because who else will we seek assistance from should we become infected or need medical assistance?  At the end of the day, what we have is simple ~ each other.  So, let’s be more loving humans. Do all we can possibly do to stop the spread of this monster.   Humanity is counting on us.

 

Dear friends, know how much I appreciate your visit.  

And. . .

May your day and the week ahead be filled with love and joy.

Stay well!

 

This contains an image of: ~ Muscari Blue Hyacinths Blooming in Texas ~

 

“. . .The French word ‘sillage’ means the scent of perfume lingering behind in a room after the wearer has left.  Although we may be completely unaware of it, in numerous ways our presence in others’ lives sometimes leaves behind significant sillage long after we are gone.” ~ Jonathan Carroll

 

Amour,

Sandra

 

 

Images:  Tumblr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Sunday Thoughts’ ~ Ah, Snow ~ I Do Love Thee!

“The sky was clear, the stars hung high overhead, and the moon was just a sliver, rather than a full moon, so that it proved to be significantly dark out. However, the coating of snow upon the ground looked bright in the moonlight.” ~ Danielle Renee Wallace

 

Good Sunday morning, sweet friends.  I hope this finds you well and that January has been kind to you.  If you like snow, there seems to be quite a bit of it flying around the country.  We had about five inches last night (January 6) and we have bitterly cold temperatures.

As we are deep in winter, I thought you may enjoy the words of Mary Oliver.  According to Jean-Paul Sartre,  “To read a poem in January is as lovely as to go for a walk in June.”  So, please join me for a wee walk.

“Snowy Night,” by Mary Oliver
“Last night, an owl
in the blue dark
tossed
an indeterminate number
of carefully shaped sounds into
the world, in which,
a quarter of a mile away, I happened
to be standing.
I couldn’t tell
which one it was ~
the barred or the great-horned
ship of the air ~
it was that distant.
But, anyway, aren’t there moments
that are better than knowing something,
and sweeter?
Snow was falling,
so much like stars
filling the dark trees
that one could easily imagine
its reason for being was nothing more
than prettiness.
I suppose
if this were someone else’s story
they would have insisted on knowing
whatever is knowable ~ would have hurried
over the fields
to name it ~ the owl, I mean.
But it’s mine, this poem of the night,
and I just stood there, listening and holding out
my hands to the soft glitter
falling through the air.
I love this world,
but not for its answers.
And I wish good luck to the owl,
whatever its name ~
and I wish great welcome to the snow,
whatever its severe and comfortless
and beautiful meaning.”
I have loved this poem since I first read it.  My favorite line is:  “Snow was falling, so much like stars filling the dark trees that one could easily imagine its reason for being was nothing more than prettiness.”
“I love snow, snow, and all the forms of radiant frost.” ~ Percy Bysshe Shelley
*
Certainly, I realize not everyone shares my love of snow.   Truth be told, I may not enjoy it as much as I do if I had dealt with it all the years I worked outside our home.  However, it seldom snows in coastal Virginia, but there are other elements Mother Nature is ready to hand out in full portions that can be more precarious than snow. Such as stress magnified, in never-ending sideways rain and fog.
wistfullycountry: “Scotty Perkins ”
Although,  to me, snow enhances the magnificent beauty that we often miss.  Snow seems to decide who will look lovely in white and dresses all accordingly, calling us to pay attention.

“Now there are these veils, shimmering like curtains, The diaphanous satins of a January window” ~ Sylvia Plath

myfairylily: “domnadstawem ”
One of the pleasures I enjoy tremendously is being inside, all cozy and warm on a cold snowy morning, and enjoying the garden from the view of our windows.  Such a pleasure I never take for granted.  The snow looks like diamonds sparkling under a brilliant blue sky.
  

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.” ~ Lewis Carroll 

*
“Snow provokes responses that reach right back to childhood.” ~ Andy Goldsworthy
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“Snow is…a beautiful reminder of life and all its quirks. It makes me pause. Think. Stay still. Even my mind takes the hint. It makes me feel giddy. Like a kid. I bring my hot cocoa to the window and simply sit and reminisce…It brings me back to days of school cancellations and snow igloos and King of the Mountain games in my childhood neighborhood…That for this one moment in time, I’m not an adult with all the headaches that can accompany that responsibility, but instead, I’m still the girl in pigtails with the handmade hat and mittens, just waiting to build her next snowman.”  ~ R.B. O’Brien 
Dear friends,  thank you so much for your visit.  I do hope this finds you enjoying snowy days.   
Know I wish you and yours a beautiful day, full of love, peace and joy.    Stay well!
And may . . .
 “. . .this winter be gentle and kind ~ a season of rest from the wheel of the mind.”  ~ John Geddes

Amour,

Sandra

Images: Tumblr

 

‘Sunday Thoughts’ ~ “Traditions”

” Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.” ~ Gustav Mahler 

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Good Sunday morning, dear friends.  Happy New Year!  I hope you and your family had a beautiful Christmas and this new year is off to a good beginning.  

As we begin to close Christmas (oh, how I drag my feet) and welcome our new year, today finds me thinking of traditions and special memories.  I do believe they are strongly tied together with the ribbons of our hearts.  We all have traditions we enjoy and loved ones who are associated with them.   Such as the photo above of the teacups.  I can never look at a teacup without thinking of mom.  She loved pretty teacups. And she said, “A pretty teacup makes even bad tea lovely.”  She had something there, it does help.  I collect teacups and saucers ~ but only the pretty ones (just for mom).  

“We are missing an enormous opportunity if we deny ourselves a wholesome, mature reliance on those who have evolved to what we aspire to become. As Sir Isaac Newton urged, we can evolve best by standing on the shoulders of giants, getting closer to truth by building on the discoveries of those luminaries who came before us.” ~ Miles Neale

Exquisite handwork is something I adore, even if it is not made by someone dear to me.  I feel as though I am the caretaker of someone’s lovely work.  Their skills and their creative spirit are qualities to be treasured and I do.  I have gained a greater appreciation of beauty through my discoveries of such remarkable gems.  And as a member of the senior generation, to me, it is important for the younger folks to understand the work and the time that has gone into creating endeavors of the heart.  Understand, I don’t mean they have to love and collect vintage pieces, but it is important for them to have an appreciation of such.

Appreciation of the hours upon hours of work makes one pause in awe, even for a moment, to simply realize they are looking at something more than words.

The best moments in reading are when you come across something ~ a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things ~ which you had thought special and particular to you. Now here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out and taken yours.” ~ Alan Bennett

Reading is a gift that I give myself as often as possible.  I am from a mother and grandmother who both read everything imaginable.  They were both quite political and read newspapers front to back.   I think this resulted from both of them living through dreadful wars and trying social times. While I think what they enjoyed is important and I have an appreciation for their feelings, I have other reading interests.  As it should be.  I value their love of reading and what they instilled in me but, “I feel as other hands have reached out and taken mine.”

” Food history is as important as a baroque church. Governments should recognize cultural heritage and protect traditional foods. A cheese is as worthy of preserving as a sixteenth-century building.” ~ Carlo Petrini

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Recently, I read something about a woman who was pursuing her Ph.D. in Food Studies.  Don’t ask me where I read it or who it was about all I remember is it was quite interesting.  The article spoke to how food correlates with our traditions.   And how important it is to preserve these traditions.  Food definitely evokes special memories.  

The other day, I was chatting with my dear friend, Janet.  Her daughter had asked her about one of her mom’s recipes.  Janet didn’t have the particular recipe, she felt one of her sisters had it.  Anyway, the conversation did lead my friend to ponder a few things.  She told me she was thinking of preparing a little cookbook of her favorite recipes and giving a copy to each of her children.  “Outstanding,” I said.  Too often, treasures are lost, part of our heritage as well as our traditions.  Apple Brandy Canelés - Imbibe Magazine

In the Bordeaux area of France,  around 1985 a group of 88 patissiers came together to protect and write in stone the standard of the recipe for Canelé’s and to make them the property of Bordeaux.  The chefs took an oath to uphold this standard and to always use the secret recipe, which they knew was kept in a vault to pass to future generations.  They felt it was so important to protect and maintain their standards in a world full of food trends, and desperation to create something “new and different,” regardless of integrity or flavor.   I do believe the folks in Bordeaux would certainly agree with the words of Carlo Petrini.

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I have had the experience of things slipping away.  When I was growing up a lovely Italian woman lived across the street and she was a marvelous cook.  One of the things she made every summer was stuffed zucchini blossoms.  She would always come to our home with a plate full of these delicacies.  What a treat.  I have several of her recipes but missed this one.  I think of her and her divine creations quite often in the summer.

 

 

“Like Christmas trees and Easter egg hunts and the block party on the last day of summer, we do things because traditions feel cozy and safe.” ~ Corey Ann Haydu

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Who wouldn’t remember being in the woods with someone who loved you, gathering greens and or a tree?  And using a sled that was most likely your grandparents.  Certainly a tradition worthy of preservation.

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Baking treats for neighbors and your local shelter is worthy as well.  Not just at Christmas, but all throughout the year.  Efforts of kindness are always appreciated.

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“Things of quality have no fear of time.” ~ unknown

Our old home, built in 1939 has “no fear of time.”  She shelters us and comforts us and we are grateful to take care of her.  And our prayer is to someday place her in worthy hands.

mymodernhouse: “From Home Decor Obsession ”

I can hear the stories ~ can you?

 

And, these frames are such a work of art.  It would be wonderful to know what they have held throughout the years.  

“The past informs the present.” ~Fennel Hudson

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Dear friends, thank you for your visit.  Know I wish you and yours a most beautiful January Sunday.

And as we begin this new year . . .

May we all maintain respect and love for traditions that no longer serve us and “preserve with fire” those that do.

Stay well!

 

“Every plant, tree, and animal is a blessing and every person has a purpose for living. Courage, curiosity, and generosity produce noble spirits. Enduring life honorably results in wisdom. Knowledge passed down from one generation to the next along with humankind’s tradition of performing charitable and self-sacrificing deeds creates principled legacies for future generations to emulate.” ~ Kilroy J. Oldster 

Amour,

Sandra

 

 

 

 

Images:  Tumblr, M.S. Lambiotte

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Table – A Promised Recipe and A Few More!

“Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.” ~ Ernestine Ulmer

Good morning, sweet friends.  As promised, here are a few recipes.  I especially wanted you to have the Gingerbread Madeleines before Christmas.  If you have madeleine pans and a wee bit of time left in this busy week, I do suggest you give them a try.  They are simply delightful and make a pretty gift for neighbors or friends.

Gingerbread Madeleines

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice ~I changed to cinnamon and use more like 1/2 tsp.
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled (plus more for pan)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (plus more for pan)
  • powdered sugar to dust the madeleines with

Note:  I changed the pumpkin pie spice to cinnamon the second time I made these.  We liked it much better than the pumpkin pie spice, however, I wanted to send the original recipe.   The recipe is from Mon Petit Four ~ see link at the end of the instructions.

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Brush some softened butter onto a 12-mold madeleine pan, then sprinkle flour into the molds. Tap out the excess flour.
  2. With a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the sugar, salt, and eggs together until pale yellow – about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the vanilla, molasses, and spices. Mix to combine. Scrape the bottom of the mixing bowl, then mix again to combine.
  3. Pour in 1/3 of the melted butter and mix at low speed. Add in half the flour; continue to mix at low speed. Add another third of the melted butter – mix –  add the remaining flour – mix – and finally the last bit of butter, giving one final mix to blend everything together.
  4. Use a tablespoon measuring spoon to scoop out 3 scant tablespoons of batter into each madeleine mold. Bake the madeleines for 9 to 10 minutes, until they spring back when gently touched on their tops.

Use a knife to gently wedge the madeleines out of the pan and onto a wire cooling rack. Let them cool completely before dusting them with powdered sugar.  I have never needed to use a knife ~ just be sure to grease and flour your pans.

Note:  This is the link to Mon Petit Four. https://www.monpetitfour.com/                                                                       

“Anyone who’s a chef, who loves food, ultimately knows that all that matters is: ‘Is it good? Does it give pleasure?” ~Anthony Bourdain

 

 

Once upon a time, when Mike and I did a lot of entertaining,  I enjoyed preparing a pretty punch bowl.  Place it on the dining room table with a fresh wreath around the bottom and you have something lovely, especially when it is filled with some fabulous goodness.  So, here is my recipe for Iced Mocha Cappuccino, it is quite nice for the holidays.  It is a non-alcoholic punch.  However, for those who may be interested, it is nice with a bit of Bailey’s Irish Cream or Kaluha added.

Iced Mocha Cappuccino

1/2 Gallon of Rocky Road Ice Cream

1/2 Gallon of Coffee Ice Cream

1 Gallon of Whole Milk

1 cup sugar

6 cups of strong coffee – see note below

Whipped cream with a sprinkle of nutmeg to garnish

Strong Coffee – use one cup of grounds for 3 cups of water.  Brew coffee and while coffee is still hot, add one cup of sugar.  Refrigerate overnight.

Spoon ice cream into the punch bowl.  Add coffee and milk, stirring to mix.  Top with whipped cream and nutmeg.

 

Gooey and Cheesy Warm Bacon Dip

 

Gooey and Cheesy Warm Bacon Dip

Ingredients

6 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 cups sour cream

1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

4-6 slices bacon, cooked, well-drained and crumbled

1/2 cup chopped green onions ~ white and green parts.  Plus, a little extra to sprinkle on the top.

Preheat oven to 400.  Combine softened cream cheese, sour cream, cheddar cheese, bacon, and green onions.  Spoon mixture into a 1-quart baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling and hot.  Serve with crackers, veggies, or toasted baguette slices (my favorite).  

 

Corn Dip Recipe

 

Corn Dip Recipe

  • 3 cans Mexicorn- drained
  • 2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 small can of green chiles- drained
  • 2/3 Cup  green onion- chopped
  • 3/4 Cup mayonnaise
  • 1 8 oz. container sour cream
  • 1 package dry ranch dressing mix

 Cajun Seasoning- to taste – I start with a tsp.

  1. Combine sour cream, mayo, and ranch dressing mix. Add Cajun seasoning (the more you add, the spicier the dip)
  2. Add corn, chiles, onion, and cheese to the sour cream mixture
  3. Stir to combine
  4. Cover and chill for at least two hours- overnight is preferred (the longer you chill, the better the flavor)
  5. Serve with tortilla chips

 

Sweet friends, may you enjoy these next few days.  Enjoy your families and friends and most of all each other.  Make wonderful memories to treasure and I hope these humble recipes will add to your joy and festivities.  

And remember. . .

 

“Faith is salted and peppered through everything at Christmas. And I love at least one night by the Christmas tree to sing and feel the quiet holiness of that time that’s set apart to celebrate love, friendship, and God’s gift of the Christ child.” ~ Amy Grant

 

Joyeux Noel,

Sandra

 

 

Images:  Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Sunday Thoughts” ~ The Bells of Christmas

“The Christmas spirit whispers softly in my ear to be of good cheer.” ~ Richelle E. Goodrich

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Good Sunday morning, dear friends.   As I write this, Christmas is one week away.  Where have the days gone?  We are ready for Christmas to arrive in all her magic and glory.  I hope you are too and that this finds you in “good cheer.”

This post will be short as I plan to see you again either Monday or Tuesday.  You may or may not remember, but I promised you a recipe before Christmas and I want to send it so you may have time to prepare it if you desire.  That said, I am sharing a favorite poem which later became a Christmas carol.  It was written on Christmas day, 1863, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.  The ringing of church bells, off in a distance, was Longfellow’s inspiration for the poem.  The poem was set to music in 1872.

Christmas Bells ~ By, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
    And wild and sweet
    The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
    Had rolled along
    The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
    A voice, a chime,
    A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
    And with the sound
    The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
    And made forlorn
    The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
    “For hate is strong,
    And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
    The Wrong shall fail,
    The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

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Dear friends, I hope you have enjoyed your visit.  Know how much I appreciate you and your kind comments.  I have many Christmas wishes for you, but mostly. . .

“I wish the wonderful feelings of Christmas will stay with you long after the gifts are unwrapped, the tree is taken down, and the ornaments are safely stored away.  May the once-a-year joy of Christmas return to you in memories throughout the year, each time tugging at your heart strings. . .each time bringing you joy.” ~ Stay Well!

 

Joyeux Noel,

Sandra

 

 

 

The ending quote is from a Christmas card I received too many years ago.

Images:  Tumblr

 

‘Sunday Thoughts’ ~ The Sweetest Days

“How did it get so late so soon?  It’s night before it’s afternoon.  December is here before it’s June. My goodness, how the time has flewn.  How did it get so late so soon?”  ~ Dr. Seuss …

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” ~ John Steinbeck Artist - Richard Savoie   Artist, Richard Savoie

Good morning, dear friends.  I do believe Dr. Seuss must have had a vision into the year 2021 as his words are indeed a little too familiar.  “How did it get so late so soon?”  Even though Christmas is near, I am enjoying these days.  The days leading up to Christmas are always the sweetest to me.  

Even though everyone is busy dashing about, there is love and magic in the air.  Why is it that this wonderful feeling can not remain in our world throughout the year?  However, the blessing is ~ there are many who do still believe in the magic and love of Christmas.  And I am one of them.

The beauty of wonder.  Christopher Moore tells us that Children see magic because they look for it.”  I believe this is true.  It is the genuine love they possess for beauty, love, and kindness.   They see and feel all of these things with their eyes and their beautiful innocent little hearts.

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“Snow-dusted villages lit with wick and was lit with wonder by tiny souls.” ~ Unknown

“If we experienced life through the eyes of a child, everything would be magical and extraordinary.  Let our curiosity, adventure and wonder of life never end.” ~ Akiane Kramarik 

 

Dear friends, know I wish you and yours the merriest day. 

And . . .

May you see glimpses of the magic and wonder of Christmas along your path.  Be well!

 

Joyeux Noel,

Sandra

 

“May you never be too grown up to search the skies on Christmas Eve.” ~ unknown

 

 

 

 

Images: Tumblr

 

 

Sunday Thoughts ~ “Stillmeadow”

“When the first snow arrives, I really give myself up to winter.  The air comes cold and sharp and there is a quickening in the blood, a feeling that the seasons are rolling around quite the way they should, and all is well.” ~ Gladys Taber

Good morning, dear friends.  I hope this finds you well and that you are enjoying the beginning of this beautiful month.

Do you enjoy old books?  Of course, you know I do.  One of my favorite antique haunts had not only lovely antiques but also a grand assortment of various and unique gems, which included a room full of old books.  Such a fine place it was.  Often, I would spend an entire afternoon in this delightful shop.  One could easily spend such an amount of time just pouring over the collection of books, and I always came home with a jewel or two.   One of my treasured jewels is one I want to share with you, “The Book of Stillmeadow,” by Gladys Taber. 

The book, originally published in 1948, is about life in the country and living in a Connecticut farmhouse.  Taber wrote the book in months, and it included a delightful writing at the beginning of each month which she referred to as a song.  So, without further chatter, I will let you enjoy Ms. Taber’s thoughts about December.  As you read, keep in mind the year her book was written. This book is always by my chair.

The following words are an excerpt from “The Book of Stillmeadow”, by Gladys Taber.

Christmas is almost upon us before we get over Thanksgiving.  Many simple folk like me are thinking long thoughts this Christmas as we wrap the packages.  We are still waiting for peace.  We are insecure, when we have won the war, Civil conflicts exist everywhere, people are still starving, Labor and Management are embroiled in half the world.  Nations still argue unsolved issues.  Race prejudice snakes along every hidden byway.  

This must not be.  The aggressive instincts have run the world into destruction, culminating in the desperate promise of the atomic bomb that man shall perish from the earth, and the earth from the cosmos.  

What is the answer for us?  The creative instincts, the love force must be nourished with every beat of our hearts until they overbalance the destructive instincts.  And this cannot be accomplished by any great legislation.  It will be the sum of the little people’s feelings.  Good will toward men, that is the answer. . .Somehow, by some divine light we have got to see ourselves as people, one and all.  Our children learn from us.  This is a solemn and terrible responsibility.  They learn from what we say and from what we do not say.  

But I believe on this Christmas, this very special and holy Christmas, that we must have a faith in all the human beings of tomorrow, that we must look at life somehow steadily and whole, and not destroy ourselves and our childrens’ children with hate.  I do not believe the men we have lost have died in vain;  I shall never believe it.  If humanity was destined to be pulverized by atomic energy, there would never have been a Jesus, born so long ago in that darkling stable.

As we celebrate this year, we must resolve to keep our lives free from racial intolerance, from bigotry and hate.  We must do everything we can to defeat cruelty in our own country. And surely Christmas is a time to rededicate ourselves to the good, the true, the beautiful.”

Dear friends, I hope you have enjoyed your visit and the words of Gladys Taber.  To me, it is amazing how relevant her words, published in 1948, remain today.  Perhaps, one day we will see peace.  Truly, it is the hope of the world.

Know, I wish you and yours a beautiful day.  

And. . .

May you hear the angels sing as you walk your path.

Be well!

 

“In a world of change and confusion we need Christmas more than ever.” ~ Gladys Taber

Amour,

Sandra

 

Images: Tumblr

 

 

‘Sunday Thoughts’ ~ Wondrous Days Are Coming

“Snow was falling, so much like stars filling the dark trees that one could easily imagine its reason for being was nothing more than prettiness.” ~ Mary Oliver

Good Sunday morning, dear friends.  I do hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Mike and I enjoyed a peaceful day.  After dinner, I read and he watched football and then we enjoyed our sweet potato pie.  The pie is made from a recipe that was my grandmother’s.  Although, we both like pumpkin pie, it became second on our list after I first made the sweet potato pie (years ago). 

This morning I would like to share a few words about the upcoming magnificent winter season. While, of course, it brings us Christmas, there is more.  It is a time to peruse garden catalogs, look up information on a specific plant that is not behaving well (our clematis), and of course, read everything you can put your hands on that you find of interest.  Also, to cook and try new recipes.  Then, there are the dreadful closets.  Who knows what or who may be living there.  Find your coffee, and join me.  I hope you find a little inspiration for seeing the wondrous days ahead through new eyes.  

“The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found?” ~ J. B. Priestly

 

 

“Winter was creeping in and, at barely three o’clock in the afternoon, the day was losing substance and dissolving into a dusty twilight.” ~ C. J. Tudor

 

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“I do love the miracle of falling snow.  How gently and completely it covers every space, seemingly with so little effort.  I love the way the City looks just after a snowfall:  so pure, so clean, like a world of make-believe.  At night, the lamplight makes the soft, white blanket glitter, and the world becomes magic.” ~ Elyse Douglas

“She went to the window.  A fine sheen of sugary frost covered everything in sight, and white smoke rose from chimneys in the valley below the town.  The window opened to a rush of sharp early November air that would have the town in a flurry of activity.  She stuck her head out and took a deep breath.  If she could eat the cold air, she would.  She thought cold snaps were like cookies, like ginger snaps.  In her mind they were made with white chocolate chunks and had a cool, brittle vanilla frosting.  They melted like snow in her mouth, turning creamy and warm.” ~ Sarah Addison Allen

Dear friends, I do hope you have enjoyed your visit.  This post is about winter and the wondrous season that is upon us.  And, the precious gifts (not packages under the tree) that accompany this time.  “It’s Not About Christmas.”  That said, I want to close with the thought-provoking words of  Nikita Gill.  I hope you will find them as meaningful as I have.  Especially, as we go into this most special and significant time of the year.

 

It’s Not About Christmas

“It’s about the mothers who see their children after months.

It’s about the homeless man whose daughter finally finds him and takes him home.  It’s about the little girl who gives her only present to her baby brother just so he has something to open even if it’s small.  It’s about the little miracles that no one notices.  It’s about the grumpy old woman who isn’t grumpy, just tired, because she saves up all her energy for the shelter where she volunteers and looking after stray dogs.  It’s about the kindness that wraps itself in ‘strangers’ hands as they help each other for no reason at all.  It’s about the love that has found its way back between you and someone you haven’t spoken to in so long.  It’s about the people who surprise you when they are there for you when you fall.

We all want to be good, truly.  Christmas just makes our true nature stand out in a way where we can hold our heads high and stand tall.

It’s not about Christmas.  It’s about the unbreakable bond of warmth and kinship that runs between us all.”

As we end beautiful November, know I wish you and yours a most magical holiday season.

And. . .

May each and every day bring you Peace and Joy!

Stay well.

 

 

“The days are getting colder; have a warm heart.” ~ Unknown

 

Amour,

Sandra

 

Images: Tumblr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Thoughts ~ Giving Thanks

“Gratitude bestows reverence…..changing forever how we experience life and the world.” ~ John Milton

Good morning, dear friends.  Here we are ~ the Sunday before Thanksgiving.  I remember not so long ago I said, “We will blink and it will be Christmas.”  I am going to stop saying such things as they always come true and often, too quickly.

As we are approaching Thanksgiving, I wanted to share a few favorite thoughts about gratefulness and the enjoyment of the day.  The words sincerely express my feelings and I rather feel they do yours as well.

 

“An Old-Time Thanksgiving,”  by, Edward Payson Powell, 1904

“We belonged to each other. So you may be sure that we did not have our feast all by ourselves. “Why should we be selfish with the Lord’s goodness?” said my father. “It would spoil the taste of it all.” So there came together, not only the cousins and the aunts and uncles and the grandparents, but also some family friends and neighbors.  And the world invited us out of doors; we sat and ate at tables under the big arms of the butternut and the pear trees. And there came some birds of passage that sat on the mountain ash trees and ate a Thanksgiving dinner of the berries, and one of them sang to us in a soft monotone — I think it was a Thanksgiving hymn. The sun smiled warmth through the branches, and the soft wind played quiet pranks, dropping now and then a brown leaf on our plates. And then we settled our dinner by carrying full baskets of food to those who had less of God’s favors.” 

“When something does not insist on being noticed, when we aren’t grabbed by the collar or struck on the skull by a presence or an event, we take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” ~ Cynthia Ozick

Seeing one of God’s majestic and noble creatures is certainly a gift.  A gift never to be taken for granted.   Just look at the magnificent colors of this beautiful pheasant.

“When one has a grateful heart, life is so beautiful.” ~ Roy T. Bennett, 

“Gratitude is the music of the heart when its chords are swept by the breeze of kindness.” ~ Author unknown

 

Dear friends, know how grateful I am for you.  While our friendship is virtual, that does not make it any less important to me.  I wish you and those you love a glorious Thanksgiving. 

And. . .

 

May life bring you always an abundance of love, laughter, and grace.  But especially the blessing of good health.

Be well!

 

Amour,

Sandra

 

“Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.” ~ W. T. Purkiser

 

 

 

 

 

 

Images:  Tumblr