Sunday Thoughts ~ March 17, 2019

“St. Patrick’s Day is an enchanted time ~ a day to begin transforming winter’s dreams into summer’s magic.” ~ Adrienne Cook

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, dear friends.  I do hope wherever you may be, you have a view of beautiful green.  Isn’t it is such a glorious sight to see our land as she ‘once again,’ trades her winter brown for magnificent green?  The beauty of the green countryside is certainly a sight to treasure.  

wanderlusteurope: “Pillaton, Cornwall, England ”

“Ireland is a land of poets and legends, of dreamers and rebels.  All of these have music woven through and around them.  Tunes for dancing or for weeping, for battle or for love.”  ~ Nora Roberts

pagewoman: “ Wishing Bridge, Gap of Dunloe (Dún Lóich) Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland by Sartori42 ” Wishing Bridge, Gap of Dunloe (Dún Lóich) Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland 

“For ’tis green, green, green, where the ruined towers are gray.

And it’s green, green, all the happy night and day;

Green of leaf and green of sod,

green of ivy on the wall,

And the blessed Irish shamrock

with the fairest green of all.”

~ Mary Elizabeth Blake

On this special Sunday, I hope you have plans to celebrate the day.  The Irish immigrants have made significant contributions to our country and other countries as well.   We are fortunate to have in our view(directly across the street), a lovely stone cottage built in 1934 by Irish stone masons. The Irish have also given us wonderful food, beautiful music, and dance.  So today, let us be grateful for all the hard-working Irish people, their skills, and their many talents.

Wishing you and yours a day of joy.

And…

May the raindrops fall lightly on your brow.
May the soft winds freshen your spirit.
May the sunshine brighten your heart
May the burdens of the day rest lightly upon you.
And may God enfold you in the mantle of His love.

An Irish Blessing

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

 

Images: Via Tumblr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old Friends Of The Garden

“The garden is a love song, a duet between a human being and Mother Nature.” ~ Jeff Cox

judithdcollins: “Visit a Storybook Garden – atlanta homes & gardens ”

Good morning, dear friends.   This time of year, when I am dreaming of all the beauty about to unfold, I find myself so anxious to see my old friends.  Beauties I dearly love and many have been with me since we had our first home.  So, won’t you step into the garden, they are anxious to meet you.

“Then my heart with pleasure fills And dances with the daffodils.” ~ Willaim Wordsworth

Would it be spring without daffodils?  Certainly not.  I love all daffodils, but I will admit being partial to a few.

Fortissimo, shouts spring.  In musical terms, a fortissimo marking indicates ‘very loud.’  And, the daffodil, Fortissimo (appropriately named) is loud.

Daffodil (Narcissus) Barrett Browning - Longfield Gardens

Lovely Barrett Browning ~ her bloom nods like a bashful girl.

I do love the softness and frills of British Gamble.  However, something so lovely should, in my opinion, have a more suitable name.  Perhaps, Priscilla,  Apricot Dreams, or Elegant Lady?

Daffodil (Narcissus) Tahiti - Longfield Gardens

And here is my husband’s favorite… Tahiti.  Tahiti is a full double daffodil and a vase of them is a lovely sight.  Tahiti is also a strong and sturdy daffodil, not prone to flop.

“Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” ~ William Wordsworth

Ah, there are so many friends who return each year to our garden.  They sing and flutter about, each with their own unique beauty.  My heart truly loves them.

loriedarlin: “via http://gardenofgod.tumblr.com/post/145129648672/black-capped-chickadee ”

“A birdsong can even, for a moment, make the whole world into a sky within us, because we feel that the bird does not distinguish between its heart and the worlds.” ~Rainer Maria Rilke

 

thetwilightgarden: “radiant by Molly Dean http://www.mollydean.com ”

“Butterflies…flowers that fly and all but sing.” ~ Robert Frost

 

Singing a happy song | Robin bird chirping singing | John MacTavish | Flickr

“My favorite weather is bird-chirping weather.” ~ Terri Guillemets

“To be overcome by the fragrance of flowers is a delectable form of defeat.” ~ Beverley Nichols

eat-to-thrive: “Sweet peas 🌸🌿 ”

Sweet peas are a favorite among my ‘old friends.’  I’ve never been without a stand of them.  Stop a moment, surely you can smell them. Their fragrance is soft as is their appearance.  To me, they are a girly flower’, ever so romantic.  Sweet peas symbolize blissful pleasure and are lovers of the cool early spring days.  Our seeds went into the ground on February 24.  They should be in bloom in May.  In the part of Virginia where we used to live, we were zone 8a.  There, I planted them in the fall so as to bloom in mid to late March.  Summer comes early to coastal Virginia.

“You will know it is here or getting near when the lilacs bloom.” ~ unknown

The fragrance of lilac drifting through the air is a gift from above.  I suppose lilacs are especially dear to me because I lived for many years without them.  While some varieties will grow in the south, they are really northern girls.  Quite happy in harsh winters.  

“Flowers are God’s thoughts of beauty taking form to gladden mortal gaze; bright gems of earth, in which, perchance, we see what Eden was ~ what Paradise may be. ~ William Wilberforce.
The iris ~ the exclamation point of the garden. During their blossoming, they seem to call out and exclaim, “Look! Over here!” ~unknown

Stairway to Heaven is a beautiful friend.  She is absolutely an ‘exclamation point,’ standing about 40 inches in height.  Irises represent faith, hope, courage, wisdom, and admiration.  Specific flower colors attach further meanings to the lovely blooms. 

“The fattest and most scrumptious of all flowers, a rare fusion of fluff and majesty ~ the peony.” ~ Henry Mitchell

shorenaratiani: “Lovely red peony ” Peony, Red Charm

Peonies are my dearest of old friends.  We have been friends since I was a little girl.  Many in my garden have been with me for over forty years.  Friends, I am eager to see and greet every spring.

Peony, Courage (notice the speckles on the petals)

Peony, Gardenia

“A rose is a rose, but a peony is a friend forever.” ~ unknown

 

 

“Springtime flowers bloom like colourful arrows piercing their way to the sun.” ~ Terri Guillemets 

nordicsublime: “ Alnwick castle gardens - rssing.com ”

In closing, I want you to know my ‘old friends’ thoroughly enjoyed meeting you and I hope you enjoyed meeting them as well.   As the spring days unfold with blue skies and sunshine, may you enjoy many lovely hours with your ‘old friends.’
Wishing you a beautiful day!

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

Special Note:  The event section of this blog has been updated.  There are many wonderful events happening.  Check this section, one may be near you.

 

Note: Images ~ Michael S. Lambiotte,  Atlanta Homes,

Tumblr ~ Unless otherwise stated, I do not claim ownership of these photos. These photos are the work of tremendously talented people and I simply compiled them for your enjoyment

 

 

 

 

Sunday Thoughts ~ March 10, 2019

“Spring”

By, Amanda Lea Browning

Earth is a magical place with disguised treasures everywhere.

You can find these beauties

Forest Floor - by Tom Croce

these little mysteries ~ if you open your eyes,

if you listen to the world around you,

by Joe Kel

if you clear your mind of all the confusion and chaos that comes with life.

Let Earth show you how she laughs in flowers,

mylovelylife2014: “ Garden goldfinch ~ Christina Rollo ”

how she sings with birds,

czechthecount: “pacific northwestby czechthecount: instagram | facebook | 500px | prints ”

and water flowing over rocks,

how she grows and changes with each new season.

 

Let Earth embrace you
and show you her great wisdom
and impartial, undying love.
Open your heart and soul to her,
let her be your Mother and friend.”

 

purplelovesyellow: “ Wild Pansy (by CappiT) ”

 

Wishing you and yours a lovely day.  

And…

During the week ahead, may you find “disguised treasures everywhere.” 

 

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

 

Note: Images ~ (Via Tumblr) Unless otherwise stated, I do not claim ownership of these photos. These photos are the work of tremendously talented people and I simply compiled them for your enjoyment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Whispers

“The energy of the Earth flows through the veins of Springtime.” ~ Terri Guillemets

cottgwladys.canalblog.com

Good morning, dear friends.  It is so good to see you and I thank you for visiting Maison de Jardin. 

This morning finds me under a blanket of snow with cold temperatures, and I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of beautiful spring blooms.  I rather imagine this to be true for most everyone.  

In going through one of my old garden journals, checking to see the date of when I cut the first daffodils from previous years, I had written on the top of a page ~ ‘Spring Whispers.’  Now, I can’t say for certain if this was a thought or something I read.  Perhaps, it came forth from an entry on March 7, 2008, when I recorded the six inches of snow we received.  But, wherever it came from ~ spring does whisper.  Now, when did I actually cut the first daffodils?  According to the 2008 journal, I cut the first daffodils of the season on March 15.  

I suppose if spring arrived all at once, with blue skies, warm temperatures, and glorious blooms, we wouldn’t appreciate it as much.  Although, I wouldn’t mind Mother Nature giving us a little more than a whisper.

“Whoa! I feel good, I knew that I would…” ~ James Brown

expression-venusia: “Spring Lamb Expression Photography ”

For those of you who have never been around lambs in the spring, the photo above is completely accurate.  They leap and twist in the air, my goodness they ‘feel good.’ And, don’t the whispers of spring make all of us want to kick up our heels?  ‘Whoa! We feel good.’

All ‘God’s Creatures Great and Small’ are out and about, enjoying the warmth of the sun. 

Sweet birds are hoarding nesting materials, preparing for new life.

And, then there are those who are shouting, not whispering ~ “Welcome Spring.”

“There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night and spring after winter.” ~ Rachel Carson

Image via We Heart It http://weheartit.com/entry/188064429

I love to be outdoors, in a favorite place and watch the world turn green.  Do you have such a place in which to enjoy something you love?

Perhaps, you know a place where wild bluebells grow.

gardenofgod: “Prima Rosa ~ First Rose, by Sue Bristo. ”

Or, a bank where the primroses thrive.

“Primroses, the Spring may love them; Summer knows but little of them.” ~ William Wordsworth

But, guess what?  I know a place where wild violets grow ~ in our garden.  When I first saw them I was ecstatic.  They return every year.  Now, understand I am not a gardener with exceptional skills.  Violets grow all over the state of WV.  They are a treasure of “Wild, Wonderful, West Virginia.” 

“Who bends a knee where violets grow a hundred secret things shall know.” ~ Rachel Field

“In the wee small hours, amongst the birdsong and quiet light, I took myself off  for a slow-paced stroll and unearthed a paradise.” ~ Flora Turrill

Oh, how I love mornings outdoors, especially in spring.  Everything is waking up.  Blooms which close at night are opening, the birds are singing, and with my coffee in hand, I sing, too.   Truly ‘paradise.’ 

It is such a privilege to be able to enjoy the glorious beauty of this earth.  At no time is it more beautiful than in the spring.

delicate-mirage: “(via Pinterest) ”

“All those who love Nature she loves in return, and will richly reward, not perhaps with the good things, as they are commonly called, but with the best things of this world-not with money and titles, horses and carriages, but with bright and happy thoughts, contentment and peace of mind.” ~ John Lubbock

Every spring is the only spring, a perpetual astonishment.” ~ Ellis Peters

outdoormagic: “Dance with the daffodils by Lancashire Lass …… :) :) :) on Flickr. ”

Every year I find myself thinking, “I believe this is the prettiest spring ever. The daffodils were the best, the tulips were more vivid in their color, or the surprises were greater, like the pink bell-shaped clematis I had given up on.”  Are you guilty of the same?

seasonalwonderment: “ Tulips ”

Flowers - http://weheartit.com/entry/257440635Love and patience equal lovely blooms.

“I woke up this morning, smiled at the rising sun.” ~ Bob Marley

In closing, I do hope you are seeing ‘Spring Whispers.’  It is so important to savor this glorious time of year.  And the fact that spring arrives slowly, in her own sweet time, is what makes her so dear and utterly irresistible. She asks us to savor the moments and not rush through them ~ to ‘be’ and enjoy. 

isao-takeda: “2017å¹´5月13日 兵庫県立フラワーセンター 兵庫県加西市 ” “I fell into a bed of flowers,” ~ John Keats

Soon we will be drinking in beauty at every turn and gasping at the sight of exquisite beds of flowers.  But, until then, we must enjoy ‘spring whispers’…  

“And the fragrance, and the honey, and of course the sun, the purely pure sun, shining, all the while, over all of us.” ~ Mary Oliver

 

Wishing you stunning beauty with every ‘whisper’ you see.

Have a wonderful week! 💜

 

Au Revoir,

Sandra

Images: via tumblr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Thoughts, March 3, 2019

“Even though you’ve cut them, tulips take up water in the vase and get bigger.  In a way, they continue to live.  The notion that in every phase of existence ~ even the very end ~ we can still find a way to grow is one I hold dear.” ~ Carolyne Roehm 

Avoid bending and drooping stems by cutting the tulips short, like these, so they can be arranged tightly enough to hold each other upright.

Good morning, dear friends.  Today, I am sharing the thoughts and floral design talent of Carolyne Roehm.  Her thoughts, in my opinion, are important for everyone to consider.  Shouldn’t we all ‘hold dear’ how marvelous it is to learn and grow through every phase of our existence?  COLOR WHEEL – Look to Mother Nature for a rainbow palette that's pleasing to the eye. Pink, red and orange tulips evoke a fiery sunset when mixed together. Click through to see the whole gallery and for more spring flowers.                                                                   Carolyne Roehm design.

Many of you may or may not be familiar with Carolyne Roehm.  Ms. Roehm worked for Oscar de la Renta for many years, is the author of several books (Flowers, being my favorite) and is an amazing gardener.  She gardens at her home in Connecticut ~ ‘Weatherstone.’  And, with the flowers from her lush gardens, she creates exquisite floral designs.Spring – a Time of Renewal and Learning | Carolyne Roehm                                                                               Carolyne Roehm design.

“I began photographing my flowers to keep them with me ~ to keep me company in winter until the crocuses appear, and the pleasure begins again.” ~ Carolyne Roehm

I hope you have enjoyed a pinch of spring beauty on this first Sunday of March.  As you go about the week, I also hope you will keep Ms. Roehm’s meaningful words and these images with you.  Perhaps, they will inspire you to reflect on something you have always been interested in and would enjoy learning.  Or, something you already enjoy but would like to know more about.   Because, as Henry Ford tells us ~ “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.”

Spring Tulips

 

Wishing you and yours a beautiful day. 

And…

May your week ahead be filled with many moments of great joy!

 

“I’m still learning.”  ~ Michaelangelo

 

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

 

 

Images:  via Tumblr, Pinterest, House Beautiful

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Beauty and Grace of Taking Tea

“Tea is a daily companion that never fails us.  It warms when we ~ or the world~ feel cold, gives strength when we’re weary, and lends delicious grace notes to our gatherings.” ~ Kim Waller

Good morning, dear friends.  I am so happy to see you and hope you will enjoy our time together this morning.

Do you ever wish certain things could talk?  Oh, I do ~ many things.  I believe it would be fascinating to hear from old houses, barns, quilts, and furniture ~ just to name a few.  But, I especially wish teacups could talk.  I look at my teacups and wonder, “Who loved them, what were their lives about, and what calamities of life  did they endure?”  But, mainly  I wonder about the friends who shared pieces of their lives over cups of tea.  I believe I would have enjoyed knowing them.  And, perhaps they are pleased I am the current caretaker of their treasured teacups.

“I like to… think about the houses and the drawing rooms, the kitchens and the cupboards where the teacups were kept.  And the people who cared for them and what they thought and felt and loved and lost.  For as a wise French writer once said, ‘The reconstitution of the past is a delicate pleasure of which one should not be deprived.” ~ Geraldene Holt 

My enjoyment of taking tea most likely goes back to times spent with my grandmother as a little girl.  If I close my eyes for a moment, I can clearly see her kitchen and the table where we shared many cups of tea.  She would fix my tea with milk and sugar and always in a pretty cup and saucer.  We would chat and there would be a goodie of some sort to enjoy.  I felt so special.  As I grew older, my mom and I loved to visit antique shops and estate sales.  Mom schooled me on pretty tea wares and quality china.  This ‘schooling’ led to my collecting teacups and saucers, teapots, and far too many other delicate beauties.  

“We always had our tea out of those blue cups when I was a little girl…” ~ Willa Cather

(via dainty blue tea cup | Flickr - Photo Sharing!)

The teapot is on, the cups are waiting, favorite chairs anticipating.  No matter what I have to do, my friend, there’s always time for you.” ~ unknown

While it is dreadfully hard for me to pass up a lovely china teacup and saucer at a sale or antique shop, taking tea is about far more than the tea or lovely tea wares.  It is about slowing down ~ enjoying a bit of serenity in our chaotic world, and perhaps, offering the same to a friend.  Taking tea…a lovely and thoughtful tradition, available to us all, and it only cost a little of our time.   Yoli Brogger reminds us ~ “Tea is a ceremony of loveliness.”  I truly believe, as humans, we crave such loveliness in our lives.  It is important to our well being.

“Beauty is all around us, of course.  Our world, with all its sordid problems, still brims with breathtaking loveliness.  And one of the benefits of the teatime ritual is that of slowing us down enough to notice what is beautiful around us.” ~ Emilie Barnes

I will tell you, I don’t believe anyone loves gorgeous china and its beauty more than I do.  But, if you love it also and have ideas of starting a collection of tea wares, consider shopping thrift stores, garage sales, estate sales, and antique shops.  One can quickly accumulate a lovely assortment of beautiful china teacups without spending a fortune and they do not have to match.   In fact, one of the most beautiful afternoon teas I ever attended, the hostess had an exquisite assortment of delicate china teacups and plates all unmatched.  This had a charm all of its own and the guests were invited to select their teacup and dessert plate.

english-country-style: “Tea for 100! ”

The loving hostess of this beautiful afternoon tea well understood her invitation was about far more than her tea wares.  She invited her guests because she wanted time with us and she wanted us to savor our moments together. She had created beauty for everyone to enjoy.  People grow and flourish when they are surrounded by beauty.  It wakes up our sensitivity so that we become more aware of beauty. Even though this afternoon happened many years ago, I will always cherish the memories and feel blessed by the gift of beauty and grace from such an intimate and lovely tea.

“My dear, if you could give me a cup of tea to clear my muddle of a head I should better understand your affairs.” ~ Charles Dickens

As I begin to close this post, I’m thinking there remains so much to talk about.  The many types of teas, ideas for tea gatherings,  and stories.  The story of a most special tea service gifted to me by my husband, a lovely teapot that belonged to a dear friend, and the blue rimmed teacups from oatmeal boxes, which my grandmother collected and now belong to me.  All to be shared in later posts.   Meanwhile, I hope you will take time to slow down, brew a pot of tea for yourself or a friend, listen to birdsong and notice the beauty around you.   The land is beginning to wake up ~ we don’t want to miss a single bloom. 

“Tea quenches tears and thirst.” ~   Jeanine Larmoth and Charlotte Turgeon

 

 

Wishing you sunshine, blue skies, and sweet surprises!

 

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

 

 

Images: via Tumblr, Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Thoughts ~ February 24, 2019

“The flowers of late winter and early spring occupy places in our hearts well out of proportion to their size.” ~ Gertrude S. Wister

Good morning, dear friends.  While I enjoy winter, once this time of February arrives I am ready to see blooms.  I rather imagine many of you are as well.  So, this morning finds me anxiously awaiting the arrival of what I feel is one of the sweetest harbingers of spring ~ snowdrops.  And, these little lovelies are just about to bloom in our garden.  “Earth is crammed with Heaven.” Emily Dickinson

 

 The Snowdrop,” by ~ Alfred, Lord Tennyson

“Snowdrop Many, many welcomes,
February fair-maid,
Ever as of old time,
Solitary firstling,
Coming in the cold time,
Prophet of the gay time;
Prophet of the May time,
Prophet of the roses,
Many, many welcomes,
February fair-maid!”

 

Snowdrops:  Theirs is a fragile but hardy celebration…in the very teeth of winter.” ~ Louise Wilder

These delicate beauties(botanical name~Galanthus) represent purity, hope, rebirth, and consolation or sympathy.  Their precious nodding blooms, make my heart sing.  We have the white ones which you see here, but my mom also had a rare blush pink.  They were a little taller and did not spread as readily.   

sonisbonbonis: “Snow drops North Downs, Surrey, UK ”

Snowdrops are hardy in zones two through eight.  They enjoy a somewhat woodsy soil and a bit of shade.

So pretty. Textured vintage vase with snowdrops. Applause!

And what a treat they are to see sitting in a petite vase on a kitchen windowsill.  Such a promise of spring.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit and my ‘Sunday Thoughts.’

Wishing you and yours a beautiful day.

And in the week ahead, may you begin to see snippets of spring all along your path.  

 

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

 

Images:viatumblr

 

Sunday Thoughts ~ February 17, 2019

“This morning when I woke it was cold and wet and grey.  But, a little bird sang outside my window and I remembered then, winter doesn’t last forever.” ~ unknown

“The winter will fly swiftly, then will be the spring ~ think of nothing but hope ~ heed nothing but anticipation… ” ~ Emily Dickinson, from a letter to Austin Dickinson, November 16, 1851

 “The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day He created spring.” ~ Bern Williams

Dear friends, wishing you and yours a most beautiful day.  

And, may your week ahead be full of joy, sweet blessings, and hope in all things. 

 

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

 

Images: via Tumblr

 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day

“The human heart feels things the eye cannot see, and knows, what the mind cannot understand.” ~ Robert Valett

 

Good morning, dear friends.  Happy Valentine’s Day!  I hope all of you have plans for a sweet day. 

To me, Valentine’s Day is about showing our love to all those we love and hold dear.  So, be sure to tell those special people in your life what they mean to you.  Hug and squeeze them extra tight.  You will always be happy you did. And, so will they.

“The rose  ~ the place of memory.” ~ Elie Wiesel 

Red roses are for many ‘the flower’ of  Valentine’s Day.  I will agree they are beautiful, but, often hothouse roses are not very fragrant.  Most likely, I am spoiled by the glorious fragrance of roses from our garden.  However, many beautiful words have been written through the years about roses and their connection with love. But, in my opinion, none more beautiful than the words of Amanda McBroom.  Sung by, Bette Midler.  Give a listen, and Enjoy ~  “The Rose.”

angelillo

“As children, we were fascinated by magic, as adults we fear love, at what point did we forget they are the same thing?” ~  J. R. Rogue

 

Wishing you and all those you love a beautiful Valentine’s Day.  

 

Avec Amour,

Sandra

 

 

Image:  Pinterest and Tumblr

Song: “The Rose,”  Bette Midler, YouTube

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glimpses of Life at ‘Crabapple’

There, beyond the smoky greys of city-life, the road will lead you to greener pastures. A little house with a blue front door, a garden big enough to grow all your hopes and dreams, and a view that inspires poetry. Life will be lived at a gentler pace. ~ Flora Turrill

Good morning, dear friends.  This past week I was, once again, going through my ‘little books of special things’ and I came across this quote from Flora Turrill. Which led me to think about our home in the beautiful countryside of Virginia.  I know I have chatted in previous posts about ‘Crabapple’, but there is so much to tell, I thought I would share a little more today.  And, by the way, when she was first built she wore a blue front door, later changed to red.

‘Crabapple’ was built with youthful energy, strength, love, and determination.  I will always be forever grateful for our sweet home and the wonderful times, experiences, and opportunities we had on those lovely enchanted twenty-one acres.  Yes, they were enchanted.  The land was flat and stretched into the sky.  The snow geese landed in the fields and looked like huge puffs of cotton.  Oh, to see them fly across a full moon was like something out of a fairy tale.  And, to see the fog roll in across the fields was nothing short of magical.

These beautiful fields also grew wheat, corn, and sweet potatoes.  During a summer breeze, I loved to watch the corn tassels dance, while wheat gently swayed. It was so pretty. Not to mention, how sweet it was to have a few bushels of sweet potatoes in our pantry. While this land did ‘inspire poetry,’ there were many adventures and a great amount of work which took place. 

“I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.” ~ L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

While I can’t say we lived life at a ‘gentler pace,’ I can say it was oh, so peaceful.  My husband stayed busy building barns to provide shelter for our sheep. Sheep are the sweetest animals, truly special and gentle creatures.  We had Romney’s, a wool breed, shearing around ten to twelve pounds of wool each year, per sheep.

laurelhach: “ Good morning Bridget and new ewe lambs ”

Shearing time was always the most fun, as our shearers came from England, Australia, and New Zeland. We had the same group for years.  There is a shearing circuit in the United States and they were on the circuit.  They would stay with us and we would take them to all the local farms with sheep. Returning back to our home in the evening, we would enjoy a wonderful meal and listen to their tales of travels and homes in which they had stayed.  It was a blessing to know them and have such wonderful memories of times spent together.  They were also a blessing for our sheep as shearing can be stressful for the animal.  Because the shearers were so skilled and worked quickly, it greatly reduced the stress.

“But where our hearts truly lie is in peace and quiet and good, tilled earth. ” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

robert-hadley: “ Photo - AD Italia, September 1984 ”

Our gardens grew and thrived in the heat, humidity and boiling sun.  We grew every imaginable vegetable, many types of herbs and of course created beautiful flower gardens filled with luscious blooms.  I became skilled in canning and preserving.  Surrounding farms also provided numerous fields to pick strawberries and blueberries, while the peach orchards were roughly seven miles down the road in North Carolina.  I must not forget our marvelous fig trees and blackberries we planted, both are such an exquisite treat. Merry, our Labrador retriever, thought so too.  She knew when the berries and figs were ripe and she would ever so gently pick herself a few. Sometimes, too many!

At Crabapple ~ “There’s something magical and downright peaceful about rainy days and the moments leading up to them. My heart gallops at the sight of thick grey clouds gently being pulled along the white sky like little fingers stretching pieces of off-white cotton candy. I love the way everything slows down and quiets for a moment as the peaceful white noise of the rain softens the normal perception of the world outside. And I find happiness in the way the water drops from the greenery with grace and the way the sky rumbles with intensity. I’ll never tire of rain and everything that comes with it.” ~ unknown

oldfarmhouse: “This is Spring🍂🌺🌿 http://pin.it/fQ-BGnx ”

“There is no such thing as too many deviled eggs.”  ~ Jan Karon

And there were chickens . . .

oldfarmhouse: “http://instagram.com/babes_in_boyland ”

and so, so many eggs.  But they were wonderful.  To enjoy an omelet from just gathered eggs is a perfect way to begin a day.  

Via #pinterest.com

“Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the Earth are never alone or weary of life.” ~ Rachel Carson

What a joy it was to have and watch the Eastern Bluebirds as they bounced through the air.

My husband could most likely build bluebird nesting boxes in his sleep.  We had them all over our property.  Oh, how we delighted in watching them raise their young and see the babies fly away.

It was always sad to hear the geese telling us goodbye as they left for their northern home in the spring.  They seemed to always choose a pretty day to travel. Still, I would say a little prayer for them to have a safe journey.

Truly . . .” Nature’s beauty is a gift that cultivates appreciation and gratitude.” ~ Louie Schwartzberg

 

“We people who are attracted by the countryside cherish fond memories of certain springs, certain woods, certain ponds, certain hills, which have become familiar sights and can touch our hearts like happy events.  Sometimes indeed the memory goes back towards a forest glade, or a spot on a river bank or an orchard in blossom glimpsed only once on a happy day but preserved in our heart.” ~ Guy de Maupassant

In the spring a morning walk down our 450-foot lane to the mailbox was a marvelous time for sights, smells, and beauty.  It was a simple, but glorious pleasure.

imlostinadream: “Butterfly ”

Thanks to my husband, there were early blooming daffodils which lined both sides of the lane.  That in itself was a sight to behold.  

Oh, it was sheer bliss to cut their happy blooms until my heart was content.  Every room in our home smiled.

“A house is not a home until there is a story attached to it.” ~  Tom Stringer

I could write endlessly about stories attached to our home and the treasured memories forever preserved in my heart.  During our twenty-three years, there were many special celebrations, holidays, and also the beauty of joy in ordinary pleasures.  Even though we will always miss Crabapple, we know we were blessed beyond measure to have had such a wonderful life on our piece of paradise. 

But, what I treasure most from our years is the beautiful gift I received.  That gift is perfectly conveyed by the words of John O’Donohue. I learned to “take time to celebrate quiet miracles that seek no attention” and to “experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.”  I wish I could begin to tell you how this has enriched my life.

Thanks so much for visiting today. 

Wishing you and yours a wonderful week, filled with the little things that make your heart sing.

 

Au Revoir,

Sandra

 

Images: Via Tumblr