Tuesday, August 31

"Just Because" Lacy Linen Giveaway!

I don't have 100 followers (yet!) or a milestone bloggiversary
or anything special that I want to announce or celebrate,
soooooo. . .I'm having a "Just Because" Giveaway!

With the evenings drawing in we're all spending more time
in the sitting room, so this Giveaway has a parlour-ish theme
of vintage linens and lace.

Crochet edged tray cloths and embroidered linen napkins
for those cosy TV suppers, embroidered and crochet
lace cushion cover and set of fringed anti-macassars
to brighten the sofa, runners for the sideboard,
Marcella cloth for the coffee table, a sweet set of floral coasters,
and to while away the autumn evenings two little books
on lace knitting and collars!

Just leave a comment if you'd like to be included in my Giveaway-
this is open to everyone and I'm happy to ship overseas.
If you'd like to put a link to me in your sidebar,
it's always very much appreciated :)

Closing date is midnight 10th September
and I'll do the winning draw the following day

Friday, August 27

all's well that pops well!

With rain lashing down in angry torrents, I was not best pleased to see a lorry collecting timber from the recently cleared woods behind our house blocking the lane.
Abandoning the car, I was joined by Ted arriving back from work, trudging through the mire.
The kitchen chimney had water seeping through, the electric was off, dear Henny was poorly, Bruce was still lame, we were soaked, everywhere was doom 'n' gloom.
Having assumed that August would be dry enough for outside decorating Ted was distraught about his workload, and I was concerned about the lack of funds coming in, with no respite on the bills going out!
A great grey cloud hung over us both.

Now, Ted and I have had our fair share of tragedy watching most of our close family (and some dear friends) die untimely and cruel deaths, so we firmly believe in embracing our rather ironic sense of humour and Seizing the Moment.

The beautiful bottle of champagne wrapped for a friend's wedding present was duly chilled and, swathed in our waterproofs and wellies we giggled like a pair of teenagers as we sat under the umbrella on the patio getting wetter (and merrier) by the minute!
Problems? What problems!

Wednesday, August 25

a Pat on the Back!

Joanne complimented me yesterday on how good Bruce the Horse looked, and I immediately pointed out that he was still unsound, his mane needed trimming and he'd lost a lot of muscle tone.
Then we both started giggling.

Why oh WHY do we never accept a compliment graciously, revel in the satisfaction of having done something well and give ourselves a pat on the back.

Last night, reading Emma's post over at the wonderful Mimi and Tilly  much of the narrative struck a chord as she recounted her Creative Year, and I won't duplicate her insightful words.

So, today I'm cutting myself some slack, silencing the harsh self-criticism, and celebrating all the things that I might not necessarily do well (see, it's crept straight back in!) but that I attempt and enjoy.

We're quick to praise someone else, so reach round for a little self-congratulation and lets get patting NOW!

Sunday, August 22

Sleeping in the rain

If you had the choice of a plump feather cushion,
comfortably positioned out of draughts, and with
a "birds-eye" view of  the garden. . .

or another velvet covered pad,
purposefully placed on the sofa for YOUR benefit only. . .

or a VERY snugly fleecy blanket in front of the fire
(brought back from America, especially for you)

why oh why would you choose to curl up outdoors
on a bed of twigs and ivy,
in the rain??
can you see the drizzle settled on her coat!

Thursday, August 19

Thursday Morning Smile :)

A rather dull grey day here, not warm and summery at all.

I love the sheer joy of blowsy and colourful dahlias.
These came from a little roadside table outside a local cottage. . .irresistable!

They've cheered my morning and I thought they might also cheer yours, banishing the Thursday Morning Blahs.
I've made the photo extra-large for maximum smile-power :)

. . .with love from me to you all xx

Monday, August 16

which one are you?

just something someone asked me over the weekend which I found very amusing, and thought you'd also like.

Do you think of yourself as
a girl, a woman, or a lady?

The answer probably tells us more about ourselves than any other definition!


PS re the photo, I think I'd be the dog. . .but that's a whole different category to consider!

Friday, August 13

In apple-and-blackberry-mode!

After making a really scrummy apple and blackberry pie last week, I've fallen back into baking mode after a summer sojourn while the Rayburn was turned off to economise on the hideous price of oil, leaving me to battle with the microwave and an electric hotplate (we don't have gas here!)

I absolutely adore my beloved Rayburn cooker and during a lengthy partnership we've reached a mutual agreement on our  limitations; Ray doesn't "do" fancy cakes or souffles that require an exact temperature, and is finicky about providing direct heat for stir-fry, but cakes puddings and pastry, roasts, oven-grilling, casseroles and the best jacket spuds EVER cook perfectly in the top oven, while the bottom plate-warming oven is PERFECT for meringues and my new favourite- tomatoes sprinkled with thyme, sugar and olive oil and slow-cooked overnight (YUM!!)

Im ashamed to say that I tore this blackberry and apple tray bake recipe from a magazine in the dentist's waiting room- it's SO quick, simple and totally delish and as I didn't have the right size tin or some correct ingredients I adjusted it per se, which proves it's pretty foolproof!
Hopefully sharing with everyone else will make up for my act of literary vandalism!

Apple and Blackberry Tray Bake
makes 12 slices
100g (3-1/2 oz) softened butter (I used margarine)
175 (6 oz) self-raising flour
1tsp baking powder
175g (6oz) golden caster sugar (I used ordinary white)
2 eggs
1 lemon rind
1 Cox's apple diced (I used 2 apples from Bruce's tree)
150g (5oz) blackberries
Preheat oven to Gas 5, 190C, fan 170C. Line shallow 8" square cake tin with baking parchment.
Place all ingredients except apple and berries, into a large bowl and beat with wooden spoon until smooth.
Stir in fruit and spread into the tin. Bake 30-35 minutes until golden and centre is firm to touch.
Leave in tin for 10 minutes before turning out and allow to cool completely before cutting into squares (oh yeah, like that's ever going to happen!)

Tuesday, August 10

"Who you are is enough"

This simple but forceful quotation came from Maisey's Attic who in turn got it from Beauty That Moves who heard it from her yoga teacher.
(Without tracing a family tree, that's about as far back as I can go!)

Perhaps its a "woman thing" but am I alone in having spent too many years trying to be all things to all people, probably quite unsuccessfully?

Those who are truly important love us whatever.
One of the upsides of getting older (and I'm discovering there are more than I originally thought) is finding that the rest don't actually matter.

Now why didn't I realise that before?

Friday, August 6

1 + 1 = YUM!!

This is what comes from. . .

this (sorry Bruce!). . .

. . .and this.

Now, where's the custard. . .

Monday, August 2

Neighbourly update

Back in April I showed you some photos of my Ruby Red Devon neighbours, with their little ones in the nursery.
I thought you might like to see an update on how the babes have grown, and how sleek the mums look with their summer coats properly through, enjoying the grass and sunshine.

I'll let the pics speak for themselves. . .

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