Tag Archives: birds

Fall Nesting {summer in a jar

The late summer garden has a tranquility

found no other time of year.

                                                              ~William Longgood

time for change

September is my favorite time of the year . . . the air is crisp, clear and fresh . . . the early morning and evening lighting is more enhanced as the angle of the sun changes . . . and fall colors are starting to emerge on the trees. Just this week, glimmers of vibrant reds and golden yellows sporadically dot the sugar maples and sumacs along our river town. The colors are promising to be a gorgeous contrast to the vibrant greens enjoyed throughout the summer.

Amur Maple FAV

I think about September as a time of change. It is a time of change in that new creative ideas and goals for the months ahead can be made. One way of change is to decorate for fall — simple ideas that make a home feel welcoming, warm and cozy. Jenny Wren needs a little update to celebrate fall around one of her many houses at Rose Cottage. Don’t you think her nest looks quite autumnal bedecked with broom corn?

Wren House and broom corn FAV 3

What fall decorations are you adding to welcome friends and family to your front door?

time of preparation

September is also a time of preparing and preserving the summer garden produce for the months ahead. I really feel that I am “nesting” as I put fresh vegetables and fruit in jars to be enjoyed in the months ahead or give as gifts with family and friends.

Marybeth shared a few of her antique canning jars with me — some are from 1858! I think about all the women (and men) who “put food up” for the winter months in these amazing hand-blown glass jars. I wonder what their lives were like as they began their fall nesting . . .

Ball and Jewell FAV

Canadian Jewel FAV

Green Ball Jar and Strawberries

Jewel lid FAV

While the dark olive green Ball is perfectly beautiful and rare, and the Canadian Jewel is a real treasure, I still am quite drawn to the lovely blue canning jars — all in various shades from a robin’s egg blue to cobalt. 

 Four Blue Canning Jars

1858 MASon and other antique blues with roses

EZ Seal Antique and Cobalt Blue FAV 1

1858 Mason FAV

Nov 30 1858 CLOSE FAV

While preserving and “putting food by” is a bit of work, it is immensely satisfying to see the glimmering jars of golden peaches, red tomatoes, perfectly sliced pickles, and an array of  jeweled jams and jellies lining the pantry shelves.

Pickled onions and bird FAV

Jeweled Raspberry Jelly FAV

Sweet Baby Crock Pickles

Crab Apple Pickles

Best Ketchup EVER FAV

Sometimes, I go down to the pantry cellar, turn on the overhead light and just admire the gifts of summer. 

Strawberry Jam

For me, canning or preserving is like putting summer in a jar to enjoy when the north winds howl and temperatures are well-below zero — just a few months away!

Peaches

Do you put a bit of summer in a jar? Do you have a favorite to preserve?

Perfect Seal and Brown eyed Susan FAV

You may also enjoy reading Beautiful Berries and Brambles and Antique Mason Jars {before and after.

This is also posted at Twice Remembered,  The Inspired Room,  A Southern Daydreamer and Designs by Gollum.

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Filed under Cooking, Gardening, Home, Homekeeping, preserving

The Flight of the Snowbirds {the birds fly north again

Every year has its winter, and year has its rain–

But the day is always coming when the birds fly north again.

Its the sweetest thing to remember if courage is on the wane,

When the cold, dark days are over–the birds will fly north again.

                                                                                    ~Ella Higginson (c.1900)

Join the fun on April 15th! 

 

april 15th – how time flies!

The days are quite warm now, and the sun is brighter each day. It is so lovely to visit Emma and Harold, the sweet TarJaay cousins in the south! Every day they have so much fun, and enjoy many fabulous feasts together set out on the dining room table.

Between Naps on the Back Porch, Beauregard (Beau for short) checks the date on the calendar and loudly tweets to Bella,”I can’t believe it…it is April 15th! It is The Most Amazing Boy’s birthday! Bella finds the revelation incredible. She carefully double checks to makes sure Beau is not playing another one of his April Fool’s jokes. “Beau, how can it be? Did a year really pass so quickly?” Beau chirps back, “Wasn’t he just 21 the other day?”

fifteen

Bella doesn’t hear a single peep. She is too busy twittering about, and packing and fluffing her steamer trunk…the day is here for the sweet little love birds to fly North again!

bird-and-steamer-trunt

Beau knows when Bella flutters with an important idea, there is no use in persuading her differently. Why get her feathers ruffled on such a lovely spring day? Beau quickly studies the maps for the fastest route North. “Oh, Beau! Don’t you know you are reading the Italian map! We will never get home in time for The Most Amazing Boy’s birthday following the Italian route — even though it is our favorite!”

Mapping out the Trip North

Mapping out the Trip North

still love birds

The TarJaays say goodbye and give each other a quick peck, and promise to twitter along the way. “Bella, it’s time to go now–the early bird catches the worm, you know.” Bella is looking so lovely in her new spring hat with Mi’s vintage millinery — perfect for the snowbirds flight back to the North. Beau steals a quick minute to turn a shy, sideways glance at his beloved of over 30 years. His heart still flutters when he sees his darling Bella. Bella blushes, and knows in her heart that all her dreams have come true.

birds-and-car

The trunk is securely in place on Beau and Bella’s shiney little pink coup. Beau is sometimes embarrassed to motor around in a bubble gum pink car with the name “Polly” (named after Bella’s very favorite Auntie Polly Parrot) inscribed on the license plates. Though, he quickly forgets about all of his embarassement when he feels the energizing spring winds ruffle his feathers as they fly North again.

sing you a love song

Beau and Bella throughly enjoy traveling together beneath a tangerine sky in their little shiney pink coupe. As they travel through countryside and cities, they sing all sorts of songs–some silly, some old-fashioned and some which they can never quite remember all of the words. Bella thinks Beau sounds like Michael Buble as he sings her sweet songs through Georgia, Kentucky, Tennesse and Illinois. “Oh, don’t stop singing, Beau!” 

Singing a Love Song in Harmony

home is where the heart is

Bella gets inspired as they pass all sorts of creative cottages on their travels North. Bella likes to take drive-by photos of her favorites. “Oh, Beau, look at that sweet thatched cottage! Isn’t it perfectly nestled between the trees in the glen?”

birds-and-thatched-cottage

Travelling through the bustling city, Beau and Bella admire the gleaming white conde nests! “Just think…we wouldn’t have so much to take care of living here!”

birds-and-conde-nest1

So many homes of all different styles…so many ideas! Bella gets more and more creative with each passing fancy nest. Sometimes, Bella gets too many creative ideas for one chick! Beua gets a bit nervous when Bella says, “I’ve been thinking…!” It usually means another post-it note skeetch for a honey-do project!

birds-and-heart

 

home, sweet home {rose cottage

Soon, the cities slowly fade and the colorful farmland patchwork turns a bit more rugged. The petal pink coupe speeds along over hills and through river valleys that are turning the most amazing shades of vibrant spring green. Then, along the sleepy little river town road, just around the next sharp bend, Beau and Bella catch a glimpse of Rose Cottage –just a bit up the hill next to the old maples and oaks. “Oh, our little Rose Cottage…we are home, sweet home,” exclaim Beau and Bella in unison. “And, in time for The Most Amazing Boy’s birthday,” sings Beau.

birds-and-rose-cottage-4

 

If you have a song to sing, sing it now.

Let the tone of gladness ring clear as song of birds in the spring.

Let every day some music bring: Sing it now.

                                                                    ~Unknown, Book of Good Cheer, 1913

Now…if you listen carefully, you will hear Beau and Bella’s cheerful refrains of “Happy Birthday to our Most Amazing Boy” floating down from the limbs high up in the old maple tree… just outside the birthday boy’s old farmhouse bedroom window! Maybe, you are singing softly along with their song, too? 

davids-bday-cake

 Happy Birthday to the Most Awesome Boy!

What is the sweet song in your heart today? How will you share it with someone else?

It was such a joy to have our daughter and her sweet hubby home from Seattle to help create some more beautiful memories that we will always treasure. One such special memory-making momemt was laughing hysterically as we did the “photo shoot” for Beau and Bella’s adventures! We hope you enjoyed sharing in our special moment, too. Visit Melissa at The Inspired Room for more about creating special moments.

We are so delighted you stopped by for a little chat and a piece of made-from-scratch angel food cake at Rose Cottage! We will have your tea cup in cupboard waiting for your next visit, too. Won’t you let us know you came to hear all about the adventures of Beau and Bella as part of the meme–Target Birds on Holiday– and how we created a story for the birthday boy in the comments below?

Visit Southern Daydreamer for more Outdoor Wednesday photos.

Outdoor Wednesday logo

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Gifts of Spring

Sweet April showers
Do spring May flowers.
~Thomas Tusser, A Hundred Good Points of Husbandry (1557)

colorful packages

One of the most amazaing floral designers that I know, Cindie from Camrose Hill, asks “what is inspiring about spring for you?” As I think about her question, I start considering all the “gifts of spring” that I receive. So many gifts…each is brightly wrapped in the most amazing and creative ways! Thinking on these things create beauty in my life.

Daffodils and a Tulip in Dawn's Early Light

Daffodils and a Tulip in Dawn's Early Light

 

a few word pictures

Here are a few of perfectly wrapped gifts of spring that I receive and am sharing little word pictures with you:

1. Timmy and Jenny Wren’s good morning songs jubilantly sung from the “old-soul” maple tree limb outside the bedroom window
 
2. small forsythia blossoms, like delicate flutterbys, cheerfully welcome the morning sun
 
3. Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird’s soft, deep-throated love calls as they laborously build their cozy nest in the ole’ English dovecote (and wondering if, once again, Mr. Bluedbird will gently perch on my shoulder to whisper another sweet little secret in my ear?)
 
4. fresh, green sprigs of grass–each blade a banquet feast for the araconas, who start their amazing production of turquoise jewels
 
5. lush velvet carpets of woodland moss with random blooms of miniscule soft, white flowers roll-out before travelers’ afternoon walks

Carpets of Flowering Moss

Carpets of Flowering Moss

 
6. envigorating fragrances from the earth’s awakening following her long winter’s slumber
 
7. long. slender necks of gaily-colored tulips singing out their songs of joy, while sunshine-colored daffs triumphantly proclaiming that spring is here

Triumphet Daffodils

Triumphant Daffodils

 
8. a pair of old loves lingering a bit longer into the evening on the weathered tree swing… the kindred hearts still holding hands after all these years
 
These are but a few of the love gifts of hope, inspiration and joy that each spring brings to our little Rose Cottage– “the house that love built” –as our cottage was sweetly called by my true love’s beloved Swedish grandmother. 

What are your gifts of spring?
 

Daffodils and Rembrant Tulips

Daffodils and Rembrant Tulips

Visit Melissa at The Inspired Room for more ideas about the beautiful life.

Best wishes for a lovely and inspiring spring filled with many gifts!

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valentine wishes

          “LOVE GREETING. . . 

A Valentine's Welcome from Rose Cottage Gardens and Farm
A Valentine’s Welcome from Rose Cottage Gardens and Farm

 . . . Joy and hope are sweetly springing.  Fair as light at dawning grey:  Love within my heart is singing songs of you all day.”

Vintage Valentine’s are such keepsakes and convey sentiments to friends and families in ways we no longer do. The words above were from a long-forgotten Valentine tucked away in a young woman’s small trunk since the 1880’s. Imagine! What would your Valentine say if it were hidden in a trunk with your keepsakes for over 100 years?

If you were able to sing your Valentine a song, what would you sing? An old Sinatra standard? Something classical? An original little ditty? Take Rose Cottage’s poll about your favorite song!

what is your song?

Unlike our number one son who has perfect pitch, a passion for music and who loves to sing, I can’t carry much of tune. My consellation is that I can carry a song in my heart for my friends and family throughout the day (and listen to XM radio!). Another way I can sing for my Valentine is to send them a musical Valentine from the local public radio station! Until February 14th, listeners select from 14 songs and send classical love notes to a Valentine. Wouldn’t it be fun to send some of these love notes? View classical love notes selections.

In addition to great music or just a little tune, I think “songs” in your heart can be the unexpected kindness one person does for another. Songs can be a kind word or a hand-written note of encouragement (or a classical love note!). Maybe, a song is doing a job that no one else wants to do. Sometimes these this little “songs” can create music in someone else’s life. I need to think about what “song” I will sing today for a Valentine. How about you?

 please be my Valentine, send me a “song” …

leave your thoughts below!valentine-bird-greeting2

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Filed under Family, Home, Vintage