Friday, 1 January 2016

New Year's Day!

Happy New Year!  I just popped into my blog to remove a few cobwebs).  

source: unknown
I will put a credit if I can find the source, it might be a Christmas card, stashed in my photo folder and long forgotten.  It's how I imagine my house looks on the edge of the woods here - we do have a frost this morning and there might be a couple of deer watching (and the men do leave all the lights on all the time even though I tell them not to!).. we certainly have the trees....

Have you made your 2016 Resolution?  mine last year was to focus on the present moment and not live in the past or worry about the future.  This year I am keeping the resolution again.  Some people like to have a focus word for their year, I'm not sure I need one but 'Nurture' is a good one - being a wife and mum is a nurturing job so I will focus more on caring for everyone here and homemaking which , of course, is a creative thing, or it can be if I try.  I am not a cook but have just ordered a student vegetarian cookbook - well you have to start somewhere.

There's nothing more lovely than the smell of home cooking, some fresh flowers on the table, fresh sheets on the beds and a home that feels welcoming - tidy but not so much you can't relax in the place .  Homemaking has to give way to work of course, but I learned a long time ago that much as I love my job it isn't a career for me, it pays bills and enjoying what I do is a big bonus - I like having people around me and they are a mixed bunch of interesting folk.  I have no trouble flicking the 'off switch' when I walk out the door  - home is the most important thing and always will be....

these are my favourite mugs for special at home days

I just made cinnabon - I forgot to take a pic for you - but I will be making some more tomorrow - this batch was for our neighbours who have lots of hungry people staying. Recipes feel like they are your own when you write them out yourself.

Without knowing it I have acquired a few snowmen, this one was from a little farm shop grotto.  They had a wonderful display of reindeer, a postbox for the children positioned by the door, lots of very pretty decorations and ... some reductions! so snowman came home with me.

Over Christmas we had a lot more cards than I expected and they are crowding us out of our space! - I really appreciate my cards, especially as postage costs have gone up so much here in England - some of the cards are so pretty I want to keep them around right into January, and might do - why not - who says you can't?! 

While parts of the UK are suffering devastating flood damage,  this pocket of England is springing flower bulbs far too early and things that should be sleeping are not - birds are making nests - magpies in particular.  I have seen catkins and little leafy unfurling buds on bushes .. if Winter arrives now will this false Spring hibernate and wait for its rightful time?  I hope Nature will return to its normal seasonal routine in 2016.

There is an owl in the woods, he has been hooting every night for 2 weeks, maybe he's lonely.  It gets light here at the moment around 7.15am so  I plan to go out one morning over the weekend and look for him.

source: Amazon

I have been reading Susan Branch  - I had her pocket diary and just ordered a new one for 2016-17  the last one changed me from someone who organised herself with scraps of paper and scribbled notes on the family calendar, to one who gets her diary out with a flourish and can't wait to write on its pretty pages ... a positive pleasure, with her lovely drawings and quotes to inspire.  She has a trip to the UK planned for 2016 do you think she might make a stop near me? here's hoping.

The little library I visit is now run by volunteers, the local council cut the funding and so it doesn't open too much these days - but that's all the more reason to make a visit.  It's such a beautiful Harry Potterish building, next to a church, full of history... the building is 13th century and has all it's original features - it's a listed building and its owners bequethed it to be used as a public library so I hope it continues to stay open to us. ...

 (I showed you the pictures a million years ago but they are worth another look - such a beautiful old place)... no woodworm but lots of bookworms....

superb chairs in the childrens department - nice to sit on an antique chair whilst reading a lovely classic like Lorna Doone perhaps (that was my favourite as a girl).

I requested this from the library - I collected it New Year's Eve just before closing, lucky... and I can't wait to get started - have you read it? it looks promising:

source: Amazon

I said a few months back I would leave the door to my blog ajar.   I don't want to be boring and so huge expanses of time pass in silence while I wonder if I have anything to say - less is more and all that.... I will pop in sometimes if there is some painting going well or a walk in the woods turns up something pretty.   happy New Year to you blog reader and thank you for stopping by... leave a comment if you have time and I will visit you - definitely, yes.



  1. Happy new year, Betty! I hope it will be a peaceful and calm year.

  2. Happy New Year, Betty!
    I think that IS your house! It's dreamy.
    I love it when you write long posts.
    I do hope you see the owl.

  3. Happy New Year to you too, Betty. Our local libraries have had their funding cut too but interestingly enough, a couple of them had to close early before Christmas due to staff shortages? Crazy! I also love your long posts and catching-up. Looking forward to more in 2016. xxx

  4. Happy New year Betty. I've got to get one of those Susan Branch pocket diary. You make it sound very enticing.
    Wishing you God's Choicest Blessings for the New Year.

  5. I hope your new year will be blessed. I do not make resolutions as makes me feel so guilty when I do not keep them. But I make wishes--to get my craft/photo room finished, to get better organized, etc.

  6. Happy New Year Betty ... a lovely post. I do enjoy your blog & peeking into your little "neck of the woods" to see what is happening as our seasons are opposites, so its always interesting to visit you. I look forward to it when you do post but fully understand how blogging takes time & takes us away from other things. x x x

  7. Hi Happy New year.
    I've just found your blog how lovely it is .
    I think the picture at the start could be a Thomas Kingkade.


  8. I love the gingerbread mugs and teapot!

    My job is just a job, but I'm learning to concentrate on appreciating the people I work with, and I love going home! :)

    Your ancient library is so gorgeous. I could spend lots of time there.

    I hope to get better at writing in my journal. It seems I have too many things going on and only so much energy!

    Love the little cabin in the woods. My kind of place to live. You're blessed if you live in such a place!

    You're on my blog list, so I won't miss your posts any time you feel like posting. ;)

  9. Hello Betty, What a delightful blog you have. Thank you for following us at Red Rose Alley. I see you appreciate the birds also? The music on here of the birds chirping is enchanting. You know, this picture is so pretty, and it looks a lot like a Thomas Kinkade painting, but not sure. Many of his paintings are of lit up cottages, very charming. Your snowman is cute also, and I love snowmen as well.

    It's nice to meet new friends from different parts of the world. I notice you are from the UK. When you get to know me a bit better, you will see that I LOVE FAIRIES, so your blog name caught my eye right away.

    Happy New Year, Betty.


  10. Happy New Year Betty :)
    Your blog is such a lovely place to drop by and say hello...
    Tilly x

  11. Happy New Year Betty :)
    Your blog is such a lovely place to drop by and say hello...
    Tilly x

  12. Oh my, I want to visit that library. I am a book lover, enjoy old buildings, and am an author so that building has most everything.


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