Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Paint Tale

I have a little tale to tell, I don't think husband will mind.

Several years ago we painted the basement floor for the second time in a pale blue the same as the first time. At that time there were only about six floor paint colours available.

So I sent hubby off and said just get the pale blue the same as before.  Well he went off with a paint chip off the floor just in case and gets to Lowe's the DIY store.  Well it seems that times have changed and now you can match any colour under the sun.  So Mr. B. says could you please match this side of the paint chip, the clean side and not the dirty side.

At the DIY store they put it into the computer, come up with a mix code and voila!  They put a little blob on top of the can and all seems well.

Move forward a couple of days and I receive a phone call at work, I'm not sure whether you're going to like this colour it doesn't seem quite the same.  I thought it can't be that bad just a little bit off.  But when I get home and look at what he's done in the basement, one could only describe the colour as dirty basement floor.

We think the guy matched the colour to the wrong side of the paint chip.  It was amazing how close that colour was to what was on the floor already.  So now here we have a custom paint, not cheap, that no way are we going to live with.  So hubby says do I want to get another pale blue, at this point I say no, let's go for white, no problem with returning that.  Fortunately the store took it back, full credit, great.

Don't you feel though that sometimes there are too many options?  If they'd just stuck to the six pre-mixed colours I'd of got the store mixed pale blue and painted with that, done deal.  What a to do.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Nicola Beauman - One Shade of Grey

Nicola Beauman see how she made an unlikely success of Persephone as interviewed in The Guardian

See a quote below:

Persephone Book No 21, Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day by Winifred Watson – a delightful Cinderella-for-adults story about an impoverished governess who, having been sent to the wrong address by her employment agency, winds up working for a glamorous nightclub singer – became a word-of-mouth bestseller. More than 100,000 copies were sold, and it was made into a film starring Frances McDormand as Miss Pettigrew.
"That changed everything for us," says Beauman, "which was the most phenomenal good luck." Its success meant that the Persephone office could relocate to Bloomsbury, where Beauman also opened, in the same premises, the Persephone shop. But more importantly, it meant she could go on publishing. The 100th title, The Persephone Book of Short Stories, featuring work by, among others, Sylvia Townsend Warner, Penelope Fitzgerald and Dorothy Canfield Fisher, came out last month.
Take a look at the entire article I think Persephone lovers will enjoy reading it, I know I did.

Monday, November 26, 2012

An Italian Garden in England

Michael who is Italian, but has lived in England most of his life, has a garden, not just any garden, but the most productive and fruitful garden in a small space, that I have ever seen.  Not one square foot is unused.

You might like to take a look at this wonderful piece of Italy in England, with Michael in his green house tending his grapes.  Michael may not have been to horticultural school, but there is not a thing he doesn't know about planting and pruning.

Olga his wife is Spanish, so between those two Mediterranean folk one would never leave their home without eating and being given something, they are both so hospitable and dear friends, who I have known almost a life time.

In fact I was thinking of transporting Michael over here to prune my apple tree which needs royally pruning as all the apples fell off last year as babies, but now I find out this is due to overcrowding and I had better figure out how to prune it for next year.  If I lived in the UK no problem I would just have Micheal over, he loves to share his knowledge with others.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Sour Cream-Apple Pie

A quiet evening reading, and eating pie by the fire.

Mr B. made this Sour Cream - Apple Pie, it was very good, smelled wonderful coming out of the oven.  So I thought I'd share the recipe with blogging friends.


Sour Cream - Apple Pie 

 Prep time 20 Mins - Bake 40 Mins - Makes 8-10 Servings

1 egg slightly beaten
1 8oz carton dairy sour cream
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt

4 cups coarsely chopped, peeled tart cooking apples
1 unbaked 9" pie crust
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tsp butter or margarine

Step 1:  Preheat the oven to 400F.  In a large bowl stir together egg, sour-cream, granulated sugar, 2 Tsp of flour, vanilla and salt. Stir in chopped apples.  Pour the mixture into the unbaked pie crust.  Cover edge of pie crust with foil.  Bake for 25 minutes.

Step 2:  Meanwhile, in a small bowl stir together the 1/2 cup flour and the brown sugar.  Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until crumbling.  Remove foil from pie.  Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over pie.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes more, or until top is golden brown.  Cool in pie plate on a wire rack.  Refridgerate within 2 hours, cover for longer storage.

From Better Homes and Gardens Quick and Easy Recipes Cookbook.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thoughts on Poverty

I watched a programme earlier this week on children living in poverty in the USA.  One in five of all children living in the USA live in poverty, go to bed hungry and are undernourished.  That figure rises to fifty percent if you are a child in a single parent family.  That's a lot of children.

Not much stands between life without poverty and poverty, just a job.  One day you can have a job and the next day you don't.  One day you are not living in poverty, loose a job, and then gradually you decline down into poverty.

This show mostly interviewed the children and the biggest thought on their minds was food. When you don't have a lot of money food becomes a focal point.  One little girl was concerned because her family seemed to eat a lot of cheap pizzas, (although I do have my thoughts that people could live more nutritiously on a limited budget, we have lived on $40.00 a week for a family of three, but maybe these families didn't even have that,) needless to say not much nutrition but a lot of carbohydrates, from which she was very conscious of putting on weight and being chubby.  She said to the camera person you could loose your job next week and become like us!

The second thought on their minds was the stability of living in a proper home and not having to live in a motel as one single mother and her two children did, eating tin food. Not going to school for a while because they could be moving again and she didn't want to go through making all new friends only to loose them and start all over again.  Having to give up one of their beloved pet dogs and take her to the pound. Or living in a shelter where you had to eat at certain times and if you didn't there was no going to the fridge for a snack you just went to bed hungry.

I also watched another documentary this one by Ken Burns on The Dust Bowl, 1931 to 1939.  One phrase that sticks out in my mind from that was They will endure because there is no escape from endurance. There was just nothing they could do to change their plight, except for migrate and that many did, but most stayed.  Of course the famous book of one fictional families migration is depicted in John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath and for many was that any better?

A lot to think about and count ones blessings.


Monday, November 19, 2012

The Stumpery Ickworth House

The stumpery Ickworth House

I had never heard of a Stumpery before visiting Ickworth House, but it seems to be a feature of many gardens.  It makes me think of the Hobbits somehow.


Panoramic Views of Ickworth House

I love this feature on my camera. the panoramic feature which really does capture some scenes better than a regular size phtotograph.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Ickworth House, Suffolk

My friend Jean and I ended our day out in Suffolk at Ickworth House, not too far outside Bury St. Edmund's.  The house is lovely and the grounds beautiful.

Ickworth was home to the Hervey family for just over five centuries, 1432 - 1956. However, The Rotunda as we know it has only been around for the last 200 years or so.

As much as I love to see Upstairs I always find fun in seeing the Downstairs.  Its interesting how they let daylight into the servants downstairs quarters, without being able to see in or out from the gardens. They did this by putting the quarters at the base of the rotunda dug into the ground like a basement, with a gravel path around on the outside and a small wall.  So from the outside it looks like part of the rotunda, unless you are up close and look down.

Here you can see the house keepers sitting room that looks out onto the wall, no view, but has nice natural light.

Here we are at the end of the day sitting down for a nice cup of tea at the Porter's Lodge, before we drive back to my sister's house.

They have a lovely nursery and nursery shop.  Jean bought this plant for my sister, rather than flowers for the funeral, something to plant in the garden to remember my mum.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Face Behind Lil Bit Brit

This was a challenge from Midlife Farmwife.   Donna did get me to post a picture of myself from the Scholarship Dinner; which I did not previously post.

Here I am with The Boy, Mum and Son.

Lil Bit Brit

Persephone One Hundred

I'm going to try and read all 100 of the Persephone books.  Here are two I borrowed from the library.  Yes here again, found in old shelving which is not on public view.   I was talking with the librarian and she said that the previous Head of the Library, who I do remember grey hair and bun type but very much into her job; in any case when all the other libraries were throwing old books out. she requested that they send them to our library, what a lady with foresight, I am the happy recipient. I get to read these stories from the original published books.

A little trip to the thrift with some fun finds.  A nice old plate that I will use for cakes, and a rimmed dish I bought for The Boy as he likes a bowl with a rim to hold.

What about these old embroidery silks? Just love that little tabby cat; where have all those little niceties of decoration gone today?

Now I'm watching a Tree Grows In Brooklyn, repeated from two weeks ago, when I watched it for the very first time.  What a lovely movie.

I think a cup of tea and one of the delicious raisin bran scones Mr. B. made.  That reminds me as a friend said I should read the Home-Maker as it's kind of our situation.  I work full time and Mr. B. keeps the house in order.

Hope you folk are having a lovely weekend.


Lavenham, Suffolk

Lavenham Suffolk is a village of half-timbered houses.  It seems that two poems originated from here, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star by the poet Jane Taylor (23 September 1783 – 13 April 1824) and it is thought that the number of crooked buildings inspired the poem There Was A Crooked Man -
There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile.
He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile.
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse,
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Morris Aboretum, Pennsylvania

Some of my sons photos of the Morris Arboretum this Autumn.  We especially love the fernery.  When Rob was a little boy about four I bought a membership for a year and we used to go almost every other week, taking little snacks and making it an adventure for him, so he has always loved the arboretum.

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