Friday, May 27, 2016

Downton Abbey- DVD collection





Downton Abbey- my new addiction





I know, I’m late to the party. This wonderful series has actually ended now but thankfully available to first-timers like me on DVD.


The year is 1912, the setting- a Edwardian country house filled with the Crawley family, servants and secrets.


Robert, the Earl of Grantham and his American heiress wife Cora are having a perfectly idyllic life with their 3 daughters.

Mary, the oldest, Edith, a somewhat spiteful middle, and Sybil, sweet tempered and liberal minded for her times.



It’s highly addictive to watch this family with its intricate dealings of society’s expectations, meddling family members and both, deceitful and honorable servants go about a somewhat normal daily routine.



There’s the stiff Mr. Carson who runs the household, along with Mrs. Hughes- who actually has never been married. Add Mr. Bates, a somewhat scarred fellow who walks with a limp, nevertheless  possesses a deep loyalty to the earl. So deep in fact, he puts his own happiness above that of the Crawley family. 

And I find it nerve-wracking to watch Thomas and O’Brien smoking in the yard and plotting the next disaster to bring Downton.



One could never forget the insufferable Dowager Countess, Violet, mother to the earl and although she regards her Cora as an interloper, the old girl upholds secrets that could bring the house down. Truthfully, I adore her!



With the sinking of the Titanic and a lost heir, Mathew Crawley, third cousin once removed is brought to the estate as heir to an earldom. What better solution to keep Downton in the family than for lady Mary to marry him. If she would only agree before another heir may or may not be born. One fleeting moment changes everything.



And that’s barely a skim of the characters or goings on. There's Daisy and Anna, oh, and Jayne, who if word ever got out, would cause havoc for sure! In a house this size there is never a dull moment! I’m eagerly devouring and must be careful to avoid spoilers when using Google.



Oh, and that nasty habit I have of collecting odds and ends- look what just turned up.



 Now, really, doesn’t this remind you of Lady Sybil and her chauffer Branson? Lady Edith learned to drive one as well. I call it my Downton Abbey glass for tea.







Who’s your favorite at Downton?  












Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Masterpieces of Religious Verse












Many years ago I found this huge volume of poetry Masterpieces of Religious Verse published 1948 by Harper and Row. Its contributors are thousands and I've turned to this book many times for comforting words, thought provoking, and just plain beautiful poems written long ago but timeless in their message. Here are but a few.


If We Knew - Author unknown

If we knew the cares and crosses
   Crowding round our neighbor's way;
If we knew the little losses,
   Sorely grievous day by day,

Would we then so often chide him
   For the lack of thrift and gain-
Casting o'er his life a shadow,
   Leaving on his heart a stain.

If we knew the silent story
   Quivering through the heart of pain,
Would our womanhood dare doom them
   Back to haunts of guilt again?
Life hath many a tangled crossing,
   Joy hath many a break  of woe,
And the cheeks tear-washed seem whitest,
   This the blessed angels know.

Let us reach into our bosoms
   For the key to other lives,
And with love to erring nature,
   Cherish good that still survives;
So that when our disrobes spirits
   Soar to realms of light again,
We may say, dear Father, judge us
   As we judged our fellowmen.





Understanding-

                                                  If I knew you and you knew me,
                                                  If both of us could clearly see,
                                                  And with an inner sight divine
                                                  The meaning of your heart and mine,
                                                  I'm sure that we would differ less,
                                                  And clasp our hands in friendliness;
                                                  Our thoughts would pleasantly agree
                                                  If I knew you and you knew me. 
                       
                                                                Nixon Waterman, 1859-1944





Hem and Haw

Hem and Haw were sons of sin
Created to shally and shirk;
Hem lay 'round and Haw looked on
While God did all the work.

Hem was a fogey, and Haw was a prig,
For both had the dull, dull mind;
And whenever they found a thing to do,
They yammered and went it blind.

Hem was the father of bigots and bores;
As the sands of the sea were they,
And Haw was the father of all the tribe
Who criticize today.

But God was an artist from the first,
And knew what he was about;
While over his shoulder sneered these two,
And advised him to rub it out.

They prophesied ruin ere man was made;
"Such folly must surely fail!"
And when he was done, "Do you think, my
        Lord,
He's better without a tail?"

And still in honest working world,
With posture and hint and smirk,
These sons of the devil are standing by
While man does all the work.

They balk endeavor and baffle reform,
In the sacred name of law;
And over the quavering voice of Hem
Is the droning voice of Haw.

                             Bliss Carman, 1861-1929













Sunday, February 21, 2016

Procrastinating- there's always tomorrow, right?

Everyone knows 'The Sun'll Come out Tomorrow' right? It's true 'Tomorrow is never promised' and we all believe that 'Tomorrow is Another Day.'

One can easily see why the stuff we just can't seem to face or make time for today is put off. Especially when there really aren't enough hours in the day to get to everything, right? I hit the floor running and it seems the only time I sit down is when I'm driving. I laughingly told my husband my taking the long way home was sort of a mini vacation. Hey, I'm not complaining.

Good thing I'm not living back in 'the day.'

Up at the crack of dawn to a rooster crowing and hens clucking nervously around waiting to be fed.


Have you ever crept out of bed to an icy room so cold your breath clouded? And because you were the first one up you needed to stoke the fire? Never mind the fact it's a cast iron cookstove or maybe even a fireplace. If you were thinking of grabbing that hot cup of morning coffee you'd better hope someone has already been down to the well or riverbank and filled a pail of water. Seriously. Or maybe there's a rain barrel right outside the front door. Some homesteads even had a hand pump close by.

Great for rinshing mud off your shoes or even between your toes if you were the one who happened along the banks of the river. 



Rememeber those chickens pecking at the ground,
zig-zagging around the yard digging up bugs? Unless the Colonel is your
uncle and visiting with a bucket of orginal recipe, someone's gonna have
to catch one and....

Well, let's just say I'm happy it ain't my job.

I'll just stand by get the pot ready. 










Monday, February 1, 2016

Novella- Night Bird is currently FREE!!




With a little tweaking and a brand new cover, Night Bird is gearing up to take flight once more! This novella will be available in ebook only. For a limited time Night Bird is FREE!  Oh, I almost forgot to mention the additional new ending! Yep,  new content, new cover, new price. Can't be that!
Check it out.

 http://www.amazon.com/Night-Bird-Teresa-Blue-ebook/dp/B015LDXAK2/ref=sr_1_5?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1454357392&sr=1-5&keywords=night+bird


Known as the Night Bird, Emma Samson dedicates her afterlife to a solitary existence on Lost Isle easing the passage of the dying. When she finds Travis, weak and desperate to right a terrible wrong, she gifts him a few more days to settle his affairs.
   
Imagine Travis's surprise to wake from a nightmarish rescue and see the face of an angel...whispering the declaration that he has passed on!

Sorely lacking in faith, Travis must find the courage to test that what he cannot see in order to warn his father before it's too late.
But, can one find love in the last moments of life? Or is death just the beginning....

Excerpt:

“Where am I?” His voice accusing and laced with warning. “What happened to the men on board my ship?”

The ominous furrowing of his brow held her in place, fearful of coming closer. She knew nothing of this man, shared only one common bond, the blood that bound them together.

From across the room, she watched him struggle to sit up. “More direct would be, what the devil has happened here? To cause this strange uncertainity draped upon me” he said, running a hand across his face. Long, tapered fingers traced his cheeks as if seeking some familiarity before his hand dropped to his lap. “Tis as if I’m not really here.” His voice shook with suspicion.

Emma knew the disjointed feeling, remembered the questionable surge as the body adjusted, the heady rush of adrenaline shortly after transformation.

“Please…” The stranger’s voice broke through her thoughts. “I must know. What’s happened to my ship? The lives of my men?”

The soft glowing candle illuminated the inky darkness that had fallen as the last light of sun disappeared beyond the horizon.

She met his questioning stare. “The ship you speak of went down. Only charred and splintered wood remains, along with a few barrels of oil carried in with the tide. There were no suvivors.”

"What am I then, if not proof that all aboard did not perish?" If I survived surely there are others."

"You did not survive. Your body drowned. I found you floating with the tide and pulled you to shore."


OOOOOOohhh gives me shivers just thinking about it!


Here’s a recap of what some reviewers have said:
Highly Recommend  
NIGHT BIRD by author Teresa Blue is a great short story. Travis a ship captain is found by Emma a paranormal being washed up on the shore. Emma has special abilities that help the dying complete their journey to death by finishing unfinished business. In the end Travis helps Emma with some of her own dreams never completed. This story is a fast read and I highly recommend it. This book was received for the purpose of an honest review.
Diane reviewed Night Bird
2 of 2 people found the following helpful
What a charming story!
A ship's captain washes ashore and is rescued by an angel. Literally. Emma has one gift to give the man near death--time. Time to come to terms with his death, time to rectify a wrong, time to love once more.

Teresa Blue's debut novella is a winner. Emma's earlier sacrifice tugs at the heartstrings. She's always put others before herself. You want to root for her to find the love that has been missing in her solitary...
A ship's captain washes ashore and is rescued by an angel. Literally. Emma has one gift to give the man near death--time. Time to come to terms with his death, time to rectify a wrong, time to love once more.

Teresa Blue's debut novella is a winner. Emma's earlier sacrifice tugs at the heartstrings. She's always put others before herself. You want to root for her to find the love that has been missing in her solitary life. Travis is the man who can make her whole. Well done, Ms. Blue.
Couldn't put it down & I didn't want to! May 5, 2012
I highly recommend this novella. I don't like to give away too much in any review I write, and I won't make an exception here, but I can tell you that you will not be disappointed with this read!

From the very first paragraph I was invested in this story. I was drawn into the mood and the characters. Emma is the perfect heroine for this story and Travis is not only sexy and manly as the hero, but tender and vulnerable...
I highly recommend this novella. I don't like to give away too much in any review I write, and I won't make an exception here, but I can tell you that you will not be disappointed with this read!

From the very first paragraph I was invested in this story. I was drawn into the mood and the characters. Emma is the perfect heroine for this story and Travis is not only sexy and manly as the hero, but tender and vulnerable at the same time.

Teresa Blue has a wonderful way of weaving her words together to bring her characters to life and put the reader right into the scene. Each word she used to describe what was happening was so well chosen, it made everything so crisp and easy to visualize. Top it off with Emma's emotion and caring attitude to her past, her present and her future and I was a goner. I didn't put this story down until I reached the end.

Beautifully written with twists and turns I didn't expect, I loved following along with Emma and Travis as they revealed themselves to each other...and the story was revealed to the reader. There were several times I was caught by surprise and that's a real treat when reading a story.

I'm not a professional reviewer, but if I were, I'd give this 2 thumbs up, 5 stars and lots of satisfied sighs!










Monday, January 25, 2016

A New Year calls for a celebration. Cheers! Bottoms up!





Happy New Year! Welcome 2016!

Might I suggest you pull up a chair or plop down at the bar with a frosty cool one. If the year was
1892, you might have been handed your beverage in a Wilton Armetale pewter mug like this one. A family-owned company founded by Ralph P. Wilton, Sr. in Lancaster Country, Pennsylvania.
These mugs are individually cast and hand-finished so no two pieces are alike.
There are many designs to chose from. I was lucky enough to receive this mug for Christmas.
Ho! Ho! Ho!


And for those of us who require just a shot to keep the old joints lubed, how about this?




This particular glass holds about two oz. A goodly portion to get the job done. Plus, the detail on this shot glass is enough to make one order...well, several! Keep 'em coming, eh?

Made in Germany, Rein Zinn shot glasses are beautifully rich in design. And that's not all the folks at Rein Zinn make. There's tankards, steins, spoons and many more fashionable crafted items.







Lastly, how about this lovely pair? For the collector who literally has everything might be tempted to add FRANCE frosted shot glasses. I bought them for the handsome replica of tall-masted sailing ships. But ended up grabbing the stage coach as well because one never knows when the urge to hit the road may strike. Looking on Ebay I saw a liquor decanter that completes the set. I just may have to do some bidding.

Bottoms up!



Saturday, December 12, 2015

It's the most wonderful time of the year!



 
 

Another year is wrapping up and I’m knee-deep in holiday traditions. So much so, every weekend is filled shopping, baking, and spending time with those I love.

 

Aside from giggles with these two sweeties, there’ll be goodies! Carmel corn, chocolate fudge, cookies and cakes to eat all the days of Dec. And with the snacks come movies! Hours and hours of Christmas shows I’ve seen waaaaay too many times to count. Somehow I always manage to drop everything and sit down (or wrap presents while watching) and enjoy. In no time at all, I'm chuckling at the antics of Ralphie in The Christmas Story desperate to get his Red-Rider BB gun. Or marveling at how young June Lockhart was when she played in the original black and white A Christmas Carol.  The neighbors will probably hear me laughing at Red Skelton’s Christmas follies.

 

Now that I'm all grown up, the holidays can be a trifle sad if I start thinking how much I miss the old days. My own memories of Christmases past- me as a child, sharing in the joy and magic of the season with my brother always warms my heart.

I have a favorite memory of waiting in the car with my brother outside the toy store while Mom and Dad shopped. Santa was standing on the street corner ringing his bell and I worried about him working so late. I mean, gosh, he had such a big night ahead. The more I thought about it, the more I realized he must have already had his sled packed waiting nearby with the list tucked inside his bag. The one with all the names. Maybe even my name.

You see, I was pretty certain that I'd made the list, but things definitely looked iffy for my brother. And he must have been really worried too because eventually my brother rolled down the car window and called him over. After about a million psst! Hey, Santa! the big guy finally came over with a bellowing Ho! Ho! Ho! and handed each of us a candy cane.
Right about then Mom and Dad came out of the store. Dad opened the trunk as Santa walked over beside him. Twisting around in the backseat we peeked through the crack beneath the car's hood to watch them. Suppose they were trading secrets? Like last minute gift ideas. Not that Santa needs any suggestions but you never know.

And what to our wondering eyes did we see...? Our dad and Santa standing back there sharing a nip of holiday cheer! Yep! Jolly old St. Nick with his beard pulled up and head tipped back. Santa was well on his way to getting merry- (at least that's what I heard my dad say later when he got in the car.)
I don't think Mom was too happy.
 
But for us, it was a joyful time filled with snowflakes and icicles. :  )

I can almost feel the crisp night air as our breaths clouded around us. The cold frosty car windows and sweet tasting candy cane. Cheerful faces in my mind like a Norman Rockwell painting, folks rushing through the deepening twilight, darting in and out of the stores to grab last minute gifts or food. Everytime the doors would swing open holiday music would drift out into the street. The smiles and greetings left me with a warm contagious feeling that I get every December as the 25th draws near.

The most wonderful time of the year!  Why can't every day be like Christmas? At least the feelings of peace, hope, and love, all year long.
 
 

Whatever your memorie are, may your hearts be filled with the warm spirit of Christmas! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

I love holiday stories and even wrote one of my own. The Season for Miracles, the story of a little girl and her dog alone on a snowy Christmas Eve. If you haven't gotten your copy yet, now is the perfect time because it's free!





One snowy Christmas Eve street urchin Victoria and her little dog spend hours wandering the chilly streets selling ribbons and peering through the store glass windows at the grand gifts designed to fill boys and girls Christmas wishes everywhere. 
But Victoria has a wish of her own. A yearning for something she wants more than anything else in the world. And perhaps this year Father Christmas will find her and make all her dreams come true. 
When a withered old storekeeper and his gentle wife find themselves in her company, they are at a loss. The couple has long forgotten the joys of Christmas spent with a child and the magic sure to follow when they open their home and their hearts to... The Season For Miracles.



FREE!