No Risks Hodgepodge!

 

1. Ever played the game Farkle? Are you a risk taker? In games only or also in life?

When I asked Dear if we had ever played Farkle, he said no, he paused and then said, “Sounds like a fairy fart.” Chuckle, chuckle.

In games I’m not afraid of taking a risk but in real life I tend to cling to the sure thing. I do like an adventure but even with an adventure I need to have some control. I think that’s one of the reasons I’m not enamored with the idea of a cruise. Too much is out of my control…

2. What’s your favorite thing about your yard or whatever outdoor space you may have?

I like the fact that whatever window we look out of, we see yard, trees, plants, birds, bugs. One of my desires when we moved from our city home was to purchase a property where I wouldn’t be staring into someone’s carport when I was outside or when I was looking out a window. I wanted nice views and I’m thankful for those nice views.

3. Tell us about the most interesting building you’ve seen or been in.

Old cathedrals and churches fascinate me more than anything modern. We’ve been in several amazing Cathedrals in Great Britain. Today I’ll choose Gloucester Cathedral in England to share. Amazing architecture and details that I could take hundreds of photos of. The Cloisters in this building boggle the mind. Questions pop up like, “How did they do that?”, “How long did it take to build this?” “How has it survived all these years?” Here’s only six of those hundreds of photos!

4. In this current season of social distancing, what’s something you’ve come to realize you take for granted in more ordinary times? Do you think you’ll make a conscious effort to appreciate whatever that ‘it’ is once normal life resumes?

There is so much that we take for granted. That’s a lesson all in itself. What a carefree life we’ve been afforded for so many years! I could list many things that I hope to take a conscious effort to appreciate. Going to church and worshiping with others is one for sure. Making traveling plans with ease instead of wondering about restrictions is another. Jumping in the car and heading to a restaurant to enjoy a meal out is another.

5. Share a favorite song with a springtime flower in the lyrics somewhere. 

Drew a blank with any springtime flower in the lyrics but here is Springtime from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons!

And then I came across this one which will work, too.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Our little family here in the northeastern corner of Washington State where we’ve had very few cases of COVID-19 felt that we could be together again.

This right here is the best feeling in the world. A sweet hug and cuddle!

Thank you to Joyce for providing the questions for Wednesday Hodgepodge.

Tough Times for Tea Rooms…

On the letter T for the A to Z Challenge and I’m choosing Tea Rooms and Tea. I hope all the Tea Rooms in Great Britain survive the COVID-19 shut down! All these photos are from our trip to England in July of 2014.

Stow on the Wold 028Although we passed quite a few tea rooms while we were in England I only had tea once and it wasn’t in a tea room. Oye. I will show you many lovely tea rooms that you can choose from if you travel to England. Lucy’s was in Stow on the Wold.

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This one was in Broadway in the Cotswolds.

Our daily timing was way off for stopping to enjoy a cup of tea in the afternoon. By then we were usually a bit warm and needed something cooler to drink.

Broadway Day 7 072Love the name of this one, Mrs. T. Potts…pretty clever. It was real close to Martha’s coffee house on the main street running through Moreton in Marsh.

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Sunday-Banbury 010On our way to Banbury we saw Mrs. Brown’s Tea room.

Bourton-Gloucester 020In Bourton on the Water there were a few tea rooms to choose from.

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This restaurant/tearoom was less appealing than the Small Talk Tearoom above.

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If we didn’t manage to walk right past a tearoom we enjoyed seeing signs for tearooms.

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2014-07-12 Hay on WyeWe got a little closer to a proper tea experience with these delicious scones and clotted cream but the drink of choice on this morning was coffee in Hay on Wye.

To Windsor 158On one of our last days in England I decided it was high time to have some tea so as not to totally disappoint my tea drinking readers.

To Windsor 162It wasn’t the finest of tea services in the bar of our hotel. The scones were no where near as nice as the ones we had in Hay on Wye.

To Windsor 159This was my tea and tea experience. One hot and the other one cold. The cold one may or may not have had some alcohol in it.

Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post I hope that the many tea rooms in Great Britain will survive the COVID-19 lock down. We are hoping that things will look good enough come September for us to keep our flight and apartment reservations for Oxford, England. We wait and we’ll see.

What is your favorite tea? Do you have a favorite Tea Room? Have you ever attempted to host a proper Tea?

We Booked It

On Saturday we finally clicked on the purchase button for our flights to and from England come September. That first step is always the hardest for me. Now, Lord willing, we’ll be on that plane heading to London Heathrow in September. We also booked an apartment in the Jericho area of North Oxford for 11 nights. 2 bedrooms, full kitchen and living space.

The last time we were in Oxford was in July of 2014. We were only there for several hours and we talked about how much more there was to see and do in this college town and how we’d love to return. We planned our time in Oxford around an Open Day for the Colleges.

We’ll see what is blooming in September compared to July.

Besides Oxford we are venturing back to Canterbury for 2 nights. The photo above is of Dear and me in Canterbury in 1973 or 1974. We will be staying on the Cathedral grounds this time around. From Heathrow we’ll travel to Canterbury and then after 2 nights travel to Oxford for our 11 night stay there. While in Oxford we will explore some neighboring areas on some day trips by bus or train. We are not renting a car.

Update: A woman’s prerogative to change her mind. In thinking about jetlag we are changing our plans and not traveling to Canterbury on this trip. Just thinking about the tube/train and hours it would take was daunting to my brain. We are choosing someplace on the Oxford side of Heathrow to travel to and enjoy for the first two days, instead.

We are excited and Dear is feeling the pressure to finish the construction of his shop by September. Now I’ll look into booking tours of places like “The Kilns” and also some walking tours. We are planning on signing up for a tour with “Go Cotswolds”, too. Decisions, decisions…

So here are some quotes from C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Dorothy Sayers, G.K. Chesterton, all who spent some time in Oxford. There is a Library in Oxford that houses a G.K. Chesterton Collection that we hope to visit.

From Letters to Malcolm, by C.S. Lewis;

“If our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart.” And equally, if our heart flatter us, God is greater than our heart. I sometimes pray not for self-knowledge in general but for just so much self-knowledge at the moment as I can bear and use at the moment; the little daily dose.

Have we any reason to suppose that total self-knowledge, if it were given us, would be for our good? Children and fools, we are told, should never look at half-done work; and we are not yet, I trust, even half-done. You and I wouldn’t, at all stages, think it wise to tell a pupil exactly what we thought of his quality. It is much more important that he would know what to do next…

The unfinished picture would so like to jump off the easel and have a look at itself!”

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song over hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”~J.R.R.Tolkien

“He admires, but he won’t clap, which must be very discouraging” Dorothy Sayers in her book, Documents in the Case. This speaks to me on how important spoken or written encouragement is.

“Man is more himself, man is more manlike, when joy is the fundamental thing in him, and grief the superficial. Melancholy should be an innocent interlude, a tender and fugitive frame of mind; praise should be the permanent pulsation of the soul. Pessimism is at best an emotional half-holiday; joy is the uproarious labor by which all things live.” G.K. Chesterton

Enjoy the last week of February!

Weekend Roundup “I”

Weekend Roundup “I”~  Starts with “I.”  A Favorite.  Inside.

1. Starts with “I”.

Iwo Jima starts with I. The anniversary of the Flag raising at Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima is on February 23rd. I visited the monument in D.C. in 1970 for the first time. I was nineteen in this photo.

img316-0012. A favorite: Our day in St. Ives, England in September of 2013 with our oldest and his wife.

2013-09-18 St6As I was going to Saint Ives,
I crossed the path of seven wives.
Every wife had seven sacks,
Every sack had seven cats,
Every cat had seven kittens,
Kittens, cats, sacks, wives,
How many were going to Saint Ives?

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St. Ives sunny 0263. Inside:

Inside the heart of our home, the kitchen. Lots of activity happens around the kitchen Island.

Next weeks prompts: Starts with “J.”  A Favorite.  Joy.

Linking up with Tom The Backroads Traveller for Weekend Roundup.

Even though we had rain through our sleep hours the day dawned with no more sprinkles. Happy to run several errands without the need of a rain coat and all accomplished by the early afternoon. This weekend there are two events that are out of the ordinary and that I’m looking forward to. What are you looking forward to?

Maundy Thursday ~ The Last Supper

 

I took this photo a few years ago at the Monumentale Cemetery in Milan, Italy. Today and this whole week Christians around the world remember the events that led up to the crucifixion of Christ and Christ’s resurrection over 2000 years ago. I always look forward to Easter week which is also called Holy week. Celebrating our risen Savior and what he accomplished for us tops my list!

The Last Supper and the Washing of the Disciples Feet are both remarkable events. While in Milan I was also able to see Leonardo da Vinci’s mural of the Last Supper. The original mural is on a wall of the refectory (dining hall) in the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy. No photos allowed.

While in England in 2014 year we saw two amazing paintings of the last supper, one in the Parish Church of St. John the Baptist in Windsor and one in the chapel of Magdalen College.

The Thames 104 - Copy - CopyFrom the Lectern, look down the centre aisle and observe in the West Gallery a painting of The Last Supper. This is a national treasure. The picture was originally presented to the Royal Chapel c. 1660 by Brian Duppa, Bishop of Winchester, Prelate of the Order of the Garter. It was “bought by him beyond the sea”. Another tradition ascribes it to Franz de Cleyn (1588-1658), Rostock, Mecklenburg, Court painter to James I. It was rolled up and buried “in the plumery” (plumbers workshop?) in the Great Rebellion. It hung over the altar at St George’s, Windsor in 1702, and can be seen there in Sandby’s drawing dated 1786.

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Oxford Day 6 141Above the stalls in the chapel hangs Giampetrino’s remarkable 15th copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper, on permanent loan from the Royal Academy. In view of the bad condition of the original fresco in Milan, Magdalen’s copy on canvas is a piece of increasing historic and artistic significance.

Oxford Day 6 144This next sculpture of Jesus washing Peter’s feet is at the Gardens of the World in Thousand Oaks, California.

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Excerpts from John chapter 13…

It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.

Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;  so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.  After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them.  “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.  Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.  I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

We Bid Adieu to Great Britain from London…

Wrapping up our 2004 Literary Tour of Great Britain with our daughter Katie with our old fashioned film camera. London was our final stop after a long train ride from Edinburgh and lugging our luggage across the train station to the tube that would take us to our tiny room with 2 beds that covered almost the entire floor minus a 6 inch space between them to walk to the very tiny bathroom. Oh boy! I forgot to mention the 3rd floor we had to haul our luggage up to. We managed to recover from  it all and enjoy some great spots in London.

Katie and Dear mastered the tube stations quickly and they always knew the correct trains to catch.

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The Tower of London was on the list of places to explore.

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We were in London for the Queen’s birthday on the 21st of April we saw and heard the 62 gun salute.

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While walking toward Buckingham Palace we were told that a better close up view option of the changing guard would be at the Horse Guards Stables. We enjoyed viewing the Queen’s Horse Guard.

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Up close and with a lot fewer crowds around us. I’m thinking by now the word has gotten around and the crowds are probably crazy here, too.

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Dear and Katie in Trafalgar Square.

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The pigeons decided they were a great perch.

Our favorites in London were the National Gallery and the British Library where so many great literary classics and authors are featured. Katie and Dear toured Westminster Abbey and viewed the small tablet to the memory of Jane Austen in the Poet’s corner of the abbey. We also enjoyed attending the live stage performance of Les Miserables.

Thank you for indulging me as I documented our trip from 12 years ago!

 

Edinburgh and Monty Python…

This will be my second to the last post on our 2004 literary tour with our daughter Katie. We traveled north by train from York to Edinburgh. We made arrangements at a self catered apartment for our days in the city and beyond.

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We walked from the train station to the street where our rental was and found no one there to answer the door.  We finally were spotted by some neighbors who happened to have the key to the flat and they let us in. It was nice to have a tea tray waiting for us.

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We toured Edinburgh Castle and walked down High Street where St. Giles Cathedral stands.

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We ate at the Royal Mcgregor where Katie had her favorite hamburger on our trip.

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Our main side trip from Edinburgh was by bus to Stirling with a connecting bus to the little town of Doune where you’ll find Castle Doune. Castle Doune is the sight of some of the filming of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. This was a must stop for our daughter Katie. We were the only people at the castle (it was part of our Heritage Pass). To those of you who are familiar with this film you are handed coconut shells to walk around the grounds with. We were throwing out lines from the movie (Run Away, run away!) and making horse clip clop noises (with the coconut shells). They even take a picture of you here and post it on the official web page for Castle Doune and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Hilarious fun.

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img432From Edinburgh we took the train south all the way to London where we would finish off our literary tour.

We are entering a busy week leading up to Easter. I love Easter and all the preparations that it involves.

In Search of Jane Austen…

Besides the Tolkien and C.S. Lewis part of our graduation tour of Great Britain in 2004 in Oxford and the Cotswolds we went in search of Jane Austen haunts. We first traveled South to Bath from our B & B in Cheltenham.

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While in Bath we visited Bath Abbey and the Roman Baths. You can see Dear and Katie to the left of the statue on the right. If you look straight down from where they are standing you would see the Roman Baths. The Roman Baths are one of the finest historical sites in Northern Europe.

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In the middle of the photo across the bath you can see Dear and Katie again.

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There is a Jane Austen Centre in Bath where the tour guides dress in period clothing.

“Give a girl an education and introduce her properly into the world, and ten to one but she has the means of settling well, without further expense to anybody. ”

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Katie and dear under the Milsom Street Sign in Bath.

Anne and Admiral Croft parted ways. The very next time Anne Elliot walks through Bath, she goes to Molland’s, a pastry cook’s and confectioner’s shop on Milsom street. Jane Austen wrote that the marzipan was delicious.

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Another Jane Austen site where we stopped for a photo op was No. 1 Royal Crescent.

No.1 Royal Crescent is a Georgian town house that creates a wonderfully vital picture of life in Georgian Bath.

From Northanger Abbey ~ ‘They arrived in Bath. Catherine was all eager delight; – her eyes were here, there, everywhere, as they approached its fine and striking environs, and afterwards drove through those streets which conducted them to the hotel. She was come to be happy, and she felt happy already’.

After our trip to Bath we left our first B & B and headed to our second location in Sheffield, England. Not my best choice and since this trip I’ve learned a lot about choosing places to stay. We still managed well on our trips out from the B & B to see some nice sites.

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The other part of our trip that was in honor of Jane Austen was Chatsworth House and Bakewell in Derbyshire.

These two photos have Chatsworth House in the distance. Jane Austen based Darcy’s family home, Pemberley, after this house. The new Pride and Prejudice movie actually filmed segments here. We were here in 2004 before the new film.  The estate was quite breathtaking. The small village of Bakewell close by was very reminiscent of  Lambton where Jane and her Aunt and Uncle stayed in Derbyshire.

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“Every disposition of the ground was good; and Elizabeth looked on the whole scene — the river, the trees scattered on its banks, and the winding of the valley, as far as she could trace it — with delight.”

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“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

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We loved seeing the daffodils blooming at Chatsworth House.

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After we enjoyed the grounds and a tour of Chatsworth house we drove to the village of Bakewell (Lambton) across this bridge. We had to buy a famous Bakewell Tart!

The Chatsworth Estate Farm Shop was an amazing bonus to our time at Chatsworth House. We walked around and wanted to fill a cart with goodies but being travelers we just bought what we could eat then and there. If I was there in this new age of digital I would have taken lots of photos.

“I must learn to be content with being happier than I deserve.” Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

There is so much more to see and do in following the footsteps of Jane Austen and her books. We had to move on in our adventure and we traveled to York where we turned in our rental car and began the railway, bus, walking and tube part of our trip starting in York, then North to Edinburgh and south all the way to London. Those posts are coming soon.

Today is Sunday and we’ve been to church and the grocery store where we bought all the fixins for a slow cooker roast. I’m getting so ready to eat that meal since the aroma is filling the house. Oye. It won’t be done for a couple hours yet! After our beautiful sunny and cold day yesterday we are colder yet today and have rain again. We are promised some nice sunny days this upcoming week. Hope your week goes well!

Cotswold Five…

It’s time for Five on Friday hosted by Amy and Friday’s Fave Five hosted by Susanne. Today I’m continuing my reminiscing of our time in Great Britain with our daughter Katie in April of 2004. After our day in Oxford we took a day to drive through the Cotswolds.

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This was a literary tour for our daughter to see her favorite authors haunts or inspirations for the books they wrote. We were hoping to see a Hobbit in the Cotswolds. Our first stop was for a snack of treacle close to the Cotswold way. I fantasized about walking the whole of this trail once…

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The closest we came on this tour of seeing Hobbit land was just seeing the countryside and coming upon this little village of Buckland which I’m counting as stop number two. Buckland has a lot of history we weren’t aware of when we stumbled upon it. Isn’t that the way it goes when you blog? You come home and look up a stop you made to research for a blog post and find out everything you missed! I wasn’t blogging in 2004 so I’m letting myself off the hook for this trip!

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Our third stop in the Cotswolds was Hailes Abbey. Built in the 13th century by the Duke of Cornwall, the beautiful ruins of Hailes Abbey are set amid delightful Cotswold countryside. There was a small church with this graveside next to the Abbey.

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Stop number four was Hidcote Gardens. This was early in April and the blooms were still not at their prime except to our delight the daffodils!

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All these photos were taken with film not digital. The manicured hedges are always a treat to see.

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Lambs were in plenty.

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One more stop halfway on the Cotswolds Way was St. Mary’s Church in Painswick. The church of St Mary (originally Norman) was extended around 1480 in the English perpendicular style. The churchyard with 99 yew trees (legend has it that the 100th won’t grow) also has unusual tabletop tombs.

img393This past week afforded me the time and effort to scan our film photos from our trip to Great Britain in 2004. It’s nice to look back and remember the good things that God has allowed in our lives. This trip was a good experience for Dear, Katie and me. I still have the Jane Austen portion of our trip to share and the Monty Python portion, too. I’ve already shared the C.S. Lewis and Tolkien portion in Oxford.

These five stops could be way out of order but I don’t think that matters now. Hidcote Manor Gardens and Hailes Abbey are part of the Heritage Pass that you can purchase for your touring pleasure…

Dear got home from Austin Thursday night so all is back to normal around this old house. I made it to the accountant in the big blue truck and he was helpful as usual. I have a few more things to dig up for him so we can get a few more deductions. I was able to get out and walk in between rain showers by myself while Dear was in Austin which was a great accomplishment for me.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

This is a long post already but today on Mennonite Girls Can Cook I’ve reposted my Chicken Quesadilla recipe with a new twist. Click over to check it out. Also on some of your blogs my comment link takes you to the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog instead of to my home blog (The Happy Wonderer). That happens when the pull down choices for comments don’t include the Name/URL option or the double choice blogger and open ID. On those that give you 5 choices with open ID it won’t let me switch from my blogger ID to my WordPress Blog. TMI? It’s just one of those weird things. Sheesh…I better just let you go now and enjoy your day!

Return to Downton Abbey

D is for Downton Abbey for ABC Wednesday this week. Thank you Denise Nesbitt and the ABC team!

The village of Bampton was used for filming outdoor scenes, most notably St. Mary’s Church and the library, which serves as the entrance to the cottage hospital. On our trip to England with our son and daughter in law in September of 2013 we stopped at this Oxfordshire Village.

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Alton to Cotswolds 232The village was nice to walk through. It’s been fun to see the places we strolled by and through when we watch Downton.

Alton to Cotswolds 270Just to the right of this photo where you can see the bench is where they erected the War Monument during this season.

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Alton to Cotswolds 264My Daughter and I had a marathon day of watching season 5 of Downton Abbey last week and now I don’t have to wait till Sunday nights to see one episode at a time. I was a lot more pleased with the ending of this season. Are you a fan of Downton Abbey?