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?


…move swiftly and lightly

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A Minor Bird
(Robert Frost)
I have wished a bird would fly away,
And not sing by my house all day;
Have clapped my hands at him from the door
When it seemed as if I could bear no more.
The fault must partly have been in me.
The bird was not to blame for his key.
And of course there must be something wrong
In wanting to silence any song.

I have to say that the only birds I’ve clapped my hands at have been crows or woodpeckers.

Today was quite the bird event at our house. So many little, medium and big birds flying in and out. They would peck at the ground, at the bird feeders, in the planters.

birds 006 How about this chubby Robin? We saw many Robins today.

birds 004A first for us was seeing a small hawk/falcon like bird and woodpecker having a life and death struggle. They both slammed into our French doors and landed on the deck and then when the senses were regained from the hard hit into the door, the falcon/hawk flew off with the woodpecker in it’s claws. Very strange event to see…

P1040825After some beautiful days like these we are back in a rainy pattern. Of course that is normal and we all need the rain along with the sunshine. California would love to have some of our rain drops…

P1040824Dear and I went on a little walk again about the neighborhood on Sunday last. I was cracking up when we passed this in the photo below…

P1040823Oops…the no dumping sign was dumped!

Confession of the week: I went to Costco on Tuesday and bought season 4 of Downton Abbey so very soon Katie and I will have a marathon viewing of the rest of the episodes we haven’t seen yet. Costco had the DVD for $25.99 with a one time $4.00 rebate at the register.

Hows your week progressing?


That’s an adjective that would be pinned on me if I didn’t mention the Sunday that was in Seattle!

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Everywhere you looked in the the Puget Sound area you would see evidence of the 12th man Seahawk fans.


The city willed the Seahawks to a torturous victory over the San Francisco Forty Niners on Sunday. That means that the Seattle Seahawks are the NFC Champions and will be going to the Super Bowl.

unnamedG5X1S3YFThis is the building that Dear works in downtown. It’s the Russell Investment Center.

Looks like we won’t be able to ignore the Super Bowl game this year. There are many years that we do. This year we might even have to host a party.

The game and after game shows and all the news about all the excitement in Seattle ended just before Downton Abbey aired last night. The hilarious thing that happened next during the opening to Downton Abbey was that they photo shopped a 12th man flag on the top of Highclere Castle and gave a shout out to Seattle fans being loud, louder, loudest! How fun is that…

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12th man downton 003The city of Seattle and all the out lying areas really come together in support of their teams like the Seahawks, the Sounders, the former Sonics.

We will go with the flow and enjoy all the hoopla that having our home team in the Super Bowl brings. Do you watch the Super Bowl? I was happy that the episode of Downton last night wasn’t as dramatic as the previous one. I’m starting to write down some of the lines from the show, too, like “We don’t all have to live off battered fish and meat pies!”

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We in the U.S.A. have been waiting for Season 4 of Downton Abbey and finally got to see the first episode on Sunday past…

When we were in England in September we visited Bampton where the village scenes are filmed. I didn’t take enough photos now in hindsight but it was fun to see the new episode and recognize some of the village images.

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The opening episode really showed us that there will be so many twists and turns both upstairs and downstairs in this season. For me the most disturbing were the false reports and the slander that is heading Anna’s way. Having that maid return to the house makes me real uncomfortable, too. I see that season 4 will be released for purchase on January 28th. I don’t want to stay up late every Sunday so I’ll probably head to Costco on the 28th and see if they have it in stock. How did you enjoy the first episode?

Last night after this episode I had a pinched nerve (or at least that’s what we are calling it) in my right arm. My arm was in so much pain from my elbow up to my shoulder. Yikes. Nothing really helped and I finally found a position using a firm pillow that I could drape my arm over so I could finally fall asleep. I didn’t think I’d be able to get anything done today but thank the Lord my arm has been fine just a little tender and I was able to do the things that needed to be done.

Katie is having a great time in Southern California. She’s been to Disneyland twice. Disneyland has a good military price for a 3 day pass. Sunday she and her girl cousins went out to dinner and on Tuesday she’ll have dinner with my pop.

Birds of a Feather…

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We have had birds and more birds pecking about our yard the last couple of weeks. It has been fun to see the many varieties.

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This European Starling is a new addition in our yard this year.

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They like to stick together and they fly off together, too.

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We had a fun time this weekend with a few members of our family. Girls of a feather that enjoy sticking together, too. It wasn’t the whole flock but we take what we can get. My oldest sister Kathy’s two daughters were able to fly to Seattle to stay with my baby sister Lana. Our daughter Katie and DIL Laura joined the girls at Lana’s for a few days of nonstop fun. Fall-girls 015

Michelle, Melissa, Katie and Laura

Fall-girls 016Our hostess, Auntie Lana,  joined the girls for a photo!

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And Auntie Ellen, too.


Between seasons of Downton Abbey we were able to fit in a trip to Country Village in Bothell where we made some fun purchases and after the shopping trip we met up with all the guys for dinner at the Purple Cafe.


There were 10 of us at dinner but I couldn’t get a great shot of everyone. Lana’s husband Steve, Dear, Ryan (my niece Michelle’s husband) and our son Josh joined the girls for a lovely meal out and then it was back to Lana’s for more Downton Abbey…

The guys were very accommodating to the girls this weekend and we appreciate them very much. We only had enough time to make it through 2 whole seasons and the Christmas Special from Downton Abbey. My sister Lana is the only one of us who hasn’t seen season 3 yet and we left the DVD’s with her so she can finish off the series before Season 4 starts here in the states in January.

We said our farewells and our guests headed back to the airport to fly back to Southern California. We all look forward to the next time we can be together.

We are in a foggy pattern here in the Western part of the Puget Sound that has extended up to British Columbia. We are hoping the sun can break through the fog in the next days ahead.

A Taste of Downton Abbey in Bampton…

Since we wouldn’t be able to stop at Highclere Castle during our recent trip to England we stopped at Bampton in Oxfordshire where some filming was done.

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.

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This weekend we are going to be having a girls time with daughters, nieces, sisters which includes a Downton Abbey marathon. I’m looking forward to comparing some of the church photos and village photos with what we saw in this quaint village.

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I’m looking back today to come up with some photos for Vee’s notecard party. The fall colors are getting more prominent around these parts. How are they shaping up where you are?

A Wee Glimpse…

of the Cotswolds…

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Extra credit to anyone who can identify the B.B.C. series that the church in the bottom right hand corner was used in…

Tomorrow is our last full day in England. We spent a very long day in London today and we are bushed. No rain but cloudy all day. The last days of summer are winding down.

Since it’s hard to tell without all the sets adorned I’ll tell you that this is the church from Downton Abbey where Mary Grantham got married and Sybil got left at the altar…

This and That…

We’ve had a little bit of sunshine and good thing I grabbed my camera in time to capture it for all to see.

On Tuesday I made a trip to Costco after Bible Study and was happy to see they had Season 3 of Downton Abbey that was just released here in the U.S. Now I won’t have to wait until Sunday to see the next episode.

I’ve heard about this series from a few people on Facebook, too and decided to give it a try. Have any of you seen this series?

Lest you think all I do is watch T.V. let me share that I’m also reading a Biography on Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxes. What an extraordinary man he was.

We have rain and more rain in the forecast for a few days. How about you rain, snow or shine?