Engagement and Marriage

We started dating in the fall of 1972. The summer of 1973 we traveled to England with a Christian Rock Group on a concert tour at schools in England for their religious education classes. At night we’d have community concerts in churches or community halls. Dear’s niece Jenna was born while we were in England and we were able to meet here when we returned. We were officially engaged in September of 1973. Jenna is our oldest niece.

We had another tour in England in the summer of 1974. After being hosted by a few great English families we got to return the favor to some and show them around the Los Angeles area when they came for a visit. I have a post about our tours in England here.

Our wedding was in December of 1974.

Dear’s family upper left. Dear and me with my little maternal babushka. Lower left me and my sisters. Middle, my brothers. Lower right my parents.

Our honeymoon was a drive up the coast of California as far as San Francisco and home again.

Today is Saturday the 18th of March. Looks like our granddaughter is arriving sometime on the 20th of March, the first day of Spring. Sweet! We will keep you posted on the actual arrival time and we hope induced labor won’t go too long.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
 they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV)

K is for Kiftsgate Court Gardens

This is a post from a year ago with an update. I was short on ideas for the letter K and this beautiful garden is worth a re-visit.

Kiftsgate is located across the road from Hidcote Garden in the Cotswolds. We got some good exercise when we decided to just stroll over to Kiftsgate Gardens from Hidcote Garden not knowing what the parking situation would be at Kiftsgate. Well…they do have a nice parking area that is free for your information if you decide to visit but we had a goal to walk a lot in England and this day afforded a couple miles towards that goal.

Day 4 Gardens 081The story of Kiftsgate is the story of three generations of women gardeners: Heather Muir, Diany Binny and Anne Chambers. Each in her unique way has contributed throughout almost a century to making Kiftsgate the world renowned garden that visitors and gardeners alike have grown to know and love.Day 4 Gardens 087Heather Muir created the garden at Kiftsgate, which up until 1920 had consisted of a paved formal garden in front of the portico, with a field and wooded banks beyond. Heather was helped and inspired by her lifelong friend Lawrence Johnston of Hidcote Manor. She decided that the garden would develop organically as she was inspired, rather than planning everything on paper. This has given the garden a distinctly feminine feel, almost in direct contrast to the more masculine lines being employed by Johnston at Hidcote. By 1930 the steep banks were tackled and the steps to the lower garden were put in place, along with the delightful summerhouse taking advantage of the views to the west.

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Day 4 Gardens 088From the mid fifties Diany Binny continued to add to the garden by creating the semi-circular pool in the lower garden. She also commissioned two sculptures and began to open the garden on a regular basis.Day 4 Gardens 119The white sunk garden was also redesigned by her to incorporate a small pool and a well head fountain. Diany was an important figure in the development of Kiftsgate by opening the garden to the public and maintaining the tradition of continuity.

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Day 4 Gardens 092One of Anne Chambers finest accomplishments is the addition of the new water garden that was once the tennis court. This area is now an oasis of calm, where fine white stepping stones give the illusion of floating over the black pool below, leading to a grass island at the centre. To the far end, a double row of gilded bronze philodendron leaves sway gently under a cascade of running water surrounded by a curtain of yew hedging.

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Day 4 Gardens 125Taking up half the space on one side of the Rose Border is Rosa filipes ‘Kiftsgate’. The vigour shown by this rose, which we claim to be the largest in England, produces huge growth each year and three trees have been smothered by its spreading habit. In early to mid July it is a remarkable sight when it is covered in panicles of white blooms and resembles a cascading waterfall amongst the trees.

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Day 4 Gardens 090The view is magnificent from the swimming pool lawn. In one direction the distant hills of Malvern can be seen beyond the Vale of Evesham whilst looking back up the Banks a fine view of the house can allow oneself to imagine being in a Mediterranean setting.

Day 4 Gardens 115After we strolled through the upper gardens we made our way down to the lower garden and semi circular pool.

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Day 4 Gardens 121In one of the recent Father Brown episodes we watched this part of Kiftsgate Gardens was featured in one of the scenes.

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We had a few fast moving showers while we were at this garden but found good spots out of the rain to wait while the showers passed. There is a nice tea room available right on the grounds. You are never too far from a tea room in the Cotswolds.

All words in italics are from the Kiftsgate web page and not my own words.

Linking up to ABC Wednesday started by Mrs. Nesbitt and now administrated by Roger and the ABC team!

A little something extra today if you click over to Mennonite Girls Can Cook I have a recipe up for Mexican Corn Soup.

Good Fences

I think my favorite fences are of the British variety.

Looking back at some of the fences and other lovely sights we saw in September of 2013 in Jolly Old England. On this trip we stuck to England and didn’t venture into Scotland or Wales. Don’t miss the thatched roof on this home that was for sale.

On our first day in England in 2013 we drove north from Heathrow and stopped in Stoke Bruerne. Stoke Bruerne is a small village and civil parish in South Northamptonshire, England about 10 miles north of Milton Keynes and 7 miles south of Northampton. We ate and had a stroll along the canal. Our destination this day was the little village of Alton.

I’m linking to Good Fences with TexWisGirl at Run*A*Round Ranch Report. Thank you for hosting this weekly meme and administering it so kindly!

Katie started a new eight to five job yesterday. She is very thankful for a job that is easy to get to and does not involve getting on a freeway. I mowed the lawn and weeds and leaves yesterday. Since everyone else was working hard I decided to do my part.

Is it soup weather where you are yet?

 

InSPIREd Sunday- Bath Abbey

FYI: If you are here for the giveaway you will need to scroll down a couple posts to leave a comment to enter!

I took this photo well before I owned a digital camera from the Ancient Roman Baths. Dear and Katie are next to the statue with Bath Abbey behind them. This was on a graduation gift trip we took our daughter Katie on in 2004. Ha! My photo even has the date stamp on it ’04 4 11. Bath was on the itinerary because we were visiting Katie’s favorite author’s haunts. We traced some of Jane Austen’s inspirations here. We visited some special spots related to C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, and Monty Python, too.

To see other churches from around the world click over to Beth and Sally’s InSPIREd Sunday link-up.

Swans

We’ve never ever seen as many swans as when we are traveling in England.

Along the river Thames we enjoyed seeing quite a few.

This was a feeding frenzy. You are able to buy bags of food for the swans along the riverfront in Windsor.

Close to this swan swimming along with it’s cygnet we saw another swan who had ruffled it’s feathers.

I’m guessing it thought these Canadian Geese were getting too close.

hereford 095We also saw these Swans and Cygnets on the River Wye.

hereford 097I’m linking to ABC Wednesday for S is for Swans. Thank you Denise Nesbitt and the hard working ABC Team! As we are nearing the end of the alphabet yet again it’s time reveal new logo designed by Troy. You’ll have to click on over and see the fabulous new logo for Round Sixteen! Thank you Troy!

This week I’m getting my swans ducks in a row since we’re having our Thanksgiving feast this Saturday. Our middle son and his girlfriend are coming for the weekend so lots of plans are afoot. Hope to get around and see everyone in between my preparations. Can you believe we are in the second half of November already!!??

November Photo a Day Challenge

Since I’m having a hard time posting one photo-a-day I’ve decided to post days 2 through 8 of Kati’s photo challenge in one post.  On November 1st I did post the first challenge prompt, my name starts with here.
November 2nd ~ Number
P1050585This is a special number for Dear and I this year. We were married in 1974 so on December 6th we celebrate 40 years of marriage. I thought it was fun that the Seattle Sounders are celebrating their 40th anniversary, too. We celebrated already this year with a trip to England but that won’t stop us from celebrating on the actual day, too.
November 3rd ~ Leaf
mac&cheese 014We had a very blustery, stormy day on Thursday of this week and I tried to catch a leaf falling. I’m glad this one was facing my camera for a second!
November 4th ~ Brown
Alton to Cotswolds 239This photo was taken at the church that was used in Downton Abbey for the weddings. The little town where some of the filming is done is called Bampton and we had a fun quick visit there reliving some of the scenes.
November 5th ~ Cozy
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November 6th ~ Pumpkin
November 7th ~ Friend
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November 8th ~ Table
We woke up to beautiful sunshine today. We had such a blustery day yesterday with a mix of brightness and darkness throughout the day. I managed to to fill a yard waste bin full of leaves in between rain showers. The wind gusts are of course made more leaves fall. Hopefully the dryness will last so we can mow the lawn for the last time till Spring. Looking forward to a weekend at home after being away last weekend.
Have a great weekend y’all!

Signs from England

We saw some great signs when we were in England. Pubs and Inns have some great unique signs.

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This one really cracked me up…how fresh can Lobster be from Canada to Windsor, England? I suppose it can be flown in the same day but the sign still had me smiling.

Some signs around this old house are that the weather is turning on us. Today we filled a yard waste bin with leaves and it’s really just the beginning of the raking season. We are looking forward to a few more soccer games with the Seattle Sounders and since we came in 1st place overall for our MLS season we are really hoping to be able to be in the final game for the MLS championships. If that’s the case that game will be here in Seattle on December 7th! It would be pretty sweet to celebrate our Seattle Sounders 40th Anniversary year and my 40th wedding anniversary with a MLS championship on the same weekend. Hope you were able to follow that.

We get to spend some quality time with our adult kids this weekend and we’re really looking forward to that. If I’m scarce on the internet you will know why. We will be busy eating fish tacos, tomato rice soup, Swedish Pancakes, my mom’s roolyet and besides eating together we will be shooting at pumpkins and other things…

What are your plans for the weekend?

I’m linking up with Lesley for her Signs, Signs; a weekly meme of interesting, funny, ridiculous and unexplainable signs. In the future I hope to post more unique signs.