Feathers On Friday: Bird On The Wire

Looking out of my window at breakfast, I saw this female Cardinal patiently waiting for her turn at the bird feeder. He husband was busy eating around the other side and as soon as he was finished, she flew on to have her share. (I had to take the photo through the screen cloth so as not to spook them.)


It brought back memories of my mom when my sister and I were children and how she always made sure to serve my dad first at dinner. I think it was to show that she respected and appreciated how hard he worked to provide for his family.

Wishing you all a very good weekend.


Meet Mr. Knobby

Here’s a much smaller visitor to my backyard, only about 2-3 inches long.  Meet Mr. Knobby the Southern Toad. Isn’t he cute?


This post is especially for my South African blog friend Libra’s Child, who commented the other day on my bunny and squirrel post. “You have all the woodland animals!
I’d like to see a hedgehog now… and a toad (who else was in Wind in the Willows?) A badger?”

Well, there are no badgers here in Florida, but talking of toads reminds me of my stage debut when I was ten-years-old.  I was ‘Toad of Toad Hall’ in our school production of ‘The Wind in the Willows’. Toad was the wealthiest character and the proud owner of Toad Hall. Although quite good-natured, he was impulsive and conceited, and was eventually imprisoned for theft, dangerous driving and impertinence to the rural police. He got a twenty year jail sentence for stealing a car, and escaped disguised as a washerwoman. I had a quick change in the wings and donned an over-sized flowery dress with a lace cap on top of my toad head. Maybe this is where my love of beautiful cars and my expertise as a laundry lady stems from, although these days I do draw the line at wearing flowery dresses and lace caps.

I can vividly remember my costume for the play. A pair of tights, a blouse, and a pair of very large bloomers, all dyed a brilliant emerald-green in a large saucepan on mom’s hob. The bloomers were stuffed to capacity with newspaper and I had a cushion tucked under my blouse into the waistband of the tights, which as you can imagine was extremely uncomfortable. To top this comical creation, was a huge papier-mâché toad head, which fitted non too neatly over mine. It had holes for my eyes and one my mouth, and was most cumbersome and difficult to keep on straight, so I spent most of the play pulling and pushing it into position. The play was presented in the church hall over the main road from the school, and on the day, our teacher stopped the traffic with her ‘lollipop stick’. whilst I waddled across the road in all my greenery. I bet those motorists had a giggle, but I was well disguised and too intent on not losing my head, to notice. I loved every uncomfortable minute of the performance.

Happy Wednesday to you all. I hope I’ve given you a few smiles.


Photo a Week: Hands

For Nancy’s ‘Photo a Week’ challenge ‘Hands‘,  I was reminded of that old Max Bygraves song, ‘You Need Hands’.

The first verse went like this:

You need hands to hold someone you care for
You need hands to show that you’re sincere
When you fear nobody wants to know you
You need hands to brush away the tears.

Hubby and I  have always held hands when we’re out together. A friend at our country club remarked on it,  saying that it’s unusual to see this in couples who’ve been married for so long, and that we must still be very much in love. Well, she was right about that. I’m sure we’ll still be holding hands for as long as we’re together.


My hands also come in very useful when I play the piano, something which I’m really looking forward to doing in the not too distant future when the house is finished and we can get my new piano delivered.


Our son also uses his hands to make music.


My darling Mom had the most beautiful cool hands. They were hardworking hands, always busy; be it submerged in laundry soap suds, scrubbing floors, baking delicious pies, sewing beautiful dresses for my sister and I,  knitting warm sweaters for the whole family, brushing and plaiting my long hair, stroking my fevered brow when I wasn’t well, and  also regularly clasped together in prayer. She had no time or money to pamper herself,  yet her hands stayed young for the whole of her 90 years. Some of you may remember this photo which I took a couple of years ago, on a visit to see her in the care home. We were sitting trying to hold a conversation, something which had become increasingly difficult as the dementia had cruelly set in, when the lady in the next chair, rousing a little from her slumbers and without  even opening hr eyes, reached her hand over the arm of the chair until it found my mom’s. She grasped it tightly, and as mom gently stroked her fingers, I saw a glimmer of a smile on her face, probably remembering a time in the past when she had someone’s hand to hold, maybe a husband or even a child. This lady never had any visitors, but I’m sure that the cool touch of mom’s fingers brought comfort to her heart, just as it used to for me when I was a child.


“Nothing in this world compares to the comfort and security of having someone just hold your hand.”  ~ Richelle E. Goodrich

Wishing you all a wonderful week with lots of hand holding.




My Sunday Photo: Colourful Carousel

It’s grey and raining here in the ‘Sunshine State’ of Florida, so to brighten my day, here’s a holiday memory from last year. Whilst walking along London’s South Bank, we  came upon this bright and cheerful carousel, which I stood and watched for a while, remembering childhood days of fairground visits complete with sticky candyfloss, toffee apples, coconut shies, and winning a goldfish in a plastic bag which unfortunately got dropped on the way home. £2 in those days was a small fortune.


Hope you’re all  having a sunny Sunday.





“Three little kittens” for Jude’s Bench series

I saw this bench in Costa Rica and couldn’t resist a photo. It reminds me of a nursery rhyme which I learned as a very young child.

Three little kittens, they lost their mittens,
And they began to cry,
“Oh, mother dear, we sadly fear,
That we have lost our mittens.”
“What!   Lost your mittens, you naughty kittens!
Then you shall have no pie!”
“Meow, meow, meow.”
“Then you shall have no pie.”
I felt so sorry for those poor little kittens, and was always so relieved when we got to the second verse.
The three little kittens, they found their mittens,
And they began to cry,
“Oh, mother dear, see here, see here,
For we have found our mittens.”
“Put on your mittens, you silly kittens,
And you shall have some pie.”
“Purr, purr, purr,
Now we can have some pie.”
Do you have any photos of benches with someone or something on them, for Jude’sBench Series #42?

Thursday’s Special: An Outlaw’s Hiding Place

This week’s ‘Thursday’s Special’ is a challenge dedicated to the past. Paula says, “It can be a past that is abandoned and about to be forgotten, or past that is still functional and intertwined with present.

On our recent visit to England, I revisited a place not far from my home town, which brought back fond memories of my childhood. Sherwood Forest was a favourite place for weekend outings with my parents and sister, and in those days there was no entrance fee or protection of this now world famous tree, ‘Robin Hood’s Major Oak’.


As a child, I really believed the legends surrounding this amazing tree which is thought to be almost 1,000 years old. As my sister and I climbed around inside the hollow trunk which has a girth of  33 ft (10 m), I used to imagine Robin Hood and his Merry Men, together with the fair Maid Marion, hiding themselves there from the wicked Sheriff of Nottingham and his cruel henchmen. I remember that there were shelves inside the trunk, where the intrepid outlaws were supposed to have stored their food provisions.


Nowadays, it’s fenced off from the public and supported with an impressive network of scaffolding, which I suppose is  very necessary for its preservation, but somewhat disappointing to the child still in me, who was longing to run across and touch this wonderful old tree and to feel the thrill of being inside that old tree trunk once more.