Monday, June 22, 2009

Mugs on Monday

This was a Mother's Day gift this year from my older son and his wife. It is so full of whimsey! I am always saying , "Now when I have my sheep farm in the Dales...." I have been having my tea in it every morning this summer!

Let's just say I miss the tots who once drank from these!
Can you name some of the characters featured here?

These Lord & Lady Celtic mugs are the work of Pamela Kohler-Camp.

I discovered her several years ago at the Alabama Highland Games in Montgomery. Her studio, AND SARAH LAUGHED, is located at Stone Mountain Georgia. I really love her work.
Click on images to enlarge!
This is mug I use quite regularly. This series of mugs featured the names of the three Shakespeare plays of the repertory season. Turn the mug and you will see Love's Labour's Lost and The Merchant of Venice were the other two plays .

During the first twelve years of the ASF productions, a single mug was commissioned for each play. I did not get one for every play, but I think I may have a dozen of these. I regret that these do not include the year.
Can you name the plays?

I was fortunate enough to visit the Globe in London during the summer of 2000. I was always sorry I did not get a mug. Several years later, my younger son was there and knew exactly what to bring home to his English teacher mom. Study the image? Can you name the play?

During the summer of 1989, I participated in an NEH seminar taught at Oxford. As part of the course we would travel to significant locations related to the writer and his works which we had studied during the week.
I purchased two of these: one for me and one for a dear friend and colleague who had done his doctoral dissertation on this writer.
This mug had been designed and produced for a big event which had been held in the town during the previous summer.
Can you guess the purpose of the event? Or can you name the chapel and town featured on the other side of the mug?


I am not sure I understand this meme business for Mug Monday. Am I to feature another mug next Monday? Or was this a one week event? Willow? Acorn Moon, or Weaver of Grass? Help me out.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

AU Market, Plates, & a Willow Recipe!

This round platter from my "Pursuit" pattern
would look even better with a special cake!

This is a little blurry....I should name it: Still Life, Still not Focused!

Every Thursday afternoon from three until six in the evening during the summer months, local farmers, bakers, and gardeners bring their produce and products to the Auburn University Market. This is just the fifth season, but it is growing and getting better. Each year I add a new favorite vendor to my Must Visit list. Yesterday Lee ( a high school friend of my older son) had buckets full of deep red and ultra flavorful strawberries. The blueberries are from a NEW person...need to get his name...they are large and plump and so sweet! Mr. Hooks had shelled peas and squash and homemade strawberry jam. Harman Farms had the tomatoes and cucumbers so I came home happy.

So...all this had me remembering that luscious recipe Willow posted last week while I was at the beach: Raspberry Buttermilk Cake! Then I remembered that she and Derrick and a few others had a made posts on PLATES!!!

Now, I am sure I don't have as many as Our Lady of the Manor (wink), but I do love china and dinnerware, so I pulled out a few. The problem is that I am working with a different camera....a 'bigggun' that has too many bells and whistles. (My favorite one is out of town.) This Bad Boy gave me fits....almost had me cussin' this morning. Well anyway, you be the judge! Click on a photo to enlarge it.

This is a one of a kind piece by Shirley Ingram who has her studio - Mud Hen Pottery - in Smith Station, AL. She called these plates Moon & Stars. She used a glaze named Albany Slip from Albany, NY. When I asked for more plates a few years ago, she sadly reported that the area where this glaze was extracted had been covered up by a mall. (deep sigh) I set the plate on the seat of a dining chair.

This was a problem to photograph with the Big Bad Nikon D100!
It wanted a central object on which to focus....or at least the particular lens with which I was stuck wanted it! (I tried not to end my sentences with a preposition for all the grammar police out there.) Hmmm, wasn't it Winston Churchill who said,

"That is a rule up with which I will not put!" ?

So here is another version of our Coalport Hunting Scene. Several companies made this over nearly a fifty year period, possibly longer, beginning with Crown Staffordshire, then Coalport, and finally Wedgwood. It is now discontinued.
(Be on the lookout, Willow, Derrick, Michael, & Rowan!)
I sometimes can find it on eBay if I wish to add a piece.

And here is my variation of Willow's recipe. I used some of the strawberries and blueberries instead of raspberries. I do want to make it with the raspberries and will when I can find some good ones! I turned my cake out on the round platter from our every day dinnerware: Pursuit by Keltcraft (made in Ireland by Noritake)...yet another hunting scene. I guess you could say I am always hunting for china....}chuckle{ !

Well this last photo is a little muted and glazed over...just like we will be when we savor this cake! Yum, yuuuuuum, yummers!
Have a wonderful Saturday evening !

Monday, June 15, 2009

Flickering Light

Hello everyone. In an effort to teach myself one more task of creating blogs, I guess you might say I needed the help of the Fairie Folk! I confess I have long been a believer. I think it all started with a fascination of lightning bugs as we called fireflies in the South. Then of course, I must mention Mr. Barrie's Tinkerbell. My brother, who was the oldest of my three siblings, and my sister Sue, once staged a marvelous visitation of Tink to my bedroom with the aid of a small mirror, a flash light, and a tiny sleigh bell. Sue woke me in the night to say, "Look! Wake up Tinkerbell has just flown into the room." Indeed the window was open, and a dazzling dainty light was flitting all about the room and responding with a faint, shy jingle when I asked was she ok, was she with Peter Pan, was she lost, and told her that I was glad she came to my room! I must not forget the the 1935 black and white film of Midsummer Nights Dream starring a 17 year old Mickey Rooney as a very convincing Puck! (That is Olivia deHaviland as Hermia in the photo. James Cagney plays Bottom the Weaver!) I saw the movie years ago as a child. I was totally enchanted. Then of course, whenever the lightning bugs appear for the first time each year in late May, I am convinced once more that fairies are alive and well in my garden!
A few years ago, I was listening to Thistle & Shamrock on NPR when this Christy Moore song seemed to capture the the magic of the natural & fairy world. It is worth a listen. You may want to go to the site and read the lyrics too if you have time!

Here goes my very first time to have a YouTube link at The Keeping Room! (No video...just listen if you want to know what the fairies dance to!)

How about you? Do you believe in fairies? Before you say no, check out a film named FAIRY TALE: A TRUE STORY!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

By the Sea, By the Sea, By the Beautiful Sea...

Here is our 2009 Seaside address: Ivy Cottage. It is one of a very few rentals which is pet friendly. The sweetest Golden Retriever ever and his mom & dad are my hosts here on Tupelo Street. (Click on any photo to enlarge!)

The Gulf of Mexico is just one block away. I took these photos looking toward the east just after 4:00 P.M. CST from the Tupelo Street Beach Pavilion. The green flag was posted (safe waters) and the air was just warm not hot with a wonderful soothing breeze.

Here, I am looking toward the west. Almost center in the foreground is the storage hut for a section of the blue umbrellas and chairs which are set up each morning by 10:00 and taken up each evening by 5:30. You can look westward down the beach, and they go one for nearly a mile.

Just a few minutes from our door is the Tupelo Beach Pavilion. There is a WC & shower on either side where you see the windows with a lovely, breezy sitting area inside. Where a street travels due south to the beach, there is usually a very distinctive pavilion leading to the beach named for the street.

Cathy & I love to sit here early in the morning when the beach has no umbrellas. I bring my tea; she brings her coffee. We make a good effort at uncovering the mysteries of life and and counting our blessings, which are many.

This is the pavilion from beach side as we descend to the sand.

Looking west on the beach...

The unspoken rules: get your toes in the sand as soon as possible; leave your shoes and cares behind!

Some carefree toes and white sand and emerald water...

Introducing Jake! Everyone who stops to meet Jake has to spend time playing Throw Jake's Frisbee! He was bringing it straight to me!

The houses and streets of Seaside are woven together with an intimate network of wonderful nearly hidden, narrow footpaths.

Here's the yellow house just to the left of the above path.

Inside Modica Market at town center, if you need it for your kitchen, it's here!Did you see the movie The Truman Show? It was filmed at Seaside.
Willow, here is Vera Bradley's Inn by The Sea!
I thought I heard it calling your name, my dear!

Front porch of Inn by the Sea

This a little section of Seaside which includes an old
fashioned styled motor court.

This is the Tupelo Gazebo on the circle just outside our cottage. The little girl just visible to the right was flitting around with a butterfly net.
It was nearing sunset and time to settle in for dinner and reading tonight. I hope you got your toes in the sand and had a chance to feel the sun.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Funny the Way It Is...

Debbie Douglas Pearson April 13, 1951 - April 9, 2007
My childhood friend and Maid of Honor, on board the USS Alabama Battleship in Mobile Bay, June 1968.
Debbie and D.S. married just weeks after my own wedding.
Funny the way it is, when I think about it...I have been blessed to celebrate a landmark anniversary...and she cannot - now gone for two years.

We miss her ..... constantly.

Okay, I know I have homework due to all of you. I will be posting some photos from class and telling you all about my big three days of studying architecture and visiting 150 year old farm houses and the characters who lived in them in LaGrange and Troup County, and I really woke up this morning fully intent on getting this done. But first things first.....the Dave Matthews Band was appearing on The Today Show. Now kids, I have to tell you, I love music, and my tastes are eclectic to be sure, but it is summer and it is time for rock and roll! he began with some of his classics, but definitely included a new song.....and these lyrics really made me stop and think ... the music was good...but these lyrics....

"Funny the way it is, if you think about it
A kid walks ten miles to school, another's dropping out
Funny the way it is, nor right or wrong
Oh, a soldier's last breath, and a baby's being born

Funny the way it is, if you think about it
Someone's going hungry, and someone's eating out
Funny the way it is, nor right or wrong
Somebody's heart is broken, and it becomes your favorite song..."

These lines seem to have followed me all day long whenever I would think about the passengers of the lost Air France Flight 447 and certainly their families and friends who have loved them..Then I had to go out to an adorable store called Giggles and Coos for baby gifts for a very special baby shower tomorrow. My priest's daughter is expecting her first child. She and her husband are close friends to my younger son; they "hang" out all the time when they are not working. So tomorrow, I get to share in the joy and anticipation of a new life...a precious gift to the world. Then later, I am on my way to the Gulf Coast for a week at Seaside with dear friends and family. So....I was trying to catch up on my emails, and... D.S. Pearson, my personal poet, had sent me several poems....all good-- but one was particularly perfect for the end of this day.


Sorrow doesn't

call ahead

and inform you of its coming.

You answer the door

and find it

waiting there.

D.S. Pearson June 2009

About Me

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Recreational scholar, former high school and junior college English teacher. Animal lover (especially horses, dogs, and people), live in the South, sometimes poet and essayist... "Ireland, Scotland, Britain, and Wales...I can hear those ancient voices calling..." Van Morrison from Celtic Heartbeat