Friday, December 31, 2021
Thursday, December 30, 2021
Wednesday, December 29, 2021
Tuesday, December 28, 2021
More fowl? Seriously? Yes, but we have been wrong all these years. It is not a "Calling" bird, rather it is a "Collie" or "Colly" bird. This refers to a black bird. In Theological terms the "4" refers to the Four gospels (and Apostles), Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
On a secular level Blackbirds are messengers that may haunt the soul, or a curiosity into the mystical elements of the animal and spirit realms. As Poe historically wrote about the Raven (another black bird). "Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, . . " But I digress.
The query at hand is when do the decorations come down? This is the time when we question our sanity in having to decorate every room in the house. Just because there were so many choices on Pinterest did we really need a wreath on every outside door?
Are you the traditionalist with plans to remove it all before New Years. Or do you fall into the faithful category, waiting until the kings reached the Christ Child with their gifts on Epiphany.
Who's idea was it to place globes of glass ornaments on so many pieces of furniture? And to double the number of lights on the tree? Did we really need to replace all the hand towels in the bathrooms and tea towels in the kitchen with holiday themed linens? Thankfully I no longer display the large detailed Christmas village with it's animated ice rink, lit snow covered streets, and miniature porcelain carolers.
As a side note I remember my mother's table displays complete with angel hair (aka spun glass), not the best choice to use with children in the house given it looked just like cotton candy. And the tree lights the size of your thumb that would heat a large size living room, not to mention the dangerous thinly covered electric wires running around and through a live tree that is in the process of drying out.
As I struggle to get the lights off the tree and all the ornaments back into their boxes with minimal damage, I promise to myself that I will simplify my life.
"Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
Monday, December 27, 2021
Sunday, December 26, 2021
Well, it's all over, Christmas Day that is. The Elf on the shelf has returned to the North Pole for 11 months. (Lots of help is.) The 'fridge is full of leftovers - which is an issue, given most of us have sworn to start a serious diet immediately. Well, at least starting January 1. All the exquisite dark chocolate candy that calls to you like a siren saying "Enjoy it ALL now because the reality of calories is coming quickly".
The den is littered with discarded ribbons and paper, unless you were anal and collected paper as it was torn from packages in the excitement of Christmas morning. There is the stack of boxes on the side table of gifts that did not make the cut: the pants that are too tight (thank you Aunt Mary for thinking I wore a smaller size), the sweater in that God Awful green (that your cousin Jan explained was going to be "the" green for the spring), and that "As Seen on TV" gadget that supposedly organizes the dashboard of your car. And, of course, there is that bottle of perfume someone, you cannot remember who, gave you.
There is also the piece of the puzzle that was lost in the excitement of Christmas morning, that you hope did not get thrown out with the paper. Under the tree are the 2 sad looking presents you have yet get to their recipients.
All in all another one is in the books. Now there are 5 days or so of Christmas purgatory. You wonder what possessed you to put up all these damn decorations. Note to self: next year remember minimalism is much better. And the ever present decision: when does the tree come down? You are torn between "immediately" and "How long can I wait before tackling that project". The thought crosses your mind, "What would happen if I just threw the whole thing out, lights, tinsel, glass balls, and all?" It is very tempting.
A belated Joyeux Noël to all.
Friday, December 24, 2021
Thursday, December 23, 2021
There are some times I just want to yell, "Stop the Weihnachtspyramide (aka Christmas carousel), I want to get off." This is one time of year I feel that way. Christmas Day is fast approaching.
Tuesday, December 21, 2021
Hallmark officially lost its damn mind with this movie about a vet and fireman who bond over a stray cat. I can’t promise that no felines were emotionally damaged in the process of making this film.
Sunday, December 19, 2021
Damn! We are facing another lock down. Just for the record I have had both of my vaccinations and my booster (more than a month ago). I am very confident should I get the dreaded Omicron variant, the symptoms will be mild and I will avoid hospitalization. As Americans, we are extremely lucky to have had access to very effective vaccines since last spring, as well as boosters.
Tuesday, December 14, 2021
Monday, December 13, 2021
Sunday, December 12, 2021
Oh, and the booze helps. A good fruitcake involves plenty of alcohol to help it stay shelf-stable for years on end. Immediately after a fruitcake cools, most bakers will wrap it in a cheesecloth soaked in liquor and store it in an airtight container. This keeps mold and yeast from developing on the surface. It also keeps the cake deliciously moist.
In fact, fruitcakes aren’t just capable of surviving unspoiled for months on end; some people contend they’re better that way. Fruitcake fans swear by the aging process, letting their cakes sit for months or even years at a stretch. Like what happens to a wine with age, this allows the tannins in the fruit to mellow, according to the Wisconsin bakery Swiss Colony, which has been selling fruitcakes since the 1960s. As it ages, it becomes even more flavorful bringing out complex notes that a young fruitcake (or wine) lacks.
If you want your fruitcake to age gracefully, you’ll have to give it a little more hooch every once in a while. If you’re keeping it on the counter in advance of a holiday feast a few weeks away, the King Arthur Flour Company recommends unwrapping it and brushing it with whatever alcohol you’ve chosen (brandy and rum are popular choices) every few days. This is called “feeding” the cake, and should happen every week or so.
Friday, December 10, 2021
The holidays are here and Christmas is right around the corner. If the past week is a sign of what's to come between now and the 25th, it doesn't look good for the home team. So far I
- purchased gifts that I found were not what I had in mind, then learned they could not be returned
- realized that there are not enough lights for the tree
- cannot, for the life of me, find where I put the nice gift tags I bought last year
- have yet to wrap all my gifts
- have managed to soak many of those gifts I have wrapped while attempting to water the tree
- am still waiting for a very important present to arrive that I fear is lost
- still have 2 folks I cannot find an appropriate gift for
- just recalled a friend I left off my list
- don't have a clue if and when I will have time to bake for friends and family
- found note from my Elf (on the Shelf) that he didn't have time for me this year
- am just one crisis away from declaring Bah Humbug and moving to Aruba to scale fish for a living
Wednesday, December 8, 2021
A week or so ago I came upon an old album containing photos of my beloved High Acres. Some of the pictures date as far back as 1974 - hard to believe that is 47 years ago. They recount a few things that date even further back, such as pictures of my brother and me with our first ponies.
Even with the album's age, the photographs are in less than perfect condition, taken with a simple camera, and by a less than talented photographer, it is a record of an important part of my youth. It is much like I remembered.
Probably some of the most interesting ones are those of the house at the farm under construction. In truth it was "under construction" until the day Mama sold the farm 30 or so years later. But these particular photos capture the initial raising of the walls.
There are images of the house and its wonderful views.
There are also pictures of many of Daddy's horses over the years, his Angus cattle, his sheep, the infamous trail rides with all our house guests, and photos of the farm itself.
Some of the people I do not recognize and there are others I have not thought of in many years. While the photos have faded, my memories are still in glorious color. In a way these 100 or so photographs justify those memories.
(As an aside, and a sign of our times, in writing this post every time I penned the word "Kodachrome", spell check changed it to "Chromebook'.)
Tuesday, December 7, 2021
Each morning I awake at 5:30. Shortly there after the pups and are out on our constitutional. It is always dark and these days can be quite chilly. The temperatures can vary from 32 to the mid 50's. Usually I throw on a pair of sweat pants, shirt and a sweat shirt. My hair is a mess. After all it is dark and rarely, if ever, do we see anyone.
Usually I listen to the news, a podcast, or a movie on my phone while we walk. I find it gives me more patience with pups while they want to stop and smell every bush and telephone pole along the way. A 5 minute walk becomes a 20 minute expedition. God forbid a homeless cat has found refuge under a parked car or a confused squirrel is up and about. At that point all bets are off.
This morning I realized the juxtaposition of life. My choice of entertainment on my phone was a documentary, "7 Days Out". The particular episode was on the Channel Show at Paris Fashion week. It is a particularly interesting look into a life extremely foreign to me. While I walk the pups, often trying to get them to move on past some marked plant, avoid the stray cat, or bag their poop, I am listening to the days running up to Paris Fashion Week.
There are interviews with Karl Lagerfeld describing the brand and what is entailed in preparing for the show. There is much discussion about couture gowns, elegant models, and the rich and famous who are invited to enjoy the runway from the front row.
Lagerfeld also goes into the details of the inspiration for his elegant designs. Some how, I doubt a woman of my age, dressed in sweat pants, with unkempt hair, and 2 unruly terriers chasing feral cats comes close to any inspiration Mr. Lagerfeld may have. In fact, I doubt such a scene has ever entered his mind.
Monday, December 6, 2021
The most I have ever read gossip magazines were the covers of the National Enquirer while checking out at the grocer. That was years ago. Now days gossip and scandal are every where on the internet. Even when not seeking it, I find I am bombarded with details.
I'm not sure how this happened, but for some reason I keep getting emails and notifications with news about the British Royal family. I have always been a supporter of the Queen and her kin, of course the most I know about the clan I learned watching the series"The Crown". And, like almost everyone on the planet with a television at the time, I watched the wedding of the Prince of Wales and Lady Dianna Spencer.
But back to these unsolicited missives I keep receiving. Over the past weeks I have learned the following: Princess Eugenie was seen leaving a family do in tears (no explanation of why), the throne may skip the long suffering Charles and be passed directly to William, the Queen does not approve of Kate's wardrobe, Prince Harry and Megan really moved to California to join a cabal (few if any details are available), Dianna had an illegitimate child prior to her marriage to Charles (so much for her being the virgin bride) . . .
And on and on it goes. Thinking about it, I could write such explosive copy. No doubt I am in possession of as many of the facts as these creative journalists feel they are. They have just figured out a way to monetize it.
Personally I found the headlines from years ago much more entertaining - "Adam and Eve were Astronauts", "Fat Tourist Destroys Tower of Pisa", "Hillary Clinton Adopts Alien Baby", "Abraham Lincoln was a Woman", and my all time favorite: "Snake with Human Head Found in Arkansas". With such mind blowing tales, who cares about the throne, the cabal, or the wardrobe!
Sunday, December 5, 2021
A watermark is a double edge sword, a necessary evil. It is one of those obnoxious semi-transparent words ones sees on an image. It is also embedded in the meta data, so some dastardly digital savvy bloke cannot remove it. The mark itself has to be over a significant part of the image to protect it. All an artist or photographer has to prevent one's work from being stolen and freely used by anyone is this mark. Although my camera embeds my copyright information into the each photo taken, that information is hidden within the metadata of the image.
Some sites offer a setting that prevents one from double clicking and copying an image, which is very effective. Instagram is popular with artists because one cannot copy and save an image from a posting. Facebook (ironically in this case renamed Meta) offers no such protection.
I realized that my work was being pilfered from online postings when I came across one of my photographs used by someone else I had never heard of. Stealing one's work off the web these days is much easier than the grand Gardener Art Museum heist of 1990 and just as deleterious to the artist. So I have been forced to add a watermark to all my work.
I thought long and hard about doing this, but felt it was necessary. The art of watermarking is making it effective while allowing someone to still see the image. Too dark and one cannot really see and appreciate the image, too transparent and a simple increase of contrast will remove its effect. So now when you come across my work online you will see these unpalatable marks. It pains me to do so. But in these days of the wild west of the world wide web, I feel I have no choice.
Saturday, December 4, 2021
I was watching the news last night. Well, I say watching, I was painting with my back to the TV. However, my interest was peaked - enough to turn around and look - when I heard this young woman say, "She knows my energy source and can always steer me in the right way."
The narrator continued,"She can read my aura and advise me when my planets are aligned." The picture on the commercial showed a blithe young lady walking on the beach, the wind blowing her loose fitting dress. "Whenever I am scared or have a major decision to make, she is the first one I turn to." The narrator pauses, as the camera turns to the face of the lady on the beach who is looking up at the sky, as if waiting for a celestial choir of angels to sing.
"She brings calm to my soul and peace to my ethos." The narrator paused again as the young woman turned and continued down the beach, as the light faded into a fog.
By now my interest was piqued. Was this a commercial for the Oprah Show or Ellen? Then all was revealed when the another voice continued the narration. "Advice is just a phone call away. And, best of all, your first 4 minutes are free. You, too, can have a consultation with your very own spiritual advisor. Just think how much fuller your life will be if you had a professional to guide you." There was a close up of the smiling face of the young woman.
"This is your chance to seek peace and tranquility, to know yourself. No one should be making a decision without knowing the wishes of the spirits, the essence of your aura, the divine being of your soul." As the narrator spoke these words the young lady disappeared down the beach out of sight. There was some light new age music and then "magically" a 1-800 number flashed at the bottom of the screen. The narrator continued, "Call this number now and give your life meaning. You will be connected to your very own psychic advisor. Finally you will truly understand the depths of your soul and how the fates can guide your future."
Taking all this in, I wondered how much simpler my life could be should I have my own "advisor". Could knowing the mood of my aura give me confidence? Could being aware of the alignment of the planets in my sign give me clarity? Do I need to be one with my essence for true happiness?
If so, perhaps I can order a glass ball from Amazon. If instructions are not included I could go to Youtube to learn how to use it to interpret my energy source and the essence of my aura. Of course, I doubt this will bring about misty walks on the beach or the sounds of a heavenly choir.
Friday, December 3, 2021
In order to stay organized and know how far behind I am, I am a chronic list maker. In full disclosure, in making a list I will add things that have already been done. Getting to check them off when I first review the list gives me a feeling of accomplishment. This morning I was going over my (ever present) list. Of course around the holidays, the list gets longer and more expensive.
Just after Thanksgiving the list is exciting - getting the tree, putting the tree up, pulling out wrapping paper and ribbons, finding the wreath, hanging the wreath, making a gift list (yes, sub lists are part of the madness). Each morning, I review the running list, checking off what has been done and adding new chores. Every day or two I redo the list, if nothing else just to clean it up and see exactly where I stand.
By this week (the first week in December) the list becomes a bit more onerous. I am into finishing the shopping - for those impossible to buy for, trying to find the box of ornaments I bought last year on sale after Christmas (naturally they were not put with the other ornaments), ingredients for my Christmas baking. . .
Needless to say, the list, once a highlight, now becomes my nemesis. Suddenly, instead of keeping me organized, I find it a drudge. I start questioning my ambitions. Will the neighbors really appreciate homemade treats or will things from the bakery do? After all it is the thought that counts. Maybe the buffet doesn't need to have the traditional decorations, surely a simple bowl of glass balls will do. And the back door does not need a wreath.
Is this the beginning of the "Rat Race"? Are my days built around checking off the list or enjoying friends and family? As I read over the "To Do's", the list doesn't stop. The more I read, the farther behind I get. How does Santa do this? Of course, he does have elves. Perhaps I need elves. (No doubt I can find them the same place the Housekeeping Fairy is hiding.)
This is when I decide to shed the list and live in the moment. It is a feeling of freedom, relief from the stress. That is until I realize that I haven't found that gift for my nephew. I'm at the grocery store and cannot, for the life of me, remember what I need for the iced oatmeal cookies. I realize that not only have I not boxed the gifts I need to mail, the gifts are not wrapped and I cannot find a box large enough.
How can everything in the Courier and Ives prints look so ideal, festive, and fun? There is not a list in sight. Why should I be encumbered by words on a piece of paper? Out, Out, Damn List. I'll just add 1 last item - "Scratch List". After all, Christmas is going to be here, list or no list. It may not be perfect, some things may not happen, and, no doubt, I will be less organized. But, who wants a perfect, beautiful, delightful, happy, organized holiday anyway?
Monday, November 29, 2021
At my age, I hope I have not fallen into a life of mediocrity - a boring one with no excitement or intrigue. This was all brought to my attention when I noticed the warning flashed on the TV screen with the opening credits of a movie. It read: "This film is rated TV14 due to its Suggestive Dialogue, Smoking, Foul Language, Violence, and Sexual Situations." Does this beg that I live a G Rated life? I hope I do not live in the Wonderful World of Disney, Father Knows Best, or The Brady Bunch. My world is not made up of a Pollyanna ideal or the innocence of Tammy. These references alone betray my age. But, I digress.
The issues listed above, with the exception of violence, don't concern me. That said, a film with a plot based around car chases and multiple crashes does not interest me. Nor does one with a lot of gratuitous violence. Interest and mystery, yes, but not with a plot line of gun fights and or fisticuffs.
All this brings to mind - a fear. Is my life now mundane, boring, one without excitement? Does it not even merit a TV14 rating? Have I sunk into a life of G? I wish to live a life more daring than a romantic comedy. I hope there is "adult content" in there some where. That said, I do not care for pornography, whatever that is these days. In that case, the words of Justice Potter Stewart in 1964 are still timely and define it well, (paraphrased) - I cannot define pornography, but I know it when I see it.
Now that this state of reality has been brought to my attention, what can I do about it? It may sound trite but it all comes back to my mantra of "always grab the brass ring". Perhaps in dealing with everyday life I have overlooked the fun and excitement of the world around me. The rating of my life is within my control. Certainly I can attain better that a plain vanilla "G".
Sunday, November 28, 2021
But to quote the great Roman stoic philosopher and statesman, Seneca, 'this too shall pass'.
Saturday, November 27, 2021
As I celebrate my 61st Christmas I think back on the past ones (that I can remember) and, not to be morbid, wonder how many more I will have.
Friday, November 26, 2021
Thursday, November 25, 2021
Wednesday, November 24, 2021
Of all the senses, smell is supposed to bring back more memories. I cannot speak for everyone, but this is very true in my case. The smells of the holidays always bring back memories of Christmases long past. Sometimes it only takes a light scent to bring a warm memory to mind. There are times a smell is very familiar and I know there is some tie to my past, but for the love of me, I cannot place it.
The smell of clove brings back memories of the orange we would cover with cloves to create a sachet as a gift for our mothers. In my case, Aunt Kat always seemed more appreciative of this gift than Mama. Cinnamon brings back memories of the Orange Bigelow Tea my Aunt J'Nelle served to teach me how to properly drink hot tea and appreciate it. A slice of orange reminds me of the ambrosia we enjoyed at both my Granny's and my Grandmother's house at Christmas. (Totally different recipes.) An oranges take me back to Christmas morning as a child, when Santa always left 1 or 2 our stockings along with whole walnuts - go figure!!
Cinnamon and Clove together bring back memories of Russian Tea, that concoction of Tang, cinnamon, cloves, and lemon flavored tea. I cannot count the number of jars of this "Tea" I made and gave as gifts, as well as received. It was one of the few hot beverages I ever cared for. (Until I grew up and discovered Espresso and Cappuccino.)
A whiff of Vicks Vaporub brings back those nights as a child when I was sick with a bad cold. My Mama would put a dab of Vaporub in the old hot air humidifier, filling my room with a warm mist of mentholatum.
Citronella reminds me of outdoor summer suppers with my family. The brick patio would be surrounded with citronella candles to ward off the pesky mosquitoes.
The smell of Camellias and Sasanquas bring back memories of the bowls of Camellias we would have in the entrance hall from November through January. My Daddy was a serious gardener. One of his passions was breeding and grafting Camellias. So we always had bowls of fresh Camellias from our yard.
The perfume "Charlemagne", takes me back to my bedroom, one night in December of 1975 when I was getting dressed for a very special date.
One of the downsides of a lovely Leyland Cypress Christmas tree is the lack of scent. But, that could be handled with a can of "Fresh Royal Fir" by Claire Birke. Both the smell of a fresh Frazier Fir and a spritz of "Fresh Royal Fir" brings to mind Christmas trees of the past. A can of spray scent may seem a bit like cheating. However, it doesn't matter. Real or not, it is the smell that invokes the memory.
Tuesday, November 23, 2021
Monday, November 22, 2021
'Tis the Season - Right? The Season for family, friends, frolicking, and, most importantly, the pièce de ré·sis·tance - the Christmas Tree. Whether live and fresh or synthetic and artificial, it is the symbol of holiday hearth and home. There are many interpretations of this festive conifer. In the 60's there was the silver (aluminum) tree with the multi color light wheel projecting a parade of colors on the tree. These days, artificial trees come in a myriad of colors (without the light wheel) pink, blue, purple. There has been the tree that hangs upside down from the ceiling. I had a friend who would decorate a tree then burn it. (If nothing else, this made a statement). There are the "designer" trees where someone pays a small fortune for someone else to decorate their tree. Personally, I think this defeats the purpose.
There is "a tree in the Grand Hotel, one in the park as well, It's the sturdy kind that doesn't mind the snow". The largest tree I've ever seen is the one at Rockefeller Center. And, of course, the simple sad looking tree Charlie Brown had.
Whatever the type, most of us grew up with childhood memories of our family tree. As a child I cannot remember exactly when we got our tree. I do remember where - a tree lot off the St Matthew's Rd. You know, the traditional area outlined by white light bulbs strung from pole to pole. It was a Frazier Fir, if I recall correctly. It is was not from such a lot, it was from the Piggly Wiggly. After all, the first site of the Christmas trees lined up outside the grocery store announced the official beginning of the holiday season. Like many homes back then, we had the traditional tree lights of the time, the ones the size of your thumb when an entire string could easily heat a room. At High Acres, we had a simple Virginia pine that we cut down on the farm.
When our children were young, we selected and cut down our tree on a tree farm. Usually it was a Leyland Cypress. And, we always got it the Friday after Thanksgiving.
When the Christmas Tree farm we frequently used closed, we found another one, about an hour away. In addition to Leylands, they had several different varieties we tried over the years. There was the Noble Fir, supposed to be the "King " of trees. A truly beautiful tree that unfortunately lost much of its needles before Christmas day. There was also the Blue Spruce- a lovely tree with a blue Hue. Unfortunately, the branches were so prickly that by the time the tree was trimmed, our arms looked as if we had been in a cat fight, and the cat had won.
When our family joined the episcopal church, I was surprised to learn that the tree was not to be until Christmas Eve and stayed up until Epiphany, through the 12 days of Christmas. (Turtle Doves and all). Even as members of the church, we continued to put our tree up the Friday after Thanksgiving (and take it down before New Year's Eve). It was blasphemy but in the church's benevolence we must have been forgiven as we were never excommunicated.
Talking with friends, I find there are many traditions (and theories) about when is the right time to buy the tree. But, to each their own. Personally, given the amount of effort, time, and money, if the tree is not put up 4 weeks before Christmas, it is not worth the investment. So for me it is some time Thanksgiving week.
That being the case, this upcoming week is "The" week. Furniture must be rearranged, boxes and totes filled with lights, balls, and garlands brought out, a holiday playlist selected, and the "perfect" tree brought home. There will be the frustrating issue of getting the tree straight in the stand, rotating it to see the best side, untangling the lights, and then getting them straight on the tree. Too many lights on the top and we may run short at the bottom or vice a versa. At that point the process can slow to an enjoyable pace. I may take a day or 2 to carefully place each ornament on the best place.
I think we often fail to realize the joy of pulling each ornament from its box. For each individual ball, toy, or whatever has a story. I cannot speak for everyone, but I find myself cherishing each memory as I hang the ornament. It may be a ball with a glass opening that shows a miniature scene inside. In one case, it is Charlie Brown and Lucy ice skating. This was a special Hallmark ornament from the 70's I got as a child from Daddy's store. (Hard to believe that 50 years ago.) There are the ornaments collected from places traveled. The ones that were gifts from special friends. And, always the precious ones made of Popsicle sticks, glue, and pipe cleaners.
There are the glass balls I found on sale when we trimmed our first tree. I never thought of the expense of trimming a tree until the Christmas of 1982 when got our first tree. It was only then I realized that it would take patience and time to collect enough ornaments to properly decorate our tree. From this lesson I started a tradition of giving our granddaughters ornaments each year for Christmas so they will at least be a bit more prepared for their first tree than we were.
So each year's tree is a labor of love, a family tradition, a trip down memory lane, as well as the ultimate decoration that is the center of the home's holiday tradition. Then like something akin to a castle on the beach that awaits its fate by the change of the tide, in a manner of weeks, the process will be reversed, and everything will be put back up, moved back out, and the tree retired to the rubbish or recycle bin. We will be as glad to see it go, as we were thrilled when it was first put up.
Sunday, November 21, 2021
I recently learned that Julian Fellows has come through again. It has been announced that there will be another Downtown Abbey movie to be released in March 2022 - Downton Abbey - A New Era. Based in the 1930's, it continues the saga of the Crowley family.
But there are questions:
Who are the newly weds shown briefly in the trailer - perhaps Tom and Lucy who met when the King and Queen visited Downton?
Just who was this mystery man of the Dowager Countess Violet's past? Were there more men in her life than the Earl of Grantham and Prince Kuragen? Is this who she visited when she disappeared to the south of France to get over being offed the Hospital Board?
What are George, Caroline, Sybil, Marigold, and Edith's second child up to?
Does Micheal Gregson reappear having been lost in Germany with amnesia since before the Great War, and complicate Edith's life? Or does Bertie tire of her and move onto another lady? Perhaps the Duchess of Kent? (Poor Edith)
Does the great house become way too expensive to manage and the family sell it to the Catholic church to be run as a home for wayward women (with Lady Isabel Merton - nee Crowley running the show)?
Do Daisy and Andy marry and turn Mr. Mason's tenancy into an organic jam operation?
Do Mr. Mason and Miss Patmore find true love?
Who is the glamorous blond who appears briefly in the trailer entering the Abby?
What becomes of Thomas's relationship with the King's Valet?
Do Violet and Maude make pretty and move to the South of France?
And who owns the yacht? Perhaps Harold?
Oh, so many questions. A lot can happen in the years between the mid 20's and mid 30's.
Here is the trailer: Downton Abbey - A New Era
Saturday, November 20, 2021
Most of you know I was brought up in South Carolina, a state where "winter" weather is limited to 6 weeks in February and March. Maybe every 4 or 5 years snow will fall, generally just enough to cover the ground and cause mass pandemonium.
All that said, my mother had certain ideas in her head of things that were proper. Not necessarily practical but proper.
There was a piece of "Winter" apparel Mama thought I needed to have and use. Beyond a scarf and gloves which were rarely used, Mama decided I needed a muff, a full white rabbit hare muff.
For those of you not familiar, a muff is defined as "a tube made of fur or other warm material into which the hands are placed for warmth". Such as this one as seen in the 1880's, in Europe where there is a true cold winter 4 months of the year. Memories of the snowy sleigh scenes in Dr. Zhivago come to mind, not the "chilly" winter days in South Carolina where the temperatures rarely drop below 40.