Wednesday, July 12, 2017


Summer in England is the most disorienting time for an American living in between two worlds.  All of my friends' children are celebrating the end of the school year right about the time my kids are preparing for a week off of school at the end of May before going back for 6 1/2 more weeks. And when the school year finally ends here, they will be gearing up for back-to-school shopping.   My friends are bemoaning the end of summer when we are rejoicing that our holidays have arrived at last.  Like I said,  it's very mentally disorienting.

Growing up in the American south, summer was less of a season and more like a complete state of mind.  Summer equaled no school, complete freedom, long, hot, boring, and endless days.  Summer in Alabama is playing in the water hose, sweat-drenched clothes, watching movies inside in the air conditioning.    

This is our third summer in England, and from our limited experience we have learned summer is early morning sunrises and late night sunsets.  It is fields of wildflowers and ripening barley blowing in the wind like an ocean of grain.  It's lots of rabbits, and it is fresh strawberries and cream.  It is Wimbledon.  It is sometimes needing to pull out your coat again and sometimes 80 degrees with no air conditioning, leaving the air in your house still and your body sticky with dried sweat.  It's green as far as the eyes can see.

This has definitely been the most adjusted we've been to a "summer term" of school, but even so, it's a good feeling to be only a week and a half away from our summer holidays.

"Summer was our best season..."

- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - 

Friday, June 30, 2017

June: A Good Halfway Point

June 2 - A Lovely Walk with a Friend

June 3 - I've been enjoying lots of asparagus this month.

June 4 - What James thinks of freshly-squeezed apple juice

June 5 - More packaging that made me laugh - I'm not used to the word slaughtered on my beef.

June 6 - Pretty, fuzzy peaches

June 7 - Beautiful Morning Walk near the Barley Field

June 8 - Baking with Ella

June 9 - Little Boy Playing

June 10 - More Summer Fruit

June 11 - A Very Southern Sunday Meal

June 12 - Summery Kebabs

June 13 -  Aquarium Field Trip with James

June 14 - Hot weather meant a cool after-school treat for the kids.

June 15 - Picking Strawberries in the Back Garden

June 17 - A Funfetti Cake for Father's Day

June 18 - A Sunny Sunday Performance

June 19 - Such a fun charity shop find

June 20 - Wildflowers, Barley, and the Devil's Arrows

June 21 - a 10:12 p.m. Summer Sky

June 22 - She's always working on a project.

June 23 - Backyard Bounty

June 24 - Country Church Foyer

June 25 - Beautiful staircase at Beningbrough Hall (Can you believe a soldier rode his horse down it when he was billeted here during WWII?)

June 26 - Andy Griffith and Crafting at the end of a Monday

June 27 - It feels like the perfect summer read for me. (It's one of my book club's picks, and I'll be excited to discuss it with Yorkshire ladies.)

June 28 - Copied from my She Reads Truth Romans study book

June 29 - How much do I love this?  So much.

June 30 - Getting 4th of July Ready  (How cute is this infographic for the national anthem?)

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


One of the fun parts of having visitors is getting to explore a new place together.  When K.J.'s parents came over in March, K.J. planned a little family history exploration.  He's been volunteering at our local North Yorkshire library this year, and one perk of that is having free access to online ancestry records.  You might be interested to know that according to some research, K.J. can trace the Pugh family history to Welsh kings who supposedly were descended from Anna of Arimethea.  You know, Joseph's daughter.  😏  I'm unconvinced about that.

On the more accurate and reasonable side of things, K.J. was able to trace his family line back to the Pugh who left Wales for the new world in about 1660, immigrating to what is now Pennsylvania.  And that is cool enough for us.

We made our way to the town of Dolgellau (which of course is not pronounced the way it's spelled) with a stop in Conwy (pronounced Con-way) to explore the amazing castle there.

It is a very cool, impressive castle built by Edward I in the 1280s.  

There were some stunning views from the towers.

I loved the stained glass window with the couplet:

At the altar they heard estuary birds
cry over the kiss of salt and river water.

It's a perfect and beautiful description of the place.

After we explored the castle, T and I did a quick little walk through the town.  I love ducking into charity shops.  You see so much of the stuff life is made of that way.  Plus, as they say, One man's trash is another man's treasure.  And it's just delightful looking at all the colorful doors.