Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Top Ten Posts For 2020

Hi folks.  Aren't we glad this difficult and challenging year is drawing to a close?  Obviously, Covid 19 has been the big talking point, but I know many people have had difficulties not related to the virus.  My husband's aunt had cancer and died from a stroke before her treatments started.  One of the bloggers I like to read, Mike, who writes A Bit About Britain, was sick earlier in the year.  Believe it or not, I'm still having lingering effects from the Bell's Palsey I had back in June.  In fact, I've just been online looking at exercises to strengthen my facial muscles, which don't seem to have fully recovered.  And sadly, both of our families know people who have died from Covid 19.  Needless to say, we're all hoping for a better year in 2021!   
Out of curiosity, I thought I would look at Google Analytics to see what my most popular posts were this year.  What peaked your interest the most on House at Forest Manor in 2020?  According to Google Analytics, these are your ten favorite posts this year.
In the top two spots were -- Attract More Birds to Your Outdoor Feeder.  

Sunday, December 27, 2020

After Christmas

Well, we've had a nice, peaceful day today (and yesterday, too).  These quiet days are always a welcome respite after the hustle and bustle of the Christmas holiday.  I realize there was a lot less hustle and bustle this year for most of us, but even so, it can still be tiring.  


Friday, December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas 2020

Merry Christmas Dear Ones!  I'm just barely squeezing in under the wire this year.  I was so busy all day yesterday and today -- no time to write even a short post.  


Sunday, December 20, 2020

A Christmas Advent Wreath

Only three full days now until Christmas Eve -- are you ready?  I'm never ready until the last minute, and this year is no different than any other, in that respect.  😉  Yesterday, we drove to a church that's about twenty minutes from our house to see this advent wreath that my mother-in-law told us about.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Christmas Music

The sun is shining and it's cold here -- a perfect day to put up Christmas decorations and
listen to Christmas music.


Friday, December 4, 2020

Biltmore Candlelight Christmas

Hi folks -- Happy Friday to you!  I'm seeing some really pretty Christmas decorations on your blog posts.  I'm still putting ours out, and I've a ways to go before I can share any of mine here.  I'm almost through with our tree, and I hope to finish the living room later today.  In the meantime, I'm sharing some pics from the Biltmore House back in January of this year.  Hal, my mom, and I went to the Christmas Candlelight tour on January 4th, and I told Hal later that it was one of our best visits, in my opinion.  We had a delicious meal at the Stable Cafe, and it snowed while we were there.  Not the icy kind that makes driving so risky, but just a soft, white snow.  Talk about atmosphere!    
This trip made our fourth time to do the Christmas Candlelight tour.  They do things a bit differently each year, and I thought the decorations were especially pretty on this day.  I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Thanksgiving 2020

May you have a good Thanksgiving day tomorrow, my friends.  I hope you all have a delicious  meal and wonderful fellowship.    
There will be six people gathered at my mom's house tomorrow.  My sister and I helped my mom with some of the cooking today and enjoyed a good chinwag, as well.  😄  I can't wait to have my mom's delicious dressing tomorrow; it has been my favorite part of the meal for as long as I can remember.  What is your favorite dish on Thanksgiving, and by the way, do you call it stuffing or dressing?  We've always called it dressing at our house, so I don't know if that's just a regional thing or what.  Anywho, I'm also looking forward to eating some of those coconut cream and chocolate chess pies we made today.  

Friday, November 20, 2020

Recipes For Thanksgiving

Hello friends.  Have you done your food shopping for next Thursday yet?  I realize that there will be smaller groups at all of our tables this year, but I assume that a lot of folks (in the U.S.) will still be cooking some sort of Thanksgiving meal.  Here are some recipes that we like to have at our Thanksgiving table, and I bet you have some very similar ones at your house.


Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Christmas Reading

In mid-November here in the northern hemisphere, the shadows lengthen and the darkness falls early.  Last night we were doing errands, and there was a beautiful sliver of a new moon -- an eyelash moon.  When I took Duncan out at bedtime, the stars were twinkling and were a beautiful sight to behold.  I love this time of year.  When we're out, I like to see lamplight in people's windows; it projects warmth and coziness to the outside world.  If you're lucky, you might catch glimpses of bookshelves filled with books, pictures on the wall, or family gathered around the table for dinner.  Perhaps the curtains are drawn and you'll only see the warm glow behind them.  Nevertheless, it speaks of home and hearth.  
I know some of you have already begun decorating for Christmas.  We have not, but we'll probably need to start soon.  As part of the season's rituals, I like to start my Christmas reading around the end of November or first of December.  I usually read the same books every year, but they always seem to make me happy.  I am thinking of finding some new things to add to the list though.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Fall In The Family Room

Happy November to you!  Like so many of you seem to do, I love this time of the 
year.  This is the season when I am really drawn to hearth and home.  The last time I posted, I said I would share some of my fall decor this week, so I'm starting with our family room.

Friday, October 30, 2020

October 30th, This and That

Can you believe tomorrow is the last day of October?  2020?  What a year, right?  I hope you're enjoying a beautiful autumn wherever you may be.  We have some pretty colors here in our town, but we've seen prettier.  Weekend before last, we drove up to the mountains for the day, and the colors were so dull; it was as if the leaves were seriously considering just skipping the whole show this year.  It was a disappointment, for sure.  Chalk another one up to 2020.  I am thankful for mostly blue skies and puffy white clouds today.  Yesterday, we suffered the leftover wind and rain of  Hurricane Zeta, and I realize that what we had was mild indeed compared to what the people of Louisiana have been hit with.  There were several large trees down in our neighborhood and the surrounding town; this morning we heard that about 100,000 residents in North Carolina are still without power.  In looking at pictures of the Gulf Coast, we were very fortunate.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Watching "Dunkirk," Reading Ken Follett, and Spending Time With Family

Happy Columbus Day everyone.  Before I get to the rest of my post, I want to say that I've really had a challenging time lately with blogging, and especially visiting other blogs.  At first I thought it was Blogger, but now Mr. Forest Manor and I have determined the problem is with my browser, Google Chrome.  Certain blogs would open and load immediately for me, and others refused to load.  I was not able to visit my friend Betsy at Estelle's, and I wanted to leave some comments for her.  I also tried to visit Michele at Finch Rest and Martha at Lines From Linderhof.  I've now switched to using Microsoft Edge as my browser, and that is working well (for now).  Is anyone else out there having these kinds of problems?  


Wednesday, September 30, 2020

My First Visit To A Tea Room

First things first.  I've been having a little trouble with the new Blogger lately.  I'm 
assuming it's Google Blogger, but it could be my browser.  At any rate, I've had trouble pulling up several of your blogs that I normally read, and last week, I wasn't able to make some basic changes to my sidebar.  Very, very frustrating; but let's move on to more pleasant things.  

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Hello September and Goodbye to Summer

I think a lot of people are ready for fall.  I'm always ready for fall, too, usually because it's been so boiling hot and humid here in North Carolina.  This year has been quite different in that respect.  We have had some very hot days, but overall, our summer here has been pretty mild temperature-wise.  If you disregard the earthquake that began in Sparta, North Carolina, and the hurricane that hit Oak Island a week after we visited there, well it's just been a very uneventful summer.  😏  
Welcome September 2020, my birthday month and the first month of fall.

Monday, August 31, 2020


Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Beatrix Potter Treasures

Are you a fan of Beatrix Potter?  I am, and I know there are many others out there as well.     

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Hello August!

Hello again everyone!  Thanks to those of you who commented on my last post, and especially those who are/were having the same problem as me.  We'll see how it goes in the future.  
Gosh, I have not done well keeping up with my blog this summer.  I think I can be forgiven with everything that's been going on around here.  My Bell's Palsy did clear up (thankfully) but it has caused some pain and difficulty of movement in my right jaw.  I'm hoping that will repair itself, too.  Our air conditioning system, which we've only had for seven years this summer, was leaking coolant and had to be repaired.  It had actually started to leak last summer, but we didn't get around to having it fixed then.  As Murphy's Law would have it, the weather got really hot and humid here (after what had been a very mild season) before we could get it fixed.  A new part had to be ordered, which was quite pricey, and once that arrived, we finally got everything repaired.  😰   Do you ever ask yourself how in the world people did without air conditioning years ago?  I'm constantly wondering that in the summertime.  

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Just A Quick Word

Hello all!  This is something of a test post because my husband just added word verification to my blog.  I hope it will only be needed for a short while.  I'm okay with the New Blogger format, except for one thing.  The Spam Flagging/Security must be zilch at the moment.  Some pervert has latched onto my blog and is leaving the most disgusting comments.  I'm neither amused nor impressed, believe me.  I have my settings checked for only comments from users with Google accounts.  These ridiculous comments are all labeled "Unknown" so one would think they wouldn't be getting through, but they are.  Several a day, in fact.  I've always had Comment Moderation, and it's a good thing, because I'd hate to think these comments would be on my blog posts for the world to see.  Whoever or whatever is sending these obviously has way too much time on his/her hands.
I'm going to publish this now to see if the word verification shows up in my comments area.  Please bear with me while I try to get rid of this mess.  

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Happy Fourth 2020!

I'm wishing all of you a Happy Fourth of July, dear friends.  I hope you have a glorious day with your loved ones, wherever you may be.  

Thursday, July 2, 2020

I Love Red, White and Blue

More pics today, as promised.
 Oak Island, North Carolina
Coast Guard Station  

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

July Already!

Wow, is this year ever flying by!!!  I'm just trying not to get left behind.  😳  Before I forget, I want to say "Happy Canada Day" to my dear blog friends in Canada!  
  For most of this Fourth of July week, I'm planning to share photos we've taken over the years in the summertime.  A lot of them have the American flag in them, and some are just images featuring red, white and blue.  I love those colors together -- have you ever noticed how many countries have flags with red, white and blue? 
 Southport, North Carolina


Tuesday, June 30, 2020

First Post on New Blogger

Hi there and welcome to my blog.  I'm glad to see you!  I'm running out of time to get acclimated, so I'm just taking the plunge and trying a post on the new Blogger forum.  Like most folks, I don't think we'll be doing any traveling this summer, although I hope we'll get to spend a few days at my in-laws' beach house.  I imagine they'll be putting it up for sale before too long, and we need to spend some time there, if possible.  We have so many good memories from our times there.   
For this post, I thought I would share some links to places we've visited in previous years; if you happen to be a new visitor to House at Forest Manor, you won't have read these posts.  I imagine we'll be mostly doing armchair travel this year.  :) 

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The Baker's Rack

Hello to you!  Are you having a good week?  I bet you'll have an even better week if you don't listen to the news or read about it online.  Ask me how I know.  😏  Anyway, our week has been fine.  We had our new washer and dryer delivered yesterday, finally -- we ordered it about four or five weeks ago.  Things are kind of crazy right now, though, aren't they?  I think we're going to like these; our other set was having big problems.   
I made a few small changes in the kitchen that I want to share with you.  The changes involve the wall with our baker's rack.  

Friday, June 12, 2020


Hello Dear Friends.  Once again, I've been absent for a bit, but right now, I imagine everyone is so shell-shocked they haven't even noticed.  At the moment, I'm dealing with a case of Bell's Palsy for the third time in 26 years.  If you're not familiar with it, the short explanation is the doctors aren't sure what causes it, although a virus (not CoVid 19) is one of the possibilities.  At any rate, there is pressure on one of my cranial nerves, which causes a temporary (I sincerely hope) paralysis in the right side of my face.  It's difficult to blink my right eye, to eat and drink, and to talk.  Today makes a week since it first started, and I finished my round of steroids yesterday.  We're seeing a very slight improvement, so I hope it will heal completely, as it did the first two times.   

Monday, May 25, 2020

In Remembrance

"All gave some,  and some gave all." 

Saturday, May 23, 2020

A Wedding Anniversary

Today is my 33rd wedding anniversary!  I'm so glad we said, "I Do."  💏  🎉   

Monday, May 18, 2020

The Kitchen Eight Years Later

Hi All -- I'm glad you've stopped by.  Around this time eight years ago, we were having our kitchen renovated -- a long-overdue improvement, I might add.  We had lived here for 16 years before we had an opportunity to get the kitchen properly re-modeled.  Part of the room was stuck in the 70's and part was stuck in the 90's.  Not the best look ever.  😏  I'm not going to go back over that process; if you'd like to see pictures of the before kitchen and the renovation process, you can see that here, here, and here and here.  I showed the final reveal in 2013 here
All of this is old news for those of you who've been following along here for awhile, but I updated my pictures yesterday because I just finished a good spring clean in the kitchen.  Since I knew it would only stay this way about 17 1/2 minutes, I knew I'd better snap some quick pictures and record this for posterity.  I inherited my mother's love for saving, and looking back at, old pictures.  I'll note here that when we did the original renovation in 2012, we didn't replace the dishwasher, refrigerator, or floor.  We've now replaced everything but the fridge, which I hope won't be needed for awhile.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Part Two of the Governor's Palace in Colonial Williamsburg

Welcome back to the Governor's Palace!  

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

A Tour of the Governor's Palace in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia

Would you like to take a walk through the Governor's Palace in Williamsburg with me?  Begun in 1705, it served as the official residence of the Royal Governors of the Colony of Virginia from 1710 - 1776.  The palace was home to seven royal governors and the first two elected governors of  the colony of Virginia, Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

The Gertrude Jekyll Roses

These are our David Austin roses, "Gertrude Jekyll."  I share pictures of them about every other year, mostly for posterity I think.  😉  They are really photogenic roses, and Mr. Forest Manor likes to take pictures of them.  Plus, everything's just been extra pretty this spring, hasn't it?  I can't recall when I've seen so many beautiful blooms everywhere, and I don't think our grass has ever looked this good. 

Monday, April 27, 2020

Quick and Easy Chocolate Pudding

Raise your hand if you like chocolate pudding.  😁  Maybe I should just ask who doesn't like chocolate pudding.  We love it at our house.  Oh, and just to clarify for folks across the pond, I'm referring to pudding as it is used in North America -- a custard served for dessert.  A few years ago, I came across a recipe for microwave pudding, and it caught my interest.  I ended up combining parts of two recipes I found online, and I've used this one with good results.    

Thursday, April 23, 2020

The Everyday Dishes

About 25 years ago, my sweet mom and I were shopping in our local Reading China -- oh how I still miss that store.  You could find just about anything there, and it was usually good quality at a good price, too.  Anyway, I happened to spot these boxed sets of dishes on an endcap, and I was immediately hooked.  For our entire married life (which at that time was only about eight years) I had used the cheap modest stoneware dishes that I bought at K-Mart when I first moved out into my own apartment.  I don't have any pictures of those dishes, but I thought they were very pretty at the time.  We also had some dinner plates passed down from Hal's mom that came from the potteries in Seagrove, North Carolina.  

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

French Toast For Dinner

When I was growing up, my mom used to make breakfast for dinner now and then.  As an adult, I've always liked breakfast for dinner, and since the shelter-in-place order, we've had eggs more often than usual.  For the first week, fresh meat was hard to find at our store, and we happened to have plenty of eggs on hand, so there you go.  😉  We do try not to overdo though, because we both have to be careful of our cholesterol.  We just got a package of 24 eggs from Costco, so last night Mr. Forest Manor made us Egg McMuffins.  He makes good Egg McMuffins because he worked at McDonald's one summer when he was in college.  😊

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Spring Beauty -- Biltmore Gardens 2016

Hello Dear Ones!  Has spring sprung at your place yet?  We're having a beautiful spring here bloomwise, but it's still been pretty cold.  Cold nights and windy days, for the most part.  I'm very thankful for the profusion of spring color, though.🌷🌼 

Thursday, April 2, 2020


Hi everyone!  I'm still around -- just haven't had time to put together a post.  First things first; I'm so, so sorry that I haven't been by to visit my dear fellow blogging friends!  I have to say that this situation is taking a little getting used to.  😉  I do love having Mr. Forest Manor here during the day, but... it certainly changes my schedule.  I consider this a rehearsal for retirement; we're in training, I suppose.  😜  Anyhoo, with both of us here all the time, we're consuming an awful lot of food.  Suffice it to say, I've probably gained back every pound I had lost last year.  Sigh.  At any rate, the kitchen is definitely getting a workout.  I'm constantly thinking that I'm so thankful we had the re-model done in 2012, and I'm glad we gave careful thought to our new storage spaces, in addition to the new sink, stove, and dishwasher.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Unusual Times

Hello All!  Are you staying sane and healthy?  

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Happy St. Paddy's Day 2020

Hi everyone!  It's a dreary, rainy day here in central North Carolina, but I want to wish you all a Happy St. Patrick's Day. 

Monday, March 2, 2020

Welcome March!

Hi everyone!  Are you happy to turn the calendar page on another month?  

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Love Is In The Air

Hello everyone!  Did you have a good Valentine's Day?  My mom and I went to lunch, which we thoroughly enjoyed, and then I spent the evening with my darling Hal.  I put this table together over a period of days, and I had a lot of fun with it.  I'm so happy with the way it turned out; I think it's my favorite Valentine's table so far.  Well actually, my favorite is the year I accidentally put the silverware on the wrong side of the plates, took all the pictures and posted, before I realized what I'd done.  It would be hard to top that one.  😏

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Ten Years of "House at Forest Manor"

Hello Friends!  In January of this year, I began my tenth year of blogging -- I can hardly believe it.  In some ways it seems like it hasn't been any time at all since I published that first post in 2011; then in other ways, it feels like I've been doing this always.  I've noticed some of my blog friends have also been writing their blog for ten years; I didn't realize that so many of us had started around the same time.  I just always assumed that everyone else had been at this a lot longer than me.  :D

Monday, February 3, 2020

The Winter Dining Room (And a New Piece of Furniture)

Happy Monday and Happy February everyone!  Wow, where did January go?  I hope you're all having a good winter and staying healthy.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Lenox "Holiday" Tablescape

I set a Christmas table this year, even though my family got together at my mom's house.  I made some pictures since I'll shortly be taking this down and putting everything away until next Christmas.  These were the dishes I inherited last year when Hal's great-aunt, Dorothy, passed away.  My sister-in-law will be getting a set, as well.  I feel so fortunate to have received these dishes; they really do set such a pretty table.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Welcome To A New Year

Hello to you all and Happy 2020!  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas at your home.  We certainly did, but boy was it rushed.  Such a short (and fast) time between Thanksgiving and Christmas in 2019.  Whew!
I have been so slow lately; here it is January 7th, the day after Epiphany, and I'm just now getting to share some pictures of our Christmas decor.  If you're a regular visitor here, you know I don't do a lot that's different from year to year because I have such a sentimental attachment to our Christmas things.  However, I do try to change things up a little, just to keep it from getting too humdrum.  If you're sick of seeing Christmas pics, you'll probably want to skip this post.  :D
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