Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Welcome December

December brings the shortest days and longest nights of the year.  Derived from the Latin word decem  (meaning ten) because it was originally the tenth month of the year in the Roman calendar, which began in March.  The month in which Christians celebrate Advent and Christmas -- the birth of Christ.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Thanksgiving 2021

Happy Thanksgiving, dear friends!!  

Friday, November 19, 2021

A Thanksgiving Table 2021

Are you looking forward to Thanksgiving this year?  I know last year was a letdown for many because of Covid-19 restrictions.  It seems like this year, more people are planning to gather with family members (and friends).  We will be celebrating our blessings at Hal's parents' home this year.  On Friday, we'll visit my mom and have a dinner of leftovers (my favorite kind of leftovers)  :)  at her house.  I'll be taking food to both places, and our son will be joining us.  
I set a Thanksgiving table, just because.  Two things made me want to do that -- a new table runner I purchased in Charleston last month and my dried hydrangeas.  I thought about using my Liberty Blue dishes again, since I enjoyed using them with orange pumpkins a few years ago.  But I decided that the colors in my Johnson Brothers "His Majesty" dishes were what I wanted to highlight this year.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

November -- Dried Flowers, Photography, and Calligraphy

Hello dear readers.  Are you having a good week and a good November?  It has been a beautiful month so far, and I just cannot believe how gorgeous the foliage has been this fall.  I shared with you last week some photos from our drive in the mountains, but really, that didn't begin to touch on all the beauty we've seen the past few weeks.  The colors this year are so vibrant, and they're everywhere.  When we go somewhere (and if Hal is doing the driving) I find myself looking along both sides of the road constantly because that colorful foliage is a sight to behold.    
Our maple tree last Wednesday   

Friday, November 5, 2021

Hello November

We've had a nice week here at Forest Manor -- Hal's first real week of retirement.  It has been a busy one.  I thought for sure I would have time to set a fall tablescape, maybe share a fall recipe, but no.  'Fraid not.  😉  Still, I am taking a few moments to pound out this post.  On Tuesday, we decided to go to the mountains for one of our very favorite things to do -- leaf peeping.  The peak of our leaf season in the mountains had already passed, and we knew that, but we were pleasantly surprised at how much color still remained.  This has been one of the most beautiful autumns we've seen in some years.   
We decided to stop in the town of West Jefferson, in Ashe County, to eat some lunch, take some pictures, and visit the Cheese Shop (which I posted about several years ago).  

Friday, October 29, 2021

Happy Halloween From Charleston

Happy Friday everyone!  Are you looking forward to the weekend?  Today is officially Hal's last day in the working world; he was initially scheduled to retire at the end of September, but his boss asked if he would work until the end of October to help get his replacement up to speed.  So here we are -- one of those big milestones in life, that when you're young, feels like it's light years away.  Oh how the years have flown!  I'm hoping that since he's worked from home for the last year and a half, that will make this transition somewhat easier for him.  Also, he may be called in next year to do some consulting work there, if he's interested, and I think he probably will be.  😉    
So, Sunday is Halloween, and I'm posting some more pics from our Charleston trip last week.  There were some creative Halloween scenes around town, and we took pictures of our favorites.  I realize some people don't like Halloween, but we've never taken it too seriously; it was all in fun when we were growing up, and the same when Will was young.  I hope you find some fun with the pictures, and no offense intended.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

A Busy Fall

Hi all!  I'm finally getting a chance to write another post for October.  We returned on Friday the 22nd, from a four-day trip to Charleston.  I know it seems like we go there a lot, but we always seem to find something new to do when we visit.  We didn't go anywhere last year other than a long weekend at Oak Island, so we had this trip to Charleston scheduled for May of this year.  Sadly, we found out Duncan had cancer at the end of April, so we cancelled the trip for May.  My mom was able to get a room for us in October, and we were glad to get away.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Fall Front Porch 2021

I'm very glad to see October -- how about you?  Such a lovely month of changing foliage, early morning mists, blue skies, and beautiful sunsets.  Today we've had Irish weather, as my husband says.  It's been alternating rain and sunshine for most of the day, and the rain has been such a nice, gentle one.  

Monday, September 20, 2021

New Front Porch Lights

Another week has begun, and our temperatures look to be cooling off this week.  It was quite hot last week and over the weekend, too.  Whew!  I'm done with the heat, folks.  😳  Has it cooled off in your part of the world, yet?  I have a trip to the garden shop planned for this week because I'm ready to get our front porch pots planted.  We installed the new front porch lights over the weekend, and we're both very happy with them.  

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Progress On Our Yard Part 2

Hello Friends.  Are you having a good week?  Ours has been pretty good so far.  Thank you for your comments on my previous post.  We are still sad about Duncan; we do plan to get another dog, but not for a little while.  We have a lot going on right now and more work to get done on the house.  Speaking of that, we have gotten some things accomplished in the yard.  Actually, I should say that the man we hired to clean up the yard for us has gotten some things (a lot) accomplished, and the yard already looks so much better.  We are excited!

Monday, September 13, 2021

The Month of September

Hello everyone.  Are you having a good month so far?  We just returned on Saturday from six days at the beach; it was a much-needed break for us.  


Friday, August 20, 2021

The Latest News

Hi everyone!  Once again I've been away for a bit.  Oh, I haven't actually been anywhere -- I've mostly been right here, but I realized I needed a little break from social media.  It gets to be a downer after awhile; I'm sure you understand what I mean.  But I've missed you all, because reading my favorite blogs is almost always a cheering prospect.  

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Reynolda Village

Hi all!  I finally got a good opportunity to take some pictures this past Sunday afternoon.  I don't think I've mentioned here that my husband gave me a new camera for my birthday back in 2018.  It's a Sony ILCE-5100, and I absolutely love it.  It's a compact camera with a lot of capability.  I've used it so much more than I did the Canon Rebel, partly because it's much easier to carry around with me, but also because it takes terrific pictures.  That means for the last three years, I've done my own photography for my tablescapes, my recipe posts, travel pictures, and decor pics around the house.  When I first started writing House at Forest Manor, I made no secret of the fact that my husband did most of the photography for the blog.  I'm still no great shakes as a photographer, but I do feel like I've learned a few things over the years I've been writing this blog.  
Sunday presented a good opportunity for me to take some pictures of one of our local historical areas,  Reynolda Historic District.  Today, I'm sharing some images of Reynolda Village, which is a collection of shops, restaurants, a greenhouse and gardens, and a wedding venue, as well.  Come along and see what you think.  
Before I go further, I'd best explain that Reynolda Village is part of the original 1,087-acre estate belonging to Richard Joshua "R. J." Reynolds, founder of the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, and his wife, Katharine Smith Reynolds.  

source - Our State Magazine   

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Progress On Our Yard

Hi everyone!  I hope you're having a good week, and I'm glad you're here.  
  Today I'm sharing our major tree removal project with you; this work has been going on for a period of about three weeks (off and on).  Next week, the stump grinder will be here to take care of all that remains of these monster trees.  We put this project off for a long time because we knew the cost would be prohibitive, and it was.  By the time the stumps have been ground, we will have spent about $20,000 and some change on this.  For that kind of money, we could have had a sunroom added on to the back of our house, which I've wanted to do for years.  But...then we would be constantly worrying that these trees would drop a massive limb on the sunroom, or worse, one of the trees would get struck by lightening and fall on the house.  Among their many "endearing" qualities, poplars are also known to be lightening magnets.  😏  

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Summer Berry Trifle

Hi all!  How was your weekend?  We are well and truly into summer now, yes?  Hal and I walked Duncan yesterday evening around 8:00, and the air was still very hot and heavy.  It's more difficult to breathe in that kind of weather, and I tire more easily.  I'm always thankful for central air conditioning this time of the year.  
I hope you had a good Fourth of July; ours was very relaxing.  Last night, we had a no-fuss meal of grilled hot dogs with sides and some leftover dessert from my mom's cookout on Saturday.  My mom made a chocolate sheet cake, and I made a trifle.  The trifle is what I'm writing about today.    

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Fourth of July 2021

Hello Friends!  I hope you're all enjoying a beautiful day in your part of the world.  It's lovely here, but already hot.  Yesterday was the most perfect July day, weather-wise.  July 3rd is my Dad's birthday, and he would have been 80 years old yesterday.  He's been gone for three years now, and my mom decided to have a family get-together yesterday on his birthday.  It was so nice for us all to be together and enjoy one another's company and remember my dad.  We played corn hole (my first time ever to play) and it was fun.  Hal had already spent the first half of the day at car events taking photos, and he was well and truly worn out by the time we got home last night.  We had a very full day yesterday, so today will be somewhat low key.


Thursday, July 1, 2021

Progress On The House Part 3

Hello Friends!  Are you having a good week?  For those of you affected by this heat wave, I feel your pain.  We have those here in the south, but at the moment things are not too bad in our part of North Carolina.  I hope you have some cooler temperatures headed your way soon!  
I wish I had some prettier pictures of the house at the moment, but I don't.  It's still in the in-between, ugly stages.  The house itself doesn't look so ugly, but everything around it looks rough until we can get some landscaping done.  We won't be doing much landscaping until the rest of the big trees are felled, cut up, and hauled off.  Our tree guy won't be able to get back to us until week after next (most likely).  The rest of the work has to be done with the assistance of a crane operator.  Hindsight is 20/20 of course, but I would never buy another home with so many enormous trees so close to the house.  

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Progress On The House Part 2

Hi all!!  How has your week been?  Ours is fine, and the weather is gorgeous today.  Lots of work going on here at the moment, and I'm considering going to a hotel for a few days.  😄 😜  We have two men painting today, and all three doors are open (since they are the things being painted).  The breeze is nice, but we have a few bugs now.  There are two tree guys here, and they're using chain saws and wood chipper, and whew!  Oh, and the country music station is being played at a fairly loud volume.  I think I'm going to have to put some cotton in my ears.  😉  In all seriousness, these men have been just great.  They've been good workers, and so very amenable about what we want done, as well as being courteous, too.   
The exterior of the house is looking good now, but there's still a lot of cleanup to do.  I'm so excited now about getting our new roof.  That should be the icing on the cake.  Isn't paint a wonderful thing, though?  Having the doors and all the trim work painted makes everything look clean and new.  It's hard to show that with pictures, though, because all the tools and equipment are still sitting everywhere.  I will share a few photos with you -- try to imagine how things will look when the yard and porch are cleaned up.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Strawberry Cream Pie

Hello again all!  How has your week been?  Ours has been busy, but overall good.  Work continues on the house; we've selected a front door, and now we're looking at front porch light fixtures.  We've also had two tree people by here this week to talk about taking down several big trees.

Friday, June 4, 2021

Progress On The House

I wrote earlier about our house getting a "facelift."  I don't think I mentioned in that previous post that the house turned 50 years old this year -- it was built in 1971.  It was definitely time to make some repairs and improvements.  We were actually ready to get started on this last summer, and then Covid came along. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

June and Strawberry Shortcake

Hi everyone -- I'm glad you're here!  Can you believe it's June?  We're almost halfway through another year.  My Grandma once told me that the older you get, the faster time flies -- she was so right.  Did you have a nice weekend?  We did; I wanted to write a post for Memorial Day but just didn't get around to it.  We've been awfully busy for the past week now.  The work has begun on our house, and I hope to have some pictures for you soon.   
 My mom kindly got me some fresh strawberries on Saturday.  She lives a couple of miles from a strawberry patch, and most years she pays them a visit (or two).  :)  These were very pretty berries, and I appreciate her getting them for me.  My mom buys the already picked strawberries, although you can pick your own there if you prefer. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

An Outing to Laurel Gray Vineyards

Hi there everyone.  Are you having a good week?  Can you believe it's almost June now?!  This year is really flying by!  Thank you all for your kind comments on my post about Duncan.  We're taking good care of him and giving him lots of love.  


Tuesday, May 18, 2021


Hello everyone.  I apologize for the fact that I have not visited your blogs and commented recently.  I will definitely do better in the coming days, if nothing else goes wrong.  We found out two and a half weeks ago that Duncan has cancer and he's going to die.  We were so shocked -- it was very hard to process.  He's only seven years old.  I mentioned a while ago that we were taking him to a specialist because he wasn't using his left rear leg when walking.  Based on what our regular vet had told us, we thought we were going to be scheduling orthopedic surgery with the specialist.  Instead we were told that Duncan has a malignant tumor in his hip and spine -- something called nerve sheath cancer, which I had never heard of before.  It's aggressive, and we basically had three treatment options.  The first was to treat with medications (steroids and pain medicine).  The second option was to have his back leg amputated, and his prognosis was six months to live.  The third choice was to have the surgery and do radiation treatments, which might give him a year to a year and a half.  These last two would be very expensive, by the way. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

A Face Lift

Did you think I meant a facelift for me?  😎  LOL!  I could probably use one, but that's not really on my to-do list anytime soon (or probably not in this lifetime).  Anyway -- what will be getting a facelift is our house.  Yay!!  We've been saving our money and holding out until we could pay for this with cash, so our house will get a new roof, all our exterior trim work will get re-painted (and any repairs needed will be done).  Our four front-porch columns will be replaced, as some damage from rot has occurred.  We'll also get new shutters (probably the two panel style) and either a new front door, or at the very least, the existing door will be repainted.  We've gotten quotes over the last couple of weeks, and made our decisions, so I'm ready for the work to commence!!  

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

A Bouquet For You

Hello -- I'm glad to see you!  :)  Come inside and have a cup of tea.  Hasn't this been a beautiful spring so far?  Even though we had a couple of late freezes (not unexpected) the blooms still keep coming.  Don't you love the way everything blooms in sequence, so it's not all gone at once?  First the daffodils, the tulip magnolias, and the Japanese cherry trees, and they were prettier than ever this year.  Then came the crabapple trees, the redbuds, and the dogwoods.  It seems like they've all been spectacular this spring, although the dogwood blooms are still in the process of opening up.   
On the ground, it's time for tulips and iris, but we don't have any of those.  However, I picked some flowers that have self-seeded in the wooded area next to our driveway.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Easter Tablescape 2021

Hi folks!  Today I'm sharing a little tablescape fun and joining in for Susan's "Tablescape Thursday" party at Between Naps on the PorchI got my Easter table put together end of last week, but I've just now had a chance to write the post.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Book Review of "Towers In The Mist"

"No, there is no death, thought Philip, only a perpetual readjustment of the garment of life....And how lovely, and how endlessly various, is this garment." ~Elizabeth Goudge

I mentioned in an earlier post that I was reading Towers In The Mist, by Elizabeth Goudge.  I finished this around the end of March, and wanted to share my thoughts here.  This book is part of a series, The Cathedral Trilogy, and I've previously read the other two books.  Towers In the Mist and The Dean's Watch were my favorites.  

Saturday, April 3, 2021

He is risen!  May you all have a Blessed and Happy Easter tomorrow.  
Home Moravian Church, Winston-Salem, North Carolina  

Saturday, March 27, 2021

The Month of March - This and That

How has your Saturday been?  We've been having a thunderstorm this afternoon here.  Once again, it's been two weeks since I've posted.  We've had a stressful couple of weeks, and I just haven't felt like writing on my blog.     

We were back and forth to the veterinary hospital three times this week because Duncan has not been using his left leg; he walks hobbles around holding it up off the ground and not putting weight on it.  The veterinary practice where we take him had a broken x-ray machine, and our doctor had to take him to another animal hospital to get him x-rayed.  It turns out that his kneecap is dislocated, and it may require surgery to repair it.  We're going to try him on another week of anti-inflammatory/pain medicine, and if he's still not putting weight on the leg, we'll have to schedule surgery for him.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Remembering Williamsburg

Happy Saturday, everyone.  I guess I should say "Happy March" too, because I don't think I've posted since February.  I hope you're seeing some signs of spring in your part of the world.  We're seeing lots of daffodils and some tulip trees in bloom.  

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Melt-In-Your-Mouth Chicken Pie

Hello My Dears!  How are you?  I'm sharing a recipe with you today; it's been awhile since I've done a recipe post.  Do you like chicken pie?  If you're a vegetarian, I realize that question is moot, but if you eat meat, you might like this dish.  First of all let me say that I ate my share of Swanson frozen pot pies (always chicken, never beef) when I was in college, and I certainly don't miss those.  But there is something about that combination of chicken pieces, vegetables, gravy, and pastry crust that has always appealed to me.  Just basic comfort food, I suppose.  
After I married, we moved away (not far though) for about eight years, but we saw our families often, especially after our son was born.  Hal's paternal grandmother kept us supplied for years with her homemade chicken pies; sometimes we had four or five in the freezer at a time.  They were so convenient to pull out and pop in the oven for an easy and tasty home-cooked meal.  Fix some vegetables on the side, and sometimes bread, and you have a good meal, winter or summer.  Granny and her sister made many a chicken pie with the United Methodist Women's group at their church over the years.  Granny used to make extras for her family and she put lots of chicken in those.  These ladies made their own pie crust from scratch, and it was awesome.  So flaky and tender; I will always remember those pies.  

Monday, February 22, 2021

Winter Clothes Part 2

Can you even believe it's the last week of February?!  I thought I'd better do the second part of my winter clothes post before spring gets here.  :)

Friday, February 19, 2021

Winter Dining Room

Happy Friday all!  This has been some winter storm!  So far, we've gotten pretty lucky here, but it's not over yet.  I feel so bad for the people in Texas who are dealing with terrible conditions.  I hope they get some relief very soon!

Monday, February 15, 2021

A Quiet Monday (President's Day)

Hello everyone; how was your weekend?  Such an exciting time of year, no?  😴😴😴  I'm feeling waterlogged with all this rain, rain, rain.  Mr. Forest Manor actually has today off work, which is a first for him.  They were recently bought out, and the new company takes President's Day as a holiday.  We would love to go somewhere just for the day, but we'll be staying here.  Normally, we'd just take a drive into the countryside or maybe up to the Blue Ridge Parkway, but who wants to drive in this weather?  Sigh.   
I hope you had a nice Valentine's Day.  💘  Hubby brought me a pretty bouquet of flowers from the grocery store, and I'll take a picture later in the week to share.  I didn't do a Valentine's table this year, but here is last year's tablescape, if you're interested.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Favorite Winter Clothes

There's probably not much point in writing a fashion post for this winter.  We haven't been anywhere since Christmas.  I've not even had an opportunity yet to wear some of the things I'm showing today.  However, if we were going out and/or socializing, these are what I would choose to wear.  By the way, I make no claims to be a fashionista, 😊 but I do enjoy finding clothes that I feel good in.  


Friday, January 29, 2021

The Joy of Bird Watching

Happy Friday all!  If you're a regular reader here, you probably know that we love to watch our backyard birds.  We used to have feeders hanging under the eaves of our screened porch, and we could see the birds through our kitchen window.  They were always fun to watch.  


Tuesday, January 19, 2021

My New Favorite Room

There have been changes, large and small, in most households I imagine, with so many folks working from home since last March.  The same is true at our house.  I have loved having Mr. Forest Manor working here at home -- it just makes the house feel less empty.  He works in the back of the house, and I mostly stay in the front, so I try not to bother him during the work day.  However, it's just nice to know he's there.  One of the changes that has come about here is a small thing, but such a difference for me.  

Sunday, January 17, 2021


Hello Dear Ones!  Are you having a good January so far?  I hate that it's been two weeks since I last posted, but I've had after-Christmas cleanup to do here.  What a good feeling to get things put back in their places until next year!  Hal installed some new shelves for me in two of our closets back in the summer, and they are proving to be oh-so-handy.     
How have you been keeping yourself occupied in this winter season?  As I mentioned above, I've been putting things away, as well as sweeping and dusting.  I've also been reading.  I mean to start keeping a list of what I read each year because sometimes just looking back to the previous year, I can't always remember exactly what I read during that time.  I'm convinced that part of the reason for this is that time flies by so quickly anymore, something I think occurred just a year or two ago actually happened five years ago.  Does that happen with you too?  

Friday, January 1, 2021

Happy New Year 2021

Happy New Year all!  Wishing each of you the very best in the coming year!


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