Sunday, December 25, 2022

Merry Christmas 2022

Merry Christmas Everyone!!  
From our house to yours...

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

A Blessed Advent

'Tis the Season, everyone! 

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Thanksgiving 2022

Happy Thanksgiving, dear American friends!!  Wherever you are, I hope your day is blessed with family, friends, love, good food, and thoughts of what you're thankful for.  This is one of my favorite days of the year.

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Thistle Tablescape

I remember the first time I saw a wild thistle growing along the roadside in the mountains.  I did a double-take -- surely I was mistaken.  I thought they only grew in the Scottish Highlands.  I was wrong; they do grow around here at the higher elevations, but we haven't been able to spot any the last year or two, so I wonder if the farmers or the state park rangers are trying to kill them off.  I've heard they can be invasive, and I know from experience they sport some seriously wicked thorns.   
I meant to set up this table some time ago, but I was waiting to find the right dishes (at the right price) for it.  A few years ago, my sweet husband gave me a beautiful table runner with embroidered thistles, along with some coordinating doilies.  He ordered them from the Gretna Green website, where we both like to shop for gifts.  I already had the napkins, thinking I would set a Mardi Gras table, and they were perfect with the other linens.  Then a few months ago, I finally found the dishes on e-Bay.  I would have loved to buy the teacups and saucers, too, but I didn't want to spend the extra money.  

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

First of November

Hello friends!  Happy first day of November!!  We're smack dab in the middle of my favorite time of year, and I can't believe that all of October passed without my writing a single post.  Life has been busy here, and I've been trying to live each day so haven't made time to write about my life lately.  I'm not sure anyone's still interested in reading what I write, but no matter.  I'm still here.  😉  Are you having a nice fall so far?  The foliage has been spectacular here, so I feel sure it has been lovely everywhere else, as well.  Two years in a row of extraordinary fall beauty, and I'm drinking in those colors everywhere we go.  

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Saying Goodbye To Summer

Hello friends!  Are you enjoying the last days of summer?  Maybe I should say "official last days of summer."  Chances are, it could be hot in parts of North Carolina into October.  Nevertheless, summer is waning, and fall is just around the corner.   

Monday, August 22, 2022

The Joys of Bird Watching

Hello all!  Are you having a good week?  We're staying pretty busy, but we're ready for some cooler weather.  In spite of the heat, we've gotten good rain this summer, for which we're extremely grateful, as we have all those baby trees that really need water.   
One thing that we've done every day this summer, I believe, is watched the birds in our backyard.  I can't tell you how much we've enjoyed that, as it has been way too hot to spend any time outdoors since early June.  We probably spend too much money on bird seed, but we sure get a lot of pleasure out of our birdwatching.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

A New Blog Look

Hi All,  It's Friday's Eve again already!  😀  I just want to give a shoutout to Linda Primmer of Life and Linda blog for once again updating the look of House at Forest Manor.  I had grown tired of my previous look and contacted her for help.  The first time I had Linda re-design my blog, I wasn't completely certain of the look I wanted, and I probably drove her crazy by changing my mind multiple times.  However, this time I knew what I wanted, and I'm so happy with the results!!  I found the laurel wreath and bee graphic online and showed her an example of the gold print I liked, and she totally delivered.  I wanted a simpler, more classic look, and that's what I got.  She also helped me get set up to receive my blog comments via e-mail again.  
Linda is always so pleasant and helpful to work with, and I'm so appreciative.  I also appreciate her tutorial posts showing us how to do some of these things ourselves. I know she has done blog designs for many of you, so you're familiar with her work.   
Thank you again, Linda!!!  


Monday, August 1, 2022

Reynolda Gardens 2021

Would you like to take a (virtual) walk through Reynolda Gardens with me today?  These pictures are actually from last year, but we can look at them in the cool and comfort of our own homes.  Reynolda Gardens are part of the original R. J. and Katharine Reynolds estate in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  R. J. and Katharine's daughter, Mary Reynolds Babcock, loved the formal gardens at Reynolda, and after her death in 1953, her husband donated the formal gardens and greenhouses to Wake Forest University, with specific instructions to preserve the space as a community resource.  There is no charge for admission at Reynolda Gardens, and that's a real plus in my book.  😉

Friday, July 29, 2022

Butterflies and Bees Tablescape

Back when it was still spring of this year -- before the heat descended in a big, moist, hot blanket, I set up a table in the dining room using my Butterfly Meadow dishes.  I do a table with these most years because I think they're just so pretty in the spring (and summer).  If you are a regular reader here, you know we went to the beach twice in close succession, had a death in my family, and then Hal and I both caught Covid.  The table just sat there languishing -- dishes in place, but no centerpiece.  I thought about just putting the dishes away because I'd lost the initial spark to take pictures and write a post.  But then, our new butterfly bush bloomed and my limelight hydrangea has about three times as many blossoms as last year, so I decided to make a centerpiece for the table and take pictures.  

Friday, July 8, 2022


Hello everyone!  Friday has rolled around yet again -- the start of another weekend.  I haven't posted here since the first week in June.  Shortly after I wrote that post about our family beach trip, Hal and I got Covid.  We came home from the beach the day before Memorial Day, and later that week Hal got Covid.  By the first of the following week, I had it, too.  We both had very mild cases; Hal thought his was just a head cold, but mine was just different enough that it made me decide to go to the doctor.  I had a bad case of pneumonia years ago; it was terrible, and I wanted to make sure I didn't have that again.  The worst thing about this Covid for us has been the cough and the way our energy got zapped.  However, we're almost completely back to normal again, and we are thankful.   
I hope you all had a nice Fourth of July.  My friend, Vee, posted something that exactly summed up my thoughts about July 4th this year, and I was glad to read it.  You can see her post here.  Today, I'm sharing some pictures from Reynolda Gardens, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  We haven't done much lately other than try to stay cool indoors where it's air-conditioned.  I took these pictures last year, in the last week of July, so possibly many of the same things are blooming there right now.  The pictures were taken in the evening, so they all have a rather mellow (and sometimes) fuzzy quality.

Thursday, June 2, 2022

A Wonderful Week at the Coast

Thank you to the folks who replied to my previous post asking for help in commenting.  My husband told me this morning he'd just found out that the browser I normally use, Microsoft Edge, has added some updates and these updates have some new security tags.  Apparently, the updates are making things hard for everyone (Hal wasn't able to do his online banking) and our bank is working to fix this.  The updates must have affected Blogger, too.  What a nuisance.  
Thank you also for your kind comments on the loss of my uncle.  Honestly, I still can't believe he's gone.  In that post, I mentioned that we were at the beach house when we got the bad news.  On Sunday, May 22nd, we returned to the beach for another week spent with Hal's parents and our son, Will.  It was so nice to be there with family, and we had a great time.  

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Can Anyone Help?

Hello to my Blogger/Blogspot friends out there.  We've been out of town for a week, and I'm just now trying to catch up on the blog.  I wanted to leave comments for some of you on your blog posts, and surprise, surprise, Google has made another change.  The commenting format is different, including the comment format on my own blog, and I can't seem to leave comments on anyone's blog.  I'm signed into Google, which it's instructing me to do, and still can't get to a comment box.  
Is anyone else having difficulty with this besides me?  I love blogging, but I seriously question why I keep bothering with Google.  I've been to the Help section, and my husband has tried to figure it out, and we're at a loss.  Would appreciate any wisdom you guys have on this!   

Friday, May 20, 2022

Another Goodbye

Hello Friends.  I've been really irregular about posting so far this year, and I apologize.  I try to visit you and leave comments when I can, but this has been a year of change.  We are transitioning to Hal's retirement, and a lot of the time, we have trouble remembering what day of the week and what month it is.    
Southport Harbor at sunset

Monday, May 2, 2022

Some Recommendations For You

Hi all -- are you glad to welcome the merry month of May?  This is always a busy month for us what with planting spring flowers, strawberry season, celebrating Mother's Day and our wedding anniversary, and last but not least, Memorial Day.  Whew -- I feel like I'm behind already.  😜  Today, I want to share a few things that I've discovered in hopes that you might find them interesting, too.   

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Our Life Lately

I just cannot believe that it's almost the end of April 2022.  Once again, I have fallen behind in my posting here.  If there are still any of you who look forward to reading House at Forest Manor, I do apologize for being so lax.  Part of the problem is that I've had a hard time deciding what to write about.    
We're still having a beautiful spring here, so much so that allergies have hit hard -- for everyone.  I've had a persistent sore throat and so have re-discovered the pleasures of hot tea in the morning (in place of my normal coffee).  Hot tea with honey and lemon are so soothing to the throat, and I'm currently favoring Twinings' Lady Grey tea.  Such a civilized custom is the taking of tea -- wouldn't you agree?

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Bringing Up The Babies

Today was actually a really nice day for me.  The weather was beautiful, albeit a little warm for April.  I got a lot done, including photos for this post, and I got Wordle in three guesses today.  Woohoo!!  😀 

Thursday, March 10, 2022

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Hi everyone.  We've had radio silence over here at Forest Manor since the first week of February.   I'm very glad that Mr. Forest Manor was able to retire last October, but -- it's harder for me to find uninterrupted periods of time to work on my blog these days.  Often, just as I'm in the middle of doing something, my hubby asks if I want to go to the bookstore or go for a walk.  He's a little more restless at home than I am.  Have any of you experienced this same thing?  😉  We have certainly been busy, which is a good thing.  I mentioned in an earlier post some things we were hoping to get done to our house this year, but with inflation the worst in 40 years, we will have to put off our bathroom updates until next year(?) and hope things are better then.  
However, the project which we can do ourselves is to turn our third bedroom into a home office/hobby room for the two of us.  Since I last posted here, we have moved the bed, nightstand, dresser, and standing floor mirror to my mom's attic space for storage.  This was the bedroom suite my parents bought for me when I was ten years old, and I have always loved it.  When I moved into my first apartment, that bedroom suite went with me, and we've had it everywhere we've lived since Hal and I married.   

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Creamy Potato Soup

Hello Friends!!  Happy first day of February!  I appreciate your kind comments on my last post; they are always a joy to read.  I feel bad that I'm not getting to visit with you more outside the blog.  I really hate that Blogger no longer delivers e-mails with comments; it was so easy to reply to those if I wanted to have more of a conversation with people.  

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

January 2022

Are you having a good week so far?  How has your January been?  So far our week and our month have both been good.  We had a snowstorm here on Sunday, and the snow is still here.  We had what the meteorologists fondly refer to as a "wintry mix."  😏  There was quite a bit of wind, too, but we were very fortunate; we didn't have any damage and we didn't lose power.  We were able to stock up on food and other necessities, and I realize we're fortunate that we don't have to get out in this weather and drive on slippery roads.  If it was just snow, it wouldn't be much of a problem, but it sleeted on top of the snow for several hours, so there was a very slick glaze on the surface of the roads. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Christmas Pictures

Hello Friends!  What a quick week this has been.  Are you having a good one?  When I was growing up, New Year's Day was officially the end of Christmas at our house.  My mom worked full-time, and she used that day off from work to get her decorations taken down and put away.  After she and my dad retired, they left the decorations up a little longer because they've always loved Christmas.   
Because we always get a fresh tree at Christmas, I could never bear to take ours down by January 1st and often left ours up until the middle of January.  These days, I consider Epiphany (January 6th) to be the official end of the Christmas season.  As much as I've enjoyed our decorations, I'm mostly ready to start taking them down for another year.  Hal and I have another household project we are anxious to start (it's one we can do ourselves).  However, I need to get most of the Christmas things put away first.  
I was disappointed not to share any pictures of our Christmas home this year, so I'm just going to share some now before I start taking everything down.  I took a lot of pictures (as usual) 😏 but I'm only sharing my favorites.  I hope you don't mind seeing a few more holiday images here in January.

Monday, January 3, 2022

It's A New Year!

Happy 2022 (three days late) to you!!  I last posted here on December 1, 2021 -- wow.  I had not intended to take the whole month of December off; I usually enjoy writing various Christmas posts.  This year though, I was having my family here on Christmas day, and I wanted to focus solely on getting the house ready and then on family and spending time together.  It seems like it worked out very well.  It was so nice to have the house cheerful and bright with Christmas lights and filled with family voices.

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