Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I'd Rather Have Birds, A List of January Goodness

1. Birds
“If I had to choose, I’d rather have birds than airplanes.”
Charles Lindbergh

On these dun-coloured mornings and grey afternoons
 when Winter holds sway over all,
 it is such a delight to catch sight of a familiar flash of red, 
high in the naked trees.  
A Cardinal. 
 Undaunted by the cold, he swoops and dives like laughter,
 a tiny flame outside in the cold.
My Mother always love to watch the birds in the garden and so, years ago,
 my Father bought her the biggest, most elaborate bird feeder he could find. 
 Hating the thought of it standing empty since she died, 
The Songwriter retrieved it and set it up in the middle of our own back garden,
 just in time for some of the coldest weather yet. 
  He filled it with seed and before he could make his way
 back up the pathway into the house, the word was out!  
It is now filled with those gems of the winter,
 lapis blue jays, ruby cardinals, opal wrens, onyx crows.  
I adore the relationship with nature that bird feeding provides us, 
and encourage you to experience it if you don’t already.
Here’s a gorgeous bird feeder if you don’t have one.
Find it HERE


2.  Tea
Brew me a cup for a winter’s night.
For the wind howls loud and the furies fight;
Spice it with love and stir it with care, 
And I’ll toast our bright eyes, 
my sweetheart fair.”
Minna Thomas Antrim

A pot of hot tea sitting at the ready on a cold winter’s night
 is an incredibly comforting sight.
Nothing warms the body and the soul quite as well. 
  The ritual of making tea is part of its charm and, if I let myself,
 I’d have dozens of teapots.  
The one below recently caught my eye.  
Isn’t it great?  
You can find it HERE.

As for the tea itself, THIS is always my first choice, 
but lately I’ve been rather obsessed with THIS one.
And of course, one has to have THESE to make the experience complete!


 3.  Friends
“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive,”
Anais Nin

It’s no secret to The Songwriter that I’m not particularly fond of being photographed.  That’s why so many of our holiday snaps show a full length shot of my back as I toddle off in the opposite direction of his lens.  Therefore, when it came time to take an author’s photo for From The House of Edward, I was seriously dreading the process. 
 Of course, I’m luckier than most, as two of my good friends were uniquely placed 
to make me look infinitely more relaxed and comfortable than I actually feel, 
a true feat I assure you.
 ( You can see the result in the back of the book. ) 
One is a reknown photographer, you can meet her HERE
 The other is a celebrated artist and stylist who just happens to reside
 in a magical home that Edward absolutely loves to visit. 
 Both Edward and I are therefore so tickled to report that this wonderful friend,
 Thea Beasley, is featured along with her enchanting dwelling
 in the February issue of Country Living.  
It’s a must see!  
As delightful as she is gifted, (that’s her beautiful face in the photo above) 
Thea allowed Country Living to give us all a glimpse of her magical world. 
 Pick up this issue, or visit the website HERE
You can also visit Thea at her blog, HERE.
And below you’ll find a photo of Edward enjoying an afternoon at his Auntie Thea’s.  
 We are so lucky in our friends!


4. Candles
It snowed and snowed, the whole world over,
Snow swept the world from end to end.
A candle burned on the table; 
A candle burned.”
Boris Pasternak, from Dr. Zhivago

Candles are always burning here at The House of Edward.
  It’s quite true that everyone looks wonderful by candlelight, 
they make a house cozier and more romantic.
A dear friend tucked this one into my Christmas basket this year and I’ve loved it so during this winter season.  
It fills the house with soft scents of orange and cinnamon and smells perfectly delicious.
You can find it HERE
I also love the Jasmine one, for spring.


5.  Andirons
I don’t believe anything can do as much for a room as a glowing fire in an attractive fireplace.  Men and dogs love an open fire; they show good sense.  It is the heart of any room and should be kindled on the slightest provocation.”
Dorothy Draper

There are many things I cannot do.  
Gymnastics are totally outside my realm of capability and, Lord knows,
 math was never my strong suit.
  I cannot whistle, nor have I been able to twist my long hair into a satisfactory fishtail braid. 
 But stand back and watch me build a fire. 
 This, I can do. 
 Whenever Edward sees my don my heavy gloves and pull back the iron mesh skirt on the stone fireplace, he is thrilled.  He knows this means an evening by the fire, which is his most preferred method of whiling away a winter evening. 
 Fireplace accoutrements are some of my favourite antiques. 
 We have a pair of old iron owls as our andirons.  
Their glass eyes glow red in the firelight.
These antique ones above caught my eye recently.
Wouldn’t they be divine?
Find them HERE.

6.  Tartan Pendant Lamp
We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilisation.

Ok, well maybe the artist wasn’t thinking of Scotland, let along tartan, 
when he designed this pendant lamp above.  
But of course, that’s precisely what I thought of when I spied it.
With a modern twist on a classic motif, can’t you just see a row of these in a kitchen.
With a red aga?
Find it HERE.

7.  Dreaming of Spring Gardens
No winter lasts forever, no Spring skips its turn.”
Hal Borland

Though we huddle inside by the fire, with our mugs of hot tea in our hands, 
still, we think and we dream, of Spring.
I sit at my window and stare at the naked garden, woefully neglected this autumn, 
and before the eyes of my imagination, I see gardenias blooming, 
great blowsy hydrangeas the colour of sky,
 rose-petaled pathways and green green grass.
And perhaps, this garden seat?
Find it HERE


8.  Poetry
To read a poem in January  is as lovely as to go for a walk in June.”
Jean-Paul Sartre

To close this list of things that make January such a special month, 
it is only right to include a poem.
I read poetry a lot, and seem to read it more in the winter months.
This one is a new favorite from the wondrous poet, Mary Oliver, 
from her latest collection, A Thousand Mornings.
Find it HERE.
I hope you are having a cozy, peaceful January.

Green, Green is My Sister’s House

Don’t you dare climb that tree
or even try, they said, or you will be
sent away to the hospital of the
very foolish, if not the other one.
And I suppose, considering my age, 
it was fair advice.

But the tree is a sister to me, she
lives alone in a green cottage
high in the air and I know what
would happen, she’d clap her green hands, 
she’d shake her green hair, she’d
welcome me.  Truly

I try to be good but sometimes
a person just has to break out and
act like the wild and springy thing
one used to be.  It’s impossible not
the remember the wild and want it back.  So

if some day you can’t find me you might
look into that tree or - of course
it’s possible - under it.


  1. Oh, I do love the goodness of January post. All things I love too, and the andirons... I just walked in from feeding the ground feeding birds (many don't like to eat up on the feeder) and though I haven't many friends since I live miles from nowhere, blogging and visiting with you fill that outlet.

  2. Filled all feeders this morning watching the birdies in a feeding frenzy about 12 different breeds in all . Love being with my Miggs who is my best buddy , planning my gardens through my seed catalogs I just got in the mail , Wood stove crackling away , reading blogs ,drinking my tea a must in this house and best drink and looking forward to Papa who is at work to come home soon ! Lovely post ! Have a good day !

  3. I am braving the ice to feed our birds, today. Thank you for your wonderful post~

  4. The only thing that is sad about your posts Pamela...is that they end. Otherwise, pure joy. Love that garden seat...and your mother's garden feeder and all of the rest to be honest...xx

  5. Pamela,
    Mr. B wants a bird feeder and I am currently shopping for one for him for father's day...thanks for this lead. Lovely post, as always, thank you.

  6. Birds. Love them. All birds. Even seagulls. (My friends tease me a lot about that.) :) Cardinals don't live in the Pacific Northwest, and i miss them. We do have many wonderful birds though. We have two kinds of hummingbirds that over-winter here, and we put feeders out for them during the cold months. During the recent cold snap, i brought the feeders in very early in the morning to thaw. They're tiny birds, but they're resilient, that's for sure! :)

    I love Mary Oliver. She is one of my favorite poets. I have this new collection by her and love it. I also love 'Why I Wake Early'. Such lovely words and images there..

  7. Perfect combination for a January day...tea with Cary Grant, candles, dreaming of spring, a mother's bird feeder retrieved, andirons for a fire, the sweet lamp that reminds you of Scotland!

  8. Pamela, I just washed and filled all my feeders, before the snow. It was so cold, and the sweet birds were there in a minute. They don't fly around when it's 20 below.
    Fascinating post say HI to Edward and Songwriter. Stay warm yvonne

  9. Thank you. The poem by Mary Oliver is the very best of a beautiful bouquet. It is exactly how I feel.

  10. Pamela you have captured all of the things I love about winter. A hot cup of tea, the winter birds, a cozy fire, good books.

    Thank you!

    2013 Artists Series

  11. Reading through each one of your presentation is like opening a beautiful little present one after the other. I wanted to read more and didn't want your post to end. Always beautiful and inspiring.

  12. You are a woman after my own heart. Tea. It is the best. I can't believe you're buying Yorkshire tea from my home county. Lol. I prefer Gold to Red brands. I like Fair Trade, but favourite at the mo is Twinnings Everyday tea. A ginger biscuit is a must.

  13. Congrats on the publication of your book. And you do look great on the photo! :-)

    Greetings from London.

  14. You are truly a woman after my own heart Pamela. Twining's & Yorkshire, McVitties, tartan lamps, beautiful birds, books, wonderful scents and talented friends. I know you don't care to be photographed but your picture for your book is lovely and Edward looks so proud. My husband just brought in the tea pot for our evening tea, (PG Tips) as I sip I will think of you! xx

  15. Tea and Dreaming of An English Garden make for a perfect January afternoon.

  16. Just like your other readers, I love the photo of you in your book! All of these things make my heart sing...we are kindred spirits. And the poetry is just icing on the cake. Have a wonderful weekend.
    xx Sunday

  17. That is great you saved the family bird feeder and your wild bird friends will be grateful. My post today shows a new feeder I bought, for thistle seeds. Your post is delightful, the candle with citrus/orange scent sounds like one I would like too.

  18. I am late and it's February but this post is sheer delight......

  19. Your wonderful list is just as perfect for February as it is for January...love it all!
    Want to go build a fire, make a pot of tea, and hang out with a dear friend this very moment now...with Miss. Ginger snuggled up next to us, of course...she loves a good blaze as well.
    xo J~

  20. That painting looks abstract which is the same with the Spanish painter Salvador Dali. By the way, you got the best photos.

  21. Such brilliantly made stanzas that I always want to read all over again.


I love to read your comments! Each and every one! Though I'm always reading your comments, I may not respond in the comment section. If you want to write me directly, you may do so at pamela@pamelaterry.net. Thank you for reading!