Monday, May 4, 2015

May is a lovely month to....

Have a baby.....

Welcome Charlotte Elizabeth Diana!

I do love a baby!

I see that Jamie Oliver had made a special cake for the Princess of Cambridge

The Royal Charlotte Lemon Drizzle Cake!

How scrumptious does that look?

You can find the recipe here.

Since I just got my order of edible violets and roses and flowers from, you KNOW this cake is going to be made here and likely this week!

Welcome Charlotte - we wish you a long and healthy life!

Clean the Garden...

The weather has finally turned and I have been raking and cleaning beds.  I am nowhere near done and I'm not going to lie - cleaning an acre + of lawn and gardens was not so bad at 42, but at 52, oy vey!

The first flower of the season - a Christmas Rose (Hellebore)
All of my gardening friends in Southern England - can't you weep for me?

This was outer banks of the garden on Sunday.  Yes - that is still snow.  It is nearly
gone today, thanks to 25+ C temperatures

We had so much snow and the winter was so hard that we had a lot of damage to our property. 

Our swimming pool must be replaced - the walls caved due to the weight of the snow.

Our grape arbour also died and we cut the grapes back drastically so Barry could build a new one.

Still, the joy of being outdoors in short sleeves can never be overstated.  It is magical.  My hummingbird feeders are back up and awaiting customers and the golden hawks arrived this past week.

Discover new (old) shows....

I finally discovered Call the Midwife!  I am crazy about this show!  It is always such a treat to find something new that you just adore and this is a goody!  I see a lot of binge-watching on Netflix in the coming weeks!

The plucky heroine reminds me of Dani in face and style:

Perhaps not as pretty as our Dani!

If you are like me and have been dithering whether to watch or not, cease the dither and do it!

Let other people cook for you.....

I have been invited out to dinner for the last three Saturdays and I highly recommend it!  All three meals were fantastic and what a treat to have a Saturday where you are cleaning or - ahem - reading and just not thinking about cooking at all!

At the last one, Barry was so well fed and comfortable he actually napped in the middle of it.  In this case, it was a sign of a very comfortable dinner!

Read something new....

Mostly these days I am reading middle grade and young adult, as per my writing genre (one must know one's market, particularly what is selling and what is winning awards!) but I like to intersperse with some classics and new books.

I am currently reading The Professor's House by Willa Cather.  I do not think I have read Cather before, so it was high time and I am really enjoying the book!  Any Cather lovers out there?

Make a plan for the summer....

Summer goes so fast, especially in a climate like mine, where it won't get warm and stay warm for at least another two or three weeks.  This year I have decided to make a list of things I would like to do/go/see/eat and actually do them. 

First thing on my list?  Make sure I go see one of the movies they show outdoors here in the summer time.  Called Movies Under the Stars, it is popular, and yet I have never been.  I will make it to one for sure!

Other things?  I wine tour of the Motts Landing winery, a trip to my favourite garden, Kingsbrae, a weekly drink downtown with Barry and any of our friends we can line up.  We don't do that enough, so I think it's time we did it!

Do you have any fun plans for the summer?

Blog more...

I have been so busy writing and rewriting that I haven't been here are much.  I promise 3 posts a week, and I think I will start with my latest adventure in style, which I am calling How Jennifer got Wendy's Groove back.  Stay tuned....

Other than that... T-14 days till Wendy and David McCullough finally meet and T-15 days till Wendy and Lane meet.  But who's counting...

Have a wonderful day!

xoxo wendy

Oh and I am posting more outfits these days over in Instagram @wendymacknight.  See you there!


  1. Wendy super excited about the baby girl too! Isn't that a lovely name? I had no idea you all still had snow! We missed having a winter here and I am behind already getting my vegetable garden in. I cannot believe you had to replace the pool walls. Wow so sorry. Sounds like a lot of work. I hope you get some sun sunny days soon. I totally agree there is nothing like working in the yard for the spirit!

    I'm excited you mentioned Midwife because I have had it on my watch list forever and like you just not begun. This is all I need and frankly it's pretty dull this time of year so I need something to get into. I haven't read Willa ever. I need to try more classics. Looking forward to your review...And yes the Midwife gal she does look like our dear Dani! Have a lovely week Wendy! Kim

  2. Kim, I think you are going to love the show - let me know what you think - I think we are the last two people to have missed this!!!

    I think I could get used to missing winter, although how is the drought where you are!! The sun is out today and I am giddy! Heading out do some more raking right now!

  3. No Wendy, you're wrong - I've also not seen this show. To be honest, I already have about 70 shows waiting on my PVR (televisual equivalent of eyes bigger than my belly?) ... but I do love my British telly, so I'm sure I'll get to it sooner or later.

    There will be a bit of yardwork going on at our house this summer, but I won't be doing any of it! We are having a fence built, then my husband will build a deck. I've decided to wait until next year to do any proper landscaping, so this year will be a few containers on the front porch. I don't envy you the upkeep of your large property, but I'm sure it's worth it in the end.

    That cake looks delightful - let us know how it turns out for you.

    1. Patricia - don't worry - if I make that cake there will be pictures!

  4. Wrong again! I've never seen the show either. We don't have Netflix but just watched my first episode of "House of Cards" while visiting my daughter so may need to get it just for that!!
    It is exciting to have a girl. And of course the name is perfect!!
    Have a great week!

    1. I find Netflix totally worth it! I was home alone and watched 2 episodes last night while I folded laundry. Snuck a fun show. Ms till haven't watched house of cards season 3; for some reason, season 2 was kind of meh to me, but I know Barry liked season 3 so will give it a go!

  5. Me! I'm a Cather fan and now I have a child who lives out there! So interesting, the plains. And cheap to live.

    Lovely princess name. We have a new Charlotte in our family as of January, a dear little great niece. I'm glad they got Diana in there.

    Ye, it's wonderful to have dinner made for you, and you will not have to do a thing here!!

    I do like Call the Midwife; what I cannot stay awake through is the 10PM Wolf Hall. The book was so much better , I think.

    1. I hear you on wolf hall - I tape them and watch them later, but I am not as crazy about it as I thought I would be as I adored the books!

  6. I read Willa Cather's books , a couple of them a few years ago, but we did stay in the cottage on Grand Manan for a night where she wrote these books.

    1. I forgot that Mary! Have to add to summer's road trips!

  7. What a compliment Wendy thank you! I adore that show Call The Midwife. Our lovely neighbours Jen and Dave had the first two seasons on disc and gave them to us, it's so good and now we have episodes to catch up, always a happy situation. I love the character Chummy, she's so funny, I looked it up when we watched it and I think the actress is actually a comedian in real life. Very kind of you indeed to compare my style with that young lady character as she is stunning and also about 100 years younger than me.
    Yes May is such a nice month to have a baby, as you know my young rascal now a complete teenager was born in May. She was a beautiful baby just like the gorgeous Princess Charlotte, I'm crazy for the name.
    The snow, it's too much, you've been brave through this long long winter that's for certain and I'm guessing you'll be out all the time now that we can. I hope your pool is fixed straightaway, the damage is unbelievable!
    You have good friends on Saturday nights which is the KEY to a happy life, but I'm preaching to the choir now I know. xox

    1. I love Chummy - she is so endearing! I love all of the nuns, too. May must be a nice time for a baby; mine were feb and March and there is no outdoor walking in feb and March - too much ice!

  8. I cannot believe you still have snow left in your garden. We had two fantastic weeks with sunshine and warm weather two weeks ago, but it is completely gone. I am out the blogosphere and I am completely lost. I am not even talking about watching TV :-)
    My readings are really limited to my courses and I know it will be like this for at least the next 8 coming months.
    I hope you are very well.

    1. Steph, I hear you, but isn't it wonderful to be doing this coursework? I love learning new things!

  9. I have two May babies, so it's a busy week ahead of me as they are 4 days apart and demand separate parties/ day of cakes/ general fuss etc. I tend to feel a bit over baking by the end of May! That lemon drizzle cake looks the business - I always think of the 80's when I see edible flowers. My mum used to do a good line in crystallised flowers which she'd put on top of her fancy desserts for dinner parties. She'd use garden flowers though - rose petals and violas and pansies.
    Looking at your garden - still with snow!! - I just can't imagine how you can go so long without seeing greenery. I am watching all the leaves falling down at the moment, and while the branches are bare, at least we still have shrubs and lawn to look at. Hellebores are Winter flowers here, so I am watching mine as it won't be long before I get a few blooms on my bushes, along with the camellias.
    Haven't watched call the midwife in a long time, but I think I might give it a whirl now that we have Netflix as I can watch it all at once. xx

    1. I'm glad you give them their own parties, despite the work. We had 3 birthday between October 18 and 25 in my family growing up and always did 3 cakes - I personally loved it, as I loved cake! It was so warm yesterday that I think the snow will all be gone today. I spent 4 hours out raking yesterday and more thus afternoon - every muscle hurts - but it is so satisfying!

  10. She does look very Dani! I do hope your homeowner's insurance covers the pool and look forward to your David McCollough meet.

    1. Thanks GSL - it sure did (thank goodness!!) And I am almost giddy about DM! (and Lane!)

  11. I love Call the Midwife. Have you tried The Bletchley Circle? Land Girls?

  12. Can't believe the snow and the damage it caused!! It's nice to be so warm now though your garden must be confused!! I need to read more and want to finish off s list of books. Any new Harry Potters in your reading?

    1. I will read any new Harry Potters!! And yes, the garden is so confused!

  13. That is a fine looking cake! I splurge on a spring cleanup each year and then try to maintain it. Kudos to you for the gardening! Nice for some happy news from the royals. Such a cutie and don't get me started on George...

    1. Jen - I may do that next year, though it turns out 3 days of hard physical labour starts to feel good! Isn't George a delight!

  14. Well I welcomed my own darling granddaughter into the world this week. I wish I could report that all exited the hospital a mere ten hours later with heels on and not a hair out of place but alas we are mere mortals. An unfortunate, unexplained and complicated delivery coupled with time in the NICU make it a bit more stressful than the royals appeared to be.But I have full confidence that my daughter and beautiful new grandbaby will make full recoveries. She is just as beautiful and special as the new princess!

  15. Hi Wendy,
    I love "Call the Midwife" and recently found out that my Great Grandmother had been a midwife herself. I just can't get my self to start watching this season, because I would have to binge watch and am too busy. It is lovely to watch tv that doesn't rely on gore , costuming, or tricks.
    Hope your writing is going well!


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