July 29, 2013

Beatrix Potter's Birthday!

"Rats, and Rats, and Rats"
Samuel Whiskers the Rat sitting by the "Roly-Poly" Pin with gathered vegetables, tomatoes and bread for his wife Anna Maria to steal away with.
Samuel Whiskers is a Beatrix Potter figurine based on her book.
He is surrounded by some fine furniture that we'll talk about in a future post.

Beatrix Potter's Birthday was July 28th.
She was born in 1866.
What joy she has brought into our lives through her stories and illustrations!

In Beatrix Potter's "The Tale of Samuel Whiskers or The Roly-Poly Pudding", published in 1908, Anna Maria the Rat steals some dough for a planned Roly-Poly Pudding. Samuel Whiskers steals the butter and the rolling pin from the dairy... a rolling pin being necessary to make a Roly-Poly pudding.

Tom Kitten had accidentally fallen into the Rat's room and been tied up by Anna Maria. A butter covered Tom Kitten was then placed and wrapped in the dough, and then dough and Kitten were rolled with the "Roly-Poly" pin. Tom Kitten was to be a Roly-Poly Pudding!

Some of the photographs and some of the writings on this post are from previous Corgyncombe Courant posts that can be found here on the Corgyncombe Courant.

"The Tale of Samuel Whiskers" or "The Roly-Poly Pudding", written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter.
In the photograph above, Samuel Whiskers is seen running away with a pat of butter.
Below the book is a pat of hand churned butter from Corgyncombe Dairy Goat Carmella Lucille.

Tom Kitten's sister Mittens, who had hidden away in the dairy, exclaimed to her mother that she had seen "a dreadful 'normous big rat" who swiped away a rolling pin and a pat of butter.

In "The Private World of Tasha Tudor", by Tasha Tudor and Richard Brown, Tasha speaks of trapping a rat that reminded her of Samuel Whiskers.

The old Corgyncombe tall clock is from the late 1700s and was made in the area that is now called Cumbria.

Beatrix Potter lived in the scenic Lake District of England, which is now part of the area called Cumbria.

The clock reminds us of the one in "The Tale of Samuel Whiskers" or "The Roly-Poly Pudding", written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter. Beatrix Potter illustrated mother cat Tabitha Twitchit on the landing of the stairway at Hill Top farm, with a clock behind her, whilst she is looking for her missing son Tom Kitten.

Noises under the floor boards of the attic were suspicious and after John Joiner the Terrier frees Tom Kitten, the rats take off with haste with bundles of goods loaded in a wheelbarrow stolen from Miss Potter. The rats take up residence in Farmer Potatoes' barn where they get into his livestock's feed and cause him great difficulties.

Beatrix Potter wrote: "There are rats, and rats, and rats in his barn!" "And they are all descended from Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Whiskers - children and grand-children and great great grandchildren. There is no end to them!"

 Samuel and Anna Maria's descendants are here!!!

'Tis a common problem on both sides of the ocean!

"The Tale of Beatrix Potter" by Margaret Lane, is a biography of Beatrix Potter written through research of her letters, papers and photographs. The book speaks of when Beatrix Potter purchased her Lake District property, Hill Top Farm, that rats were quite a problem and as Beatrix Potter wrote, one rat was even seen boldly "sitting up eating its dinner under the kitchen table in the middle of the afternoon."

Dried field corn, a favorite of Samuel and his wife.
They love it!
The field corn that had been gleaned from the field for Diane's winter critter friends.
The corn was husked, then hung up to dry.
This corn was intended for the birds and squirrels but the rats got into the container and finished off what was left of the corn!

The rats have also liked to get into my squash...


and carrots.

Preserving our harvest by canning provides a way of protecting it from the rats.

From the Corgyncombe Vegetable Garden, green beans in a lovely old yellowware bowl and tomatoes.
How I love to hear the ping of the jars as they are sealing, whilst having tea after the jars have been taken out of the canner. To me, the sound of the jars sealing is so satisfying, like a squirrel storing up nuts for the long winter. 'Tis so good to enjoy naturally homegrown vegetables and fruits all the year through.

Canned goods at the Corgyncombe Cannery to be enjoyed by us, not Samuel and his descendants!

Here are links to some
Beatrix Potter Birthday Celebrations
of previous years at the Corgyncombe Courant:

copyright © 2013 Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson

July 21, 2013

Independence Day!

The Howe Tavern, also known as The Wayside Inn
Lucy with a flag celebrating Independence Day!
She is carrying the Grand Union flag, an early American flag.

The chosen music to accompany this post:
Click Here for Music.
Return Here to Read the Corgyncombe Courant.
The music is so festive whilst reading!

The Grand Union flag flying o'er my 7th great grandparents' (David and Hepzibah Howe) house, the Howe Tavern in Massachusetts.
The Howe Tavern is also known as the Wayside Inn, made famous in Longfellow's poem.

David and Hepzibah Howe's daughter Hepzibah was my 6th great grandmother.
In "Tales of a Wayside Inn" by Longfellow, he speaks of Hepzibah's brother Lieut. Col. Ezekiel Howe and the sword he used "In the rebellious days of yore, Down there at Concord in the fight."

Lucy, an Izannah Walker inspired doll, and her wonderful clothing were made by Margaret Flavin.
She is just beautiful!

Walking about the gardens at Corgyncombe.
A progression of self sown flowers blooms here under the little old apple tree from spring until autumn.

We at the Corgyncombe Courant love how Tasha Tudor illustrates Independence Day in "Around The Year" and "A Time to Keep". Tasha shows picnics, flying and displaying the American flag, firecrackers, and fireworks. In "Around the Year" the page with the eagle, stars, and flags catches the eye of the Corgyncombe Courant.

The parlour at the Wayside Inn.
The lady winding the clock in the parlour said that my 8th great grandfather Samuel Howe made the glass for the windows for his son David Howe, my 7th great grandfather's tavern. I have always loved old paned windows!

As we looked into the room our eyes were drawn to a child's toy, the cloth doll on the small table. Our thoughts were then drawn to one of the little girls who had lived in the house, my 6th great grandmother Hepzibah Howe who was just a baby when the first two rooms of the house were built and who was around 9 years old when they built two more rooms on to the original house. Later this room, photographed above, was used as a parlour.
A doll, a little girl's delight in any era!

copyright © 2013 Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson

July 1, 2013

Blog Thieving...

"The Three Billy Goats Gruff"

Corgyncombe's Darling Little Clementine
Our Sweet Goat Kiddle
Amongst the apple petals

Oft' times when we have fed the goat kiddles their bottles, especially during a before bedtime bottle feeding, we tell them their favorite story. This is how our bottle feeding times would go:

We each settle a kid on our lap and as they delight in Corgyncombe Dairy Goat Carmella Lucille's good and delicious milk, everyone thoroughly enjoys our version of the classic tale of the "Three Billy Goats Gruff"! We always use the different personalities of each of our goats in the story as each goat encounters the troll. Through the years it's always been the kiddles' favorite!

Diane's Uncle's old school book with the "Three Billy Goats Gruff" story.
Alongside is a bottle of Carmella Lucille's warm milk for her goat kiddles.

Unfortunately, such difficulties as are in the story the "Three Billy Goats Gruff" are not only in fairy tales and stories, but, alas, sometimes are found in the blogging world, as well. More about that further down in this post.

We have been telling the kiddles the "Three Billy Goats Gruff" story for years. Every year when we have new kiddles, we add to the story to include them, the smallest and youngest are always the first to go over the bridge.

The story starts out with the littlest goat crossing the bridge, clompen, clompen, clompen go their little hooves on the wooden bridge.

The nasty troll pops out from underneath the bridge and says "Hark, Who goes there, over my bridge? Grin!"

"MmmHmmmmmm, it's only me, Clementine, hmmmmmmm" bleats little Clementine in a sweet little high pitched voice.

"I am going to eat you Goat!" exclaims the troll.

"Hmmmmm, Don't eat meee! I'm so liiittle. Eat my big brother Velvet, instead. He's always been bigger than I am!"  (Clementine and Velvet were born at the same time and Clementine has always been the smaller of the two!)

The troll says "Perhaps you are correct, Goat. You do look awful puny to make a meal sufficient to satisfy my large appetite, Grin!"
"All right, pass!" says the troll.

"Clompen, clompen" go Clementine's hooves as she goes over the rest of the bridge to the other side.

And on the story goes as each goat takes its turn going over the bridge: Velvet, Louisa May, Lucy, Daisy, Sweet Pea, Brownie, and finally the last goat Carmella Lucille Queen of the Herd.

"Clompen, Clompen, Clompen" go Carmella Lucille's feminine and Queenly hooves on the bridge.
Carmella Lucille

"Hark, Who goes there, over my bridge? Grin!" roars the troll.

"It is meee, Carmella Lucille Queen of the Herd, and I am crossing this bridge to go and eat the green grass to make fine milk for my Milkmaid."

"I am going to eat you Goat!" exclaims the troll. "And I am going to drink your fine milk! Grin!"

Carmella replies: "No one can drink my fine milk without my Milkmaid's permission and you do not have her permission nor mine! You will not eat me and you will not drink my fine milk!"
You know, Dear Readers, what happens in the story the "Three Billy Goats Gruff" at this point, when the last goat goes over the bridge...

The story finally ends with Carmella Lucille peacefully and contentedly eating her green grass on the other side of the bridge.

 Carmella Lucille before delivering triplets.

I took a cardboard cereal box to the barn and sketched Corgyncombe Dairy Goat Carmella Lucille.
Tasha Tudor made gingerbread cookies of animals and hung them on her Christmas tree.
Baking gingerbread makes the cottage smell so good!

Antique rolling pin on the upper right and wooden Springerle mold in the center.

Gingerbread cookies before they were baked, the Grinning Troll and Corgyncombe Dairy Goat Carmella Lucille.
The grinning face mold we got years ago with many other round molds of acorns, thistles, snowflakes, and other designs.

An antique goat cup to put your warm goat's milk in.

Yes, unfortunately, such difficulties as are in the story the "Three Billy Goats Gruff" are not only in fairy tales and stories, but sometimes are found in the blogging world, as well.

Someone has been lying about me.
Someone has left obnoxious, nasty, untrue comments that are lies about me on other peoples blogs and on our blog.
We moderate comments to our blog, so we did not allow these obnoxious comments to be posted.

We at the Corgyncombe Courant have also had problems with a person copying my "St. Distaff's Day" post (that I posted on a group) almost word for word, putting it on her blog, and claiming it as her own. It was like she was making believe she was me, in a strange and creepy way. She was nasty when we asked her to remove it.

She has never apologized or asked forgiveness.

At a time previous to that, she had demanded to know, just before a public memorial service, whether I was going to attend the service, because she said she wanted to meet up. When I failed to answer her demands, she got angry. I was busy with work around the cottage but then again I wasn't about to tell her and I did not feel obligated to tell her where I was going or any of my plans.

In my opinion, I think that she got angry because she thought I knew she was copying another blogger. I did not tell her that I knew that she had copied the other blogger but I suspect that she knew that I knew, thus her anger at me. I knew that she had copied this other blogger nearly word for word, put it on her blog, and claimed it as her own, it seemed like she was taking on this person's life, changing the other woman's children to her children in the copied post. In the oddest twist, she had even went as far as to show up, in person, to see the blogger who she had copied right after posting the copied post. It seemed strange and creepy to me. I was disgusted by her copying and creeped out because then she wanted to meet up with me.

I have never been removed from a group for bad behaviour. I have been, ahem, eliminated, from a group, not because of bad behaviour on my part, but I think because the group leader got angry because she thought I knew she was copying the other blogger nearly word for word, it seemed like she was taking on the other blogger's life.

(By the way, a few years before that, someone in the group leader's inner circle said to me that some members of the group were baiting me and she complimented me on trying to avoid the nasty baiting and complimented me on the way I tried to handle their nastiness by being positive. I do feel that the group leader and some of her group members were baiting me.)

My last posts to group before I was eliminated from group were nothing but cheerful and nice. This was all near the public memorial service time in 2008, when the group leader contacted me off group, wanting to know if I was going to attend.  When I failed to answer her demands, she got angry.

At this time I had a huge web site with many of my own personal photographs on along with my writings. I decided to make my copyright more visible on my photographs. I took all my photographs (over 2,000) off from public view on my web site, and was in the process of putting them back on my web site with the copyright, eventually deciding the best place to put the copyright was near the middle of the subject right on the photographs.

There may be some who are bothered when I put my copyright near the middle of my photographs. One thing the copyright is intended to do is make my photographs harder to steal.

We have also had trouble with people stealing our photographs and selling products with our photographs, online. We contacted the online marketplace and the online marketplace removed the items from sale.
Some people who have posted our work on their blog, when we have asked them to remove it from their blog or site, have been very cooperative and polite and we have thanked these people for their cooperation.

But, obviously, there are some people who have taken my work who don't like the fact that I object to them taking my work.

Some people apparently don't like it when we publish posts, that we put a lot of effort in, so that we may share some of our favorite things with our dear readers that they might enjoy looking at and we know that many do enjoy. Some people apparently don't like this. But let us assure our readers that despite this, we have been blessed by our dear readers, and it is our hope that our readers have been blessed and inspired by the Corgyncombe Courant.

If you receive or hear of any obnoxious, nasty, comments about me, we would appreciate it if you would please send us an email at:

If you see anyone using or selling our work please let us know by sending us an email at:

A Corgyncombe Dairy Goat Carmella Lucille cookie!

Carmella Lucille the goat looks so cute! She likes to have behind her ears scratched and under her collar and I always give her a good back scratch after milking. Sometimes if I stop scratching she nuzzles my hand to say she wants me to continue. So very sweet!

We have written before on the Corgyncombe Courant about telling our version of the "Three Billy Goats Gruff" story to the goat kiddles during bottle time.

Added July 21st: Thank you dear readers for all the kind comments. We also appreciate your keeping an eye out for my work that has been stolen.
Diane and daughter Sarah

copyright © 2013 Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson