"Deep summer is:
When laziness finds respectability." ~~~Sam Keen

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


It was a beautiful weekend in San Francisco...

...how often are you able to see the Golden Gate bridge NOT shrouded in fog?...

...or a marriage proposal.
(I missed the 'down on one knee' shot)

The Hospitality Team
AKA "Rah-Rahs for Ta-Tas"

We are the cheerleaders (among other things) of the Walk...

...between us, and a few others, the sum of four million dollars was raised this week-end.

Tami walked 40+ miles over two days.  Each step kicking cancer's butt and leaving it in the dust!

She wouldn't tell you that she crossed the finish line first on Sunday, out of approximately 1450 walkers, but her mother would!
FYI: This walk is not a race but, if you ask me, that is quite an accomplishment.

Thank you to all who left positive responses and good wishes.


It was a great ending to an amazing Pink Week.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014


It's all about pink here at the Cottage this week.

We are celebrating this pretty color for a number of reasons...

...the second blooming of this old rose bush...

...and the fact that I can use them in a simple arrangement...

...and that these same blossoms dry beautifully.

How many shades of pink can a hydrangea be?

Spotting a pink foxglove in the garden and wondering where that came from!

New shoes that I will take with me...

...when Tami and I leave for San Francisco, at the end of the week, to participate in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, and to celebrate her 11th year, in the pink, as a survivor.

Wishing you all something beautiful in your life...in pink or any other color.



...I did not get a decent picture of the fireworks, again, this year...with either my camera OR my phone...

...just sayin'!

I have formally given up!

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014


"Now I ain't sayin' it's right or it's wrong..
But maybe it's the only way
Talk about your revolution
It's Independence Day."

Excerpt from the song "Independence Day"
Written by Gretchen Peters
Sung by Martina McBride

Gretchen Peters wrote this song from the point of view of an eight year old girl, when her parents split up.

Martina McBride is the spokesperson for domestic abuse charities.

Even though this is not a patriotic song in the true sense of the word, it is a song that reminds us all to take heart in the freedoms that we possess and to believe that we all can overcome adversity and truly realize our independent selves.

As I may have mentioned in my last post, the parlor has gained her independence.

Gone are the days when she was held hostage by the whims of the other Cottage rooms.

Which room was the first to decide she was the best candidate for the job of hoarder?...

...and does it really matter?

...now she can close herself off from the rest of the rooms because she can...not because she has to. The sight of these french doors was the main reason we fell in love with the Cottage.

To add some patriotic spirit to the mantle, a garland of homemade pinwheels, and other small touches, show off her true colors.

As most creatures of the female persuasion, she can also be mysterious.  Here are a few sides of her personality not normally seen, thanks to my LG Smart phone Sketchguru app.

When the sun starts going down, she basks in the glow from the Grand Illumination, back in time to celebrate the Independence Day holiday.

The porch, also, is happy once again to have a little light on the subject.

The fairies have even gotten into the Independence Day spirit.

Friday will be the Independence Day celebrations around town.  

This picture is of last year's fireworks.  I had just discovered a fireworks program on my camera after using it for about five years!  Though they are certainly far from good, they turned out much better than the year before...

So this year, I will try out my new Smart phone and see how that works.  I will share them in my next post.


"Today we celebrate freedom
Thanks to those who came before.
Those brave men who fought and died
In each and every war.

Freedom always comes at a price
And while we celebrate
We should tip our hats to the heroes
Who made our country great."


Happy Independence Day, America

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014


With regard to decorating in Victorian times, no other room in the house was the focus of such concentrated efforts as the parlor.

The proper parlor spoke volumes about the Victorian mistress and her family.

The smallest object, proudly displayed, could send strong messages in an era marked by symbolic gestures and a strict code of etiquette.

Liberties could be taken in decorating the parlor; self-expression was evident.

The Victorian parlor conveyed social standing and an appreciation of culture.

When paying a call, visitors were greeted at the front door by a domestic servant who accepted a calling card to present to the mistress of the house, and if she was not 'engaged', the caller was shown to the parlor.

It was considered improper behavior for the caller to wander around the room while waiting, or to touch anything.  They could and would, however, conduct a visual inspection of their surroundings.

"The parlor should be the room of all others in which good taste should be every-where apparent.  The walls should be pleasant objects to look upon--not dreary blanks of white plaster--and all the arrangements of the room would be home-like, with ornaments, books and flowers, not arranged for show merely, but for pleasant study, recreation or conversation."

Richard A. Wells, A.M.
"Manners, Culture and Dress of the Best American Society", 1891

Depending upon the size of the parlor, furniture was arranged in several intimate groupings.  Until the early 1870's experts suggested that furniture be of a similar style, but before the end of the decade they were calling for a harmonious mixture where no two pieces matched.

"When a room is properly papered, curtained, and carpeted, it may be said to be three-quarters furnished."

Marion Harland
"The Cottage Kitchen", 1883

**All of the above descriptions and quotes are taken from the book, The Victorian Home, by Ellen M. Plante, 1995.

I don't think I have ever shown this room in detail except maybe for one Christmas photo and an occasional seasonal mantle display.  For many months, if not years, it has been used as a dumping ground for items put aside while working on another room.  It was just easier to close off the doors and ignore it.  But now, its time has come, and I am anxious to show it off.

To be honest, I never imagined wanting a parlor.  Just another space to dust and clean.  My vision of a perfect space is a large 'gathering room' with kitchen, dining and living/family all in one.  A comfortable, liveable configuration of relaxation.  But, on the other hand, I had always wanted an 'old' house and when we were lucky enough to find the Cottage, we stuck with how it was originally intended to be.  We did not want to lose the charm of the era.

Along with all the painting, polishing and cleaning that is involved in an update, here are a few of the projects...

This little commode belonged to my great-grandmother.  When I was about 6 years old, I remember her house burning to the ground, and this was one of the few pieces saved.  My mom ended up with it and painted it a coral color and then green.  I had it for awhile and the Captain stripped it back to the original wood finish.  My sister had it after that and used it for a few years.  Now it is back in my possession and as the wood was nicked and stained, I decided to paint it.  I used ASCP in Louis Blue and Old White.  I put clear and dark wax over it and although I am not entirely happy with the way it turned out, I am learning and may repaint it sometime in the future.

This charming parlor stove also belonged to my great-grandmother and survived the same house fire, and although it is unuseable, it is a valuable piece of my family's history.

I picked this little table up at a garage sale for three dollars.  I painted it with ASCP Louis Blue and rubbed General Furnishings Burnt Umber glaze over the top and also used it as an antique glaze over all.

I changed the lace panels from two to one on each side of the bay and from four to two on the middle window.  It makes for a much lighter, softer, look and lets in more light.  We also hung them inside the window casings instead of outside so that the pretty, original millwork would show.

We have collected a few mirrors over the years and I love the gilded look when the room is all put together.

I have lace panels to add to the french doors which really don't block out any light or sight lines, but just add a little finishing touch, in my opinion, and we are also looking for an appropriate area rug. Pictures will follow when that happens. The french doors are very pretty and add a lot to the cottage look.

I hope you enjoyed a peek at our proper parlor, and if you should happen to visit, you certainly won't be met at the door by a domestic servant (although sometimes I feel like one. Oh, no, that's what the Captain says), and I won't mind, at all, if you move
 around and touch things!


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