"He who marvels at the beauty of the world in summer will find equal cause for wonder and admiration in winter." John Burroughs

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


When is a mantle 
not a mantle?

The first camellia of the season!

 it is a shelf!

There are a few shelves
 in the Cottage
 who desperately want to be 
when they grow up.

Some are just youngsters 
with dreams of achievement
 that are quite beyond
 their reach..

 are a little more 

 still have room 
for growth...

 there is the one
 that has reached its full potential 
 unless the sofa under it
 catches fire, 
will never have the ability 
to actually
 claim the title.


let's get down 
to brass tacks...

This actual mantle 
in the sitting room
 is the heart of the home. 

 It is our main source of heat 
and gets a workout 
during the long winter months.

 A few of the crocks from our collection 
sit on the corner shelf.
 This is where faux greenery,
 not only softens the look,
 but is totally acceptable 
because of the heat
 from the stove pipe.


In the parlor
 there is a full fledged mantle 
which once held the glow of firelight,
 but now is content
 with the memories of long ago
 of the warmth
 from my great-grandmother's
 little black parlor stove.


The mantle 
in the guest room 
never had dreams
 of growing up to be
 anything other than what it was...

...a few old door casings,
 some odd pieces of shelving,
 an antique dresser,
 and backing off the shelves
 of a big box store.

 all those pieces
 stand as one
 and treat our guests to a 
soft bed and 
a warm welcome.

Hope everyone
 has a romantic 
and wonderful
 Valentine's Day.


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Tuesday, February 2, 2016


Wave goodbye
 to January...

...and say hello
 to February.

 while being the shortest month 
of the year...

...is also the one
 with the most heart.

The skies of February 
portray signs of winter
 still to come...
but with a sliver of brightness 
along the horizon...

...the view
 through one window
 promises a budding spring...

...and the view 
by another window 
holds the warmth of 
sunny days to come...

...but the view
 outside my office car window
 this morning 
puts us in our place
 and reminds us
 that all that is expected 
will not materialize
 for awhile yet...

...and as I am sitting here
 warm and dry,
 the Captain trudges through 
the sleet and snow, 
walking the dogs.

 This is dedication 
and all heart.

While we wait
 for the elusive spring,
 touches of that very thing 
will help to keep 
the cold at bay.

A mixed bouquet 
on the dining room table,
displayed in an old tool caddy,
accompanied by 
candle light...

...a bit of greenery
 and a painted rose 
catch your eye 
as you pass into
 another room.

Lamps are lit,
as well as candles,
to continue the feeling of 
being safe and warm 
at home.


During the holidays, 
I was looking for some 
seeded eucalyptus with not much luck.
  I finally found a few sprigs
at Raley's
 but that was all.

  When Courtney at French Country Cottage
 showed a faux eucalyptus wreath
 last week 
that looked so realistic,
 I ordered one.

 Not only is it beautiful,
 but the price was outstanding. 
 It came from Balsam Hill 
and it regularly sells for $69,
 on sale now for $28.

 I couldn't pass it up 
and am really pleased with it.

 Thank you, Courtney.


 on to the 
heart of the matter...


and his little pal,
 send our best Valentine wishes 
to all of you...


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