Tuesday, November 29, 2022



This has been a very long year not without trials and tribulations.  

As of this moment, everything is good and we are so thankful.  

We had a wonderful early Thanksgiving 

with the kids. 

 The Captain and I felt like royalty.

  We were the hosts and set a pretty table but 

Tim and Tami provided a beautifully smoked turkey and dessert 

while Jake and Jacenda made all the wonderful side dishes. 

 Everything was so good. 

 It was short, but sweet, 

as all of our gatherings are lately, 

but that doesn't make them any less special.

  I hope you all had a 

wonderful Thanksgiving as well. 

 The Captain is doing really well 

and today will be going to the doc

 for his three month evaluation. 

 Hopefully, he will be released 
for business as usual. 
 My vision is clearing up
 (much better than expected, I think) 
and the docs say they are amazed. 
 As of this writing, 
all is calm, all is bright.

Welcome to Christmas at the Cottage

'Tis the Season...


 As you enter, I hope you feel 

the warmth and wonder of the season.  

We are starting some early decorating because of our earlier 

Thanksgiving celebration

 so taking our time

 is how we are doing it this year.  

There will not be 

too much different this year. 

 Old tried and true measures

 are in the forecast with only just a

 very little new to add. 

 I am still looking forward to my

 annual birthday trip to Home Goods

 but, for now,

 I am finding happy places

 for some old friends.

The entry mirror is hung 

with a Christmas garland and wreath 

tied up with the same pretty red ribbons used last year.  

Yuletide greetings are added 

to celebrate the joy and glad tidings 

of years past.

A sparkle of gold from the jingle bells 

and the scent and shine of a candle 

add perfect ambiance to usher you  

in from the outside

 as well as welcoming  

this most wonderful time of the year. 


Now, may I invite you to step into 

our Olde Thyme Christmas parlor. 

 The yule log is burning 

and everywhere you look there is a reminder of simpler times. 

 Times and stories of long ago memories,

  when life seemed much easier 

but only because you were a child. 

 Knowing what we know now, 

our parents probably didn't 

always feel that was true

 but for a short amount of time 

we will make ourselves believe that it was.

"It is good to be children sometimes, 

and never better than at Christmas."

Charles Dickens

I have never met 

a Christmas tree I didn't like. 

 There is one tree, however, 

that has stuck in my mind 

for as long as I can remember 

and even though it was

 a different tree each year,

 it always looked the same to me. 

 It was in an old log house 

that belonged to my grandparents 

where this story takes place, 

and the tree was always

 cut and carried  down

 from the surrounding woods

 by my dad and my grandfather. 
 It was never a tree that had been
plucked or pruned by human hands.
  Looking back now,
 I can see that
  It was just a natural little tree
 growing up with the help of
 Mother Nature,    
but once it was adorned 
with all the colored glass ornaments, 
the silver birds clipped onto 
the branches draped in tinsel,
 with the large brightly colored bulbs
 reflecting off of the rustic log walls
 and the pretty star on top, 
it was a thing of beauty 
that magical childhood dreams 
were made of.

"Like snowflakes
 my Christmas memories gather and dance -
 each beautiful, unique and too soon gone."

Deborah Whipp

A keepsake from my grandmother.

My parents and grandparents 

decorated the tree 

while we kids were sent to another room until it was just so. 

 Only then were we allowed 

back in the room to see 

the magic that had happened. 

 It was then that we heard 

the sounds on the roof 

signifying that Santa was on his way.

  We almost couldn't breathe, 

never noticing that our older cousin,

 who had seen the tree with us,

 was now missing from the room.

  Then it was time to be 

whisked away to our car 

and taken to our own home, 

just down the road, 

where we were put to bed, 

dreaming about all the presents 

that would be delivered by Santa

 and placed under that tree 

for us to find the next morning.

Over the years, 

I have searched for a tree 

just like the one I remember 

but whether faux from a big box store 

or live from a tree lot, it has eluded me. 

 When we got rid of our big tree

 after last Christmas, 

I found one on line from Grandin Road 

that I thought might have potential. 

 It was smaller and had less branches

 than the ones we have had 

for the last  few years,

 but without the wonderful scent and feel 

I knew it could never really compare.  

But, then it wasn't going to be decorated exactly the same or viewed

 from a child's perspective either.

  When the box was delivered it appeared to be smaller than I thought it should be

 although I had measured the space and thought it was a good size. 

 Upon opening the box, my first impression was that it looked like a drowned rat! 

 The four pieces all looked

 so small and limp. 

 After placing it in the stand, however,

 my impression changed. 

 It now looked like a drowned ostrich! 

 It was so ugly that I didn't want to take 

any photos of it, 

all I wanted to do was cry,

 but I started fluffing and fluffing and more fluffing 

and here is where

 the magic really happened...

It is such a pretty little tree

 and even though it doesn't look

 a thing like my memories,

 I am very pleased. 

 I have used all the same ornaments

 that I used last year, 

along with the satin and velvet ribbons.  

I purposely ordered it without lights 

as you know my feelings about the lights 

on our last tree.  

I hadn't strung lights in quite a few years and, believe me, 

it was a job that I soon remembered

 I didn't like. 

 After placing 700 of those

 pretty little stars,

 I am happy.

So, here is the finished version 

of a story that started a long time ago 

and even though it isn't exactly

 like those trees from my childhood, 

with the tiniest bit of tinsel 

and popcorn strings, the memories are 

stirred of an

 Old Thyme Christmas, 

celebrated with family,

 most of whom are now gone,

 in that old log house 

that my grandfather built,

 long before I was even born.


"The Yule trees, and the dreams all children dream/

The tremulous glow of candles in rows/

The gold and silver of angels and globes/

And the splendor of tinsel and toys under trees."

Boris Pasternak

The mantel is strung 

with the same garland used last year 

with only a few different items,  

such as dried white roses 

from the bouquet the kids gave us

 for our anniversary. 

 I left the picture and frame 

that were used during the summer and fall 

just because I like it...

...and a new sign of the times is added.

There comes a time
 when you become content
 with what has come before 
and the thought that 
there is no need for many big changes. 

 I think I am there.

"May you have the gladness of Christmas/Which is hope; 

The spirit of Christmas/Which is peace;

 The heart of Christmas/Which is love."

Ada V. Hendricks

Until next week...


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Love Your Creativity at Life and Linda


Tuesday, November 22, 2022



These are the signs of the times...

" Tis The Season"

Coming soon.


The Christmas Chicks

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Love Your Creativity at Life and Linda

Tuesday, October 18, 2022



I have done a bit more decorating. 

 With each accomplishment, I find that normalcy is returning around me. 

 Stress is a frightening thing. 
 It can rob a person 
of all ambition and drive, 
 more easily than we
 could even think possible.   
But, in time,
 life around here is settling down
 and we are getting
 our "good vibrations" back.

I always like having the entry tell the story of what is going on at the Cottage. 

 I have so many boxes 

of fall decor packed away

 but it just seemed like too much work

 to pull it all out. 

 Luckily, when I put things away last year, 

for some reason 

I stuck a few things in places that were easy to get to 

and that is what I have used. 

 There probably is a similarity

 to last year's scheme but

 it does the job for now.

I love the "Witchy Woman" 

gifted to me by a dear friend.

I hurriedly put this arrangement

 on the parlor mantel 

at the beginning of spring. 

 Now, with the addition of 

a few colorful branches

 and some candles to warm it up,

it has taken on an 

acceptable version of autumn.


The game table in the sitting room 

looks so pretty with the sun shining in

and with the few leafy branches 

that are left over,

 I think it looks like just enough.

Maybe I'm learning...

...then again, 

maybe not!

At last posting I mentioned I had a surprise. 

 We had a credit card and I made arrangements with the bank 

to take money automatically out of our account to make the payments on it. 

 When it was paid off, 

I forgot to cancel those arrangements 

so the bank continued to do so. 

 I got a check from the bank

 for a good amount of money 

that I didn't know we had

 (I guess that is another shining moment of the golden years)

 so we treated ourselves to:

Our new couch. 

 I have always wanted a leather sofa so this is what we bought. 

 It is very comfortable and I like the color. 

 Hopefully it will hold up

 better than our last one 

but time will tell.

In the meantime,

 I am contemplating whether to paint the walls a different color or not. 

 We had the lighter color walls but were unhappy with them.  

Maybe with this different color couch 

it would look better.  

Then again, I absolutely love 

the darker, moody, jewel colors 

and wonder if maybe a dark navy

 and a different rug would be pretty.

The color we have on the walls now is pretty dark 

but my camera sees them as much lighter than they actually are. 

 If you have any ideas,

 please feel free to let me know.  

I find that decisions like this are hard 

for me to visualize.

 I love playing around with accessories

 but the basic scheme sometimes

 doesn't always compute.

I am also thinking of the walls
 as a little more creamy
 such as the same color as 
the background in the entry wallpaper 
and the carpet under the blue rug.
 What would you think of that? 
The same bright white trim 
is used in both rooms.
 I just don't want it to look bland 
as I do love color.

We have been having 

some wonderful weather. 

 Our leaves are not turning much yet,

 it has been too warm, 

but the breezes are soft

 and the sun is just warm enough. 

 I can't help it but my thoughts

 are turning strongly to Christmas

 and it drives the Captain nuts. 

 Hope all is well with everyone.


Until next time ...Sweet Dreams


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