Sunday, December 30, 2012


We hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas filled with laughter and love
in the presence of family...

...and we wish that you will enjoy a new year filled with hope,
happiness and good health.

The Captain and Judy
Buddy and Maggie

And the rest of the gang at...

Gold Country Cottage



Sunday, December 23, 2012


"And I Heard Him Exclaim,
As He Drove Out Of Sight...

...Merry Christmas To All
To All A Good Night."

Happy Holidays,

All Of Us At..

Gold Country Cottage

Friday, December 21, 2012


"From home to home,
And heart to heart,
From one place to another,
The warmth and joy of Christmas
Brings us closer to each other."

Emily Matthews

We have almost reached the end of our Christmas story for this year.

Before we close the book, I will show you a project that we've been working on for awhile.  It's far from finished yet.  There is more painting to do and more decorating, but I thought you wouldn't mind sharing some of the work in progress.

This is our guest bedroom, as it stands now, with a little bit of Christmas cheer.

The wallpaper will remain the same.  We have completed the painting of the trim.  The linens are new, purchased at Target.  I think they will be better suited for spring and summer though, so I have another spread and quilt that will take up residence in the cold months to come.  The pillows are from Ross and some thrift sales.

I plan to paint the dressers.  We have had them for many years and I think a fresh coat of paint will be just the ticket to brighten up the room.  A new change for a new year.

I bought a little marble top washstand from my sister to be used as the bedside table and will be picking that up shortly.

Pictures, may or may not, be changed and rehung, and some accessories will be added.


Now to end our Christmas story, we must start at the beginning.  The first thing you see when arriving at the Cottage...the front porch.

...and the last thing you see when leaving...


I hope you enjoyed our yuletide cottage...and accept our warmest wishes for a very happy holiday with your families and friends as I leave you with these final thoughts...

"Peace and goodwill in each loving home,
Beauty and magic so surely you own.
Sweet Christmas angels - moments of love,
Part of the wonder God sends from above."

Garnett Ann Schultz

Merry Christmas...Judy

I'm sharing this story with:


Tuesday, December 18, 2012


I have been seeing so many pretty projects during this holiday season and I have wanted to try my hand at all of them, but, alas, there are not enough days left to take advantage of this Christmas season.

I have, however, taken a chance at making a wreath that I saw on Courtney's blog, French Country Cottage, and even though it is a much smaller version of the one she did, I am still quite proud that it came from my limited knowledge of producing something that I would take the liberty of showing to the world, so to speak.

Now, if you like it, there may not be enough time for you to put it to the test with your busy schedules around this time of year, but it is also one that can wait until a quieter time.  Either way, here it is in twelve easy steps.

You've already seen the original in the picture above.  You need to go right down to your Dollar Store and buy one of those gold sparkly ones, or not.  There are many different colors to choose from.  Not too bad in it's original form, but just you wait!

Step One:  Stay at the Dollar Store, or whatever store you choose, and buy some yarn in your choice of color and type.

Step Two:  Now here is where it gets a little dicey.  If you have not been lucky enough to achieve a college degree, this project may not be for you.  It encompasses some very strong language.  For example, phoosh, phish, and, or not, are used quite often.  I suppose you could look those up in the dictionary but that would take valuable time away from the project.

Step Three:   First you will want to trim the gold sparkly stuff off of the wreath form, or not.  I did, but you could leave it and let some show through.  My personal preferance was to cut it off.  You won't be able to get it all off, however, but don't worry it will not affect the outcome of the finished project.

Step Four:  Cut a piece of cardboard to about 4 inches by 2 inches, or not.  Remember the bigger the cardboard, the bigger the phoosed yarn will be.

Step Five:  Take tail of yarn and lay it across cardboard and put your thumb over yarn to hold it in place, or not.  Thumb may be placed there so that you don't pull the yarn too tightly and then not be able to slip it off the cardboard after winding.

Step Six:  Wind the yarn 50 times around the card, or not.  Again, it will depend on how big you want your phoosed yarn.  It seems like it takes such a long time to sit there and wind it 50 times, so what I usually do is wind it 25 times, then as I continue to wind, I will start back at one again and count 25 more times.  That way it only takes about half as long.....Huh?

Step Seven:  After you have wound your yarn totally around the cardboard, cut from skein and slip it off, keeping it all together...  or not, will NOT work here.  Cut a piece of yarn about 10 or 11 inches long, or not.  It just depends how ambidextrious you are with your hands.  If you can tie a not, I mean a knot, with a shorter piece of yarn than you can do that. It might help if you got yourself a better manicure!

Step Eight:  Lay the piece of yarn across your legs, being sure to keep your knees together. Well, we are all ladies, so we say, so that should be a given, right?  Lay the yarn across the cut piece, as shown and tie tightly into a double knot.

Step Nine:  After you have tied off the yarn, you will have something similar to a figure eight.  Cut each end of the 'eight' through the middle and phoof through the yarn with the end of the scissors or fingers to make sure all loops are cut.  Then cut through the other side the same way.  Hold yarn by the long tails and phoof up with your fingers.

Step Ten:  Take yarn in your hand and fist it together.  Trim with scissors, using your fist as a guide.  Do not trim the piece of yarn used to tie.  You will do this later. Also, there is no need to trim your fist, I'm just saying!   

Step Eleven:  After first cutting, hold yarn like a flower and phoof a small amount of yarn in the center and trim it the same.

Step Twelve:  Lay yarn 'flower' on front of wire frame and let two longer pieces lay towards the back of frame.  Holding 'flower' in place turn frame over and tie off, tightly, the two long strands.  Trim strands at this time.  Turn frame over and phoof yarn to look pretty and poofed.  Continue this around the whole frame. It takes about 14 or 15 'flowers' to fill a frame of this size.

When finished add ribbon and ornament of your choice and there you have it!

You can actually use any type of frame that you want.  I have seen styrofoam, cardboard or grapevines.  I actually "heard" of a woman who thought she could save money by cutting a cardboard form.  She reportedly used a pair of shears that she had used to cut the stems of her greens.  I "heard" she was doing this early one morning while still in her jammies. She leaned over a little to closely as she was cutting the cardboard and the handles came into contact with her chestal area, if you know what I mean.  It really smarted, so I "heard".  I don't recommend using this procedure.  Or Not!

Hopefully you got through this scientific experimental project and if anyone asks you "how is that college degree working for you?" You can say it might not get you a job in this day and age, but it sure can help you make one sweet little wreath!

Three little Christmas charmings, and counting...Judy

I'm sharing this with:


Sunday, December 16, 2012


Approximately 1940

"Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight,
Make me a child again just for tonight!"

Elizabeth Akers Allen

Remember when you could hardly wait for Christmas?  The time went by so slowly and your head was filled with thoughts of...

Pretty little dollies...

Clifford, the Red Dog pull toy and Raggedy Anne in Tami's baby chair

...or of galloping like the wind on your trusty steed...

Gumby and his faithful friend, Pokey
Approximately late 1950's

...or the ring master in a three ring circus...

A circus box that could be used as a backdrop for the little circus toys inside and a Mickey Mouse bank, approximately 1960's

I can remember numerous nights, unable to fall asleep, for the thoughts of an upcoming event that was so important...

Like the first day of school...

A cross-stitch picture made by my SIL, Linda, as a gift to me

...or a special birthday party...

A print from a picture painted by Grace Gebbie Drayton. She was the creator of the Campbell Soup Kids. She was born in 1877 and died in 1936, so this painting was done sometime before 1936.

But never was there a night as special as the one that held the excitement of the coming of Christmas.


This is my Mom and Dad sometime in the 1950's. I apologize for the blurriness of the photo but it is the only one I have that illustrates part of the following story.

My mom was the true definition of the word, housewife.  She didn't work outside the home and she didn't drive a car.  She was an exceptional cook and our home was always spotless.

Donald Duck, hard plastic head and soft rubber body and Dumbo, a squeaky toy in a tiny suitcase that is embellished with fairy tale decals. Probably used for a little girl's doll clothes and made around the mid 50's.

A small child's oak roll top desk and swivel chair from the late 1800's, early 1900's, and several small Disney characters.

She grew beautiful flowers, which she loved to arrange in every room and she had an eye for decorating and was always rearranging the furniture.

I would say that I got my love of Christmas from my mom.  We always had the most beautiful tree and it went up in the living room on the day after Thanksgiving and stayed up until the day after New Years.  It was the same every year except the decorations would change with whatever style or color was "in" that year.

We have a tabletop tree in this room every year. It is very indicative of the Victorian era.

Buddy sends his Christmas good wishes

One year she had the tree decorated in all silver and green with green lights, or all white flocking, blue balls and a clear spotlight another year.  We even had a spotlight that turned and changed colors one year.

There was always great excitement during that time.  My sister, brother and myself shared a bedroom and we would stay awake for hours whispering about all that was going on.

Noah's Ark, hand carved and picked up at a craft show in the 80's. When we had the earthquake in Santa Cruz in 1989 pieces fell off the shelf and one zebra had it's leg broken. Now she always sits with her nose resting on the gangplank so she can stand up.

Those were really great years and I have so many fond memories. Looking back over my life, I seem to have many great memories, and for that I am eternally grateful.

  Santa Claus always brought us the things that we most wished for and it seems, looking back, that those things were mostly simple and so were not out of the realm of possibilities.

This metal horse is the Mojo brand, produced in England from 1950 through 1970. It became popular in America because we wanted to replace the wooden rocking horses. When a child sits in the saddle and places his feet on the pedals, the horse rocks forward. This has his original paint but is rather rusted and squeaky, just the way I like him.

If you look at this photo quickly, do not the curtains on either side of the tree look like angel wings?

"For Christmas is tradition time - Traditions that recall/The precious memories down the years,/The sameness of them all."

Helen Lowrie Marshall

I have tried, over the years, to carry on this tradition.  I have always decorated our homes to the hilt.  Our friends and neighbors have always looked in awe at how many decorations there were.  When the kids were small this way was a fact of life.

Tami,6 and Brent,3 with Santa. 
Such trust, admiration and innocence

Since the kids grew up and left the nest and just the two of us remained, I thought I would tone things down a bit, but I'm finding old habits hard to break...

This little nursery rhyme train pull toy is made by Holgate. I researched the company on Google and could not find a date for this particular toy. The company was established in 1789 and still remains in business today, so I am just assuming that it was made in around the l940's or 50's. It consists of the Old Woman in the Shoe, Rub-a-dub-dub, Cinderella's Coach, 3 wise Men from Gotham (which I have never heard of), Wynken, Blynken and Nod, and a tiny Coal caboose for naughty little children.

There is something about the "feel" of Christmas that is embedded in my very soul, and I find that impossible to change.

"Christmas is the keeping place for memories of our innocence."

Joan Mills

I have been seeing frames used as "wreaths" this Christmas in many blogs and have admired them all. I knew I had an old frame hiding in the garage but didn't remember that it was embossed with holly and berries until The Captain pulled it out. I love the look of it. I added a battery powered candle that I had.

I hope you enjoyed this chapter of our Christmas story and the decorations in the sitting room.  Since our parlor was not available this year, no matter how hard we worked to get it there, I will leave you with a picture of what it looked like a couple of years ago and how we hope to have it look, once again, next year...Judy

"Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas time."

Laura Ingalls Wilder

I am sharing with:


I know that this has been an especially long post and I had it written a few days ago before the devastating occurrence at Sandy Hook.  I thought long and hard about whether I should send it.  It seems such a presumptuous and frivolous thing to do in light of what happened there.

Here I am in my little part of the world, safe and knowing that my family is here, excited about Christmas and then my mind goes to the parents in that town, a part of New England, which is almost always synonymous with Christmas.  

Christmas is always about families.  It has been from that night in the stable to the nights all over the world when dreams are being dreamed and magic is happening.  I keep envisioning these parents going home, after hearing the devastating news that their children are gone, and seeing the presents already under the tree waiting for a child that will not come.  It will be a silent night of another kind.

I can relate to losing a child, but not one so young, with a lifetime ahead that would include all of the things that I felt as a child at Christmas time and beyond.

I decided to send this on in spite of a heart that is heavy with regret. Things happen in our world that we have no control over.  Something needs to be done to at least try to stop the violence, and things can be done, but the sad thing is that bad things will continue to happen no matter what laws are put in place.  They always have and they still do.

We have to remember that we all belong to the family of mankind, and that there still is beauty in this world.  We will find it if we just look. Try to lend a helping hand of support to those that need it.  Our actions will speak volumes and hopefully, one day, make the world a better place.

My thoughts and prayers are with everyone.  We are all changed by this.