Tuesday, July 29, 2014


We don't have many guests stay at the Cottage but when we do, we are happy to be able to afford them a quiet corner and a soft bed.

We enjoy their company and I hope that they are always happy and satisfied with their stay.

A few weeks ago we had one such guest arrive.  You may remember him as being portrayed as a large, harmful creature with big eyes and sharp teeth, needing to be kept behind fences to keep the fairies safe.

In reality, he is a sweetheart and was just photobombing.

He appeared one day out of the blue, not too long after we lost our Buddy, and he was so sweet and loving, as if he knew that we were a family in need of healing.

In my secret heart of hearts he is called Buddy, Jr. but he has just come to be known as Junior.

Apparently he likes his sleeping arrangements and the fact that they are numerous...


This is one of the two or three dining spots that he enjoys...

...and he's really good about sharing.

Maggie is so thoughtful..she is standing guard over Junior's dish so that the birds don't eat more than their share. Oh, yeah!!

"There are tabbies and tortoiseshell, black cats and white,/ all happy and purring from morning till night,/ and though they do mischief sometimes, which is wrong,/ they're so pretty, you cannot be cross with them long."

Old nursery rhyme from the Victorian era

Junior is full of charm and has an independent spirit.  He seems just right with his world and always makes us smile.

Do you see the dragonfly on the iron garden stake?

Junior does!!

He has brought a friend with him..let's just call her Lucy.

We know where she comes from and, hopefully, she will go home to have her kittens!! She has had many admirers around her, (giving us a few sleepless nights) but, thankfully, Junior is not one of them.

We don't know where he came from and we don't know if he is male or female.  We only know that he shows no interest in Lucy in "that" way, so he is either a she, too young or has been fixed.

For the time being Junior seems to feel that he is more than a guest here...

...and like all of the guests that come to the Cottage, he will be treated with kindness and when he leaves..with a hug and a wave, he will be wished safe travels...

...and if he decides to stay he will be treated to a visit to the vet...because that's just how we do things here at the Cottage.


Oh, it's siesta time...

Did I hear someone say fiesta?


Have a wonderful week ahead and I hope you all go to a place where you feel welcome and everybody knows your name...



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Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Usually, I don't divulge the process of a makeover until it is done.  But, today, I really have to!

You have seen the Cottage entry before.  This project was started about 23 years ago, soon after we moved in.

It has seen some slight transformations between then and now and you will have to wait a little longer to see the final one.  But, today, I am disclosing a piece of information that you might find helpful.

This is totally my opinion.  I am not a spokesperson, paid or otherwise, for this company.

I am just in awe of the product and wanted to share it with all who might be interested.

Remember this chest that has been in the entry since we moved in.  It is the perfect place to set the keys or the mail and the drawers hold an assortment of gloves, scarves and anything else that can be crammed in.

I believe it is called East Lake style and it was painted white when we found it.  The Captain worked his magic and stripped and stained the pine wood and we have loved it for many years.  
Now it is time for a change so a face lift of this chest, and the entry, has begun.

While the Captain is repainting the ceiling and the trim, I am painting the chest and so this fact brings me to the purpose of this post...

I have discovered a new line of paint.  At least to me it is new but, according to their FB page, it has been around for awhile. Of all the painters that I read in Blogland, I haven't heard anything about it.

The line is called Shabby Paints and they have about 35 different colors.  It is a chalk paint, made in the USA, non-toxic, zero VOCs and eco friendly.  There is NO odor at all and it is very fast drying.  All of these properties apply to the full line.

It is very thick (think, almost the consistency of Campbell's soup, pouring out of the can).

When you pour a bit out of the bottle, what would normally drip and fill up the rim of a regular paint can, just rolls right back into the paint container.

The brushes, and other tools used, wash up with soap and water VERY quickly.  What little bit of paint you see on the bottles is exactly what mess I made and normally I'm a pretty messy painter.  The paint does not drip or run.  It goes on smoothly without having to water it down.

I did one coat on this chest.  Drying time is about 2 hours and you can do a second coat at that time.  Applying more than two coats in a 24-hour period is not recommended.

This is Vax.

This is used in place of clear wax.

Vax is not a wax.  It is a combination of high quality varnish and acrylic resin.  It will not harm painted pieces, metal, glass, plastic or furniture.

There is no buffing or ELBOW GREASE required.  You just dip the sponge applicator in water, squeeze it out thoroughly, add the Vax and apply over piece.  It dries fairly quickly and at this point you have a beautiful waxed sheen that will last forever, and you can be done if this is the look you want.

This is Re-Vax.

It comes in four different colors and you will use this to accentuate the distressing or to 'antique' a piece if you so desire.

It also has a fast drying time but should be left for 3-5 days to cure before setting anything on it.

The Re-Vax has a Vax built in coating so that you don't have to apply anything over the piece.

What you are left with is a rich, smooth finish over all and the best part...

No aching arms or tired muscles from applying wax or from buffing!

Check out Shabby Paints website for facts and how-to videos. 

Paint:  Marine Blue - 16 oz. bottle $17
Vax:  Sheer Vax - 4 oz. bottle $10
Re-Vax:  Hazlenut - 4 oz. bottle $13
Sponge: $3
Total to do this chest:  $43

I probably have enough product left to do about 2 1/2 more projects this same size, so the price point is very reasonable.

As I have said, this is only my opinion and, truthfully, I have never used milk paint, so I can't compare.
There are many lines of paint available and each person has their own preference.  I haven't written this post to try to change anyone's mind but just to show that there are options.
If anyone has used this line of paint before, I would love to hear their thoughts on it.

For me, this is the easiest and cleanest type of paint I have ever used, and it will be my paint of choice from now on.


This is not a good likeness of the finished piece as I can't put it in place yet and it is stuck in a dark corner and the photo is a little blurry.

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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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