Saturday, August 30, 2014


Myself, left, and Kathy

Back in the summer of 1957, my cousin, Kathy, and I were working as Santa's helpers at Santa's Village here.  

Fast forward years later, after marriages and children,
 Kathy tells the story of her daughter, Andrea, watching the movie "Practical Magic",
 and stating the fact that she was going to be a soap maker some day...

...and, true to her words, her dream was realized and 
Wild Thyme Botanicals was born.

Andrea, left, and her mom, Kathy

After graduating college,
 Andrea set up shop in her mom's garage.

She is solely responsible for coming up with her own particular formulas. 
 She mixes up all the scents and colors, pours the molds, cuts the bars 
and wraps all with her own special labels. 

The tools for making soap

Kathy applies the pressed botanical designs on all shapes and sizes of bottles
 that can be filled with sweet smelling lotions and potions.

Andrea ships her products all over,
 has clients in some hotels, one as far away as North Carolina. 
 She also produces lip balms, lotions, aromatherapy items, and beautiful sweet smelling soy candles. 
 She sells at fairs and shows and her products can be found on and Amazon.


Now she has opened her own retail storefront
 with facilities on site for manufacturing, and has plans for holding classes also.

Tami and I went to the grand opening of Andrea's shop 
and are so proud of how hard she has worked to make her long ago dream come true.

Thank you, Andrea, for inviting us,
 and it was so good to see all of you
 and, as they say in Victoria magazine, you have found your bliss.

Happy Weekend,

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Monday, August 25, 2014


Photo courtesy of

One of the very sweet ladies that I follow is Lynnie from CottageGalStyle.  She is so charming and creative and her blog is always a delight.  Above is an example of her creativity, using fancy duct tape to cover a vintage travel case.  She has invited me to join a blog tour that is making the rounds right now.

It gives insight into the world of some interesting and fascinating lives that you may not otherwise have a chance to find out about.

I will answer four questions about myself and, hopefully, you will enjoy finding out a little more about me and through this same process, find out about a few, among many, of the bloggers that I hold in such high esteem.

So, here we go, on the subject of me:


Anyone who has read my blog knows that we are always working on the Cottage, but right now, I am really trying to perfect my furniture painting technique.  I think I've found the perfect line of paints for me, Shabby Paints, and I am sorting it out little by little.  I'm also getting close to revealing another room in the Cottage.


I'm not so sure that anyone's work differs from anybody elses to a great extent.  We all strive to keep a lovely home, cook a good meal, manage a healthy and beautiful garden, paint a pretty piece of furniture, see an amazing picture through our camera lens, and love and treasure our families, friends and pets.  It's just that in doing those things, we all go about them in our own way, and the outcome may be that we can teach others how to cope with a similar situation in a more productive manner.  It is a matter of self-expression, and the feeling of community, that makes it enjoyable and work for all of us, I think.


I am, and have always been, someone who loves to decorate and keep house.  My mom was that way and I guess I got it from her.  As a little girl, I can remember picking flowers from the garden to put in my bedroom to make it pretty.  When warm weather comes around my first inclination is not to garden but to clean my house.  With my sister and brother we would play house, where I was always the mother in charge, and I would write a script and we would put on plays for the family.

As I grew up and married and started my own homekeeping, friends would say, "your house should be in a magazine".  I would always respond with a "thank-you and a not really", but in my secret heart of hearts, I would wish, "would you enter me in one?"  I really did want it to happen, but it never did.  Somewhere along the way, I discovered other people's blogs and started reading them.  For quite awhile I thought, if I were to write a blog, that would be a way of telling about my home and the things that I enjoy.  One day, I jumped in with both feet, and Gold Country Cottage was born!  I truly love it and hope that those who read it feel the same way.  It seems this sort of thing has always been a part of something that I have enjoyed doing.


My husband, Jerry, or as he is known in blogland, the Captain, volunteers his time walking dogs every Tuesday at our local animal shelter.  I ride along with him and while he is tending to the dogs, I sit in my office
car with pencil and paper and a few Victoria magazines and outline my blog.  Sometimes I haven't got a clue what I will write about, but the minute I pick up my pencil a subject seems to pop into my head.  I only work on one post at a time.  I have to be organized in that way or I would never get anything done.  This applies to everything I do except when it's time for Halloween.  I usually write an original poem for that one so I get busy early on, jotting down ideas. After I have outlined what the subject is, I pick my photos that correspond.  I try to use photos that I have just taken but sometimes going back into the album works well too.  Sometimes the pictures, and what they represent, comes first and other times the ideas and the writing are what lead the way.  When I get back home, then I will use the computer to lay it all out.  From there I start my post and I will go over it a number of times to make sure I haven't misspelled any words before I push 'publish'.  I have always been a good proof reader and that is important to me.  Believe me, its a long process.  Maybe it shouldn't be, but that's how I enjoy doing it.

I have to admit that most of the time, I don't talk the way I write.  I usually am just a good listener.  There is just something about the writing process that brings out a fulfillment in me.  I love to make my thoughts into stories and to tell them with humor, imagination, quotes, and poetry.

"If a woman rebels against high-heeled shoes, she should take care to do it in a very smart hat."

George Bernard Shaw

OK, that should answer a few questions about me - now onto a much more interesting subject - my three good friends, that I have met through blogging, that I hope you will enjoy as much as I do.

Photo submitted by Mill Hill Meadow

First on my list is Karin.  I have followed her for quite some time and always enjoy what she is doing.  She recently moved to a new home, changed the name and format of her blog, and I am loving, even more, how she presents herself in this new way.  In the past, sunflowers have always been front and center on her blog and I always think of her when I see one.

and her bio in her own words:

My blog is named Mill Hill Meadow.  I am a reformed home renovator.  After 20+ years of saving old homes, I have packed up my paint brushes, electrical wire and saws, so that I can spend more time enjoying life.

Photo submitted by Scene Through My Eyes

Second on my list is JoAnn from Scene Through My Eyes.

I have been to Washington State a few times and I thoroughly enjoy the beauty and everything else about it.  That is why I do not want to miss one of JoAnn's posts.  She takes the most beautiful photos of the wildlife and scenery around her state.  As a young girl she lived in Alaska and has now published a book about those times. She is doing a book signing as we speak, so she had to back out of this process, but I feel she is so worthy of mentioning.

Photo submitted by Val's Alentejo

I am anxious to introduce you to my good friend, Val. She and I met during my first week of blogging. I was so impressed that someone as far away as Portugal was reading my blog. She is such a talented, wonderful, and lovely lady and she leads such an interesting life among her olive groves. Her travels, family and animals truly fill her life with joy and she shares her blessings on her blog.    She is thoughtful as well, as she actually called me this morning to see if I had been affected by the earthquake in Northern California. Now I know what her accent sounds like and can picture her as we are chatting back and forth on our blogs.

Here is Val's link: and her bio in her own words:

My blog is called Val's Alentejo and it has become a part of my life for these last three years.  I have made such lovely blogging friends.  My blog is about my life living in central southern Alentejo in Portugal.  I enjoy gardening, love my roses, my travels, and quality time with my children and grandchildren.  I love my life here, passing time painting.  My four dogs and my horses give me great pleasure.

I hope you will visit with these three wonderful bloggers.  They will be posting their own blog tours on September 1 and, in my opinion, they have all sold themselves short in their bios.  They are a group of beautiful, talented ladies and spending time with them will be well worth your while.

Thank you so much, Lynnie, for including me.  This has been such good fun.


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Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Everywhere you look
 there seems to be a sign of the
  coming autumn.

The seasonal buds
 are ready to pop open...

...a small breeze stirs
 and sends some leaves gently
 fluttering to the ground.

The autumn hued flowers
 are beginning to bloom at the same time
 the colors of summer are fading.

A pleasant sight
 nearing the end of summer...

...especially when these beautiful creatures come out,
 from behind.

There is no escaping
 the reason
 for  a changing vignette...

...or two.

A chance for a shot
 of a pretty, little, different looking butterfly
 turns into... unexpected fleeting glance
 at Mother Nature's way of saying
 that Halloween is not far behind.


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Tuesday, August 12, 2014


In reality, a week in the country was actually four days,
 all filled with fun activities and some serious shopping.

We spent evenings at the campground, under the trees with a glass of wine,
 but come daybreak we took to the road.

We drove as far as Sonora and Jamestown,
 to Fiddletown and past the surrounding vinyards and wineries of the Shenandoah Valley,
 and to Volcano and Sutter Creek where we spent some time with my sister. 
 We stopped for lunch along the way and for dinner when we got closer to the campground.
  The Captain barbecued one night and I made a salad...

...that was the closest we got to anything remotely connected with the drugery of everyday life.

We drank lots of iced caramel lattes and had a very relaxing time and it all brought back a lot of very fond memories.

Not too long after we moved to Grass Valley, we bought a small 5th Wheel.
  We rented a space in this very campground by the month and drove up to our "cabin in the country" every weekend. 
 We were both working at the time and it was a treat well within our budget.
  At the beginning of the week the anticipation of the coming weekend made it all worthwhile.

As time went by we retired and became busy with working on the Cottage and the garden and we didn't go so much anymore. 
 We finally sold the little fifth wheel and bought our first motorhome.
  We had fixed it up to our liking and I can just imagine the dealer's face when he went to pick it up and saw the big, beautiful, blue roses that I had stenciled all over the walls.
  It was so cute and I wish I had pictures to show.

A new RV park opened up in Jackson and we started taking our motorhome there. 
 This is the first time we have been back to this little camp for quite awhile.

The trees have all grown and the duck population has increased,
 but it still has that serene, cozy feeling that it had all those years ago.
  We will be back again.


We did a lot of shopping, but not a lot of buying. (If you can believe that).

We picked up one very old, very dirty, but in my opinion, very great...

...piece that will be saved for another time.

This mama was very protective of her babies and was giving them constant advice on the evils of the world,
 when she could catch up with them, that is!

We watched happy little kids fishing with their dads...
which reminded us of Jake and his dog, Cooper, (above) fishing from the very same spot 16 years ago.

Every little kid should get a chance to go camping.

We also saw a neighboring camper's dog slip his leash and almost decapitate a duck!
  Lots of quacking but no harm, no fowl!!

We spotted a mountain lion behind the campground (true story..we both saw it).
It was quite a ways away but it was much larger than a regular cat, but there was no mistaking it was from the cat family. 
It was light tan in color and very sleek with a long tail.
 It may have come down from higher country because of the fires that have been going on in that general area.

I don't have any pictures to substantiate these last two occurances.
 You will just have to take my word for it.

And look what was waiting for me when we picked up our mail...
I am in Heaven!!!



The sun setting over the Shenandoah Valley.

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