Tuesday, December 19, 2017


The decorating is done.
 The Cottage is quiet and
 the light of the candles
 casts a warm glow, 
along with a delightful essence, 

 There is a feeling of contentment
 that always settles in
 at this time of year.

 I think it may have started
 many years ago 
when, as a young child,
 I saw how my mother was affected 
by this time of year and
by Christmas
in particular.

I kind of skipped over
 our decorations these last few posts,
 so as I continue my Christmas Story, 
I will give the Cottage her due
 and share them with you
in between.

My mom was a twin. 
 She suffered from ill-health 
most of her life
 along with low self esteem.

  She always felt she was inferior
 and not as pretty as
 her twin sister 
and, as you can see, 
they looked just alike. 

 For whatever the reasons were,
 I think she may have compensated
 by giving herself to 
being a wife, mother and home keeper. 

 These things she excelled at.

I know I have mentioned before
 how we never knew 
where the furniture would be 
when we came home from school.

 Our home was always 
pretty, immaculate, and 
we all sat down to dinner each night
 with a hot, full course meal.

  We didn't have a lot of money
 but, to my eyes,
 Mom made our home look like we did,
 by sewing pretty tablecloths and curtains,
 and by arranging fresh flowers 
throughout the house that 
she grew and tended herself 
in the garden.

 She also had a 
wonderful eye for color and style.

In later years, I found out 
that she went to bed many nights 
with chest pains 
because she had overdone during the day.

  But, to all of us, 
this was just who she was.

 My dad was a good provider and
 we loved him very much, 
but it was my mom who 
made our world go round.

This was never more apparent 
then at Christmas time.

 It wasn't just the gifts either, 
although the sight of packages 
under the tree 
was exciting.

 We usually got the "big" gift from Santa
 and the few, required, ones 
such as underwear or stockings, 
and the occasional doll or toy truck,
were wrapped in pretty papers, 
leaving us to wonder for days 
as to what was inside.

 I never shook,
 or even picked up,
 a present 
for fear that I might guess 
what it was.

 The surprise was, 
and still, remains
 everything to me.

As I mentioned,
 it was never about the gifts for me,
 there must have been something 
in my mother's attitude 
that set me on the path 
to my love of Christmas.
The special ways she would
 decorate the tree,
 or the baking and the home made candy or just the fact, that I could feel her happiness.
  Any one, 
or all,
 of these things 
could have made a
 lasting impression on me.

The pride she took
in what she did 
for her family and her home
 was very apparent.

 how she felt was never talked about, 
I can imagine,
 because all of these ideals 
were passed on 
to me.

It is not just at this time of year
 that I see the results 
that my parents passed on.

 I see it, every day ,
in my daughter's family as well.

 It is like a line of dominoes,
 falling one by one,
 each taking their part 
from the ones before,
 and, I see,
 how lucky we all are 
to have this legacy...

...it is especially apparent to me
 at Christmas time...
 when the Cottage is quiet, 
the candles are lit and 
I sit by the tree. 

 I can feel the smile 
on my mother's face and
 know that she would be happy and proud 
about her job 
well done.


Thank you each, and everyone, 
for taking the time to visit with me throughout this year.

 I appreciate all of your kind words and
 the fact that you let me return the favor.

  I hope you all have 
a wonderful holiday and 
take a good rest 
after the celebrating is done.

  I will be doing just that 
and will return next year. 
 Talk to you then...but 
(as if this post wasn't long enough already)
 I want to share with you 
a beautiful Christmas present 
that our whole family received...

Meet Bo 
(pronounced as in Mr. Bo Jangles)

He is a golden retriever that 
Tami and Tim adopted.

 He has the most gentle soul. 
 He is loving, kind to all humans 
and other animals.

 He loves nothing better than
 climbing onto the sofa and, 
literally, climbing into your lap,
 where he will make himself comfortable
 for days, 
if he is allowed.

  Bo has epilepsy.

 His former owners were told this 
and were give prescriptions 
for medications that would help him,
 but they chose to use
 marijuana for his treatment instead
 and when he continued to have seizures, 
they abandoned him at the shelter.

 Luckily, Tami works at that shelter,
 and saw him immediately 
when he was dropped off.

 She said it was love at first sight 
for them both. 
 He has had one bad seizure 
since they brought him home and
 he is now on the meds 
that the doctors prescribed.

 There is no guarantee 
that they will stop the seizures completely
 but we are all hopeful 
and it is not a factor at all 
in the amount of love 
that he will receive 
or that he will give
 to all of us.


  1. Dearest Judy, What a precious post about your mom-thank you for sharing! My mom was not like yours and I was always uncertain of what she would be like in the evening. I love reading your story and seeing your beautiful home decorated for Christmas. I especially love your red and white quilt-I love it, if I lived near you it might disappear. Just kidding. I love all your vintage items too. The story of Mr. Bojangles is so tender, so glad that Tami and Tim adopted him. May the medication keep his seizures under control. Sending big hugs your way with Christmas Blessings and lots of love.

  2. Judy- What a wonderful post about your mother and her influence in your life. You have done her proud with your own homemaking skills. I can feel your love for your home and family in every word you write. I think she and her twin were both beautiful girls...it makes you wonder what she suffered that made her feel inferior to her sister.

    Love the Mr. Bojangles story. He is a lucky boy and they are lucky, too.

    God bless you and your precious family this Christmas season- xo Diana

  3. Judy ,What a beautiful post about Your mom my mom love Christmas to i have All her decoración with me she pas 2 Years ago ,my only sister pass last month with Cancer she love Christmas so must Tha she tall me and my nice to put All the Christmas decoración this Year even that we not in to that we did she has All the Christmas precent for me and my nice is been so sad All this day for our family
    But this is live
    Any way Your córtage is so lovely and Beautiful with All Your Christmas decoración
    Merry Christmas to you and yours
    Oh Bo is so cute I home the medicación Work for him.

  4. Judy what a beautiful post. It brought joy to my heart and tears to my eyes. What beautiful things you learned from your mother. She passed her love of family onto you and you now onto your family. As our world continues to change it is so good to see memories and traditions of the heart and home stay and continue. Bo is such a gift to your family. You can tell by his sweet face that he has a good personality. God puts these sweet creatures in our paths for a reason. Bo will get the medication and care he needs and a forever home to enjoy. While we rescue them they rescue us in so many ways too. Wishing you and your sweet family a very merry Christmas and lots of happiness and good health in the new year.

  5. What a beautiful story Judy. this is what Christmas is all about. It sounds like our Mother's were much alike. All though she was not a twin her mother was and so was her mother's mother all coming from the old country. Thank you for the tour of your home, it is truly beautiful with such beautiful attention to detail and great eye candy. Have a amazing Christmas and a very happy New Year!
    xoxo Jo

  6. Dear, dear Judy ~ what a beautiful post in heart felt thoughts and lovely photos. My heart was touched.

    Have a lovely Christmas and a wonderful 2018 ~ FlowerLady

  7. What a loving and beautiful post. And a warm, gracious tribute to your Mother.
    She would have been very proud of you and all of your talents and skills.

    A very Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  8. Beautiful decor and post. Thanks for sharing.
    And welcome to your pretty boy BO

  9. Beautiful home and so nicely decorated. I love it all. The porch looks inviting.

  10. Lovely story and your décor pictures are beautiful. I just love the picture of your Mom and her twin....such classic vintage! Bo is just a cutie!

  11. Judy your home is so beautifully decorated! So cozy and welcoming! I enjoyed hearing about your mom and your childhood. Sweet memories I'm sure. :)
    And what a sweet (and sad) story about Bo. So glad he has a good home now. I had a neighbor that had a cat named Mr. Bo Jangles.
    Wishing you a Happy Christmas!

  12. Judy, what a wonderful tribute to your mother. I love this story and your home, your beautifully decorated home, is a testament to her and her warmth and love. Enjoy your break and all of your Christmas touches. Merry Christmas my friend. xoxoxo

  13. I think your mother is indeed smiling down on you and her grands as well. Such a wonderful legacy she has left!

    Your home looks wonderful Judy and it's easy to see all the attention to detail and love you have given it.

    No is precious, and may he have many wonderful years with his new family. Bless your daughter for taking him in. ❤️


  14. Great story!How sweet and darling!Merry Christmas!

  15. Judy: I love this post. Such beautiful memories of your mom. So sweet. And your home, as always, looks so pretty. Bless Bo too. I hope his seizures stop. Wishing you the best in the upcoming year.

  16. Thank you so much, Joanie. I hope you had the merriest of Christmas and I wish you a Happy New Year..Judy

  17. Hi Judy.. .I'm sorry I'm late in responding..... I got so caught up in the "days before Christmas" and getting my house ready for company. It's nothing compared to yours! I loved every detail of your home and how every little area has some Christmas joy! Our moms sounded very very alike. My mom had such enthusiasm for the holidays, especially Christmas! She had a storage area upstairs just full of Christmas decorations, and out they would come around the 1st of December! Every nook and cranny of their 4 bedroom house had some type of Christmas decoration, a sprig of holly here, a tiny Santa there, an elf here, a wreath there, red bows, angels, snow globes, etc. Looking at your home made me so nostalgic for my parents' home.. where I grew up from when I was 8 years old. Oh such wonderful memories! She instilled in her 4 daughters the love of holidays and decorating for each one. She loved being a "home maker" and took such pride in it and never complained that it was too much work, even in her 80's! I loved your cheese grater with a candle inside! It always amazed me how that storage closet could have so much inside for all the different holidays. It really wasn't that big.. maybe a little room about 6x8 feet but each holiday, it would just explode with decorations!

    Thank you for taking me on a trip down memory lane. Their house looked so much like yours, though wasn't really "vintage" and yet the decorations were and everything had a touch of vintage. I'm sorry your mom had low self esteem. Makes you wonder what happens to cause that and it's sad, as she had so many wonderful qualities and abilities. You should print out this blog post and save it in a book for your daughter. It's a very precious post.

    And I'm thankful that Bo has found a forever home with caring parents. What a God sent gift. Our precious animals come into our lives at the perfect times. We rescued a kitten 2 years ago that was lost in a pile of garbage behind the house we bought then (where we live now). She was just tiny, maybe 4 weeks old and her mom had apparently abandoned her. Sweet girl that she is.... it was love at first touch, especially for my husband, who has ALWAYS maintained that he's allergic to cats and they can't be in the house! Since then, he's having a love affair with this sweet little girl (Maddie) and is a changed man! He has admitted that she opened up his heart in many ways. What a blessing.

    Hope your Christmas was a good one... and now onward ho into the new year!
    Hugs.... Marilyn

  18. Dear Judy,
    I feel especially close to my mama and my grandmamas at Christmas time. There are so many precious memories. Alas, all I have of them is the memories. I love Christmas time best. The joy extends back into September as I review Christmas books, October as I begin crafting and listening to Christmas music, November as I begin preparing our home for the holidays, and of course December when I try to focus on our savior Jesus and enjoy the decorations, friends, and all of the above.

    This is the best post I've read in ages about Christmas. It touched me deeply.
    I'm so glad we found each other. I hope we will be blog friends.
    God bless you dearie!
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage


Your comments are so special to me...Judy