Tuesday, January 29, 2019


There are moments in life, 
where the line between
 hate and love becomes blurred. 
 Not everyone subscribes to that idea, 
but there are some that do,
 all too often. 
 It would certainly be 
a perfect world as,
 the old saying goes, 
if we could all 
just get along.

I am going to try 
to live up to that old saying today.

  February is coming around quickly 
and that means a sure sign 
that love is in the air.

  I present to you, 
a Valentine's Day table and,
 even though it appears to be
 a table for two,
 it is much more than that, 
and you all have a seat
 at this table.

If I do say so myself,
I am obsessed with the garland 
that is fast becoming a staple 
at the Cottage.  
I have moved it back 
into the dining room and included
 more flowers and ribbons 
that proclaim a 
statement of love.

The pink flowered place settings
 are included in my "best dishes" category.
  They are by Wood & Sons of England. 
 They were acquired, specifically, 
when the dining room's decor
 leaned to the more traditional. 
 Now they only come out
 when romance is the issue. 
 Also included are 
candle sticks and sherbet dishes 
in hob nail milk glass

...and pink glasses,
 of which the smaller size 
was a beautiful gift from 
Jake and Jacenda
 at Christmas.

Festive paper pinwheels 
hang from the chandy 
above the table.

The food 
is the least of the equation.
  First and foremost 
is the presentation and
 all the rest 
comes later.

that all of that has been 
figured out and put in place,
 I want to tell you about a movie 
that we watched the other night. 
 It is called "Maudie" 
and we got it through Netflix, 
but not the streaming part. 
 I checked 
and it doesn't seem to be available there.

  The following is a short run down:

Maud Lewis 
was born in South Ohio, Nova Scotia, 
in 1903. 
 She died in 1970. 
 She spent the last three decades 
of her life 
painting in a corner of a one room house 
where she lived with her 
fishmonger husband, Everett.

 The couple was destitute 
and she painted on anything 
that she could get her hands on,
 shingles and pieces of wood,
 using house and boat paint.

 She sold her paintings
 out of her home 
and also when she went door to door 
with her husband 
while he was selling the fish he caught.

  Over time 
she covered every surface of her home
 with bright and charming flowers and birds.
  Her paintings were
 happy and cheerful and
 certainly belied the fact that 
she must have been in constant pain
 from rheumatoid arthritis and 
curvature of the spine
 that she suffered from all of her life.

 I had never heard of her and, in fact,
 until I read in the credits
 at the end of the movie,
 that her paintings are on display 
in the Nova Scotia museum, 
I didn't know that the film was based
 on the true story of her life. 

 This was a sad, 
and at the same time, 
uplifting story 
about two people that were 
social outcasts, 
who found each other under 
unlikely circumstances and 
who made each other's lives 
bearable and productive, 
although not always in the best of ways.
  To me,
 in spite of all the dysfunction,
 it was a love story.  
Not an ideal one,
 but one carried out in ways that 
only these two individuals could and,
 in the end,
 I found myself so happy 
that they had found each other.

  (After doing some research on Google,
 I read that some critics
 were unhappy with the way
 the story was depicted, 
but I thought that
 all of the parts in question were addressed,
 maybe just not to the extent
 that the critics felt satisfactory).

  The acting is wonderful and 
the cast very believable in their parts. 
 I was not familiar with 
Sally Hawkins, who played Maud,
 but she was remarkable, and
 I have always enjoyed performances 
by Ethan Hawke, 
who portrayed Maud's husband, Everett. 

 This was a rather simple, 
but well done film 
of a story that deserved to be told 
and a life that deserved 
to be appreciated. 

 I hope you get a chance to see it,
 if you haven't already. 
 I would love to hear 
your thoughts on it.

on to menu planning and more.

 See you next week and
 I appreciate
 your stopping by.

"It is not only necessary to love,
it is necessary to say so."

French Saying


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Tuesday, January 22, 2019


For Christmas 
I made a red snowman.  
I fashioned two velvet pumpkins 
together with a snowman ornament head, 
then I took some white velvet 
and another larger snowman ornament,
 and put this 
jolly little fellow 

...he is here to celebrate 
the last of the winter's offerings 
and his bright smile 
is certainly doing a
 grand job of it.


In looking over
 my posts of this last year, 
this is the one 
that got the most views 
and I thought I would share it again.

  It was written in the fall, 
just before Thanksgiving 
and it went 
something like this...


All that glitters
 is not always gold,
 but as long as the sun is shining,
 we hold a special place 
in our hearts 
for the summertime
 that is here and now 
and for the memories 
that we will cherish 
long after it is gone.

 As we continue on with 
the Sunflower Summer,
 a few that have graced
 the vases of Gold Country Cottage,
 now lay on the kitchen sill (above),
 waiting to dry, 
to be added into 
a wreath or a garland 
that will continue on 
and add cheer
 to a wall or a door 
of the Cottage.

On the kitchen table,
 Goatzie is pulling 
a bounty of sunflowers 
that will also be a part of
 the fall and harvest crafting
 that will be taking place 
along with the 
goldenrod drying 
in the spongeware pitcher.

Another flower 
that will join the sunflowers
 will be the hydrangeas.
  They dry easily 
and add just 
the right color and texture 
of another kind.

Down the center
 of the dining room table,
 lays the garland mentioned above.
  As the sunflowers dry,
 they and other bits of dried material
 will be added, 
making it a centerpiece 
of the autumn experience 
at the Cottage.

As the garland lays on the table, 
the bits and pieces of summer
 are placed just so
 to form an autumn image. 
 When the eye is satisfied 
with the results,
 a bit of hot glue will be used 
to add them permanently in place
 where they can shine....

...and just like sunflowers 
standing tall beside a garden gate, 
they will conform to the season 
and continue shining 
until the harvest is in
 and the sun sets.



Right after I wrote that post,
 I found that the kids were 
coming to the Cottage for Thanksgiving.
  Because the pretty garland
 would take up 
too much space at the table,
 I moved it to
 the parlor mantle...

...it fit perfectly there
 and we enjoyed it
 throughout the rest 
of the season.

Valentine's Day 
is on the horizon
 and I thought it would be fun
 to re-create the garland
 for that purpose.

Since I never did glue
 the sunflowers,
 hydrangeas and Chinese Lanterns
 to the garland,
 it was just a matter of replacing 
those flowers with 
dried roses and peonies
 that I have gathered over time, 
some from the garden 
and some from grocery store bouquets.
  Along with the addition of 
a pink silk ribbon,
 it is a perfect combination 
for a bit of 
Valentine's cheer.

We don't do much 
in the way of celebrating 
Valentine's Day 
outside of hanging a few hearts 
here and there...

...so it seems perfect
 for a...

"Little house, so very small

(and with the addition of a romantically inspired garland)

Just big enough for love
That's all."

Author Unknown



That was then...

This is now...

Kai says,
 "I never slept with a blanket
 in my whole life, 
then the Birdie came and 
now I have turned into 
a whimp!"

Winter is still here.

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