Tuesday, January 28, 2020


Things are progressing 
very slowly here this week. 
 I thought I would be able 
to show you our
 new kitchen stove today,
 but the schedule got moved out 
so don't know when 
it will arrive exactly.

 The project
 that I told you came out of the Captain's
 five little words
 has been started
 but still a slow process. 

while we are waiting,
 I thought I'd take you
 back to the past...

...and show you 
what the Cottage looked like 
when we first took possession.

 I wasn't blogging then and 
it seems like pictures
 were not a priority, 
so I don't have a whole lot to show 
but I can tell 
you how things were.

The guest room 
was wallpapered in 
green leaves and red berries 
with avacado green wall-to-wall carpeting.
  (Hmm, sounds like it might have made
 a pretty Christmas scene). 
 We stripped off the wallpaper and 
took up the carpet.
  The original fir flooring
 looked like an area rug
 had been placed and 
then painted with mustard gold paint 
around the edges of it. 
 We stripped the paint and 
finished the floor and
 that is the floor that we have today. 
 We painted woodwork,
 re-papered the walls and
 now it looks like 
the above picture.

The parlor and entry
 were both covered in
 a pinkish flowered paper and 
the same avacado carpet
 was covering the original fir flooring.
  We re-papered the walls
 of both rooms and tore up the carpet. 
 We lived with the original floors 
until I painted blue and white squares 
in the entry and 
decided to add carpeting 
back into the parlor. 
 We have since added 
blue and white flooring
 over the paint in the entry 
(which I now kind of regret) 
and although the burgundy carpeting 
still is covering the fir flooring 
in the parlor 
we hope to tear it up and 
just leave it in the
 original state again.

The sitting room 
looks like the above photo now 
but it has undergone numerous changes.  
When we first saw it 
a white wallpaper with a gold design 
was covering all the walls and 
the same green carpet was on the floor. 
 The green carpet 
was what showed
 but underneath there were
 four more layers of other carpets and 
all the doors had been shortened
 to accommodate that. 
 The sitting room 
is the only room 
that we didn't wallpaper 
but it has gone through 
more transformations than any other room 
except for the kitchen.

 Our first change was 
blue paint, blue and gray carpeting 
and white trim. 
It was done in a country theme and 
really was quite a pretty and inviting room...

...the second change was 
what you see above...

...we then changed 
back to blue paint but
still kept the burgundy carpet 
that continues in from the parlor.

Third times aren't always a charm, and 
that one was a great disaster, 
so we then re-painted it 
like what we see today and 
added the lighter carpeting.

is how the dining room looks now. 
 A first choice of a new look 
for the dining room,
 after stripping off yellow and orange flowered wallpaper and 
gold shag carpeting, 
was red wallpaper with little yellow flowers 
and a white flowered border 
in red, yellow and blue. 
 I loved that room 
but a change came 
when I imagined that it 
wasn't fancy enough...

...so we changed to 
a yellow flowered,
 more formal,

When we bought the Cottage, 
this is the kitchen we inherited. 
 Early chaos and 
the only room
 that I have a
 "before" photo of.

This is our first change 
in the kitchen 
(sorry for the poor quality of the photo,
 but it was pretty darn sweet) 
and we kept it 
for quite awhile...

...then it was yellow...
and I think there was some
 red and white checked wallpaper, 
at some point, 
but now...

...this is where 
we are at.

 As I look back and 
remember some of these changes,
 I almost wonder why 
we made some of the decisions 
that we did, 
but such is life and human nature, and 
if I had to second guess myself, 
I imagine
 there will be a 
few more decisions 
in the future. 

While Old Man Winter 
continues to entertain us,
 I am hopeful that
 I will have some 
new news 
next week.


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Tuesday, January 21, 2020


It is winter and winter is cold. 
 There are no 
if's, and's, or but's about it.  
if we put mind over matter, 
we can change our perception of winter
 and make it seem much warmer,
 and more welcoming,
 than it really is.

This painting is 
pleasant to my eye. 
 What could be more pleasing 
than a little cottage in the woods? 
 But with all that snow around it, 
I just wanted to shiver
 when I first looked at it. 
 At closer inspection,
 my eye picks out the
 impression of smoke above the roof
which gives the feeling of warmth 
within the cottage. 
In actuality, 
it is only a water stain,
 but with that small event,
 the perception of a winter scene
 is changed.

A tidy home 
is very important to me and
 when this throw is folded neatly 
over the back of the chair and
 a pillow is added, 
it shows that this corner 
of the room is 
exactly that...

...but if that same throw and pillow 
are rearranged and
 a book and hot cup of tea are added,
 it gives the appearance of 
warmth and comfort and 
the perception that winter 
can be changed into 
a comfortable space.

This is an unusual angel. 
 She is made to hold a candle and 
is tall and stately. 
 She stands in the corner 
on a stand, 
in front of a pair of long shutters and
 against a basic painted wall. 
 On the whole,
 a bit of a 
cold and impersonal vision...

...but when a string of wooly pom poms
 are draped behind and around her, 
some greens are added at her base and 
the candle is lit, 
it transforms the way 
in which a winter offering 
can be viewed.

A sweet snowman pillow 
looks cold 
even with the addition of 
a bright, sunny floral accent...

...and while there is only 
one little square of 
true sunlight 
shining into 
the Cottage...

...it needs the 
soft, contrasting touch of
 another color
 to take away 
the hard edges
 of winter. 

A very sad event 
has happened at the Cottage. 
 Our little kitchen stove has given out.
  It works fine
 when first turned on in the morning 
but after a short while
 the heater element stops working and,
 even though the flame is still visible,
 giving the impression of warmth, 
it no longer keeps us warm and cozy. 
 We have ordered a new one and,
 it will be here
 in working order 
by the next time 
 I post.

This one 
will go back into the guest room, 
where it was originally. 
 It should still be able 
to give our guests 
a bit of warmth upon rising. 
 The new stove  
is a bit different and 
I am hopeful 
that it will brighten up the space and 
still add to the charm and warmth 
of the kitchen.

I picked up this 
bright little assortment of flowers 
at Michael's 
for a display in the dining room, 
once I get the Christmas 
that is covering the table put away. 
 It is the only bit 
that I have left to do, but
 I am still 
not stressing!

 Very small ideas 
can be responsible for 
changing our perceptions
 of almost anything and 
help us remember 
that this too 
shall pass.

I hope 
you are all keeping warm
 this winter.



the 49er's are going to 

the Super Bowl!!!

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Tuesday, January 14, 2020


A little more than a month ago, 
I posted this quote 
in connection with the anticipation of 
the coming of Christmas.  
That time, all too soon,
 has now come and gone.
  With each piece 
of our well planned out decor 
being put away in boxes and 
hidden for another twelve months,
 there comes a sadness 
that is almost beyond words.
 An empty spot 
where a tiny kitchen tree 
sat just days ago
 could be responsible for
 a sinking feeling deep inside, 
if I let it. 

 I have decided to take control and 
let all of that anticipation,
 that was felt before hand, 
come back around 
in reverse.

In the meadow, 
two January snowmen 
are anticipating that 
first snow storm 
hanging over their heads...
 and if the weatherman is correct, 
that might be
 happening soon...

...and Mr. January, himself,
 stands head and shoulders above the rest,
 while inviting you to linger with 
a good book and a hot drink
 in front of 
a blazing fire.

The master bedroom 
has been put to rights and 
the vintage pillows 
seem to coincide 
nicely with the
 new ruffles...

...and the only bit of Christmas 
to remain is the wreath on the dresser.
  When walking by 
there is still a sweet scent of pine, 
so as long as that persists, 
it will stay in place.

If you look closely 
you might still see 
some Christmas decorations 
in the back ground. 
 I am not stressing about 
how long it will take 
to put it all away. 
 The anticipation 
of having it all done, 
having a clean house once again, and 
moving on to other pursuits 
is what is 
fueling this fire.

That Cottage Stew 
might be bubbling on 
the back burner again. 
This time
 just enough in the pot 
to satisfy the parlor. 
(For those of you 
who might be visiting for the first time,
 the colors, blue and white 
are to the Cottage,
 the same as meat and potatoes 
are to a stew.) 
Here we have a small taste test 
on the parlor mantle.

I am not setting any schedule
 as to what room is done first. 
 The empty boxes were stacked 
in no particular order and
 we are bringing them back in 
that same way.  
My only rule is 
that each space (not each room)
 when cleared
 will be polished and put to order
 before moving on.

The kitchen
 is one other room 
returned to normalcy 
so far.

A lot of you 
are choosing the "word of the year"
 or making new year resolutions but, 
I don't do those
 because I just can't seem 
to stick to them, but
 maybe I am just making
 a "word of the month", 
or however long it takes. 
 For whatever reason,
 the anticipation of 
how long it will last 
is exciting 
for now.

One thing 
I might be anticipating is 
a bite of a shiny, juicy apple. 
 Too bad these apples are not real. 
I found them at Tuesday Morning and 
they definitely could fool 
a discerning eye.

One thing 
I really am anticipating is 
a project 
that has just come to the forefront. 
 That doesn't mean
 it will be finished tomorrow, 
mostly because it
 hasn't been started yet.

 It wasn't even 
on the horizon two days ago, 
but the Captain uttered...

five little words


...Come On Now,
you can't dangle that apple carrot 
in front of me 
and not expect that I 
won't grab it and run! 

 Oh, the anticipation!

Have a great week and 
look for my
 "thank you's" to you 
at the end of each post.


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