Tuesday, September 29, 2020



 I haven't taken a fall 
in the dining room...at least, not yet.

 Because we are staying 
at home more these days, 
I feel we should make our homes
 as comfortable as we can. 
 When the weather changes and 
we become more inclined to tuck in,
  that is when the comfort comes out.

 Whether you decorate in all white,
 the softer tones of fall,
 or the brighter and more
 earthy colors of the season, 
let comfort be your guide and 
then sit back and enjoy 
all that you have accomplished. 

 It so happens 
that the dining room is
 the only room left in the Cottage 
that still has plans 
for some autumn decorations so,
 I guess,
 you are stuck with 
seeing the preparations 
this week.

As you walk into the Cottage, 
you are surrounded by cooler colors 
with the use of blue. 
 Because there is no central hall,
 you must walk through each room 
to get to another. 
The dining room seems to be 
at the heart of the home,
 as it is right in the middle.
 I don't know if that is the reason,
 but it is here 
that the fall colors, of my choice, seem 
to come together. 
This was not a proper plan,
 it is just how it turned out.   

I didn't actually forget 
to take some Christmas decor 
down from last year.  
I just decided that 
since the dining room always seems 
to have her 
patriotic spirit showing 
during the holidays 
that she should carry on 
throughout the year. 
 I also think 
the Santas are pretty darn cute and
 deserve to be seen 
for awhile longer...

...right along with
 Bitty Morsel and Gertie 
who are still, today and everyday,
 filling their wagon
 with their wares 
for the good of all.

As long as we are discussing 
Bitty and Gertie, 
I have been racking my brain 
to think if the Cottage Witch 
will make the journey
 here to the Cottage this year.
  I don't think she will 
as when you are over 200 years old
 you shouldn't be exposing yourself 
to what is going on now. 
 That would be what is called
 a pre-existing condition!
I know for a fact
 that there will be no 
trick or treating here 
this year either.

Even though,
 during the day, 
there is still sunlight reflecting 
through the lace curtains...

  ...the Cottage will remain dark.
 I feel so badly for the little kids 
but if my kids were of that age,
 I wouldn't want them 
going to strange houses at this time. 
 In my opinion 
there are times when 
the adults have to take charge and
 this should be one of those times.

The old settle bench 
sits proudly displaying 
a collection of dried gatherings and
 bright pillows 
highlighted by the reflection 
of candle light...

...and as the limelight hydrangeas 
are ripe for picking they, 
and some dried pieces,
 fill a spongeware pitcher
in front of
 the window.

A collection of hutches, 
big and small, 
show off their 
autumn finery.

The table is done 
in a more simple style.

  As there will be 
no family gathering here this year, 
the fall garland
 can take up as much space as it wants...

 ...along with some dried flowers 
from last year and
a sprinkling of tiny candles.  

The yarn and twig wreath
 just doesn't seem the same 
without the addition of autumn leaves, 
so same idea,
 different leaves
 this time.

Enjoy nicer weather,
 if you are lucky enough to have it and 
I will leave you with 
these thoughts...

peaceful puppies 

Keep in mind that now,
 more than ever,
 you need to protect yourself
 against Covid-19.

 If you are unfortunate enough
 to get sick,
 than you could more than likely
  be considered 
as having a pre-existing condition and 
this is not being said
 as a scare tactic,
 it is a very 
real possibility.


  Be Smart. 
 Stay Well. 
 Wear a mask 



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Tuesday, September 22, 2020


The First Day of Fall...

It's funny how life goes. 
 You can be moving along 
just as smoothly as can be and...
it can all change in an instant. 
 Because that seems to be
 how things are going around here. 
 I find myself looking back
 to when all was good. 
 For me 
that seems to be one year ago. 
 Speak about one year and 
that seems like
 a far away place but,
 think back to what you were doing 
one year ago and
 it seems like you 
were just doing 
it yesterday.

I received a catalog 
in the mail yesterday. 
 Seeing Christmas items
 makes me yearn for
 my annual birthday trip to Home Goods,
 where I started collecting
 some new Christmas goodies.  
I know I can
 do that all on line but
 it just isn't 
the same.



One year ago,
 I was decorating
 the kitchen for autumn. 
 This year, 
I am doing the same and
 with all of the same stuff.
  I'm trying to mix it up a bit
 so it will seem 
that all is new again but, 
I know it will be hard
 to fool discerning eyes.



I know I stated last year 
that I was trying to use 
less and make it seem like enough, 
but I don't think
 I really accomplished that. 
 I am saying here and now 
that I will try it again and 
I think I just might make it.
  When trying to use 
the same decorations over again, 
it can get to be 
a bit much
 even for me.

Things look pretty much the same
 in the kitchen area
 as the rest of the year. 
 The little touch of elegance
 with velvet pumpkins on a tiny wreath 
in the window and
 the offering of the olive branch 
seems to be enough
 to celebrate the season
 on one side of 
the sink...

...and an old cutting board
 lined up on the other side
 with a pair of chickens 
making the farmhouse sign look legit.

 You saw Ikea Little Sister last week, 
but now she is sporting 
an old scarecrow 
holding the seasonal offerings.

Believe it or not 
it is a little cool 
in the mornings and
 that makes your first cup of coffee
 special when
 sitting by the fire.

 Another artistic endeavor 
on the black board 
in the spirit of
 the season.



Just add 
another dried up wreath and 
the Ikea Big Sister
 is looking good 
for another year.



using much of the same stuff 
just turns out 
looking quite a
 bit different.  

I normally like to keep
 a candle on the stovetop
 this time of year, 
especially one that smells 
like apple pie baking in the oven. 
 This fall,
 I don't have one,
 another downfall of the Coronavirus,
 but I do have 
one called Inner Peace.
  A very soft and calming scent and
 something that we need 
to be reminded of 
so much now
 in these times.



So there you have 
another year under our belts.  
A very different year today,
 but still seems 
just like 


Did you notice that 
I have a new header style? 
 I didn't do it,
 I don't know how it got there. 
 One day I was loving 
my big red tomato and
 the next it was gone. 
 I'm guessing Blogger did it. 
It's not that I dislike it, 
except for the pictures 
not being big enough,
 but how can they do it
 without my permission? 
 I can see changing 
the style of the format 
that we are used to using,
 but not taking our 
actual photos and changing them. 
 If anyone knows the answer 
would you please explain it to me? 
I notice that this is all we have now, 
the old has been taken away. 
There are things 
that I like about it, and 
there are things
 that just seem ridiculous and 
have no apparent reason 
Is it just me?

Stay smart, stay well and remember:

In order to protect me and 
all my friends, 
please wear a mask.

If you are someone 
who reads this blog (and I thank you for that)
 and who, along with your friends, 
does not believe in wearing masks, 
do you understand 
that if the ones around you 
do not wear masks,
 then you are not protected?
 It is only a 
precaution against Covid and 
nothing about 
taking away your civil liberties!

It is a 
soft and beautiful first day of fall
 here in my neighborhood and 
as I sit on my porch 
enjoying the benefits of it, 
I have to remember 
the 200,000 lives that have been lost.

 Just because 
I didn't know any of those people
 does not make their lives
 any less important
 than my own or yours.

 There is not going to be 
a vaccine anytime soon,
 so if we all 
want to get back to whatever 
we think of as normal, 
wear a mask!

  Thank you!


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Tuesday, September 15, 2020



If you have a little time to spare,
 I would love for you 
to come over to the Cottage today.
 The smoke
 from the fires around California 
has driven us inside once more
 so I thought it would be 
a pleasure to spend some time 
with Jane Austen.

"You cannot imagine 
- it is not in 
human nature to imagine- 
what a nice walk we had 
round the orchard".

May 31, 1811

I am hoping 
that you will find this little visit
 of interest to you.
 Jane was a woman 
who knew the meaning of a good word and 
she traveled in 
comforting but exciting 

"We dine at
 Chilham Castle tomorrow and 
I expect to find 
some amusement".

November 3, 1813

Friends were very important 
to Jane and her way of life, and 
she also knew 
what it meant to keep
 a happy home and 
to enjoy the time 
that she spent there.

"The Milles of Nachington 
dine here on Friday and
 perhaps the Hattons".

June 26, 1808

Jane would have been a terrific blogger. 
 What she could have told us
about her travels and her way of being. 
 I wonder how she 
would have decorated 
her home for fall.

The last paint by number painting finally finds a place.

"There are more 
gooseberries and fewer currants
 than I thought at first. 
 We must buy currants 
for our wine".

June 6, 1811

I have gotten a bit more energy 
these last few days.  
I have been cleaning and 
polishing bits and pieces 
in the sitting room. 
 The thought of Jane, 
and all of you, 
coming to pay your respects 
was just too much
 for me to ignore.

"They say that 
there are a prodigious number 
of birds hereabouts 
this year".

September 1, 1796

The blue jays 
that spend time 
in the old walnut tree above the Secret Garden
 have been beside themselves 
this past week.  
When our power was turned off,
 we used our generator for the first time.
  It sits right below 
the tree and makes quite a racket, 
but the birds squawking
 could be heard
 over it all.

"For elegance and 
ease and luxury, 
the Hattons and Milles 
dine here today, and
 I shall eat ice and
 drink French wine".

June 20, 1808

All our ice melted 
during the black-out and 
it sure would have been nice
 to have some of 
Jane's French wine.

"We drank tea again yesterday 
with the Tilsons, and 
met the Smiths. 
 I find all these 
little parties
 very pleasant".

April 18, 1811

If this cool weather
 that we are now having keeps up, 
I think we will be serving tea 
in front of 
the fire soon.

"The widgeon and
 the preserved ginger 
were as delicious 
as one could wish".

December 27, 1808

I have to admit
 that I looked up 
the definition of widgeon. 
 I would be too embarrassed 
to show my ignorance to Jane,
 by asking it to her face, 
 so I googled it. 
 I had never heard the word before.
 As it turns out, 
Jane and company
 had duck with preserved ginger for tea.
 All I could come up with
 was oatmeal raisin cookies,
 store bought even!

"We have got 
the second volumne of
 Espriella's Letters, and 
I read it aloud 
by candlelight".

October 1, 1808

In just a few short weeks 
it will be 212 years 
since Jane lit that candle.

"Yesterday was
 a very quiet day with us,
 my noisiest efforts
 were writing to Frank, and 
playing shuttlecock 
with William".

August 24, 1805

As I mentioned earlier, 
the weather these last few days 
has been very strange.
  The skies are filled with smoke and
 the temperature went from
 high 90's down to the 60's. 
 I am not complaining at all,
 except for the unsettling reason being
 the destructive fires all over. 
 We are not that close
 to any one of them,
 but it is amazing 
how far the smoke
 can travel.

"I do not know
 what is the matter with me today,
 but I cannot 
write quietly".

June 11, 1799

We switched chairs 
from the parlor and the sitting room.
 I really like 
the blue ones in the parlor and 
the flowered burgundy ones
 fit nicely into the fall scheme 
in the sitting room. 
They are especially better
 when our poor backs
 need a straighter
 sitting position.

"You often wore
 a white gown in the morning
 at the time of all 
the gay parties 
being with you".

January 3, 1801

I hope you enjoyed 
your visit here 
at the Cottage with Jane.
  I wish we could always 
have a guest like her. 
 I feel so fortunate
 that she had time 
in her busy schedule to spend with us, and 
it was just the experience I needed 
to get the sitting room 
all done up for fall.
 that the excitement is over and 
we go back to our "normal" lives,
 Jane leaves us 
with a parting comment:

"There is nothing like 
staying at home 
for real comfort".

Jane Austen

I second that.

Stay smart, 
stay well,
in case you hadn't heard...
Last week I told you 
that one person had died 
as a result of that wedding 
in the small town in Maine.

 The number now stands at five dead.

As I reported at the end of July, 
our little county had 242 cases, 
we are now 
topping out at 500.

Wear your masks, please.


All quotes from Jane Austen came from my old copies of Victoria magazine, way back in the 1900's!
All other nonsense is my own.

Who can answer this question:
Where did my header photograph go?
Who had permission to change it without asking?  If you can answer this please do.

At some later time, I will let you know if I like it!!

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