Tuesday, September 21, 2021



"Autumn mornings
Sunshine and crisp air,
Birds and calmness,
Year's end and
Day's beginnings."

Terri Guillemets

Tomorrow is the actual start of fall.  

Throughout the next few weeks, 

I would like to invite you all to visualize

 a grand tour through the Cottage, decked out in full autumn dress. 

 Starting with the entry and moving into the parlor, 

we will try to show you how 

we plan to enjoy the season 

and hope you feel welcomed.


All of the warmth without the heat, 

and it has never been more 

happily anticipated than this year.

While it is well known that 

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, 

in my opinion,

 Autumn is the most beautiful.  

The colors, the scents, the all around feelings 

after a long hot summer 

are what elevates autumn

 on the seasonal ladder.

2020 was a very hard year,

 that was what we all heard and knew. 

 We couldn't help but have hope 

that the following year would be better. 

 As it turns out though, 

2021 is becoming worse 

and for me

 it is as if there will be no end in sight

 unless drastic measures are taken.  

I have come to the conclusion

 that I could spend 

a good part of a very long time 

confined to my sweet Cottage... 

...and I say this,

 not as a complaint, but as a fact.

 I am very fortunate to have 

a home that I love 

and, like squirrels foraging for the winter, 

I am digging in to find that space 

of contentment, comfort and warmth 

that will sustain me 

for as long as is needed.

In the entry 

autumn colors come front and center. 

 A faux garland of leaves twines around the mirror, 

while a branch of the real thing takes center stage on the Eastlake dresser.  

I found this branch

 growing in the front garden 

almost totally hidden by the camellia bush. 

 Maybe that little squirrel you saw earlier

 planted the tiny acorn

 that he was carrying.  

Sometime in the years to come, 

I would not be surprised to see

 the Cottage situated in the midst of 

giant oaks or walnut trees! 

Also included in the vignette, 

wooden apples made
 by my mom many years ago, 
 a pear which I fashioned out of a lightbulb, 
 an old pumpkin
 that has seen many seasons 
with the glued parts to prove it,  
 and a lacy edged plate, 
painted with seasonal fruit, 
that belonged to my grandmother.

Many years ago, 
while vacationing here in the Gold Country, 
with no thoughts 
that we would someday live here,
 we bought this pretty lamp 
in an antique shop in the little town of
 Rough and Ready.  
We had a modern house at home
 that we were trying to bring 
a bit of Victorian style to. 

 This lamp was on display there 
for quite some time 
but when we eventually did move and found our real Victorian Cottage, 
it was shoved into the back of a cupboard because the color wasn't just right. 
 Today, I have brought it back to its roots 
and it becomes a 
very pretty piece of fall decor. 
 At this time of year
 the color is the best thing about it 
and how it lends to the overall feel 
of what Autumn really is.

The parlor mantel still holds 
the set of books 
whose color and texture feel just right 
for this time of year. 
 Along beside the books,
 I have added some shine and glamour
 in the form of two glass pumpkins
 and a large shiny vase
 filled with the colors 
of the season.

"Autumn dresses up in gold,
The richest season of the soul."

Angie Weiland-Crosby


An update on Kai:

Kai started out on an insulin dose of 2
 and after two weeks time
 he is still off but vet says
 he is doing really well. 
She upped his dosage to 3
 and will check him again
 in another two weeks. 
I can tell he is feeling much better.


I hope you enjoyed the start of 

the Autumn Cottage 

and that you are enjoying 

beautiful fall weather 

wherever you are.

 May you be tucked in comfortably 

and feel in awe of the season.

Have a wonderful week.


Sharing today with:

Love Your Creativity at Life and Linda 


Tuesday, September 7, 2021



We are about getting to the end of sunflower season. 

 A pretty bouquet for the dining room table

 and then we are going to tackle a project in the kitchen.  

Don't commit to thinking about something quick and fast 

because we don't work that way.  

It may be tomorrow or it may be months from now!  

It isn't a big project, 

but I think I will like it 

and I hope you do too.

The Captain brought home some very long stemmed sunflowers.

  Usually, I tend to trim any flower to a shorter length 

as that is how I usually like to arrange them,

 but I left these alone and added 

some of the lime light hydrangeas from the garden.

When the lime lights started blooming

 they didn't seem as full and lacy as usual, 

but as they matured

 I think they look pretty good.

I don't know yet if I will let these dry

 as I have pitchers full already

 but each year, I say 

I am going to throw out the old and bring new ones in...

...but the old ones have retained

 their great shape and soft colors

 and I hate to get rid of them.

I think I will take next week off 

and maybe get that project in the kitchen,

 at least, started.

Kai has been experiencing

 some health problems 

and he has been in for tests.  

Come to find out he is diabetic.  

We have started him on insulin

 and will know in two weeks if they can adjust the dosage appropriately.  

He seems to be handling it

 really well so far, 

and we are finding it is not hard 

giving him the two shots required daily. 

 We have changed his diet and he likes the new food, so that is a plus. 

 We have to watch him like a hawk as he can't control his bladder. 

That is a down side so far,

 but when they get him adjusted, hopefully, that will stop.  

We are just beginning on this journey 

and will learn as we go.

We are having beautiful fall like weather these past few days 

so we are enjoying it. 

 An unexpected piece of art

 is exposed

 in a late evening snack. 

 Can you see the autumn leaf?...

and oh, so, good 

dipped in peanut butter.

Hope you all 

are enjoying 

the waning days of summer.


Sharing today with:

Love Your Creativity at Life and Linda

Tuesday, August 31, 2021



There is a shortage of real sunshine around here 

as the skies are filled with smoke,

so we are moving into the sitting room to find more shining sunflowers. 

 My sweet Captain trekked to the store,

 mask in place, to pick me up a couple of the real things.

.  Placed in a salt glazed crock

 along with some greens from the garden

 and they bring a smile to our faces

 which is greatly needed these days.

I ordered four more of 

the "cheap" pillows from Amazon.  

Sometimes cheap is a good thing and sometimes not so much. 

 They were actually pretty ugly 

and not exactly what I expected. 

 No worries, 

just turn them over and stencil something else on the back.  

Blue and white checks saved the day on two of them,

 and two more have their sights set on black and white checks. 

 Just a little something extra 

for a cheap price.

Our Covid counts 

keep going up 

and to the ones who are making it happen,

 I have a small reminder 

for you here.

I don't know if we are in dress rehearsals for the real thing,

 but this is the second time in two weeks 

that we have been close to evacuating. 

 This last one, the Bennett Fire,

 was very close 

and they stopped the evacuation line just two roads over from us. 

 Before, I had just almost reached the point

 of loading up a box with the essentials 

should it become necessary, 

but this time I actually did do it. 

 The box now sits in the corner of 

the dining room,

 waiting for a reality,

 which we hope never comes

I am still resting my back

 and found a couple of canvas squares sitting around 

and I thought it would be fun to paint some little quilt squares. 

 I doubt that anyone seriously making a quilt would use these colors

 but they seemed to compliment the painting on display.  

I made another that will go up

 when fall gets here.

Speaking of fall, 

it cannot come too soon.  

We usually get a bit of rain,

 just in time when the trees are turning, 

so that the colors don't last as long as I would like, 

and I complain about that a lot, 

but I will take it this year,

 if it will stop the chance of more fires.


Remember when I finished
 this paint by number painting last year? 
 I didn't think 
the original, large flower
 in center of painting, (left bottom corner),
 was to my liking. 
 I tried to make it more appealing 
and after numerous tries,
 I came up with the (right bottom corner). 
 This year, I tried again
 and finally came up with this one (top). 
 It is a little better, I think!

I made a bolognese sauce recipe 

from Kim

 at Exquisitely Unremarkable (here)

 I followed her instructions to a T

 and it was undeniably delicious. 

 We will eat it for three nights

 and I can't wait until the next two. 

 I went old-school,

 and I do mean oooooold school, 

with the side dish. 

 My grandmother, and then my mom, 

made what they called Spanish Beans 

and they always served jello salad along side. 

 I remember them saying 

that it was good with

 anything having a tomato base and I agree. 

 It is so refreshing

 especially in hot weather. 

 I use lime jello and add

 a can of fruit cocktail to the first layer

 and cottage cheese, mixed with

 a little mayo, in the second. 

 Before you roll your eyes 

you should try it. 

 Sometimes it just feels good 

to go back, and beyond,

 to the good old-fashioned days. 

 Just ask any grandma!

More Shining Sunflower Days

 to you all.


Sharing today with:

Love Your Creativity at Life and Linda

Tuesday, August 24, 2021



Although smoke and Covid 

remain a constant, 

there are some small changes 

to our little world

 here at the Cottage.

The weather has become

 less of a problem.  

The heat has turned down a notch

 and that means the fans 

can be put away for the time being.

  However, there are no doubts 

that they will come back out again 

before summer is over.

The Shining of Sunflowers continue

 to make their way into the decor.  

This week the parlor is on display,

 but only to a very small degree. 

 I am trying to use only what I have on hand so there isn't a plethora

 of items to choose from.

  I did find out, however, 

that the heat was the main reason 

for my lack of energy,

 and not laziness,

 as I had feared!

Cooler temps

 made me want to do a 

deep cleaning of the parlor

 but the bending and moving 

jump started my back issues again 

so don't know

 how much further I will get.

The smoke is really strong today

 but nothing compared

 to the fires and storms 

going on elsewhere.

An exciting update on Jacenda's job search:

She got an interview with a hospital

in Eureka, CA (Humboldt County). 

She actually accepted 

but was not committed until a certain date.

 Then she got another interview 

and was hired 

at San Francisco VA Hospital. 

It is a new grad nurse position,

 nursing and training

 in all hospital units for a year, 

then choosing her preferred unit. 

She has a certain 

amount of time to accept. 


she has another interview with UCSF, 

which is her dream job,

 so if she is hired 

then everything will change again. 

We are so proud of her

 and wish her all the luck

 in finding her perfect job 

and I will let you know 

how it plays out.

Our TV critic for this week is 


one of Tami's and Tim's furry kids.  

He watched Netflix's "Penguin Town", 

a well done documentary series 

about a yearly migration of penguins

 to a town in South Africa.

  He couldn't wait to call

 Grandpa and Grandma

 and tell us:

"All paws up for this one".

Happy Sunflower Days to all of you.


Sharing today with:

Love Your Creativity at Life and Linda

Tuesday, August 17, 2021



This has been a slowly moving summer 

at the Cottage.

  It has been so hot

 that at more times than not,

 the order of the day is 

to just sit still and don't move

 any more than can be helped. 

 It has come to the point that 

I, myself, have wondered

 if it all is just an excuse 

for laziness or a mode of survival. 

 Nevertheless, whatever the reason, 

it is what it is

 and nothing much is getting done.

  Back in the wintertime,

 which seems so long ago,

 we could hardly wait until 

the "weather improved" 

so we could get started on 

so many projects that needed doing

 but, here we sit, 

with nothing much to show for the time,

 and the clock is ticking.

The last few days 

when we look out the window, 

the skies have been clear

 and we can open the doors

 when evening comes

 to let some of the hotter air out, 

but this morning the smoke is back

 and the skies are gray again.  

The River fire closest to us is gone, 

but the Dixie fire in Plumas County

 is still burning and turning into 

the largest and longest fire

 in the state's history.

Wherever there is a fire,

 the smoke seems to travel 

all across the US,

so I guess it is not surprising

 that we are still having it here.

 I really want to thank you all for your support and concerns.

I, like most others,

 tend to divide up the months and designate different forms of decorations

 for different times. 

We are now in the middle of August

 and, by my calendar,

 the time between now 

and the end of September or there about

 is for a Shining of Sunflowers.  

Throughout this post,

 I will show you how my first attempt

 of taking the plunge is going. 

 I suppose it is fitting 

that I start with the entry. 

 It not only is the first room that is seen upon coming into the Cottage but,

 I have a sneaking suspicion, 

that because it is the smallest space

 it takes less energy to accomplish.

I showed you a few weeks ago 

that I had ordered this bright wreath but just couldn't use it until 

the weather cooled down. 

 But, as I said, the clock is ticking,

 and if I waited to use it before

 we had some cooler weather, 

we might likely be into next spring...

...so here it is with the addition of a few sunflowers.

Whew, that was a big effort!!

 so I didn't add much else to accompany it.

  A beautiful little lantern that I picked up at Hobby Lobby 

during the days when I could go to Hobby Lobby (or anyplace else) 

along with a little dish

 painted with autumn fruit.  

When autumn actually does arrive 

just a few sprinklings of 

pumpkins and leaves 

will make the scene complete


And, just because, there aren't enough projects that need to be started, 

we now have another one

 raise its ugly head.  

We saw this sight the first time a couple of years ago.  

While we were down visiting the kids, something messed with

 the front garden fountain 

and tipped it over. 

 We could not figure out how it had happened for the life of us,

 but the Captain put it back together.  

A while later we spotted a huge raccoon sitting in the fountain one night 

and knew that was 

the answer to our mystery.  

Now, two nights ago, we found it again

 in the prone position,

 so we are assuming that

 the same thing happened. 

 Here we go again.

Our Covid cases, and deaths, 

are adding up here

 by leaps and bounds.

  On our NextDoor website

 one person posted, asking if anyone knew of someplace he could go

 to get a rapid Covid test

 that didn't cost too much? 

 He was planning to 

fly to Hawaii in a few days

 and needed proof 

that he didn't have Covid. 

 You Stupid Idiot! 

 Just get vaccinated and it wouldn't be a problem just to show 

your proof of vaccination.  

By the looks of things

 you all have more than a few stupid idiots in your part of the world too. 

 I am over it all.

  As the days go by,

 I am becoming more disgusted 

by the way this public health hazard

 is being turned into a sort of game,

 and I am losing faith 

in some of my fellow human beings.

 It seems very similar

 to a game of Russian Roulette 

and no one knows who is holding the gun. 

 In some circles that is called murder. 

This whole situation is turning me into

 someone I don't want to be

 and I will not let that happen. 

I will continue on to live my best life

 and hope that you all can do the same.    


Happy Shining Sunflower Days to all.


Sharing today with:

Love Your Creativity at Life and Linda