Tuesday, December 21, 2021



"A baker works quietly in the kitchen, 

preparing holiday treats. 

 Someone tucks a small package beneath the Christmas tree, 

and a child tiptoes to a bedroom window, 

too young yet to know 

that magic comes from inside."

Simple Country Pleasures
Country Living magazine
December, 2002

In the last two weeks, 

we have gathered together the Christmas sights from around the Cottage. 

 If you missed them you can find them  (here)  and (here).  

Today, our journey is almost done 

and we will be greeting a new year,

 but first we have some unfinished business to take care of...

...help yourself to

 something warm and delicious...

...the door has opened

 and you are invited into

 the Christmas Kitchen at the Cottage.

Come in from the cold and stay awhile.

"It is Christmas in the heart 
that puts Christmas in the air."

W, T. Ellis

So many of you have said how much you love my kitchen. 

 I feel the same way

 and when it comes to Christmas it is the easiest and most fun room in the Cottage to decorate. 

 Even though, I absolutely love all the wallpaper throughout the Cottage, 

I think it might be a little easier because of the plain white walls, 

and the red of the flooring

 just lends itself to my accessory color of choice and Christmas.

I know I have mentioned 
our kitchen flooring before
 but I don't think I've told you
 the whole story.

The red brick of the vinyl flooring was a spur of the moment choice. 

 At the very first, when planning the scheme for the kitchen,

 I had chosen a rusty, brown tile look vinyl for the flooring. 

 Not real tile, as we had that for many years in our house in Santa Cruz,

 and eventually things were dropped and then the earthquake of 1989 happened

 and we had a lot of broken tiles.  

I didn't want that anymore and, at that time, hardwood wasn't a big deal for kitchens or baths. 

 We had made arrangements for the flooring to be laid and at the last minute, 

we were told that the pattern that I had picked out was discontinued.  

We were pressed for time so I kind of just blindly picked the first thing I saw 

and, believe you me,

 that is one, if not the best, decision we made in the renovation of our Cottage.

  This little floor has taken such a beating:  

big and little dogs, and muddy boots,

  moving and painting furniture and everything imaginable spilled on it,

 and in spite of some neglect at times 

 it still shines.

What you are looking at is
 not a Christmas miracle! 
 It pretty much has looked like this
 for almost 30 years.

The little kitchen tree shines too

 A little explanation for you...

After the tree was up in the kitchen

 and I had taken all the photos, 

one string of lights burned out 

and we didn't have any replacements. 

Of course, they were

 the old version of lights

 and it was impossible to find anything

 that wasn't LED now. 

I haven't pulled any punches 

when I talk about LED lights.

 I plain don't like them! 

 The Captain brought home 

what he could find 

and I do have to rethink them a bit. 

I still don't like them,

 and to my naked eye

 they are harsh and way too bright,

 but to photograph, I have to admit 

they are golden, 

and they are beautiful on this little tree. 

So much softer and clean looking.

 I didn't want to take all the ornaments off

 so that is why you see too many wires

 and possibly,

 if the lights were pushed back 

into the branches 

they wouldn't look so harsh to me.

 It will have to do until next year

 when they will be fixed properly. 

I couldn't resist taking all new photos

 so you could see how pretty it is...

...and it is so peaceful sitting here 

with a hot drink before bedtime.

The real thing

 and one from the imagination

 of a wanna-be artist!

The table is set for two.

  A very comfortable spot 

when the candle is lit

 and the fire is burning...  

...and the dinner plate's message

 says it all.

I found this pretty cannister at Home Goods on my birthday trip 

and then the little red gingerbread snowflake ornaments from

 Marmalade Mercantile.  

A sweet match was made. 

 They have given me a new idea 
that I am working on for
 the long winter months after Christmas.
  I am anxious to share with you then.


Even the top of the cupboards 

got a little bit of Christmas.

So far,
 the all time favorite
 of gingerbread house renovations.

There has been sightings 

of some farm animals hanging around...

...not to mention all the flakes seen in the area...


 there is a convention of Santa's

 being held at Holly Farms...

...and my favorite Santa 

that I made back in the day.

I hate to say it, 

but this brings us to the end

 of Christmas decorations.  

There is still a few days for us to sit back and enjoy the time left. 

 Now preparations begin for the day we spend with family and friends.

  Our kids are coming up to be with us on Christmas Day.  

It will be a quick day again, 

but we are so grateful and happy 

for the time we can spend together.

I am going to take some time off

 to unwind and relax. 

 I will see you next year. 

 I hope everyone has a 

very Merry Christmas

 and a Happy New Year

 and until then...

Make your wishes

 upon the

stars count and...

May all your days


 merry and bright.


"May the light illuminate your hearts 

and shine in your life every day

 of the year. 

 May everlasting peace be yours 

and upon our earth."

Eileen Anglin 

Sharing today with:

Tuesday, December 14, 2021



"Oh, the weather outside is frightful

But, inside it's so delightful..."

Our song ends a little differently 

as there is no snow, but some rain

 so warm winter wishes are in order 

as it is a bitterly cold, disagreeable day...

Oh, Wait...

I guess our songs do end in the same way. 

 This is what we woke up to this morning...

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow...

So, come inside 
and celebrate the season!

As we look past the entry into the sitting room, 

you might notice something a little different.  

We got a new rug to cover up more of the carpet. 

 It is bright and cheerful and shaggy. 

 We had a gold shag carpet years ago when it was the height of decor fashion. 

 Remember those days when your living room needed a rake more than your garden? 

 Times are always changing, so here we go again.

This carpet is really thick and it did take some practice to even walk on it.  

The dogs still go around the edges.

  It is harder to vacuum, too, but we like it 

and think it will solve our problems.

The color of Christmas 

is carried on throughout the Cottage...

You are guaranteed a cozy and comfy place to sit 

while you warm your toes, 

along side a stack of vintage Christmas stories

 to warm your soul.

Kai's and Robin's stockings are hung 

and they will both tell you 

that they have been very good...

...and Oh! 

the anticipation!

I like to change some things up each Christmas 

but there are some

 that just need to stay the same.

As we leave the sitting room 
and enter the dining room...

One of the things that always remains the same

 is the little tree in the dining room. 

 I love the flags 

and they have been a part of the Christmas decorations 

for a lot of years.

Here is the tiny gingerbread house redo. 

 So cute.

The little vintage candle choir

 gathers around Santa 

as their sweet voices are raised in song...

"I heard the bells on Christmas Day

Their old familiar carols play

And mild and sweet

Their songs repeat

Of peace on earth

Good will to men."

"I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day"
Lyrics based on a poem written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 
on Christmas day in 1863.


Here is the finished lantern

 turned gingerbread house.

Goatzie and his band of merry makers: 

 Miss Gertie, Bitty Morsel, Olde Scrooge, The Red Snowman 

and the Three Gingerbread Boys,

 have loaded up his cart to make the table special 

for our family who will be sitting down to Christmas dinner together...

The newest Santa painting stands guard at the door into the kitchen. 

 No Admittance beyond this point!  

I get more comments about the kitchen than any other room in the Cottage. 

 Since it is the heart of the home, 

it deserves a post all its own... 

...and that will happen next week.

The decorating is done.

  Now there are front row seats on the sofa for four,

 complete with hot cider, chewy toys and Hallmark movies. 

 Christmas is coming and we are waiting...


 Enjoy your week and continue to...


"Once again, my dear people,

Merry Christmas is here,

With holly and mistletoe

 and its good will and cheer!

Gertrude Tooley Buckingham

Sharing today with:

Love Your Creativity at Life and Linda