Tuesday, October 26, 2021



Every once in awhile during the pandemic,

 I have looked back to one year past

 to see how, if any, 

things have changed.

  It seems that after 

one year ago and change, 

things are pretty much the same. 

 I can remember in 2020 hearing,

 and wanting to believe,

 that come the next autumn we should be getting back to normal. 

  During the majority of  times 

it feels like it was just wishful thinking.

No matter what is happening in the world,

 it seems that mine

 doesn't change all that much. 

 At the end of 2019, we were looking forward to Christmas,

 just as we are now.  

At the end of 2020, same thing and now, in 2021, 

we have come full circle. 

 My birthday is coming up next month 

and as a yearly celebration, 

I have always gone to Home Goods.

  It is a good time of the year

 because most of the Christmas items are beginning to fill the stores.  

I have been very careful within the confines of the last year and a half, 

only going out for specific reasons.  

Trips for a doctor's appointment, or the blood labs,

 or for an occasional bone density test or a mammogram.

  All of my joy has been done online 

and it hasn't always been

 a rewarding experience. 

 Things look different in a catalog or an ad. 

 They are not always as expected.

So this year,

 I have made up my mind. 

 I have been double vaccinated 

and have an appointment on

 November 3 to get our booster shots. 

  If all the planets are in line

 then my mask and I

 will venture out to Home Goods 

where my "normal" will be happening again 

after a very long dry spell.

Speaking of dry spells...
we are having some stormy weather now.

 Lots of rain coming with high winds.
 The past weekend was proof of that. 
 The down side is 
that we have finally gotten 
some beautiful fall color 
which will be washed away 
but beggars can't always be choosers!

I just received Susan Branch's book, 

Home for Christmas.  

It is just a tiny thing,

 easily read in one sitting

 if you have some spare time. 

 It is a story of her growing up

 and how her family celebrated Christmas.  

If you were to roll up every story that Louisa May Alcott had ever written,

 and sprinkled some of my 

childhood memories in between the pages, 

this is what her story is. 

 She is a bit younger than I am,

 as I was attending high school when most of her story was just beginning. 

 Bits and pieces 

of our stories, though not the same,

 either were similar or brought back times

 that I had forgotten.   

It is a very entertaining and delightful read.

  I would recommend it to anyone wanting a bit of pure Christmas joy

 and a return to some 

long ago childhood memories. 

 It is available through Amazon or susanbranchblog.com.

I am not receiving any compensation for telling you. 

I do it just because I know

 most of us already know and love her.

Halloween will have come and gone

 before I post again. 

 Since the Cottage Witch has retired 

there is not much Halloween decorating done here at the Cottage...

...unless you count in 

the "Queens of Screams". 

 Even though cases in California

 seem to be going down,

in our county they are still 

too high for my liking 

so we will be sitting out Trick-or-Treat

 again this year.

Hope you all have a Happy Halloween 

and I will leave you with a story I posted a couple of years ago, 

part of the legacy of the Cottage Witch:

"The Dream"

first appeared at Gold Country Cottage

October 23, 2018



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Love Your Creativity at Life and Linda

Tuesday, October 19, 2021



Once upon a time, back in 2015, 

I wrote a post (here)  about a few generations of my family. 

 My great-grandmother was one of the featured players from 

my Dad's side of the family. 

 If you weren't following me then 

you might want to travel back in time 

to read about it. 

 If you did read it before, 

a repeat might refresh your memory,

 or at the very least,

 help to make sense out of this post today.

This chair is what started 

the thought process back then. 

 It has moved around many times since,

 but now sits in the entry. 

 I can still see Grandma Susie sitting there,

 putting on her slippers, 

only now that grandma is me.

This parlor stove was a big feature then,

 as it is now.

  It has been in my possession 

for about 60 years. 

 We have used it on a front porch,

 on a patio filled with geraniums, 

and sitting in the corner of our dining room in our last home. 

 It now sits in the Cottage's parlor,

 as it did all those years ago

 in my great-grandmother's.

  It is one 

of my most treasured possessions.

  I would love to know all the stories

 of all the toes it kept warm 

and what role, if any, it may have played 

in the house fire

 that took my great-grandmother's home. 

 It must have such tales to tell.

She may have warmed Susie's hearth
 but her name is Alice.

I would have loved to have

 a roaring fire in Alice, 

especially at Christmas time, 

but the fire box has been destroyed 

and there are so many cracks 

that even in its heyday

 it must have left the house

 filled with smoke. 

 I have put candles and little lights in it to give the appearance of a warm fire,

 but it just didn't seem

 satisfactory to me...

...until I saw this ad in the

 Sturbridge Yankee catalog. 

 It was small enough to fit inside the stove 

and I assumed that the "logs" would just show an orange glow, but thought it might work.


 I was so surprised 

when it arrived and we added batteries

 and turned it on 

that there are very

 real looking little flames 

that come from the logs just like

 the little red stove in the kitchen.

  It is just the most darling sight.

I will admit that I couldn't wait

 until Christmas to use it. 

 For $27 it will give me great pleasure 

for some time to come.

In the above collage, on the left,

 my dad

 who must have been about 12 years old,

with my great-grandmother, Susie Allred,

and, on the right, would be me!

 I have been thinking about

 my great-grandmother a lot lately. 

 Every time I look in the mirror 

and see my Covid inspired head 

(I haven't been to the hair dresser for about 1 1/2 years)

 I see visions of her in myself. 

 She was a tiny woman and a very fast walker. 

 My most vivid memory of her is when she would try to "escape" 

(she must have been in her 90's)

 to whatever place 

was in her mind at the time 

and she would flail her walking stick at whomever was trying to stop her! 

 From all accounts,

 she was a woman to be reckoned with!

 Our fence was covered with morning glories about four years ago.

  They kept coming back but eventually they bloomed themselves out 

and we haven't had them 

for at least two years.  

But, I guess

 morning glories, like generations, 

have a strong nature of perseverance 

and this lonely little guy 

showed up in the middle of the lawn 

this past summer.

I know you have seen this view before,
 but I came to do it just by accident. 
 As many times
 as I have photographed each separately (parlor and entry)
 I had never taken them from this angle
 (from doorway of guest room). 
 It seems to tell a story to me,
 so you will be seeing it
 many times in the future.

I hope you are staying warm 

these autumn days. 

 Our weather, though still sunny

 during the day,

 has chilled considerably

 and the nights are calling 

for that extra quilt.


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Love Your Creativity at Life and Linda

Tuesday, October 12, 2021



If you were to go through my cupboards rooms, 

you would find a story as old as time itself. 

Too much stuff and no place to put it!  

I am not a hoarder, 

at least not as defined

 in the well known TV series, 

but I do like to collect stuff

 and to that end, I do a great job!

 The getting rid of stuff is where the problem comes in,

and it certainly doesn't help matters 

when a good size storage place 

goes out of business, 

so to speak...

...now it wasn't your typical storage place, 

it was our motorhome.  

We got rid of it and, believe it or not, 

all that clunking and tinkling as we 

drove down the road 

wasn't loose fittings - 

it was cabinets filled with

 glassware, china, 

and a lot of pretties...

...you see, 

I don't like using paper products 

as far as eating and drinking goes,

 except maybe on an occasional picnic, 

and that goes double

 when we were on "vacation".

All the cupboards in the motorhome 

were filled with 

pretty glassware and dishes,

 none expensive because 

when I am on "vacation" 

my joy is spending time at

 Home Goods, Ross's or thrift stores

 along the route 

where I always managed to 

find a few things!

Nothing was more fulfilling to me 

than relaxing, sleeping and dining 

in a pretty space.

But, what happens when that space 

no longer belongs to you

 and you might be a bit of a "gatherer",

 and you have to unload

 all that stuff?...

...we looked at each other and 

He said: 

"Remember that old

 pantry/pie safe cupboard 

that we have had forever

 out in the garage"?

  She said: 

 "But, that is so ugly 

and where would it fit in the Cottage"?

So, as collectors often do, 

we dragged that old derelict cupboard

into the kitchen 

and, by golly, 

we made it work.

There aren't too many walls in the Cottage 

equipped to take on

 an old derelict cupboard 

and who needs an eight foot window

 in the kitchen anyway? 

So it took up residence.  

With a little bit of paint 

and a wire to hold it straight, 

and a bunch of pretties 

to camouflage the rest, 

I now have a place to put 

my seasonal dishes, 

and that freed up room in other places 

to put all the extra stuff. 

 Where there is a will,

 there is always a way!

I have been a long time follower of

 the Susan Branch Blog. 

 I love her style, her spirit and

 her kind and generous soul. 

 I also love how she

 punctuates her words 

with her illustrations. 

 It is all pure magic. 

 In her latest post 

I learned something that I wasn't aware of. 

 Evidently there is a fast moving

 new trend in decorating going around. 

 Her description of it, and I quote:


"It's a world like your grandma's house 

where life is more whimsical and magical

 in an imagined past full of good things". 


She gives it the name of

 Granny Chic or Cottagecore. 

 While I have been decorating like this

 for a long while,

 I am so glad that it has caught on...

It is speaking my language!

So now the kitchen is dressed for fall 

and the project I told you about 

has been accomplished. 

 Remember, I said it wasn't a big deal, 

only something a bit old and sweet

 so I hope you aren't disappointed.  

Come along on the tour at your leisure. 

 You have seen it enough times by now

 that no words are needed:

We have had this cupboard 
for about 40 years. 
 It looks to us that it was
 a homemade piece. 
 It is made of redwood and the stain 
put on it made it very dark. 
 We always thought we would do
 something with it 
but all those years ago 
it was not a good thing to paint old wood 
so it got lost in the shuffle.

The original cupboard

 had screen in the doors. 

 It was shredded 

so we replaced it with

 two faux tin panels.

Another little inexpensive thing 

we have added, 

gives a bit of ambiance

 to the kitchen at night.

  I know most people use these little under the counter lights for task lighting,

 but I am only here for the pretty

 and that's what they do for me...

...they are so cute

 and I ordered them out of a catalog

 for just $13 for six.

You have heard me say before 
that I am not a fan of LED lighting, 
but I added some lamp light into the mix 
and they don't look as harsh and cold.

Who knows how long they will last, 

but they will have done for me

 just exactly what I expected them to do.

Now I have managed to fill

 a few rooms with autumn 

and I hope that you enjoyed seeing them. 

 There is still time to 

sit back and enjoy them 

before everything changes again.  

I might not like to admit it

 but you know that is going to happen 

and I am already fantasizing 

about seeing a gingerbread house 

under those little lights.

Hope you are having

 wonderful fun filled 

autumn days.


Tea for two
 in an autumn kitchen.

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