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



Sharing today with:

Love Your Creativity at Life and Linda


  1. Hi Judy. We are all still living in that alternative universe for now but I keep praying things will continue to get better. I had Moderna so I am waiting for my booster to come in to get that. I hope you can go to HomeGoods for your birthday shopping trip. That is my happy place. Boostered up and masked up I think you will be ok. I have been in the HomeGoods and TJ Maxx and they are slow to get stock in. That is making me sad to not see the aisles full of Christmas. Seems it is coming in piece by small piece. Maybe after this week as we head into November the stock will become better. Have a great week. xoxo Kris

    1. Thanks so much, Kris. We have our booster appointments on Nov. 3. I did go to Ben Franklin's the other day for a bottle of paint and was so disappointed that the shelves were almost bare. I thought maybe they were just getting ready for Christmas inventory but now I am wondering if that is how it is going to be. I hope not..Happy Thursday..xxoJudy

  2. Hi Judy.... yes.. things have not really got back to normal yet.. whatever that is. Many families are being and have been affected in such awful ways (inluding me) that life will never be normal again I fear. I'm not decorating at all this year, but will probably at least put up my Christmas tree, with lights, even if nothing else. It does bring me joy. I say.. GO AHEAD and go to Homegoods for your birthday. You are veyr well protected and I think wearing a mask is the best protection too. I got the Covid out of my stupidity of not wearing a mask when visiting my sister. Just because our friends and family are not masked, doesn't mean we shouldn't be. We dont' have a Homegoods store and sure wish we did. Take care and God Bless... Marilyn

    1. Thanks so much, Marilyn. I am so sorry that you got Covid and all that happened because of it. It is a horrible disease and I hope it will be eradicated soon. A Christmas tree is always joyful, even if you just put lights on and not even decorations. I probably will wear a mask for a really long time to come. I have come to find that my trust has been broken by how it is not taken seriously by some so I will protect myself no matter what..Happy Thursday and I hope you are feeling better..xxoJudy

  3. I ventured out the Homegoods recently, after I ordered new pillows for my daughter's bed online and they were terrible!! What a disappointment. I have to say, I was disappointed with Homegoods, too. I did get pillows, but the store was kind of empty. There wasn't a lot of stuff on the shelves and what was wasn't appealing. It was good to get out though, so I do hope you enjoy your trip!! xo

    1. Thanks so much, Kim. I sure hope that the lack of merchandise is just because they are making room for all the wonderful Christmas that is coming and not because of shipping delays..Happy Thursday..xxoJudy

  4. So glad you are getting some rain, hopefully it puts a dent in your drought. I love that platter with the basket of apples. So darn cute. I'm glad you'll be able to get to Home Goods after such a long time of not being able to. We went a couple of weeks ago to Marshall's, Burke's, TJ Maxx etc. and the pickings were kinda slim. I didn't find too much. Hopefully you'll have better luck on your outing. Have a nice rest of your week.

    1. Thanks so much for your visit. I went to Ben Franklins, our only craft shop, and their shelves were almost empty. I hope that isn't a sign of things to come for Christmas. That little platter is just that, very little. It looks like regular size in the photo but it is just tiny. That is why I loved it too..Happy Thursday..xxoJudy

  5. Hi, Judy. I'm with you on still not doing much. I usually go out on Tuesdays---run my errands (It is the slowest retail day of the week) and that seems to help keep my head not buried in the sand at home. Lovely photos---we are looking forward to Christmas, everyone will be vaccinated and we can breathe all together! I'm with you---though, still not venturing too far away from home here, hugs, lovely photos!!Sandi

    1. Thanks so much, Sandi. I'm looking forward to Christmas too. We get our Covid booster shots on Nov 3 and our kids will have them too. I hope we will get together this holiday as my kids are the only ones that I would trust to be around and feel safe..Happy Thursday..xxoJudy

  6. I'm glad you are taking the leap and doing the Home Goods trip for your birthday. You will be fine, I think. I don't go out very much but I have found that even in a large store like that, if you pick your arrival time well, it is pretty easy to distance. There are plenty of spots to go if the aisle you were hoping for has people and you can come back a few minutes later. It's interesting, thinking of the changes -- or lack thereof -- in the past year or two. Much to ponder there. We are still quite low key unless really pressed.

    1. Thanks so much, Jeanie. We are keeping pretty quiet too. One thing that this epidemic has done for me is that my trust is not what it used to be. If I don't know for a fact then I just assume everyone has not been vaccinated and I will steer clear. I declined an invitation to a distant cousin's party as she is in her 90's so it would be so nice to spend time with her, but in a crowd and not knowing the circumstances of all, I will not put myself in that position. That is just the way it has to be..Happy Thursday, my friend..xxoJudy

  7. I only did one Halloween display this year. I have been working 2-3 hours each evening this week trying to get our gift shop ready for Christmas. Not all of my merchandise has come in due to shipping issues. Am telling my customers if they see something anywhere they like, better buy it because it might not be there if they go back. Have fun on your shopping trip! No fall colors here either . We have had weird Fall weather and none of the trees turned. Just falling now. Janice

    1. Thanks so much, Janice. It must be hard trying to keep home and shop both done up. I remember when we had our little "store". It actually was just a booth so there wasn't much room to do anything so it wasn't too bad. So many have commented on how bare all the shelves are. I was in Ben Franklin's and it is like that too. I thought maybe they were just making room for Christmas, at least I hope that is all it is. We finally did get some beautiful colors but then we had a pretty big storm (which we really needed) but that took care of most of the pretty leaves. The streets and lawns looked pretty though all covered in orange and golds..Happy Weekend..xxoJudy

  8. Hi Judy! Covid has definitely been exhausting and one has to wonder if it will ever end. Numbers are going down, yet they still seem higher than they were in all of 2020. Ugh! Glad you are getting your booster. My hubby got his last week, but I am waiting until the cold I caught from my sweet grandson finally subsides. The fall colors in our new home state of KY have just been spectacular and I will be sad to see them go. Enjoy your shopping trip to Home Goods. I hope you find lots of wonderful treasures. Jane

    1. Thanks so much, Jane. We get our booster shots tomorrow. We seemed to have a late showing of colors here and soon as they were in full bloom we got rain and wind conditions so they didn't last too long, but they were really pretty this year. I am hoping for a good trip to Home Goods this coming weekend, fingers crossed..Happy Tuesday..xxoJudy


Your comments are so special to me...Judy