Tuesday, March 29, 2022



This is how the Cottage looked when we bought it over 30 years ago.  The tree in question can be seen behind the van in top left of photo.

Some months ago, 

I told you that an old Sequoia redwood tree just on the edge of our property line

 was causing havoc with our driveway

 and the very foundation of the Cottage. 

 We informed the owner of the property, where the tree is growing, 

about the problems 

and his insurance company

 got in touch with us. 

 They agreed to cut the roots

 that are causing the damage 

and repair our driveway and fence.

This is a very old and huge tree

 and should never have been planted 

where it is in the first place,

 but friends my age

 have told stories about every

 school age child being sent home

 with the seed of a Sequoia redwood started in a paper cup 

to be planted in their gardens, 

and there are many, now aged and grown, sprinkled throughout the community. 

 I have grown up around redwood trees, being raised in Santa Cruz, California, 

but the California redwoods are a very different animal from the Sequoia. 

  There are many beautiful trees in nature, 

 but the one causing such problems for us

 is harsh and sharp.

 It may be a majestic tree

 but, in my opinion, 

not a very pretty, or appealing one.

 The dry, barbed needles that are 

constantly falling to the ground

 stick to our shoes, get stuck in the dog's fur, and are tracked all over the Cottage.

There are some neighbors 

that are objecting to what we are doing. 

  My question to them is 

where were they when the city hired 

someone to trim the branches 

from around the electrical wires

 and left this tree

 looking like a 

butchered piece of ugliness. 

 It would have been nice

 if they had come forward then

 and spoke their peace

 in order that a reputable company 

might have been hired 

that knew what they were doing.

The company hired to do the job showed up last Monday morning 

and in no time flat they had 

the fence taken down

 and the cement and blacktop torn up, 

along with the ivy 

that had been struggling to grow

 and finally was starting to fill in. 

 The equipment they used 

barely fit in the driveway

 but they managed 

like there was nothing to it.  

They took many loads away in their trucks

 and since all the streets 

around are so narrow 

there were a few traffic jams 

during the process.

The Captain had to go 

for a hearing test on Wednesday 

so we didn't get to see

 where this big root came from, 

but when we returned home,

 it was sitting next to the house. 

 This was the biggest culprit

 that was causing the damage 

and they had to dig a big hole

 right where the root now sits, 

going under the house in the process. 

 By the time we got home

 it was all filled back in.  

Our next door neighbor

 said it was quite a sight.

The old root's swan song.

The next morning

 the crew picked up the root 

and took it to its final resting place.

The fence has been put back up 

with all new posts and footings

 and now we have to wait

 for another company to come 

and do the blacktop. 

 We had a little rain last night

 but there were no major mudslides.


Have a wonderful week, stay safe, enjoy the springtime...

...and always, always

 save room for cake!

Sharing today with:

Love Your Creativity at Life and Linda

Tuesday, March 22, 2022


The calendar said that spring began two days ago, 

and the view out the windows seems to agree.  

However, we can never be too sure 

and with all that is going on in the world,

 a little brightness would be very welcoming right about now.

What could be brighter 

than this familiar gathering of blooms

 keeping company with a happy reminder

 that Easter will be coming soon.

There can be nothing brighter 

than a wreath made up with the brilliant colors of summer flowers.  

Something to look forward to 

until the real ones come along.

Another sneak peek at the fact

 that the Cottage is preparing for spring

 and the arrival of that funny bunny.

One of the brightest things in life is having good friends.  

How lucky we are when we find them.  

All it took was a mention that I had ordered black and white carrots 

and then was unable to get them and one of my dear good friends, 

Kris,  from Junk Chic Cottage

sent me the prettiest wrapped package holding three of the cutest fabric carrots imaginable.  

This was nothing unusual for Kris as anyone who follows her knows.  

They are so perfect for a display on the kitchen table, and I love them. 

 Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness, my friend.

The generosity of a friend 

along with a cute topiary from Ikea

 and a mossy rabbit on a black and white mat, 

brighten up the kitchen along with...

...the cutest black and white cottontail 
that Kris included, 
just because.

I hope you all 

are finding bits of brightness 

along the way to a beautiful springtime

Have a wonderful week 

and hope you are enjoying the young spring sunshine where you are.


Thoughts of sunshine and  brightness 
for Ukraine.

Sharing today with:

Love Your Creativity at Life and Linda

Tuesday, March 15, 2022



You know that feeling?  

That feeling that you get when something comes together and it feels just right.  

That feeling, that for so long, seemed impossible to grasp - 

but then all of a sudden, it becomes so clear and easy. 

 Well, I'm not there just yet,

 but I think I can see some light at the end of the tunnel.  

Or is that all nonsence?  

Only time and more practice will tell.

This was the inspiration picture that I found on Pinterest.  

It looks pretty straight forward, does it not? 

 Recreating it seemed like it would be a piece of cake...


 What seemed to me like basic colors that should be easily put together was not that simple.

 Right off the bat I was disappointed. 

I had read in one of the books that if you are having trouble painting watercolors 

you might be using the wrong paper.  

On YouTube the artist's recommend Arches cold press paper, so that is what I got. 

 The ratio of paint to water makes all the difference and that is really hard to get. 

 Also, the drying time between colors is so crucial and that concept was hard for me to grasp. 

 I always want to rush a project in order to see the finished product. 

 Also, I painted this particular painting wet on wet

 and that seems to be hard for me to master at this point.

Here is the next inspiration picture. 

 I forced myself to take the time needed and, I think, it paid off...

...this was painted wet on dry and it was easier to manage the colors 

and each step gave me a bit more satisfaction.  

I know it is far from perfection but the confidence I have gained is so helpful. 

 I am rather proud of this one

 but I haven't lost track of the fact that the next one might not be so proud worthy 

but I hope to continue the practice that I need and not get discouraged.

I worked on this sign also and it is now ready to hang.

 I have had the stencil for awhile and found a piece of old shelving when I was cleaning out the library.

  I love to do stenciling projects

 and have no fear when it comes to doing one.

Another "cheap" pillow turned over 

and, just in time for spring and Easter, 

a little bunny shows up. 

This copy was found in a catalog and the following is my rendition...

...I painted this with acrylics which I really enjoy using also. 

 I find it satisfying to paint on fabric 

as the colors can be easily blended.

The one thing that won't change is the fact that I can't draw.  

I just can't get the proportions from my eye to the paper. 

 Once I get the outline in position,

 I am beginning to see that I can fill in the centers

 so I have made up my mind that will be enough.

But, wait!!

I thought I might not have time to try any more

 but as it turned out I did, so here is the original picture...

...and the following is my version.

Below, another original...

...and again, my version.

As I said all that is needed is practice, practice, practice 

and I'm feeling more confident with each one.  

The better quality paper does make a big difference

 and now I am on the look out for better paints. 

 Right now I am using pictures that have been painted,  originally,  for inspiration. 

 It is easier for me to see where the shading, etc. should be. 

 The real test will be when I can take my own photos of a living subject

 and transform them into real works of art. 

 I think that is going to require a lot more practice. 

Have a wonderful week.


Here is a picture that doesn't require any practice. 

 Does it look to you like one dog's head on another's body?...

...but no. 

 It is just two buds getting a little shut-eye.

Sharing today at:

Love Your Creativity at Life and Linda

Tuesday, March 8, 2022


Sunshine is a beautiful thing.

 It almost always shows up

 when you feel the need for it.

  When winter is waning and spring is on the horizon, 

the sun feels especially warm and welcoming. 

Here at the Cottage,

the french doors have been closed 

to keep a little more warmth in the places 

where we spend most of our time. 

 But today, the sun is placed just right 

and you can see its glow coming through from both sides...

...a sure sign 

that those pretty doors will be opening soon.

With a touch of humor, 

the sun makes us smile 

as it reflects through the lace curtains onto the side of the game table.  

It is good for our well being...

...and we do our best work in the sunshine.

We are so lucky to feel the warmth of the sun on our side of the world.

  Across miles and oceans there are ones that are not so fortunate. 

 The people of Ukraine are being brutalized. 

 It is unthinkable what is happening to them.


 These poor people are losing their homes and their homeland. 

 They have shown such strength and courage 

for standing up against a force that has no reason to be doing such damage, 

a force that is only driven by the greed and the push for power of one man. 

 A man who has been referred to as a "genius".  

Only one, sadly uncaring and a bully,

 and made from the same cloth, 

would see him as that.

The sunflower is the national flower of the Ukraine.

  It is a symbol of strength and grace, 

something that the Ukrainian people and their leader know a lot about...

...please keep them in your thoughts and prayers 

and do what you can to help.  

If you donate any money,

 please be aware of where you send it. 

 There are some sites on social media that are scams. 

 Bless the Ukraine and its brave people.


"Sunflowers end up facing the sun

But they go through a lot of dirt

To find their way there."

J. R. Rim

Sharing today with:

Love Your Creativity at Life and Linda