Tuesday, April 26, 2022



For a long time now

 the Secret Garden has been

 a large part of life at the Cottage.

As the story goes,

 the key was found which unlocked the gate and opened up a place of magic. 

 A place of magic where

 humans, animals, plants, flowers

 and imaginations

 reside in harmony...

Where seasons change

and turn views into...

...blossoms dripping like Purple Rain...

...breezes gently swaying,

 accompanied by wind chimes...

...under a canopy of autumn colors.

Tables were set for tea...

...books could be read 

and dreams come alive in the dappled sunlight...

...life was comfortable inside a screened porch...

...while fairies danced out in the garden.

Dragonflies made their way by candlelight...

...and a path always led to a place of the heart.

The past two years have been hard.  

Things have changed in the world and the Secret Garden has changed along with it.

  Last winter a snow storm came along 

and took its toll on the garden...

What was once a lovely cottage,

 surrounded by trees that protected from hot summer sun 

has now become..

...a place of 

devastation and destruction.

Three trees had to be taken down

 after they cracked under the pressure of the storm 

and instead of purple rain over the gazebo and the Cottage roof

 there is now a cover of broken limbs and debris...

...and there are piles of broken tree branches here

 and in the neighbor's yard as well.

What used to be our summer place

 in the country

 is now just a shell of its former self 

and it will take a lot of work 

to begin to rebuild it. 

 One good thing is that 

we will have more sunlight 

so some pretty flowers can grow

 where they couldn't before.

 It will be a place

 to be proud of once again 

but it will take awhile.

We are still waiting on

 the black top for the driveway 

and after that happens 

there will be painting and replanting 

there also.  

It seems like a big job

 but little by little it will get done.

"Where you plant a rose my lad, a thistle cannot grow."

"The Secret Garden"

Right now 

neither rose nor thistle can grow, 

but in time...

I am going to take

 some time off from the blog 

but will be back with 

some prettiness to share.

  Stay well and see you in a few.  


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Love Your Creativity at Life and Linda

Tuesday, April 19, 2022



I love scented candles. 

 There is nothing prettier than a candle flame that gives off a beautiful scent. 

 I usually have at least one candle lit in the Cottage most times 

and so far none of the scents are offensive to me. 

 I thought this might be a solution to the problem that I have with my beautiful lilacs. 

Because I love the scent of lilacs but can't be around them for any length of time, 

I am hoping that a lilac scented candle might be the answer.  

This candle, above, is from the Milk House Candle Co line carried at Marmalade Mercantile.  

I love their farmhouse styled containers 

and all the scents I have tried have been really beautiful. 

 I have had this candle burning all day and so far it does not bother me.

  It smells like the real thing, only in a more light and soft way.

We took Kai to the vets today for a check up of his glucose levels. 

 It was a little on the low side 

so his insulin was reduced from 4 to 3. 

and we will take him back in two weeks to check again.

I am taking some chances and painting pictures without tracing them first. 

 This sunflower was all drawn freehand and I don't think it came out too badly.  

I am still working on the amount of water to mix with the paint

 so I am not happy with that part of it yet. 

 There is always room for improvement but I do think it is getting easier. 


 a Grandma Moses I will never be!

Have a wonderful week and hope you all enjoyed a Happy Easter.

  It is very sad when things get so boring

 that this is all I can think of to write or photograph.  

Hopefully more interesting happenings ahead.


Cream of Tomato Soup - Good for the Soul.

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Love Your Creativity at Life and Linda

Tuesday, April 12, 2022



As I sometimes do,

 looking back one year 

to see if our world has changed any

 and if so, how much? 

 Looking back to last spring 

there are huge similarities and small differences.

Lilacs in the guest room, 2020

I chose two posts from last spring.  

If you would like to read them

 just click (here) and  (here) .

This post falls right between the two

 as far as date is concerned

 but if you squint just a little  

you can see how similar they all are. 

 I am still talking about flowers, I am still talking about staying close to home 

and I am still talking about Trader Joe's. 

 Physical appearances haven't changed 

much either for me. 

 I still wear a mask even though 

I have been boosted twice. 

 The big difference now is that there are not many others doing the same 

and physical distancing is truly

 a thing of the past .

Sorry to say 

but the counts are going up again.

Lilacs in time for Easter, 2022

Beautiful lilacs are once again

 blooming in the garden. 

 Their scent fills the air 

and their presence is spectacular. 

 As I have found over the last few years, 

I am very allergic to the things 

that are so glorious about this 

graceful and beautiful flower, 

so they make a short appearance somewhere in the Cottage 

and then are banished out

 to the front porch

 for all that pass by to admire.

 (We had rain the day after I picked these and now the bush is
 a straggling mess).

I have only been to Trader Joe's

 once in the past year. 

 I have been depending on faux flowers

 to cheer up the Cottage in all this time.  

This is becoming a way of life for me 

and, as I said in those posts one year ago, 

I find that even though

 I would never have thought 

that it would be this way 

for this amount of time,

 I am not finding it too unpleasant. 

 As most of you will find out one day,

 there comes an age 

when you can become comfortable 

with how life plays out 

and be content to take it one day at a time. 

 It is a hard feeling to describe accurately

 but seems to be one of the perks of

 the "golden years".

Lilacs, 2021


 as the saying goes in the workshop,

 an apple a day...

...keeps the doctor away and...

...Glory to the Ukraine.

Hope you all are keeping well 

and are finding someone special 

to share this

 beautiful springtime sunshine with...


Lilacs, 2019

Sharing today with:

Love Your Creativity at Life and Linda

I would like to thank Linda

 for featuring my last week's post 

on Love Your Creativity. 

I am always so honored.

Tuesday, April 5, 2022



A simple Easter display in the entry.

This has been a lost week. 

 A lot of TV watching,

 a lot of looking out the windows 

at all the sunshine,

 a lot of dreaming, 

and a lot of setting up appointments.

The Captain served in the Navy way back between 1957 and 1961. 

 He was always told that he was not eligible for veteran's benefits during that time 

so he just assumed that was true. 

 He has since found out

 that wasn't the case 

so now he is taking advantage of 

what is due him. 

 He was onboard a ship 

where drills were practiced 

and he started losing his hearing 

sometime after that.  

He is very lucky that he has remained otherwise healthy since then 

and has never had

 to take many medications.  

In the last few months he has applied for VA services and has been approved. 

 We have to drive a ways to take advantage of these services but it is 

worth the time it takes. 

 During last week we have made two trips 

and he has a appointment 

for early May with an ENT doc, 

which is required 

before he can get hearing aids. 

 It seems that most of our time is taken up with planning 

and going to these appointments,

 so I haven't done much more in the way

 of having anything interesting to show.

Another simple display on the parlor mantel. After seeing this photo, a few of the dried hydrangeas should be removed.  The arrangement looks too heavy and should be scaled down but I ran out of time.

If I had it all to do over again, 

I would decorate the Cottage with nothing but what I have come up with here. 

 The old ironstone pitcher

 that belonged to my great-grandmother, 

a chipped picture frame
  all mixed in with gold and the
 color of nature stripped of its brightness. 

 Color has always been 

a part of what I love, 

but there is something to be said for an easy place to rest your eyes.  

I find these days that I need some of that.

I ordered this string of ornaments 

around last Christmas 

but did not receive them 

in time for decorating.  

I included them in this arrangement 

as I thought the color 

reminds me a bit of Easter...

...they look like pretty glass ornaments 

but are only plastic 

but they have an

 old world classic appeal to them.

I moved the old books 

from the parlor mantel

 to the library table.

I painted one of the camellias
 blooming in the garden...

  ...this is not exactly what it looked like 

but it is my best version...

This flower was part

 of an anniversary arrangement 

we received 

and I had taken a photo of...

 ...after tracing around it, 

 I again painted my version. 

We received a nursery catalog 

from Green Acres Nursery. 

 Something about the cover shot

 caught my attention 

and my version follows.

This is the first painting I have done where it was drawn free hand.

We are still waiting for them to come finish the blacktop on the driveway

 but the process has gotten us thinking

 about what we are planning for the 

front garden this summer.  

We are dreaming up plans so we won't have so much watering to do.  

It won't be a big change 

but enough to make it

 a little more low maintenance.

We had our second booster shot

 for Covid yesterday. 

 Our counts here have gone down a lot 

but we still need to be careful 

and getting all the vaccinations offered 

and wearing masks out in public

 is something that we are happy to do.

Hope everything is going well for all of you and that you are enjoying everything spring has to offer.


"Just now the lilac is in bloom

All before my little room".

Rupert Brooke

Spring is really here

 and before long 

the lilac , as seen from the kitchen window, 

will make a lovely bouquet.

Sharing today with:

Love Your Creativity at Life and Linda