Monday, December 24, 2012

Great Christmas Eve Bedroom

Hang your stocking from this fireplace and see if Santa came on Christmas morning without even getting out of bed. I have a rug just like this one in my kitchen in front of the sink. Love it. via
Merry Christmas to all of my wonderful followers, blog readers and friends. You are the best!

Gingerbread Birdhouse

What a cute variation on a traditional gingerbread house. One for the birds!!! via

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas in Finland

Sweet and simple. I love the tangled bunch of lights on the floor. via

Goats jumping to Jingle Bells - Video

This is so cute. Click here if you can't see this adorable video. Boy, they've got a lot of energy! xo

Saturday, December 22, 2012

I don't think I've ever seen a kitchen countertop in this configuration. It's very interesting, isn't it? Do you think it would be awkward when trying to work here? Would you find yourself bumping into these projections or not? Anyway, it all looks very nice in this photo. I think I would just skip the plinths in favor of larger drawers and cabinets. via

My Mom A Year Ago Today

It seems like yesterday but it was a year ago today that I posted a couple of photos of my dear mother and Piggy the French bulldog. We were dog sitting while Piggy's humans were in Florida for Christmas. This year his folks are at home. I miss them both. See last year's blog post here.

Christmas Hares

I love this delightful image of hares in the snow holding holly sprigs. Happy first full day of winter! via

Friday, December 21, 2012

Anatomy of the Mitten Cookie

There were several questions about the mitten cookie I received yesterday. The size is small - 3" in length. It's plain on the back and is unfilled. The dark edge is piped with a thin edge of dark red and then rolled in a glittery sugar the same color. The white 'fur' top is a thick layer of white frosting rolled in tiny white balls. That's the anatomy of this cute mitten cookie. I used the Scrabble tiles for scale. 

Take A Hike, Webster

The sheepskin is now MINE. Love, Tabitha.

Beautiful Outdoor Christmas Tree

I'm so glad there are people who decorate live trees instead of cutting them down. I hope all of the decorations in my neighborhood didn't blow away in last night's howling wind and heavy rain. It has subsided now, thankfully! Be careful if you are traveling home for Christmas.
Photo is Christmas at Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen Denmark. Simply magical.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

I'll Go with the Oreo

I sent this to several friends yesterday by email and they all loved it. via

Mitten Cookie

A friend sneaked by my house just now without detection to leave a mitten cookie for me. Isn't it wonderful? It makes me happy just looking at it. Now that I have a picture, maybe I'll eat it later. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Hohenzollern Castle, Germany

Germany is supposed to be magical at Christmas. This castle in the clouds looks amazing! via

Too Pretty to Cut

Let's decorate this one in place. via

Tiny Puddle Loving Boy + Dog

This is simply wonderful. Over 4 million views too. In case you haven't seen it, click here to watch on YouTube. It is so heartwarming to see how carefully the toddler puts down the leash before going back to play in the puddle. That dog is pretty wonderful too.

Boston Terrier Puppy Does The Flip

Boston Terrier puppy "flips" over his food. Click here to view this adorable video on YouTube. It will make your day!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Webster, the Pillow Thief

Webster sneaks in my bedroom every chance he gets to put his head on my contour memory foam pillow. He loves it when I don't make up my bed. When I do, he's out of luck because this pillow is at the bottom of the pile. Goodnight from both of us!
When I find my milkman, I'll ask him if he knows a bread delivery man like this one in France. I actually found a link called "Find Me A Milkman" but alas there isn't one in my area.

Wonderful Christmas Beverage

Nothing says Christmas like hot chocolate in reindeer mugs with homemade marshmallows and chocolate swizzle sticks. A little peppermint mint bark candy on the side is nice too. I'm sure there is a roaring fire nearby too. via

Cheetah in the Snow

This is an amazing photo -- found on Pixdaus -- photo by Exeter. His coat must be extremely thick and warm. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

One More Week

A week from today these beautiful creatures will be flying around the world pulling Santa's sleigh. They look to be in fine shape, don't they? via

Cottage House Plan, Circa 1929

I really like this dutch colonial cottage from a 1929 home building catalog. I would want a full bath on the first floor and maybe a bedroom on that level too. It's a very sensible and charming plan that would work just as easily today with a little tweeking. Agreed? I love the green roof. Found here.

Carved Angel in Rome

Such a beautiful image. I hope the families in Newtown are able to be comforted in their time of sorrow. The whole world weeps for and with them. via

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Spider weaves love web.

Delivering the Egg Nog

I still have such fond memories of the milk man. Nothing today compares to those glass bottles full of fresh milk with the cream on top. Ours delivered eggs, butter, cottage cheese and probably a few other dairy products too. The egg nog at Christmastime was the best! Leaving the empty bottles in the milk box beside the front door with a note in one containing the next day's order was recycling at its best. Now that you can have your groceries delivered to your home after placing an order online, I say bring back the old-fashioned milk man! via

White on White

I love this photo. No footprints, just snow and shadows. I wonder if this was a color photo converted to black and white and shades of gray or if it was just a gray day? It's absolutely beautiful. You can hear the quiet, can't you? via

Saturday, December 15, 2012

One Horse Open Sleigh

I can hear the jingle bells, can you? via

Goose Crossing in Hampshire England

A delightful thatched country cottage on the south coast of England. Charming! via

Perfect Tree Lined Drive

I hope there is a wreath on each of the gates now that the trees are (probably) bare. I'm curious about the driveway. Is it patterned concrete or stone pavers set in concrete? I'd like to see more of the walls with the diamond espalier. I love the way the canopy of the trees has formed a natural arch. Lovely! Have a wonderful weekend. via

Friday, December 14, 2012

Wonderful Weathered Door with Wreath

Another great old weathered door with a grapevine wreath covered with berries opening to a great room all decked out for Christmas. via

White Poppies

These white Oriental Poppies are beautiful. Must look for some seeds. Now is the time to sow them. image source

Red Tulips in White Ironstone Pitcher

The red tulips from Jill are lovely and they really stand up straight. I don't own many vases. I usually run for a pitcher or this ironstone coffee pot. Don't look too closely at the dust circles on the top of my bookcase. [my photo]

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hooked Rug with Not Quite White Owls

Not Quite White
21" x 27"
#8 and #6 cut wool on linen 
Designed and hooked by 
Karen Larsen
Crows’s Foot Farm Designs 
Elliottsburg, Pennsylvania 

I recently reconnected with an old friend from this area who now lives in Pennsylvania. She has been hooking since 2006 and one of her original rug designs is on the November/December 2012 cover of Rug Hooking Magazine
Read about why these owls are "Not Quite White" in a portion of the article Creating White from Colors. I think she did a wonderful job, don't you? Her home was just photographed for an upcoming feature in Rug Beat. The owl rug looks beautiful on her dining room wall.

Works of George Eliot

"Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms. George Eliot." 
I couldn't agree more ~ Quote from  'Mr. Gilfil's Love Story,' Scenes of Clerical Life, 1857 
[my photo, my books]

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Wreath on Cottage Door

I put the wreath on my front door a couple of days ago after I gave the outside a good cleaning. A red bow looked too garish for me so I left it unadorned. Yesterday I got some beautiful flowers with a big white bow and quickly put it between two pinecones. It looks amazingly perfect, doesn't it? To me it represents the purity of my mother's spirit. [my photo]

Tulips and Spatterware

White tiger tulips in a blue and white spatterware pitcher. My friend Jill brought them to me to remember my mother. They get more beautiful each day and she says they are very long lasting.

A Sweet Kitchen

Sometimes I wish I had done a cooktop and built-in oven below in my kitchen. It makes for a more seamless countertop. I like open shelves for other people but for me, I prefer closed cabinet doors in the working part of the kitchen. via

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

DIY Stamped Christmas Wrap w/ Tutorial

I've always been a fan of brown paper Christmas wrap and love the idea of carving a custom stamp to decorate it. Fabulous tutorial here. Once you make your stamp, it can be used for gift tags, Christmas Cards, Christmas ornaments, and you could probably even decorate cookies with it. 
Garden Arch, Regents Park, London, England. What a lovely place to sit and reflect. via

Monday, December 10, 2012

Beautiful Double Door in Italy

Wonderful old door in Rome. You can't fake patina like this! via

Sunless Days

This word describes the weather we've been having lately. Tomorrow is supposed to be very cold. I want to finish clipping my boxwood so they will all match. I sort of quit in the middle for some reason. I never put everything back in place after storing things before the hurricane either. I want to replace the tops on the birdbaths because they look nice filled with snow.
Thank you again for helping me with your wonderful words. We all have to deal with letting a loved one go at some point in our lives. My mother and I both knew her time was at hand and she told me she was not afraid. Even though her body was weak, she was strong of spirit up to the end. She was even able to climb into my big car with the running board to go to the nursing home. She walked inside with my help but we didn't get too far before she agreed to ride to her room in a wheel chair.
Because she was a nurse herself she was able to convey her appreciation of any kind care she was given and everyone admired her for that. There aren't many thank yous and hugs given to professional caregivers by the patients these days. My mother didn't forget. She made me proud and I always tried to make her proud too.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Losing My Mother

My mother lost her own mother when she was very young. I think she was around 7 years old and of course it affected her deeply. We all need to be nurtured when we are very young. My aunt Elizabeth looked exactly like my grandmother. My grandfather was handsome even after losing his hair and he had the best laugh I've ever heard. We all adored him. He remarried and we all loved Grandma too. I think this photo of my mother's parents is probably their wedding portrait April 12, 1914. 

The flowers in the lobby of the funeral home yesterday were very pretty and my mother would have loved them in real life.

I brought some of the special things she saved over the years to send away with her. A small book of poems with an inscription from my brother Tim dated 1970 with an old picture of him tucked inside. The saddest day in my mother's life was the day he died in 1978 after heart surgery. They had a mutual admiration society that surpassed the normal mother-son bond. I also included a book of poems dated 1974 inscribed from me.  I sent her away with the first Christmas card received this year from her friend Tom who still lives in her old condominium complex in Charlotte. I found an old mother's day card from me dated 2006, a picture of our pets, the leash she always used to walk Tabitha, three dog biscuits from Webster, and some chocolate-covered raisins. She never failed to comment about how much she loved these treats covered with her favorite confection. The lipstick kiss on her forehead is from me too.
I helped load her in the small black van that didn't look at all like a mortuary vehicle. I rode up front with the driver and asked him if we could stop by the cottage on our way to the appointment in Basking Ridge and he complied. I wanted her to leave from home.
I chose cremation because the body doesn't have to be embalmed if it's done within 48 hours and there is no public viewing. She wore a flannel black-watch plaid dress that she always favored and she looked like a real sleeping beauty. 
After stopping in the driveway at the cottage we went to the place and I was with her all the way until the end. I'll scatter her ashes in special places up here and down south in the spring.
My sincere appreciation to all of you who have taken the time to walk with me down this last path with my mother. You will never know how much comfort your wonderful condolences have given me even though we are virtual friends. I hope I will continue to inspire you as you have inspired me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. 

XO Gate

How nice. A gate that gives you hugs and kisses every time you come home or go out. David Fuller photo.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Anna in April

This photo of my dear departed mother was taken on April 8, 2012 [Easter Sunday]. Your comments have been a great comfort to me during my time of great sorrow. My mother was my biggest supporter and my best friend. We both always loved home and were never bored there. She was a beautiful person inside and out and I'll miss her every day I walk this earth but will carry her in my heart. God bless her and keep her.

Friday, December 7, 2012

So Hard to Say Goodbye

My dear 92-year-old mother passed away peacefully early last night. I helped the assistant bathe her before I left the care facility to come home and was headed out the door to walk Webster when I got the news. I made the call to the funeral home and a wonderfully caring member of their staff met me at her bedside shortly after I had my last visit with my mom. I fixed her hair and said my last goodbye in private. Then I helped put her on the stretcher and walked her to the waiting car. Everything fell into place almost effortlessly and my mother's dignity was maintained up to the end.
Today is my first full day as an orphan and I feel very sad but surprisingly strong. Mother always wanted to die in her sleep and she got her wish. We had a great 10 years together, the last 8 spent here at the cottage. It won't be the same without her and neither will I. It was a privilege being her daughter.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Small car - big Christmas tree.

How cute. via KateSpadeNY

Perfect Chocolate Pot for The Season

This would be a great addition to any transferware collection, wouldn't it? Unfortunately, it's in the Smithsonian. via

Recent Snow Seen from Front Door

You can see the droplets of melted snow on the lens of my iPhone when I stuck it out the front door to get a photo of the snow without the distraction of a screen. Do you take the screens out of the window for the winter or do you leave them in place the way I do? I figure they will last longer and not get accidentally damaged while being stored. Plus I like the idea of being able to open a window on nice days to get some fresh air. This snow melted rather quickly and we have been having some really nice "vest" weather. [my photo]
Thank you for your words of comfort during this difficult time for my mother and me. xo

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

My Mom has Become The Sleeping Beauty

Today is the second day my mother has been in an unresponsive deep sleep. She looks as beautiful as ever and very peaceful. I hope she knows when I'm there watching over her. Painting by Sir Edward Burne-Jones