Monday, June 1, 2020

Flower Petals Unfurling

This is an iPhone I photo I took on Sunday morning. The petals of one of my African daisies was starting to unfurl and looked like a pinwheel. I am enjoying these flowers so much in my containers. They do require constant deadheading to keep the new blooms coming and so far I am keeping up. I think they are waiting for some really hot weather and they'll get their wish on Wednesday when it's going to be in the high 80s and I will be wilting. I posted this photo on Instagram so it's not new to some of you. Happy first day of June. xo

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Great Cat Poster


I saw this poster advertised on Instagram and thought it was a great sign of the times. Enjoy your Sunday, the last day of May. xo

Friday, May 29, 2020

Cat + Bookshops = Perfect Together

This is the best! Saving the shelf empty so the cat cat can come and go at will. There's something about cats in bookshops that is so comforting. via

My Peonies in the Bud Stage

I was standing outside my brick wall to take this photo to show the true height of these giant peony plants. My peonies are tall and healthy this year and the three varieties have probably spread so much they are too close together. In the fall, I plan to try dividing them. 

The buds get larger every day but I don't think they are going to be opening quite yet. They get more sun in the afternoon than they do in the morning but that's fine with me. Once they start blooming they don't last nearly long enough, do they? 

Thursday, May 28, 2020

North Side Photo of My Yard

I mowed day before yesterday and took this photo from the North side of my cottage. The white clapboard you see on the far left is the side of my cottage with no windows. The headboard of my bed is pushed against this wall. The two windows in this room overlook the front and the back. The sky was overcast in the back but the sun was shining in the front as you can see from the shadows. I was determined to beat the rain.

I mowed the front late in the afternoon yesterday and it rained overnight, as predicted. So far I am keeping up with lawn maintenance and still enjoying the exercise. 

I downloaded TUBI from the App Store on my phone and iPad. It is also available on a computer here: https://tubitv.com/ Tubi is a free streaming service with movies and tv shows. There are commercials but they are only 15 seconds in length and do not interfere with the shows or movies at all. I have been watching Season 19 of Midsomer Murders, the last PBS season with the original DCI Barnaby. Season 20 with his replacement isn't available yet. I have watch several good movies too but I honestly cannot remember the names. I watch a movie every day and can recommend ENCHANTED APRIL and MRS. PALFREY AT THE CLAREMONT. Quite accidentally, both of these movies had Joan Plowright. and now I must look for more of her movies. Her body of work is incredible. Those were offered on HOOPLA through my public library. 

It is a dreary day today with rain on and off, perfect for watching 2 movies. xo

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Yesterday Morning's Photos

I never tire of photographing lady's mantle in the early morning with the dew collecting on all the fringed leaves.

A portrait mode photo of the African Daisies that aren't awake yet.

The brilliance of this scarlet geranium that is next to my front door is amazing. I have overwintered this plant for years and years and years. It was a rescue plant from a friend who was going to throw it out. Free plants are my favorite.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

A seldom seen wall in my living room.

My antique bookcase with sliding glass doors in the living room is filled with my collection of antiquarian books with fine leather bindings. It is impossible to show the bottom two shelves going all the way down to the floor as the space is too tight without moving heavy furniture. The top is lined with my Georgian glass decanters and other suitable items for drinking if the decanters were ever filled. It's a pain to dust and when I do, I have to refer to a photo in order to get everything back in the proper place. Enjoy the last full week of May. xo

Monday, May 25, 2020

Favorite Vintage Watering Can

The marks on my favorite vintage watering can shown in next photo. It was made in Germany, marked Schneiderkanne. I found a similar one online with the same maker’s mark, only in a larger size, that sold for $160. I found mine at an estate sale along with a lot of other gardening items for not much money. If I had paid a lot, I would have remembered. 

Watering can mentioned above. The urn is filled with lovely African daisies now. 

I can see this urn filled with Gazanias or African Daisies. I can see this particular urn from the window in this photo. The desk in my pantry fits perfectly under this window and is my favorite looking-out spot.

Memorial Day Remembrance

The poppy is the recognized symbol of remembrance for war dead in Canada, the countries of the British Commonwealth, and the United States. The flower owes its significance to the poem In Flanders Fields, written by Major (later Lieutenant-Colonel) John McCrae, a field surgeon in the Canadian artillery, in the midst of the Second Battle of Ypres, in Belgium, in May 1915.

The poppy references in the first and last stanzas of the most widely read and oft-quoted poem of the war contributed to the flower's status as an emblem of remembrance and a symbol of new growth amidst the devastation of war. via

IN FLANDERS' FIELDS by John McCrea

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.

The key points of his biography. He was a truly remarkable and inspiring man.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Baby Chef on Instagram

I know how I am spending Memorial Day! Watching @kobe_yn cook on Instagram.

Click HERE to watch the video for the 3rd photo
Click HERE to watch him make S'mores in 1st photo
Click HERE to watch him make his daily smoothie in center photo.

You will have to go to Instagram to watch all of his delightful posts. The photo above is just a screenshot. This adorable one-year-old can't even talk but he's quite good in the kitchen. He even cooks on the stove with his mom helping without being seen. My face is hurting from smiling so much. Kobe is great fun to watch. Enjoy! You're welcome.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Home Office designed by Katie Holmes

I love this room, especially the centered window flanked by bookcases and closed cabinets. The only fault I can find is with the lamp with cord photoshopped out. There really is no place to plug it in, is there? I really doubt it's cordless but if it were, the photo would be perfect.

I have been self isolating since a client tested positive for Covid-19 after a real estate showing. I am fine and all precautions were in place. I will be free to go out in a few more days. Take care and stay home as much as possible. There is so much to do in the spring, there is no time for boredom. Have a great long Memorial Day weekend too. xo

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Container Gardening at My Cottage

I bought some plants on Sunday at the local farm market that sells farm fresh food items too. I pick up groceries there every week. I grabbed these African Daisies thinking they were Gerbera Daisies. After I planted them in three containers (only two shown here) I read the tag and learned they are called GAZANIA, Strawberry Shortcake Mix. They are perennials down south in zones 9-11 but I will enjoy and love them as annuals.

Here, I am looking down on the third container. So far, the blooms are closing up late in the day. I don't know if this will continue when the weather gets really hot. They are supposed to spread and bloom continually from spring until frost. Doesn't that sound wonderful? They are supposed to be great in rock gardens and border fronts and make a great ground cover. I probably shouldn't have planted them in containers but I can thin them as they get crowed and replant elsewhere. I guess it pays to read before planting. Anyway, I love them up high where I can see them from inside the house.

My potted geraniums survived the winter indoors and look nice flanking my front door.

The third white concrete urn near the rooster is planted with basil, curly parsley, and broad leaf parsley. It is close to the front door and near the kitchen for clipping while cooking. There is another large basket-weave terra cotta planter to the left filled with the same herb plants.
My peonies are tall and filled with buds that get larger every day. They are swaying to and fro in the fierce winds we are having today. That's about it for today. See you another day. xo

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Sunday Morning Cottage Photos

My favorite Watering Can.

First wisteria blossoms after many others were killed TWICE in May when overnight temperatures dipped below freezing. I spent the day yesterday hacking down a huge clump of my weeds by hand and will finish today with no motor sounds to intrude on Sunday silence. Enjoy your Sunday whatever you do. xo

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Gorgeous Photo: Lilies of the Valley Flat Lay

I found this photo on Instagram @atalierjuno and I think it is simply stunning. The arrangement is known as a Flat Lay and she does them frequently with all varieties of flowers. I am especially fond of green and white landscaping so this one is my favorite. My own lilies of the valley have really spread out this year but some of the pips are going in the wrong direction and I have been digging them up and relocating them. I have two large clumps growing against a brick wall and I want them to meet. Yes, you read that right; the offspring of these gorgeous spring flowers are called PIPS. Happy Saturday and enjoy your weekend. xo

Friday, May 15, 2020

Curated Pantry and Deer w/ Birds

I have further curated the left side of my pantry. The shelf brackets denote the center of this room. I still need to work on the other side where my desk is located with a window overlooking my front garden. I am feeling good about this side and it's working nicely to keep my farm table free of clutter. Success!!! I have posted in the past about my monogrammed copper pots on the top shelf. 

I have no idea when this photo was taken or whether or not I have already posted it. Chances are, it's from last year because the buttercups haven't started to bloom yet this year. Anyway, I saw a similar scene in this very spot this week only there were three deer and no birds on the post.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Chocolate Cake: Pears Inside: Recipe

This photo stopped me in my tracks. I searched google for the source of the image and found it. It's called Pear and Chocolate Loaf. The recipe is included in the link and there are more beautiful photographs of this delicious-looking cake. I think it's stunning.

Save this recipe for fall when pears are in season. 
xo

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

New Look Under My Pantry Window

I did a slight rearrange in my pantry yesterday and got so much more surface space. I put this old blue shutter on top of the bucket bench that houses my microwave, my stand mixer, Instant Pot, Panini Press, and so many more kitchen related items. It extends almost to the doorway and over the wooden counter where my platters live. It makes my pantry much more efficient and I like it for now. This window overlooks my red barn/garage and I overwinter my large Rosemary plant in this spot. I arranged my cookbooks, my plastic bag storage and it took forever. I have a huge bag of paper egg cartons to drop off and recycle at a local farm that sell farm-fresh eggs at the top of their driveway. They will be thrilled. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Olive Oil Biscuits: Delicious Recipe


UPDATE: I sent the recipe to a friend in New England and she made them right away and sent me this photo. She just started baking and has only one square pan, so this recipe was perfect for her. She and her husband ate them right away with butter and jam. She thought they would have been better if they had been made with butter and she will use Smart Balance fake butter that is made with olive oil next time. xo

Mine didn't look like this but were tan in color because I used whole wheat flour. I don't have any white flour 😢 
This recipe is definitely a keeper. It makes only 6 biscuits and that's a good thing since leftover biscuits are never as good as those right out of the oven. They are very quick and easy to put together and you probably already have all the ingredients on hand. (You could double the ingredients if you dare having a dozen biscuits in the house.)

Simple Olive Oil Drop Biscuits
Recipe by Taste As You Go 

Delicious drop biscuits that are simple to make and don't require an ounce of butter.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10-12 minutes
Total time: 15-17 minutes
Yield: 6 biscuits

INGREDIENTS
1 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup milk (I used whole milk)

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 450°F.
In a large bowl, stir the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt until well-combined. Pour in the olive oil and milk and stir until just moistened. (I mixed the milk and olive oil together before adding to dry ingredients.)
Drop batter onto a baking sheet lined with Silpat or parchment paper (or do what you've always done when baking biscuits). Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown on the edges.
Serve warm.

I put butter inside when they were hot and they are so very tender and delicious. Really good and I grew up on Southern Biscuits so I know what a biscuit is. I was dubious about the whole wheat flour but it was fine. Would use it again, if I had any!!! I am going to a local bakery to see if they will sell me any flour and if they won't, I will try a pizza place. Wish me luck.

I added the sugar because I always bake according to the recipe the first time. They were not sweet at all. Next time I will probably leave it out. Or maybe I will add a little more and sprinkle sugar on top and then they will be like scones to have with a cup of tea. You could add raisins too.
Enjoy. xo

Monday, May 11, 2020

So Many Shades of Green

There are so many different shades of green in my perennials photographed this morning.

I have such a good crop of wild raspberry bushes on my property this year. I love them and think they taste so much better than the cultivated ones in the markets.

This is my Astilbe and it has a feathery white flower that will be blooming later. This is a shade lover and I think the leaves are beautiful.

I took this photo of my Lady's Mantle this morning in a soft rain. I added a dark vignette around the edges with the iPhone photo editing that comes with the phone.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Honoring Mother's Day 2020


Best Mother in The World for My Brother Tim and Me.

I miss them both but am happy they were in my life.


HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY TO ALL MY LOYAL FOLLOWERS. 
ENJOY YOUR SPECIAL DAY.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

May Snow: Lily of the Valley Blooms

Late Saturday afternoon photo showing sleet and snow on a tabletop next to blooming Lily of the Valley. Crazy May weather!! Legend says that when the lily of the valley blooms, happiness returns.

My Favorite Bathroom Ever

There is so much to love in this Christopher Peacock bathroom. Where should I begin? Let's put it this way, I love everything. There is a showroom nearby in Short Hills, NJ and I found this photo on their Instagram. I have seen numerous Christopher Peacock kitchens when touring Broker Open Houses but never a bathroom of this caliber. It's simply stunning.

Friday, May 8, 2020

My Little Wren + More Planted Baskets

My little wrens are back putting new twigs in this tin birdhouse on my balcony. They have been busy throwing out the top layer and replacing with new twigs. I love hearing them sing their hearts out on my balcony railing. 

I follow this account on Instagram @gncgarden and thought you would like to see more planted baskets in an amazing garden in Denmark. I can appreciate all the work involved in the perfection of Gina's garden but no longer feel compelled to attempt coming anywhere close at my cottage. I know my limitations and am happy with what I achieve with no outside help. 
Happy Friday. xo

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Spring Bulbs Planted in Baskets

Could anything be lovelier? I think not. I adore all of these spring flowering bulbs planted in baskets. via

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Open Fire Today May 6th

I turned off the heat and the house was chilly this afternoon so I lit a fire and got nice ant toasty. I have a feeling I will turn it back on tomorrow because the house will be cold in the morning. We had a warmer April than we are having in May but it's good for working outside. I will be jumping in bed under my eiderdown comforter pretty soon to stream a show or movie on my iPad. 
Be well and stay home. That's what I am doing. xo

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

2020 Bedtime Story


I saw this today on Instagram and loved it. Hope you do too. xo
Read more about this Kiwi Poet here.