Saturday, January 18, 2020

My New Car

It was an absolutely paralyzing week for me but it ended well with a new car. On Monday my 2002 Chevy Suburban SUV was declared not fit to drive. My mechanic said he could fix the current problem so I left it with him. About 4 hours later he called me and said he would love to make the money on the repair but he feared for my future safety and thought it would be best to get a different automobile. I certainly appreciated his honesty and will hold him in high regard forever.

On Tuesday I was so traumatized I stayed in my pajamas all day wondering where to start. It is very hard to buy a car when you don't have a car, right?

On Wednesday morning I was up with early and started my Internet search. What should I buy? Used or new? I really didn't want to have to learn a new car at all. I looked and looked and looked. Sometime in the late morning, I called a girlfriend who always knows what to do. She said I should least a brand new car for three like she and her husband have been doing. They are on their third lease after owning cars outright in the past.

So I called the closest car dealer, the Honda dealership in Madison. The girl I got was so very helpful and she helped me narrow down my choice by asking me questions and listening to my wants, needs, and wishes. I was mostly interested in cargo space for open house real estate signs. I certainly did not need the third row seats that came with the Honda CRV I initially thought I wanted.

We narrowed it down the the HR-V and they were running a special on the 2019 unsold inventory to make room for the 2020 models. She even brought one to my house for a test drive. WOW, talk about customer service! I drove it back to the dealer ship and loved it. It took a couple of hours in the office for all the paperwork but I drove away with a 3 year lease with 10,000 miles per year allowed miles. I don't think I will have a problem with this since there are days I never leave the house and I never go very far. So on Wednesday late afternoon I had a new car. Since then I have driven on one nice day, one rainy day, and today I drove it in the snow. Tomorrow (Sunday) there will be ice and rain.

This is a photo I found online in Google Images. Click to enlarge.
I got this color, Modern Steel, with black or very dark gray cloth seats and interior. I have all-wheel drive and a back up camera. My car has a key instead of that button start and I'm glad. The key has buttons to lock and unlock. The back seats go down very easily for a full flat cargo space that is huge. It has been trial by fire all week but I am confident I made the right choice. It was pretty painless too. They took care of everything for me. Plates, insurance card, registration, etc. All those things you usually have to do yourself when you buy a new car. I am donating my old car to the local fire department. 

Sorry I have been absent for a while. Now you know why. xo

This is Baby Shark on Sunday after I shoveled the snow on the driveway and moved her so the front could continue melting in the sun. She was so easy to clean off!

Detail of her shark fin with my cottage in the background.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020


This has got to be the most charming photograph of a snow bunny ever! via

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Great Laundry Room with Old Sink

I especially love the vintage porcelain sink with built-in drainboard. It looks perfect in this wonderful laundry room. The wall drying rack is nice too. via

Friday, January 10, 2020

Gorgeous Marble Bathroom

I love the huge floor to ceiling marble tiles surrounding the window opposite the tub. The large square marble floor tiles are gorgeous too. It's a lovely room in all respects, isn't it? via

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

My Kitchen Today

I had some good sunlight shining on my farm table after lunch today. I had three pots of rosemary plants overwintering on the counter where my TV used to be but they died from neglect during the Christmas season. Thankfully, I still have a giant plant that is thriving in my pantry. Yesterday I moved some cookbooks to that spot and I'm loving the new look. I had an old wooden bookstand that I could never find a use for -- until yesterday and I'm so glad I didn't donate it. I moved all the cookbooks I reach for first to this location and I'm going to make pumpkin muffins with raisins later today thanks to the inspiration. Click photo to enlarge.
New year, New look.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Wonderful Greenhouse Interior

I love every detail of what I can see of the interior of this greenhouse. The door is especially beautiful. via Click photo to enlarge and swoon.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Winding Path on My Property

I took this photo over the weekend when the fog had almost lifted. It seemed the perfect photo to write on with my Apple Pencil. Watch a demonstration of the Apple Pencil here.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

My Snowdrops are Starting

I took this photo on Saturday and was shocked to see a large clump of snowdrops emerging. They usually don't start until February. There is a lot of very cold weather coming and I hope they can withstand it. They are such dear little things and unusually hardy too. Fingers crossed. xo

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Tiny Snowman for The Birds

This tiny snowman for the birds is adorable as is his expression. via

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Beatrix Potter: Rabbits making A Snowman

Here is yet another original Beatrix Potter watercolor that is new to me. via

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Ball Fringe Curtains and Snow

I can remember making kitchen curtains trimmed with ball fringe long ago. There was a house for sale near me last year that had crisp white ones like these in every window and they were so beautiful inside and especially from the street view. I still think they are charming, don't you? Will you stay up tonight to ring in the New Year? I will try but I'm usually not successful. Photo found here. Here is the link to order ready-made white ball fringe curtains from the Vermont Country Store. Thanks, Pam for mentioning this source in the comments.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Thursday, December 26, 2019

British Royal Christmas Card released Christmas Day

Happy holidays from the Cambridges!

On Christmas Day, Kensington Palace released a new photograph of the Cambridge family. Taken presumably on the grounds of their country estate, Anmer Hall — it shows Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis all bundled up in coats and sweaters. A hat-clad Prince William kisses his youngest child on the cheek as Charlotte grabs her brother’s shoulder. The scene was shot in black and white — and by the Duchess of Cambridge, who frequently takes official photographs of her family and children.

“Merry Christmas to all our followers!” Kensington Palace wrote on Twitter. “This photograph of The Duke of Cambridge, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis was taken by The Duchess of Cambridge in Norfolk earlier this year." Text and photo from Vogue Magazine. Read more.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Christmas Decor by Mother Nature

These holly leaves dusted and outlined with frost plus the blurred red berries in the background make a beautiful living Christmas card on this Christmas Eve morning. via

Monday, December 23, 2019

Flying Staircase at Shirley Plantation

The flying staircase at Shirley Plantation, Charles City County, Virginia. Shirley is one of Virginia's oldest plantations, founded in 1613, and construction of the current house began in 1723. Eleven generations of one family have lived in the mansion, and descendants still operate it as a farm. via

I never cease to be amazed at beautiful architecture created without the aid of power tools.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Christmas Cottage in the Snow

The perfect little cottage with a red door and a wreath in the snow. via

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Bird Humor

This mother bird is not amused but just look at her little one's expression. This photo is priceless. via

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Icy Morning at My Cottage

It looks like another winter wonderland outside my windows this morning. Everything is encased in a layer of ice and a freezing rain is falling. Not at all good for my office Christmas Party tonight! Will update you later. This is a photo of my balcony railing at 8:45 am. xo

Monday, December 16, 2019

Open Shelves, Framed Botanicals, White Ironstone

This collection of ironstone and glass would not be very interesting were it not for the framed botanical prints in the background. I love the shape of the shelf supports and the wonderfully arranged collections. via Click photo to enlarge.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Christmas Eve for Three Lucky Girls

Isn't this the sweetest bedroom for three little girls to share? The rustic beds with the flannel sheets and woolen blankets must be so cozy. I love the windows over the beds too with deep sills. Waking up on Christmas morning with filled stockings at the foot of your bed must be the happiest childhood memories ever for these girls. via

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Bear Christmas Tree at Hamburg Zoo

She has her eye on something at the top.

What a great idea. 
View more charming photos of this particular bear here. See more photos of this mother brown bear and her three cubs feeding here.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Nut Pie Crusts - Who Knew?

I read an interesting article about last minute pies at Food and Wine magazine online.

I have never heard of these nut crusts that are shelf stable, have you? I always use frozen pie crusts but my freezer is jam packed right now and can't hold one more item. These prepared nut crusts might be the answer to my problem. I must look for them the next time I go food shopping. Both photos by Sarah Crowder.