Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Red Geranium Thru A Window

I took this geranium photo this afternoon after I worked in my front yard for hours tidying up the weeds and dead grass and leaves along my brick wall. The violets have just started and I wanted to give them room to spread. It was a good way to work off the sourdough pancakes I made this morning. I have gone back to the early 1970s with my cooking from scratch. I prepared my first batch of sourdough starter on Monday and prepared my overnight sponge for the pancakes last night They were delicious and I can heat up the extras in my toaster. 

This as the sky at 7am on Monday morning. My mother always called it a buttermilk sky. I posted it on Instagram and a couple of people said Cogey Carmichael had a song by that name that was popular in the late 1930s and 1940s. We always had buttermilk in my house when I was growing up and I always thought this sky got its name from the way buttermilk dries on the inside of the glass when you don't rinse it out right away.

I took this photo on Monday with the geranium inside my living room and me outside on the balcony with a reflection of the buttermilk sky in the background.

I hope you are all doing well with staying inside during this time of quarantine. So far, I know only one person who had Covid-19 and she has recovered, but it did linger for quite a long time. I am thankful we are going into warmer weather rather than winter. We are all learning new things. One neighbor who has mastered grocery delivery says she will never go grocery shopping again in person after this is over; she loves online ordering and having them delivered to her door. Another neighbor (across the street from me) has been doing it for 10 years and she's teaching all of us her techniques. Neighbors helping neighbors is a good thing. xo

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

A Fabulous Kitchen

This kitchen is simply wonderful but I need to see more. Where is the range? To the right? That's pretty far from the refrigerator but all in all I love what I see, especially the painted floor. xo

Monday, April 6, 2020

SGN SomeGoodNews Episode 2


Episode 2 is wonderful. The surprise at the end has all the original cast members. If you can't see video above, click on this link. You might want to do this anyway so you can watch full screen on a computer or laptop. xo

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Old Cement Planter at My Cottage

Cement planter looking very lonesome while awaiting the return of a large geranium overwintering in the cottage. It won't be long now.

This is a screenshot of my Instagram grid showing all of my recent posts.

I took this photo this morning of the periwinkle blooming in my woods. The intense blue color is amazing and very stunning on an overcast day, like this Sunday morning. See you later. xo

Friday, April 3, 2020

Bird on Barbed Wire

I love this. The fields in the background are beautiful. Looks like this little birdie got the memo about social distancing. xo

Washboard Laundry Morning

I used this vintage washboard in the bathtub this morning to wash a few pieces of fleece clothing and it worked perfectly. You aren't supposed to wash fleece too frequently in the washing machine because it breaks down the material made from plastic bottles. Who knew? I don't really have a problem polluting the ocean because I have a septic. Anyway, I had too few clothes for a washer load and this was quick and easy and my things are dripping nicely on my balcony railing. Fleece always dried quickly. The original price $1.89 is written on top of this vintage laundry aid. I am glad I have it. Everything old is new again. xo

Thursday, April 2, 2020

RARE Antique Figural Drinking Game Glass

A 17th-Century Drinking Game
This glass was designed to drench the drinker in alcohol, and put on an entertaining display for onlookers. What is better than that?

“Joke glasses” challenged drinkers to figure out how to get the alcohol out with minimal spillage. If they spilled? The glass then refilled. This one is the world’s only intact example resembling a man.

The Head

It is really hard to grasp the rarity of this intricately beautiful example, especially since it is in three pieces --the body, the funnel, and the head. How in the world did it survive since the 1600s??????

I found this when I was searching more of those hilarious photos of people who are enacting art in their homes while in quarantine. It was started by the Getty Museum on Twitter. You can see more if you go to Twitter and search #betweenartandquarantine -- I can't get enough and really enjoy seeing what people are doing at home while in isolation. Be well and be safe. xo

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

April First. A Frog and A Rabbit

My antique cast iron frog that looks right into the window of my pantry where I sit to pay bills. He has a hole in his mouth because he was once a fountain. I set my iPhone camera on portrait mode to blur out the background. I so love this feature.

Hare and Quail by Australian artist Anita Mertzlin. Found on Instagram @glendoghalcottage

Happy April Fool's Day. No jokes here. Ready to jump into bed now. xo

Getty Museum Art Challenge

I don't remember when I have been more entertained by art masterpieces reenacted at home while in quarantine.


Here is the link, keep scrolling to make sure you see 35 or 36 examples. The girl with the black eye by Normal Rockwell above is one of my favorites.

You can also see a few more at Getty Museum. There is also an application if you want to enter a creation of your own.

Have fun looking. I shared the first link with numerous friends yesterday and everyone loved it.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Garden #2 and SOME GOOD NEWS

Looking left inside red circle is the first garden I put in over the winter on mild days. The daffodils from my mother's garden are in bud and should be blooming soon. I am excited about the red poppies later too. Wish me luck. The daffodils that are completely dried up and crispy on my windowsill came from the garden on the right. 

I'm not sure how I found SGN (SOME GOOD NEWS) on youtube, but I did and it is very enjoyable.


Click here to watch if you cannot see the video above. I love John Krasinski and look forward to watching all the episodes I have missed.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Darling Brown Lamb

I love the color of this sweet lamb. The yarn made from this wool would be perfect. Wouldn't you love to have a nice thick sweater made from it? Or some of the yarn to knit you own creation? I would! via

Sunday Morning Views at My Cottage and a Mask

A rarely shared corner of my living room this morning. That glow in my bookcase door is a Himalayan Salt Lamp. I leave it burning 24/7 with a 25W bulb inside. I have one in the basement too. I didn't even know what they were when I purchased them at the Annual Firehouse Sale last September. My friend knew immediately and she has one in almost every room in her house. She told me they helped purify the air and a lot of other things too. The one thing I have noticed is increased concentration. It could be all folklore but maybe not. I like the nice glow, so why not?
The one I have with a dimmer is available from Bed Bath and Beyond for $24.99. I leave mine on all the time and it makes a great night light. (Good luck, Penny.) 

I found this image on Instagram. It is probably photoshopped but maybe not. Masks were common in the Elizabethan era to help keep out the noxious odors everywhere. This one is quite beautiful.

I made a new garden I can see out my kitchen window. There is another new one to the left near the bluebird house to be photographed later. I had the antique sundial already and the base is something I have had for a long time but wasn't using. It is perfect among the snowdrops and daffodils transplanted from different locations on my property. This was a fun project that started very early in February during the mild winter days. It sort of evolved with no plan. I just started out wanting to see my mother's daffodil clump near the house that I couldn't see without physically going outdoors. I planted them near the birdhouse and also planted a year-old packet of red poppy seeds, Papaver rhoeas. That was certainly a challenge, like planting ground black pepper, only finer. It took me forever to space them out a pinch at a time and I'm happy to report they have sprouted and I am beyond thrilled. Nothing is blooming there currently since the snowdrops have stopped but will post when something springs forth. Stay inside and be safe. xo

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Good Saturday Morning

Monster bird? No, just a mom carrying her chicks under her wings. This is a JACANA, a tropical wading bird found all over the world. 

It took me a while to get this.
This little piggy stayed home 🐖🏠☺

TP cake. Looks pretty real, doesn't it?

A beautiful study in black and white.

Cat unaware. Wonder what happened when she woke up? People are dreaming up so many ways to entertain themselves while in self-quarantine.

I am still fine and hope you are too. Have a great weekend. All of the photos above were saved on my phone while reading various emails. Most are from Tumblr. 

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Sheep Dog and Owl Camouflage

I absolutely love this photo. Such a happy face on this dog stuck in a herd of sheep. Found on Instagram @wildlifeowners. Photograph by Charlie Mackinnon, a Tasmanian farmer. This photo went viral when it was published in the Daily Mail Australia. 

Great Gray Owl
Hiding in Plain Sight
British Columbia
This is the best Owl Camouflage I have ever seen. You have to look really hard to see the body. Found on Instagram @wildlife_private. Photographs by @alanmurphyphotography.

Here is a back view of the same owl with no face showing. Honestly, he is almost invisible! This is the second photo on the same Instagram post above. All the same links apply here. This is amazing.

Continue to stay at home and try to keep busy. There is a case of Covid-19 very near me and I know the lady. Very scary. She is recovering at home. Stay home, wash your hands, and try to stay busy. I will continue to try to uplift you in my meager ways. xo

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Needle Felted Duckling Love

This is just too adorable. Hope it brightens your day. I have no intention of ever trying this craft but in case you are interested in how it's done, here is a YouTube Tutorial for making a simple owl.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Cheerful Photos

Fresh Acorna via

Backlit Bunny via

Brown and White Kitten via
This is a rare color in cats.
See an old post of mine with another brown/white cat.

Monday, March 23, 2020

18th Century Paper Cut Flower by Mary Delaney

via
Cut paper collage by Mary Delaney, English, 1700-1788. She began making these lovely intricate paper flowers when she was 70. It's never too late to start being awesome, is it? xo
Be sure to click on the link with her name -- her biography is fascinating reading!

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Miniature Daffodils on Sunday

Last spring I went to a Broker Open House and the realtor was giving out pots of miniature daffodils instead of having a luncheon for the agents. I rushed home and divided the pot into three clumps and they are such a source of joy in these trying times.

They are planted near my hellebore.

I am still overjoyed with having this hellebore in my front garden. The window in my pantry where my laptop lives, overlooks this area behind my birdbath and I can see it from my living room too.

This intense shade of yellow is stunning.

My front yard photographed in the late afternoon yesterday. The governor officially closed down New Jersey last night to all non-essential travel and we are to stay home in order to prevent further spread of Covid-19. Stay put and be safe. I will continue to checkin and post frequently. xo

Friday, March 20, 2020

My Bluebirds are Building a Nest and MORE

It's a good day when the first thing you see when you first wake up is a bluebird sitting on the edge of a birdbath. His mate was entering my birdbox and they both have been busy since then setting up housekeeping. I couldn't be more thrilled. There are birds of all kinds scurrying around the lawn looking for worms, mostly robins. I have seen bluejays, cardinals, house wrens, mourning doves and chickadees too. The photo above is from Instagram and I've been saving it on my phone because I love it.  See my previous posts about bluebirds here.

My oven is preheating, the oatmeal is soaking, and I'm almost ready to stir up another batch of Oatmeal muffins that are getting rave reviews. I added 1/2 cup raisins this time.

This recipe really is forgiving. Somehow I turned off the oven when turning off the timer for the 15 minute soak. When I was ready to put my heavy vintage blue enameled cast iron muffin pan in the oven, the temperature registered 176° but I put them in anyway and turned the oven on and set it to 425° and set the timer to 25 minutes. They turned out fine and I took them out before the timer went off. I left them in the muffin pan for 10 minutes just in case. They are so good with the raisins!

This made me laugh.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Oatmeal Muffins Using Minimum Ingredients

Here is a photo of one of my oatmeal muffins on a cupcake stand, a Christmas gift from Stacey Snacks long ago. Here is the muffin recipe I found online. I really like it because it is so flexible for these times. It uses a minimum amount of sugar and oil and there are numerous substitutions if you are out of anything. Uses no baking powder, only baking soda. Almost all of the ingredients you will probably already have on hand plus there are many add-ons too for variety. This is just the basic recipe and my muffin is a basic one too, but delicious.

Ingredients: start preheating oven set to 425°
1 cup milk (almond, soy or rice milk works great too) I used my homemade soymilk yogurt.
1 cup quick-cooking oats or 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (off-brand works perfectly and they are no different from the name-brand) I used old-fashioned oats
1 egg (or 1/4 cup of mashed banana or 1 tablespoon ground flax seed mixed with 2-3 tablespoons of water) I used an egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil or 1/4 cup canola oil I used Avocado Oil. Otherwise I would have used oiive oil.
1 cup all-purpose flour (or wheat flour) I used whole wheat flour
1/4 cup white sugar I used organic sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon I also added 1 teaspoon vanilla
Directions:
Preheat oven to 425°f (220°c). Grease or spray 12 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners. I just oiled my muffin pan with avocado oil and a pastry brush.
In a small bowl (I used a 4-cup pyrex measuring cup), combine milk and oats. Soak for 15 minutes. I used this same cup for the other wet ingredients after the 15 minute soak to save dirty bowls.
In a separate bowl, beat together egg and oil; stir in oatmeal mixture. In a third bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir flour mixture into wet ingredients, just until combined. I never sift anything but stir with a wisk. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups until cups are 2/3 full.
Bake in preheated 425° oven for 15-25 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean. 20 minutes was perfect in my oven.

300,000 Free eBooks: Free w/ Library Card


There's good news for all the e-bookworms out there. The New York Public Library released an app today that allows anyone with a library card (and an iOS or Android phone) to "borrow" any of the 300,000 e-books in the collection.

It's called SimplyE and will allow you to read books on your phone, but beware, there might be a wait list for some popular titles, including the Game of Thrones series. (Check out the Harry Potter books, quick!) The online collection will continue to grow, and there are Kindle and web browser versions in development. But, for now, take a break from Pokemon Go and read to your digital heart's content.

All you have to do is download the app called SimplyE

I have already downloaded it from The Apple App Store. So this is what the IOS version looks like. If you have an android phone you can download it too. I think you have to do it thru Google Play

I hope Audio books come next. Take care and stay busy. xo

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Help is On The Way

Jack Ma, co-founder of Alibaba. is donating 500,000 coronavirus testing kits and one million protective face masks to the United States. The Chinese billionaire already has pledged 2 million protective masks to European countries.

Read the article in the link below.

https://www.theverge.com/2020/3/14/21179624/alibaba-co-founder-jack-ma-coronavirus-test-kits-masks-us

The Washington Post has a daily free newsletter on coronavirus. I signed up for it and it's very good. I cannot find a link devoted to the newsletter alone but it appears on today's Washington Post article. Look closely and sign up. It's got all the information most of us need.

Look for a black box with the words Sign Up and a circle with a red envelope indicating email and the wording below:
Get our Coronavirus Updates newsletter
Receive the most important developments in your inbox every day. All stories linked in the newsletter are free to access.
Sign up

I put my outerwear out in the sun to disinfect after I went food shopping yesterday. I put my phone outside too. It's raining today and will be again tomorrow; I'm so glad I went out when I did. There were lots of empty shelves but I got everything on my list. There was no bread and absolutely no canned goods and not much cereal. I keep trying to sign up for InstaCart for home food delivery but I can't make it do what I want so far. The things I want don't seem to come up on the list. Will keep trying and keep you informed.
I am a homebody at heart and I love being at home anyway so my life seems much the same. Friends are checking in with me and that's comforting in case I need them. Be well and hang in there. xo

The Metropolitan Opera is streaming operas FREE during coronavirus closure. Read more here.

Free Digital Concerts - Berlin Symphony. Read more here.

I just found a really darling video of an Australian shepherd giving advice on how to protect yourself from this virus. Follow @my_aussie_gal showing you how. You will have to click on the arrow to start the video. She is the smartest dog ever.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Best Carriage House Ever!

Best Carriage House Ever!
Photo from Real Estate Listing via GSMLS
The main house in Madison, NJ is amazing too.