Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Happy Valentine's Day -- True Antique Ones

I have a notebook full of valentines and other things one person saved back when you had to write and make your own. They are so beautiful and so sincere. This one is dated 1846.

This one is dated February 14, 1847. The beautiful pink rose is an original watercolor.

This one isn't dated and is signed My Valentine. The area around the butterfly has been cut out in a continuous loop as you will see in the next  photo.

I am holding the butterfly up in the air so you can see the surprise in the center. It will be featured in the next photo.

Two birds holding a ring and the inscription ♡"I am thine eternally"♡. Isn't this romantic?

This one has blue forget me nots with yellow centers handpainted in watercolor. Signed simply Valentine with a whole page full of a heartfelt message of love. 


Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Hello February 2024

This February has an extra day for Leap Year and that's nice, isn't it? As usual January flew by because it's my favorite month. It was a busy one with several snows but they weren't too bad. We had some very cold days  that didn't last very long, thankfully. I repotted several geraniums and rooted some clippings and potted those too on a day I could work outside with potting soil and compost. I'll be seeing my snowdrops mentioned in the poem above soon. They are the true harbingers of spring. xo

PS: This morning (February 1st) my snowdrops are breaking through the soil and are up about one inch. Will post photos when they flower.

Monday, January 22, 2024

Great Powder Room w/ Zebra Wallpaper

I love this small powder room so much, don't you? Everything about it is just perfect. The bold red/orange wallpaper with large zebras is daring but it works perfectly with the black and white tile floor, white fixtures and trim paint, and black door knobs. I have had this photo saved on my phone for ages and I really cannot remember the source. 

I have spent untold hours in the past week adulting. The hardest thing was changing my mobile phone plan and it's still not exactly right but I am close. It's so hard to speak to real people these days, isn't it? I have lots of patience and won't give up until it's exactly what I want and was promised. Wish me luck.  xo

This is a copy of a comment by Guestie: I also have seen this wonderful powder room. I remember now: it is included in an online portfolio of stylishly tiny powder rooms. 
If you Google " Scalamandre + Zebra Wallpaper + powder room " you will see a number of charming examples of this darling composition.

Thursday, January 18, 2024

My Winter Breakfast Recipe: Microwave Oatmeal w/ Apple Cider

Smoothies are for summer. Oatmeal is for winter! I recently "discovered" Quick 1-minute oatmeal. I was amazed that I actually liked it and really couldn't tell the difference from the long cooking original variety I had always used. It was a pain too. Always running over on the stove and the pan was hard to wash. Cooking the Quick variety in the microwave in a 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup solved all of my problems.

The first few times I "cooked" it in the microwave for 4 minutes using box instructions it did not run over and I was thrilled. Then, for some reason, it started running over. I decided to experiment and ended up with the perfect recipe for me. I started out with 1/2 cup apple cider and 1/2 cup of tap water. Then I added a generous 1/3 cup oats and a HEAPING tablespoon of ground flaxseed meal. I grind my own seeds in my coffee and spice grinder. You can buy the flax meal already ground if you wish. I cook this mixture in the microwave for 4 minutes and it doesn't run over. I was able to omit the salt too. It is delicious and the measuring cup is so much easier to wash than the pan on the stovetop was. I am thrilled.

This photo shows my entire kitchen wall. I was leaning on my refrigerator to snap the picture. I have always had "old men" friends and we often discussed the woes of the oatmeal pan running over. My mother wanted oatmeal every morning no matter the season or weather. We had elderly next door neighbors when I was young and the man ate a vegetable bowl of oatmeal every morning. All of these old men in my life lived to be 100 or nearly that ripe old age and I think the oatmeal helped. I think its gooey consistency must remove some of the plaque from your arteries as it passes thru your body. What do you think? I have never read this, it's just something I suppose must be going on.

Anyway, I wanted to share my new way of cooking quick and easy oatmeal in the winter. Let me know if you try it. Stay safe and warm since it seems to be cold or very cold almost everywhere. xo

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Movie Recommendation: The Luzhin Defence with Emily Watson

I watched this movie last night.  
It is leaving TUBI this month so don't delay in watching it. It's FREE and I know you will love it. Filmed in 2000. I adore Emily Watson and she's wonderful in this film. 
"It's the early 1920s and Aleksandr Ivanovich 'Sascha' Luzhin (John Turturro), a gifted but tormented chess player, arrives in a Northern Italian city to compete in an international chess competition. Prior to the tournament he meets Natalia Katkov (Emily Watson) and he falls in love with her almost immediately. She in turn finds his manner to be appealing and they begin to see each other in spite of her mother's disapproval." The screenplay was based on the novel THE DEFENSE (or The Luzhin Defence) by Vladimir Nabokov.

Let me know if you watch it and if you liked it. It is streaming on Prime Video and Apple TV too. "You're welcome." Enjoy! xo

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Wonderful Framed Hunt Print Thrifted Today

I couldn't be more pleased with this Cecil Aldin framed hunt print. The original is circa 1910 and this is a very nice reproduction printed on heavy thick paperboard and it doesn't require being under glass. This is especially nice for me because glass would be too reflective in my kitchen. I came home and hung it immediately after a gentle cleaning. It's 26" x 14".

I really like the way it looks over my doorway into my living room. The size is perfect too.

I can't wait to see it tomorrow in the morning light. These photos were taken in very late afternoon light on a cloudy day. I saw my first tiny snowflakes today and we might have snow for Sunday.

Cecil Aldin -- The Whip. There is an annual hunt each year near my cottage with foxhounds and riders in red jackets conducted by The Spring Valley Hounds. I wasn't sure where this print would fit but I knew I would find a place for it and I did. Don't you love my $12.00 find? I got a nice sweater too. xo

Here is a Sunday morning photo that shows the hunt print very accurately. It's snowing lightly and the sky is overcast.

I don't think I have ever taken a photo from this angle. Now you see the whole wall that needs artwork with a sporting theme. Finding another Cecil Alden would be nice but that's almost too much to hope for. 

Stay safe if you have to drive in the snow. I am staying put until Mother Nature goes into melting mode. I don't need to go anywhere and I have a pot of soup simmering on the stove. xo

Saturday, December 30, 2023


As usual, I will be enjoying on a quiet New Year's Eve in my cottage. The photo above is a closeup of my kitchen farm table centerpiece. The pine cones are real, the greenery looks real but it isn't and neither are the pomegranates. I have a really large wooden charger and it looks very festive full of these things.

I had to stand in the vestibule to take this night photo and get the chandelier. The countertops are still filled with Christmas cards and the sinks have dishcloths hanging on them. I should have neatened up more but the table is what I was trying to feature. 

I haven't chosen a movie to watch tonight yet. I hope you all have a happy and safe New Year's Eve and a wonderful New Year's Day on Monday. xo

Saturday, December 23, 2023

My Christmas Wish for You

I am on the homestretch right now. I did my housework yesterday and now I have to finish wrapping a few gifts. 

I received this delightful pop up card from a dear friend. Don't you love it?

Here is the view looking down on it. Click either photo to enlarge.

I have managed to stay ahead of things better this year except for decorating my house. I still have time to do a little but it will be very minimalistic. Just a few cranberry beads and my stocking. I do have a lovely wreath on my front door and around my mailbox though. I always do those two things right away. I had lunch with two friends this week and one complained about not wanting anything and always getting things she couldn't return. She won't be disappointed because she won't be able to return what I'm giving her either😂 I never shop retail; only at thrift and charity shops that support worthy causes. It's a win, win for me and the recipients can always regift or donate. 

I'm sorry I haven't been around much this month. In fact, this might be my only post for December 2023. My eyes are doing great and that was my present to myself for the rest of my life. I wish I had done it sooner. Cateracts sneak up on you and all of a sudden you cannot stand them one minute longer. Since they are an elective surgery the doctors don't rush you. 

Have a wonderful Christmas if you celebrate. I will see you again before the New Year. xo