Sunday, November 30, 2008

Long Weekend

Thanksgiving is a time for families. We were able to enjoy our darling daughter and celebrate the return of our son-in-law from working overseas. She had Thanksgiving dinner at her house this year and she surprised me by using her Grandmother Hazel's china.

The next day we enjoyed spending time with our son and his family.

EJ wearing Gramp's hat and sucking on his car keys

Then we traveled south again to celebrate our friend's 50th birthday. It was a surprise party and boy was she surprised!

Here is one of the sweetest people we know and some of the other people who love her.

This sweetie would frown -- just for the experience of it. And then break out in a smile when we would laugh at her funny frowny face.Now to put away all of the orange and brown decor and put up the tree. I love the holidays! Mrs.RGS

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Blessings

Paul said:
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
And I'm still learning the secret . . .

May we all see God's blessings in our circumstances

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Share and Share alike . . .

The Cottage Master picked up a cold virus and shared with me. I went to DD's house to help her but got sick and then shared with her. Her sweet hubs came home yesterday -- we are all hoping that she DOESN'T share with him.

Remember this yummy house I saw a few weeks ago?

I was shopping when I spotted this same color combination on TWO buildings downtown. They face different directions making their addresses on different streets BUT viewed from this angle they are quite striking.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Yummies from my kitchen

I’ve been enjoying some time in the kitchen this past week. The only reason why this is noteworthy is because usually I try to spend as little time in there as possible. One does not enjoy being any place where one has failed so many times.

Using the cherries from our trees that I pitted and froze a few months ago I made a cherry cobbler.

I purposely baked more potatoes than we could eat so that the next day I could slice one and fry it in a little olive oil for breakfast. There is something about that great nutty flavor of a baked potato when it has been fried that makes it a perfect winter-time breakfast treat.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ships that pass . . .

I was back down at our daughter's home in Oregon again last week. One beautiful sunny day I sat at the edge of the Columbia River eating my lunch and watched this ship appeared quietly heading in the direction of Portland.

I know nothing about boats or life on the river. I was impressed by the way it quietly pushed through the water. The people living in the homes came out and watched it go by as well. They must see boats go by all day long -- how could you get anything done beside watching the river traffic?

A search on Wikipedia brought this information:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The M/V Tustumena is a mainline ferry vessel for the Alaska Marine Highway System.
The M/V Tustumena was constructed in 1963 in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin and refurbished in 1969 in San Francisco. As the only mainline ferry in Southcentral Alaska and the Aleutian Chain, it principally runs between Kodiak, Seldovia, Port Lions, and Homer with Homer providing a road link to the other communities on the Kenai Peninsula (Seldovia) and the Kodiak Island area (Kodiak and Port Lions). The only interruptions from this schedule occur when making a voyage out the Aleutian Chain (the Aleutian Chain run consist of the communities of Akutan, Chignik, Cold Bay, False Pass, King Cove, Sand Point, and Unalaska/Dutch Harbor) which the vessel undergoes eight times a year all of which occur during the summer as winter weather becomes too dangerous. The M/V Tustumena will be in a shipyard for maintenance after November 7, 2008 and the M/V Kennicott will serve Homer and Kodiak for the entire winter season.

So, I can assume that I saw it as it neared the end of its journey to the maintenance port. Isn't it amazing what we can learn on the Internet?

Then there was this boat that looked like a tubby toy by comparison.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

To Have or Not To Have ... That is the ?

Liz, over at Mabel’s House, and I are struggling with the same problem. The focus of the problem is different but the agony of emotions and the mental see-saw are the same.

She see cute kids and goes, ah, I wish I had one. But then publicly misbehaving children jerks her into the harsh light of seeing kids for what they are – needy little people.

We are pet-less. When I see people with their cute doggies and kitties my heart goes, ah, I wish I had one. But then I think about picking up poo, having pet hair all over the house and the scurry to find a pet sitter when we want to be away from the house overnight and it slows my desire.

We haven’t always been pet-less. Shortly after moving into our first home The Cottage Master purchased a West Highland White Terrier for me. I named her Gypsy. She was mine only in my mind. She loved the Cottage Master and the children but barely tolerated my presence. I loved her anyway. She lived with us for 12 years.

After a couple of years of being pet-less (the chickens that the Master raised don’t count as pets) the Master decided that there was room in his heart for another dog. In the early evening hours we chose a sweet little Border Collie looking pup from a litter being raised in someone’s back yard and given away for free.

She had such a sweet sleepy look in her eyes and we both fell in love with her immediately. The kids named her Pepper. Later I found that the sleepy look of her eyes was just her natural look which ended up driving me nuts. Stop looking at me with those sappy eyes I would tell her.

Each child ended up owning a cat as well. The nine of us were happy. The chickens, on the other hand, weren't, since they were raised to end up in our freezer.

Ginger the cat

Sylvester the cat

Whisper the cat
Named so because we all wished that he would!

As nature would have it, all three children grew up and left home. The cats and dog did not. We continued to purchase food for them, paid their vet bills and arrange for pet sitters any time we wanted to leave home for more than one day.

One by one their numbers diminished until it was again just the Cottage Master and me. We were happy not to clean up pet hair from our furniture any more. We could walk around the back yard without worrying about stepping into something. Our vacation budget increased since we didn’t need to include kennel fees at $15 to $20 per day that we were gone.

But now I’m feeling like my life’s enjoyment could be enhanced by having an indoor pet again.

Seeing the four legged friends of my neighbor’s is gnawing at me. I’d love a cat but knowing how the Cottage Master is not especially fond of cats I decided to appeal to his love of dogs.

How about getting a small indoor lap dog?


Let’s look at the pros and cons – he surprised me by being able to quickly come up with many very good reasons why we should remain pet-less right now.

Then, while running an errand with a friend to buy cat food at PetSmart, I wandered into the cat cage area. There was a precious white kitty who so wanted to be loved by a human. Oh, how I wanted to take her home with me. I petted her for a few minutes and then to my horror discovered a flea on my arm. Yikes, I am SO allergic to flea bites. I ran out of there and never looked back.

That cured me, at least temporarily, of my desire for a pet.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Goodwill Hunting

While thrifting in a local Goodwill store I found this Homer Laughlin relish bowl. I picked it up and said to self -- the last thing you need is another DISH. But after checking out the linens and then the cookbooks (which they put in the "Self-Help" section which amuses me beyond explanation) I decided that I had to go back and pick the dish up -- if it was still there.

I spent 2 hours looking at several hundreds of Homer Laughlin patterns without ever finding the name for this one. If you know anything about this pattern I'd love to hear from you.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Roof With a View

Black shutters -- Black cat

Are you looking at me?


A man just can't find anywhere to be alone any more.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Really Raspberry

Fall has hit my part of the world all in one day. One day we were enjoying sun and pleasant weather; the next a strong wind came in and blew off all the leaves from the trees. Over 3 inches of rain fell and we knew it was November.

Today, the sun is ours to enjoy again. While on an errand I discovered this tidy truly raspberry colored house. I hope that the color you see is a pure raspberry because that is exactly what the color in real life is.

Moving on to the left side of the house are these surprising sunny chairs. I suspect there is a fountain under the plastic bag in front of the chairs.

Moving further toward the back of the house is this outbuilding. It might be just for storage but it is charming enough to be a studio.

Going back to the front of the house is this lovely walk-way.

This is the right hand side of the house.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

MOPS and Me

I had the honor of being invited to speak to a group of MOPS (Mother's of Preschoolers). Their topic this month is family finances and I presented a crash course in the Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps and the Debt Snowball.

Dave Ramsey is the first to say that his ideas are not new but that he has a fresh and amusing way of presenting them.

When I finished, they presented me with this darling coffee mug. I'll treasure it as I do the opportunity to meet these women who are raising this country's next generation. In the early 1990's the Cottage Master and I began to listen to Larry Burkett and moved out of the world of plastic credit card living into debt free living. It didn't happen overnight and the lessons we learned along the way were many.

A few years ago DD found Dave Ramsey and again we were hit on the head to get back onto the path we had strayed from. We weren't in credit card debt at that time but we weren't being the best steward of our resources either.

I suggested to our Pastor that our church hold a Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University class. He liked the idea -- if we would facilitate it. Oops. That's not what I had in mind. But with God's help the Cottage Master, our DD and I managed to conduct the 13 week course.

Since then we've presented a pared-down condensed version several times to different groups. The Cottage Master and I have counseled singles and couples with their family finances. Sometimes people just need someone to come along side of them to help them with the first steps. We've been priviledged to do that.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Wallwik works

Several weeks ago I talked about trying to get the wallpaper off of our dining and kitchen area. It was not the stripable type and was not going to peel off without a fight. I purchased the product Wallwik and it worked just like it showed on the promotion video.

I can recommend the product should you have some stubborn wallpaper to remove. However, if you have the stripable type using anything you find in the paint department of any store will work for you.

The wallpaper that was in a bathroom at DD's home was the stripable type. It was as much fun taking all those large panels of wallpaper off as it is pulling the dead skin off of a sunburn. That's fun, right?

There is a wonderful 6 foot long, claw-foot tub in this bathroom and I used it to toss the old wallpaper into as I went. As you can see, I am not the only one enjoying this process.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Here are some more great items DD has in her home. She shops at local artist's markets for one-of-a-kind pieces. This mirror is a wonderful example.

This is a vintage piece of garden furniture that she has in her generous entryway.

I found a throw blanket at a thrift store and covered a piece of foam to make a cushion for the bench. Here I've just wrapped it around the foam. The next time I get back to her place for some more fun projects I'll sew a real cover for it.
When DD was a pre-teen she had a newspaper route and she babysat and did errands all the time with one goal in mind; to buy a horse. Then she continued to work in order to pay for all the food, vet bills and tack that goes along with horse owning.

She kept her first love throughout the years as she continued through her schooling by leasing him to other young girls who used him for 4H projects. When she finally settled into a home and property she was able to have him with her again.

After he became too ill to continue she was able to bury him along a lovely hillside. Later DD researched artists who specialized in painting animals to find one who she felt would do a good job of giving her a permanent reminder of her first horse. She commissioned an artist living in Australia who did a magnificent job of capturing the spirit as well as the likeness of DD's beloved animal.