Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

Here we are at the end of another year and the beginning of something new.  Thank the Lord for new beginnings. New chances to learn and grow and create. It's been a year of roller coaster rides at Kathy's cottage, but that is what makes life exciting no?
I have never been one for New Years resolutions. I have to agree with my niece Emily about them, "I'm not into lying to myself", she said at the family party yesterday.  I  was especially impressed with her viewpoint in dealing with them. Her resolution? "I will eat chocolate every day". 
 Amen my dear girl, and Amen.
So in the spirit of new beginnings and not lying to myself here are my non-resolutions (anti-resolutions?) for 2013
1. What you said Emily. About the chocolate:>)
2. I am going  to enjoy every bite I take. I'm tired of obsessing over what I eat. It hasn't helped, but I am going to try to slow down and let my body tell me when it is done enjoying the food.
3. I am going to indulge myself.  I'm not only joining the gym, I'm hiring a personal trainer for a while to help me get the most out of it. It is a splurge, but I'm worth it.
4. I'm going to stop feeling guilty about not having time to meet every need and finish every project. Guilt gets you nowhere, it doesn't finish the project, it doesn't write the post, and it doesn't inspire me to get more done. Enough.
I want to live intentionally this year. There are habits I have fallen into because they are easy. They are also destructive.  Time ticks away year by year and I feel the need to make some changes in the way I view things, in the way I do things and in my attitudes. Never stop growing.
Happy New year to each and every one of you! May it be a year of change, of growth, and of living life to the fullest!

Thursday, December 27, 2012


“Wow, it really snowed last night! Isn't it wonderful? Everything familiar has disappeared! The world looks brand new!
A new year ... a fresh, clean start! It's like having a big white sheet of paper to draw on! A day full of possibilities! It's a magical world, Hobbes, ol' buddy ... let's go exploring!”
Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes: It's a Magical World
 Snow. This time of year we are obsessed with it. We want it, we don't want it. We love it, we hate it. Whatever you think about it, however you feel about it, here it is. We got 4-6 inches last night. The sun gleams off it today. It's kind of pretty, a little annoying.
I'm not a big fan, but when it's fresh and white I kind of like it and when it's grey and dirty and frozen I loathe it.
Did you get some snow this week? If you did, I hope it was in time for Christmas.  That is when snow really shines isn't it? We all want snow for Christmas:>)
We had snow for Christmas, or rather, we made snow for Christmas.
These sugar cookie snowflakes to be exact.  Fun and pretty and they never get grey and slushy.
My favorite kind of snow!
I Hope your Christmas was white and wonderful.
And now, the New Year awaits. I always breathe a little sigh of relief when it's time for a new beginning don't you?
What does your new year hold?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas...

From our cottage to yours.

Wishing you all the merriest Christmas ever!

Love   ♥Kathy

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Be the Light

What are we to do with this season of darkness?
The only thing we can do, be the light for a weary world.
Be the one who restores faith in humanity (and God) to someone who has lost that faith.
Help the hurting people that you know, and some that you don't.
Give more. Of yourself, your resources, your time.
Hold a hand, wipe a tear, listen.
Pray, pray, pray.
What if we each found 26 people over the next year to help or comfort?
One every two weeks, it seems doable.
Start with yourself. Turn off the news, not because you don't care, but because the media fills the air with meaningless and unproven conjecture as they rehash what little they know.
They aren't interested in truth or fact, they are interested only in selling air time.
There are no answers there, only despair.
Turn it off and pray for the families, and for the people you know who are fighting battles.
And then light the tree and think about how each of us can  make a difference.
Be the light.

Monday, December 10, 2012


I am catching my breath and the decorating has begun. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here and the sparkle and candle light in this humble little home  makes the season seem like it is really here.
I'm looking for a simplified Christmas this year. Less is more. I may even take down some of the decorations I have already put up.  This year, I'll concentrate on the baking, the shopping, (which I have not begun!!!) and the reason that we celebrate. Christ came to be our Saviour.
It's as simple as that.
Anyone else simplifying this Christmas?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

More scenes from the wedding

I have a few more photos, just released by one of our wonderful photographers who went out of their way to make beautiful memories with their cameras.  Thank you Aly!
In the charming little town of Clarkston, Michigan is an old church turned into a restaurant. I always have mixed feelings about that, but even I have to admit the food there is fabulous. It's called
 The Union and it was featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. It just happens to be one of the bride and grooms favorite restaurants. The establishment let them take photos in a stained glass alcove  and then packaged up some of their famous cupcakes for the pair:>)
 They went through town taking pictures in all kinds of charming places, one of the home decorating stores even let them get into the front window Christmas display. I can't wait to see those!
Aren't they adorable? They came over last night and took us to dinner and then we stayed up into the wee hours talking before they headed off into the night bound for for their new home.
In another state.
I'm trying not to think about how far away they are, but we just put a new travel line in the budget, so I know we will see each other as much as we can.
Still, I'll miss her, and him.  
More to come....

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Here comes the Bride

So my little girl married her military man last night. It was a whirlwind and I am so glad we had a photographer because this mother-of-the bride left the reception realizing her camera had been pretty much abandoned in the joy and hubub of celebrating.
 I was aware enough to grab a few pics of the bride getting ready.  She wore an antique pearl and rhinestone necklace and a vintage brooch that I have had for years and always dreamed of the right opportunity for one of us to wear it. I though it was perfect for her wrap.
As they had their photos taken in our little town a small boy mistook her for a princess.
Can you blame him?

 Her sister was Maid of Honor, her cousin wasn't able to make it in from New York to be in the wedding this time, much to our sorrow, but we know she was thinking of us as we were thinking of her.
 These two are a pair and have always been so close.
I know they will stay close even though miles will separate them.  Whew, it all goes by so quickly! I'll admit to being a little frazzled, but we had so much help from wonderful friends and loved ones and I am so grateful because I really couldn't have pulled it off without them. 
It was a small, intimate wedding with our closest friends and relatives. People we love so much, and it made for a beautiful celebration.
Today we try to dig out from the decorations, and gifts and spend a little more time with our daughter and her new husband. (I have a son!)
I don't want to bore you, but there is more to come as soon as I get some photos.
Oh it was beautiful, and yes, I cried.  But I'm so happy for my girl:>)

Friday, November 23, 2012

The countdown begins...

I trust your Thanksgiving was full of love and gratitude and Turkey with all the fixins:>)
Ours was simple and sweet. Bright sunshine and temps hovering near 60, ten of us around the table and all aware that things are changing. We are counting the days now, Lauren is slated to be wed next Saturday at our little church and the countdown is on. After this year we can only hope that she and her sweetheart will be able to make it home for the holidays. A little bittersweet to think of, but we have high hopes that we will be able to adjust and make it happen as often as possible!
She and her father woke up in the wee hours so he could teach her the finer points of stuffing and roasting the turkey.  There were a few calls for pointers from her fiance who was in Pennsylvania making the turkey for his dad.  He's a sweetie, and from the photos he sent her of their feast, he did a fine job with the cooking! A man who cooks is a treasure ♥
So here we go, the whirlwind pre-wedding week begins again, and it means I won't be checking in until the dust clears.
 But then I'll have photos of the wedding:>)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Did you know that October was Pastor Appreciation Month?  Yes, I should have made that point at the beginning of the month. I did manage to drop off some fresh bread (recipe here)to our pastors yesterday and we made them each a pie a few weeks before that with heartfelt words of love and appreciation.
Home made pie is our pastors love language.
Of course, there is no law that says appreciation can only be shown in October. In fact, sometimes expressing appreciation is best done through a tug on your heart or spur of the moment unexpectedly.  You might even go beyond the Pastor and just let someone dear know they are loved and appreciated any old time. A loaf of bread or dozen cookies and a short visit could mean the world to a lonely senior citizen. A fun package or letter would brighten the day of a friend or relative.
An inexpensive anonymous gift card for someone you admire but don't know well will leave you with a warm feeling.
So lets make November an unofficial appreciation month.
Who can you bless in the next four weeks?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A little more trick than treat

Trick or Treat came a little early this year
 This little bandit decided to help himself to the feast on the front porch
 I immediately thought of Jane and her declaration this year that she was not going to put out pumpkins because the squirrels always just eat them. I thought how funny that was since I had never had the wicked little things bother my pumpkins.
Hey Jane, I think I have your squirrel;>)
 You have to admit his costume is cute.
I had to carefully open the door and sit on the floor to get these photos. The meal was so good he barely blinked an eye. Bold AND wicked!
*sigh* guess I'll clean up the mess later.  I'm such a pushover for little critters.
Everyone has to eat right?
It's a cold and blustery day, I'm baking bread and I will be boxing up household stuff to move out of rooms for the flooring installation next week. Yay! It's a good time to practice a little tough love in this house.  I don't need all this stuff. And most of it was thrifted anyway, so no big deal to replace it with some fresh decorating over the next few months. I'm anxious for a cleaner look in this little house anyway, so out it all goes!
What kind of projects are you working on?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

World on Fire

I suppose the last thing you need to see is photos of more fall leaves. Forgive me I couldn't help myself. Yesterday I came home to a fall day in the high 70's. I had to go outside. I decided mowing the lawn for the last time this year was the best way to enjoy this rare late October sunshine, but I kept seeing the sun shining through the leaves and I had to hop off and get some photos.
Some random catch up while we peruse these last fleeting days of sun and color, (tomorrow it dips into the 50's and next week  temps in the 40's  are in the forecast!)
I have been busy packing up the house, doing some fall cleaning. We have new wood floors on the way and I am taking a look at things and deciding it's time to get rid of some of the old to make room for some new. Numerous trips to Salvation Army have been made and I have not allowed myself to go inside. Much.
 The Mums by the back door beckoned me to photograph their smiling faces, how could I say no?
 Lauren's beau is almost done with training and we are planning another wedding. Winter this time instead of fall, indoors instead of outdoors. I'm not one of those people who believe you can "jinx" something by talking about it, but you won't hear more about it until I can show you wedding photos:>)
 Earl and I have discovered the Polly Ann trail near our house, an old rail bed turned into a multi mile bike and walking path. Glorious! it is our new favorite place to be on sunny fall days. Surrounded on both sides by lush, mature trees, we are cut off from the rest of the world. It is like walking for miles in mature woods with swamps and lakes and wildflowers, and the spicy smell of autumn all around us. We're biking it tonight. And that's where I've been. I have big plans for this little blog, but it will be slow going and I'm not going to fret about it.
I hope you are enjoying these last days of Autumn. Maybe it lasts longer where you are? When do your trees lose their glory?

Monday, October 8, 2012

The end of the affair...

There is no photo with this post. It is too sad. The garden...sob...murdered in its sleep last night.
The zinnias brown, the few tomatoes left on the vine just sad sacks of juice.
I can't even speak about the basil.
 It was that villian Autumn. All dressed up to distract me from his real intentions.  
Oh sure, he's good looking but he has a heart of pure ice.
I'll string him along for a few more weeks, make him think I care.
But I can see right now we never had a future.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Falling in Love

Every year at the end of summer, while it seems everyone else is anticipating Autumn, I get a little cranky. Sometimes I'm guilty of looking at the glass half empty. You may be surprised by that. What's not to love about Autumn?  Well, in my mind I skip right past the beauty of Fall and start thinking about shorter days, and cold and snow and slush. Winter in Michigan seems to last a full six months. I love the holidays, but January through March?
So I stew, and I mourn the loss of long days of sunshine and I get a little cross.
 And then I drive down a country road through a stained glass arch of trees
 Past misty fields of gold and russet
 I see whole fields of wild purple asters
 And wild sweet peas growing beside beautiful bike paths
 I see scarlet vines (that I don't dare touch! Could it be poison ivy?)
And the Sweet Autumn Clematis froths over the chippy pergola by the back door.
And I push my thoughts of winter to the back of my mind (why give it one more day than I have to?)
And I fall in love with Autumn.

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Weekend in the Country, Happy October!

For the first time in nearly a year, I actually had a Saturday and Sunday off with the chance to do  whatever I wanted to. Heaven. Pure Heaven.
Earl and I got up bright and early and headed to Panera for coffee, our go-to face time most weeks, and we love it. Then off to the farmers market. Once again, the first time (and last time) all summer that I have been able to go. I usually work early morning shifts on Saturdays at my job so I'm not out until the market is closed. We have the greatest Farmers Market around.
We ended up with a big mum for $5, some beets, fresh corn (for chowder!) and a big old fat pumpkin for the front porch.
 This red and white vegetable is a radish!
 We got fat, sunset colored peppers to roast for 50 cents each
 Earl is going back next weekend for a bunch of baby pumpkins for a fall party:>)
 I wanted the whole basket of these gourds.
 The freshest beans, but we filled the fridge with other goodies this time, maybe next week he can pick up a few of these
 My sweetie always buys my flowers at the market..$5 a bunch and I filled two large vases!
 I think eggplant is so beautiful, why don't they taste better?
I love the warty, odd, unusual pumpkins the best, why didn't I get one of these?
And then we went to A Weekend in the Country at the local fairgrounds.
It was billed as a
"Shopping Festival". Can I just say we found that absolutely hilarious? A shopping Festival?
Ok, well it was fun, and we managed to walk away with only some artisan cheese, glazed pecans and cashew snack packs and lunch from the traveling lunch trucks. Because you gotta eat some truck food at the shopping festival don't you?
 Cute stuff galore, I want this wire basket
And these bags are adorable.
And I have some little cardboard houses somewhere in my craft supplies that I must dig out and paint and glitter the heck out of before Christmas.
So it was perfection in a weekend. We came home and made corn chowder with our farm market haul and I made another apple cake to celebrate. And how was your weekend?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Salmon on a plank

I think one of the best things about Fall is the chance to really start cooking again. I love a hot meal and when it's 90 degrees out we tend to live on salad and cool dishes.
A couple weeks ago Victoria and I were in the grocery store and she noticed cedar grilling planks on clearance for less than $2. She recognized them as something that her dad would love to try using on the grill so we picked up a set.
My Grillmeister whipped up a marinade of fresh grated ginger, honey,brown mustard and toasted sesame seeds, and slathered some fresh salmon with the mixture before putting it on the plank to grill. It was fantastic! The cedar (which was soaked in water before grilling) added a wonderful sweet flavor to the meat and the steam from the wood left the salmon moist and tender.  You could just as easily get some boards at Home Depot and use them this way. Try hickory, cedar, or cherry.
Served with a salad and fresh roasted veggies it was a Sunday meal that left everyone with a smile on their face:>)
Have you ever grilled with wood planks?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Apple Cake , Sunflowers and stuff

Sit down, grab a cup of tea. Would you like some cake? Fresh apple cake right out of the oven, because I've been low carbing it but sometimes a girl has just. got. to. bake.
The recipe is here
 I guess you're all wondering about the wedding, and the dress. Well, here's the thing. Fiance is in the Air Force and he got sent to training. Five days before the wedding.
I know.
After rushing to get everything in order and the building excitement as the big day approached, Earl likened the situation to using a tree to stop a car instead of the brakes. I am pretty close to having the dress done, but at the moment I have put it away til I can catch my breath. The daughter is doing well and very understanding, it will serve her well as a military wife some day.
We will start over when he knows when training will be finished and we can set another date. The good news (for me) is that I get to have her around for a few more months.
Contemplate the beauty of these farmers market sunflowers while you have another piece of cake.
Onward and upward.

Monday, September 3, 2012

And the winner is.....

I'm working on my dress for the wedding today, and just remembered someone is waiting with bated breath to find out who will be going to the Country Living Fair this month.  Only 16 entries and the random number generator chose #16 so the winner is.....
Suzie Q!
Send me your snail mail address Suzie and I'll pop the tickets in the mail tomorrow:>) Hope everyone is having a fabulous Labor day! I may not poke my head up til after the wedding Sunday. So much to do and so very little time!
No worries if you didn't win this giveaway, I've got a sweet one in the works for later in September that you won't want to miss:>)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Crazy? Well yes, yes I am...

This is my dress for Lauren's wedding. I took this photo just moments ago and I'm working up the nerve to cut into the fabric. Does anyone else have that problem? Making that first cut always gives me the heebie jeebies. But back to my insanity. The wedding is in two weeks. Twelve days to be exact. Twelve days and the clock is ticking and I have been busy with arrangements and orders (and yes, I am still working full time) and somehow my dress  has not materialized.  I've looked in the stores and come up with nothing, and online but with this little time I worry the fit won't be right and I don't see anything I love that doesn't cost a fortune, and then I will be 4 days from the wedding and having nightmares of wearing nothing but a slip as my daughter walks down the aisle. Besides, if you know me at all you know how cheap frugal I am and that paying hundreds of dollars for a dress I will wear for a few hours just isn't in me.and why do dresses for people my age look like old lady dresses or bags? So I have this dress in my head that needs to get out and all I can do is hope that when it does get out of my head and onto the sewing machine it looks as good on me as it does in my head. But really, how often does that happen? Really.
 So I'm ready to get out there and cut into this. I'm thinking the collar, full skirt and longer sleeves, tea lengthish, because I need the added hassle of altering the pattern.
In the end I'm not sure if I'll be wearing this, or a white jacket that ties in the back.
Pray for me.
 Did I mention I'm making her veil too? Yeah......