Sunday, May 22, 2016


My closing on Friday was one of the smoothest ever. This is a quick view of the back of the house taken at the walk-thru. The other side is a u-shape around a courtyard. The earliest part of the house is pre-revolutionary. My buyers are happy and so am I. I have been playing catchup at my own house. I worked outside yesterday the whole day long trying to beat the rain and I did. A tire came off the hub on my riding mower and luckily the repair shop got one overnight and put it on while I waited on Saturday morning. There was one section of my back property on a slope that had not been mowed even once this year. The grass was really high but my Snapper handled it very nicely. I am always afraid I will tip over if I mow it sideways so I only mow downhill which takes much longer. Now I am back on track except for vacuuming inside which is on my short list.
Have a great Sunday and I'll see you later. xo

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Seldom Seen Corner in My Living Room

My friend who is moving gave me a Blu-ray DVD player and I'm over the moon. Now I can watch discs from the library in my living room. I checked out House of Cards, UK edition but did not like it at all. It seemed too dated for me. I got the "real" Netflix version and am loving it. So far, I have watched Seasons 1 and 2.  Season 3 is on reserve and I should get it this week. I know I could subscribe to Netflix but as long as I can keep getting DVDs from the library, I'm ok with that. I am catching up on some movies I haven't seen too. I watched CHEF last week and loved it. 
I have a real estate closing Friday (hopefully) on my difficult transaction. Fingers crossed. See you later. xo

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

New Toolbox for My Gardening Tools

I pulled this cool aluminum box from a friend's dumpster. The men cleaning out her barns figured nobody would want it. Wrong! I made them put it in the back of my SUV.  It had some rust on the side handles and the steel piano hinge. No problem since I am the queen of cleaning and polishing.

I had this wooden base on casters in my attic. It was from my previous house and a previous life. Perfect fit too.

Here's an interior shot of the beginning stages of garden tool storage. Now I have all the things I need for my front garden right inside the front door. So handy. So happy.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Cool Sunday at My Cottage

Freshly picked lilies of the valley. It's amazing how two stems can fill the room with their intoxicating fragrance. This year my patch has finally started to multiply. So happy! I got this old hotel silver fish platter a long time ago at a church rummage sale. Isn't it fabulous?

Here's the desk area in my pantry. I had fun organizing it recently.

Another view of the pantry with the dutch door closed. This was the only spot in the house where my tall case clock would fit. My ceilings were too low in my living room. I actually love it in this spot and it 's the first thing that greets me each time I come home.

Enjoy your Sunday. It's very cool and the sky is full of clouds. Perfect weather for my afternoon real estate showing. My difficult transaction will be closing on Friday with any luck. Fingers crossed. It has been consuming me of late, so much so, I haven't been blogging each day as I normally do. I hope to get back on track and will try my best. xo

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Nicely Landscaped Path and Entrance

I love this broken stone pathway with grass growing in between. I want to follow it and go in the French doors but there's a strawberry planter in the way. via

Monday, May 9, 2016

Wonderful Terrace and Pergola

These homeowners must be really excited about moving outside to enjoy their new living space designed by Crisp Architects. See more views of this country lane renovation here.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

THE PRESENT ~ A Delightful Short Film

The Present from Jacob Frey on Vimeo.
I saw this on CBS Sunday Morning just now and loved it. Hope you do too. If you cannot see the video above, click here. It's very heartwarming!  Enjoy.

Happy Mother's Day

Nobody loves you like your mother! It's true. I was lucky to have mine for 70 years and I miss her every day. Give yours a kiss from me and enjoy your happy day. We still have rain but the sun is coming out around lunch time, just in time for outdoor celebrations. xo

Friday, May 6, 2016

Happy Friday Says The Lamb

Isn't he adorable? I love the curly fleece and that happy face. It's raining quite hard here at my cottage but I don't care. It's very chilly too, brrrr. Anyway, Happy Friday. xo via

Thursday, May 5, 2016

My Living Room -- Back View + Balcony

I finally have a good photo with the green checked sofa, the French doors and my tiger maple corner cupboard. One of the days, you will have seen it all.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

New House in London, Looks Old

New red brick country house with deliberate haphazard extensions and appearance. Des Ewing Residential Architects, London, UK. This is very impressive, isn't it? Doesn't look at all like a new house! via

Monday, May 2, 2016

Pansies in an Antique Planter

I had just moved this antique sewer tile planter from my back yard to the front when a friend stopped by with a small flat of pansies for me. Talk about perfect timing! Most of my gardening efforts lately have been devoted to hacking down multiflora, the most invasive, evil, non-native species ever. I go out with my boots, gloves, clippers and thick clothing for an hour or two after supper nightly. It's always something, isn't it? Have a great week. xo

Saturday, April 30, 2016

My Cottage LR with Fireplace

Here is a view showing my fireplace. Hope I'm not boring you. Have a great weekend.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Wide Angle View of My Living Room

I got a new toy today, a clip-on wide angle lens. The main room of my cottage is the entire width of the house. The window in this view look out on the front yard. Behind the green checked sofa, there are two French doors leading out to the balcony and the rear of the property. You can't see my fireplace in this photo but you can see the side bricks. 

John Lennon said, "Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted time." That makes me feel better because I wasted a lot of time playing around with different lenses clipped over my iPhone camera.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

My Cottage Bluebirds

I put these photos on Instagram yesterday. My bluebirds were extremely cooperative and posed nicely for me many times during the day. They never fail to thrill me either. Isn't that blue wonderful? See you later! xo

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

House Tour in Buckhead: Atlanta GA

Every house tells a story, and when a major renovation is part of the narrative, the tale can sometimes take a few dark twists and turns. Fortunately that proved to be anything but the case for a 1930s-era, Georgian-style beauty in Buckhead that underwent a yearlong makeover in the hands of architect William B. Litchfield and designer Jackye Lanham.
Article and 17-photo slideshow here. So nice!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Hammered Metal Kitchen Cabinets

Jean-Louis Deniot claims that he is always trying to achieve something magical. (Architectural Digest) This is quite evident in his interiors. A kitchen with hammered metal cabinets is a truly stylish and unexpected feature. Creating stylish interiors with layer upon layer of refinement and unique décor are Deniot’s trademark.
See more of his work here. Great portfolio!
Well, these cabinets certainly make a statement, don't they?

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Tulips on Park Ave NYC

Some interesting facts about these yearly tulips:
This Spring the tulips are a sunny, yellow Darwin Hybrid called Golden Oxford – among the most weather resistant of all garden tulips with large flower heads and strong stems.
After the Tulips have finished, the Park Avenue Fund hosts a “Park Avenue Tulip Dig” – a longstanding tradition that allows members of the community to dig up the spent bulbs for future use in their own gardens.
How nice! via New York Social Diary

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Mosaic Tile Floor with Birds

This is spectacular, isn't it? Wish I could see the whole thing. What a work of art! Hope you are having a great weekend. Most but not all of my trees are budding and the spring green is beautiful. I cleaned my deck yesterday and it looks almost brand new. I forced all of the dirt from between the joints with a screw driver and blew it away with my power leaf blower. Then I squirted with the jet selection of my hose sprayer and wet everything down. Then I mopped it with a foaming oxy-deck cleaner and scrubbed it with a stiff broom. It was fun playing in the water and the end result is very satisfying. I didn't clean it at all last year and it really needed it. That and hacking away at overgrown multiflora were my two accomplishments yesterday. Today I've just been enjoying the weather and not much else. xo

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Queen with her Grands

Taken by renowned American photographer Annie Leibovitz at Windsor Castle last month, these remarkable pictures have been released to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday today. This photo shows Her Majesty surrounded by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Another photo on The Daily Mail identifies the children. Read all about the 90th Birthday of our favorite Queen here and view more photos too. Doesn't she look great? Love her.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Exceptional Kitchen

This kitchen is gorgeous!
I have looked and looked and wouldn't change a thing.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Miniature Basket of Vegetables

Look at the push pin beside the small silver basket for scale. The handmade ceramic vegetables are very realistic. This is one of my favorite finds recently snagged at an estate sale. Don't you love it?

I am off to mow the front yard before it gets too hot. It is supposed to reach 81° today. The sun is still in the back so I think I will be okay. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

DIY Versailles Case (Planter Box)

I photographed the first four images from one of my gardening books on container gardening.
Have you ever lusted over a Versailles box? I certainly have. This is a poor man's DIY version that I like a lot.

These photos are full size versions. Click to enlarge so you can read the text easily.

Directions are very simple and easy to understand. Measuring and cutting the wood is the only hard part.

Make one yourself or hire someone to make several. The assembly is simple once you cut all the pieces. Might as well make a large grouping, right?

Want a real one? Get out your checkbook and buy one on this website. Have a great Sunday. xo

Friday, April 15, 2016

Wonderful Antiques

Not my photo, but it could be. It has all of my favorite things in it. My newly polished sterling silver trophies are lined up on my mantle. Photo found here.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Construction Projects Nearby

This lovely barn/garage/loft/shed is somewhat new construction built on an old stone foundation.

A recent house fire destroyed a beautiful 18th century home and it is being torn down. Owners who weren't home at the time will rebuild. A neighbor told me flames were shooting up from the basement. I'm wondering if it was started by a dryer fire? 

New construction replacing an 18th century house in horrible condition that could not be saved.

All three of these photos are on the same street with only a few homes in between. Photographed from my car yesterday on my way home from a haircut.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

My Metal Polishing Products and Secrets

This post is on the fly this morning. Running late for an office meeting.
Yesterday I polished this antique copper coal scuttle. Last time it was polished during my stewardship? Never! I left the inside unpolished. I use this for storing old magazines. It's really a fireplace item but I don't have room for it there.

I polished all of my brass candlesticks and trivets. First I spray down the item with Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day multi-surface. Then I dip my dampened cleaning rag or sponge into some Bar Keepers Friend cleanser which I have in a shallow bowl. The rest is magic. The spray loosens the tarnish and the cleanser dissolves it before your very eyes. Wipe and buff. For really old tarnish keep spraying and dipping and rubbing. No need to wipe it all off until you are finished with the entire item. 

For horizontal surfaces like switch plates you will have to soak your rag in the liquid (just the part wrapped around your finger) and wipe over the tarnish first. Then do the second step. I used a Q-tip when I was polishing an engraved brass plate on the top of a cellarette without ruining the wood.

Just experiment. You will be amazed. Handle the powder with care. It's powerful stuff and is probably quite dangerous. But it's been around since 1882 and hasn't been recalled yet. I don't plan on using it every day so I don't think it will kill me before I'm finished. 

I got this "Radish" Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day spray at TJMaxx because this "scent" has been discontinued. I'm sure almost any multi-surface spray will work; this is just what I had on hand. I polished all of my silver trophies using this method and nothing got scratched. You can probably make a paste using these two products as well to "dissolve" the powder if you are afraid of scratching. All of my things are antiques and have already been around the block so I wasn't worried.

Good luck. I think I have hunted down almost everything tarnished in my cottage except for my copper pots and my antique andirons. I will tackle them soon. I spread a small tarp on my kitchen table to do the coal scuttle. For the smaller items, I used a folded turkish towel on my kitchen counter near the sink and rinsed under running water before drying and buffing, Just play around and see what works for you. You can also "rinse" small items in a dishpan full of water and keep using it for that purpose. You can soak heavily tarnished brass candlesticks overnight in this solution for really easy cleaning the next day.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Polishing Frenzy at My Cottage

If you are silver
if you are brass, 
I will find you!

Once I get started on a big project, I can't stop. I have polished almost everything in my cottage that is in plain sight except for the andirons and they scare me. I want to wait until the weather is mild enough for me to do them outside. My fender looks fabulous and so do the fireplace tools. So happy. xo

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Prettiest Kitchen Garden Ever

I posted a couple of photos on my Instagram feed yesterday and found this beautiful fenced garden while enjoying the photos of others. Isn't this the best kitchen garden ever? It's the perfect size in the perfect setting.
Thanks, Wendy-Louise @wlk235louise

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Classic "Model T Ford Tin Lizzie"

I spotted this classic car outside the bank near my office recently. The proud owner takes it out quite frequently for an airing on nice days. 

This one is a beauty and has been lovingly restored. It's hard to believe 15 million Model T Fords were assembled and so few survived. Read the history here. Have a nice weekend. We have April showers in my area today. xo

Friday, April 8, 2016

Back to Work

Click here for a high resolution version of the wonderful photograph. This dog seems to have this flock under control, doesn't he? Have a great weekend. xo