Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Are you ready for the big day tomorrow? I'm pretty tuckered out from shoveling the heavy wet snow so I wouldn't have to do it tomorrow after it freezes overnight. I've certainly gotten my share of exercise in the form of hard work this week. Enjoy your day with family and friends tomorrow and eat as much as you can. xo via

Pink Tea Cup: Sweet Potato Pie Recipe

Liz Smith featured this recipe in the New York Social Diary:

2 lbs. yams
½ cup of butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs, separated
½ cup orange juice
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
½ cup of evaporated milk

Peel and boil yams until mashable. Add butter, spices, salt, sugar to hot yams. Beat until light and smooth.
Beat egg yolks until light and add to mixture.
Stir in orange juice, orange rind and milk. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold in.
Pour mixture into unbaked pie shell. Preheat oven to 350 and bake 35 minutes or until the pie puffs up and is firm in the middle. Cool on a rack.

Add whipped cream. Dig in Pilgrims!
Sounds good, doesn't it? Yum.

It's Snowing As Predicted

We don't have ice yet because it's too warm. Yes, you can have snow even if it's 36° and I'm not at all happy about it for all the travelers going home for Thanksgiving. Mother Nature is showing her bad side once again. Be careful if you have to go out. See you later. xo cardinal on icy branch

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Clouds in the Moonlight

Have a great evening. I did too much yesterday and hardly anything today.
Cloudy Study, Moonlight - 1860 by Albert Bierstadt, American Painter via

DIY Copper Shelves for Kitchen

Clever shelving made with off the shelf parts from Home Depot. This system could work in other areas of a home too. They would be great for books.

I like having the washer and dryer in the kitchen. Read more about this project here
What a difference a day makes. Overcast and getting cooler. I am going to pace myself today and see how it goes. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Transoms in a Bathroom

Two showers, side by side with overhead transoms for venting. Both have sliding barn doors. Love, love, love. via
Today was great. It was 72° and sunny after a rainy start this morning. The guys cleaned my gutters at 9:30 when the rain had just stopped. They used leaf blowers and it was somewhat messy because of the water, leaves, and the fine black sand from the roof shingles in the gutters. I have copper half rounds and it wouldn't have been so bad if the leaves were dry and crispy. I ended up hosing down my whole house after they left if you can imagine. It was actually fun. I have long hoses and good water pressure and it didn't take that long. Plus the outside of the house was still wet from the morning rain. I just couldn't stand dirty water stains on my pretty new white paint. It was a perfect day for being outside. I hosed down the balcony too and put away the furniture. I pulled the remaining thistles from a flower bed and raked leaves too. I might cut some grass tomorrow before it gets cold again on Wednesday. You have the seize the good weather days when they present themselves, don't you? I already have on my pjs and I'm ready to jump into bed. I actually had windows open all day long too. Webster is exhausted and so am I. See you tomorrow. xo

Sweet Potatoes in Muffin Tins

These look delicious and easy to make. I bought a huge box of sweet potatoes at my local supermarket and they have deep red skins. I think they are Garnets, according to this guide.
2 tablespoons organic butter, melted
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped, plus extra for garnish
Sea salt and pepper
5-6 large sweet potatoes or yams, thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 12 muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl whisk together butter, coconut oil, parmesan, chopped rosemary, salt, and pepper.
Add sweet potatoes and toss to coat evenly.
Layer potatoes slices into muffin pan and fill to the top. They will shrink down once they are cooking.
Bake for about 45-50 minutes and edges and tops are golden brown and center in tender.
Let cool for about 5 minutes and carefully remove with a spoon. Place on serving tray and top with extra parmesan cheese and fresh chopped fresh rosemary. Serve immediately.
Recipe found here.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Beautiful Sheep

Does this backlighting make us look fat? via

Shower with A View

Wow, isn't this fabulous? It's a year-round outside shower that just happens to be inside. via 
Getting my attic organized unearthed my sewing machine and today I did a little mending and button sewing. I had to replace a missing button on my trench coat but luckily there was an extra one in a hidden place. It was a very awkward job because there was a small button on the underside that you were supposed to affix at the same time you were sewing on the larger top button. At the end you were supposed to wrap the extra thread around and around before tying it off. I didn't do a very good job of the last part but it's fine and doesn't pucker or anything when I wear it. I forgot all about putting spacers like wooden toothpicks under the larger button to make room for the wrapping. How soon we forget when we don't sew every day as I used to in my youth. But it felt good giving new life to a coat I haven't worn in ages because of the missing button. It's pitch black outside and it's only a little after five o'clock. I'm off to walk Webster now. Enjoy your Sunday evening. xo

Saturday, November 22, 2014

I had a good, productive day today moving stuff around. I sometimes feel like an ant. I made several trips to the loft over the garage with lamps that need shades and shades that need lamps. Yes, I'm still working upstairs but pretty soon I shall declare my attic work space finished. It looks a little better every day. The radio station that I usually listen to when I'm not listening to NPR started playing non-stop Christmas music today through Christmas Day. Don't you think it's too early? I certainly do but I found it cheerful and nice to work to so I left it on. Have a great evening and a nice Sunday tomorrow. I just let Tabitha in and there were raindrops on the front walk. It doesn't seem as cold either. I already have on my pajamas and I'm looking forward to a little reading, maybe a movie, ending with Inspector George Gently. Sounds perfect, doesn't it? xo 

Friday, November 21, 2014

BIG Cat Basket

Tabitha found this big bed all by herself. I stashed it under the guest room bed where I have a desk and laptop at the foot of this antique rope bed. I lifted up the spread to take her picture. It's nice and dark down there but I think I should plug in my laptop somewhere else so it doesn't hang in mid-air like this. There is a radiator nearby and she seems warm and quite content. Maybe this will be her daytime bed and she'll continue to sleep at night in her small cat basket on top of my bed. 

Best Window Ledge Ever

Who needs a window box when you can have a ledge like this? I have finally tamed all the geraniums I am wintering over in the house. Now they can settle down and enjoy indoor life while the overgrowth can start putting out roots in a pitcher of water. It's frightfully cold outside this morning but we have cloudless blue skies and a little wind. I hired someone to clean my gutters next week which promises to be warmer. It's supposed to be 66° on Monday. I have such sympathy for the people of Buffalo with 7 feet of new snow thanks to the lake effect and a polar vortex. It is difficult to comprehend as I type this post in my cozy cottage with a cat under the bed and a dog sunning himself on a rug. Tabitha discovered the wicker dog bed I bought Webster at the firehouse auction and junk sale this past summer. He has shunned it and she has claimed it as an alternate to the basket on my bed. She's so smart! See you later. xo
photo source

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Best Walk Ever!

Oh, how much do I love this handmade Plain Pebble Walk by Maggy Howarth. Her website will blow you away! 

A Perfect Kitchen

I love everything about this beautiful kitchen. I wouldn't change one single thing! via

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I Made Soup Today

I made a big pot of soup today and it was so good. Split pea is one of my favorites but I didn't have any dried split peas so I improvised. First I chopped 1 large onion and one small one and sautéed them in a little olive oil. Then I added a large bag of frozen peas and what was left of some french green beans and added 4 cups of water. Then I peeled and chopped a russet potato and a sweet potato. Then I chopped three ribs of celery and a super large carrot. I added more water until it looked about right. I brought everything to a boil and then simmered the pot for about an hour. Then I buzzed the contents with my immersion blender until it looked like classic split pea soup. I didn't add any bouillon or ham hock or any seasoning at all. When I ate my big bowl for supper tonight I added some Bragg's Liquid Aminos and it was absolutely perfect and delicious. It warmed me inside and out. Webster had a ladle full on his kibble and he was so happy. He loves a good hot meal too. Have a great evening. xo image source
The morning sun on my bathroom door and towels was quite nice this morning.

Today looks like an excellent day to get my gutters cleaned. I hope I can find someone. Wish me luck. xo

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I Love This Ad for L.L.Bean

I have those boots too. via

Farmhouse Apple Cake baked in Iron Skillet

Apples really shine in this traditional Italian farmhouse cake, where thin slices of the fruit are held together with just-melted butter, a couple of eggs, and a scant amount of flour. Top with crunchy turbinado sugar and bake it in a cast-iron skillet. It’s easy enough for a weeknight treat and impressive enough to join the classics on your Thanksgiving buffet. And it’s just the thing for keeping the doctor away.
Farmhouse Apple Cake

Serves 8


5 Golden Delicious apples
2 large eggs
8 ounces sugar
2 ounces flour
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
4 ounces buttermilk
3 ½ ounces unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a 10-inch cast-iron skillet.

Peel, core, and quarter the apples, then slice into very thin slivers using a sharp knife or a food processor with a slicing blade. After this is done, pop the skillet into the oven to preheat.

With a wire whisk, beat the eggs and sugar in a very large bowl until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the flour and cardamom, then add the buttermilk, butter, and vanilla. Blend thoroughly. Quickly stir in the baking powder, then fold in the apples.

Pour the mixture into the preheated skillet and sprinkle turbinado sugar over the top. Bake on the center rack until the cake is golden brown and cooked through, about 55 minutes. The cake is done when a small paring knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack and serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe found HERE. I think it's a keeper, don't you? Use your favorite apple variety. Right now I have Gala and Stayman Winesap in my crisper. Happy baking. I love that this is baked in an iron skillet. 

Vintage Post Office Boxes

My post office still has boxes like this. I love spinning my combination each time I have mail in mine. via

Monday, November 17, 2014

Long Live The Queen

The Queen's image, over time, on Bank Notes. She's aging quite well, isn't she? via

Long Woolen Socks

I'm wearing similar socks in winter white right now. I wore them under my wellies yesterday for my open house and my feet stayed nice and warm. I have unearthed all of my gloves, mittens, hats and scarves too. I'm all set for whatever weather Mother Nature throws my way. Today we have rain. The animals have both been fed, walked and dried off and they are down for their morning naps. I didn't go out with them either. I'll do that later. Happy Monday. xo

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Yesterday's Guest

Webster and I had an all-day visitor yesterday. Henry enjoyed it as did the Wonder Dog. Our guest went home late in the night and Tabitha was happy, once again. She sleeps with one eye open when he's around. I'm trying to gear up for an open house at my listing today and I must confess I'm not looking forward to it because the house has no heat. I showed it yesterday and almost froze in 45 minutes. Today I'll dress like an Eskimo and close up early when I can no longer feel my feet. It's not worth getting sick, is it? I'm sure the viewing public will understand. I am going armed with a sign to post when I close up. Wish me luck. xo

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Vintage Bathroom - Still Very Stylish

Bathrooms like this never go out of style, do they? 'Vintage apothecary bath.' Tracey Stephens Interior Design, Montclair, NJ via

Friday, November 14, 2014

A Phrenology Head to Love

I love Phrenology Heads and the human mind. This is a good one. Have a great weekend. xo via

Landscape Design for the Ages

Could anything be lovelier? I think not. via We got a dusting of snow overnight but we have bright sun this morning to melt it quickly. See you later. xo

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Kitchen to Like

I could work in this kitchen very nicely. Could you? via

Before and After Real Estate Photos

BEFORE -- Archival Photo of my new listing.

AFTER -- Taken back to the original structure. 

Great Recessed Cabinets for Serving Pieces

This is wonderful, isn't it. Everything organized and in plain sight. Sigh. via