Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Spring Days

We have been enjoying perfect spring days.  Our days have been warm, sunny and a pretty blue sky.  We have enjoyed refreshing spring rains.  We have been puttering in our yard and our garden.  Such sweet pleasures and simple blessings.

Our days ahead look as if we may be in for some chilly days with rain.  It looks like we may be enjoying inside days where it is warm and cosy.  I do like those kind of days now and then as well.

♥ Spring Sweet Spring ♥

Gardening God's Way

Plant three rows of peas:
Peas of mind
Peas of heart
Peas of soul

Plant four rows of squash:
Squash gossip
Squash indifference
Squash grumbling
Squash selfishness

Plant four rows of lettuce:
Lettuce be faithful
Lettuce be kind
Lettuce be patient
Lettuce really love one another

No garden should be without turnips:
Turnip for meetings
Turnip for service
Turnip to help one another

Water freely with patience and cultivate with love.  There is much fruit in your garden because you reap what you sow.

To conclude our garden, we must have thyme:
Thyme for God
Thyme for Study
Thyme for Prayer
~ Author Unknown ~

This is a good way to tend to our garden ... inside and outside.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Simple Saturday

This is a quiet and peaceful place that we love to visit during the spring time.

~ ♥ ~ God's Beauty Abounds ~ ♥ ~

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Hearts Garden

With this being spring, it is time to plan, prepare, plant and harvest in our little kitchen garden and around our yard.

I keep a Home Journal and have for many, many years.  I keep poems, sayings and quotes that I have found throughout the years.  I love to browse through them from time to time and thought that you all might enjoy this one as well.  I found it to be heartwarming.

Hearts Garden
by Katherine Merrill

My heart is a garden where thought flowers grow.
The thoughts that I think are the seeds that I sow.
Every kind loving thought bears a kind loving deed,
And a thought that is selfish is just like a weed.

So I must watch what I think each minute, each day,
Pull out the weed thoughts and throw them away,
And plant loving seed thoughts so thick in a row,
There will not be room for weed thoughts to grow.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Simple Saturday

Easter Blessings From Our Little Cottage To Yours

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Small Space Gardens

A small kitchen garden, a small raised bed garden, patio containers, assorted planters and pots are all good ways to enjoy small space gardening.

We have a double washtub that we use for a small herb garden on one side and the other side for a salad garden.  It is just as pretty as a pot of flowers.  We love our rain barrel.  It is on our patio near our kitchen garden and our washtubs.  It works well there.  So far with the spring rains that we have had, our rain barrel is full of harvested rain water.

We use our small kitchen garden outside our backdoor, just off of our patio for tomato plants, cucumbers, peppers, a few herbs and a few pretty flowers.

These were simple ways that we have planned, planted and harvested our little kitchen garden in past years.  This year will be much the same.

It is nice to keep our garden plans simple as we enjoy fresh produce, fresh herbs and pretty flowers without spending all of our time in our yard and garden.

We also have a small raised bed that sits along the fence in our backyard, close by our garden shed and our compost bin.  This little space has our windmill and an old fashioned hand water pump to add a little country charm.  Plans are being made as to what we want to plant in that little garden bed.

We also have a rustic homemade wooden planter in our front yard that our son made.  We too are working on plans as to what we want to plant in there.  We have our birdbath close to this flower bed.  We plan to use this flower garden to bring in song birds and hummingbirds.

We like to spend time on our front porch or our patio.  We enjoy fresh from our garden foods to put on our kitchen table.  We also like to pick a pretty bouquet of fresh flowers to pretty up our kitchen table or to put on our front porch table.

Such sweet pleasures and simple blessings.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Simple Saturday

Keepin' it Simple

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Clothesline

A clothesline was a news forecast
To neighbors passing by,
There were no secrets you could keep
When clothes were hung to dry.

It also was a friendly link
For neighbors always knew
If company had stopped by
To spend a night or two.

For then you'd see the "fancy" sheets
And towels upon the line;
You'd see the "company tablecloths"
With intricate designs.

The line announced a baby's birth
From folks who lived inside,
As brand new infant clothes were hung;
So carefully with pride.

The ages of the children could
So readily be known
By watching how the sizes changed
You'd know how much they'd grown.

It also told when illness struck,
As extra sheets were hung;
Then nightclothes, and a bathrobe, too,
Haphazardly were strung.

It also said, "gone on vacation now"
When lines hung limp and bare.
It told, "we're back" when full lines sagged
With not an inch to spare.

New folks in town were scorned upon
If wash was dingy and grey,
As neighbors carefully raised their brow,
And looked the other way.

But clotheslines now are of the past,
For dryers make work much less,
Now what goes on inside a home
Is anybodys guess.

I really miss that way of life.
It was a friendly sign
When neighbors knew each other best
By what hung on the line.
~ Author Unknown ~

I love using our clothesline.  I also use an inside Amish wooden drying rack when the weather is so that I cannot hang our laundry outside on the clothesline.

I am thankful for my washer and dryer.  I enjoy doing laundry whether I use my dryer, my outside clothesline or my inside Amish wooden drying rack.

I love fresh from the clothesline laundry.

It is wonderful to snuggle under fresh from the clothesline bedding for a good nights sleep.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Simple Saturday

Keepin' it Simple

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Simple Blessings ♥ Week Five

 Welcome back to Simple Blessings.  This is Week Five, the last in the series and I will be chatting a bit about old fashioned living.

This is a series that I have shared each Wednesday in March.  I have shared my thoughts on simple every day things that bring love, joy, peace and contentment to the days in our little cottage.

Many years ago I came across this saying that was very common during the Great Depression, a time when things were scarce, very hard to come by and everyone learned to be a bit more frugal, thrifty and learned how to become creative.  

These are a few thoughts of mine to share with you.

Whenever possible, we use up what we already have before buying something new.  We try not to let anything go to waste.  Before we throw something away, we make sure that it cannot be used for something else.

Instead of throwing away stained or faded items, we use them to work in or we make them into cleaning rags.  We find if we buy quality goods that they will wear better and longer.  We make sure that we get the full use out of those things that we have.  Taking care of what we have will make our goods last much longer.  Getting the most for our dollar does not mean paying the lowest price.

We fix it rather than toss it.  We try to repair rather than replace.

 Doing without simplifies our life and certainly helps with our budget.  Being thankful for what we have helps us to do without "stuff" that we don't need.  Contentment helps us as well to not buy "stuff" just to be buying.  

I love this saying and try to follow it as we live simply in our little cottage.  We are thankful for simple living and for all of the simple blessings that simple living brings.

Thank you to each one for sharing your thoughts on my Simple Blessings series.  You all have warmed my heart.

Sweet Pleasures and Simple Blessings.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Simple Blessings ♥ Week Four

Welcome back to Simple Blessings.  This is Week Four and I will chat a bit about sight, scent, touch, sound and taste from our little cottage.

This is a series that I have been sharing each Wednesday in March.  I am sharing my thoughts on simple every day things that bring love, joy, peace and contentment to the days in our little cottage.

When I think of Simple Blessings the five senses come to mind.

seeing loved ones warms my heart
seeing the sun rise and the sun set
seeing our little cottage all neat and tidy
seeing our lawn all spruced up
seeing our little garden

from a pretty candle
from comfort food being prepared
from fresh coffee brewing in the early morning
from fresh bed linens just off of the clothesline
from fresh homemade bread from the oven

from hugs making us feel loved and cherished
from a soft throw
from a hot cup of tea on a chilly day
from a glass of iced tea on a warm day
from the feel of pages of a good book

from soft music playing
from a tea kettle singing
from the pitter patter of rain on the roof
from sweet birdsong
from our wind chimes chiming in the gentle breeze

of a homemade meal as we gather at the kitchen table
of homemade cinnamon rolls
of homemade bread and butter
of a cup of fresh brewed coffee
of fruits and vegetables fresh from our garden

These are just a few of our sweet pleasures and simple blessings.

I will be back next Wednesday to share with you from our little cottage.

Please share your thoughts on your simple blessings.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Simple Blessings ♥ Week Three

Welcome back to Simple Blessings.  This is Week Three of the series that I am sharing each Wednesday during March.  Today, I will be sharing how we make our bathroom into a quiet retreat.  It is all simple and nothing that breaks the budget, but creates contentment.  I like a pretty bathroom.  Ours is old fashioned and shares quiet charm.  We have a window in our bathroom that looks out over our backyard.  I love having the window open during warm weather.  We have an old fashioned window shade with a soft cotton curtain with ruffles on our window and is so calming when there is a breeze and the curtain gently sways back and forth.  When we have chillier weather, we have a small heater that makes it so warm and cosy for our relaxing baths.

We love having a candle softly burning and using natural body washes and body lotions.

We also like using soft wash cloths and fluffy bath towels.  I love using a small lamp to create a quiet and relaxing atmosphere. There is just nothing that helps more than a nice warm relaxing bath to be ready to snuggle in for a good nights sleep.

Now, I might mention that these are my ideas, not my hubby's.  But, I might mention that I have not heard him complain about the small special touches that make our bathroom a quiet retreat.  So I think he appreciates his time being relaxed and taking in the sweet comforts of our bathroom as much I do.  

I will be back next Wednesday to share with you our simple blessings.

I hope that you will share your thoughts.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Simple Blessings ♥ Week Two

Welcome back to my Simple Blessings series.  This is Week Two and I want to chat a bit about keeping our bedroom uncluttered, peaceful and cosy.  I will also share a bit about our daily routine.

I love pretty bedding.  I love crisp cotton sheets and pillow cases in the spring and summer with a light cotton blanket.  In the fall and winter we love our soft flannel sheets and pillow cases.  We also love using a fleece blanket making our bed warm and cosy.  We have a down mattress topper that is so comfy.  We are pretty frugal with our spending, but we tend to budget a bit more for our bedding.  We find it to be well worth the cost.  We find that paying more for quality, for most of what we buy works out best in the long term.  

I am very fond of how the Amish live.  I love the simplicity of their homes.  Our bedroom is not that sparse of "stuff", but is neat and tidy and would be the most simple room in our home.  I love using soft colors.  We have never had a TV, computer or other type of electronics in our bedroom.  We do have a small clock radio in our bedroom.  We do set our alarm clock for Sunday mornings as we leave early for church.  During the week we try to schedule our appointments in the early afternoon.  Neither of us likes hearing the alarm clock.  It is a blessing and something that we are both thankful for with my hubby being retired.  I love getting up early, just not by an alarm.  My hubby sleeps in a bit later, giving me my quiet time early in the morning.  

As I have mentioned before, my hubby and I love our mornings at home.  We enjoy quiet time with our Bibles, our Daily Devotionals and our morning cups of coffee.

We both like a good old fashioned homemade breakfast.  It is our main meal of the day.  We usually have our breakfast around 9:00 a.m.  This gives me plenty of time to prepare a good breakfast and not have to hurry.  When we finish our breakfast, we tidy up the kitchen and begin our day.  It makes for a peaceful beginning to the day.  We have a nice dinner mid afternoon.  In the evening we enjoy our cup of coffee with a homemade treat.  We also enjoy nutritious snacks throughout our day.

Sunday is the one day that we have a light breakfast.  Since we leave early for church, we usually have granola, yogurt, fruit and nuts for our breakfast.  Dinner on Sunday's will be our big meal of the day.  On Sunday mornings my hubby does up the dishes while I make up our bed.  I do not like leaving home without having our chores finished up.  I love, love, love coming home to a neat and tidy home.

Well, I will be back next Wednesday to share a bit about how our bathroom is a quiet retreat and a peaceful setting as we end our day and get ready to snuggle in for the night.  

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Simple Blessings ♥ Week One

I will be sharing Simple Blessings each Wednesday during the month of March.  

This is the first in the series as I plan to share my thoughts on the simple everyday things that bring love, joy, peace and contentment to our days in our little cottage.

I hope that you will share some of your thoughts as well.

Our situation may be very different from yours, but I am very sure that we all want our homes to be welcoming and a safe haven for all who live within the walls and under the roof.

We are in retirement and have been empty nesters for many years.  

Holidays, birthdays and anniversaries are wonderful to celebrate, but we find that we want to celebrate each and every day in our little cottage with sweet and simple touches.

We want our little cottage to be a blessing to us each and every day.  

Three of the things that we do in our cottage each and every day are Eat ... Sleep ... Bathe.  These are three of the areas that I love to make warm and welcoming for my hubby and for myself.  I love a calm and peaceful setting for each of these happenings.

This week, being Week One, I will share about our little old fashioned kitchen and how we enjoy cosy meals there.

Our home is very small.  We enjoy all of our meals at our kitchen table.  I like to keep our kitchen table free of clutter.  I like having an old fashioned table linen in the center of our kitchen table.  We have either an antique oil lamp in the center, an heirloom from several generations back on Bill's side of the family, a pretty candle lit or fresh flowers if we have them.  We prefer a simple look.  I like to use placemats and set a pretty table for each of our meals.  With having an eat in kitchen, I try to keep the dishes washed up and put away as I cook to keep my counter space tidy.  It also makes it much easier to clean up after meals.  We do all of our dishes by hand.  Most of the time I wash and my hubby dries.  We have never even thought of having a dish washer.

I do like to add seasonal touches to the center of our kitchen table, keeping it simple.  Our kitchen table is used for many chores.  I love to sit at our kitchen table as I plan our meals, going through my favorite cookbooks, with my grocery list at hand and of course a nice cup of fresh brewed coffee.  My hubby makes the coffee in our home.  I do the cooking and the baking.  I usually set the table and he clears the table.  My kitchen table holds my sewing machine when I am working on little projects.  We do puzzles on our kitchen table.  My hubby made me a puzzle board, so it is easy to store it away when need be.  I wrap gifts on our kitchen table, pay bills, write letters and do so much more.  Our kitchen table is always cleared off for our meals though.  

Our kitchen is the heart of our home and our kitchen table is the heart of our kitchen.

I will be back next Wednesday with Week Two of the Simple Blessings series.

I hope that you will join me and share your thoughts as well.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Quiet Time

Finding quiet time in my day is so important to me.

I find it is best to have a favorite place for my quiet time.  I want it to be free of distractions.  I want it to be comfortable.  I actually have two quiet places that I choose depending on the weather.  When the weather is nice I like to have my quiet time on our front porch.  Otherwise, I love my comfy chair in our front room close by the bay window and my reading table.

I love the early morning.  I don't have a set amount of time.  I think that the most important part is not the amount of time but being consistent with the time.  I also cherish a bit of afternoon quiet time.  Often that is when I will sit down at my computer and visit your "little spaces" and "chat" with you for a bit.  I too, love our evening quiet time as it is a way to end the day in a quiet way and to get ourselves ready for snuggle in time  and to look forward to a good night's sleep.  

My morning quiet time, I read and study my Daily Devotional, followed by reading and studying my Bible.  I then have silent prayer time.  By this time my hubby is up and he has his time for his Daily Devotional and his Bible time.  We enjoy our morning cup of coffee together.  We then prepare and have our breakfast.

It is important to commit to doing so consistently.  It requires sacrifice to begin with.  Habits and lifestyles form this way.  We even use this time in the same way when we are away from home.  We have done this for so long that it just seems right for us.  This is our way.  Each one has to choose what works best for them.  

I might mention that my hubby and I love getting up early.  We just do not want to go anyplace early.  We have our exercise time in the morning and tend to our home keeping.  If we have errands, shopping or appointments, we try to schedule those in the early afternoon.  If we are home, we tend to our outside chores in the afternoon.  In the evening we enjoy our evening cup of coffee, a homemade treat and again we cherish our quiet time.  This seems to work for us.  I am sure it would not be to everyone's liking.

Our plan is to keep our day as quiet as possible and to enjoy it in the most simple way.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


 having what I need and not having more

not being controlled by "stuff" but using the resources the Lord has blessed me with

meaningful work

having time to focus on what is important in my life, such as knowing God and tending to relationships with others, especially the relationship I have with my family

not always looking for "more" or "better" but making do with what I have with a thankful heart

the saying ... use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without

 Simply put, simplicity is the freedom to really live, rather than spending my life acquiring, consuming and coveting.

It seems that SIMPLICITY is something I work on daily.  It is my work in progress.

Praying that your week is filled with sweet pleasures and simple blessings.