Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Good Morning

We have had a nice first part of August.  We celebrated our 49th wedding anniversary on August 9th.  We feel so blessed.

We have enjoyed such pretty weather for the first part of August.  We have had near fall like weather with nice rain showers throughout the first part of the month.  It looks like we are now in for more summer time weather.  I must say, I have loved the cooler weather.

We have been tending to our home, lawn, garden and enjoyed a few out and about days.

On a not so nice part of August, if any of you have been by to browse through my "little space" in the past few days, you will notice that all of my blog images are missing.  Well, I was wanting to spruce up my "little space" a bit and touched the wrong button and deleted all of my pretties.  Yes, just one touch took away so much.  So, rather than try to put it all back together, I have decided to leave it as is.

I have tidied up the empty spaces and will be content in just the way it is.


I look forward to visiting you very soon and hope that you all have enjoyed a few sweet little pleasures and many simple blessings for your month of August.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Just A Note

Takin' A Break

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Front Porch Sittin'

We love sitting on our front porch, whether it is early in the morning to begin our day with a cup of coffee, in the afternoon with a glass of iced tea or in the evening as our day comes to an end with a cup of tea.

Our little plot of land sits on a corner in our little town.  It is quiet on our front porch.  It is a lovely place to relax with my hubby.  There is nothing better than front porch sittin' ... slowing down makes for a peaceful and quiet time.

I grew up in our small town on this quiet street.  It was a small town, so we knew everyone.  We rode our bikes, we played at each other's homes.  All of the parents looked out for all of the kids in the neighborhood.  We walked to the stores on our small town main street.  When our neighbors went out of town, we would care for their homes and their pets.  We either walked to school or the parents would take turns taking us to school.  In the evening our moms would gather on the front porch and chat as we all played hide and seek, hopscotch, played jacks, marbles or jumped rope.  Our dads had big gardens and they would be working in those in the early morning before they would go to work and in the evening after the evening meal and the weather had cooled a bit.  Summer nights of my childhood and teen years often included front porch sitting time.  Sitting on the front porch of our family home while I was growing up brings back such sweet memories for me.  Our homes were not big.  They were very modest, but homey.

When my hubby and I were dating, we spent a lot of time on my front porch ... so many sweet memories.

There were the times that I would go to the little town south of us to spend time with my gramma.  I loved spending time with her on her front porch with her old fashioned wooden porch swing with flowers growing all around.  I have so many fond memories of those years gone by.

♥ This porch and porch swing are much like what I remember from my gramma's home.  Her front porch was surrounded by pretty flowers though. ♥

In these days of rushing here and there, so busy, I feel like front porch sitting is the perfect way to slow down and relax.  Not only is it a good way to slow down and relax, it is a good way to settle in for the evening, enjoy a sunset, listen to thunder in the distance, a bit of lightning in the sky, a gentle rain and night sounds to relax us before snuggling in for the night.

We find that sitting out on our front porch gives us an opportunity to be close to our family and our friends. 

We live next door to where I grew up, so I did not go far away from home.  Our son lived here from the day he was born until he married and now they have their own home a few blocks from us.  They have been married 19 years and still live in their first home.  We are all homebodies.  Our son grew up next door to his grandparents (my parents) and his other grandparents (my hubby's parents) lived just a couple of blocks up the street from us.  His uncles, aunts and cousins all lived close by as he was growing up.  Even though the years have gone by and changes have been made in our neighborhood, there are homes that belonged to older generations that the younger generations have moved into and now are raising their little ones.  We have had neighbors come and go throughout the years and we have always tried to be there for one another.

Most of the homes in our neighborhood are older homes and most of them have front porches.

These are just a few things that come to mind as to why front porch sittin' time is so important to me.

* comfy place to enjoy a cup of coffee, a cup of tea, a glass of iced tea or a glass of homemade lemonade.

* good place to sit and chat with my hubby

* enjoy peace and quiet

* nice when neighbors stop by to chat

* to pray

* perfect place to have heart to heart talks with our son during his growing up years

* reduces stress and tension

* lifts spirits and calms minds

* fun to watch the birds

* nice to hear the chiming of the wind chimes when there is a gentle breeze

* having pretty flowers on and around our front porch to enjoy

* to read

* if it is hot ... we use a fan

* if it is dark ... we use soft candle lite

* if it is cold ... we use a fleece throw to snuggle under


We love our front porch sittin' time.

I hope that you will enjoy a simple evening from the comfort of a front porch.  There is just nothing like it.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

One Day At A Time

There are two days in every week about which we should not worry, two days which should be kept free from fear and apprehension.

One of these days is yesterday, with its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains.  Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control.  All the money in the world cannot bring back yesterday.  We cannot undo a single act we performed.  We cannot erase a single word we said.  Yesterday is gone.

The other day we should not worry about is tomorrow with its possible adversities.  Tomorrow is beyond our immediate control.  Tomorrow's sun will rise, whether in splendor or behind a mask of clouds.  But it will rise.  Until it does we have no stake in tomorrow, for it, is yet unborn.

This leaves one day.  Today.

Any man can fight the battles of just one day.  It is when you and I add the burdens of two eternities - yesterday and tomorrow that we break down.

It is not necessarily the experience of today that disturbs one's peace of mind, it is often time the bitterness for something which happened yesterday and the dread of what tomorrow may bring.  Let us therefore live one day at a time.
~ Author Unknown ~

This is from a stash that I have saved over the years in our Home Journal and often times, I love going back and reading over these pages.

Oh, if only I would follow the words from this writing each and every day - so much sweeter my days would be.

Blessings for Today.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Faith And Family

These words I find heartwarming, words to strengthen me as I go about each day in my faith, loving my family and tending to our humble homespun cottage.

Every true wife makes her husband's interests her own.  While he lives for her, carrying her image in his heart and toiling for her all the days, she thinks only of what will do him good.  When burdens press upon him she tries to lighten them by sympathy, by cheer, by the inspiration of love.  She enters with zest and enthusiasm into all his plans.  She is never a weight to drag him down; she is his strength in his heart to help him ever to do nobler and better things.
~ J. R, Miller ~

The woman, who makes a sweet, beautiful home, filling it with love and prayer and purity, is doing something better than anything else her hands could find to do beneath the skies.  A true mother is one of the holiest secrets of home happiness.  God sends many beautiful things to this world, many noble gifts; but no blessing is richer than that which He bestows in a mother who has learned loves lessons well, and has realized something of the meaning of her sacred calling.
~ J. R. Miller ~

I fall short of these precious words.

My prayer is that I will always do the very best that I know how.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Living On Less

I would like to share a few thoughts on frugal and simple living.

We look back now at our retirement and how we planned for it.  It has been over 14 years since my hubby retired, just before he turned 60.  He had worked 35 years in law enforcement for our town, so he was eligible for early retirement, something that we put much thought into before making our decision.  We have been able to make ends meet, even putting money into our savings.  There are even more ways that we could cut back if need be.  Prices have gone up tremendously in those years.  Retirement has worked out well for us even with the economy, by living simply and being satisfied with what we have and making good choices on how we spend our dollars.

Here are a few things that we have done and continue to do to make retiring work for us.  Our home had been paid in full for many years before making our decision to retire.  I might mention that we have lived in our home for all of our married years.  It will be 49 years this coming August.  We have a small cottage that we bought shortly after being married.  This was our son's only home until he and our 'daughter' bought their home a few blocks from us when they were first married.  There were times that we thought we needed something bigger, but are so very thankful that we chose to keep what we had.  Smaller homes are less expensive to maintain.  Smaller homes are easier to keep clean.  As we have gotten older it is nice to have a small home and a small yard to keep up and to tend to.  I might mention that we were debt free when we went into retirement and have kept it that way.  We do not buy unless we have the cash to pay for it.  

Our vehicles are now older.  We keep them in good working order by maintaining them.  This makes insurance, tags and taxes much more affordable than having a new vehicle.

We have a small kitchen garden and herb garden which supply us with fresh produce throughout spring, summer and fall.  If we had more space, growing grains and fruit would be nice.  Also, with more space, having animals for eggs, milk and meat would be wonderful.  We do not have that kind of space but we do live in an area where we have friends who own farms in the country and have stands set up where they sell their produce and we are thankful to buy from them.  We buy most of our groceries from a full service grocery store (market and deli) that provide healthy, local and organic foods and produce while also supporting the sustainability and well-being of our community.  It is community owned.  For Mother's Day a few years ago, my hubby bought me a share in our community owned market.  It was such a thoughtful gift and we both love shopping there.  We also buy from local farmers and our local farmers market.

We cook our meals from scratch.  Homemade tastes better, is healthier and keeps us within our food budget.

I haven't made our clothes but enjoy making homemade items for our home and for gifts. 

We have an outdoor clothesline that I use when the weather is good.  My hubby also bought for me an inside folding wooden clothes drying rack made by the Amish.  It always has a bit of laundry drying on it.  We also have a compost bin and a rain barrel which we make good use of.

We think that it is important to try to become as self-sufficient as possible by using what we know, by what we learn and by what we have.

A few ways to save money ... take a walk ... have a picnic ... watch a movie or play games with family and friends.  We still love to take little getaways and out and about days, but we plan ahead for these special times.  We always take a small cooler and a basket filled with nutritious drinks and food.  We enjoy nice meals out, just not every meal.  Even with the gasoline prices being a bit lower than what they were, we plan our getaways not far, far away.  We did buy a small RV and have enjoyed getaways in it.  It is our little home away from home.
These are just a few ways that we have found work for us.  I hope that you find something that might work for you as well.

I think that if there is one thing that we both love to do ... does not cost a penny ... is homey and comforting is spending time on our front porch.  We have been sprucing up our front porch to make it cosy and a quiet place to sit, chat, read, work on a little project, watch our hummingbirds at their feeder and enjoy a cup of coffee or a glass of iced tea ... a quiet retreat and a place to enjoy family and friends.

$ $ $ $ $

Old Fashioned Words:  Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.

$ $ $ $ $

We are thankful for simple living.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Summertime

It is summertime in Kansas.  I plan to putter inside our little cottage as I am thankful for our window air conditioner.  It keeps our cottage cool and comfy on those very hot summer days.  Although, this past weekend and the first part of our week were actually quite pleasant.  Our days were cool and our evenings quite chilly.  We enjoyed having our windows open and the gentle breeze was very nice.  Today, it is beginning to warm up and be a bit more summer like for us.

Today will be a day to feather our little nest, tend to home keeping chores and be thankful for all of the sweet pleasures and simple blessings that God has provided for us.  I plan to do a bit of updating on our Home Journal this afternoon.  

Later this evening, we may enjoy a little time on the front porch with a glass of fresh brewed iced tea.

A Few Words From My Home Journal

While the earth remaineth, seed time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. Genesis 8:22

Love is to the heart what summer is to the farmer's year.  It brings to harvest all the loveliest flowers of the soul.
~ Billy Graham ~

Rest is not idleness and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water or watching the clouds float across the sky is hardly a waste of time.
~ John Lubbock ~

Because it is summer and the memories are just waiting to happen.
~ Author Unknown ~

The summer night is like a perfection of thought.
~ Wallace Stevens ~

Oh, such homey summer days and nights.

I hope that you all enjoy a pretty summer in your neck of the woods.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Heartspun

Family and Friends are Like Patchwork Quilts

Patchwork Quilt

Our family is like a patchwork quilt,
With kindness gently sewn,
Each piece is an original,
With beauty all its own.

With threads of warmth and happiness,
It's tightly stitched together,
To last in love throughout the years,
Our family is forever.
~ Author Unknown ~

Friendship is like a patchwork quilt of caring words, thoughtful deeds, lots of laughter, all stitched together with understanding.
~ Author Unknown ~

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Quiet And Gentle Living

I am all for simple living and living a gentle, quiet and cosy life.

My thoughts on simple living are by slowing down, cherishing the small things in life and seeing the beauty in everyday living.

I thought that I would share a few thoughts of mine from our home.

♥  Putting thought into how we keep our home by using what we have, getting rid of what we do not need and keeping within a budget as we make our home into a warm and cosy haven.

♥  If there is something we want to bring into our home, save for it, buy quality as it will last a long time.

♥  When family and friends come to visit, welcome them and be prepared to offer food and drink.  It is nice to have a little space in my pantry stocked just for that purpose.

♥  Take time to linger.  Enjoy the moment.  Slow down.

♥  Enjoy what we have.  Be content and satisfied with what we have.  Take care of what we have.

♥  Everything does not need to be perfect.  Keeping things simple, but nice is what works for us.

♥  Sharing what we have is important.  It gives us a good feeling to share with others.

♥  Lighting candles is a way to cosy our home.  We even have two rustic little battery candles on our front porch.  It adds such a warm and cosy touch.

♥  I find it so important to take time throughout the day to be quiet, to rest, to relax.  It makes for a pleasant day.

♥  A nice warm bath ... candle lite ... soft music.  A perfect way to end the day.

Simplicity, to me is to enjoy simple pleasures of life, feeling warm and content and has nothing to do with material possessions, but to do with people, happiness and enjoying the moment.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Words To Warm The Heart

As I have mentioned before, over the years I have collected words and snapshots that are near and dear to my heart.

Today, I thought that I would share a few of my gardening ones with you.  Perhaps you will find them as heartwarming as I do.

Spread seeds of joy and happiness.

The harvest you gather tomorrow are the seeds you plant today.

A beautiful garden is a work of heart.

Friends are like flowers in the garden of life.

God blesses the hands that work in a garden.

Herbs add spice to your life.

Grow where you are planted.

Plant smiles, grow giggles, harvest love.

The seed is hope, the flower is joy.

Kind thoughts are the root, kind words are the blossoms, kind deeds are the fruit.

Spring blessings as we enjoy this beautiful spring season.  Summer is just around the corner.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Good Morning

Here it is, the last day of May.  This month has gone by so very quickly.  I have taken time away and now I look forward to being back.

In the days ahead, I plan to come by and visit your little spaces during my afternoon quiet time.

I had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend.  My 'daughter' and I enjoyed out and about time on the Saturday before Mother's Day.  We both love gardening and flowers, so we enjoyed time together choosing 'pretties' for our homes and our gardens.  On Sunday, we went to church and enjoyed a wonderful Mother's Day sermon and good fellowship.  We were with our son, 'daughter' and grand doggy after church.  I have a pretty hanging basket on our front porch and a pretty Mother's Day card from them that I am sharing with you.

Most of all, my hubby and I cherished the time that we were all together.

We also enjoyed dinner at Texas Roadhouse on Mother's Day and dessert and coffee that evening on our front porch.

♥ A LOVELY MOTHER'S DAY WEEKEND ♥

We enjoyed two getaways during the month of May, one in our little RV and one in our little SUV.  We enjoyed good times and now it is good to be back home.

The month of May was spent tending to our home, our yard and garden, good times with our kids, two little getaways and chats on our front porch.  We have enjoyed peaceful and quiet days and there were a few busy days.  We have so much to be thankful for and we feel so very blessed.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Just A Note

I will be taking time away from my little space.

I will be fluffin' and featherin' our nest.

I will be piddlin' and putterin' in our yard and garden.

There may be time away in our little RV and a few out and about days in our little SUV.

My Gramma

I want to share from my heart the love, the sweet inspiration and some very fond memories of my Gramma.

 My Gramma was a very important part of my life, an inspiration to me for sure.  I would spend time with my Gramma throughout the year, as well as many Sunday afternoons, even writing letters and talking on the telephone to one another throughout the week.  Such sweet and precious memories.

My Gramma always wore an apron.  I remember as a little girl following my Gramma as she went to the chicken house, to the garden, to the clothesline and back into her warm cosy kitchen. 

She lived in a little town just a short way from our hometown.  She had an old fashioned two story home, a covered front porch with a porch swing and pretty flowers all around her porch.  As I would walk up her front brick walk, the most beautiful Iris were along a steep bank leading to her front porch.  There were many pictures taken of my Gramma and me with flowers all around us on her front porch and her side yard.  Clotheslines were abundant.  She took in washings and ironings to make ends meet.  My Gramma did not have a lot of money, but she did have a lot of love to give.  I am so thankful that I was one of those to receive her precious love, as were each one of her grandchildren.  She made each one of us feel that we were so special to her.  

In her side yard were her chicken house and fenced area for her many chickens.  I do remember so well, helping her gather the eggs in her apron.  I might mention that in her backyard was a large garden with fruit trees that lined the back of her property.  She planned, she planted, she gathered and she preserved.  I remember that she would send us home with her jars of home canned produce from her gardens. 

She had flowers all around her home, always having a fresh bouquet of pretty flowers in a fruit jar on her kitchen table.  Many of her flowers were made into bouquets and decorated the graves of family and friends.

We enjoyed many old fashioned holiday dinners around her dining room table.  I remember Gramma, my Mom and my Aunts working together in her little kitchen preparing delicious meals for all of us.  I loved being with my Gramma, my Dad, Mom, Brother, Sister, Uncles, Aunts and being with the best cousins anyone could ask for.  I have so many wonderful memories from those days gone by.  

When it was just my Gramma and I there are many precious memories with the two of us sharing meals at her kitchen table where she and I would eat and chat.  The window at her kitchen table looked out to the back garden.  I loved sitting there with her.  I remember what I loved most from her cooking and baking, were her homegrown home fried chicken. I loved her homemade cinnamon rolls, homemade pies and her delicious fresh homemade bread from the oven.

Another special thing that comes to mind is how in the evening when I would stay with my Gramma, her days work done, we would sit and swing on her front porch swing.  We would listen to the evening birdsong and the evening sounds as she would read her newspaper.  I can still hear the crinkling of the newspaper as she so quietly would sit and read and we would swing together.  If I were going to be homesick, missing my family, that was the time it would happen.  It didn't last for long though.  Gramma had a way of taking my mind away from being homesick.

When we would go inside for the evening and we would get ready for bed, her routine, I will never forget.  She had very long hair that she would wear in a loose bun on top of her head.  I loved the wispy little curls around her sweet round face and rosy cheeks.  She would pull the bed covers back, a feather bed, soft and comfy and I would snuggle in.  She would take her hair down and she had an ivory dresser set.  She would brush her hair forever it seemed and then she would braid it into one long "pigtail" down her back.  She had old fashioned handmade cotton nighties for the summertime and handmade flannel nighties for the wintertime.  To this day, I love my cotton nighties and my flannel nighties.  We would lay and chat until we would finally fall asleep.

Each morning, very early, we would begin our day.  Gramma had a pretty round ivory container with her dresser set that held her Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder with a fluffy little puff and she would "fluff" on her talcum powder.  I do remember it was so pretty smelling.  When we were dressed, we always had to tend to feeding and watering the birds outside before we could have our breakfast.  When we finished the few early outside chores, we would sit down at her kitchen table and enjoy our breakfast.

Gramma never had a car ... never drove.  She walked wherever she needed to go.  Before I began driving, when I stayed with her, she and I would walk to church on Sunday mornings.  During the week, we would walk to the grocery store, the post office, the bank, the dime store, the drug store and the little library.  When I was old enough to drive, Gramma and I would go in my car.  We always enjoyed each other's company.  Gramma always loved to go for rides.  She especially liked to stop for an ice cream cone.

My Gramma and I were very close.  I do believe, I take after my Gramma in so many ways.  Oh, how I would love to sit and chat with her again.  For now, I have the many fond memories.

♥ My Gramma was the perfect Gramma ♥

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

USE IT UP
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.

WEAR IT OUT
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.

MAKE IT DO
We fix it rather than toss it.  We try to repair rather than replace.

DO WITHOUT
 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.

SIGHT
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

SCENT
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

TOUCH
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

SOUND
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

TASTE
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

Simplicity

is
 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.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Vintage Charm

I love my little kitchen, cosy and quaint.  I love using old fashioned kitchen gadgets, vintage bowls and dishes, vintage linens, all things from days gone by.

Today, I am sharing my favorite vintage bowl set.  They are the Pyrex Ware Color Bowl Set, very old, vintage, antique and charming.  I love using them most every day as I plan and prepare our meals.  I love the primary colors.  They are a bit faded from many years of use.

I wish that I could say that mine are a family heirloom.  They are not.  My hubby bought mine from an estate sale in our town a few years ago.  They do have a lovely history.  They belonged to a hometown family.  We went to School with their children and we went to Sunday School and to Church together when we were growing up.  There are many memories as I use them in my kitchen.

We also found this Pyrex Ware Refrigerator Set at an antique shop during one of our out and about days.  They had a lot of tender loving care before they became a treasure in my kitchen.  I use these often as well.

I think of those who were keepers of their homes, oh, how they must have loved the pretty colors to brighten their kitchens and to use and nourish their families so many years ago.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Tea Time

The very sight of a teapot puts a smile on my face and warms my heart.  It shares quiet, peaceful and gentle thoughts.  A pretty teapot adds such charm and warmth to our humble little cottage.  It is such a plain and simple part of my day, a cherished time for me.

If you are cold, tea will warm you.
If you are too heated, it will cool you.
If you are depressed, it will cheer you.
If you are excited, it will calm you.
by William Gladstone

I would love to invite you to come inside our little cottage, where it is warm and cosy, to share our friendship over a cup of tea, a sweet homemade treat and a warm hug.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Counting My Blessings

I count my blessings one by one
Though great or small they be,
And know without the help of God
Not one would ever be.
I thank Him for these blessings
Each morning of each day, 
And then again at close of night
Before sleep comes my way.
He grants me all these blessings
Though sinner that I be,
And with the many faults of mine
I know that He loves me.
by Harold F. Mohn

Blessings to all on this beautiful winter morning.  With loving and tender prayers, may your Sunday be filled with God's grace.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Seasons

Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.
by Stanley Horowitz

I am thankful for the four seasons.  I love each one.  The four seasons determine how we live out each day, the foods we eat, what we drink, what we wear, what we choose to do each day and how we celebrate special days with our family and friends.

WINTER
♥ our days are shorter
♥ our days may be cold and snowy
♥ it is the season for resting and healing
♥ it is a time to restore
♥ it is a time to plan and prepare
♥ it is the time to cherish the warmth and cosiness of our little cottage

SPRING
♥ the sun rises earlier in the morning and sets later in the evening
♥ spring flowers begin coming through the ground
♥ The birds begin feathering their nests
♥ some days may be cold, some days may be warm
♥ we begin preparing our garden
♥ there are windy days
♥ we enjoy spring showers
♥ spring is a time to create
♥ a time to be hopeful

SUMMER
♥ the days grow longer and become warmer
♥ sunshine is abundant
♥ the season of growth
♥ we begin to enjoy the produce from our garden
♥ using the fresh herbs from our herb garden
♥ pretty flowers are abundant

AUTUMN
♥ the season of change
♥ our days become shorter
♥ our days are usually warm, our evenings cool and the nights may be cold
♥ the leaves are turning and falling to the ground
♥ it is time to begin cleaning our gardens and our yards
♥ it is the season of peace and quiet
♥ we begin planning and preparing comfort foods

To everything, there is a season and a time to every purpose under Heaven.
Ecclesiastes 3:1

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Good Sunday Morning

May your heart be content, your home warm and cosy as you spend time with family and friends today.

We will be out and about this morning going to and from our church and then a homey afternoon and evening for us.

Sweet Pleasures and Simple Blessings for your Sunday.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Simple Living

I am listing ten ways I find that help us to live a simple, quiet, gentle life.

I find by following my list below, I keep my daily routine simple.  I feel organized.  It makes for quiet and gentle living.

1.  Commit to time with our Bible.  We spend our early morning reading our Bible and our Daily Devotional.  It is such a good way to begin our day.
2.  A plan to help us save money on things that we buy.  It is such a good feeling to plan for what we have on our shopping list and to keep within our budget, buying only those things that we truly need.
3.  Buy less stuff.  Plan to make do with what we have and only buy what is necessary.
4.  Get rid of stuff that is cluttering our home.  Having space in our home after decluttering, gives such a peaceful feeling.

5.  Keep a journal.  By writing down the thoughts that are on my mind, it helps to put those thoughts in perspective.  It is an easier way to sort through those thoughts and to deal with those things that I need to tend to.

6.  Plan our meals for the week.  I spend time on Sunday afternoons, when all is quiet, to plan our meals and make out our shopping list for the week.  It is so nice to have a plan written down and to have a well-stocked pantry, cupboard, refrigerator and freezer when I begin to prepare our meals each day.

7.  Plan time to disconnect.  I love time without noise ... the television, the computer and the phone.  I cherish my quiet time to read, relax or to spend time with family and friends in a peaceful setting.

8.  Clean as I go.  This works so well for me in every part of keeping up our home and our little plot of land.

9.  Say no.  I choose only what is important to my family and myself and say no to the rest.

10.  Cherish each moment.  We keep our calendar uncluttered.  We schedule light so as not to rush from one thing to the next.  It makes for a pleasant day.

The list above works well for us.  We are retired, have had an empty nest for quite a few years now and try to keep our commitments to a minimum.  Our calendar is filled mostly with plans for the two of us, our family, our friends and our church.

There are those times when our schedule seems to be too much.  That is when we sit down, take a deep breath, make a few changes and get back to where we want to be.

To live content with small means, to seek elegance rather than luxury and refinement rather than fashion, to be worthy and wealthy, not rich, to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly, to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart, to hear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never - in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious grow up through the common.  This is to be my symphony.  
by William Henry Channing

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Take Time

Take time to think,
it is the source of power.
Take time to read,
it is the foundation of wisdom.
Take time to play,
it is the secret of staying young.
Take time to be quiet,
it is the opportunity to seek God.
Take time to be aware,
it is the opportunity to help others.
Take time to love and be loved,
it is God's greatest gift.
Take time to laugh,
it is the music of the soul.
Take time to be friendly,
it is the road to happiness.
Take time to dream,
it is what the future is made of.
Take time to pray,
it is the greatest power on earth.
~ Author Unknown ~
I want to take time to cherish the little things that come my way.

Warmest blessings for your Sunday.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Our Kitchen Table

GATHER 'ROUND THE KITCHEN TABLE TO NOURISH THE BODY AND THE SOUL.

Each new day begins at our kitchen table.  Our kitchen table is a cosy place to gather.  It is a place where we spend time together.  It is a place to make memories and to cherish those memories from years gone by.  Our kitchen is a room of happenings.  We eat, we play, we work, we laugh and we have even cried there.
I remember as a new bride, 48 years ago, fluffin' and featherin' our little nest for my hubby and myself.  Oh, my goodness, I remember those days as if it were just yesterday.  We still live in that same little nest, but our little kitchen no longer has the little rustic wooden table for two that sat in front of our kitchen window which looked out to our backyard.  Our wooden kitchen table now is round and its home is in the center of our kitchen.
I have a deep respect for the kitchen table.  Once upon a time the kitchen table was the soul of the home where families gathered for meals, friendships were made, decisions were thought out, celebrations were planned and hurts were healed.  Our kitchen table is the heart of our kitchen and of our home.  Our kitchen table is a humble gathering place to find inspiration, support, to plan and prepare meals, sharing our thoughts with one another, enjoying healthy food, playing games, sewing and working on projects.

During our son's growing up years, most afternoons and evenings were spent at our kitchen table with our son, drawing, painting, doing homework, putting together puzzles and so many other fun projects.  Many winter evenings we would light the oil lamp and tend to our projects with the warmth and the soft light from that oil lamp.  Our son is 45 years old, so it has been many years, but oh so many precious memories.
There are so many memories of mixing, cutting out and baking decorated sugar cookies for each holiday or special occasion.  I still have the old fashioned cookie cutters and from time to time I will make homemade decorated sugar cookies.
I have cut out patterns and would sew together little homemade keepsakes.  We plan vacations, little getaways and out and about days at our kitchen table.  I sit at our kitchen table and sort through our mail, go over our budget, pay bills and plan meals.
From the kitchen table life lessons were learned.  Our kitchen table is spruced up for each season.  We keep it rather simple.
History lives ... future plans are made ... all from our humble kitchen table.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Sunday Blessings

Moments

Happy Moments ... Praise God

Difficult Moments ... Seek God

Quiet Moments ... Worship God

Painful Moments ... Trust God

Every Moment ... Thank God
Author Unknown

Praying that your week ahead will be filled with sweet pleasures and simple blessings.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Winter Time

Winter is the time for comfort,
for good food and warmth,
for the touch of a friendly hand
and for talk beside the fire:
it is the time for HOME.
by Edith Sitwell

I am thankful for our little home.  We are so content to putter these winter days inside, cosy and warm.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Welcome

  A New Year

A New Blog

 A New Beginning

God gives us a fresh beginning each and every day.

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

There will be plannin' and preparin' and fluffin' and featherin' going on around our little cottage as we begin the New Year.

We will be snuggled in, warm and cosy, as we enjoy the simple comforts of our little cottage.

May you be blessed with warmth in your home,
love in your heart, peace in your soul,
and joy in your life.