Tag Archives: Family

Putting on the Nines {happy birthday!

My heart is like a singing bird…
Because the birthday of my life
Is come, my love is come to me
.

                                 ~Christine Rosseti

more rare than a blue moon

Some say it is special because it is a trinumeral day —  09 09 09 — and it doesn’t come around very often. Not even as often as a blue moon. I think a special guy who is celebrating his 09 09 09 birthday with me is even more rare.

9 days of birthdays

So, what does one do to make  a 09 09 09  birthday special for my dear one . . . especially, when it is mine, too? Friends and colleauges share a plethera of fabulous ideas for a festive and memorable celebration. Hmmm…what ideas are doable and on a frugalist budget? The “Nine Days of Birthdays” — similiar to the “12 Days of Christmas”  — is the result of one highly-productive evening gathering of astute minds.

nine_days_of_birthdayv2

On the first day of nine birthdays  . . . one love poem

Day 2 — Two  Godiva turtle chocolates

Day 3 – Three Coins in a Fountain: three gold coins to toss in one of the fountains at Rose Cottage, and coins tossed in Rome’s Trevi Fountain by a friend

Day 4 – A dazzling four-leaf clover from a lass who is a wee bit of Irish

Day 5 –  Framed favorite photo from a dreamy trip to Cinque Terre, Italy with the purple and pink sunset over the Mediterranean Sea in the background

Day 6 – Six voluptuous peach roses each saying “I love you” in a different languages

Day 7 – Seven “Lucky Nines” lotto cards

Day 8 – Eight different birthday songs

Day 9 – Nine little gifts throughout the day at nine minutes past the hour

 I want to be an artist
To paint pictures just for you,
So when each birthday comes around,
I can send you quite a few.

                                   ~Anonymous

Happy birthday to my true love, soul mate and best friend! I am so glad to share MY birthday with you, too!

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Happy Pansy Faces

The Earth laughs in flowers.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

grandmother’s pansies

pansy-diascia-2

She walks with slow, deliberateness down the curved flagstone steps toward the sweeping gardens in the back of the house. Pausing with nearly every step, she stoops over, laughs and admires the face of each pansy planted around the emerging fern or at the base of the white paper birch. “Did you see this one? It’s face is so sweet with the purple and white colors!”

pansy-purple-and-white

pansy-purple-single1

 

grandmother’s pensée

Joy radiates from her face. She moves down the next step. Excitedly she points to the each pansy with her delicately carved walnut cane. She then turns, smiles and gently asks, “there is a saying that pansies mean thoughts–pensée. See how their faces bend forward like they are really thinking about something? What are you thinking about this morning, my dear one?” 

My little girl voice says, “Nothing really…I guess.”

Grandmother replies, “you know, my dear, it is important to always remember to be thoughtful in all that you say and do.”

She is quiet for a moment, and then softly continues, “my sweet child…come bend down here a little bit closer…look carefully. Do you notice the soft ruffled edges? Now, look at the all the different colors on just one flower. Isn’t it amazing?”

I nod while giving the flower a closer look.

“Look at the shape of the petals. The petals are almost like hearts. Do you know what this little flower is a reminder of?”

I look up at Grandmother’s face.

“With their happy faces and heart-shaped petals, pansies remind you that you are loved, and that I am so happy that you are here!” She gives me a gentle tickle.

I take Grandmother’s hand and laugh, “me, too!”

pansy-dark-purple-striated

 

pansy-dark-pink-striated

“Oh, my Sweet Pea…look how this one looks like it has been hand-painted with watercolors! Can you image anything more beautifully created?” Grandmother lingers a bit longer at these amazing pansies. Then, she sighs deeply, and we look at another and another…still walking hand-in-hand…and laughing as we go down each garden step.

Nearly reaching the last step, Grandmother pauses and smiles, “now…my little darling, I have a special surprise for you! I have saved the best for last. Tucked away over here by corner of the patio are the most beautiful pansies! These are for you to plant anywhere in the garden that you would like! Come! Let me show them to you…”

pansy-coral-ruffled-antique-shades

 

pansy-pink-antique3

 

pansy-pink-yellow

 

grandmother’s legacy

Such a sweet memory of my beloved grandmother. I am thinking of her with deep fondness as the window boxes and planters are potted at Rose Cottage. The window boxes begin overflowing with these happy, cool-weather flowers in antique shades of pinks, mauves, yellows and lavenders. Oh, how cheery! Maybe, our visitors to Rose Cottage will know that we are happy they are here, too!

pansy-pink-yellow-and-viola2

 

pansy-pink-ruffled-antique-shades

The overlapping petals of the sweet pansies are nearly heart-shaped. They remind me of the deep love of my grandmother, and how she so beautifully conveyed her fondness of gardening and flowers to me. Now, I hope that I am passing on this gift of happiness and love to My Most Awesome Boy and My Darling Girl (and her sweet hubby) as they start to plant and cultivate their own gardens.

pansy-daff-viola

 

 Do you think “the earth laughs in flowers?”

 

emerging-daff

 

We are so glad you are here with us at Rose Cottage to laugh and admire the sweet, happy pansy faces! Will you stay for a cup of tea and refresh yourself on the porch? We have your favorite tea cup in the cupboard. . . I will get it for you! Then, you can tell us all about your day…

Oh, weren’t the antique shades of the pansies just gorgeous? The breath-taking pansies are from the fabulous growers and owners of Little Foot Farm and Greenhouse just down the road from Rose Cottage. Karen and Sally are superb growers of garden plants! Wait until you see their tomato plants!

 

pansy-daffs-urn-wicker-21

On this beautiful Earth day, we hope you have time to travel around to other gardens or outside photos at the Southern Daydreamer, too. Maybe, you will even think about planting some sweet pansies or give someone else some sweet pansies to let them know you are thinking of them!

Outdoor Wednesday logo

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Home Alone

“Haven’t you ever wondered what I did while alone?”

Mom or Dad: do you have a son or daughter that you sent off to travel the far corners of the earth or to pursue studies at college? If so, you know what it is like to wonder {read: worry!} what your son or daughter is doing and if he or she is OK. Each day, you pray your “child” is safe, makes good decisions and remembers all your pearls of wisdom! Right?!

Today, I receive an email from my very best boy–a senior at college living away from home. The subject line says: “Haven’t you ever wondered what I did while alone?” Immediately, my heart starts to palpitate. I pause for a second or two before opening the email. I finally find out one thing that my very best boy does after his studies are done! This is what he writes:

“Now you know,
 
This is what happens when I am left alone…”
Rolling out homemade cinnamon roll dough

Rolling out made-from-scratch cinnamon roll dough

 

Cutting dough into rolls

Cutting dough into rolls

 

Cinnamon rolls on cooling racks

Cinnamon rolls on cooling racks

 

"It is only good when it is fresh!"

"It is only good when it is fresh!"

 

A perfectfully executed work of art!

A perfectfully executed work of art!

 So what am I worried about?!

st-patricks-day-woman-rose-pc3

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Time in a Bottle

Time is a companion that goes with us on a journey.

It reminds us to cherish each moment,

because it will never come again.

What we leave behind is not as important as how we have lived.

                                                                                                               ~Jean-Luc Picard

springing forward…reluctantly!

Today, I am taking the leap! I am setting my watch an hour ahead for daylight savings time–yes, it is the Friday following the change to daylight savings time! “No kidding! But, I haven’t changed the time on the clock in my car…I want to save all the time I can! What is that you say? I won’t really save time by not changing my clock? Ah…well…!

Thinking About Time

Thinking About Time

cherish is the word I use to describe…

Cherishing moments I have with my VBS, children, family and friends is something I am thinking about a bit lately. Cherishing is the fundamental essence of living the beautiful life that Melissa writes about on The Inspired Room –whether it is cherishing a family keepsake, finding a long-forgotten treasure, making our homes lovely or spending time with loved ones!

What do you cherish the most to create the beautiful life?

Each spring as my watch is set ahead, I think how quickly time passes! How is it that it is just a blink and our babies grow into amazing adults that we want to be around! When the babies were…well, babies…it seemed like they were always going to be little, sitting next to the table in their high chairs during meal times, climbing into their cribs at bedtime or asking to have just one more story read…”ohhh, pleeeeeeease, Mama!” In reality, there are only a finite number of times to enjoy shared meals, bedtime stories or sunsets…but usually we treat these as inexhaustable!

Taking time for the Inspired and Beautiful Life

Taking Time for the Inspired and Beautiful Life

What are the moments that you want to treasure with your children, family or friends?

Because time is not limitless, it is important to “stop the clock” for a minute or two and think about what is it I really want to do or pursue. Then, I consider how to prioritize or balance time between numerous responsibilites and ever-expanding interests of things to do, make and see!  This year, one of my goals is to write the Rose Cottage Gardens and Farm blog as a way to connect with family and friends–old and new. I am using the posts as one tool to think about how to create a beautiful life, and how to resoucefully, creatively and intentionally live in that beautiful life.

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one moment {month} in time

I am so grateful that you are stopping by for a chat today, and to share your kind words and support in this journey! You see, today marks the completion of one month in the blogsville! It is so wonderful to meet you here—to pause the clock for a moment or two and share a bit of our lives. I want to bottle up all this time we spend together and save it for a rainy day!

Finding Time in a Bottle at Rose Mille

Finding Time in a Bottle at Rose Mille

 

I would love if you would take some time to send me a comment!

I would love if you would take some time to send me a comment!

Thank you for your visit and a little chat!

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Filed under Family, Home, Uncategorized, Vintage

A is for {Grandmother’s} Amazing Aprons

remember when…

grandmothers wore aprons throughout the day… especially when they were in the kitchen? My grandmothers never kneaded homemade bread or rolled out a pie crust without first securing the apron strings of a bib or half-apron. Some of my most treasured keepsakes are Grandmother’s aprons. There is something special–almost magical–about Grandmother’s aprons! The aprons transform me back in time and bring back sweet memories…

The Kitchen Workshorses

The Kitchen Workhorses

As they were for our grandmothers, aprons are a great “tool” to help with multi-tasking that we often do throughout the day. They are true “workhorses.” An apron’s large pockets are perfect hideaways for an amazing array of necessities and are holders of collections of all sorts gathered during the day: a freshly-pressed linen hankie to wipe a tear (yes, I still iron my hankies!), a tube of lip color (to apply as needed–you just never know!), beans freshly picked from the kitchen garden, rose petals deadheaded on a quick garden walk-through, green and brown eggs gathered from le palais de poulet, a treasured postcard from someone special or even the cell phone.

 What kind of things collect in your apron pockets?

a little more looking back

My grandmothers had numerous aprons for different purposes. All were handmade–often from a gingham or cotton floral print. Sometimes, a feedsack cotton or “repurposed” curtain was given new life as an apron! (Grandmothers were very resourceful!) Among my favorite aprons are those with a simple cross-stitched pattern in the small checks on a gingham fabric. As a young girl, I often had an apron that was a miniature version of Grandmother’s gingham apron. How I loved to wear aprons to be just like Grandmother.

Vintage Aprons

Vintage Aprons

Some of Grandmother’s aprons were decorative to coordinate with their dresses when they hosted a party. The decorative aprons were often made out of organdy, felt, chiffon, neeting or lace and showed off grandmother’s needleart skills. One of most treasured is a white linen expertly trimmed with an insert of hardanger the width of the apron skirt. Each year, My Best Girl wears the hardanger apron for the Swedish Christmas Eve celebration at Rose Cottage.

Hardanger Apron

Hardanger Apron

true confessions of a creative frugalist!

I LOVE aprons! I wear an apron every day because I am sentimental and practical. My homey aprons give me a sense of connectedness with the women who came before me.  When I wear an apron, life seems less complicated. But I confess, I usually wear an apron because I’m a messy and often spill.  It sure is much easier to launder an apron than an entire outfit! Most of my every day aprons are of the utilitarian type and are indispensable. You know the kind–heavy, durable cotton–usually, not a pretty sight after baking or cooking all day in the kitchen! 

So when spotting the large bolt of vintage green and white woven fabric at Rose Mille on the bottom shelf in the back room, I just had to get some yardage to make some pretty aprons. Rose Mille’s checked fabric is not the kind of gingham most often found in the fabric stores now, rather it is a true “homespun” woven textile and has some weight and density. If you love homespun cottons you just have to get some!)

Green and White Woven Cotton, Vintage Ticking and Trims

Green and White Woven Cotton, Vintage Ticking and Trims

Ribbons might also be added to my dream aprons to add another touch of beauty. Melissa over at The Inspired Room has more ideas about creatively using ribbons to beautify your home in simple ways…Maybe, I will be hanging my new-yet vintage-aprons in the pantry on a pretty hook using ribbons…

How are you bringing beauty into your life and home while being a “creative frugalist?”

The Old Becomes New for the Creative Frugalist

The Old Becomes New for the Creative Frugalist

Now, I am dreaming of several new aprons… Each of the six new aprons will have a different bib front using a Bella Notte linen fabric sample, vintage trim or carefully selvedge crocheted lace edging from a troseau pillow, and vintage bakelite or celluloid buttons. Isn’t this a creative and fun way to be a frugalist in the 21st century? Certainly an interesting way to recycle, repurpose and resuse!

Vintage Red Glass Buckle and Trim

Vintage Red Glass Buckle and Trim

 

Two of the homey aprons will each have a fabulous vintage glass buckle. These glass buckles are just too lovely to pass up from Mi’s stock at Rose Mille! The red buckle is a perfect accent on the red gingham. The blue glass buckle will be used on the second apron. Then, there is the apron with…so tell me,

What would your dream apron look like?

Grandmother's Amazing Apron

Grandmother's Amazing Smock Apron - Cheerfully, helped to make many batches of blue-ribbon caramel rolls!

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Filed under Cooking, Family, Sewing, Uncategorized, Vintage

Rose Cottage Cooks!

a simple supper to save sunday

(read on for a tasty supper dish from Rose Cottage!)

Do you ever have one of those weekends in which the “fast forward button of life” is stuck on–you can’t shut it off, find the pause button or the batteries are dead in the remote? That’s this weekend — I have the most noble (and mildly ambitious!) intentions of finishing an organization project sprawled on the dining room table! The Project: neat stacks of lovely pressed antique linens, vintage fabrics and assorted one-of-a kind French trims waiting to be tucked carefully away in the cupboard. . .

saturday morning

The Very Best Sweetie (TVBS), coming down the stairs and pausing next to the stack of lovely linens on the dining room table says carefully and quite sweetly: “What are you going to do today?”

Me responding cheerfully and confidently from the kitchen: “Don’t you think today is a great day for me to finish up The Project in the dining room? Maybe, we could invite some family over for Sunday dinner? Wouldn’t that be fun? Do you want an espresso?”

The VBS makes a quiet comment, and walks to the kitchen for his espresso.

Me: I decide it has been way too long since I have spoken with my dearest friend and kindred-spirit from nursing school in Chicago. She has been on my mind every day the past several months! Time to pick up the phone. I wonder if her number is the same. It has been how long since I called My Dear Friend? We pick up where we last left off a few years earlier, and get caught up on every detail of our lives!

saturday afternoon

(Where did those extra stacks of linen come from?)

The Best Sweetie (TBS) walking through the dining room (again!): “What are you going to do this afternoon?”

Me (a little less confident, but very cheerful after the long chat with My Dear Friend): “I think I might work on the linens in the dining room. Are you hungry for a little lunch?”

After making lunch, I move-in to tackle The Project–still chattering on about my conversation with My Dear Friend. Oh…I think I have a great idea for some of the embroidered linens! What if ….

saturday evening

The Sweetie (TS) stops in the dining room and stares intensely at the stacks of starched antique linens, lovely vintage fabrics and French trims. TS takes a very deep breath and cautiously asks, “might you work on getting some of the stacks of stuff taken care of later tonight?”

Me: replying rather weakly with something that sounds like: “Maybe…”

We are off to a dinner party across the river.

later saturday evening

(Is it my imagination or are those starched linen stacks a little taller?)

The Husband (TH) deliberately walks into the dining room. Stops. Engages in a stare down with The Project and then asks: “Do you think you will work on this tomorrow?”

ME: I am off to bed.

sunday morning

ME: To surprise TH, I get up early thinking that I will get started on The Project before TH wakes up. I walk into the dining room. I am sure, those stakes of linens and fabrics are looking much taller than last night! I decide to read a book so not to wake TH with all the noise and rauckus that results from organizing linens!

TH: “Good morning! I sure could use an espresso! Do you think you can make me one?” TH walks through the dining room with a slight glance at The Project out of the corner of his eye, but TH does not stop.

ME: “Sure! Do you want two cups this morning?”

TSH gently asks: “What are you going to do today?”

ME casting a sideways glance in the general directon of the dining room: “I would really like to work on The Project.”

The phone rings. It is My Best Girl from the NW. We talk and talk and talk!

sunday afternoon

TBS asks if we should have some family over for dinner. “We could eat in the kitchen. It is so cozy at the pennisula after all, isn’t it?”

ME: “I have just the thing to make for our Sunday supper!”

TVBS is so encouraging, doesn’t mention The Project and says: “That will be perfect!”

(The linen stacks don’t look so very tall after all.)

Here is the recipe that is enjoyed at the Sunday supper:

Pappardelle Pasta with Broccoli Sauce

¾ pound of dried pappardelle or linguine pasta
(seasoned pasta is exceptional – I like to use tomato cracked peper)
 
6 flat anchovy filets, chopped coarsely
½ cup extra-virgin Italian olive oil
½ bunch fresh broccoli, cut into 1-inch florets or aspargus, cut into 1-inch pieces
Freshly cracked black pepper
Sea salt to taste
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
¼ cup freshly grated Romano

 

1. Steam the broccoli until al dente.

2. Heat olive oil and anchovies in skillet over moderately high heat until anchovies combine with oil; use wooden spoon to

dissolve the anchovies. (I know, anchovies sounds odd-but is the secret ingredient in this pasta dish!)    

  

Broccoli in a Pan

Broccoli in a Pan

3. Add broccoli and black pepper and saute over moderate heat for 5 minutes. Check and adjust salt if necessary.

4. Cook pasta in 6-8 quarts of rapidly boiling salted water until al dente (about 8-10 minutes).

Pasta just added to kettle - be sure to keep the water boiling

Pasta just added to kettle - be sure to keep the water boiling

 5. Drain thoroughly and return to pot cooked in.

6. Add butter and toss lightly. Add the olive oil and broccoli mixture and toss again.

7. Add the cheeses, toss once more and serve immediately along side a salad dressed with a light vinegrette.

(Serve with grilled salmon for a wonderful dinner.)

Pasta with Fresh Vegies

Pasta with Fresh Vegies

I hope you enjoy!

It is still winter at Rose Cottage. Will you leave a comment below to brighten our day?

It is still winter at Rose Cottage. Will you leave a comment below to brighten our day?

 

 

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happy, happy birthday!

Winter is back in the north, but not for two special people living where the sun shines! Today is my dad’s and godmother’s birthdays! If today is your birthday, happy birthday, too!

Happy birthday to you! happy-birthday

Wishing you sunshine and flowers on your birthdays!

Love to you!

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Filed under Family