Friday, March 28, 2014

~A QUAKE AND RATTLED NERVES...and now we wait..

Hi..  just a quick note about the earthquake.  Frightening but nothing broke.  All the teacups are back in place..but none fell.  Just a bit of shifting.  A good bit of swinging of the chandelier.  A jolt and then rolling.
Having been born here and been through many of would think they wouldn't bother me...but they terrify me!  Always have.
I was in the bedroom on the cell phone with my DIL when suddenly it felt like someone gave the bed a good jerk..and then a slight rolling sensation which got stronger and stronger  and then I screamed for PH..the dog began barking..the house phone rang (neighbor calling also frightened) and my dear PH rushed into the bedroom where I was rooted to the bed.  It stopped..and we just looked at one another without speaking...
We immediately turned on the news...and what a mess places are in La Habra.   Broken flowing all over the floors in a market...
A terrible mess.  Broken water main...a rock slide.  And they told us there could even be a bigger one.
We have had three just in the past couple of weeks...each bigger than the last one.

We don't have all the things we should have.  No first aid kit but we do have enough that we could get along I hope.  Lots of food and water..but certainly not enough to last two weeks as they suggest.
This..was a wake up call..and truthfully I am nervous.  
No use to be nervous, because not a single thing I can do about it.  
Wish us luck.  We just may need it!

My love to you,

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


I've been wondering about something.  Do any of you out there with grown adult children find yourselves anxious to please?  I mean overly so.   I find it mainly with my daughters.  I fear them finding fault with me.  Of course I want to  please them, but this is some sort of real fear I have of their getting upset with me.
It's silly, I know that.  I'm still the Mom, but the times that I have felt their disapproval have been devastating to me.  I find myself being quiet ..or trying too hard to say and do the right thing. I never butt into their lives.  
Disapproval came when I remarried and it frightened me.  I am not a loner and it was four years before I even considered moving forward and making a new life for myself.
It was not pleasant.  
One of the mistakes I made was thinking since they were grown with their own grown children..that what I did would not matter to them.  It did!  I married a wonderful man and they are all fond of him..but still...
One daughter said that they, my family, should be enough for me.  

If you haven't felt like this...good!  I don't know where it's coming from but it's a very deep fear..  
This is something that began after their father died fifteen years ago.  

Morning coffee, and watching the birds.  The morning sun filters's nice.  Really nice.

I have dreams constantly of being lost.  No truck, no purse, no phone, no money..nothing.  And I am among total strangers.  In a recent dream I woke screaming.  I was begging strangers to please help me find my family!  I saw a group of people sitting at a restaurant table and I thought they were my family as they were passing around pictures and laughing together.  I rushed over to them, but they were strangers..  Its the same dream over and over always in different ways.  I know it's just a dream..but I sometimes dread going to sleep for fear of those dreams.  It's silly, I know. :)
I keep thinking they will go away but they never do.  
I am a very loved I don't understand this at all.  
It's obvious that I'm afraid of losing something.  I've had loss, but so has most everyone.
I keep trying to find reasons for these dreams...
Maybe that is why I fear my children getting upset with me.  Maybe I think I will lose them.
Who knows... 
I brought three hanging plants from the back patio to the front porch.  See the wires running down the post of the porch?  We are going to have an electrical outlet installed out there so that the fountain, Christmas lights, etc. can be plugged in without all the wires.  So much to do, so little time.  :)

I know...I'm rambling on.  I realize this is NOT the place to do this...but I am who I am. I wonder who said that?
Much love,


With all that is going on out there in our world, a lost plane, the possibility of war rearing it's ugly head and a nightmare mudslide.'s important that we have interests..things we can relax and enjoy doing., reading, gardening...and decorating, whatever.  

Well, it's a start I suppose.  The mantel, I mean.  Mr. Bunny needs some nice moss in his basket.  I'll do that today.  And...that ivy has to go.  I'll just keep the light dim in there.
The flash sure makes the ugly show up!  

Michael's had some really pretty garland...these were made by the florist on site.   I bought enough of the burlap ribbon for more decorating.  A little bit of country... :)

See?  I did it again!  I should have dusted  before I started snapping pictures!
 California is SO dry and dusty that it gets away from me.  It cannot possibly be because I am not that great a housekeeper!  Never!
Would you believe the burlap ribbon was $10 per roll???  Enough for about one bow..or..maybe not.

That's it.  That's all I've got!  My get up and go, got up and went!  You know, it would be a LOT easier if I knew my Country, French, English, Shabby Chic...etc. etc.  I just don't.  I started off years ago leaning Country, mainly because it was easy.  Or..rather..Early American, as they used to call it. Now I have no idea whatsoever!
It's our passion, it's fun and it's interesting to see how we all feather our nests.
Actually, it should be called "nesting," not decorating, don't you think?  
Sometimes I think it helps keep me sane.
Try not to worry today and I hope you have one really good laugh.

Saturday, March 22, 2014


Here we are nearly to the end of March and I made all that noise about getting started early on Spring and Easter decor..and my crates have not been touched...

Well, actually I "touched" them today, but that's as far as I got.
This sweet cookie jar Mommy Bunny is something I found on Ebay and I think she and her little family are adorable.  

 I really AM trying to get in the swing of things..but keep dawdling.  Even my silver needs a good polishing and I keep putting it off.  This  mommy bunny is by Fitz and Floyd.  

I did work at getting the dining room table set up....a bit.  Due to circumstances, I don't think I will be going "all out" this year..but I will do a bit.  It's something I love to do and I miss not feeling like doing it.  
You know?   If you know me well, you know I never do anything "a bit."  
So anyway...don't you think she is a cutie??    Yeah.  Me too!!  :)

My love to you,

P.S  I never wait until I get everything done and presentable...I always get in such a rush to share!

Friday, March 21, 2014


I've missed so many special days lately, that I considered just going to bed and not trying to at least say something about the first day of Spring.  One of the reasons I considered not mentioning it is because so many of you sweet people out there are not seeing much signs of it.  And...but then know...maybe you would like to see a bit of green grass and blooms.  
We missed our Winter..but some of you have had more than your share..and I know it must get tiresome after awhile.
It felt so good to get outside after being cooped up inside  for nearly a week.  The gardener came yesterday and the smell of new mowed grass was more than I could bear so I headed outside this morning...and didn't miss that genuine First Day of Spring!  I puttered all day long..  
See the pansies I'm going to try and plant ....soon?!   There is just so much I want to do...

 I vacuumed the patio furniture, freshened the table..

Then I collapsed on the lawn swing and watched the little Finch Hatches flitting in and out of my bird house that I bought so many years ago.   
 On a trip up the coast of California on the beautiful Highway 1,  Pat and I stopped in one of our favorite little towns, and in a sweet old house made into a shop call "Hearts Ease" I found my cozy little birdhouse.
It was love at first sight...and yes, one can be very fond of a birdie house.  

It's very old now and since those days, Pat has passed on and so has our daughter, and I found myself wishing he could see the pair of little Finch Hatches settling into their home and working together to build their nest.  
So much has changed in my life since that long ago trip up the coast..
 I keep the little house in good repair by tapping the roof back in place, checking for any weakness..and now I keep it out of the damp.  NO added paint..ever! :)  I've learned the value of caring for things I love.  One day they may not be there anymore.

The little male sat on the roof with a bit of clover in his beak.  Then hopped down and she met him at the door and took it from him, disappeared inside and in seconds joined him on the back of the little red chair.  They conversed about their plans for building their nest..and flew off together across the yard.

 I went back to watching the early episodes of Downton Abbey on my Kindle, sipped vitamin water and waited for my sweet PH who was off having coffee at Starbucks with his son...who by the way is just like his Dad.  :)

May you all have a beautiful's a new beginning..
My love to you,

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Yes, that's what can happen in a very short time.
Friday evening I became ill and as the hours passed it got worse and worse.  Finally around 6am on Sunday morning, I was suffering from such terrible stomach pain that I could hardly stand up after spending the night trying to make it to the bathroom, the pain had become so unbearable and I was wadded up in a ball.
I won't go into the gory details..but I could name this post "MISERY!"

Finally, after arguing with me for an hour about going to the hospital, in desperation PH called an ambulance and they took me off to the emergency room.
A wonderful shot for the pain and I could focus finally.
After tests they determined I had a bad stomach virus..and within a few hours I was back home in my own bed sleeping off the heavy dose of pain medication.
The best part is...PH beat the ambulance to the hospital and met us at the ER door.  Now that's love.  :)
What a wonderful thing to see his sweet and very concerned face.
I'm still not well,  pretty weak, but I'm much, much better.
God blessed me when he sent me PH.

 ...first peach blossoms of springtime..and if that doesn't cheer a soul..not much will.  

 I have several concrete bunnies that were gifts from my daughter, Mary so I nestled them into the basket

...among the ivy, Mum's and Begonia's.  

 During the past year the ivy has grown long enough to begin wrapping around the handle..
The basket is finally all cleaned of dead leaves, a bit of fresh potting soil, a little Begonia food and it's on it's way to a beautiful Spring.
Being a child at heart, I decorate with toys..dolls..silly stuff.
The little Mary Engelbreit  dishes are still waiting to be arranged.  And waiting and waiting... but it may never happen.

I DO hope the snow has stopped.  Spring is in just a couple of days away!

I wish you shelter from the storm,
a cozy fire to keep you warm
 but most of all, when snowflakes fall...
I wish you love,

Friday, March 14, 2014


First, I want to thank you so much for the kind things you said about my regrets of the past... and the compliments you paid to my son.  You really do touch my heart.

So...before the little secret...

...a couple of snaps of our  Crepe Myrtle tree out front which is leafing out beautifully and for the first time in five years I can already see tiny pink buds of flowers.  It's taken a long, long time for it to flower since it was nearly chopped down long before I arrived.  A neighbor told me it was once the prettiest tree on the street.

The bit of rope keeps the birds from getting their tiny legs broken in that crook.  Tragically one did just that once...thus the rope.

I hurt when I see a lovely flowering tree chopped so severely!  It's finally looking good after five years.

a view of our yard and redwoods through the Crepe Myrtle tree.  Crape?  Whatever... 
Little red bench is calling for a paint touch up. 
*happy sigh*
I think the city of  Riverside hates me...but I'm loving that sidewalk! 

These Geraniums are called "Big Reds" and are supposed to live in all sorts of HARSH conditions.
I bought them at Home Depot a couple of years ago.  Hanging pots in California are at risk and take lots of care because of the heat..and an ant problem didn't help matters any.  

NO more Ants.  (We now have a service that keeps them away!   Some of you may remember my long battles with those ants.
There is a SECRET to how pretty the Geraniums are looking,  (I mean besides no longer having ants.)

Went shopping for flowers this morning with PH.  He doesn't understand my need to plant..or paint things or decorate.  But bless his heart, he tolerates it.   So..he is off the hook for that sort of thing.  Since these are on the front window..and in some of the heat of the day, I now have a secret to keeping them alive!!


As I said, PH isn't much on plants, flowers or decorating..he just plain doesn't get it.  However, the man is a creature of habit.  Dependable.  Consistent.  I can rely on him as surely as I can rely night following day.
Each morning he gets up..gets dressed and pushes the button on the coffee maker (I set it up the night before) and heads out to pick up the morning paper.  Then he fills the water fountain and heads back inside.
It's wonderful and something he has taken upon himself to do for the past five years.

Then one morning a light bulb went off in my head (doesn't happen often) and I sweetly mentioned that it would be wonderful if when he is filling the fountain he could just give this little planter a bit of water and maybe give those poor Geraniums a tiny drink.  Could he do that?  Would it be too much..because if it was, it wasn't a problem at all.  *I smile sweetly at him right here*
Dependable husband with a big grin..said "...heaven's no, it wouldn't be a bit more trouble since he was filling the fountain anyway!" 
End of story  
His saying?   "Happy wife, happy life!"
Those Geraniums are looking wonderful.
By the way, I made him meatloaf,  a big potato salad for dinner tonight and his favorite candied carrots!!  :)
Yeah...that man knows what he is doing!


Friday, March 7, 2014

~A STORY ~ If I could turn back time...~

Have you ever wondered what would be different in your life had you helped someone realize a dream.
Especially if it was your own child? 
I do.  Often.
Yesterday I was going through desk drawers in the guest room.  Some I haven't really looked in for a few years.  Say..five?  I came across a "tear page" from a magazine in our area that my son modeled for..and memories came flooding back.
And I, as always, began to wonder and  regret swept over me again.  I do that lately for whatever reason.
I try not to but perhaps it's just that time of life.  
As you know or may not know, I have seven grown children.  (I will always, always count my Sandy.)
There is Patrick, Michael, Sandy, Danny, Erin, Maryalice and Dawn.
Out eldest son, Patrick R.J, had a dream.
In high school he was cast in "Annie Get Your Gun" and when the cast was called on stage, my son got a standing ovation and he was bit by the acting bug a big way..and he began to dream.

After high school, he joined the Marine Corp..

Later he got married and attended The University of California at Santa Barbara.

He majored in the arts and minored in business.  He was in a production of "Of Mice and Men"..and the dream continued.

On stage at our local college he was in Rhinestone Cowboy and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored  Dream Coat, Damn Yankee's etc. and yes, he had the lead parts.
He fell more and more in love with his craft.  After he graduated from College he and his wife and baby returned to Riverside..for what was supposed to be a short time.  Another baby came..time went on and my son's dream began to slip away from him.
One day he nearly left for Hollywood, but...he didn't.  He stayed..and they worked and saved and worked.
His wife's dream was to have her own bakery.  
Together they worked hard for her to fulfill her dream

I think at one time I had thought he was satisfied with his life.  He loved his wife and babies..
..and then one day he came to me.
He asked me to please, please move with them to Los Angeles and help with the children so his wife could work and I would care for the children..(his father and I) and he could try to fulfill his dream.
I remember feeling a bit of panic.
You see, we were on the brink of retirement and Patrick and I dreamed of traveling in a motor home and seeing the country. I had raised seven children and I wanted to realize our own dreams.

I won't go into detail of that conversation because even after all these years I cannot remember it without crying.  It is one of my biggest regrets in life and I will forever see him as he looked at me that day.
I hesitated and in that moment of hesitation, he knew.  I said I would think about it...but my son..he knew.
He never asked again.

Do you ever have moments when you are just plain filled with regret?  Sorrow?
Look into my son's eyes.
I'm sorry son!
I'm sorry!
Sometimes I pray that God forgives me for letting my son down. 
As he has grown older he has gone through some bitterness and anger that began to show, I knew where it came from.  His family knew.  We all knew.
I think he is okay now.
I pray he is okay.

I am getting my Easter cartons out tomorrow.  I just want know...look at things.  Plan.
It's not even "legally" Spring yet..but it takes time to decorate and fiddle with things around the house.
I was you like wallpaper?  Old fashioned or not, I love the stuff!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


I have this thing for birds nests.
I think many of us who least in this circle..are nesters.

I spent the morning on the front porch drinking my coffee and chatting with my neighbor across the street.
There are 41 years between us..and yet we find so much to talk about.  Mostly I chat about things that happened a long time ago..and then when she leaves, I wish I had not reminisced quite so much..but the next day, bless her heart, there she is.  Seldom does she go more than a few days without showing up.
I guess it's okay.

I couldn't bring myself to put my Winter Fairy away.  I love her just the way she is, even if she does depict Winter..besides, someone has to guard the nests..Even people guard their nests.  A couple of wide candle sticks without their candles made a great place to perch the little nests...and doilies, of course, added a bit.
Thank you, Penny@ Penny's Vintage Home for inspiring me!

Those eggs look awfully big for that tiny nest..  Not to worry, folks do that with houses too.  I sort of did that at one time in my life.  I crammed all seven children into a very small three bedroom home.
The boys were all in one room.  Three of them in two sets of bunk beds.  Even an extra for a sleep over.
The four girls were in their own room and the old iron bunk beds were painted pink.  (Military Issue :)   Pale green carpeting with  pink and green wall paper.  All pastels.  White chenille bedspreads.  So sweet.
Nice memories.  Old people do that...disappear in memories a lot.

A few Spring flowers around the little doll house in the living room.  It sits over by the piano.  The oval table belonged once to a dear friend of my second husband, Frank, who passed on March 22, 2007.

I used to dream of living in a little Cape Cod or Colonial home..or a cottage just like the one above.  Career Marine families back in the 50's lived in base housing.  Every place we moved I planted Ivy and flowers...and had to leave it all behind in a couple of years.
Yes....I used to dream a lot of cottages, having one of my own.  It's where I got the name of my blog.
Wsprsweetly of Cottages...sometimes we whispered  long into the night of how one day we would have a little cottage.  He dreamed too.
As an officer..things changed.  We lived in a real home large enough to hold all nine of us.
Sort of shocking, now that I look back on it!!  NINE of us!
It was never to be..that little Cape Cod home..or that English Cottage..etc. but I turned my heart to the inside of my home until years later after my husband retired from the Marine Corp.
Four bedrooms to us was huge!  A family room!  A yard of our own!

No, no Cape Cod Cottage..or any of that, but I love this little home and PH for letting me make it my own.
I am content.  I am grateful.

A crocheted runner is on top of my unbleached light canvas ruffled runner.  I am loving playing with my doilies.
Yes,..and a nest...nests everywhere.
I remember planting sweet potatoes in old ice cube trays and hiding them behind things on shelves and soon the area would be covered with lovely vines.  I found I could take things other's didn't want and make them special.  White paper shelf paper lined with lace was a wonderful thing to me.
Still is.
I lined everything with that paper.  Every single shelf.  I loved it.


Mele watches carefully when I begin to pull out furniture and drag things around.  Wherever I am she is right there.
She is turning gray around her little muzzle..she and I are turning white together.
Neither of us dye our hair.  :) We agreed to grow old "gracefully".. after a fashion. :)
I have not even touched my cartons of Easter things.
Not..just..yet. But...I really, really do want to.

(I admit I'm getting anxious...but am sticking to Spring..)

Are you still there?  :):)  ...or have you wandered off or scanned as fast as you could.  Sometimes we do that but I try not to.  I get involved and end up writing LONG comments too.
 I don't get to visit as many as I would like and it bothers me.  If I miss you, I WILL return.
My love to you..

P.S.  The comments left by you out there for my last two posts are..the sweetest and most thoughtful.
Thank you.  I am fine.  We all are, or will be.
Balisha dear, I am thinking of you!!  I remember Tim.  And Becky...I remember Jorden.  

Monday, March 3, 2014


I needed to regroup.  I missed blogging but one can't think of anything with a foggy mind.
Mine was ...foggy.  You have heard of drowning in tears?
Spring is still a couple of weeks away..but the birds don't know it.  They are already out gathering for their nests and calling to mates.  It's wonderful to watch.

You can see where I was early this morning.  I wrote it on my trusty Susan Branch Calendar.  Spring is in the air and I am hot footin' it to Michael's Craft store to get in on their silk and paper flower half price sale.  I bought a few things..or rather finished up.

After laying around on the sofa in my pj's for too long, I decide it was time to join the world again..and jumped right into Springtime decorating by visiting our local craft store.  I came home with a few things..but the next day ran right back to pick up this sweet Spring basket already decorated that I had seen for half price.  I added my own touch..and added it to the underside of my "garage sale" end table.

I do that...go home..think about something and rush back to the store.  I added some grass in a dark moss green, tied a pretty pink chiffon bow around my bunny's neck and added a little antique creamer ..just cuz!
Do you do that...suddenly add something...JUST CUZ??
Cords!  Well, a decent photographer would have cut off or hid the aren't are friends so you won't mind.  You won't, will you?

I don't usually decorate with Lavender, but lately it has been creeping more and more sweetly into my living room and I really like it.  It mixes with the pinks, roses and soft reds.  I love all colors and it's time for lavender to be added
I think sometimes we limit ourselves without even realizing it.

I went ahead and added my bunnies..bunnies are Springtime.  Yes indeed they are.

You are the sweetest, dearest, most supportive bunch of folks in the world and I love you all.
Yes...LOVE!  Thank you.  I am not alone in my sadness.  Many out there have had such rough times..and you all are so kind with your words of encouragement.  How blessed we are to have one another.
What a wonderful world in spite of the harshness.