A New Window in The Cottage

Recently Sug, who lives in Glade Cottage, determined that a stained glass window would look nice in the small window near the kitchen sink that overlooks the woods.

The window in the kitchen area has a sylvan view.

The color scheme in The Cottage is generally aqua blue and ruby red with heavy doses of white.

The hummingbird from Cuba can be taken apart in 4 pieces — wings and beak come off.

For no particular reason I had started getting hummingbird items for Sug because we have both become fascinated by them. When I saw this stained glass window at Plow and Hearth on sale I texted it to Sug.

The window package.

Sug ordered it and it came in a few days very well-packed in styrofoam.

Plow and Hearth window.

When she unpacked it we were both excited to see that the window (18″ by 24″) was in the colors of The Cottage.

Well-built stained glass window with hummingbirds.

And it fit the window almost perfectly.

The window is bright and beautiful.

Ultimately the plan is to hang the stained glass in the top of the window.

What is your color scheme?


We Have a Tree

Today Charlie was intent on getting a Christmas tree.

The trees were tagged with different color ribbons denoting size range.

Happily there is a new Christmas tree lot about 1.5 miles down the hill.

Charlie inspected all sides of the tree to make sure it was full all around.

We looked all around at the Fraser firs, white pines, and Douglas firs. Charlie always likes the biggest tree he can find.  I am the voice of reason.

Santa wanted to know if Charlie has been naughty or nice.

While we were at the tree lot Charlie was able to get a message to Santa about gifts he was looking forward to receiving.

An electric chain saw makes quick work of a cut to the trunk.

When we got back to selecting a tree we finally chose a Douglas fir which has soft short needles. The lot manager cut off some bottom limbs and fresh cut the bottom of the trunk.

The lot manager helped Charlie tie the tree to the top of his car.

The tree was then wrapped in mesh to hold it together for the short ride home on top of Charlie’s car.

Our Douglas fir Christmas tree for 2018.

We’ll keep the tree in a bucket of water on the porch for a few days until we have time to set it up properly in the living room.

Is your tree already up? Are you planning for a different holiday?

Moving Things Around

Number 7 of my 101 in 1001 is to get rid of 50 books.

There are some very good books in this pile.

I was planning to give away a pile of children’s books.

The book pile is finally diminished.

Recently I answered an ad on NextDoor.com from a pediatric doctor at Johns Hopkins requesting children’s books in good condition. They are getting at least 50 books.

We brought in the Greek olive tree first because it was the smallest and the closest.

We also brought the olive trees in the house during the cold weather.

Three trees are lined up behind a loveseat in the conservatory.

They have grown significantly since we bought them in 2013 and are much more difficult to move.

What are you discarding? Or growing?

Thanksgiving Day on the Severn River

Our Thanksgiving road trip started with a an almost serious incident.

The red sled has a busted light and a cracked bumper.

About 5 miles away from home a deer hit Sug’s car and broke a headlight.  Fortunately no one was hurt and her car still ran. Whew!

We stayed overnight near Annapolis, Maryland’s capital.

We had a beautiful time at our AirBnB on the Severn River in Maryland.

Charlie and I walked down the road at our hostess’s suggestion to see the sun rise above the horizon.

The weather was cold so we didn’t actually get on the water but the sunrise was stunning.

Looking southward on the Severn River about 8 miles north of the Chesapeake Bay.

The view from the deck of our accommodations was calm and serene this morning.

Every house has its own boat dock.

We enjoyed coffee with our hosts’ parents and found ourselves simpatico in many areas.

The Severn River, tributary to the Chesapeake Bay.

We would certainly stay here again in warmer weather.

How was your holiday?

Seasonal Rearrangement

Ever since the renovation of the house has been finished we have put the Christmas tree in the front window.

Christmas tree in the front window which is not large enough to display it to the outside.

It’s not an ideal place because it sits over a heat register which I think dries the tree out prematurely.

Usually a large Bergere chair divides the living room from the dining room.

This year we’re going to place the tree between the living room and dining room which used to have a large sound system.  One of our large chairs also usually sits in that spot.

The matching Bergere chairs are on the same side of the room for a season.

We have moved the chair across the room.

The tree will be seen from most of the first floor and away from both the fireplace and heat registers.

In observation the space seems large enough.  I have already set down our wood base to make a level spot for the tree stand.

I’ve left my son’s favorite coffee machine set up in the kitchen.

We’ll have to leave that for now because Charlie, Sug, and I are taking a short road trip for Thanksgiving.  Our dogs are in the experienced hands of my son and his wife who will be staying at The Glade while we’re away.

I’ve pulled out our only Thanksgiving decoration for a small token of the holiday.

I hope you have much for which to be thankful this year.  I wish you abundance and love.

Are you a traditional holiday decorator or do you change it up?

Charlie’s Chore List

Since Charlie is a professional musician he often has his days free.

Charlie is always the life of the party.

Tomorrow he plans to:

  • Check the chimney for a leak he has seen in the attic.

    I suggest he call our chimney service.
  • Clean out the leaves from the rain gutters.

    The low gutters are easy to access.
  • Have the piano tuned and repaired (the sostenuto pedal is not working correctly).

    The piano is very out of tune especially to Charlie who has perfect pitch.
  • Find a pearl that broke off an old pair of costume jewelry earring that have real pearls.

    Hoping to find the missing pearl.

That list should keep him plenty busy, especially cleaning the gutters.

What’s on your list?

Sugar Cookies

Last year we made ginger cookies in the shape of polar bears.

The bears are cute but sticky.

The dough was sticky and difficult to manage.

Powdered sugar, one egg yolk, and butter create a tender cookie.

This year I decided to make a sugar cookie recipe instead.

The flour is added last and the batter is smooth and thick.

The recipe is very straightforward.

The batter is divided into two parts and refrigerated wrapped in plastic for at least 2 hours.

I made only a small substitution:  instead of Fiori di Sicilia I use 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract and a full teaspoon of vanilla.

Sug managed the cutting.

In addition to using the polar bear cutter we also cut some dachshunds in honor of our pups.  This batter is very easy to roll and cut.  It was a pleasure to work with.

I’ve had the dachshund cookie cutter for about 30 years.

Before baking I used a this bamboo skewer to poke an eye in each one.

17 of these puppy cookies fit on the tray at one time.

Since we decided not to ice them, I rolled a little extra granulated sugar into the surface before we baked them to give them a little extra sweetness.

These cookies are not very sweet and taste great with coffee or tea.

We discovered the cookies baked well with the oven set on the “quick bake” option.  We also had better results when we rotated the pan halfway through cooking.  The finished cookies have been boxed up and put in the freezer.

Do you have a great recipe for a special cookie?