Monday, December 31, 2012

RETIREMENT... Six Months Into It!

 Six months... that's how long it's been since we moved the last of the inventory and "stuff" out of The Cottage and locked the door behind us. I know retirement sounds easy, but I have to admit it has taken me a while to adjust. However, I think I'm getting the hang of it!

There are many things about The Cottage that I am thankful for, but the top two would be 1) all the friendships made, and 2) the fact that doing the weekly Cottage e-mail led me into doing this blog - without it I would have never discovered the blogging world. For some reason that I really don't understand, I love doing this - and if you enjoy reading what I write, please share with your friends.

I'm not usually one to spend much time looking back, but with this anniversary coinciding with the beginning of a new year, I think it is appropriate to do a bit of reminiscing. So grab a cup of coffee and take a tour down memory lane.

No tour would be complete without a last look at "the chairs." My next door neighbor, Sara (Blooms 'n Lattes) and I logged many hour in these two chairs - planning events and sharing our lives. I miss that, Sara!

So, that's enough looking back... Where are we going from here? What's next? May 2013 be a marvelous year for all of us. Happy New Year!

Till next time...


Sunday, December 23, 2012


I had not planned to post again until after Christmas, but sometimes a story just jumps out at you and demands to be told... NOW!

In 1982 I received a copy of the Dalesburg Lutheran Church Cookbook as a birthday gift from my mother-in-law. I know that because she wrote a birthday greeting for me on the inside of the cover as well as the year. This morning I picked up that old, beat up and spattered cookbook to find the Peanut Butter Fudge recipe that I use. I found it on page 286, but I also found a surprise...

When looking through cookbooks I would always make a star by recipes that I thought looked like something I would like to try making - there was a star. And then I would follow up with the date I tried it and how I liked it - this one said Good!  But it was the date that prompted  this story - it was dated 12/23/82. Thirty years ago today I made this fudge for the first time, and it has been a Christmas family favorite every year since. Isn't it amazing that I'm making the fudge today, that I even noticed the date? It all makes me smile... and share the story.

I am including the recipe. I like to use chunky peanut butter, I stir it while it is boiling the 5 minutes, and I put it in a smaller pan so that it is a little thicker.

3/4 c. butter
2/3 c. evaporated milk 
3 c. sugar 
Boil for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and add:
1 c. peanut butter
1 c. marshmallow creme 
1 tsp. vanilla.
Spread in a 9x13 pan.
May your Christmas celebration be as sweet as my Peanut Butter Fudge!

Till next time...
Christmas blessings,

Friday, December 21, 2012


Like most things in life, Christmas isn't only about the destination, but about the journey. It is the preparation that we love (or love to hate). The memories come not only from watching our loved ones open the gifts, but also from the choosing that special gift for each one. Those cookies taste good, but the process of going through recipes and then mixing the ingredients are a ritual that brings such pleasure. And decorating our homes - that is an event in itself. Oh, the memories that are tucked inside each box of Christmas decorations - and the fun of seeking out and adding new pieces. All of this is a process that takes up almost two months of every year, and it's called tradition!

There are a few more photos I want to share with you this Christmas season. The first is a chair I placed at our front door with some lighted twigs, greenery, large ornaments and ribbon. Don't look too close - the process of assembling this was a little ragged. I'm talking twine and paper clips! Oh, well, it seems to be hanging together.

This is a very simple table setting for an afternoon coffee party. The little black transferware-like plates are some that I purchased at Home Goods this fall - loving them!

These little people have a tendency to travel around during the winter months - you never know where you might find them next!

Dinner guests... I found these dishes at Home Goods as well. We had to hit two different stores to come up with enough pieces. I think they are so pretty.

I added one of my red reindeer and a gold Merry Christmas to the table.

And here's a picture of the dinner plate - almost too pretty to put food on.

I have enjoyed being able to use the traditional reds and greens the last few years. There were so many years when the colors in our home didn't work well with them.

This is the end of Christmas pictures from this Vintage Girl. We'll have to find something else to chat about after the holiday.

I wish for you and yours...
Christmas blessings,

Thursday, December 13, 2012


It's time to finish this up. Today we'll peek in the kitchen & dining area. Most of us tend to spend quite a bit of time in the kitchen (well, sometimes), so I think it's fun to include a bit more whimsy in that area... enter Santa!

I have had this Santa wreath for a long time, and I remember buying him at Lakeland Garden Center. I remember because I paid way more than I could afford at the time. But I loved him... and still do because he is so unique. I guess the message is...  if you love something, find a way, and you'll always treasure it.

My last little Santa hopped up to the cupboard top. I'm enjoying the tin pitcher I found at Blooms 'n Lattes this year. You'll notice that I have used red napkins folded over the baskets & attached a snowflake with red & white checked ribbon. I think the red and white snowflake theme will carry me nicely through Valentines Day and beyond.

For Christmas I switched out my wooden tote for a smaller basket filled with greens, glittery poinsettias and grape clusters. Sitting beneath a lamp they sparkle all day long.

The table is set for a little afternoon coffee party with friends.

A nook in our hutch provides the perfect spot for my vintage-look girls and boys skating and frolicking in the snow.
Geraldine and I want to thank you for coming by and touring our home. We hope your day is wonderful!

Till next time...


Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Over the years my mother collected Studio 56 Dickens Village pieces, and always had them displayed beautifully over Christmas and into the new year. When lit up in the evenings they created a cozy atmosphere. After moving into her apartment it was more difficult to find a spot for all of them, and so she passed them on to other family members. I ended up with a couple of them that weren't 'chosen' and somewhere along the way added a third - they fit perfectly on our stacking bookcase and brighten up  that corner of the room.

On the adjacent wall we have a lovely antique double secretary that holds all kinds of treasures - we'll talk about them another time.

These deer always look like their talking things over.

Then there are my Woof and Poof girls that I love so much - they just make me happy! The little gal on the right just joined our family this year - I hope they all get along.

We have less than two weeks to go... I think it's probably time to do a bit of baking and wrap some gifts. 

Till next time...


Sunday, December 9, 2012


Angels and Lanterns...  Everything outside is so white, I thought I would share the white angels and lanterns that sit together in one little area in our home..

The three lanterns are new this year - I found them at IKEA when my daughter and I were there this fall. I added a green and white checked ribbon and a little greenery to finish off this windowsill.

And right below them is a white lace angel that my mother made for me many years ago. You've got to love that curly hair!

These three white angels followed me home from The Cottage a couple of years ago. I fell in love with them the moment I saw them - they are just a little quirky, but so pretty!

Put it all together and it creates a bright, white spot in our living room. The sun coming in through the south window (sun?) throws a spotlight on all of these items during the day. I love the white statement with a bit of a green accent.

Have you finished your Christmas decorating? I think I'm done, but that doesn't mean that some of these things might not get moved around a bit - you just never know.

Till next time...