Thursday, January 31, 2013

What Size is Your Cottage?


Photo Source

Mine is small!  The principal part of the house is a mere 760 square feet, plus there's a utility porch that's about 100 square feet.  I won't share a photo of the exterior.  From the street my home looks like a plain, ordinary, humble little house.  There's not a thing to set it apart from any others in the small town older neighborhood in which I live. Except, of course, that it's my house. :o)

A house can have a "cottage look and feel," but if it's not suitably small, can it be a cottage? My old Webster's says: "a small house, usually of one story." (In this day and age, how many square feet does a small house have?) On the other hand, maybe it's all about a "cottage mentality." 

Well, mine doesn't look like a cottage from the outside, but I want to work on that: maybe someday some shutters and trellises, English cottage garden flowers, birdhouses, flowering trees.... My yard is much larger than my house, with a rather shady backyard. I'm afraid I've neglected my "garden" as the English would say, so I must get with the program! (Where's Richard Bucket, pronounced Bouquet, when one needs him?)

I love the smallness of my house. I can literally see diagonally from one end to the other. When searching, there are only so many places something can be. I'm also forced to regularly evaluate and weed out items I don't need or treasure anymore, which helps keep my "inventory" from overflowing. I can talk (well, sometimes holler) to the family member who lives with me from anywhere in the house and be heard.  We can hear when the kitties get into a squabble and rapidly mediate their altercations. And with the washer and dryer on the utility porch, I don't have to go down any stairs to do laundry.

My little cottage is no design dream; rather it needs a ton of work that in all likelihood won't be completed during my lifetime.  But that's OK.  It's cozy and comfy.

The other day my kitty desk calendar said: "Snuggle down in all the love God has for you."  That just warms my little floppy heart. (The name of the calendar is "God Cares- about every little thing in your life." It's perpetual, flips over, and only lists the manufacturer as Product Concept Manufacturing, Inc.)

Dear Friends, during these cold winter months, I hope you'll snuggle down in your cottages and breathe in all the love God has for you.


Let not your heart be troubled:
ye believe in God, believe also in me.
In my Father's house are many mansions:
if it were not so, I would have told you.
I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come again, and receive you unto myself;
that where I am, there ye may be also.
John 14:1-3   KJV

Mansions, rooms (NIV) ... or maybe ... cottages?!

The weekend approaches!
Bess

Monday, January 28, 2013

Alda Ellis - Part Two


This is the book I was looking for yesterday. It was right under my nose! (Which probably explains why I couldn't find it.) :O)  Alda's books have a wholesome, Christian slant. They are lovely to look at and full of good ideas. She has written many others that I don't own.


Oh, that's a cozy picture above! The back of the book:


Must dash back to work, but wanted to share this book.

Happy Monday!
Bess

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Book Talk: Alda Ellis


Over the years I've managed to collect some of Alda's books. Most are gift books, with wonderful vintage art, poetry, quotes, sentiments, and Alda's heartfelt writing. A couple (the bottom two above) contain recipes and seasonal/event entertaining ideas:




Ms. Ellis used to own Alda's Forever Company, selling gorgeous silver and gifts. Her advertisements were often seen in Victoria Magazine. Now she and her husband open their home and property near Little Rock for weddings and events. You can learn more about Alda and Magnolia Hill here.





If any little word of mine
May make some heart the lighter;
If any little song of mine
May make some life the brighter;
God let me speak that little word
And take my bit of singing
And plant it in some lonely vale
To set the echoes ringing.
Anonymous
(from A Heart Full of Happiness by Alda Ellis)





From My Front Porch

I remembered too late that I also have The Gentle Art of Hospitality. A quick search hasn't revealed its hiding place, so I will have to share it with you another time.

I must close and go outside and enjoy some of this balmly, albeit breezy day we're having here. If you're getting freezing rain and ice, please be extra cautious! You are too precious ... don't want you to take a spill!


He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Isaiah 40:29

Linking to Charlotte's Spiritual Sundays. Please visit and read some of the great posts you'll find there!

Wishing you a wonderful day and a blessed week!
Bess

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Potpourri of Pink


Plays "Happy Birthday to You."

 Mandevilla buds:


 A booklet by Colette:


A demitasse cup, Tuscan Fine English Bone China:




A cup without a saucer:


Guess who?


Noritake:


1960s cancelled stamp art by Jessie Nolan:


A good devotional:


blurry photo

Pink cotton yarn and pink journals:


Johnson Brothers Rose Chintz:


A sketch I did of my son nearly 30 years ago, photo colorized pink:


Some good advice to keep us "in the pink":

(This pink almost hurts my eyes!)

That's about what I have by way of pinks, except for my recent post here.

Linking up with Pink Saturday!  Be sure to stop by and see all the pink beauty to be found there!

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Philippians 4:4

Enjoy your Saturday,
Bess
Sorry ... I forgot to allow comments! :o(

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Great Interventionist


Beautiful calendar from Megan at
Lilac & Lavender!

Don't you just appreciate God and what He does for you?! As I look back over my sixty years, I see so many times when I didn't get what I thought I wanted. Yet now I can give tremendous praise and thanks to God for not giving me the very things I thought I just had to have. 

With some of my goals/hopes/desires/wants, it's taken years to realize God was right all along, and that He helped steer my course. But fortunately, sometimes I realize God's wise intervention much sooner. For example, somehow this winter I became ... well ... addicted ... to peanuts. They were something I could have that wasn't full of sugar, AND they tasted good.  But as I put away another new can of peanuts, I'd shake my head at the thought I had gone through one can in a week, and then I was going through more than that. Do you know how many calories that is?! Oh my. I really needed to cut back, but ....

Then about ten days ago, I got what I assume was a peanut stuck in what I assume is my mild hiatal hernia. Oh my again. And I haven't touched a peanut since. Divine intervention and direction ... in this particular case, somewhat like a lesson from Nanny McPhee! Lesson learned and addiction over. Well, I hope it is at least.  Some people might not believe that God cares about such trivial matters, but I believe He does.

And even with the big things in life such as career choices where we keep on running into so many closed doors our noses grow flatter, that can be God trying to get us to listen to Him and think things through. Is that career really, truly for me? Or is the Good Lord trying to tell me something, if I'd only pay attention? I know of the sentiment "Never Give Up," but sometimes I think God is trying to tell us there's something better, and we need to apply our efforts to finding out and switching over to what He really wants us to do.

God is so wise, and thankfully, He's merciful and patient as well.  I'm so grateful for His intervention in my life. Father really does know best.

As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:9

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6  NKJV

And we know that all things work together for good
to those who love God, who have been called
according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28

I believe God is still on His throne directing our lives, answering prayer, and intervening as He sees fit.  And that brings me much comfort.

More lovely work from Megan at
Lilac & Lavender.

Looking forward to the weekend!
Bess



Sunday, January 20, 2013

In the Pink!



I was blessed to receive some lovely stationery from Papyrus from my dear son and daughter-in-law for Christmas. I could get something from Papyrus every Christmas and be a very happy camper!  (I also received a wonderful Amazon GC which was great fun spending.)






Lovely large envelopes:




Lovely sentiment:

Hope you can read the above; the print is rather light.



Darling note cards:



I also recently purchased two Hallmark gift bags just for the beauty they impart and the sheer delight they give me:




And something from Amazon is always fun ... Oh look!


No returns on this package! It's a Sweetie!


Kallie, on the other hand, finds all this dreadfully boring and says: "I wish she'd take those books off the chairs so I can pull off the towels."  Grumble, grumble, grumble:


Oh well.  I hope you're feeling "in the pink" today and will have the kind of week ahead that brings you sheer delight!


I have sought your face with all my heart;
be gracious to me according to your promise.
Psalm 119:58

For this is what the high and exalted One says--
he who lives forever, whose name is holy:
"I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one
who is contrite and lowly in spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly
and to revive the heart of the contrite."
Isaiah 57:15

"The one who is revived is one who knows how to
hold on to God's promises." (Catherine Martin in Revive My Heart)

Linking to Kathy's "delightsome" A Return to Loveliness party.  Please stop by her lovely blog!

Thanks to all my faithful readers for stopping by and a big welcome to any new visitors! I've been pondering allowing comments, so guess I'll try it. I know readers enjoy reading the comments of other readers, as do I. So even though it might take me a day or two to read it, please feel free to leave a comment if you're so inclined!

Hoping it's sunny where you are,
Bess

Friday, January 18, 2013

Adjusting to New Curtains



A few weeks ago I splurged on a total of 19 new 84" thermal curtain panels for all the rooms in my house (excluding the enclosed porch). I'd had my sheers up for years. Loved the light they let in, but not the cold:




I found the thermals online at Walmart, but naturally, they were out of my first color choice. So the starkness of the stone blue next to white walls takes some getting used to. It's a bit soon to tell if they've helped my gas bill, but I'm hoping they will by a noticeable amount.

With the flash.  Without is a truer color. 

They came with sharp creases, but fluffing in the dryer with a damp tea towel helped a lot. I'm really pleased with the quality.


The view toward the china cabinet. This photo was spur-of-the-moment, so I didn't remove the towel(s) I keep on my grandmother's needlepoint chairs. I now have to keep books on them as well, because Kallie kitty has taken to pulling the towels off for entertainment. Hopefully she'll forget her new game before too long.

Well, this post smacks of desperation! :o) This time of year I have so little time at home with sunshine that I'm not getting many photos taken. Hopefully this weekend I can get a few snaps for other posts.

My kitty desktop calendar for tomorrow says:  "When things go wrong, go right to God."  Great advice, don't you think?!

I hope you're off to a joy-filled start to your weekend.  Try to relax, and remember:

... greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.
1 John 4:4 KJV

... in all these things we are more than conquerors,
through him that loved us.
Romans 8:37 KJV

Be still, and know that I am God.
Psalm 46:10 KJV

When there is no answer, Jesus is the Answer.  He's got your back!

Many blessings be unto you,
Bess