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Friday, November 7, 2014

Persimmon Puzzler....

     Greetings cottage friends! I am up this morning with a cup of coffee beside me and have been watching some TED videos on YouTube. I get so inspired by watching the wonderfully diverse array of people who come to speak at these conferences. So many wonderful thoughts and ideas! I have also been to a few of my favorite web sites this morning and have been looking up recipes for anything Persimmon.  
     A few days ago my husband and I were out at our local SAM"S Club and bought a package of FUYU Persimmons. Growing up in WV (or any of the other eastern states where persimmon trees grow) I developed a taste for the wonderful flavor of our native version of this delicate little fruit long ago. There used to be several trees in our area and I pretty much knew where each of them grew. Some of them have died through the years and some have been cut down. Alas, for whatever reason, they are now all gone. SO, when I saw this larger, meatier version at SAM'S I thought I would give them a try. Well, I was sorely disappointed!!! I was expecting a soft, sweet almost creamy texture like our own native fruit, Instead the texture and the taste was almost like biting into raw pumpkin~YUCK! But then I remembered what all the older folks always said about the ripening process of persimmons; they are only good after the first frost. I began thinking, what if I put them in the freezer over night??? OK, this might work; and so I did! SUCCESS!!! They turned out YUMMY!!! Soft, sweet, creamy~everything I remember a persimmon being, but with no huge seeds. I haven't tried to use them in my Aunt's wonderful Persimmon Pudding recipe yet, but that might be next; IF I can keep from eating them like a happy little raccoon (they are well known persimmon connoiseurs). I guess it took a WV mountain girl to know what it takes to ripen a persimmon~lol! 
   
Until next time, Stay Cozy, 
Charlotte

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Simple Woman's Daybook


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


For Today
November 4th, 2014

Outside my window... the vibrant colors of last week have now passed with the colder temperatures of this week. Only a few trees with golden leaves remain on the hill sides. 

I am thinking...  about sweet childhood memories and how they would make for some wonderful children's stories.

I am thankful... to have friends; old and new.

I am wearing... my comfy morning jammies, again. 

I am creating... more floral creations, Christmas swags and such.

I am going... out to vote later on today. 

I am wondering... if there are still any REAL honest politicians out there...

I am reading... a book that was published in 1910 titled: Light O' the Morning written by Mrs. L. T. Meade. It is a beautiful story about a family in Ireland. I am truly loving the story! 

I am hoping... that this winter will not be too long or cold.

I am learning... that my mom had lots of really old books at her house.

Around the house... something NEW! A beautiful little DOLL HOUSE made for me by my friend! She said she wanted to make me a doll house a couple of months ago. Last week she posted to me on Facebook that she had it ready! I went over to her house for a visit and to pick it up yesterday. I LOVE it! She filled it with all sorts of beautiful tiny treasures, too! 

In the kitchen...  coffee is just now finishing and I will be making some toast for my breakfast. We will be having baked pork chops for our supper this evening, I think. 

I am pondering... "what can I do to be a better friend"

A favorite quote for today... Autumn burned brightly, a running flame through the mountains, a torch flung to the trees. 
~Faith Baldwin, American Family

One of my favorite things... spending time with friends.

A few plans for this week: not much planned. I am realizing that unplanned days hold a beauty all their own.

A peek into one of my days from last week... 
My new little dollhouse my friend made for me!

Thank you to Peggy for this Daybook. I always enjoy participating and reading what others post in their entries, too. 



Thursday, October 23, 2014

Life at the Cottage.....

     Well, I think it is time for another blog post. I am trying to get back in the habit of coming here at least once a week to let you all know what I am up to. Facebook takes a lot of my time in the mornings but I so love seeing everyone there and stopping by their pages to comment on their posts. It is something that I really look forward to each day. 
     I have really been working on sorting through all of the stuff that has accumulated in our cottage through the years and especially over the past couple of years with the loss of both our mothers. There is just so MUCH of it all. Not to mention all of the toys, games and such that our ever growing son has outgrown and accumulated himself. I am starting to go through his closet and toy chests and games. Yes, embarrassing as it may seem, momma here has really had a hard time getting rid of all his toys. I guess that comes along with him being born to me later in life, being the "baby" and being an unexpected blessing. It just seems like it has been twice as hard on me to let go this time around. Poor kid, hope he doesn't end up with a Norman Bates syndrome~eeeek! Just kidding. (smile) 
     Yesterday I laundered a couple of loads of stuffed animals which will be donated to a thrift store run by a local church. They turned out so FLUFFY and smell so good, too. I almost cried while going through them. He always loved his stuffed animals when he was little. He was always one of those kids who insisted on sleeping with ALL of them. Sometimes it was hard to see him in the bed for all of the animals~lol! Gee, I miss those days. Now he has his video game system in the bed with him or the DS, or some other piece of technology~sigh. 
     But moving on back to my sorting: I also went through my closet and decided to donate some of the "skinny clothes" that I have been hanging on to for the past couple of years. I am not giving up on losing weight, I just know that these things would best be used by someone who can fit into them now. The Lord is good to me and I know that when I finally lose this weight He will provide the means for a new wardrobe for me. 
     I ended up with quite a nice little stack of items to be donated. I pray that they go to good homes where there is a need. The little thrift store where they are going is one of our favorite places to shop for things, as well. We have so much fun going there to look for clothes and I find a lot of pretty little containers to use for my flower arrangements. The money they earn from the items goes to help families in need with food and clothing. Their prices are really great and affordable for most everyone. The people there are kind and attentive without being overbearing or intrusive while you are shopping around. Good folks. I love donating to them. I always try to clean and repair any items which need attention. 
     God has been so GOOD to us, it is nice to be able to share those blessings with others. When those blessings flow in, it is a natural progression to let blessings flow out. When we don't we end up with hoarding issues. Too much stuff leads to stress, dis-organization and anxiety. Over time we can become completely stifled and end up throwing up our hands and saying, "what's the use". It feels good to start with even just one little closet. 
     Anyway, that is what I have been up to since my last little post. I am also sitting down every now and then with a new set of 72 Colored Pencils and trying to get back into my drawing mode. I still have the architectural markers I bought a few years ago so I might just have to pop those out of storage and put my "Artist" hat back on. You never can tell with me~lol! 
     I hope that you all have a sweet week. 

Stay Cozy, 
Charlotte

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Pork Chops and Apple Crisp

     Good morning, Cottage Friends! This morning we have fog over our little valley and temperatures in the 50s, but it feels much more chilly~brrrr. How is the weather where you are? I am hoping that you are warm and comfortable no matter how chilly it might be outside. 
     Last night we had our fried pork chops for dinner and I made the apple crisp that I had intended to bake for Monday evening. Monday ended up being a real busy day with the focus on floor care; vacuuming, sweeping and so on. My sweet hubby cleaned out from around his computer area. He has an older one just for his favorite older games. There was a LOT of tools and CDs and cassette tapes in that area and he took the time to organize them and find homes for everything! See me smiling! Anyway, by the evening we were both pretty tired and so we opted for some pizza for our supper. But I digress, back to the Apple Crisp. 
     I always use my mom's good old recipe as it is really simple. She used to make them quite often for us in the fall and winter especially if we were having a big pot of pinto beans, corn bread and fried wienies. It was always a bit of heaven to walk into our house from the cold after a L-O-N-G day in school to the smell of baked cinnamon and apples back then. Sweet memories! If you have never baked an apple crisp then you are missing out on a real treat. Here is mom's recipe: 

Mom's Apple Crisp

Filling
4-5 Large Apples 
(I like Rome or Gala but any kind will do)
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp cinnamon

Slice the apples into either a 9" x 9" or a 9" x 11" buttered baking dish.
Pour the water over the apples and then sprinkle with the lemon juice. 
Sprinkle the top of the apples with the cinnamon. 

Topping

1 cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
1 cup All Purpose flour
1 cup packed Brown Sugar
1/2 stick cold Butter 

Mix the oats, flour and brown sugar together in a large bowl. 
Cut the butter into small pieces as you add it into the bowl.
With either your clean hands, a large fork or a pastry blender, mix
in the butter until you have a loose sand texture to the topping. 
You don't want it lumpy or dough like. 
Spread the topping over the apples evenly and loosely. Don't pack
it down as this makes for a hardened topping when it is done.
Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. 
That's it! 

     You can add other ingredients if you like. My mom was an "eye-ball-it" cook most of the time. If she thought something else might make things taste better, or if she had raisins or nuts that she needed to use up, well those might end up in the crisp, too. If she didn't have oats, well she just did the recipe without them. She believed in keeping things simple and good and we loved her for it! 
     I coated my pork chops with round butter crackers finely crushed and a little bit of seasoned salt before frying them for the first time last night. No flour, no extra seasonings, just the crackers and the seasoned salt. We LOVED them! I think this is how I am fixing them from now on. Who says an old girl can't learn new tricks~lol! 
     Well, I am going to leave my little blog for now. It feels so good to be back at this again. I have so missed writing here and reading other beautiful blogs. I am beginning to feel more and more like my old self again and am glad that I have all of you to share things with. My syntax might not be perfect, my content may be simple, but you all love me just the way I am and I love you for that. 
     I am hoping to get more organizing done today and we are still sorting out things to donate to the rummage sale being held by the youth at our church on the 18th. Wishing you all a wonderful and productive day!

Stay Warm and Cozy!
Charlotte 
 

Monday, October 6, 2014

October 5th Daybook Entry




For today: Monday, October 5, 2014

Outside my window... overcast and expecting some rain today. The leaves on the mountain are golden and some of the trees have lost all of their leaves. We had a really chilly Sunday with early morning temperatures in the mid 30s~brrrr! 

I am thinking... about how quickly time passes and that we should never take anything for granted. This is a lesson I keep learning about over and over again.

I am thankful... for our sweet home and family. God has blessed us richly, indeed 

I am wearing... Aqua jammies, soft and pretty. I wish all my clothing was this comfortable! 

I am creating... more floral arrangements and starting to sort old family photos into groups of people. I am hoping to do some scrap books for individual family members. I am thinking of using the vintage greeting cards to coordinate along with pictures of the people who sent them to us over the years. Mom left me quite the collection of photos and cards; might as well put them to a creative use.  

I am going... no where today; just planning to vacuum and do some studying with Caleb. I am going to be spending a bit of the day watching him create and edit a video game he is working on in Unity. He is becoming very proficient with this program. 

I am wondering... when I will ever feel like my old social self again. It has been at least two years since I really felt like dressing up and getting out there with people. I used to be very active in church and loved to go to services and sing in our choir; now we go only occasionally. Mostly because I have a hard time finding clothing that is comfortable enough and also due to some of my husband's current health issues with his legs and his feet. We are looking for solutions as we miss being with our church family. (PS~wish I could just wear my comfy old jammies to church~lol) 

I am reading... still mostly magazines and my devotional books. I am thinking of starting a new book that was given to me by a friend. I will let you know more later...

I am hoping... to get some things together for a rummage sale that the youth at church are holding on October 18th. 

I am learning... still working on some crochet and learning about video game editing with Caleb.

Around the house... peace and quiet for now as my hubby and son are still upstairs. They haven't even stirred this morning. 

In the kitchen...  planning to have pork chops for supper and maybe a good old apple crisp. 

I am pondering... Reflecting on the sermon by Charles Stanley yesterday. Wondering about my spiritual gifts~what are the gifts God has given me to use for Him? 

A favorite quote for today...Home is where the heart can laugh without shyness. Home is where the heart’s tears can dry at their own pace. ~Vernon Baker  

One of my favorite things... apple cinnamon tea with honey on a chilly afternoon

A few plans for this week: Women's Bible Study tomorrow morning

A peek into one of my days from this past week... No current photos, but here is an old favorite I will share with you: 
Caleb in 2004 dressed as Spider Man

I hope that you have enjoyed my Daybook entry for this week. If you would like to post your own entry just visit Peggy here for details. 

Enjoy your Monday and Stay Cozy, 
Charlotte







Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A Daybook Entry


From The Simple Woman's Daybook


I was thinking this morning of The Simple Woman's Daybook.  I haven't done one of these for the longest time. I used to get such a blessing from writing one and from reading the entries of other bloggers, too. So without further delay; here is my entry for today: 


Outside my window... a dusky sky, changing colors of leaves on the mountains and a few birds on the telephone wires in front of our house. 

I am thinking... about this time last year and taking my mom for all of her appointments. We used to go out to lunch afterward and then maybe take a drive around some of her favorite old places. I am really missing her, dearly.

I am thankful... my new found interest in being creative again

I am wearing... my favorite comfy jammies 

I am creating... wreaths, flower arrangements and learning crochet

I am going... to start teaching Caleb Macbeth today

I am wondering... if I will ever get this house truly organized again-lol

I am reading... very little right now, magazines mostly

I am hoping... to get the outside of our house and the porch furniture sprayed off for the fall this weekend. It always seems so good to get that done; makes everything feel so fresh. 

I am learning... basic crochet stitches. 

Around the house... I still have a LOT of my mom's things sitting around; no more room in closets and no where to sit them for now. I must start sorting out what stays and what goes, but it is a hard decision to make. My children have taken some things and my brother, too but she had so many pretty things! 


In the kitchen...  meat loaf for supper



I am pondering... the things we talked about at my Women's Bible Study yesterday


A favorite quote for today... October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came,—
The Ashes, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The sunshine spread a carpet,
And every thing was grand;
Miss Weather led the dancing;
Professor Wind, the band....
The sight was like a rainbow
New-fallen from the sky....
~George Cooper, "October’s Party"

One of my favorite things... the smell of smoke in the air from the neighbor's fireplace on cool mornings, all things pumpkin, spice candles and candy corn

A few plans for this week: the WV Pumpkin Festival at Milton, WV 

A peek into one of my days... 

If you would like to participate follow the link here Sending a BIG thank you to Peggy for hosting this wonderful daybook! 

Hoping that you have a COZY day! 
Charlotte


Thursday, September 25, 2014

A New Venture.....

   HAPPY AUTUMN, cottage friends! This is one of my two favorite seasons! I have always said that I would love nothing better than having six months of Spring and six months of Fall~wouldn't that be grand? (Sigh) I am so ready for beautiful fall colors, cool days, pumpkin & apple everything and bonfires! I have our cute little scarecrow swag on the front door and a little pumpkin arrangement on the table between our rocking chairs, too. 
   Yesterday I took time to work on some fall floral arrangements. I had mentioned in an earlier post about the possibility of my beginning a new venture and selling some of my floral work and such. Well, as a life-long and dedicated procrastinator it has taken me a while to get myself started, but I think I am finally ready to get things started! YAY! Anyway, here are the first three of my efforts:







   I am hoping to post the sizes and prices for them tomorrow on my FB page. I am also hoping to get more done by the weekend including some wreaths and everyday arrangements. I hope that you are all well and enjoying a beautiful day in your corner of the world. Sending you ((hugs)) for now!

Stay Cozy, 
Charlotte
  

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Being Home

To me the most pleasant place to be is right here at home. I find such peace and contentment within these familiar old walls. Right now my hubby is out fishing a bit and our son is at a day camp learning about computer design programs and such and I am here all by my lonesome. It has been a quiet morning as I have scrolled all over FB and read blogs. I have sipped on my coffee and water and had a really good corned beef sandwich for my lunch~mmmm-mmm. I have put away one load of dishes from our good old dishwasher and started loading another~anyone else notice their dishwasher is NEVER empty for very long~lol! I am now taking a minute to post a little note on my blog to say "hello" to all who will stop by here. Loving the sweetness of this little time alone. God bless you all and hope that you are having a sweet day, too. 

Hugs from WV, 
Charlotte

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Healing...Be Back Soon

I will soon be returning to posting bits and pieces of my days here on this blog. I have been missing it, but am healing now from the loss of my sweet mom. I love all of you who take time to check in here to visit a while and catch up on us here at the CHC. Hope you are all well and enjoying a beautiful summer. Sending you all ((Hugs)) for now. <3 nbsp="" p="">

Friday, May 2, 2014

Aiken House & Gardens: The Charming Cottages of Oak Bluffs

OH MY!!!! Check out the beautiful little cottages of Martha's Vineyard featured on the Aiken House and Gardens Blog! I was almost giddy as I looked at these photos. You all know how I feel about a pretty cottage; these left me wanting to take a trip to Martha's Vineyard this morning. Grab a cup of tea (or coffee) and go on the tour. Here is the link to the blog post:

 Aiken House & Gardens: The Charming Cottages of Oak Bluffs






Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Cleaning Continues...

Good morning from Beautiful Downtown Dunbar, WV!!! I am in very good spirits this morning as the sun is shining, the flowers are blooming and the temperature is well above freezing at a comfortable 60 degrees Fahrenheit!!! YAY!!! I have been diligently working around the cottage with our continued effort of spring cleaning this week. I mentioned in my last post that we have recently been blessed with an influx of household and craft items; so much so that it feels like our humble home is bursting at the seams! It is wonderful and exciting but a bit of a challenge as we make room for the new while sorting through and eliminating some of the old and familiar. What to keep, what to donate, what to toss; it really is a demanding task that calls for great levels of concentration and the power of deduction. Next comes the task of finding storage space for the items we are keeping~whew!
I have also started taking down curtains and drapes to launder and freshen up. That always makes the house feel crisp and clean. I printed off a really pretty Spring Cleaning List to keep me on task with my chores. I feel so motivated! :-)
I am thinking about taking a consignment space at a local vintage and home decor boutique where I will offer floral arrangements and vintage household items. I will tell you more about it as I get closer to getting it opened. I am fairly exuberant at the prospect and having fun planning the layout and selecting the items I plan to offer there~(squeal!!!).
I LOVE this time of year! The trees outside are at that beautiful stage of displaying their whisper of green on the mountains, some are in bloom with white and pink blossoms and the daffodils are bursting out in yellow splendor~just gorgeous! I hope that you are enjoying the same in your little corner of the world. To those who are still enduring winter, hang in there; spring is on the way.

Hugs from the Cottage; Stay Cozy,
Charlotte  

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Journal Notes; a New Twist for My Blogging Efforts

Dear Diary.....

I have started a NEW journal specifically for this little BLOG. I have had good intentions of getting one started for quite some time now, but just simply have not gotten a "Round-TUIT" (we all know how rare those are, right?). My hope is to keep this one close to me at all times so that I can open it up to jot down my ideas for future posts here whenever and wherever they occur to me. We shall see how this goes ;-) 
I really do love posting here on my humble little blog, though I sometimes fall short of ideas and words as I sit down to type. I am hoping to create more posts about decorating, crafting ideas, what's happening here and so on. That is where this cute little journal should come in handy. I have truly missed writing. The past several months has proven to be a real season of change and personal growth for me and it is my greatest hope that God will lead me and allow me to return to and further develop my writing and creative talents. 
I have been bless, as of late, with a rather LARGE selection of floral, crafting and office supplies. I am planning to fully put them to use and enjoy them!  I can't wait to be creative again!!! I will have to re-organize our home; prioritize, get rid of many things we are not using, find room for new things, etc. It will require much planning and work, but I am SO very ready for it! 
Anyway, this is a beginning and it seems like a good one. Stay tuned.....

HUGS to all and Stay Cozy, 
Charlotte

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Spring Has Sprung~Beautiful New Look For My Blog

Good morning, sweet Blog pals! I hope that you are all having a beautiful day in your corner of the world, wherever that may be. I haven't posted anything here in so long that I am a bit rusty in my writing skills, but I wanted to direct your attention to the gorgeous SPRING motif of my new background! I don't know about the rest of you, but I am MOST CERTAINLY ready for some SPRING around here! This has been a LONG winter and I have had enough of the snowy weather for quite a while~lol! I have lots to catch up with you all about; things have been quite different for us here at the cottage over the past several months. My beautiful mom-in-law passed away from us in July, my sweet momma is now in a Care Home, our homeschool life is now truly more UN-school as our son directs his learning more toward his personal interests and we start the preparation for future college days and so on. I will take time to blog more about all of this over the next couple of weeks. Suffice it to say that life has definitely been getting in the way of blogging, some days fly by so quickly that I wonder where they went. I have an appointment later this month with a doctor who, hopefully, will finally be able to officially diagnose my Fibromyalgia and get me on the right medications. Keep me in your prayers for that. God bless and keep you till my next post. ((HUGS))