If you look carefully, you can see the snow falling as the sun rose this morning. It is still lightly falling and there is a fresh dusting of snow on everything.
Today, is a big day in our family. It's Tim's last day of work at the company he has worked at for 20 years. He is a diligent and hard worker, he is thorough in his work and he is very skillful. His supervisor was incredulous. They did not expect this at all. They are going to miss him and his abilities very much. The Lord provided this work for him just a few months after we left the missions agency we had been with. It has been what the Lord used to provide for our family of 8. We are grateful. However it was time to make a move and on Monday morning he will begin his work at a new employer. There are perks to this. He won't have to work every other weekend now, and rarely on Sundays. He will be on a fixed schedule rather than rotating schedules every 5 weeks. The benefits package is great. He ultimately is working toward being self employed. We are excited by the possibilities. Thank you for allowing me to brag about him. He is an excellent man, and I am so proud of him.
Last Saturday, I decided it was time to rearrange the basement, now that Kay and Kamryn had moved out. This space I am showing you is directly under the living room and is where Kay and Kamryn had their space.
The girls and I had discussed make this space into a library type space for now, Tim wants to eventually make this a place we watch movies together.
This is what we came up with using what we already had down here in the basement.
I am going to paint that mirror and it will get hung up somewhere. The dry sink holds all the games that used to be on top of the bookcases. The book cases used to be on the same wall in a different area. We showed our friend Denny a few photos and he said, "It looks like a Literary Cafe!" I loved that!
We vacuumed and mopped and dusted and rearranged books.
Tim changed out the old lighting for some halogen track lighting that we still had from the store. It has brightened it up down there and we are able to direct the lighting to where we want it.
This other space got spiffed up too. If you head toward the open door you see, to the right is where the wood stove is. It also has a wicker chair, play kitchen and some dress up clothes. It's cozy. The white dresser and black bookcases need attention. Some of it is where I keep my fabric stash. Let's just say it could be better organized. Soon, it will be. We love the red color on the walls, but I think it's too dark and would like something lighter and brighter! Eventually the walls will have their baseboard trim too. We are talking plans now for the shop space which is through the open door. It is the same square footage as the master bedroom suite and will be made into a second 'master' bedroom for the girls. With built in beds. Something like this.
But a double set so it would sleep 4 people without taking up tons of floor space. I think we are getting close to having a building plan for moving my parents in here with way less expense than the original plan. Something is always happening here at Creekside Cottage! I'm never bored! What do you think? Do you like my Literary Cafe? What about the built in bunks idea? Have you ever moved your parents into your home?
A few weeks ago Holly from Chairish contacted me to see if I wanted to create a room using one of their chairs. This sounded like fun, so I said yes. These are great vintage furniture pieces! I had to learn to use Polyvore and now that I know how, I will be using it again, I'm certain. I was given a choice of chairs to choose from - here are a few.
I thought these were interesting and could be fun. I chose the blue french accent chair because I have been influenced this year my Marian at Miss Mustard Seed. I love her style, even though it's not my own, and I decided to play with this chair and create a room that looked like it had inherited furniture. You know like in Downton Abbey where their house is furnished with pieces that belonged to nearly every Earl who lived there including art work.
This is what I came up with - some old, some new. Well made, well loved, well used. What do you think?
Over the weekend, while Tim was on the mend, Rachel started to have some discomfort. By Sunday night it was pretty miserable, so off to the doctor we went yesterday afternoon. (I'm thankful they were able to get us in!) It turned out to be a cyst and needed to be drained. The best person for this task was available several hours later, so we needed to come back. The only thing is we live about 40 minutes from this office and we did not want to go home in between. That meant only one thing. We would take the opportunity to go to the Clay Bookstore! We love this bookstore because they have an awesome used book section! I'll show you one treasure I found there yesterday.
I have two of these already under the title "Hidden Art of Homemaking." I am collecting them to give one to each of my girls, so they will have this inspiring book in their own collections. The price on this book was $1.50! We found some other treasures too, that I will share another day, but we were able to find some Lori Wick books to fill out some of our her book series, and also so old volumes of Dicken's Pickwick Papers and Little Dorit. To my girls the look of the book, the bindings and covers are very important, as well, and these fit the bill. I'll show you later this week! Having sometime still to wait, we went to Middle Creek Wildlife Management area. Soon the lake here will be full of snow geese and tundra swans making their migration north to Canada, but right now our temps have been so cold the lake is frozen and covered with snow! Rachel and I drove around the lake and saw these guys ice fishing.
We've eating a picnic lunch in this spot before!
It was a beautiful day.
I can't wait to go back after things thaw out! The sight of thousands of birds on this lake is stunning! Well, back to the doctor's office we went and had the cyst drained. We are thankful and she is feeling so much better. We came home to Sarah and Tim having made Big Mac Salad and then we watched the Downton Abbey Christmas episode from last season. Today we are headed out soon for a field trip to Chick Fil A! Seriously, we are getting a tour of the place! It'll be so fun! Back tomorrow with a nifty post about a fun project I got to do for Chairish.com.
I survived my shopping trip and in the last few stores I was so warm. Between the hat and the fur lined boots, I was cooking. Came home to find that Tim was feeling better. I am going to say the Apple Cider Vinegar helped him. He says I can claim anything I want! Lol! He's sleeping in today, and it seems as if he slept much better last night than most nights this week. Thanks so much for your prayers and for continuing to ask about him. Today we are expecting snow, so we'll be working on the basement. Now that Nate and Kay are in their own place, we have the whole basement available to us once again. We are going to paint eventually, but for now, we will mop the floors and I think we are going to set it up as a library space. We have a beautiful bookcase in the basement. We are going to move that into that space and reorganize the books. We'll probably move a table into that space, too. We don't have much seating available for downstairs right now, but we'll work on that soon. Tim will be replacing lights and I eventually want to change out the fixtures. What are you up to today?
Mid-morning I'll be heading out to do my bi-weekly grocery run. I run errands on this day too, preferring to not make many trips out during the week, unless necessary. I like to save my trips out for fun, but I digress. Today we are having extremely cold temps made worse by the wind chill.
It's supposed to be a wind chill of -25 today. Right now it is 1 degree. We need food so I am heading out and braving the elements. I am going to be bundled and I thought I'd talk about what I am going to wear. I am going to wear my down jacket from Land's End. It's a bit old and I use it when I go out to feed horses because the hay doesn't stick to it. But it's my warmest jacket and it fits well again now that I have lost almost 40 pounds. I look like the Michelin Man in it since it's puffy, but it's warm, so I'm wearing it. I am going to have a sweater on as well, and leggings under my pants, warm socks with my fur lined boots, and gloves and a hat of course. Maybe a scarf, as well. The hat will be a cute one because once it's on, it stays on, even if my head gets hot. My hair is very fine, and gets really static-y, clinging to my head in the most unattractive ways, when I take my hat off. Today I'll be going to Costco, Target, Miller's Natural Foods, Leroy Miller's for milk, Christmas Tree Shoppes (great place for tea, shampoo and Quest Bars). I may run into Aldi's as well. One thing is certain. I don't have to worry about any frozen items defrosting today! I'll leave you with this sweet photo.
Nate drops Kamryn off in the mornings and she often is still sleepy, and goes back to sleep for a while on the couch. She's a precious girlie, I'm happy she's here with us during the days. Stay warm everyone and have an excellent day!
I have the best friends. Seriously I do. They are all interesting women. Two of my friends and I were trying to get together for tea for the last several weeks. But each week sickness in one family or another caused us to cancel. Yesterday, it would have been me who had to cancel but Tim wouldn't let me. I'm so glad it worked out. I live in the southern portion of our county. Its country down here. I do have a nice tea shoppe with great food about 20 minutes a way, but that is really the only one around. Or so I thought. My friend Katie found a place in a just a few minutes from her house. She lives over the river and in the next county. It is really rural where she lives. We decided to give it a try. Our friend Amy, who lives in Maryland joined us. Amy and I were amazed this place was here. We often met at a local family restaurant in this little town, because it is about half way for both of us, but we didn't love it, and we would have definitely met at the tea shop! We did not know it existed! This tea shop is called The Tea Trolley. It is in a beautiful old home, with lovely details and lace curtains. The food was wonderful, but the scones were AMAZING! The best I have ever, ever had!
Photo from The Tea Trolley website
We were all so excited that the day worked out for us to met up and it was Katie's birthday as well, so I forgot to take photos of the food! But I did get a few photos of our dishes and of us.
A nice young woman who had been having tea with her family, including two well behaved little children, graciously took our group photo. Amy, Katie and I laughed and laughed yesterday! What a good time we had.
This was my pretty place setting.
Amy's dainty pattern on her setting
And Katie's. This is a Johnson Brothers pattern, but I don't remember what Amy's or my pattern were called. Does anyone know?
I gave Katie a treasure of a book, that I found at our library's bookstore. A 1939 copy of Ella Maie Seifert's "Little Amish Schoolhouse."
Katie is expecting in early March so it is a combination baby/birthday gift.
Here I am paging through it looking for one of the illustrations that I liked. Katie loved this book. She was not born into an Amish family, but has married into one. It was a bittersweet time, too, as Amy, sister of my heart, is moving back to Texas. She has been packing, and purging the house they have rented for the last 3 years. She has passed a few things on to me, and one of them is this sign from her kitchen.
It's now hanging in my kitchen and it will always remind me of her. Its perfect for our house, as some in my family are coffee lovers, we love chickens, and I love all things Colonial. I will not say goodbye to her. I will only say, "See you soon." I love her. Now, an update on Tim. The tests at the doctor's office were inconclusive, but no infection, which is good. But we definitely know that he has at least one kidney stone. I've started him on Apple Cider Vinegar, to dissolve the stone/stones. He went to work today, he said it would help distract him from the discomfort. He wanted me to tell you all 'Thank You' for your prayers. He appreciates it. Do you love tea? Do you visit Tea Shops? Do you have a favorite place to go for tea?
Tim texted me from work yesterday to say he thought he had a kidney stone. He had taken some pain reliever and said he felt better. He has had these before and they usually pass very easily and quickly. Not this time. By time he was on his way home he was hurting. He has been drinking a lot of fluids. Last night he started to run a fever, low grade, but fever none the less. This morning he is going to the doctor. Please pray that this will pass quickly and that he will have no infection. He's a hard one to keep down, so I imagine he'll be back to work tomorrow. Thankful he'll have today to rest.
I grew up in Southern California. If we wanted to see snow we had to drive 2 hours to the mountains, in the winter. It was not something we did on a regular basis. On Facebook many of my California friends are showing off their very warm winter. Unusually warm winter. They keep saying, "Sorry, East coast friends." It's all in fun, but I'd like to say that while, we are having a very cold winter (less than last year but more than normal for us), and I am not being buried in the white stuff like they are in Boston, I don't mind winter. It truly has a beauty all its own. It also has a way of slowing us down. We enjoy roaring fires in our wood stove. We enjoy gathering in the evenings to watch a movie together, or to read a book aloud. We get to wear cute scarves and fun boots, heavy jackets, warm gloves, and hats. For warmth and not just as a fashion accessory!
This is the sight that greeted me this morning.
Tim had already done all the animal care and left for work. He texted to say that the roads were only wet though they were a bit slippery.
I love looking at my neighbor's pine trees covered in snow.
To see the wood smoke rising from the chimneys, and smell its wonderful scent in the air.
To look in the buried garden and know that Spring will be here soon! We will rejoice because we love Spring. It's a treat going without jackets in 50 degree weather (because it feels so balmy after 10 degrees), to see the crocuses pop up and the daffodils, then the tulips. To celebrate Emma's birthday and then Easter.
The beautiful frosty windows of God's design will be gone, but they'll be back next winter. The view outside this window will be green grass and pasture, beautiful trees with fresh green leaves. Everything will be lush, because we are not in drought conditions, and our water table is high, because of our snow. Our creek will be running. I've learned to embrace each season, each day with joy. To not look ahead and always wish I was at the next season or the next 'thing.' I want to be right here, right now. So West Coasters, enjoy your sunshine and hot weather! Embrace it! It's yours. But please don't feel sorry for me. I'm enjoying each and every day of this season. I hope you do too!
The high today will be 14 degrees. With the wind chill it is -23 degrees right now. Some of the wind gusts will be 50 mph today. Church was canceled and we are having a quiet morning at home. I kept waking in the night due to the howling winds, and once because of my boy coughing. He's had a bit of a cold, so I woke him and gave him cough medicine. He was sleeping fine, but I wasn't! The cough medicine helped us both sleep! I started a pot of soup yesterday. I put one of our roosters in the pot with carrots, onions, garlic, sea salt, fresh cracker pepper, and parsley and let him cook away. He made a lovely broth and combined with the meat it will be a lovely Chicken and Orzo soup for today.
I need to add the orzo and some corn. I may make some cornbread to go with this.
We are watching a pair of eagles in York County on a local newspaper's 'eagle cam.' Just click the link. The female laid an egg yesterday, so she is on the nest now, full time. Thinking ahead to our homeschool convention in May, planning some treats for Emma for her birthday, finishing up our school year. I'm starting a book today for a review I am doing for Bethany House Publishers. I'm sure I'll enjoy it. It's by Jeanette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan "Where Trust Lies." It will be my first review. I'm excited to do it. Tim is working his last Sunday for Donnelley. We are thankful how God has provided for our family through his work for them. We are also excited for the opportunity for a new job, with the same pay and better benefits, overall. They are sorry to see him leave, as he is very gifted at what he does. One last note - last night we got Five Guys Burgers and Fries (totally an off plan meal for me) for us and the kids and had 'dinner theater' here at home. We love to do this and it was fun to share Valentine's Day as a family, though we surely missed our Emma. We are making memories. I hope you all had a wonderful day celebrating with your loved ones!
Well, okay, I am not really obsessed. I just really like them, especially the color ones and I find them very useful. What am I talking about, you wonder? Canning Jars. There. I've said it out loud. We use them to drink from, we store things in them, we use small ones to hold salad dressings or peanut butter in Tim's lunches, we use them in the bathroom for cotton balls and Q-tips. The uses are endless. Here are some of mine.