Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Old Family Photos

I've been looking through old family photos, and I thought these were fun.

My big brother, Robert, and me circa 1964.

A few years later...

Then a family photo from Easter of 1970, I believe.  I would have been 6 1/2.  I'm guessing the date based on my little brother's age in this photo.

I remember how much I loved this dress and the purse!  I was so crazy about that purse.  My granddaugther, Kamryn, saw this photo last night and said, "That does not look like Birdie!" (that's what the grands call my mom.)  Birdie was probably 28 years old in this photo, and having been married at age 17, she was almost to her 11th wedding anniversary.  My dad would have been 31 years old.  My oldest is 30, and his oldest, Kamryn is about the age my big brother was in this photo!  Crazy!

A lot of the old photos are stuck into sticky backed photo albums, so I'm going to try to scan them and have them printed off.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Kitchen Cabinet Hardware Update

Remember when I showed you the hardware I bought for my kitchen cabinets?

On Saturday, Tim installed them for me!  Ignore the extra coffee pods box and other clutter.

I also had bought a black wrought iron towel hook, and used the Rub 'n Buff on it.  Tim hung that for me, too!

I only plan to have cute towels here for drying hands or dishes.  No old ragged towels!

 I am so happy to have this project done!  It is not in the budget to remodel my home, but I can do small 'refreshes' (is that a word?) to make it feel updated and fresh!

Here is where I got my hardware, in case you wondered.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Roses In Bloom

For many years, I only had a few, no fuss, climbing roses.  I was busy with kids, I said, and didn't want to have to "baby" roses.  I instead focused on hydrangea, peonies, and other perennials.

Over the last several years, as my kids were mostly grown, I've begun to add some other roses into my garden.

I first added a rose bush that didn't do anything for a few years.  Tim would always ask if it was a weed!

It has turned out to be the sweetest little rose.  This year it finally bloomed these pink, flat petaled flowers with yellow centers.   It just keeps blooming and blooming!

I know its not a great photo.  I was standing on the front step and zoomed in. I'll try to get a proper shot this week.

My David Austin rose is in bloom.  I lost one this year, and only realized two weeks too late, that I could have returned it within the year and received a refund. (I would have bought another!)  I will still likely replace it.  

 There is nothing like a David Austin rose.

This was my Zephrine Drouhin.

 It used to look like this.

I have another rose that this happened to as well, though that one used to be creamy white flowers, and they are not deep red.  Our best guess is that the reds are the root stock and the other was grafted onto it.  The grafted part must have died off, and left just the lovely red roses.

This climber was purchased inexpensively at Christmas Tree Shops, as was the pink, flat petaled rose above.

 It's taken a few years to get established, and it is a stunner.

I'm dealing with black spot and something nibbling holes in leaves, but I am loving this beauty!

I'll show you the other climber that was white and is now deep red, later this week.  The peach rose, given to me out of my mom's garden years ago, is not blooming yet, nor is a pink climber by the deck at the back of the house.  

I hope you had a nice weekend.  We had family over yesterday, Nate grilled burgers and hot dogs for us, and we remembered those who gave their lives so that we can live free.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Memorial Day

Image result for military cemetery

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” 
                                                                             –Ronald Reagan

"This nation will remain the land of the free only as long as it is home of the brave." 
                                                                                                                                                                                             –Elmer Davis

Friday, May 24, 2019

The Garden In Late Spring

It's a beautiful day here at Creekside Cottage!  The sun is shining, birds are singing, chickens are cackling...

I need to get mulch, replace the picket fencing (which may not happen until late summer), plant an azalea that I was given for Mother's Day.  

Here are my other peonies, at the back of the house, next to a lilac tree.  I took this photo from the deck.  I have a few hosta in this bed, too, and I can see a fern that must have fallen from the deck rail yesterday!  Can you spot it?

Today, is my oldest child's birthday!  He's thirty today!  How can that be?  I still think I'm thirty!

Thursday, May 23, 2019


The dark pink have an old fashioned rose scent, and the light pink have a soft scent.  I adore both.  

I think I may look for a white peony to add to my garden.  Oh, if only peonies lasted through summer!

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Pantry Talk

My good friend Brenda, who blogs at Coffee, Tea, Books, and Me, has been writing Saturday Pantry posts for several years now.  She has experience from growing up with a mom who kept a deep pantry, and then she learned a lot back in the Y2K days.  They are always helpful and are not writing with a look to preparing for the end of the world.  You can read her latest post {here}.

When I was growing up my mom shopped once a week on my dad's payday.  I don't think we had a pantry, though we sometimes had extra canned goods if she had bought them and didn't use them that week.  At some point my parents invested in a freezer, that was out in the garage, and would buy a side of beef.

I don't remember any emergency preparations, liked stored water or foods that didn't require cooking, even though we lived in earthquake country.

During my missionary training, I learned to can meats and vegetables, and to cook from scratch but it wasn't until about 12 years ago, that we decided to build up a pantry and grow a garden.

I felt really strongly in those years that I needed to prepare my kids with skills to be able to grow food and how to preserve it.  So we had a large garden and got chickens.  These days, I buy from my local produce stand, supporting our neighbors, but I have seeds that I could use if I needed to grow vegetables. And we still have our chickens for eggs.

Living in Pennsylvania, winters can be tough, and having my pantry comes in handy when the roads are bad and I don't want to go out, or if the power goes out and the stores are closed.

My current basement pantry is set up mostly for canned foods, but I have extra cleaning products, zip top bags, tea, coffee pods.  I keep extra plastic forks and cups for when we have a crowd. (shhh, don't tell about the plastic!)

I've begun to build my pantry up a bit again, as I am concerned with geopolitical happenings.  Usually my pantry is built with a view to spontaneous hospitality, and what you find might be determined by the season. For example, in the fall and winter, you'll find more cans of Rotel type tomatoes that I use in my Chicken Tortilla soup.  If we have a large group over I make a big batch of soup and it warms and fills our bellies and goes a long way!

I learned from Brenda, that I should only store what my family will eat, so items on our shelves will look different from someone else's pantry shelves.  This has helped me so much, in building my pantry.

My upstairs pantry is just a smallish wooden cupboard.

I keep items related to my eating plan on the top shelf, oils and vinegars, flavorings and other items on the middle shelf, and snacks on the bottom shelf.

This works for us, right now.  In time, when we are empty nesters, our pantry may look completely different.  It depends on life circumstances, and we don't know what the future holds.

I organized the basement pantry the other day, Kyle was my helper for that.  He's taller than me, and that was helpful!  I organized my kitchen pantry yesterday.  It doesn't take long for things to get shoved in on a wrong shelf or to just put extra in this upstairs pantry space, before its a mess.

Do you keep a pantry?  Did you grow up in a family that did?

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Scenes From My Morning Drive {Out and About}

It's a beautiful morning in Lancaster County.

I took Sarah to work this morning, as I need our van later to run errands.  She's always in charge of the music, and some mornings its mellower than others. {grin}  This morning we had rousing music and we sang the whole way!  It makes heading out the door at 6:20 so much fun!

I cleaned out my downstairs pantry yesterday, with Kyle's help, and I'll show you that tomorrow.  I need to do the upstairs pantry cabinet, so if I get that done today, I'll show you that tomorrow as well!

I hope the sun is shining where you are today!

Monday, May 20, 2019

Busy, But Wonderful, Weekend

This past weekend was a really good one.  

It started on Friday, when I hosted my mom and some of her friends for their monthly girls luncheon.  Lindsay had come over in the morning and she made shortbread cookies, and helped me set the table.  

I had decided on blue and white, to use my new plates, and I new I had enough blue and white tea cups.  For the luncheon I made curried chicken salad and served it on a bed of spring greens, and a slice of cantalope.  I made cream scones, and had Tunnock's tea cakes, Lindsay's shortbread cookies, and a gluten free lemon yogurt cake with a strawberry puree' and whipping cream.

Everyone got to choose their own tea, of course.  They all had a delightful time, and I'm thinking that I need to host them again for an afternoon tea in the autumn!

I was proud to be invited to attend Cheryl's daughter Kati's wedding on Saturday.  

Their love story is sweet, and the wedding was lovely.  Full of family, she included all of her nieces and nephews, other than sweet baby Judah!  Cheryl's immediate family all sang the song "Welcome to the Family."  This song was one of the popular 'Psalty, The Singing Songbook' children's series, many years ago.  

I won't share more, as I will leave that to Cheryl, but it was a special day for an amazing young woman, and young man, who waited on God.

In other news, the peonies I cut have opened.  More slowly than when I get them from the floral supplier, so I think I just cut them a tad early.  The ones that aren't open are a different color and tend to bloom just a bit later than the pink.

It's peony season, friends.  Prepare to see lots of photos!

I hope you had a really good weekend.  See you tomorrow!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Here Comes The Rain, Again

Remember this pretty, sunshiny photo from yesterday?

This is how it looks today.

It's supposed to clear up this morning and be partly sunny this afternoon.  We'll see.  We've had rainy drizzle on days when they were not calling for rain at all.

Lindsay, one of her sister in laws, and another friend, have been camping back in our woods since Tuesday.  They've had a lot of rainy weather and cold, but yesterday afternoon was beautiful, and it was in the 50's overnight.  They have built their own shelter, and beds, are cooking over a fire.  I'm not sure they'll count this camp out as a favorite memory.

We had an above average rainfall year in 2018, and while I'm not sure we are having that this year, it feels like a continuation of last year.  Time will tell.

I'm hosting my Mom and seven of her friends for a tea luncheon tomorrow.  These gals get together once a month for lunch, and I invited them to my house for this month.

On the menu

Lightly Curried Chicken Salad, on a bed of mixed greens and a melon slice.

Scones - Basic cream scone, and a flavored one to be determined still.  Lemon Curd, Jam, and Cream, of course.  

Tea cakes, a Lemon Yogurt cake (low carb), and shortbread cookies.

I'll brew up a variety of teas, and have a chilled variety available, as well.

I'll try to get photos.  You know how that can go when you're hosting an event.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Kitchen Cabinet Hardware

We've lived in our cottage home for 17 years, and when we bought our home we worked on it for several months before moving in.  One thing I didn't want to spend money on was kitchen cabinets, so we thought we'd keep the outdated ones, and just paint them to give them a fresh look.  Well, it turned out that all the lower cabinets were in really bad shape, so we ended up with inexpensive pre-made cabinets.  I painted them a few years ago, and I am happy with them.

What we've never done is put knobs and drawer pulls on the cabinets.  I wanted something different than the basic ones that came with them and over the years, I just never wanted to spend the money it would take to put knobs and pulls on these cabinets. I have 9 drawers, and 15 doors in my kitchen and that's a lot of hardware which equals a lot of money.

Last week, Miss Mustard Seed (Marion Parsons) shared that she changed out the hardware on her desk and share the link to really nice drawer pulls.  I followed her link to Amazon and that lead me to hardware that I liked and fit my budget.

 I purchased a large set of knobs because the small set was not enough for my kitchen and I decided I could use them on my desk and the cabinet in the living room.  They will tie in nicely to the kitchen cabinets since the rooms are really one big open space.

The drawer pulls came a bit darker than the knobs, so I purchased Rub n' Buff in Antique Gold.

It take just a tiny bit to rub on some color and I even did the screw heads.  I think the pulls look more coppery than antique gold, but I like the way they look.  I just may need to use the Rub n' Buff on my knobs, too.

Now to get them hung on the cabinets.  I'll be sure to show you when that is finished!

Below are the links to the items I purchased.  I do not have an affiliate link, so if you want to copy the link and then go through Brenda's widget on her sidebar that'd be great.

knobs -

drawer pulls -

rub n' buff -


  We are finally getting some blue skies with real clouds, and sunshine! I took sometime with Kyle and Kamryn's help to set up the deck ...