Saturday, November 21, 2009
I've been bird watching all morning. I can hardly relieve how sunny and clear it is for a day, late in November.

As I write, the house is being floated by tiny speaks of gold—magical rays of sun purging the usual gloominess; dancing above the once again blooming geranium...

The birds are as happy as they can be and the sky, amazingly blue and clear as it could be. I can hear my little feathered friends chirping happy songs, they’re everywhere, making the red leaves fall… While contemplating my world outside the window, I’m listening to the pure, haunting tone of the Native American flute and lush harmonies of strings of classic Nakai melodies from one of my favorite CDs. It feels so peaceful, and I’m basking in the serene atmosphere surrounding me...


All of the sudden a unanimous flapping of wings...

A new air, frigid and unfriendly, sweeps the garden floor…

I looked around trying to find the source of the sudden tremor…. until I saw her…

“Morning”—again in my garden, again frightening my birds away…. She swiftly moves, creeping, like a reptor, so as to hide from her victims, and waits patiently amidst the silent butterfly bushes….

“Morning”, is how I’ve named my new kitty friend. As I don’t know her real name, or who she belongs to or where she comes from, she is mine... and that’s the name I’ve chosen for her…. She seems to love my garden. I’ve seen her on many occasion basking in the sunshine among the faded roses, laughing at the birds, under the bushes, or like today, suddenly emerging… from nowhere.

Winter pleasures

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Outside is cold and gloomy... I woke up this morning to curls of fog, almost like ghosts unfurling and traveling the garden floor, breathing in the austerity of early winter... now winter nights increase the number of their hours, and clouds during the day dress themselves in gray... let candles glow and chimneys blaze...

...and lets cozy up with gardening books by the window, and pretty cups overflowing with our favorite hot drinks...

Sweet tea, hot chocolate or our own fancy coffee drinks to warm our spirit! Mine, a yummy Cappuccino, sprinkled with raw sugar, please!

Summer has his joys, winter his delights!

Do you look forward to winter months? What do you like about winter?

A day in my life

Tuesday, November 17, 2009
7:06 a.m. – Good morning, morning!

Outside is still dark, but there is a magical glow… the garden beyond the window is shimmering, peacefulness reposes in the form of white beams of lights on bare tree branches and naked bushes... the land had been purified with the first snow of the year.

7:08 a.m. – the magic of light

The house is dark, but I would not turn on the ceiling lights... I prefer the soft and subdued lighting that let my mind wander amidst the beauty of my surroundings, softening the rough edges, bringing inner peace. And so, I start turning on some lights—a small lamp here in this corner, a group of candles over the mantle—the shadows softly evaporating into the nothingness… it’s a magical moment—me, the shadows and the mistiness of my cozy house.

7:15 a.m. – Evidence of coffee

I love the aroma of coffee wafting through my early morning kitchen… I love the quiet spirit of the house in the wee hours of the morning, the soft murkiness that rests over each object, like a magical shawl embracing forms and shapes, and how, as the morning advances, natural light from outside starts creeping in through the window in magical shades....

7:30 a.m – The day starts

I’d never ever leave it unmade...

Is a made bed a morning must in your house? Or is it about as common as a blue moon? I need to know that it's been made—tightly tucked sheets and perfectly placed pillows.

8:00 a.m. -- Breakfast by Mike!

Spanish Tortilla! A slow cooked, thick omelette with potato filling. So simple but so delicious! As far as authenticity is concerned, Spaniards would have you believe that the only filling to the Tortilla was potatoes. But a sprinkling of spinach brings color to the Tortilla as well as making good use of whatever vegetables are available.

Today I am wearing my new scarf... I have bought two new scarves and several winter tights in all sort of interesting patterns. They’d look good with my boots, and with my gray Mary Jane shoes and gray pencil skirt... and I have plans for our guess bedroom. I’m in the mood for painting. I think I’m going to paint the big bed in white.

The geraniums by the window in my kitchen are blooming again.

And outside, facing the geraniums, the last of the roses are covered in icicles...

I have peace in my heart.


I have created an altar in my heart in thankfulness
for all the blessings bestow upon my house...
Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.


Sunday, November 15, 2009
Welcome to “Show Off Your Cottage Monday”, a blog party I host at the beginning of each week to celebrate the things we love about our homes and how we live.

Today I’m celebrating life over a cup of tea!

Outside, a cold wind is howling, all morning the rain has been pelting the windows... I’m enchanted by the music it makes—rain and glass... the sound soothes my soul, tea, rain, the perfect moment... I'm taken back to an age where ladies took tea and couples waltzed as string ensembles played. I'm there, in a place I’d never seen, or even heard of... a place only possible inside of me; somewhere lost in imagination, where gentlemen walked out togged in bowlers and gold-tipped canes, and the women on their arms led dainty dogs on leashes.

Perfect weather for the mood. Creaks and crashes and whirls of wind and rain over a cup of tea!

When winter draws near, it's time to dream... time to discover life over the simplicity and tranquility of a cup of tea. There’s nothing more enjoyable for me than a cup of tea deep in sweet reflection, looking at the wintry world outside the window from the coziness of my warm home… just by myself....

Now it’s your turn to tell us what you’re celebrating. If you have something to share with us on your blog, then add your link below. Just please be sure to:

1. Add the permalink to the specific blog post, not your general blog address.
2. Link back to the party from your post so that your readers can come and see what everyone else is celebrating today!
3. Double-check to make sure your link works and goes to the right page!
4. Copy and paste of cute "Show Off Your Cottage Monday" logo on your blog so others can joint celebrating.
5. And enjoy your home!

Ps: The winner of our Pfaltzgraff giveaway is Cindy loo Hunsaker! Please send me your address and collection chosen... A huge thank you to all of you for listening to my every day tales, for your thoughtful responses, for encouraging me to take more photos, and for coming back and reading this blog over and over again. Thank you. You have no idea how much happiness your responses bring me.

My autumnal garden

Thursday, November 12, 2009
Autumn is quickly heading towards winter. And so the garden pulls up its winter cloak and leans into the frosty winds of December...

The Callery Pear is always a bit slow in redressing itself for the changing seasons, it has retain its lovely garments in the colors of golds, and bright oranges, and burnt burgundies, longer than its counterparts, the Flowering Crab Apple, Flowering Plum and tall Birch... their naked branches silently swaying in the air like a skeleton’s boney arms...

The ground has turned clammy, covered in leaves and ready for dormancy. They’re so much to discover here: little secret places, leave-covered fairy holes under the butterfly bush, underbrush awaken by magic in the early morning... the garden has become a poet’s palettes of sensations and emotions.... pretty soon it will be like waking from a dream and stepping out into the world once again.

The birdfeeders had been emptied for a while, but again the birds are finding all sorts of goodies everywhere. They are busy flying around, twittering and fluttering as they find new seeds and a fresh supply of suet to suit their bud taste....

During the shorts cool evenings of autumn, my world turns magical... a weak sun strut by my kitchen window every evening, as he kisses good-night the sleepy garden—swathing it in silence, and a kind of muffled darkness.... when the nights come in, earlier now, I can see the sky layered in the same autumnal colors as the sun goes down, until it becomes blackened with shadows and dark clouds...

Far away, the little houses all dotted with lights make me think of people, and what they’d be doing in their houses that very moment... cooking dinner in kitchens of warm houses, getting little children cozy up in warm, fuzzy footie pajamas, as they begin their imagined evenings. As for me and my man, in a little while we’ll be in bed surrounded by heaps of feathery fluffy white pillows and the night “Sally Holmes-breeze” scratching our window outside.

I just love this time of the year!

ps: Please remember that our Pfaltzgraff giveaway will be ending next Monday, so you still have time to participate. Good luck to ya' all!

Another Pfaltzgraff giveaway!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Winter is for the birds and bright holly berries and for snowy days and plump jolly snowmen. Winter is also a time for joyful reunions, for family and friends around lovely tables filled with wonderful food and lovely dinner plates...

(My Thanksgivings table last year)

Have you started planning your Thanksgiving Holiday Dinner yet? Before you know it the holidays will be here with all their busyness, and things to do.

Getting your dishes ready for the table several days ahead of time is always a good idea. Wouldn't it be great to have some new dinner pieces on our table this year?
Well... at least now one of you can! Here, at "the house in the roses", is also time for another Pfaltzgraff giveaway! Pfaltzgraff is offering our winner a choice of a 4 person dinnerware set in either the Winterberry, Evergreen Ernie or Woodland Collections. Any of these lovely patterns will add a touch of elegance and subtle beauty to you table setting. You could be the winner, so hurry and enter to participate!

I will announce the winner next Monday at our "Show Off Your Cottage Monday". Good luck!

Clean Oven- Check

Friday, November 6, 2009
I just cleaned my oven!!!!!  

It was way overdue.  It had been a year (I think), but it looked like I had never done it before.  GROSS!!!  

Oh, did I mention that I cleaned it CHEMICAL FREE!!!!  That's right, no harsh chemicals here. 

Oven cleaners are one of the most toxic products people use. They contain lye and ammonia, which eat the skin, and the fumes linger and affect the respiratory system. 

Then there is the residue that is intensified the next time you turn your oven on.  

Instead, I used Shaklee's all natural Scour Off Heavy Duty Paste.  (I love this stuff, I use it in my shower, bath and sinks too!)

Here are some before pictures.....


Embarrassing!!! I know, that's why I cleaned it.  First, I ran the self cleaner and that helped.  After 4 hours and 20 minutes it looked like this...(I was bummed because I wanted it to be done after that)


Then, I waited for it to cool down, Ok, it was like a day! LOL!  I scrubbed and scrubbed with my trusty scour off and now it looks like this.....


YEAH!!!! I brand new looking stove without the harsh dangers of oven cleaner.

I also want to let you know that you can put your range hood vent in the dishwasher.  Here are some pictures of that...



I hope that this helps you! 

How often do you clean your oven?
Bonnie :)

Please visit my online Shaklee site.
Scour Off Heavy Duty Paste