In the Cottage Greenhouse…How to Propagate and Transplant Moss

"At these times, the things that troubled her seemed far away and unimportant; all that mattered was the hum of the bees and the chirp of birdsong, the way the sun gleamed on the edge of a blue wildflower, the distant bleat and clink of grazing goats."  ~ Allison Croggon

Moss covered anything makes me a little dreamy and after I wrote the post showing our moss covered pathway and this sweet moss covered cherub in our birdbath, I had so many comments and questions asking how I get my moss to grow, I thought I’d write about it.

Some things you need to know about moss before you try to propagate it. Moss likes shady to semi-shady places, acidic soil, and moisture. Moss can grow on almost anything and doesn’t require dirt to grow. If you are trying to grow moss in an area where there isn’t any moss, you will need to have a moss “starter” since moss grows from spores, rather than roots.

Redbud blossoms sprinkled on our pathway of moss

Instructions How to Grow or Propagate Moss

  1. It’s fun hunting for the moss you’ll need to begin propagating your own moss. Collect moss from areas that already have live moss growing on them…from your yard, a park, moss that is growing on trees or structures, or ask friends or neighbors for a moss starter.
  2. Gather your moss in any container that is easy to clean and rinse out. I use a shallow terracotta planter.
  3. Break up the clumps of moss, using garden tools or whatever else you have handy. I use an antique pastry blender that I keep in the Cottage Greenhouse to break up and blend my “moss pies. (See picture below)
  4. To the collection of moss in your container, add equal parts of buttermilk and water, and mix together until your moss, buttermilk, and water is the consistency of a milkshake.
  5. “Paint” or pour your moss milkshake on the surfaces you want to cover with moss.
  6. Keep your new moss moist and “weed free, since weeds rob the moisture that is needed by your moss.
  7. It will take approximately 6 weeks before your new moss begins to spread

Terracotta planter and antique pastry blender I use for mixing moss

Cherub statuary in birdbath covered in moss

I just began re-growing this moss on our courtyard pathway this spring after we power washed off the moss that had been growing there. When moss needs moisture it starts looking dull and dried (like in the picture below.)

Now, look at the color of the moss in this picture. Notice that the moss is brighter and greener, but also that the moss is spreading, since it is getting more moisture.

Raccoons and other furry folk have a habit of overturning new moss beds, or pulling up chunks of moss to look for bugs. Don’t fret if this happens, just smoosh your moss back into place, and water.

More Redbud petals sprinkled on the moss beneath the tree

Lush moss bed along our garden path that I propagated.

To transplant moss…find and dig up the moss you want to transplant…keep it moist until ready to transplant…press the moss into the surface where you want it to grow (remember, moss doesn’t require soil to grow, but can also grow on other surfaces.) I spied this little clump of moss while Richard and I were gathering some walnuts along an old ferry road down by the river. Dear Richard dug up the moss for me to take home and the sweet little wildwood fern that was growing right in the center, came along with it! I kept the moss damp by wetting some paper napkins and wrapping the moss in it, placed the wrapped moss inside a plastic bag, and tied the top of the bag together until we got home. I can tell by their vivid green colors that the moss and little fern love their new location where I pressed this little patch of forest-floor into our gravel bed! (:

Let me know if you try propagating your own moss! And for more moss enchantment…click on Carrot Patch Cupcakes with edible crumb “moss” made out of graham cracker crumbs! (:

From my cottage to yours ~ Trenda

P.S. This past 6 weeks has been a series of emotional peaks and valleys for us. I had a wonderful and miraculous report from the doctor…then we got the heartbreaking news that my dear, youngest sister had died suddenly and unexpectedly. Every step of the way, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for Thou art with me.” Psalms 23:4 Oh, I am heartbroken that during this short lifetime on earth, I will never see my sister again, but I am overjoyed knowing we will be together again in heaven, since she and I both know and believe in Jesus. If you don’t know Jesus and do not have a personal relationship with Him, He is just a whisper away. The Bible says, If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9 If you long for that security and relationship with the Lord where you “fear no evil for Thou art with me,” please go to the top of my blog and click on the page ABOUT ME …then click on My Faith in Jesus Christ. If you have any questions, or you would like me to pray with you about anything, please let me know in the comment section below, or write me at: cottagegreenonthelake@gmail.com

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Pink Lemonade Pineapple Punch Recipe made for Outdoor Tablescape and Garden Drink Station

In my last post Outdoor Tablescape and Garden Drink Station I wrote that I’d made a big container of “punch … for our hot summer afternoon.” Since then, I’ve had requests asking what punch recipe I used. So … today I am sharing the recipe for Pink Lemonade Pineapple Punch! I first saw this recipe on “The Frugal Girl’s” and made a few changes. Now, it’s one of my favorite punch recipe’s! It’s so easy to make and really is just a matter of pouring and stirring all the ingredients together.

Pink Lemonade Pineapple Punch – Ingredients:

  • 64 oz Cranberry Juice 100% juice (not Cranberry Juice Cocktail)
  • 46 oz Pineapple Juice
  • 12 oz can frozen pink lemonade concentrate (thawed)
  • 2 liters Ginger Ale
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

Pink Lemonade Pineapple Punch – Instructions:

  1. Chill all ingredients, except sugar before making
  2. In a punch bowl or other large beverage container add Cranberry Juice, Pineapple Juice, thawed concentrated pink lemonade, and Ginger Ale
  3. Add sugar to juice and lemonade mixture
  4. Stir together until sugar is dissolved
  5. Keep in refrigerator until ready to serve

This recipe makes a lot of punch (approximately 18 – 2 cup servings) and even a week after being made, tastes delicious when kept in the refrigerator. The combination of fruit juices and lemonade are so refreshing whether we’re working in the yard or playing on the lake.

I’ve felt indulgent every time I’ve drawn up 2 glasses of punch for us.

Remember in last week’s post this picture of my miniature birdbath? I wrote, “If you look carefully you can see the last line from the song “His Eye Is On the Sparrow” inscribed around the edge of the birdbath, “And I Know He Watches Me.

Well … this little darling slammed into our window yesterday and landed in an unconscious heap, right below the window where I sit and write my blog! ):

At first we could see her heart beating very rapidly, then it got slower and slower. When her body began to twitch, Richard quietly told me, “you might not want to look any longer, she isn’t going to make it.” (.: I was dismayed and had already been praying, so I continued, knowing the Bible tells us that the Lord is aware of every sparrow that falls. At least 20 minutes went by and the baby cardinal still lay their unconscious, but Richard could still see her heart beating very slowly. All of a sudden and startlingly, the little birdie’s head popped up! We were thrilled, but since she made no further movements we were still concerned. Another 15 minutes went by when unexpectedly she spread her baby wings and flitted her tiny tail (which were hardly big enough for accurate navigation) and flew off! Our little fluff-ball blessing of the day and a beautiful reminder of this scripture, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid: you are worth more than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31 Like my little birdbath says, “His eye is on the sparrow (and the baby cardinal!) and I know He watches me.”

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Look for all those benefit’s and fluff-ball blessings God gives us each day! Try the punch … serving punch any day, makes you feel like your having a party! (:

From my cottage to yours ~ Trenda

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Summer Days at the Lake and Recipe for Smashed and Loaded Skillet Potatoes

Summer days at the lake served with lemonade and a side of Tiger Lilies.

Today the sound of locusts chattering from tree to tree took me back to sweet, remembered days of … screen doors slapping shut and nipping at the back of my heels … sitting and playing jacks on cement porches that felt cool against my short clad legs … lovely, rackety sounds that came from our bicycle tires after we clothes-pinned playing cards to the spokes of our wheels … taking turns drinking warm, musty water out of the hose … and days of playing “Red Light, Green Light” “Freeze Tag” and “Mother May I” until the lightening bugs came out.

Summer afternoon – summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.

Henry James

Summer days at the lake served with lemonade …

… and a side of Tiger Lilies.

Breakfast enjoyed on the deck is hearty and befitting lake days and outdoor appetite’s. Look, the first Smoothie (Blueberry & Banana) our grand daughter made without Grandma’s help. (:

Darling, dimpled, smoothie-maker takes her turn on the Gladiator.

Two of Grandma’s heart throbs. ❤

This picture makes my heart brim as I look at these sweet faces … one jubilant, the other, a little timid, but a great sport! ❤

A beautiful early-rising full moon over the evening lake.

A parting gift from the setting sun.

The loveliest moonlit path led us home.

Such stuff as dreams are made on …

William Shakespeare

************************

Now, the recipe I’m sharing with you today is “Smashed & Loaded Skillet Potatoes. If you cook your potatoes in a cast iron skillet, you can prepare it alongside whatever is cooking on the grill … or toss a quick salad and stuff your potatoes full of all kinds of goodness and this side dish transforms into a delicious and hearty meal.

However, before we begin on the recipe for Smashed and Loaded Skillet Potatoes, I want to share another cooking gem with you … my favorite way to make baked potatoes, using a crock pot! Whenever I make baked potatoes I fix a whole batch in my crock pot so I have extra’s ready in the refrigerator for making potato salad, dicing and adding to a pot of green beans, or for making this easy recipe. Crock Pot baked potatoes have a delicious “in-depth flavor” and because they’re cooked slowly, they have a dense and perfect baked potato texture.

*CROCK POT BAKED POTATOES

  1. Clean and scrub the number of potatoes you want to prepare and lay them on paper towels to dry.
  2. Prick the skins of the potatoes with the tines of a fork to prevent the skin from splitting, then rub the skin of each potato with butter. Butter softens the potato skins and makes them more flavorful.
  3. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and garlic powder on each potato and wrap them individually in aluminum foil (dull side of the foil, out) and place them in your crock pot, no more than 2/3’s full. For easier clean up, place the wrapped potatoes into the bottom of your crock pot with “folded seam” of the aluminum foil up.
  4. Place lid on crock pot and cook on high power, for 6 hours (I always use medium sized potatoes.) Cook time will vary depending on the size of your potatoes. To see if potatoes are done, use a sharp knife and pierce your potato through the foil. If the knife does not go through the potato easily, additional baking time is needed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

SMASHED AND LOADED SKILLET POTATOES

Ingredients for 6 servings:

  • 6 potatoes, already baked
  • 3 slices of bacon, cut into 1/4″ pieces
  • 1/2 cup diced mild, sweet onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped red & green bell pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon salted butter
  • salt & pepper (to taste)
  • baked potato toppings (butter, cheese, sour cream, finely chopped green onions)
Instructions:
  1. Cook and stir bacon in a large skillet, until almost crisp. Add onions and bell peppers to the same skillet and saute until vegetables are tender and bacon is to desired crispness
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the skillet and melt to cover pan and add to bacon and vegetable mixture
  3. With a spatula, push the bacon and vegetable mixture to one side of the skillet leaving room to place the baked potatoes in the same skillet.
  4. Add baked potatoes to the skillet to heat
  5. Smash or flatten each potato by using a heavy spatula or a small bowl. Do not smash the potato so much that it breaks apart or looses it’s shape!
  6. Sprinkle outside of potatoes with salt and pepper, if desired
  7. Cook your potatoes until they are heated throughout, turning over to heat both sides.
  8. Spoon some of the bacon and bell pepper mixture into each potato, add salt and pepper to taste. Add butter and sprinkle cheese into each potato
  9. Cover skillet with a lid and cook 3-5 minutes, or until cheese melts.
  10. Remove lid and add a dollop of sour cream to each potato and chopped green onions before serving.

For a heartier meal, these potatoes would be delicious stuffed with broccoli and covered with cheese … or for winter meals, top them with Chili con Carne. I hope you’ll try them, I think they’ll become a family favorite!

Yesterday for lunch, Richard and I had our first “Sugar Kissed Melon.” Before even tasting it, I loved it because of it’s name! (: According to the tag, the Sugar Kissed Melon is the sweetest of the melon family. The Sugar Kissed Melon looks like a cantaloupe, though it is a little smaller … the outside skin wasn’t as deeply textured and veined as the cantaloupe … the pulp and seeds in the center of the melon looked the same as a cantaloupe. I cut it into pieces and served the Sugar Kissed Melon the same way I do a cantaloupe. It was sweet and delicious, a new favorite that lived up to it’s name.

It’s the little things that add enjoyment to each day. Plan a picnic in your own backyard, work a puzzle, read a good book or magazine while enjoying a glass of iced tea, burn the favorite candle you’ve been saving, get a drippy snow cone, lay in the hammock and take a nap, sit outside and look at the stars, and relish this last half of summer!

Time flies whether you’re having fun or not.

Claire Cook

I hope that reading my blog and about the things that go on here at Cottage Green on the Lake brighten your day. I know these are uncertain and troubling times, but read this wonderful reminder that Jesus said, telling us not to worry.

Whatever may be, it is such a blessing knowing that God is in control. Jesus said these comforting words in the Bible, in John 14:1 … “Do not let your hearts be troubled” and in 1 Peter 5:7, Jesus says for us to “cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” What wonderful words of reassurance during these stressful times! If you don’t have that peace and blessed assurance that comes from having a relationship with the Lord, please don’t leave this page before writing me so I can pray with you and answer any questions you may have … or go to my “About Me” page and read “My Faith in Jesus Christ.” Don’t let another day go by without knowing that Jesus is your Savior and your Friend.

From my cottage to yours ~ Trenda

Thank you for reading my blog. To have all my posts delivered directly to your email address, just click on FOLLOW in the post above … or click on my site: cottagegreenonthelake.com

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Lakeside Spring Picnic and Recipe for Chicken and Cucumber Salad

Yesterday it was such beautiful day here in Texas, I started day dreaming of picnic’s! Picnics with ruffly edged napkins, table linens, quaint dishes, and (usually my last consideration when “dreaming up” picnics) what picnic food to fix. With my daydream in mind, I went inside and opened our linen cabinet that’s filled with all kinds of vintage “lovely’s.”

My dear followers, I can never thank you enough for all your prayers, “get well” wishes, and notes you’ve written to me during these last 2 1/2 months. Knowing you cared meant so much to me. We have certainly felt the Lord’s Presence and seen His Intervention again and again since I first went into the hospital. Thank you so much for brightening my days.

❤ Trenda

I am slowly getting better though, frustratingly, it doesn’t take very much effort to exhaust me. I’m supposed to spend as much time as possible outside, and yesterday it was such beautiful day here in Texas, I started day dreaming of picnic’s! Picnics with ruffly edged napkins, table linens, quaint dishes, and (usually my last consideration when “dreaming up” picnics) what picnic food to fix. With my daydream in mind, I went inside to see what I could find in our linen cabinet that’s filled with all kinds of vintage “lovely’s.”

… and chose these White Battenberg napkins edged with scallops of lace and a bright green and white gingham runner trimmed with cheery orange stitches.

After picking out the napkins and table runner I wanted to use, I went to our corner hutch in the kitchen downstairs and started picking out dishes and deciding what picnic food to serve on each.

I pulled out 2 soda fountain glasses from the bottom cabinets and thought how cute they would look filled with something other than the usual ice cream! With my mind whirling with that bit of whimsy, the rest of the menu came easy and I selected my dishes … a darling egg plate, some green and white salad plates to match the table runner, a dark green bowl with lines etched into the glass to look like lettuce leaves, a banana split tray (helping to carry out the soda fountain theme!) and a quart-sized Mason jar my mother gave to me.

I quickly chopped cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and chicken and tossed in some other yummy ingredients for an easy “main course” salad (recipe below) then dipped the rims of the soda glasses in lemon juice and dusted the edges with paprika. I added “scoops” of chicken salad to the soda fountain glasses and topped it all off with a final touch … celery “straws.”(;

Since there were only 2 of us, I put the extra chicken salad into the green bowl with etched leaves.

Then I deviled some eggs to place in this sweet hen “egg tray.”

Crystal tumblers filled with ice … and Lemonade Tea, made in my mother’s Mason jar beckoned us to “come sit” and Toasted Parmesan and Cheddar Toasted Crostini (click on highlighted link to see how to make) are stacked appealingly in an antique, scalloped edged, banana split tray.

Green and White “Old Curiosity Shop” salad plates by Royal (USA)

Chicken & Cucumber Salad

~ recipe by Trenda at Cottage Green on the Lake

  1. 1 – 12.5 oz can Chicken Breast (drained)
  2. 1 English cucumber (English cucumbers are the extra long cucumbers; they are milder in taste and have fewer seeds than their American cousin’s! (:
  3. Cherry tomatoes (I used 14 tomatoes)
  4. 1/2 cup Ranch Dressing (I use Ken’s Steak House Ranch)
  5. 1/3 cup roasted and salted sunflower kernels
  6. black pepper – to taste
  7. 1/2 cup French’s Crispy Fried Onions (added, right before serving to remain crispy)

Instructions:

Wash, peel, and slice cucumber lengthwise to form “half round” slices. Place all sliced cucumber into a medium sized bowl. Halve cherry tomatoes (add tomatoes according to your own taste and preference; I prefer fewer tomatoes than cucumbers in my salad and I used 14 cherry tomatoes) Add drained chicken to the cucumber and tomato mixture and using a fork, separate the chicken into bite sized pieces. To the mixture, add 1/2 cup Ranch dressing, 1/3 cup sunflower kernels, and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Before serving, add 1/2 cup of French’s Crispy Fried Onions, stir into salad and serve.

Lakeside picnic on a beautiful spring day at Cottage Green.

After Richard and I were “done” with our picnic I was “done in” (: and just sat outside the rest of the afternoon until the sun went down.

Now, I want to share one more thing with you that I hope and pray will help you during these troubling times. A dear friend sent me this little tin sign after I got out of the hospital and I kept it right where I could see it during those first scary weeks after I got home. I would look at the scripture inscribed on this sign and read over and over … “She confidently trusts the Lord to take care of her.” Psalms 112:7 Hmmm … “She confidently trusts!” So instead of worrying each day I decided I needed to confidently trust and be secure in the knowledge that the Lord WOULD take care of me. Daily I prayed, “Lord, help me to truly embody that verse and be confident that YOU will take care of me. Thank you for Your Word that promises that security and blessed assurance. Thank you Jesus, for loving me and thank you for being my Savior and my Friend.” The “New International Version” of the Bible and translation of that same verse is an anchor we can hold on to in “these days” we are living through and to remember in the coming weeks … “They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” Psalms 112:7 I am praying this verse for each of you during this time. “Have no fear of bad news … be steadfast … trust the Lord to take care of you. ❤ If you long for that security and relationship with the Lord where you can trust that He will take care of you, no matter what the circumstances, please go to the top of my blog on the right side titled ABOUT ME … and click on My Faith in Jesus Christ. It’s as easy as saying A-B-C and it will change your life and your eternal life forever! The Bible says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16 If you have any questions or you would like me to pray with you, please don’t hesitate to write me and ask. I’ve already prayed for everyone that reads this blog and the Lord already knows your name. ❤

From my cottage to yours ~ Trenda

Thank you for reading my blog! To have all my posts delivered directly to your email address, just click on FOLLOW in the post above … or click on my site: Trenda @cottagegreenonthelake.com

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Breakfast “out of bed” and 2 Delicious Recipes … “Bell Pepper, Onion and Mushroom Medley” and “Breakfast Frittata”

Here is a quick and easy side dish that “dresses up” any meal!  It’s especially delicious with grilled steaks and chicken and it makes a wonderful filler when you’re making frittata’s, fajitas, omelettes or quesadillas!

*BELL PEPPER, ONION AND MUSHROOM MEDLEY

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons steak sauce (I used A1 steak sauce)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 medium onion, sliced into thin strips
  • 1- 4 oz. can of sliced mushrooms, drained (or fresh) 

Directions:

  1. Add olive oil, soy sauce, your favorite steak sauce, and garlic powder to a medium frying pan; begin heating mixture on medium heat.
  2. Cut 1 medium onion and 1 bell pepper into thin strips and add to skillet 
  3. Add mushrooms to the onions and bell pepper in skillet
  4. Stir vegetables in the skillet, incorporating all the vegetables into the sauce
  5. Sauté until peppers and mushrooms are tender and onions are translucent
  6. Serve warm; delicious with grilled steaks, chicken or as a filler for frittata’s, quesadillas, fajitas, omelette’s …

This past week Richard and I headed down to the Texas coast to the romantic seaside town of Rockport to celebrate our 42nd wedding anniversary. Since we were going to be travelling on our anniversary, I decided to surprise Richard the day before we left, with breakfast served “out of bed.” (; I made a breakfast Frittata using the veggie medley above.

Breakfast frittata and mixed berries

Though a frittata sounds fancy and hard to make, it’s a simple Italian dish that is made with eggs and enhanced with additional ingredients such as meats, cheeses, and vegetables. It is similar to an omelette or crustless quiche. Just about anything can be added to your egg base, but to reduce excess moisture and baking time that makes your eggs dry or spongy, your ingredients should already be cooked. Below is the recipe I created for the frittata I made, using the *bell pepper, onion and mushroom vegetable medley from above.

Breakfast Frittata

  • 6 eggs, beaten slightly to blend whites and yolks
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
  • pepper “to taste”
  • 1 1/2 cups *bell pepper, onion, and mushroom medley
  • 6 strips of bacon cooked and cut into bite size pieces (I used pre-cooked)
  • 1 cup grated Colby/Monterrey Jack cheese + additional 1/2 cup cheese for topping frittata when it comes out of the oven

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease a cast iron skillet for a traditional frittata
  3. Place cast iron skillet on burner turned on medium heat
  4. Add already cooked *bell pepper, onion, and mushroom medley (recipe above) to skillet or baking dish
  5. Stir together eggs, milk, chicken bouillon, and pepper
  6. Add cooked bacon and 1 cup grated cheese to egg mixture
  7. Stir egg mixture, meat, and cheese together gently and add to vegetable medley in the skillet or in your baking dish
  8. Cook mixture without stirring, just until the edges begin to”set”
  9. Place skillet or baking dish in oven
  10. Cook for 15- 20 minutes (in cast iron skillet) watching closely the last 5 minutes.
  11. Cook only until knife inserted in the middle of the frittata comes out clean, but center still has a glossy appearance
  12. Sprinkle additional 1/2 cup of cheese on top of the frittata
“until edges are set”

While the frittata was cooking, I filled a diamond shaped antique dish with a mixture of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, and gave them a sprinkling of sugar. Then came the fun of finding a cozy corner in the bedroom. This seemed the perfect spot … like sitting in a treehouse that overlooked the lake with a low table waiting for setting, a rustic little bear lamp for a little glow, and seating with lots of pillows. You’ve heard of breakfast “in bed.” This was breakfast served “out of bed” … just for two. ❤

A whole lot of cozy.

I love combining rustic and elegant pieces. Crystal, china, and crocheted lace napkins mixed well with my rugged cast iron skillet, miniature braided fish rug, and frayed patchwork napkins circled with wooden napkin rings.

Villeroy & Boch china Design Naif

Even though we cooks are usually our own worst critics, the frittata was delicious, and the setting was perfect.

We had a wonderful time on our anniversary. Here are just a few pictures of the picturesque seaside towns of Rockport and Port Aransus on the Texas Coast.

Beach cottages in Rockport, Texas

Beach at Rockport, Texas

Port Aransus Ferry, Harbor and Beach

Then the rugged beauty of the Texas Hill Country we traveled through on our way back home AND the awesome and incredible “Jacob’s Well” an artesian spring with an underground cave system and crystal clear waters that allow you to see the layers of bedrock and strata in the depths of the water in Wimberly, Texas near New Braunfels. Look it up; my pictures don’t do it justice and Richard was getting nervous I was getting so close to the edge! (:

Hope you are enjoying some adventures on these dog days of summer! Try the Breakfast Frittata and set a cozy table in a “new spot” to enjoy it in. You’ll be surprised at the sense of adventure and the fun it adds having your meal in a different place!

From my cottage to yours ~ Trenda

“Hooked on the Lake” … a Red, White & Blue Tablescape

by Trenda

Hang up your bunting, unfurl your flags and pull out all your red, white and blue … it’s almost America’s 242nd birthday!  I love getting ready for the 4th of July and this tablescape seemed to come together effortlessly as I went around the house picking up an assortment of lake-y, picnic items and all things red, white and blue.

Hooked on the LakeThe focal point of this tablescape is vintage minnow bucket that Richard found for me on one of our antique-ing excursions.  Some time ago, I told him I was looking a for a minnow bucket though I had a certain “look” in mind for that bucket.  I wanted an antique bucket with good coloring and with graphics that were still readable, but I didn’t want it to look all “beat up” so I could use it for arrangements.  I was amazed when months after I mentioned it to him, he came to me smiling with this perfect gift in hand, complete with both the bucket and the minnow strainer and with the added bonus of a little rust to enhance the patina!  Now, that my friends is a gift more romantic to me than a bouquet of roses! ❤

 

minnow bucket

Falls City  The Angler’s Choice …

These woodland ferns are from our own backyard and are particularly gorgeous this year and so lush, they almost come up to my waist!   They add color and “mood” and look charming tucked inside the minnow bucket. 

ferns.jpg

 A blue and white buffalo check throw is bold and sassy and looks like the perfect tablecloth for a 4th of July picnic or BBQ.  Cobalt blue fish plates add to the lake theme and match perfectly with blue stemware, a special gift our son and daughter bought for me with their “pooled” allowances, many years ago. ❤

cobalt blue dishes

These cute clear glass bowls, shaped liked fish were another antique find and are stacked next to a chunky star filled with some red, white, and table glitz! (:

fish bowls.jpg

The metal rowboat is a great caddy for all accoutrements needed for a meal … star shaped dessert plates, straws, cutlery, plastic tumblers, and red, white and blue fans to stir up a little breeze in hot Texas weather.

caddy

A lake sign in vivid red ties the tablescape all together … HOOKED ON THE LAKE! 

final Hooked on the Lake

Thinking today of all our military men, women and their families.  Thank you for the sacrifices you have made and given for our freedom and for our Country. ❤ 

scripture

Have a wonderful weekend from the “dawn’s early light” until the “twilight’s last gleaming.” 

From my cottage to yours ~  Trenda 

cropped-cropped-img_0452-e1510254818805.png

  Thank you for reading my blog!  To have all my posts delivered to your email address, just click FOLLOW in my post above … or click on my site: cottagegreenonthelake.com

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Trenda@cottagegreenonthelake.com

 

 

Bringing Spring Inside … with Spring Vignette’s

~by Trenda

Spring has arrived in Texas in a profusion of azalea blooms, perky bluebonnets and the unfurling of spring green leaves.  Sweet trills and twittering’s are heard throughout the day as birds flit about gathering building materials for their new homes.  Just like outside, it’s time to dress your home in Spring decor!  It’s easy to do with touches of romance, charm and whimsy tucked in unexpected places.  Little nests placed in crystal bowls … a gathering of eggs in decorative containers … fresh flowers “about the house” and the use of bright and pastel colors suggest all things Spring-y.

Spring wreath and birdbath filled with moss and speckled eggs.birdbath filled with eggs

An etched cache with blown glass finial is filled with Spring proffering’s … some spongy moss and sweet little eggs.  A crystal Frog Prince and favorite childhood books are reminiscent of fairy tales and magical possibilities.

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A little pewter bunny on a chartreuse pedestal … a matching chartreuse bird … and a little bird’s nest woven with spring leaves and blossoms perched on a chunky urn herald Spring’s arrival.

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All things bird- y! (:

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A desk corner in my music room is filled with “suggestions” of Spring and some “of my favorite things.”  A mottled watering can filled with a collection of paintbrushes … antique glass frogs for flower arrangements … miniature hinged birdhouses from a precious son … and a favorite miniature from a dear daughter that says, “A Mother’s love is what make a house a home.” ❤

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A chippy mirrored frame holds a picture of a pair of White-breast Nuthatches atop a twig-y silver easel.

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A miniature wooden easel holds a rough textured canvas of an egg-filled nest among leafy boughs … a collection of bird nests are perched, nearby.Spring buffet

Books, eggs, and birds … ❤

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A pair of lovebirds gaze into a mirror … a spring green bucket is filled with carved wooden pencils and a spool of twine is easily reached and handy.

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What was just a resting spot for this sweet, what-not shelf (while I went to get a nail to hang it) became the new, permanent location and a favorite spot once I saw how all the “lovelies” on the shelves were reflected in the mirror.  Treasures from our children, my grandmother, two of my dearest friends … fill these compartments and are looked on each day with fond memories.

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Reflection …

NESTGazing beyond the window at blue skies and spring blossoms, and inside … lace-y tree branches reflected on my grandmother’s glass-topped table … a dreamy place to work!music desk

Have fun finding special ways and little nooks to “bring” Spring into your home!

Lady Banks roses

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

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Thank you for reading my blog!  To have all my posts delivered to your email address, just click FOLLOW in my post above … or click on my site:  cottagegreenonthelake.com

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Trenda@cottagegreenonthelake.com

 This week I’m joining:

Lynn from The Vintage Nest

Chloe Crabtree from Celebrate & Decorate

Courtney with Feathered Nest Fridays at French Country Cottage

 

“Retreat” to Cabin Life and Recipe for Honey Bun Cake

During the cold months of January and February we love to snuggle into our winter nests, warm and cozy in spite of  “the wind and the weather.”  After a 2 week vacation in the Ozark Mountains our love for all things “cabin” was reaffirmed.  Cottage and cabin decor appeals to our sense of comfort by using lots of warm woods, layers of rugs and blankets, and mellow lighting.  Whether or not your style is “cabin” you can decorate a nook, cranny, or a wall in your own home that exudes the coddled feeling of the cabin.

Our welcome to the Ozark Mountains, just as the day was slipping into nightfall.Big Cedar LodgeI love using cabin and lodge decor in our cottage.  According to the dictionary, another synonym for cabin is cottage.

cab·in ˈkabən/noun a small shelter or house, made of wood and situated in a wild or remote area.

synonyms: cottage, log cabin, shack, chantey, hut;

One of my favorite books on “cabin living” is by Bill Holm, “The Cabins of Minnesota” with beautiful pictures and photography by Doug Ohman.Cabin book“Cabins are of many kinds …”
Cabins are of many kinds ...“There’s always the possibility of magic …”Magic“Everybody feels at home right away.  A cabin’s furnishings are simple, often treasured family hand-me-downs.  Its sleeping lofts, tucked under the eaves, evoke memories of childhood.  Its fireplace or wood stove provides physical and emotional warmth.”cabin final A peek inside our own cottage/cabin walls.  Tartan plaid walls topped with crests and a trio of Loon Duck plates “nest” on the walls of our home on the lake.  Lots of wood, books and collections exude that cabin-y feeling.crests.jpgThe mirrored cubby in our German “schrank” which loosely translated means cabinet, holds another collection of “treasured family hand-me-downs” from the years we lived in Germany … a German music box, crystal decanters and mugs, pottery, a stein from Oktoberfest, hand painted glasses, a wooden “Smoker” and a special gift from our landlord and friend; a decorative piece that says “Stammtisch” which denotes a table reserved for the regulars.mirrored schrank“In a cabin retreat, pleasure overcomes duty for a little while.” ~ Bill HolmdownstairsA rustic blend of frames imbibes that “cabin” feeling … “Home Sweet Home”Home Sweet Home grayIn this bedroom the Adirondack decor, warm colors, and the quilted bedding adds cabin charm.  A little tree “glows a welcome” and stays up all year decorated cabin-style … wooden bobbers, lures, hand-carved canoes, fish stringers, and twinkle lights adorn it’s boughs.lodge bedroom.jpgCabin decor … Boat Rentals 1/2 MileBoat rentals.jpgA desk with lots of cubby’s and glimpses of “the outdoors” is tucked away in a little nook, perfect for writing or musing.open deskA sweet reminder of our own little fisherman.<3fishing boy.jpgWarm woods and shelves always add cottage and cabin charm.upstairs afternoonA little twilight and cottage glow …upstaris twilightThen, what better way is there to add a bit of cabin coziness to a home than to have a Honey Bun Cake baking in the oven; the smells alone conjure up cabin luxury at it’s best!  This recipe is an old standby adapted from a favorite Betty Crocker recipe.  Our rainy, cool, foggy day in February seemed the perfect time to get out my mixing bowl.  Just as the last of our day was slipping away, the fog lifted and the rain stopped in time for a beautiful sunset!

Ingredients needed:

  • 1 pkg yellow cake mix
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream or 1 cup buttermilk (*or 1 scant cup milk w/1 Tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar added)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • 1 cup heaping brown sugar  “… good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over …” (;  Luke 6:38
  •  3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

For Glaze:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 Tablespoons milk (more if needed)

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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease 13 x 9 pan with butter or shortening and dust with flour or spray with Baking Pam
  3. Mix cake mix, vegetable oil, eggs and sour cream or *buttermilk
  4. Add chopped pecans (optional)
  5. Stir together, about 50 strokes, and spoon 1/2 the batter into the 13 x 9 greased pan
  6. In a separate bowl, mix brown sugar and cinnamon and spread over batter in pan
  7. Spoon and spread the remaining batter over the sugar and cinnamon mixture in the pan
  8. Use a knife to make swirls in the cake mixture
  9. Bake in 350 degree oven 25 – 30 minutes or until edges began to pull away from pan
  10. Remove cake from oven and cool
  11. Prepare glaze using 2 cups powdered sugar, 2 teaspoon vanilla, and 4 or more Tablespoons of milk
  12. Poke holes in cake using the end of a wooden spoon
  13. Pour glaze over warm cake and serve when cool enough to cut.

After the flavors have a chance to meld, Honey Bun Cake tastes even better the 2nd day!  To serve warm, heat in microwave or oven.

Microwave directions … place sliced cake on a microwave safe plate and moisten a paper towel.  Squeeze out the water so the towel is slightly damp.  Cover the cake slice with the moist paper towel.  Heat the Honey bun Cake for about 8 seconds, or “just “til warm.”  Do not overheat … bread products can become tough in the microwave.

Oven directions:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place the number of cake slices desired on a cookie sheet or baking pan.  Warm, uncovered for about 5 minutes.  Serve warm cake, immediately.

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 With the spicy goodness of this Honey Bun cake filling the house, we couldn’t wait and had a piece as soon as it had cooled enough to cut!  However, the cake actually tasted even better the 2nd and 3rd day!

cake.jpgHope your last days of February are warm and cozy in your own “version of the ten-foot thatched hut.”(:   Last blog on “all things winter!”  In 2 days, it will be MARCH and the season for all things SPRING … sunshine and shamrocks … bunny’s and The Lamb! scripture.jpg

From my cottage to yours ~  Trenda

cropped-cropped-img_0452-e1510254818805.pngThank you for reading my blog!   To have all my posts delivered to your email address, just click FOLLOW in my post above … or click on my site: cottagegreenonthelake.com

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Trenda@cottagegreenonthelake.com

I’m joining Chloe Crabtree with Celebrate & Decorate 

Lisa from Feathering My Empty Nest 

 

Elegant Rustic Woodland Tablescape … DIY Centerpiece & Rustic Napkin Rings

I enjoyed doing some tabletop decorating last week and I combined two different decorating styles in my table setting.  I love the look of fragile crystal and goldware mixed with chunky pottery, natural grapevine napkin rings and woven baskets.  “Elegance meets Rustic” and “opposites, do indeed attract” (; … as this duo is lovely together and the contrast of styles makes a cozy woodland tablescape.Elegant Rustic Woodland TablescapeTo make the woodland centerpiece I took the plastic covering off of 2 blocks of floral foam and hot glued them into the bottom of a woven basket I had.  Then I began filling the basket with a collection of grasses, cattails, pine cone floral stems, pheasant feathers and birch twigs I had “amassed” over the years.  The tallest part of any arrangement should be in the center, so after anchoring my tallest pieces I began “fanning down” both sides from the center of the arrangement, inserting my filler into the florist foam.  The last addition and focal point I added to the arrangement was a metal art piece … a copper stag among metal fir trees. woodland cpiece.jpgFor my place settings I used pieces of vintage Hull and Pfaltzgraff pottery, a treasure that Richard found and bought for me at an auction he went to with his brother, Bob.  The dishes are a sweet remembrance for both of us since Bob passed away this past October. ❤  The pattern on this stoneware is known as “Brown Drip” pattern, a favorite of both the Hull and Pfaltzgraff Stoneware Companies during the 1930’s.tilt place settingThese simple, rustic napkin rings are made using mini-grapevine wreaths.  I downloaded my free woodland tags from Decorator’s Notebook by Bethan John.  After printing and cutting out my tags, I punched a hole in each tag using a standard hole punch.  Then I inserted a moss-green satin ribbon into the hole of each tag and tied the ribbon into a bow to the grapevine, making sure the tag was facing out as I pulled my knot of the bow, tight.trio napkin ringsI love these darling little  bean pots and keep collecting them whenever I see them at antique stores.  side view leftThey look charming holding BBQ beans for autumn wiener roasts … filled with  Chili con Carne on cold winter evenings … brimming with Stuffed Pepper Soup  on breezy Spring picnics … or in the summer, filled with colorful Cajun Beans (recipe coming at a later date!) alongside grilled steaks!bean pot.jpg Crystal glasses and little goblets from Germany are etched with grapevines and are rimmed in gold and have golden bases.  I love the look of the fragile crystal contrasting with the heavy pottery and the comparison makes the crystal seem even more delicate.  crystal And this hand painted canoe makes a darling caddy for sweeteners!cattails and fishA mixture of metals … the copper stag and the goldware add gleam to all the forest browns, moss greens and the deep brown dishes.  For a final touch of coziness, I added this little lamp that looks like it was made for my woodland tablescape!  The golden lampshade matches the carved canoe and also highlights the goldware and golden goblets while the dark silhouettes of the spruce trees and moose on the lamp shade adds more “depth” to my rustic theme.canoelampYou know how I love using every day objects in unusual ways?!  I pulled Richard’s cashmere muffler from the closet and thought it made the perfect table runner for my woodland tablescape!  The softness of the muffler contrasted with the rough basket centerpiece and it’s color … the same browns and moss-green colors found in the forest!juxtaposed crystalJuxtaposition/definition by Merriam-Webster:  the act or an instance of placing two or more things side by side often to compare or contrast or to create an interesting effect.  Hmmm … crystal next to pottery, textured, woven centerpiece sitting atop soft, luxurious cashmere, and rustic grapevines mixed with elegant goldware???  I love juxtaposition decorating! (:Elegant Rustic Woodland TablescapeP.S. We saw 2 Bald Eagles, yesterday!!!  Neither Richard or I had ever seen one except in books or film!  Then, we saw 2 in one day!  The first eagle we saw around noon just nonchalantly sitting in a tree and the second one we saw in a totally different area, near sunset, also perched in the top of a huge Sycamore Tree. Bald Eagles After our second Bald Eagle flew off, our “Blue, Super Moon” was just begin to rise and it was gorgeous!  I couldn’t help but think of the scripture I had just read that morning …“Praise the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty. He wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters. He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind.” Psalms 104:1-3scripture

From my cottage to yours ~ Trendacropped-cropped-img_0452-e1510254818805.pngThank you for reading my blog!  To have all my posts delivered to your email address, just click FOLLOW in my post above .. or click on my site: cottagegreenonthelake.com

FOLLOW ME on PINTEREST!

Trenda@cottagegreenonthelake.com

I’m joining Chloe Crabtree with Celebrate & Decorate

Carol from The Red Painted Wagon

Christmas at Cottage Green

What a special season Christmas truly is.  It’s not just one day, but a culmination of days.  Days of … cookie making, shopping and wrapping, decorating the house, watching Hallmark movies, drinking hot cocoa, setting up the manger, being with family and friends, caroling, and worship . Then, hanging up stockings, putting out cookies for Santa, sprinkling reindeer food on the lawn, and finally (there’s a sermon in here!) “joy, comes in the morning.”  It’s a season of busyness, frenzy, stress, wonder, love, sadness of “memories of happy years gone by” gratitude, reflection, and marvel.  Here’s a last tribute to our Christmas season and moments at Cottage Green.  There’s lots to re-cap and lots of pictures, so get yourself a “cup of cheer” and make yourself comfy!

Silent night, holy night.  All is calm, all is bright …

mantle twilight

“Not a creature was stirring, not even a …” porcupine! Christmas porcupine

… or a hedgehog! (:

hedgehog and porcupine

“Away in a manger, no crib for a bed.  The little Lord Jesus lay down His sweet head.”

manger 1

“The stars in the sky look down where He lay  The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.”

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“Angels we have heard on high, sweetly caroling o’er the plains.”

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“Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays”

HEARTH

“O Christmas Tree, o Christmas tree how lovely are thy branches …”

Christmas tree

“Rockin’ around the Christmas tree …”

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“Santa Claus is coming to town …”

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“It’s a marshmallow world in the winter …”

ff cannisters.jpg“I’ll have a blue Christmas without you …”

 

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“The holly bears a prickle, as sharp as any thorn, and Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ, on Christmas Day in the morn”

kitchen bar.jpg“Here we come a-wassailing …”

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“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire …”

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Then … family photos with little and big kids! ❤

“When it’s Christmas time in Texas …”

Texas

“It might just look like a summer day  There may not be snow in San Antonio  But it’s a Texas Christmas to me.”

HONEYWREATH

“Thank God for Kids”

“Thank God for kids there’s magic for a while …

(grand son <3)

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A special kind of sunshine in a smile …

(grand daughter <3)

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Do you ever stop to think or wonder why?  The nearest thing to Heaven is a child.”
KIDDOS“Daddy, how does this thing fly?”

 

 

Father Son.jpg“And a hundred other where’s and whys …”

(dear daughter-in-law DDIL <3)DDIL2

 

 

You really don’t know but you try, thank God for kids …”

(grand daughter and daughter <3) 

MOMMYBABYGIRL “When you look down in those trusting eyes that look to you, you realize …”

bike

It’s a love that you can’t buy thank God for kids.”

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Thank God for kids, there’s magic for a while …

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A special kind of sunshine in a smile …

laketime fineDo you ever stop to think or wonder why?  The nearest thing to Heaven is a child

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When you get down on your knees tonight  To thank the Lord for his guiding light  And pray they turn out right, thank God for kids  Thank God for Kids”  ~ songwriters:  Edward Futch/Edward G. Futch

(our kids <3)

son daughter   Oh, I hope you enjoyed seeing our Christmas at Cottage Green and I hope you had a wonderful, blessed Christmas filled with moments that will warm your heart throughout the year.  Our grand daughter told me, “Grandma, I’m sad Christmas is over” … I’m sad Christmas is over, too, but I promised God I am keeping Christmas in my heart, all year long! ❤

His Prescence

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

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Thank you for reading my blog!  To have all my posts delivered to your email address, just click FOLLOW in my post above … or click on my site: cottagegreenonthelake.com

FOLLOW ME on PINTEREST!

Trenda@cottagegreenonthelake.com

This week I’m joining:

Chloe Crabtree with Celebrate & Decorate

Barbara from 21 Rosemary Lane