The Last of Autumn … “Something Told the Wild Geese”

As I was taking a picture of this glorious Ash Tree, I recognized a sound above me, like the whoosh of a wave approaching the shore.  I hurriedly snapped the picture and was thrilled when I saw I had “captured” these pelicans in flight!  As I stood there and marveled, phone still poised and ready, 3 more “squadron” of pelicans flew over!  I felt like I had just been presented with a gift … as indeed, I had! (:  NOTE: A group of pelicans have many collective names … BRIEF, POD, POUCH, SCOOP, and SQUADRON … are all names for a group of pelicans.

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As I stood there reflecting on what I had just seen, I thought of this poem …

Something Told the Wild Geese

Something told the wild geese

It was time to go,

Though the fields lay golden

Something whispered, “snow.”

Leaves were green and stirring,

Berries, luster-glossed,

But beneath warm feathers

Something cautioned, “frost.”

All the sagging orchards

Steamed with amber spice,

But each wild breast stiffened

At remembered ice.

Something told the wild geese

It was time to fly,

Summer sun was on their wings,

Winter in their cry.  

 ~by Rachel Fields

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Here are the pictures I promised I would share with you of Autumn in November at Cottage Green on the Lake.

Golden leaves on this young Eastern Redbud and more golden leaves on our Ash tree down by the lake contrast beautifully with the red bark and the red roof on our boat dock and stand out brilliantly against a backdrop of green.

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The red leaves of the Sweet Gum Tree and the golden yellow leaves of our Ash trees blaze against the blue of the lake and autumn sky.  Fallen leaves cover the lawn in gold!

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Chartreuse Sweet potato vine rambles over a treasured hand pump that Richard’s mother used in “days gone by.” ❤

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Flowering Kale and Cabbage and sweet-faced pansies line the the paved sideyard.

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Azaleas, Coleus, and Impatiens in varying shades of vivid pink.

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 “It was November … the month of crimson sunsets, parting birds, deep, sad hymns of the sea, passionate winds songs in the pines.”  ~ L.M. Montgomery

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” … let the whole earth be filled with His glory.”  Psalms 72:19

Today is the last day of November and Autumn.  I hope you enjoyed seeing “The Last of Autumn” on Cedar Creek Lake!  Tomorrow is the beginning of Winter and December and I will be showing you how to make a fun and nostalgic Advent Calendar to begin the countdown to … C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S!  (:

  From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

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Goodbye Summer! …………….. by Trenda

Goodbye Summer … we’re going to miss you!

It was another …

“Snow-cone dripping, bare foot skipping, iced tea sipping, front porch sitting …”

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“flip flop plopping, baseball watching, mattress floating, snorkel snorting …”

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“… pink nose glowing, green grass mowing, warm breeze blowing, hot dog munching …”

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“… cricket chirping, sparkler waving … “

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“firework gazing … “

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” sunset blazing ….”

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” wonderful summer!”

Poem “Wonderful Summer”  written by  Trenda 

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From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

 

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Mother’s Day Tablescape and DIY favors

~ Trenda

“All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my  angel mother.”  Abraham Lincoln

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 Happy Mother’s Day!  It has been a beautiful weekend packed with time spent with all of our dear children and grandchildren … and today was a perfect day for a Mother’s Day dinner served outside on the deck!  Adding a touch of sweetness and “gracing” our table, I used the DIY place cards and DIY napkin rings (click here for instructions!) that I taught you how to make earlier this week! (:

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Crocheted Battenberg lace place mats match the “grid work” of the antique wrought iron chairs.  This beautiful table belonged to my grandmother … a cherished gift to me from my mother. 

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A bright floral napkin ensconces each white napkin edged with Battenberg lace – both are slipped into DIY Spring napkin rings (click here for instructions!) and a matching DIY place card, “reserves” each seat!

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I was delighted when I found these charming green bowls on one of our “antique-ing excursions!”  The bowls look like little cabbages and for this tablescape, I used them to hold Sweeteners.  Carrying out the spring/garden theme and adding some whimsy,  I placed some miniature cabbage teapots under a domed pedestal plate.

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Crystal glasses are ready to be filled with Southern iced tea and water.  The rose blush stemware is a beloved gift from a dear little boy … many Mother’s Days ago ❤  fulldeck view.png

Both tables on the deck are set … the round table holds all the “overflow” serving dishes and is used as a buffet with plenty of chairs and built-in benches to seat everyone.   A favorite Villeroy and Boch “Country French” covered dish waits for Homemade Chicken Florentine and Noodle Soup. 

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Ready for dinner!  Look how darling the napkin rings and place cards are!

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Now, one more DIY project to show you … I made these sweet little favor boxes to send home with each of our “guests!”  If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you know I love making favors or treat bags for our “get-together’s.

favors.png I bought a package of these little boxes at Hobby Lobby on the party aisle where the crepe paper and favor bags are.  They are called Gable boxes and they come 12 to a package for only $3.99. (Download the Hobby Lobby App to get 40 percent off  on one regular priced, that can be used each time you shop at Hobby Lobby!) Using my Recollection tag die-cutter, I punched out tags from stock card in a variety of Spring colors and stamped them with bird nests, “For You” and a filigree frame (I wrote each guest’s name inside the frame) and used my hole puncher to punch a hole in each colored tag. Then, I filled each favor box with a fine sparkly shredded grass, nestled in some individually wrapped chocolates, tied a ribbon around each box and added a “set” of tags (1 of each … a bird nest tag, a “For You” tag and a filigree frame with the guest’s name on it) and tied them on to the ribbon of each favor.

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 “FOR YOU” … favor boxes are waiting by the front door to be given with goodbye’s and final hugs; a sweet remembrance of another special day together.

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This is the second Mother’s Day my own dear mother has been in heaven; I miss her every day and continually think of her, particularly on this special day.  What a blessing it was to be her daughter!  Her love, inner strength, joy, contentment and faith in Christ continue to be an inspiration to me.  “I’ll love you forever, like you for always, Mom” ❤

” … her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.’  Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.  Honor her for all that her hands have done …”  Proverbs 31:28-31

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Sending you a bit of our lovely day!  Hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day!

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda 

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Mother’s Day DIY place cards and napkin rings

~ Trenda

 

tablescape .png“Tra la! It’s May! The lusty month of May!” Julie Andrews sang in the Broadway musical, CAMELOT. The charming but now archaic definition of lusty, according to Merriam-Webster is merry and joyous.  Looking out our open screen door to blue skies and hearing the birds joyously “tra-la’ing” as they go merrily about picking up choice “bits and pieces” to line and feather their nests, it is definitely “the lusty month of May!”  The month of May is filled with promise, celebrations and events. One of the preparations I enjoy the most before any holiday or get together is getting the table ready and “dressed” for the occasion. Look at these darling place cards I made with matching grapevine napkin rings; perfect for a woodland theme Bridal shower, a Spring Tea Party or Mother’s Day Brunch!

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I bought a package of plain white place-cards and my mini grapevine wreaths from Hobby Lobby.  Then I took my scalloped die-cut punch and punched along the bottom of the place-card.  To decorate each place card I hot glued “a bit” of ivy in the left hand corner of the place-card, placing it so the greenery “peeked” over the top and softened the corner of the card.  On each piece of greenery, I glued a single blossom from a silk hydrangea and some tiny pink flower buds.  For the final touch and to “blend” the look of the tiny posy … I glued individual pieces of assorted “fillers” I had from making other floral arrangements.  ie: tiny ivy leaves, eucalyptus, birch twigs … Then I wrote the name of each of our “guests” on the place-cards.

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After I finished all the place cards I needed, I started making my mini-grapevine napkin rings. I used the same technique and materials making these that I used making my place cards, so all would match.

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“Tra-la!”  (:   All done!  Time to set the table with all these charming “accroutements!” for an enchanting, Mother’s Day tablescape … pictures on my next blog!  (;  

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“… let us press on to know the Lord; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.”

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From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

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Spring Comes Early to Cedar Creek Lake

~ Trenda

“Adorably lovely Robins” petaled tulip cups, white blossomed splays of Bridal Wreath, deep violet blooms flocking Redbud trees, lovely Hyacinths, Lady Banks Roses spilling over onto our lawn, and delicate white bells of Lily of the Valley.  The list I started in my last blog of spring harbingers continues to lengthen as Spring here on Cedar Creek Lake appears to be in full bloom!  Would you like to take a tour around our neighborhood and see all the spring beauty? Hop on our golf cart and let’s go!  No need for jackets, it’s 80 degrees here, on this last day of February.  (:

“Deep violet blooms flocking Redbud trees” … this beautiful tree is our own and drapes over our side gate.

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This gorgeous white rosebush, the Lady Banks Rose is seen less often then the variety with yellow roses.  My white Lady Banks is a cherished birthday present that Richard gave me a number of years ago and is … “spilling over onto our lawn.”

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And one last sighting before we pull out of our driveway … this striking Chinese Fringe Plant or Loropetalum.  We have quite a few of these beautiful evergreen bushes in our front and backyard and love the color of their foliage, their fragrance and the color of their fringe-y flowers.  Interesting Note:  Some of these bushes in their natural habitats … China, Japan, and the Himalayas are over 100 years old and over 35 feet tall!

chinese-fringeAll right, we’re off!  First stop … The Secret Garden.  The first time our daughter saw this forgotten garden she was only 9 years old.  In excitement she breathlessly told me, “Mommy, I found the Secret Garden!” (:  We’ve called it “The Secret Garden” ever since.    These yellow roses rambling over a beautiful wrought iron fence are the more common variety of the Lady Banks Rose … and still reflect the hands that once planted and cared for them.

img_0770  Gorgeous grape-like clusters of Wisteria dangle from the tangled vines within “The Secret Garden.”
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No time to dally, the sun is already beginning it’s descent!  Look at this darling little stream surrounded by “Easter grass” and a sprinkling of white wildflowers.  It’s just the right size for a Daddy and Mama Mallard Duck we’ve seen paddling about in their own private wading pool!  Spring cuteness!  (:

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I felt like I had been given a gift when I “captured” this shaft of sunlight peeking through the tangle of this thick wild Carolina Jasmine.

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Look what I saw as our golf cart whizzed by!  Lily of the Valley, also known as Muguet du Bois … one of my favorite little flowers with their dainty cups that look like they came straight from fairyland!  I also love this enchanting flower because of the scripture in Song of Solomon 2:1 that says … “I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.”  Another interesting fact:  It is tradition in France on May 1st, May Day, to offer a sprig of Lily-of-the-Valley to loved ones.  This tradition was supposed to have begun on May 1st, 1561 when King Charles IX of France was presented with a bunch of Lily-of-the-Valley flowers as a token of luck and prosperity for the coming year.  King Charles “took a shine” to this idea and began the custom of presenting Lily-of-the-Valley flowers to the ladies of his court each year on May 1st. (:

duolily-of-the-valleyAzalea Majestic’s bright magenta buds, blossoms and green foliage contrast beautifully with the texture of the rough landscaping bark.

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Last sighting of our spring harbinger’s for the day … wild Carolina Jasmine overgrowing a fence looks beautiful in the golden sunset and under the still bare limbs of February trees.

sundownIt’s time to head home.  Hope you are enjoying some beautiful weather where you are, even if it is only February!  If you are still in the “throes of winter” … I hope these pictures will remind you that Spring is “right around the corner” and soon you will be seeing “adorably lovely Robins” showing off in your own backyard! (:

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From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

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Romantic Valentine Table for Two

~ written by Trenda

On a day celebrating L-O-V-E, there’s no limit to the amount of lace, flowers, hearts, or pink I use in setting and decorating our table for Valentine’s Day.  Richard and I begin our celebration of Valentine’s Day on February 13th and go out that evening for a special dinner.  Then, the next morning I make omelettes and “Berry Sweet Valentine’s” (recipe and pictures in a subsequent post!) and later “when twilight descends and evening begins”  we have a lovely dinner seated at a romantic “table for 2” at our favorite “getaway” … Cottage Green on the Lake! (; 

pink setting.pngA little table right next to the fireplace seems like the perfect spot for our Valentine reservation with the coziness of a fire, the glimmer of twinkle lights and the romance of candles.

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 Nestled next to  the fireplace, I wanted our Valentine table to blend in and be a part of the little nook and romantic backdrop I decorated and wrote about in my last post. (click here to see)  I love the way the mantle decorations look like they’ve tumbled over onto the table!

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The whimsical piece that visually ties the mantle and table together is a cement statue of “Cupid.” The same roses, eucalyptus and twinkle lights I used on the mantle, wrap around the base of the angel, entwine the statuary and encircle his wings.

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For our dinnerware, I chose Kaiser Porcelain in the Marseille pattern that we bought when we lived in Germany; it’s a fine  porcelain china and the white background trimmed with pink floral garlands and rosebuds is named “Romantica” and seemed the perfect choice for a day all about hearts and flowers!

I love these white scalloped plates with their painted garlands and rosebuds and the Valentine look of the pink, doily-like charger beneath each plate.  White napkins with a bit of crocheted lace and a sweet pink flower and Kaiser Porcelain roses are scattered about the table and adorn each place setting.

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Crystal “King Edward” Waterford glasses and pink blush stemware.

The King Midas touch … gold chargers and goldware add “gleam” to each place setting.

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The drape of roses, eucalyptus, grape clusters and twinkle lights adorning the mantle and Cupid, adds subtle lighting and enchantment to the table.

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Ready and waiting for a party of two … our Valentine table is set.  All that is needed is to light the fireplace and as Neil Diamond sings, it’s time to  … “Turn down the lights.  Turn up the music.  Let’s just be together tonight.  And turn down the lights.” ❤

lights dimmed.png“Love is patient, love is kind …”

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From my cottage to yours  ~ Trend

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Lakeside Picnic and Recipe for Stuffed Pepper Soup …

by Trenda  

I already have “spring fever!”  I “caught it” from the birds who have been “twittering and flitting about” hunting for the perfect place to raise their little families! (:  Friday and Saturday were “zip-a-dee-do-dah” days with spring-like temperature’s … “My oh, my, what a wonderful day” … and  taking our cue from the birds, we took advantage of our warm day with …”Plenty of sunshine headin’ my way” and worked outside and enjoyed a picnic by the lake.

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Welcome to our lakeside picnic!  Everything always tastes better when dining al fresco (: and our lunch of Turkey & Swiss Wraps with roasted red peppers, Red Delicious Apples and spiced tea, was no exception!


After our picnic we were “energized” … we sat a little while longer, enjoying the sunshine and the day then we were ready to get back to work.  By late afternoon the wind started picking up and the water started getting choppy.

Dark blue-gray clouds began rolling in … 


And we began to hear rumbles of thunder, as we hurried to finish our work …

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We finished … just in time with thunder distinctively warning us to get inside, as the first raindrops began to fall!

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Later … feeling cozy and clean and hearing the gusty wind and the sound of the waves crashing against our retaining wall, our “gift” of a spring day in January was over and our stormy night seemed the perfect time for some homemade soup … Stuffed Pepper Soup.

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 Stuffed Pepper Soup Recipe …

recipe final.pngLater, as I drifted off to sleep, the last lines of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, “Under A Spreading Chestnut Tree” came to mind.

“… Each morning sees some task begin,

Each evening sees it close;

Something attempted, something done,

Has earned a night’s repose.”

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From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

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I would love to read any comments or questions you may have!