Monday, November 29, 2010

Is It a Sears Catalog House?

I've often wondered if my house was a Sears kit home. I've recently started visiting Carol's Our Sears Kit Home blog and she recommended Houses By Mail by Katherine Cole Stevenson and H. Ward Jandl. I've just started reading it. I recognize many of the houses in my neighborhood in this book. What I find interesting about my street is that in a three block span, it contains houses from many different decades. At the "beginning" end of my street, are houses built before 1900. The house across from me was build around 1940 and the house before it was built in 1950.

This is a very informative article by Cleveland Magazine written about Sears homes in northeast Ohio.

Our house was built in 1920. The garage was built about 1936. It has a living room, dining room, kitchen, basement, attic, one bathroom with the original claw foot tub. It also has this little "kick-out" off the kitchen that could be used as a breakfast nook. We use it as our computer room. The other side of the front porch is an enclosed porch area with wood floor and heat. Because of all the single hung windows, it is very cold in the winter and hot in the summer. Right now we use it for toy storage, but I hope to someday decorate it.

Unfortunately, someone got the home-renovation bug in the early 80's. The kitchen has been redone (not very well.) It has a hideous drop ceiling that I would really like to replace someday when funds allow. The kitchen cabinets have been replaced. I've painted them white. They put up barn siding on some of the kitchen walls. I've painted it with a high gloss white and it looks a tad better. We have the original claw foot tub but the sink has been replaced with a stock cabinet-style sink with "modern" fixtures. Someone added a linen closet and you can see that the entire bathroom used to have tiles halfway up the walls at the back of the closet. All of the original light fixtures have been removed except in the covered front porch. Fortunately, they didn't paint any of the downstairs wood work. Solid oak doors and trim. Wood floors in the living room and dining room. Window seat in the dining room. I will have to do a post on the interior some day. All of the upstairs closets have the original wallpaper still on the walls. I love that!

Right now you're probably wondering why I would call my blog "Lovely Little Cottage" when my house does not appear "little" or to be a "cottage." When we were getting ready to add our third child, a friend asked if we were going to move. "Why?", I asked. She replied, "Well, it's a lovely little cottage, but it's not very big!" From then on, I've referred to my house as my "lovely little cottage" because I think her idea absurd. I love my home and find it just right for the five of us!

December On My Front Porch-2010

This is what my porch looked like in October and November:

And this is my porch for December:

I'll probably putter with it some more
as I unpack more of our Christmas decorations.

The sticks and holly are from my garden.

The kids helped me make paper snow flakes for
this little tree so that you can see something on it during the day.

At night:

This post is for Metamorphosis Monday on Between Naps On the Porch.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Decorating Has Commenced

Decorating has commenced and I don't think Oliver is too happy about it.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Friday Flower 11/26/10

Today's Friday Flower is dedicated to my fourth follower, Carolyn at Aiken House & Gardens. Aiken House & Gardens is one of the first blogs I ever started reading. I've read it for years, but just only recently started to comment. I absolutely love, love, love Carolyn's blog. She is so welcoming. Her house and cottages are beautifully decorated. The blog is filled with beautiful photography of china, teacups, and flowers.

I also love to flower garden, so I find her garden posts very inspirational and educational.

Aiken House and Gardens feels special to me for two reasons.

One, my grandma was born and raised in Canada. She loved beautiful dishes. Carolyn generously posts many pictures of her beautiful collection.

Two, L. M. Montgomery, who wrote the Anne of Green Gables series, was one of my grandma's favorite authors. Many of L. M. Montgomery's works were set in Prince Edward Island. Aiken House and Garden is on Prince Edward Island.

So, thank you, Carolyn, for your beautiful blog and for following mine.

Please join Laura at A Place for Tea and Melissa at Miss Sew and So for Friday Flower. You won't be sorry.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving 2010

The turkey's in the oven. The table is set. The breakfast dishes are in the dishwasher.

I love Thanksgiving. My birthday is during the first week of December. When I was a little girl, my grandparents and aunts and uncles would give me my birthday present on Thanksgiving. My grandma would always bake a birthday cake to go with all the wonderful pies she would bake. We would sing "Happy Birthday" before dessert. It was the best, most wonderful birthday party a little girl could ever have.

I grew up going to my maternal grandma's house for most holidays.
These are her Currier and Ives dishes. The grocery store where she shopped long, long ago would hand out stamps for buying groceries. She saved and saved her stamps and traded them in for this set of dishes, collecting them piece by piece.

They are very special to me. I use them every Thanksgiving and Christmas in honor of my grandma. The silver ware was also hers.

The crystal belonged to my husband's grandma.

The silver candy dish I'm using as a centerpiece was also my maternal grandma's.
You may remember this guy from here.

I am thankful for:
My Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
My husband. I met him when I was 17 and have loved him ever since.
My three incredible children.
My extended family.
My friends.
My "lovely little cottage."
The many blessings that have come my way this year.
Our troops around the world who help to secure our freedom in this country.
Religious freedom.
The ability to home educate my children.
Blogging, which I seemed to be obsessed with lately;)
My pets
and so much more.

Cranberry Pie and Tomorrow's Menu

Many years ago I lived in a suburb of Nashville, TN. About that time, Country Home magazine ran a story about a Franklin, TN resident named Salli LaGrone. Franklin is another suburb of Nashville. They hold a Dickens festival every year that I've read about in other magazines.

Turns out, Salli is good friends with Martha Stewart. One of the recipes that Salli baked for her guests was a Cranberry Pie. I baked this for my family for the first time in 1994. I leave out the orange flavoring and nuts. My daughter, Amy, was only four years old. To this day, she still requests this pie every year.

It is our holiday breakfast tradition. I serve it with an egg casserole for every Thanksgiving and Christmas breakfast.

Because I love tradition, I still pull out the whole magazine to use the recipe. I mix it in the same blue bowl that I've been using to make it for the past 16 years.

2010 Thanksgiving Dinner
Lima Beans
Sweet Potato Casserole w/ Marshmallows
Scalloped Cauliflower
Red Cabbage
Cranberry Sauce
Cream Cheese Stuffed Celery
Rolls w/ Butter
Green Olives
Black Olives
Sweet Gherkin Pickles
Mini Dill Pickles

Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Cream

Thanksgiving Decorations and Preparations

Thanksgiving greetings to you all!
My daughter is home and all my chicks are gathered in.
I am one happy Mama!

Today is one of those perfectly grey, overcast Ohio days.
Makes it nice for staying in and baking
but difficult for photography.

This is the curtain above my window seat in my dining room.
I normally have a flower garland over the curtains.
These are reproduction post cards that I just clipped
into the foliage with clothes pins.

This is the actual window seat.
My grandmother's silver candy dish.
She always kept reception mints in it when I was a little girl.
White ceramic pumpkin from Target last year.
Antique bowl filled with real gourds.
Rusty metal leaf garland.
The tea pot is made of a substance called Britannia.
My great-great grandmother brought it over from England
when she settled in Canada.

I finished my Thanksgiving craft.
Earlier in October, my children and I went for a walk
and gathered leaves from our neighborhood.
I then traced them onto felt
and hand-embroidered them.
The leaves are sewn onto raffia.

I hung it on the dining room side of the dining room doorway.

This is on the living room side of the dining room doorway.
I love white twinkle lights.
You can catch a little peek at my teapot collection.

I am going to be baking cranberry pie and pumpkin pie this afternoon.
I might try my hand at some pumpkin shaped spritz cookies, as well.
I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Monday, November 22, 2010

It's the Memories Made...Right?

I think I bought this pilgrim hat cookie cutter last year after the season.
Half-priced, you know.

I packed the cookie cutter away with the other
Thanksgiving decorations
and found him again this year.

Tonight seemed like a good night to bake cookies.
My oldest will be home from college tomorrow.
My two youngest got right into the fun of it.

I've made this same recipe
for over seven years.
I was quite pleased until....

I frosted them.

They look like orange traffic safety cones.
Maybe a new holiday tradition
to commemorate all the people who travel
over the river and through the wood?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Candlelight Walk 2010

Tonight was our town's annual Candlelight Walk.
I look forward to this event all year.

This is the Historical Society where the Candlelight Walk begins.
The mayor starts the evening with the lighting of the Christmas tree.
The high school band plays Christmas carols.

All the shops are decorated to the hilt.
The street lights are wrapped with greenery and white lights.
The police close the four roads leading to the town square.

Costumed shop keepers pass out candy to the children.

Free horse drawn carriage rides.

I got a few shots of the shop windows
because I just knew you all would want to see.

See those "mannequins" in the next picture?
This particular shop always features a window scene
with live people acting like animatronic mannequins.
Last year it was two elves in Santa's shop.
They hammered the night away in true robotic form.

The local bakery has a miniature train
which runs through a village in their window.
My son makes sure that we look at it every year.
Of course, the cookies that we buy there don't hurt.

Tonight was beautiful and clear.
A cold 36 degrees which actually isn't too bad.

We heard lots of Christmas music,
drank lots of free hot chocolate, and
ate too many cookies.
Some of the other attractions:
A bagpipe player
Sled dogs
Santa in the fire engine.

I felt like I was in a Norman Rockwell painting.

A lovely evening.

Yellow Roses For Friendship

Today's Friday flowers are dedicated to
my two new followers,

Laura from A Place For Tea and

Brenda from Cozy Little House.

It's so fun to have followers!
Thank you!

You can join Friday Flower
by visiting A Place For Tea and

Happy Friday, Everyone!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Couldn't Decide

Today, I couldn't decide which holiday I wanted to prepare for.

I worked on my Thanksgiving garland....

and started hanging Christmas lights outside.

I checked things off both my lists!