Pumpkin Cottage

Pumpkin Cottage
sit and visit a spell

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Last Road Trip of 2010

So we are going to stay longer that anticipated because I received divine intervention, at least that is what Lee says.  On Tuesday morning just before we hit the road I received an email from Room with a Past and they are having a New Year's Day event. 

In my heart of hearts I have always wanted to attend one of their monthly sales events but have never  had the opportunity until now.  We are going.  The hotel room is booked and Joe doesn't know it yet, unless he is reading this post, but is going with us.  We will celebrate New Year's Eve together probably watching movies and sipping Martinelli's sparkling cider. 

Here is a little recap of our adventures so far. 

We stopped in both the Roseville and Auburn Discovery Shops.

I've seen this look before she is contemplating her next move. Shopping with children is a bit like chess..you have to have your moves planned three or four ahead.

That little Santa in the background will go to live with Joe for his holiday display.

This happy little metal canister set will make the trek back to Southern California.
All I could hear my mother saying is "Where would bad taste be without yellow?"

I don't even recall a single yellow flower in her extensive garden history. 

 A book for the nightstand stack.  

This iconic sign is from Auburn.
I found a similar but modern sign in Sacramento.
We will have to return to take a photo.
Are the Irish (pub, right)  partial to the martini?

This little nursery sits on a slice of pie shaped location and is jam (no pun intended-it must be breakfast time) packed with garden loveliness.

This is the birdie that got away. At approximately $48 he was too rich for my  budget.  Notice I said budget and not taste. 
Back in Sacramento for a quick jaunt. This shop closes at 5 p.m. sharp.  Definitely worth a visit.

Dinner at Joe's Crab Shake in Old Town Sac on the river and dessert at Rick's Dessert Diner.

The servers dancer at the Shack.  Jacob is showing us his moves.

More adventures tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

On the Road

My grade finally posted.  I got an A.  It is one of the best feelings.  So very excited.  It feels just like fifth grade when one of my all time favorite teachers, Ms. Friest, gave me a coveted homemaded bookmarks.  I still have some of the bookmarks.  This news makes our field trip road trip so much better. 

It rained all the way from Fresno to Sacramento and now it is raining at home. 

We are going to explore Paradise and Auburn during our visit and stop at as many Discovery Shoppes and time will allow. 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Saving Christmas Cards

Winter is such a cozy time.  A bit of leisure time to rest, craft, shop and to reminiscence about all that we hold dear.  My Susan Branch Christmas Memories book is essentially empty but it does include Christmas cards from the past.   I am so glad I saved the cards that mark the years  passing and children growing and then there are my mother's Christmas cards which I have saved for over twenty years.

Maybe this year I will be motivated  to find all the cards and put them together.  This morning I found her card from 2002.  Lee and I had just celebrated our first year of marriage and discovered that we were expecting Jacob.
My mother's 2002 card is to typical of her.  A lovely note filled with love, hugs, kisses and a wish that we soon would again embrace.  The card  depicts a nativity scene complete with sheep, a Shepard, and  the three kings placed under a huge tree decorated with angels and a golden star at the top.  Growing up, baby Jesus was always the central part of Christmas.  Santa didn't play a significant role at all.  We were taught that baby Jesus brought the gifts and so my mother maintained the tradition even in her selection of cards.  Enclosed in this card were two crisp one dollar bills.  One for Mark and the other for Nicholas.  I am sentimental and the dollars remain because her placement of bills in the card was more important that spending the dollars.  I knew that those dollars had passed through her hands and I could not bear to part with them.
My mother didn't have much in the way of material things but everything she gave came tied with heart strings.  She set a fine example for us all.  Keep Jesus at the center of your celebration, remember those that you love by writing a note and share what you have.

God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December and mothers forever.” Rectorial address, May 3, 1922, St. Andrew's University, Scotland. James Matthew Barrie

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Dream Machine

My dream machine.  Had I taken this photo, I would have taken it from the front end but alas it was Lee's birthday and he can take the picture any way he wants.  Love you honey.

A perfectly restored Ford Falcon convertible, be still my heart. See that red interior that's HOT.

Lolita from Silva's Dress Shoppe, and my childhood, drove a white
Falcon.  The car was basic but I fell in love and stayed in love. 
Angie, another lady from my childhood, drove a Metropolitan,
come on that's not even fair. What hope did I have?

Dream chair.  Our deal was that we would never own a bark-o-lounger  (that's what we
call them-those super ugly 1970s recliners.  The chairs are, remarkably, still manufactured today).
That is, we would never own the "bark" unless we had a super secret room.
You know, like in the movies, a room behind a wall of books. 
On the other hand, the recliner of my dreams
could be a compromise.  Here's the perfect child humoring his mother.
That's my hand helping me balance because it was a long day and
I still refuse to use a cane.Thank goodness for my mobility device of choice, a stroller.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

I am convinced that the preparation for Christmas is the
most fun then there is
the beauty of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Almost finished with our new glittery wreath.
Yes, that is a huge embroidery
hoop with clothes pins. 
Our inspiration came from Martha Stewart.

Remind me to change that door knob. 
I don't like anything "golden."  These may have to be a
New Year's gift to self.
Jacob and I embellished these for my team at work.  
That's an I SPY puzzle we are working on.

Our annual Santa parade. 
This year we added the Annalee donkey.

And finally photos from our Mission Inn visit. 

Merry Christmas to you and your dear ones.  Thank you for visiting.  I have to get back to crafting.

Friday, December 17, 2010


As some of you know, I recently celebrated another birthday.  A glorious thing since my oldest sister, Mericia, only celebrated 44 birthdays.  That's Mericia, our Mother and my oldest brother, Ilidio.  I know you can't tell but my sister had dark brown hair and the bluest eyes.  She was my first best friend and she named me.

Next year will mark the 20th anniversary of her
passing and yet I still miss her embrace.
Yes, I am getting older but inside, at times,
I can go back to old regrets and feel the
vulnerability of another time.

True, too, I am glad for all the love, joy
and pain that I have experienced
because I know its how I got to the me of today.

Here I am at about the age of 19 full of spark.  
Do I feel old?  How could I, when almost 
any song from the early 
days of AC/DC will take me to the age of 16.  
The Best of Bread takes me to a drive along the 
coast from Half Moon Bay to Pescadaro.  
When all I have to do is hear the right song 
and I am right there in my time machine. 
I could be driving up the hill to my high school 
campus with Van Halen's Ice Cream Man blaring. 
This song  takes me to a love note from long ago.
Spin to many years later and a
wedding day with Hot Chocolate.

Outside there is a body riddled with arthritis 
but inside, baby...I'm still as vibrant as ever 
with a whole lot more experience and confidence.
So to the fool who asked me if I felt OLD, 
here's to getting older. Cheers. ROAR..I don't have any
meows left in me.  

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Have I said how much I love December.
True, Lee and I both celebrate our birthdays this month
and there is Christmas but it's the nesting that I love.  Making a home.
Being safe and cozy indoors.  Cuddle weather.

Our home is a mess right now with all the craft projects,
gift wrapping and decorating going on but in my heart there is peace.

Here's one of our next projects, taped and ready to go.
We are definitely not afraid to live with color and we
have the spray paint cans to prove it.  I am thinking red
because our house is peppered with red all year long.

A  mirror for painting.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

My Wish List

I am a very simple girl. I love cute things. When the men that are my sons
were little I had to stop saying adorable because they were saying it. Its only charming
when they are very little so I had to stop.  Didn't make the same mistake with
Jacob.  I like grandmotherly sweet things.   My mother used to say that she
was glad that I was a little girl for so long. My taste hasn't really evolved.

My friends dressed provocatively but I loved ruffles and lace, still do.
I love to live in bright colors but my closet looks more like a Portuguese widow's closet.
Lots of black and white peppered with gray and brown.
I had three boys before a very girlie girl came along.
A girl that as she turned three asked for dresses and makeup.  Yes, I know we are in for it.

Here is my wish list sampler platter:

This year I rekindled my love for Julia.

As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto

An old movie...Bachelor Mother.  Romance, lovely rooms, all sweetness.

Bachelor Mother Poster

My favorite scents are spicy.  With a bottle like this...who cares.

Anything Susan Branch. All her goodness is available online.

This Holly mug. To save for Miss Holly.
Holly 1/2 Pint Mug
This coat in this color...
apple of my eye green trench coat by Pink Martini - Click Image to Close

A new Harveys handbag.

I have an obession with book bags and tote bags. This one by Cath Kidston
 is calling my name.

And theses shoes.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Little steps

My class is officially over and now the holiday celebration may begin.
The American Festival in Long Beach.
The Vintage Lady in Tustin is having an open house this Sunday.

Baby steps with the wreaths.  Joe was here this weekend and I didn't show him. Mine says, "Boas Festas" and Joe's says, "Feliz Natal."

We all experienced the Rockettes for the first time.  My two favorite
parts were the toy soldiers and the Nativity scene with the three
kings.  Amazingly beautiful.

Glorious Saturday

The Rockettes, thrifting and Holiday of Lights....oh my.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Holiday Art Festival

Holiday Art Festival in Del Mar last Sunday.

Kate Seeley signing the cutest print for me.  Notice the chair and a huge ball of string.  The ball is wearing a birthday party hat.  I walked away from this print on the first pass but the print called my name. Any collector knows the experience I am describing.   Kate says she will eventually write a children's book about the physics of string.  If that chair and that ball of string are leading characters I hope it will be soon.  Artists are, by far,  some of my very favorite people.

Holly having her portrait done by artist Hyatt Moore.
Brother was more interested in observing than participating.
We really have tried to expose the children to a variety of people and experiences.
This was just a jewel of a moment. Once Holly was shown her picture...her smile lit the
up the whole area.  It was a moment to cheer.

Yo Gabba Gabba, eye glasses in honor of DJ Lance Rock.
For all the things that make our family special
and for all the individuals that touch our lives we are truly thankful.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Holiday Week Adventures

We had such a wonderful week.  Retail therapy, cooking, baking, and yes eating.  We also visited enchanted places like Rogers Gardens.  Each day I will post a bit of our adventure.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Food, family and crafts.  Nothing better.   Our wreaths are inspired by Alicia Paulsen's December 2005 post.  

The colors are unfortunately washed out in the photo.  The fabric is from thrift store sweater sleeves.
The lighter one is cotton jersey and the other is a ribbed cotton.
The ribbed cotton works better.  I pinned both rather quickly with t-pins but will eventually
sew in place.  I have two more sweater to cut and pin.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Let's face it, I am the happiest when surrounded by people.  I am certain that is why I have four children with ages that span twenty years.  My plan was to ensure that there would always be someone at home.  It's true I have friends that cannot wait to be empty nesters and that is great for them but not for me.  Isn't it wonderful that there are choices?

And holidays to accommodate the desire for extended family.
We had to visit two days in a row to really explore.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

One Year

The best way to make children good is to make
them happy.        Oscar Wilde

It was raining  this morning when I woke up.  Such a gift....we absolutely love the rain here at Pumpkin Cottage.  Today marks the one year anniversary of my mother's passing.  Joe will join us today and through Thanksgiving week.  We honor our mother by being together.  By keeping traditions.  By moving forward but not forgetting.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hand print Inspiration

For Thanksgiving hand print crafting inspiration see the Naughty Secretary   The kids will love playing with markers.  Super smart embellishment. 

Another source for hand print inspiration:

During Holly's first year, we made a hand print block for each month of the year.  Jacob also has 12 hand print blocks.  Some day I will sew the blocks together for two complete calendar block quilts.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010



This 1930s stroller is just enough inspiration to make me want to paint.