Pumpkin Cottage

Pumpkin Cottage
sit and visit a spell

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Who We Are

This photo was taken nearly 11 years ago at my girlfriend's wedding.
Can you see how proud we are to be together.  
My girlfriend, Chrisy, and I  have been friends since we were four.
We have weathered many storms and our lives have, often times, paralleled each other. 
We have traveled the mountains and valleys together. 
We started kindergarten together and survived junior high school ( I don't care that it is called middle school now), bad relationships, divorces, career drama, and the losses of all our parents.

When I study this photo, I recall a beautiful wedding, and I see us for who we are.

Lee and I have both been blessed with deeply rooted friendships.  Friends so close
with so much history. In the past two years, too many of Lee's
friends have passed on too young.  This understanding of the precious quality of life
has made us even more appreciative of all the wonders of living.

This is how we live and love with our hearts on our sleeves.  Willing to be hurt so we can
feel the depth of love.
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.
Kahlil Gibran

Monday, August 29, 2011

Azores Dreaming

This is my sister Mericia in a cabin on the island of Pico, Azores.  
This November will mark the 20th year of her passing.  I am guessing that she is under 30 years old in this photo.  This photo is significant because even though it is faded by years it is a peek into my psyche.   Check out the fabric patterns, the fading beauty, the crisp clean white counters, the oil lamp and the white iron bed.  In my bedroom sits a new iron headboard and in my mother's room sits a black iron bed.   These things that speak to my soul are planted deep in my memories and positive experiences. 

Mericia was the oldest and eighteen years my senior.   We were separated when my family immigrated to the United States and she had to stay.  I don't know if I have ever gotten over the sense of abandonment that I could not verbalize until much later.  
Through her life, she did not believe in divorce, her faith and her suffering, I found strength to leave a marriage simply because I did not want to die married to a man that let the air out of my balloon every day.  If you have ever experienced this feeling you will understand. 
In just a few days, I will be celebrating the anniversary of a very happy union. 

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. Winston Churchill

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Last Day of Summer Break

It has been really hot here in the Inland Empire.  These little beauties
came from my mother's little tree that is part of my urban backyard habitat.

Goodness gracious I loved that woman.  My mother was one of
the most generous people I have known and she continues to give.

All women become like their mothers.  That is their tragedy.
No man does. That's his.  -Oscar Wilde

Saturday, August 27, 2011

count down to the end of summer

This morning I asked Jacob about his summer.  He claims that on a scale from good to awesome this summer falls dangerously close to awesome.  Yes, those were his exact words.  He reads a lot and I have to admit that our family is quite dramatic....in a good way. 

Any whooooo, Jacob returns to school this Monday.  To set the count down in motion, last night we ventured out after baths to sneak peek the class roster.  The whole family is sad to see summer end but we are excited to see school start but only because Jacob is excited.   Unlike some parents that can't wait to enjoy some quiet time, school for us means more work, evenings crammed with homework and real bed times.   Less time just being together more time focusing.

Deep sigh.  Lee would say stay with me, it is his way of staying in the moment.
Stay in the moment with me.  This plant was in the cafe at Filoli.  I have
a similar one on my kitchen sink. Gifted to me by Joe.

The kitchen at the mansion at Filoli has a separate pastry kitchen.
Baking is my absolute favorite...so I was in heaven.  Think of it,
all the space you need to bake through the fall and holiday season.
The kids could cut and decorate cookies. 

We have a sea theme going on in our boys bathroom.  Just thought
I'd mention it since someone at Filoli had a similar idea. 

This is the fireplace in the ballroom.

Julia and her mom, Chrisy, my childhood friend.

And just in case you ever wonder if the kids enjoy any of it. See Jacob's face for confirmation, you can not
fake this level of enthusiasm. 

This image also reminds me of my favorite Sesame Street skit with Grover
demonstrating here and there. 

As for Holly, she got to run, respectfully of course, and not on the grass.  
Just imagine the grandness of this amazing yard all of it cared for 
by over 1,000 dedicated volunteers. A real family lived and played here. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

California Academy of Sciences

On Monday, we visited the California Academy of Sciences.  This was boy's absolute favorite adventure this trip.  It's expensive so don't think about eating here on a family budget but do plan to spend the day to get the most bang for your buck.

Look for discounts and purchase your tickets online to avoid lines.  Get there early, grab tickets for the planetarium, and visit the rain forest first.  The aquarium was very busy the day we visited.  I am not a fan of crowded dark tight quarters but the kids had a blast and that is what matters.

Roof top.

Monday, August 22, 2011


Road trip.

We really try to visit or do one new thing a month.  Yesterday, we visited Filoli for the first time.
Fight for a just cause; Love your fellow man; Live a good life.

If you are old enough, this is where the  Dynasty fly over was filmed.  Everything was in full bloom.  The gardens were my favorite.

 Today we are off to the California Academy of Sciences!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011


The 17th century Portuguese writer, Antonio Vieira wrote, "God gave the Portuguese a small country as a cradle but all the world as their grave."

  Country Roads, Orange, California treasures.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


What does this image remind you of?  
This image was captured as we walked over the walking bridge on Main Street in Half Moon Bay.  

Such a lovely site for a wedding or renewing wedding vows.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

New Book for My Wish List

New book alert.  Inside the Creative Studio.

Got to add it to my wish list. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

I Love Lucy

Happy 100th Birthday Lucy.

I truly love Lucy.  Have loved her my entire life.  As kids we would
watch I Love Lucy and The Lucy Show as a family.  While caring for
my mother, we would watch Lucy and the Lawrence Welk show.
The tradition continues today. 

Watching Lucy transports me to a simple time.  It is comforting and familiar.
No, I never ever tire of watching.  

Friday, August 5, 2011

I don't know where I found this quote.

It is hard to be optimistic when your "fat"
pants are tight.

Lovely lettuce. Maybe this is why green is my favorite color.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


And all the loveliest things there be
Come simply, so, it seems to me.
                   Edna St. Vincent Millay

Mr. Lee is always trying to cheer me up with
little surprises around the house.
This is one half of a lock that he was able
to divide and install on two of our closet door.
A simple dummy knob.  Made me smile

Little things make me so happy.
The screws still need to be "vintaged" up.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Craft Fiesta

We had the good fortune to visit CJ Angels in La Verne during their Craft Fiesta.

Super fun with super nice kid friendly people.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Learn to pause...or nothing worthwhile will catch
up to you.   Doug King

Sometimes when you feel the exhaustion of life
overwhelm you go out and window shop.
A few quiet moments always helps recharge
my creative juices.

I love these glass cake plates.  Just plain glass shining
like diamonds.