Pumpkin Cottage

Pumpkin Cottage
sit and visit a spell

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Las Vegas

Mr. Lee and I don't share last names. 
When we married, I already had two children
from a previous marriage.  So I elected to use my
daddy's last name, the older two boys have their
daddy's last name and these two have their daddy's
last name and it starts with a V.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Dear Mother - Querida Mãe

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

Missing you dearly.
Happy Birthday, Mother.
How I wish we could plant
white pansies (amor perfeitos - perfect loves)
together today.

Pansies were among my mother's
favorite flowers, not the tiny johnny jump ups variety,
but the large faced old fashioned pansies
with their charming smiley faces.
I'll plant white pansies with purple faces
today to commemorate her 86th birthday.
Just me, in solitude, out in the garden
dirt where I can carry on a conversation. 

I didn't know it, but the old house at 424 Purisima
had everything I needed
to fill my heart for a lifetime.
While I searched and peace alluded me,
the peace my soul desired was already
within me.

A large garden with an apple and plum tree.
Shasta daisies (margaridas),
fuchsias, roses (rosas), camellias (japonicas),
geraniums (solteiras), and
hydrangeas (hortencias).
I learned their Portuguese common names first.

My mother would garden by the light of the moon while
she cared for father in late stage Alzheimer's.  Her garden
was among the most beautiful of cottage gardens.
The flowers so loved, they lifted their heads to listen
to the outpouring of my mother's heart, to kiss
the sunshine and the water so lovingly provided.

My parents in the backyard at 424 Purisima

My father and me in the parlor at 424 Purisima. Always smiling.  

Me, Father, sister Mericia, and Joe in the parlor

My parents with the Last Supper in the pink kitchen at 424 Purisima

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Created Art - Hours of Love

We have mountain friends with a cabin
in Idyllwild. The last few years
the Get Along has spent 4th of July and
Thanksgiving with the extended Riley
family. The classic Hallmark family.
Warm, inviting, with loads of love
to share. It is always a privilege.

My love of crafting somehow
secured the treasured 
50 year old button box of the Riley matriarch.
An incredible gift, from the heart, packed
with memories, buttons, bits of lace and

The contents of the button box became
the materials for a gift for my friend Lori,
one of the daughters of this special family.
For over 50 years, the family and friends
have gathered at the cabin.
Lori's two children
have grown up spending the holidays
at the cabin. 

To commemorate the years of memories,
I created a pictorial of Wes and Tori,
as little children, playing in a light dusting
of snow.  Last Thanksgiving, members of Lori's
extended family assisted by sewing on buttons.

Recently, Lori framed my work.
So honored. 

Gentle readers, thank you for visiting.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Hand of Fatima

Hand of Fatima.  Fatima is my middle name so I am
fascinated with its origin.

From Jessica:

Those that don't got it, can't show
it. Those that got it, can't hide it.

                            Zora Neale Hurston
Picture me short, overweight, obviously a ma'am
not a Miss and crippled by Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS).
Yet, there is a certain something. 
My mother used to say my grandmother's nose nearly
touched the ground, her AS was so bad.
Regardless, I have the something both my mother
and grandmother had. 
A certain something that makes it easy to
laugh at myself and with others.  To make new
friends and keep old friends.  So so blessed.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

October the Holiday Window

Growing up on the coast with fields of bright
orange pumpkins and waves of fog is
still one of the greatest treasures.
Nothing tangible, only felt by the heart.
Pumpkin Cottage is the embodiment  of the
old and new memories.

Oak Glen 2014

My mother's birthday was in October and
always afforded a visit home. She would
always say, in our departure, she loved
to see us come but hated to see us go.
We had to make sure we didn't leave
anything behind because it would only
make her miss us more.

Los Rios apple farm bakery.

She would stand watching us drive away
until she could no longer see us.
Oh, dear, my soul misses her so much.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Beginning of My Love Affair with Trash

From my earliest youth, I have always found pleasure
in giving life to old objects who have lost their usefulness,
in delivering them from obscurity and transforming them
into objects of art.
                                                    Jose de Creeft

This quote brought a rush of memories and emotions
with it.  Does that happen to you?

Wall of Amateur Art

Now, I wouldn't call any of my crafty
work "objects of art" but I can recall digging through
our elderly neighbor's, Aunt Minnie, trash.  A tin can, a half
gallon carton of milk, or some other trashy treasure.
To be lovingly rinsed, dried with care, and made
useful again.

 Happily engaged for hours. Hours of solitude
flooded with contentment.   Joy so authentic and

My love affair with trash, old houses, dirt and cottage gardens
began at 424 Purisima and continues.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Glitterfest 2014

Choose your treasures at GlitterFest 2014

The next event is February 28, 2015
put it on your calendar now. 
So much talent
packed into a single one day show.

Not to be missed.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

October Owl

Witches: Double, double toil and trouble
                Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

              MACBETH Act 4, Scene 1, 10-11

 Making at French General with
 Mary Stanley.

 Had to choose between making an owl or
 a pumpkin.  Finished making the owl and
 brought home the wool for a pumpkin.  

Friday, October 10, 2014

Lost it on the Neighbors

It takes a lot for me to blow.
A lot lot.
I'm the type that doesn't think of anything
witty to say
until weeks later.

This evening, I couldn't drive into my happy
garage, so happy to be home garage, because
for the umpteenth time the neighbor
had parked behind our garage to

I waited to see if he was really unloading.
Nothing, nada, nada.
Another car enters the queue.
We live in the middle of a dead end

Something inside of me SNAPS.
I start honking like a mad woman.
Insanity possesses me.

He comes out and moves past me. 
I back up and pull into the garage.
But this time I am not going to
to let it go.

My gippy tired body flies
out of the van.
Cussing like a sailor on leave. 
So angry, so tired, so so tired
of people who park in
the clearly marked fire lane.

Mary Stanley pumpkins

In front of everyone I clearly
lose all decorum. 
Neighbors pour out of their homes. 
Watching the little, obviously deranged,
pumpkin woman lose it.

Yeah, I don't know how
we are going to find
world peace either.  

Monday, October 6, 2014

Thrifted Treasures

This jewel didn't come home with us,
but what an adorable project for the
winter break in December.

Maybe have each kid decorate an outfit.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Kitchen Redo

The Pumpkin Cottage gets a sprucing.



Measure twice cut once.

New liner and reorganized. 

Better storage.