Winter Cottage Decorating

 We have begun to decorate for the Holidays. I want to keep it simple and homey as much as possible this year. It is a great opportunity to vacuum up the rather prolific spiders and their messes, too. So corner by corner, little by little we shall have a clean house again. 
The fat cardinals came down from the window shelf in the dining room where they had collected a coat of dust to be washed and rejuvenated with some new pine picks from where I work. This is a fun and inexpensive way to decorate in the kitchen.
Fall cleaning/winter decorating, my style, is to putter at it an area at a time as the dirt bugs me or as I get a decorating brainstorm.
I remember 30 years ago when we bought this little stone house nestled under too many, too tall, forest trees. It certainly wasn’t a mansion just over the hilltop. It was old and rickety and had not been lived in for many years. There were ugly, tan tiled floors throughout, upstairs and down! Boring worn out tile! It was very discouraging for me who had fallen in love with the gambrel roof line, the stone walls and the deep windows. I painted a lot of things to redeem them: walls, trim, ceilings, and stairways; but paint doesn’t fix rotten floors and a leaking roof. After what seemed like many long years of waiting, we had new joists, flooring coverings, roof, upper story windows and many other renovations. In the process I learned to think in terms of cabin instead of farmhouse. That important change of thought process was my key to fun and happy decorating and homemaking in general.

Lisl makes beautiful things with fabric and paint. She worked on this the same day that I was cleaning and re-working the pantry shelves in the kitchen.
The doily you see here is an heirloom from Elv’s grandmother Graber. She used it and must have loved it. It is mended in several places, great patches of mendings, which makes it even more special to me. It is folded in half to fit the shelf. So, it is just an old doily, but it’s history, too, and part of our story. Home making should include pieces of story, “re-purposed” and treasured.
Contented decorating sees possibility in the old and used. It is budget friendly, too. That’s my sermon-ette for the day.

Right now we keep fruit and nuts available on the table. The grandchildren group around the table cracking nuts and visiting. I love this. The oldest of them is seven years old, the youngest four months old, seven children who know how to make too much noise at play or squabble like all kids do, or how to sit quietly and listen to story. I’m impressed that they can handle the nut cracker successfully. And they know how to share it, too.
Real winter cottage stuff is happening around here. We even have snow to match.
Thanksgiving with company is coming up next week, so I need to make lists: menus, shopping, and to-do. We should have deserts and salads done ahead, a fridge full, I hope. Pies, cookies, and not to forget to buy an oven bag for the turkey.
Also we plan to go visit Elv’s aged mother.
And then there are Christmas programs to share and caroling and more company and visits.
Snowmen to make, hot chocolate parties to create and enjoy, and boots and mittens to dry by the stove. Which reminds me, I bought a hall tree just the right size for the grandchildren to hang their coats on when they come. No more piles of coats and hats to plow through on the entry floor.

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