Friday, January 8, 2016

Winter Pleasures

Hello, Dear Friends, I've been settling 
into Winter here in Western Washington State
and thought I would share a 
few things that bring me pleasure 
during this sometimes unfriendly season! 

The first are pansies! 
Yes, these little charmers are blooming 
and peering at me with curious faces, 
despite our recent cold temperatures
and snowfall. 

These particular pansies are called
'Glacier Pansies', but there are other 
varieties of winter pansies that will bloom
despite the cold. 

Just a few days ago, these were buried
under snowfall, and  were looking very limp, 
but with a few hours of sunshine
they have perked up and are now quite happy.

I planted all of these last fall. 

Sweet yellow and purple violas 
keep company with winter cabbage,
purple flax grass, and purple alyssum
in galvanized tubs. 

Stepping out my kitchen door 
brings me so much joy,
even in winter! 

My second winter pleasure
is reading in bed. 

It's so nice to cuddle up with 
flannel sheets, lots of pillows, 
and cozy quilts for some 
reading time before sleep. 

I found this namesake book 
at a library sale. 
It was written in 1965 by a 
father to a daughter on the eve
of her wedding, at her request
for advice about marriage. 

 The author, Charlie W. Shedd, was a Minister
 with a long marriage
and many counseling sessions
 under his belt. It is a lovely read, 
even though some of the ideas
on marriage are a bit outdated! 

Still, it does give an insight into the lives 
and social mores of our parents and grandparents
all those years ago, and many, if not
most suggestions still hold true.

Of course, I have a pansy bookmark, 
a gift from my dear sister-in-law :)

A third winter pleasure is staying indoors
in front of the fire, crocheting.

There is something so satisfying about taking
a bit of yarn and creating something useful
while relaxing on a cold winter day.

My little basket is almost done and brings
to mind all of the indigenous peoples
who have created similar items for
daily life since the beginning of time.

A fourth winter pleasure for me is
dressing in woolens and tweeds
and warm winter scarves.

This table sits right in the entry,
and is a handy place to drop
these essentials.

My sweet Ramblin' Man gifted me with the gloves
and scarf in my Christmas stocking this year.

The purse is vintage.

The silver star in the tart pan
was his as a boy.

It's funny what you hang on to in life,
and for some reason this has survived.

I found the large rusty star this year
for the holidays and I might keep it there.

My fifth and final winter pleasure
right now are winter berries.

I so enjoy gathering them into beautiful
arrangements with evergreen cuttings
from winter walks.

So simple to enjoy a bit of nature's beauty
even when the garden is sleeping.

Berries are beautiful inside....

And outside.

Kai looks on as Ling Ling passes by
a winter garden in pots.

Beautiful red berries of firethorn (pyracantha)
drape down the steps alongside pots of rosemary and thyme.

While the almost neon purple berries of
 American beautyberry glow along the garden hedge.

And perhaps rosehips would not be classified
as a berry, but they add a lovely touch of color
to the trellis in winter.

I hope you have enjoyed my list of
Winter Pleasures, Dear Friends.

What are your Winter Pleasures?


Today I am linking with:
 Love Made My Home - Five on Friday


  1. I love the dark plaids on the daybed and the silver star, and your french sofa is so pretty and inviting. xoxo Su

  2. Your pansies are lovely. Mine died awhile back. Your house looks so cozy and I love what you do to make it so welcoming. There's a house we walk by that has white winter berries. Lovely! It's been chilly in the 40s but still chilly late afternoon. Thankful for warm coats and a heated house! Hugs and have a good weekend!

  3. Glacier pansies. Who knew! Your home inside and out is so very cozy. Have a wonderful weekend. Tammy

  4. Beautiful photos as always Karen. Considering all the snow you had the other day, you have lots of colour in your garden. Great to have all those smiling pansy faces to smile back to. :-)

  5. Stunning photography, you are certainly blessed with a beautiful home. Love the pansies and violas they are so cheery on what is quite a dreary season.

  6. I love pansies (winter or spring) it doesn't matter. The change of seasons gives us a chance to do new things and appreciate the beautiful flowers that will emerge. Happy New Year!

  7. What wonderful winter pleasures!! I adore the pansies and the book sounds wonderful too, especially for you written to a Karen of course! I like your stars too, I think they would look great in your home all year round as they seem to be just your style! Thank you for joining Five On Friday again this year! Happy weekend! xx

  8. What a lovely post. Lots of my winter pleasures mirror yours. Love pansies, reading and cosying by the fire knitting or crocheting. Your stars are gorgeous by the mirror. I'm off for one of my winter pleasures now...a mug of hot chocolate. Keep warm and have a good weekend. Barbara X

  9. What a warm and cozy post! Each season does have its beautiful pleasures, don't they? :) We just need to take the time to appreciate them.

  10. Hello, my friend!!

    what a lovely post about Winter Delights!!
    The pansies are lovely!! We will not be able to see any type of flowers here until April!! Winter has arrived here finally in the Northeast. Temps. this week are predicted to be about 30 degrees with snow showers and some ice!! Your home looks so warm and inviting!! I am now decorating for Winter as i take down Christmas. Just finished the outside of the house yesterday and almost froze to death out there!!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!!


  11. I'm joining in Amy's Five on Friday and have stopped by to say 'hello'. You have a lovely home and your photos are so colourful. They are cheery and a joy to see. I love the little pansies, the way you arrange the greenery and berries. It looks as if you have some sunshine after the snowy conditions. How good is that! My winter pleasures are sitting in a cosy corner reading a book and wearing one of my collection of wool scarves when out and about. You really need some warmth against the wind chill at the moment. Wishing you and yours a happy new year, Karen.

  12. Those pansies would help me get through our winter. I'm afraid it's just too cold for them to survive here. I love this post full of winter cheer and colour. And, your centerpiece is so gorgeous. It's nice to see Ling-Ling. She is candy for the eye. =^..^=

  13. I love seeing those pansies blooming! I have a few pots in my greenhouse that have started blooming again, but we are expecting really low temps next week. I wonder if they will last!
    All of your photos make me want to snuggle down and enjoy this cold season. I love that book with your name on it! I love reading those older books with advise. I had one about child rearing in the 40's. Very interesting! Have a great weekend, Karen!

  14. What a lovely cosy home you have. No wonder you want to curl up on your couch and read.
    Looking out at your beautiful surroundings & seeing your really cheerful pansies what a lovely welcoming hallway portraying the love you have for your home.

  15. I enjoyed seeing things that make you happy in the world tear months, Karen. I love soups, comfort foods, candles burning, warm socks, reading in bed, and just being home. I have a huge star above my mantle that I keep up all year long.
    Happy winter, sweet friend!

  16. Good morning, my friend, and happy weekend! What a delight to have pansies growing right now and I must say they are quite stunning! The first photo took my breath away :)

    Your home is indeed beautiful and cozy, sweet Karen, and I can completely understand why you enjoy staying in and reading a book. I am the same way {{smiles}}

    It's always so good to stop in for a visit - you always bless me so. Hugs and joy to you!

  17. How wonderful to be able to enjoy the flowers all winter long, I didn't know they could with stand the snow and cold temps like that! So neat to have found that book and I bet it is an interesting read. Very pretty bookmark too! Isn't it wonderful to take an item and make it into something beautiful or useful, it gets me every time!! I too love berries and they are such a great addition to a bouquet.
    I love crocheting afghans this time of year because you can cuddle up with them as you are making them, as well as quilts, this is the first year I don't have either I am working on.

  18. Hello Karen, it amazes me how you can bring to life to joy and beauty in every season! Your winter garden is so vibrant with color and your home decor is so warm and inviting. I love the vintage pieces you share with us. I hope your weekend is off to a great start. We have sunshine here today but there's a little more rain in our forecast. My best to you :) hugs, Pat

  19. Dearest Karen,
    That a is a very cozy and homey post!
    Would love to read and crochet myself but it seems like both of us are for years trying hard to catch up on everything. Will we ever get there?!
    Pieter is fighting the connection with our new, replaced Miele dishwasher. He put it in himself and it worked fine for a good week. Than showed a signal: Open faucet... Must be something wrong with the water supply pipe so he is trying to solve that. Not easy at his age for having to take the entire thing out and being on the floor. This is the xxx time. Before he tried to prepare the old one and had it taken out several times. And now the 3rd time the new one had to come out. Looking forward to having a 'normal' household! I myself am still working on the inventory of all the scanned photos... Re-organizing files and deleting lots of things. I will do the happy dance once that is done.
    My bronchitis is lingering on but I've had that for decades that it might last up till 6 weeks so I'm used to that.
    Feeling a lot better and sleeping like a rose at night; yes under my flanel duvet cover and on my flanel pillow cover + flanel fitted sheet. Pure bliss!

  20. Love your crocheted pillows! I am surprised at the pansies! So colorful. My beautyberry does not have colored berries on it now. Darn!

  21. Karen, your posts always make me smile. :) The purple pansies are gorgeous; I can't believe they're still going strong in this cold weather. I love flannel sheets too during the cold winter months. Keep crocheting, would you? My sister knits and crochets and quilts, and I've always thought it was such a talent. You know how much I love that table of yours, and I think that picture is so soft and pretty. The scarf and gloves is a nice gift from your husband. I don't wear scarves at all, but the girls love them! The vintage purse is so cute. The pictures of the neon purple berries and the red berries are great. And the silver star tart pan that belonged to your husband is such a treasure. Keeping things like that means so much.

    Such a delightful post, and thank you for showing us some of your January pleasures.


  22. It seems you are having the most wonderful time over there in your wintry wonderland, what with curled up reading in bed, crocheting in front of your cosy fire, donning lovely woolens and tartans for those walks whilst collecting berries........bliss. Love, love, love the beautiful pansies, they would add a ray of sunshine to any wintry day.

  23. What surprise beauty! Those pansies are gorgeous. Always love to see your photos. The crochet project is also beautful

  24. I just love all of your winter pleasures and we share a reading in a cozy bed with all the pillows fluffed behind me laying under my new winter deer duvet cover! I love winter boots and scarves and sweaters. I love the snow when it is so cold it crunches but unfortunately we have not had any yet. I love staying inside when it is blustery and dark outside. The pansies are beautiful. There is no way they would survive here now but I did have a bush bloom straight from the branch during our warm spell.

  25. I appreciate the way pansies and tiny 'johnny-jump-ups' can re-bloom in winter. There have been dandelions here and there in the grass that borders the lane, a few sprigs of what appears to be buttercup. It is meant to be much colder this week and the little flowers may disappear.
    I am envious of your rosemary which can winter outside.
    Most Kentucky winters are not as cold or as prolonged as those we experienced in Vermont or Wyoming, but flannel sheets, bright quilts, turtleneck sweaters and wooly socks make life more comfortable whenever days and nights are frosty.
    Books and sewing projects are especially dear during long winter evenings.
    I wouldn't mind serving home made soup nearly every day this time of year.

  26. what are those white berries? I have the pansies, but never even thought to bring them inside. Good thinking in the fall. Happy New year hope we are
    in touch this year. Yvonne

    1. Hi Yvonne - yes, let's stay in touch! The white berries are snow berries - they grow wild here! Hope you have a lovely start to your week and so nice to have you stop by. xo Karen


  27. Karen Your house is very cozy , makes you a real home sweet home full of wonderful details , what makes the difference this affection that you put in your stuff.
    I love it here . Big kiss and a beautiful Sunday for you.


  28. Karen Your house is very cozy , makes you a real home sweet home full of wonderful details , what makes the difference this affection that you put in your stuff.
    I love it here . Big kiss and a beautiful Sunday for you.

  29. Karen, i love pansies and violas; they seem so "cottage garden-y" to me. Your home looks so warm and welcoming!

  30. Oh, those lovely pansies...they will be here in a couple of months! My favourite spring flower for sure!
    Have a happy sunday, take care...
    Love from Titti

  31. It's so hard to believe that just the short distance between our homes that our environments are so different. I still have about 10 inches of snow or more as it is compressed. It would so cheer me to see outside color this time of year. Your back porch looks wonderful and your interior so winter warm and have filled it with love and winter cheer.

  32. Your home is SOOOO lovely, Karen. You are clever. I love reading in bed, all cosy and snuggly, during the winter and cosy evenings spent knitting by the fire. We are still waiting for wintry weather here, although I believe the north of England had snow last night. x

  33. Oh Karen your pansies are such happy blooms. I planted some earlier in the season and the sparrows ate them! Your home is such an inspiration, and full of cozy, comfortable furnishings. BUT, WHOA, you didn't say anything about that gorgeous card holder in your entry. That is such a delicious idea! Keep warm and cozy with your crochet and reading xxxx

  34. What a lovely post! It makes me feel all warm and cozy, even though I'm sitting here in air-conditioning. :-)

    Your home is so nice and peaceful, full of grace.

    Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

  35. Karen, such beautiful pictures and sentiments. I love all your winter pleasures especially the berries. A touch of God's handiwork even in the coldest of winter days. Thank you for sharing with us!

  36. OK Karen, I just have to say that you style your photo shots so well and or your hose and garden are stunning. I so especially love the first photo with the pansies and the gorgeous outdoor background. the crocheted cushion in one shot is also to die for. Lovely post x

  37. Hi Karen, what a beautiful home, beautiful view and a beautiful blog. I see you're also an animal lover. I just can't get enough of them.

  38. Hi Karen, what a beautiful home, beautiful view and a beautiful blog. I see you're also an animal lover. I just can't get enough of them.

  39. Dear Karen,

    So many beautiful cozy photos you have shown us and looks like you are enjoying winter at your place. Pansies are one of my favourite flowers and love to plant some here too, they have a happy face.
    Your dogs, cats and birdy boy are all such lovely and must be great company.
    Have a happy week, and stay warm

  40. Reading in bed is also one of my little pleasure in winter: I think I'm going to indulge right now!


Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

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