Saturday, January 18, 2020

Cabin Fever, Kitchen Cheer, and New Plans

Hello, Dear Friends, I hope that you are starting the new year 
with a fresh perspective and a renewed sense of purpose! 

Easier said than done in the midst of a long, cold
winter, especially here in the north woods. 

The snow is certainly magical and enchanting to look at, 
but a little too cold and slippery for me!

I have a serious case of cabin fever, 
but I am content to stay inside and watch from the windows
for now. 

Can you see Kai? He loves smashing his face right into the snow.
I think he has a bit of cabin fever, too!
He is free to come in and out as he pleases through
his pet door, but he prefers 'out' when the sun is shining.   

He loves the snow. 
You might guess that he would...his breed is 'American Eskimo'.

My 'Old Boy', Whitey-Bear, loves the snow, too, 
but prefers hanging out by the fire these days.

My little grandsons' doggy chair looks on. 

It has been stormy for days, with rain, then snow, then wind, 
and sometimes all three in one day. 

But today.....there are glorious patches of sunshine and 
for the first time in many days, Mt. Rainier 
is emerging from the clouds. 

I've kept myself busy putting away the last of the Christmas 
decorations, and tidying up. 

Everything looks so bare without all the holiday decorations, 
so I found some treasures that were packed away, to fill in the gaps.

I love going through the boxes.
It's always a nice surprise.
Lots of little memories. 

I wanted touches of red 
 to add some cheer during these dark winter days. 

I found a few enamelware pieces with red trim. 

A couple of vintage red-rimmed saucepans with no chips, 
and some random lids came out to play. 

And my red timer. 

My 1961 Hotpoint stove timer still works, too. 

It's nice to have two. 

These canisters are not vintage, but look like they might be. 
 I found them in my 
local craft store a couple of years ago, 
along with the enamel sign. 

I had to have it :)
My Mom had this saying in her kitchen when I was young. 

I found the 'Mom's Diner' sign a couple of years ago
 at Seattle's Pike Street Market.
We had spent the day at a Mariner's vs. Red Sox game 
with my son and his wife; their treat. 
Afterwards we went to 'The Market'. 

It was a wonderful day.

You can see my post about it Here.  

Open 24 hours.

Always open. 

Once upon a time my kitchen was quite a busy place 
with four children, assorted friends, neighbors, relatives
and pets coming and going. 

Now it is just The Mr. and I, most 
of the time, but we do enjoy the peace and quiet. 

Between the two of us, we still use a lot of dishes, though! 

Mostly coffee, tea and cocoa mugs at this time of year.

I have a thing for pretty tea-towels, 
and my local craft store sells them 
in all colors.
 I really love these red gingham towels.

Let's peek inside my 1930's 'Kitchen Queen' Hoover cabinet. 

Some happy little things. 
Memories of flea-market trips
and special gifts. 

Everything I need for blueberry pancakes,
  lemon/berry loaves,
and strawberry shortcakes.
With juice or tea. 

My daughter painted the 'mimosa' glass,
but the juice glasses are vintage. 
It's the start of a new collection......
Isn't everything? 

A photo of Ramblin' Man's dear Mom, whipping up 
her 'famous' spaghetti sauce, at my stove, in this kitchen.

My niece sent this special photo to us, with the recipe on the back - 
a sweet reminder of a loved one now gone, 
a wonderful visit and a lovely time in our lives. 

I had fun putting together the pillows and linens 
for the 1920 day-bed. Vintage gingham sheets, tea towels, crochet and 
a bit of fur and Sherpa were all sewn into curtains and pillows by me over the 
last few years. I gathered them from storage and other areas 
of the house. 

The quilt was my Mom's.
 She made me promise to take her favorite little companion, her kitty-cat, 
 Ling-Ling, when she was gone. Ling-Ling would only sleep on this quilt for many 
months when I first brought her here. She (and I) desperately missed my 
Mom and this quilt had her comforting scent - talcum and lilacs. 

Ling-Ling was our special little guest for 6 years 
and now I like to think that they are reunited once again. 

I have a small collection of flea-market paintings 
that I like to rotate. This one has all the right colors
and cheerful tone. 

This was my dear Mom-in-law's sewing kit. 

Most of the time it stays upstairs in my sewing room.
 It reminds me of her and also, how much 
I love to sew, and that I need to make time to do it. 

My new cookie jar says it all. 
The tongs that fit on the top
are stamped, 'Guilt Free'. 
This was a sweet gift from my son
and his wife. 

Now I need to fill it up. 
Oatmeal-Raisin are the Mr.'s favorite. 

Icicles illuminated with the last of the day's light, 
leaving ghosts on the camera lens. 

 are the perfect cure for Cabin Fever.  

A simple meal for a cold winter night
after a busy and fun day of decorating.

It's back to business tomorrow, the business of everyday life
and all the happiness and sadness each day can bring. 

I do have something special to tell you, though! 

Ramblin' Man has announced his retirement, 
and he's 'coming home to me'. 

He still has a few more weeks to go, but 
we have been very busy getting ready for our 
'lifestyle change' and have been squaring things up. 

I am very proud of all his many achievements, drive,
determination, and dedication to his family. 

Now he deserves to relax and enjoy all that he has accomplished. 

Of course, he would never do that.....relax? 
Never. He has insatiable energy and many wonderful plans
for our home, gardens, travel and family time. 

We're looking forward to this brand-new excellent adventure. 

I hope you will come along. 



  1. Your home is cozy and inviting!You have so many treasures and cute pets...Love visiting your adorable and happy blog!Blessings,Karen!

  2. Congratulations on the wonderful! Such a lovely photo of you and Ramblin' Man! Your home will be the perfect retirement nest for the two of cozy and beautiful. And if I had that comfy daybed...there would be naps!
    Lovely post, sweet friend! xo

  3. I love touring your home and seeing your changes for the seasons. Your broccoli cheese soup with Irish Soda Bread looks delicious. Your Mr. and I share a love for oatmeal raisin cookies. Woohoo for Ramblin’ Man and his retirement!! That’s wonderful news! Blessings to both of you....

  4. I always love your posts like this Karen. Sharing your beautiful place, your daily life, pets and especially that cozy kitchen! I always love when you do touches of red in there. ♥️
    And congratulations to the Mr.! You both must be so excited for this next chapter and all the fun to be had! 🎉 🎈 Wishing you both all the best for 2020, the magical changes, and the joy yet to come. xoxo

  5. Oh gosh Karen, I do love the way you write. In the end you found a great cure for your cabin-fever but it was a delightful read in between. All your beautiful keepsakes and touches here and there of your own special style. I really enjoyed this post and congratulations you will officially be a retired couple very soon! We always love being able to do whatever pleases each of us and not having to answer to early morning starts or deadlines... it's a lovely stage of life ~💙✨~

  6. Karen,
    I so enjoy visiting your charming and cozy home and I do adore how you decorate especially your Kitchen!! You showcased so many pretty pieces in this this post!! Congrats on your husband retirement and I wish you Good Luck!! It will be quite an adjustment having him home with you especially if you are used to being home alone during the day... After 3 years of Joe's retirement and now mine, we are still trying to adjust...Joe got a part time job because he did not know what to do with himself and I am very thankful that he did!! Looking forward to your next post...

  7. It is always a joyous thing to visit your home and to peek at all the lovely collections you have artfully put together, Karen. Love all those touches of red intermingled in your kitchen. At this time of year your fire must embrace all that sit or lay in front of it. Exciting new re your husband's retirement. How fabulous for you both. I look forward to visiting you in the coming days, see what you and that Ramblin' man of yours are up to.

  8. Lovely to hear your news Karen, Happy New Year! All that snow is making me chilly but you are nice and cosy indoors with all your pretty bits and bobs around. I'm sure you'll be busy planning all sorts of exciting things to do when your husband retires, what fun that will be. x

  9. oh karen, you are going to love having him home. my hubs is home every day, not really retired, but kind of retired...and we love it!!! long into the post i did not see the 1930's 'Kitchen Queen' Hoover cabinet and i was afraid you had gotten rid of it!! thank goodness you still have it, it is my favorite!!! i really enjoy seeing it decorated for each season and i was looking forward to seeing it today. it's beautiful, your stove is my second favorite item in your home!!

    we have not gotten any snow but the cold keeps us indoors, there's nothing much to do. your snow is beautiful!! i just ordered new mixing bowls...i wish i had seen that red one, with the polka-dots, thats a real winner!!!

  10. I enjoyed looking at the way you decorated your pretty house Karen. The soup and bread look so good. Congrats on the retirement of your husband. It will be so nice to spend more time together. Hope you enjoy these winter months. Thanks too for the blog visit.

  11. Your snow looks so pretty, how wonderful to see it on the mountain too! I think I would be more of the lay by the fire girl than play out in the snow :)
    Your house is wonderful with all the touches of red you have, and such great memories of all your loved ones :)
    A big Congrats to your husband, it will be nice to have him home I am sure, and you will have projects and adventures to share with us!

  12. Dark New England red is a year round component of my decorating and I especially love it in winter--although 'winter' in Kentucky is a much different season than in Vermont or Wyoming--our former homes. I recall being in the northwest during winter and its a place where one nurtures light and warmth.
    Re 'retirement'--we did that 10 years ago--a different lifestyle but certainly not one of leisure.

  13. Oh Karen, so much of your post I'm smiling about. Kai is so cute, and I love that picture of him playing in the snow. Whitey Bear looks so content laying there by the fire. I can see why you want touches of red right now in your kitchen. I have been wanting red in my kitchen once again. The "Diner" sign is wonderful. You know, one of my favorite places to eat is at a Diner with all its memorabilia on the wall and the juke box playing the oldies. The photo of your mother-in-law making spaghetti sauce is so special, and your mother's quilt is a treasure. I LOVE those angels in the garden, they're beautiful. And the flea market painting is so charming. You and me have the same taste, my friend. I am wondering where your son got the cookie jar with the saying - I LOVE THAT! The broccoli cheese soup and bread look delicious and are such comfort foods during these cold January days. How wonderful that your husband gets to retire and spend some time at home. What a cute picture of both of you.

    It's been pretty cold here, but I can imagine how cold it is where you live. But you seem to fill it with good foods, hot drinks, and a house that holds comfort and love.


  14. I'm so happy for you...entering a retirement! We've been retired for awhile but stay busy with volunteer work. My husband even more hours than me! But it's kept us involved in our community and we like the 'flexible' hours! You have a lot to look forward too! Love seeing your beautiful home and those touches of red! Hugs!

  15. Karen, what an especially wonderful post. All the sweet memories and photos. If your husband runs out of things to do after he retires, I've got a list of things he could do here that would keep him busy for at least a couple weeks! :D

  16. I just love your special home and the red accents. Things are so bare when Christmas is put away. I need no words to encourage cookie eating! Unfortunately. Ling ling with the statue is such a pretty picture, makes me wonder what caption or poem I'd put under it.

  17. Karen, your home and garden is a perfect setting with the snow. It all looks so very lovely. I admire your wonderful collection of vintage in the kitchen and the touches of red are just perfect. Our Kai likes to poke around in the snow when it first falls, but after that his place is in front of the fire also. Congrats on the impending retirement. What fun you will have. I would just think it was heaven going on vacation in your beautiful home..Happy Tuesday..xxoJudy

  18. Oh I liked this post especially where you live looking out at Mt Rainer. I use to visit out you way very often
    I liked seeing your cute house also, and glad your man is on his way home permanently.
    Love your dog also

  19. So much to love here -- your beautiful winter additions to replace some of the Christmas cheer; those darling dogs (however do you find them in the snow!) and the news about your Rambling Man. Retirement is a jolly good thing, so long as you both keep yourselves in your new version of together. It's so very beautiful in your world, Karen!

  20. I love your kitchen. Red has never been my go to for decor until a couple of yrs ago when my brother had a red couch he was getting rid of. I took it of course and it was strange at first to have it in my living room. Then I started to use other decor items of red around it. So much so that when I move back to my childhood home I bought from my brothers I am doing the dining room and kitchen in red also. It just adds nice pop of color and you don't have to use a lot of it.Thanks for sharing.

  21. Hello dear Karen

    this is really a beautiful sharing ,visiting your uplifting place makes my day always :)

    each glimpse of your cozy house filled my soul with warmth of love and beauty that reflects from each inch of your house

    want to congratulate you as your husband is going to have lots of time you soon :) how lovely to arrange to wellcome him and for his comfort

    snow outside seems failed to enter in your house or attitude at all ,as each corner is showing your wisdom and strength so beautifully
    i think red is perfect to defeat the overwhelming snow around ,loved you mom's quilt ,elegant indeed
    i too love to peek in old boxes ,when i open them things inside seems to greet lovingly with memories along :)
    your kitchen is so charming and well arranged

    may lord keep showering his love and kindness upon you and family in new year my friend!

  22. As always dear Karen, it is joy to see your lovely home and read about histories of things. Congrats on Ramblin' Man's upcoming retirement. You will have a wonderful time together, I am happy for you. Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

  23. Karen, I am so glad to read your post. Congratulations to Ramblin Man on his upcoming retirement. My husband has a few more years to go. I love seeing all your pretties around your home. So cute about your Kai and the snow. Lilah Rose only barks at the snow. I think she needs a nice furry coat like Kai's! xo

  24. Love the picture of the two of you …

    All the best Jan


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

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