Saturday, November 27, 2021

A Sweet November Country Drive

Hello, Dear Friends! As we prepare for the cold, dark days ahead, 
come along with me on a sweet November drive to say
 our final goodbye to another lovely autumn.

This is the road we travel to and from our home in 
the foothills of the beautiful Cascade mountains
 near Mt. Rainier in Washington State. 
I've traveled this road a thousand times. 
It always takes me home. 

 The trees have lost their leaves, revealing their lovely form against autumn skies.  

Red berries of viburnum glow above the tawny colors

of dried grass and underbrush. 

The subtle, soft hues seem so beautiful to me. 

The birds love these berries, which sustain them throughout the long, cold winter.


"Some of the days in November carry the whole memory of summer

as a fire opal carries the color of moonrise."

- Gladys Taber -

The tall, black cottonwood trees are the last to lose their golden leaves.


" How beautiful leaves grow old. How full of light

and color are their last days."

- John Burrough -


Looking back. 


Green and gold. 

An unharvested pumpkin patch. 

Did the farmer overplant? Did he lose an account? 
Did he become ill or injured?

A bonus for migrating geese and other wildlife.  


"October is the month for painted leaves. Their rich glow now flashes round 
the world. As fruits and leaves and the day itself acquire a bright tint just before 
they fall, so the year near its setting. October is the sunset sky; November
the later twilight."

- Henry David Thoreau -

Goats and sheep in a pretty little farmyard. 

Pastel barns for tranquil horses. 
A timeless scene. 

Rural America. 
It looks rather lonely here. 
The corner ahead is the scene of many deadly accidents
and a farm further on was the tragic scene of domestic violence 
murders a few years ago. 

Do you believe that certain places have bad Karma? 
Have you ever arrived someplace that gave you bad vibes?

I'm sure we all have tales to tell! 


" I know that I have died before - once in November."

- Anne Sexton -

Sunlight breaking through to illuminate golden trees
brightens the spirits as we move on. 


" Now in November nearer comes the sun 
down the abandoned heaven."

- D. H. Lawrence -

A railway bridge over the river has been converted
 into a pedestrian bridge through 
the Rails to Trails project. 


" The river this November afternoon
Rests in equipoise of sun and cloud:
A glooming light, a gleaming darkness shroud
Its passage. All seems tranquil, all in tune."

- Cecil Day-Lewis -

" November at its best - with a sort of delightful menace in the air."

- Anne Bosworth Greene -

An old loading shute by the now defunct railway station. 

I'm sure these walls could tell some tales. 

This little town reminds me of a favorite book and movie;

I am a big fan of nostalgia. 

Another movie I love; 'Sweet November'
starring Charleze Theron and Keanu Reeves. 

I am also a hopeless romantic. 

Such pretty fencing amidst the tall evergreens. 


"The unwelcome of November rain had perversely stolen
the day's last hour and pawned it with that ancient fence, 
the night."

- F. Scott Fitzgerald -

 Mist-shrouded mountains. 


" So dull and dark are the November days. 
The lazy mist high up the evening curled, 
and now the morn quite hides in smoke and haze;
The place we occupy seems all the world."

- John Clare -

On a clear day, you would see 14,411 ft. Mt. Rainier 
in the middle of this photo. 

An eagle stands guard in the tree. 

Can you imagine waking up to this view every day? 

A very lucky cow. 

 Mt. Rainier rises above the mist like a mirage. 

" The house was very quiet, and the fog - we are in November now - 
pressed against the windows like an excluded ghost."

- E. M. Forster -

Pigeons on the roof. 

A logging truck glides past as we return home.  


These remind me of an Arthur Rackham illustration. 

" Not yesterday I learned to know
The love of bare November days
Before the coming of the snow, 
But it were vain to tell her so, 
and they are better for her praise."

- Robert Frost - 

Almost home. A hole in the sky over Mt. Rainier. 

" It was November - the month of crimson sunsets, 
parting birds, deep, sad hymns of the sea, 
passionate wind-songs in the pines."

- L. M. Montgomery -


Thank you for coming along, Dear Friends! 

Today I am linking with: Saturday's Critters.

Monday, November 8, 2021

Chinese Take-out


Hello, Dear Friends, I hope that you are staying warm and cozy as 

we slide into November, when autumn's beauty gives way 

to cold winds and frosty mornings. 

One of the ways to have a cozy evening for Ramblin' Man 

and I, is to treat ourselves to Chinese Take-out. 


Over the years I've collected some pretty things to make 
this a little more special. 

A few things were wonderful gifts from loved ones. 

I am always on the look-out to add to my collection. 

I would like to find enough to serve four or more. 

Most were found at thrift shops, flea markets and antique stores. 

This lovely cross-stitched table cloth was a thrifty find. 

You can see the designs are quite beautiful. 

The carp dishes were collected one by one. 

This little plate is a work of art. 

This rice spoon was the first thing that I found. 

It encouraged me to look for more. 

I have no idea how it survived. 

I found it years ago when my children were small

and it is very thin porcelain. 


Chinese take-out was one of the few treats 

my husband and I were able to enjoy 

on a Saturday night when the children were 

in bed. 

We were rarely able to go out to dinner. 

Finding a sitter to watch four rambunctious little ones

was a difficult feat. 

Now that we are retired, it is a special occasion treat. 
Always for our anniversary and also for my birthday. 

Take-out in front of the television is so cozy. 

Fried rice, egg roll, chow mien, bbq pork, and sometimes 
moo goo gai pan (chicken with veggies), or broccoli beef. 

Ramblin' Man's fortune came true. 

And so did mine. 


What is your favorite take-out treat? 

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Academia Aesthetic - The Library Reveal


Hello, Dear Friends, I hope that you are enjoying this beautiful season 

as we slide ever so quickly towards the end of another year! 

A most challenging year it was, too! 

It is rainy and cool here this week, and we had a touch of frost 

a few days ago, but still not enough to take out the last of the flowers, just yet. 


I promised you a peek at our new library! This has been many years 

in the making... years of dreaming, collecting and saving, and lots of hard work 

on the part of my dear Ramblin' Man and son's. 

The loft above is our new bedroom. 

The library was previously our bedroom space, 

but it was never fully finished - just sort of roughed in. 

The loft was more or less an attic space that I 

used as a craft/sewing room. There was no railing

and the ceiling consisted of open rafters while the walls 

were only primed. (They are now painted 'Friendly Yellow').

  For many years we just had dreams, but now here we are,

and I am so excited to share it with you!

I recently read about a new decorating trend

called 'Dark Academia Aesthetic', and it perfectly 

described our library!  

This is a trend that has a cozy sense of nostalgia inspired by 

classic literature and scholarly pursuits. 

There are two kinds; light and dark academia. 

This version is dark. 

The components that make up this trend are leather-bound books, 

vintage floral art, and traditional furniture.

Antique or vintage finds, especially those related to writing or learning, 

such as antique typewriters, (I am looking for one of those)

 vintage botanical prints, and traditional globes

are hallmarks of this look. 

Dark academia has moody, subdued lighting and rich, saturated colors, 

for a dark, intimate feel. Richly stained wood furniture and leather 

furniture also fit this look. 

Shelves are filled with vintage items and worn hardcover books. 

Art is inspired by vintage, botanical illustrations or autumnal landscapes. 


I honestly didn't know about this trend when we were putting it all together! 

The gray bookshelves and the classic, leather-bound books were my parent's.
The vintage-style garden gate closes off the stairs. 

The bookshelves were very rustic, which were nice, 
but I thought they would be lovely painted a dark gray. 

This was quite a process. First I had to prime them, 
then I painted them with chalk paint.
I used an antiquing glaze over all to achieve a vintage look. 
The final coat was a clear, matte sealer. 

My Mom and Dad when they were dating, 
way back in 1953. 
They were married 58 years. 

The beautiful, classic books were collected by my Mother, one by one. 
She passed on her love of literature to me. 

I collected the stone birds, frames and urns over the years. 

The lower shelves hold my childhood favorites. 

All the classic childhood stories. 

The complete set of Louisa May Alcott's, 'Little Women' series sits behind 
the framed photo of my children many Halloween's  ago. 

The leather chairs were once my son, Gabe's. He redecorated and we 

were the lucky recipients. 


Ramblin' Man collects wooden boxes which he displays

on the shelves. 

They are filled with his collections of odd bits and pieces :)

My Dad's memorial flag proudly takes the top shelf. 

This Lane coffee table was my parent's since I was very young. 
I used to sit on the floor in front of it to do my homework as a child. 
It was stained very dark back then. 
My Dad stripped the finish to reveal the beautiful pine 
after it accompanied them here to Washington state, 
 all the way from New England,
where I grew up.  He painted the legs a dark green enamel, 
which I painted over with the same gray chalk-paint and glaze that
I used on the bookshelves. 
The rugs are new.  

If only this table could talk it would reveal my family's history. 

The bookshelves were painted to match the center television console that 

we purchased from Ballard Designs. 

It wasn't a perfect match, but extremely close. 

Ramblin' Man connected them all with two shelves 

above the television. 

I love to sit and drink my morning coffee here while I catch 

up on the morning news. 

I gifted him with this desk many years ago. 
He installed all the lighting. 

A close-up of the gate and one of four vintage botanical 

prints - gifts from my daughter, Heather. 

A reproduction of the 1769 painting, 'Young Girl Reading',
by the French artist, Jean Honore' Fragonard. 

My Mother's Ethan Allen desk. 
This was another piece from my childhood and 
brought cross-country from New England in the mid-1970's. 
In the move, the lower panel's paint was damaged considerably. 
My Mother tried to repair it, but made it worse
with a large area of rubbed-off paint. 

I didn't want to disturb the existing stenciling, 
so I sectioned it off with a border of gold paint.

I covered up the damaged area with a lighter shade of chalk paint
before stenciling. 
I then went over the area with antiquing glaze, 
which darkened the paint and helped it blend in. 

I was pleased with the results. 
I think my Mother would be, too. 
The lamp, inkwell with feather pen, and antique wooden mortar and pestle 
were all original to her and have stayed with the desk 
since the mid 1960's. 

Looking towards the deck. 

Tucked beside the end of the bookshelf is an antique gateleg 

table that can be set up in this area for book perusing. 

I have all of my gardening, herb and art books to get reacquainted with.

I also want to get a standing easel to put here, to try my hand at watercolor.  

I found this metal and wood chest of drawers 
from the 'Country Door' catalogue. 
It fits perfectly between the two sliding glass doors. 
These will hold my art supplies. 
The sheer, gray drapes have embroidered ferns. 

Looking out. 

We took the canopy down and put the furniture away last week :(

Looking back to see the gateleg table tucked beside the 

vintage English armoire which holds my coats and jackets. 

I painted the louvered closet doors under the stairs to match the bookshelves.

I keep my holiday decorations there.  

The front windows look out onto the lawn. 

The door beside the desk leads into the newly remodeled bathroom. 

Again, this was a roughed-in, but usable room - very rustic. 

The claw-foot tub is vintage. 

I found these windows years ago in an Antique European Import store. 
I can just imagine them in some quaint English cottage somewhere. 
Someone must have loved them dearly, as I do now. 

We had the window custom made to fit them, and the Mr. 
put them on hinges inside the window frame so they can be opened
and closed.

He did such a good job on the wainscoting and trim. 

I found this mirror in a thrift store for $15 about 10 years ago. 
I'm not sure I like it where it is. 
I might install it horizontally over the wainscoting. 
It reflects the lovely morning light
but I am not so lovely in the morning :) 

A view of the ceiling and schoolhouse light. 
The Mr. sealed the ceiling with two coats of matte clear coat 
to protect it from moisture. 

He did all the tile work in the shower. 
He is amazing. 
It took him about a month, though. 
He's a perfectionist.

I love my pedestal sink. 
I need to find a glass shelf to put above it. 

Matching cabinets from Wayfair on either side. 

Looking out. 

All in all it took a whole year of steady work to finish these projects. 

Now that we are retired and home more than anywhere else, 

we are so grateful to have this special place 

to relax, renew, and pursue the things that truly inspire us.

Thank you for coming along on my library tour, 
Dear Friends! 

In a perfect world you could stop by for a real visit and 
we could have tea and a little treat while discussing our favorite 
books, art and gardens. 

But that perfect world will have to wait for the heavenly hereafter. 
Until then we must be content to share 
our lives separated by time and space, but not in spirit. 

I hope that you know how much I appreciate your friendship, 
your kind visits, and your thoughtful insights. 

You, my kindred spirits, make this mortal world 
a wonderful place to be. 



P.S. Any product names I have mentioned here are just to share 

sources. I do not, nor have I ever, received compensation 

from any person or company. 


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