Welcome to The Cottage at Rooster Ridge!

We love to have visitors come and stay in The Cottage at Rooster Ridge. The anticipation of their arrival often fuels our desires to hurry along with projects, take a fresh look at displays, review conveniences and of course head into the garden for fresh clippings of flowers and greenery. During winter visits the fireplace is stacked with aged and dried wood and a basket of kindling is at the ready. Simple arrangements are a signature style allowing the glory and the source of the beauty to be the flowers.

There are two claw-foot tubs in The Cottage at Rooster Ridge which also serve as showers, each is outfitted with the traditional three-way exposed water piping; the tub-fill, the telephone-hand-held and the daisy-shower-spray. Each tub has a brushed nickel hanging basket for soap and supplies. One of our signature greetings is placing flowers inside the shower area. This cheerful greeting always receives a smile and often we hear comments regarding the fun of bathing or showering with fresh flowers!

There are suspended curtains which surround the tub to create a shower; we often opt to tie them with rope, ribbons or greenery—depending on the season and occasion!

A peek into the downstairs bath shows the spirit of welcome with the assistance of our retro-metal Hotel sign which has been painted an aged patina white.

The Royal 1937 Vintage Typewriter is awaiting use by our guests with a note of welcome and encouragement waiting to be read. The note usually reads something along the lines of;


Welcome to The Cottage at Rooster Ridge.

Please feel free to wander to yesteryear and type on the 1937 Royal.

Special stationery has been designed especially for this use and is waiting for you— as well as Rooster (of course) stamped envelopes.


The 1937 Royal does not have an exclamation point, please read with much exclaiming.

On the second floor we have an advent calendar that we enjoy so much—we refuse to put it away after December! The little wooden numbered doors are opened to display the date of the arrival of our guest. When guest are not coming we use this as a daily calendar—after the 25th of the month single doors are opened to create the remaining days of the month.

Flowers are placed next to the bed and often if the herb garden is available—sprigs of rosemary, thyme and basil are added to arrangements creating a lovely blend of floral and herbs scents.

Notes and signs are a way of communicating which we enjoy—reusable glass water bottles are filled and labeled and stored with chilled glasses in the refrigerator for a night stand placement!

On the landing of the charming staircase which leads to the second floor we have hung a tin shelf with a wire mesh door—hanging within are the keys to The Cottage and to each room—tagged and ready for use. In the envelope-slot compartment is our guest book which we ask all guests to sign—creating a keepsake for us!

Our morning greeting is this Good Morning sign which hangs next to the coffee-maker.

Our goodnight wish is painted on the tiny and charming stairs—

We hope you have enjoyed this little visit to The Cottage at Rooster Ridge! Perhaps you will become inspired to welcome your guests in new ways to your cottage!

Please come again—

Joy Surrounds!


On Monday evening, suddenly and without warning, the time sadly came—to say good-bye to our favorite signature joy at The Cottage at Rooster Ridge—our mascot, friend and the official furry welcoming committee to Rooster Ridge; Lucas.

Just a month ago, in honor of Mother’s Day, the story of the day we brought Lucas into our lives was shared in a post. The last eight years of our lives have been enriched with laughter, fun, joy and love due to his presence.

If you missed the story, here is the link—


To Lucas—

We miss you so much. Thank you for bringing us such bountiful joy.

Joy Surrounds—and for today, in the form of memories.

A Mother’s Day Note—1937 Royal Vintage Typewriter

May 8, 2012

Dear Mother,

This year in honor of Mother’s Day I have chosen to fore-go the purchase of a greeting card and rather, write a Mother’s Day note to you on this charming bit of yesteryear.

My decision is two-fold. I hope to transcend your thoughts to the past—gently bringing forth the gift of memories. Perhaps, recollections of your own Mother and the love and kind thoughts which you hold in your heart will softly revisit you.

This Vintage Royal Typewriter is from 1937—and you were a mere seven years old when this machine was born. Maybe this physical note, with the iconic font and hand-struck ink letters will aid you in remembering a time in your childhood, in the small town in Iowa, when as a child you celebrated this special holiday. I hope to bring forth wonderful memories to the doorstep of your thoughts as my gift to you.

Secondly, I offer to you the gift of my time—as miles separate us—I am spending time with you as I write. This antiquity of the past presents challenges for me, one whom has always known the convenience of much more modern machines. I most often write on a computer in these current days, granting me the ability to make instantaneous corrections while simultaneously providing me the indulgence of having my spelling and grammar checked. Having these conveniences at my disposal certainly assists me in avoiding unwanted errors and does seem to take much less time. (The dictionary is sitting on my lap.)

Not to mention—the ease of having an exclamation point at my disposal to assist in conveying the essence of excitement, rather than being limited to my vocabulary. The Royal 1937 does not have either an exclamation point or the number one (the numeral is achieved by using a lower case L.) I have yet to figure out how to create an exclamation point. I am curious if the Royal Company didn’t believe there was much to “exclaim” about in 1937, or if the world was just a calmer place—less drama, less hype and less exclaiming.

With regard to my time, which is expanding exponentially as I type, as I had hoped to present this to you without any errors. The note you now hold in your hand is my fifth attempt at that goal, so you now will see some “typed-over” letters. I have resigned myself to my best effort.

I am planning on purchasing a new reel of ribbon-ink as it seems this one has been reversed many, many times. Certain sections of the ribbon seem quite weary as the attempt to deliver a well-defined letter is honestly made. I am also planning on obtaining correction paper…do you remember that? I vividly recall the little white piece of paper which was shiny on one side and matte-chalk-white on the other side. I am certain you remember the process of holding the little paper over the word, back-spacing and then retyping the letter and watching the ink magically lift off the page, or seem to. I also remember trying very hard to not waste any space on the correction paper as I tried to utilize every possible corner of this expensive and precious commodity.

Through the years I recall you sharing with me that at various points in your working life, especially as a young woman, you spent hours sitting at a typewriter as a professional secretary. Perhaps seeing this familiar type will rekindle a memory of a co-worker or friend you had during that time and conversations you had with them.

My wish is that this little note has gently delivered you to a lovely and meandering walk- down memory lane. May these memories offer you a poignant illustration of all you have experienced and accomplished in your lifetime…including being a Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother and of course, a daughter.

Happy Memories on  Mother’s Day (exclamation point)

With love,

Your daughter,


Joy Surrounds!

A Mother’s Day Story—

Some stories—in their depth, preciousness, wisdom or humor with earnestness and heartfelt desire, long to be told—and at times, over and over again. This is one of my favorite stories and I would like to share it with you. Please pour yourself a beverage and make yourself comfortable! I’ll wait!

Twenty years ago as my children left behind the world of toddler-hood and began their journey into being young children the understanding and tradition of celebrating Mother’s Day began. As parents, we teach our children what to celebrate, as we decide for our own individual families what we choose to honor—and how.

I have been fortunate to be the recipient of many wonderful Mother’s Day gifts, beginning as they often do, with my child’s hand-print embossed into a ceramic disc accompanied by the official “hand-print-poem” which completes this lovely keepsake. In looking back, as a Post-Mommy, the evidence of their growth, development and maturity can be observed in the gifts I have received on Mother’s Day. As dexterity increases, a painted macaroni necklace is carefully laced upon ribbon, and before you know it, the gift-making has advanced to a small shelf which has been proudly built, sanded and stained in a wood-shop class. Often, at some point in time, these hand-made gifts give way to the process of gift selection, which also tends to have a measurable quantifier of the age of the child! (Do I really have to wear that???)  In addition to gift giving on Mother’s Day often there is the decision of a desired activity, what would you like to do?

When my children were 5 and 3 years old, I was asked what I would like to do on Mother’s Day. Unbeknownst to me at the time, a wonderful tradition was born—and this is one of the reasons I wish to share my story this Sunday, 2 weeks prior to Mother’s Day, should any Current-Day Mommies become inspired to add this tradition to their own family. In the Northeast, May is the month when Spring with all of it’s flowering glory has finally arrived! We begin planting annuals—Impatiens, Petunias, and Snapdragons—which will spend the summer adding joyous color to pots and in rows and in mounds of brilliant color. My choice for Mother’s Day, was to share this task with my children.

Enthusiastically I responded, “Let’s plant flowers on Mother’s Day!”

I refused all gifts, I forbid being served breakfast in bed and restaurants were out of the question! This was my day and I wanted to plant flowers—together!

On Mother’s Day we embarked upon our adventure, starting with a trip to the local nursery where selections were made—everyone was allowed to pick a flower. Let’s just say the previous years of coordinating rows of colorful flowers and pots filled with size and color-balanced-blends was obliterated. Little gloves and spades were purchased, mud boots were donned and digging began. To say this was a peaceful experience would be untrue. Flowers were rudely plucked from the plastic flats with abandon as I hurriedly explained the need for the roots to remain intact. At some point a watering can was involved, which accidentally sprinkled all over a younger brother! When we finished our planting, I am uncertain whether there was more soil on the walkway, boots, children and our Golden Retriever puppy than left in the ground in which we had been planting. This Mother’s Day was filled with laughter, fun, flowers, mud, a puppy and children—and was—simply wonderful!

The next day, I solemnly walked into the garden, whispering quiet apologies to the flowers that had not fared too well, as I attempted to prop  them up—reorganizing their roots to actually be completely in the ground. I must honestly admit—there were casualties.

The following year a declaration was made; each year, every year, all I wanted for Mother’s Day was a flower-planting-celebration—and so we did! As the years continued little hands became more capable of tasks, color preferences and the kinds of flowers that were appreciated developed, and then changed, and then changed again. Specific areas in the yard were “claimed” as their own—to design and create their own unique and beautiful display. And the plantings were gorgeous.

To tell this story and claim that every year was glorious would be, well, not the truth. As the years went on negotiations began, as unsuccessful attempts and an upping of the ante of possible gifts were offered—in exchange for being released from having to go outside and plant flowers. There were several years of eye rolling, multiple claims that this was “unfair” and the insistent questioning, as to why they couldn’t just buy a gift—like a normal family? Nature also offered challenges, as a rainy Mother’s Day arrived—we adapted by carrying terra-cotta pots into the garage enabling planting to be done inside, as they “froze to death” requesting cup after cup of hot chocolate. (With marshmallows please!)

During certain years, I did find myself wondering; why am I doing this? However, for the most part, over our twenty year tradition the day was joyful, even when the planting event was a version of teenager joy—blasting music and hose fights between siblings. Nevertheless, it was our tradition and I loved every moment, okay fine, almost every moment.

The puppy which I mentioned who attended our first planting, joined our family as my oldest child began kindergarten. The idea (relentless begging) to add a puppy into our family resulted in Cody, a Golden Retriever. My thought which solidified the decision was that a source of unconditional love seemed a worthy endeavor. During the days when a required “time out” was appropriate Cody was always included, as he dutifully followed behind them. (“Come on Cody, we’re in a ‘time out’.”)

Cody filled the role of unconditional love to perfection, he would savor the opportunity to serve as a pillow during movie watching, with two little heads resting upon him. He insisted on wearing a pink tutu every Halloween as he accompanied princesses, hippies, ninja turtles and monsters trick-or-treating. Cody became the mascot for every team that was played on—as he proudly sported a team shirt. When a sick-day arrived Cody would assume his position—next to the bed of the little patient and wait protectively for recovery.

The secret wish I had—was that Cody would be able to be photographed with each child at the start of each school year from kindergarten to high school graduation. Having not taken the time to do the math, as this was in the wishful thinking category, this was asking Cody for fifteen years of offering his unyielding love—while simultaneously granting us the gift of loving and caring for him. That wish, as some do, remained unfulfilled. Cody enriched our lives for nine years and he was able to attend two elementary school graduation celebrations. While my daughter and son were in middle school the time came for us to say good-bye and to thank him for his love. The first Mother’s Day without Cody joining us while we planted flowers was bittersweet—by the next year we had adapted—families change—and this was just one of ours.

If asked, I would guess hundreds of flowers had been planted when The Mother’s Day arrived when my daughter was a sophomore in high school and my son was in 8th grade. The annual planting of the flowers was planned and due to their advanced ages, I decided we were ready to go to the next level of flower planting!

This would take preparation! I began two weeks in advance sharing with them my plan to obtain seedling flats to plant that year. Without them asking me (meaning they reluctantly listened and feigned interest and enthusiasm) I began the informative explanation of seedling flats—they were the source—of the flowers we had always purchased in the past from the nursery. Excitedly (not feigning at all) I explained that we were getting the original flowers from the growers—which would result in “this year, our flowers will exceed every other year in beauty and bountiful growth!” I told them the story of the four Dutchmen who had come from Holland to New Jersey in the late 1800’s and subsequently become the leading suppliers of all of the flowers in the United States! I wasn’t exactly certain how much of this information was historically accurate, these were stories I had heard and admittedly I had not taken the time to do my own research for verification. My rationalization—I was the Mother who had taught them about Santa Claus, The Tooth Fairy and The Easter Bunny—I took the liberty of assuming all would be forgiven—as is the case in the other similar accepted Mommy-approved-teachings.

This year we were going to go the distance—the four Dutchmen and their farms—were a two-hour drive away!

An iPod Nano was offered, I was enticed with wonderful visions of a relaxing spa day, coupon books which would be filled with tickets redeemable for the least favorite of household chores and months of their savings for any purchase was willingly being offered—dangled before me in exchange for the cancellation of the flower planting excursion!

Pleadingly they begged, “Anyyyyyythingggggg but planting flowers! This is not just planting flowers, we have to drive two hours, go to the Dutch-whatever, pick up the seed-things, drive back 2 hours and THEN start planting flowers??? Can’t you go get them before Sunday?”

I replied with a non-emotional, “We’ll need to get an early start, 8:00 in the morning will be perfect. It’s Mother’s Day and I get to decide what we’re doing.” (Wow, that was impressive—why couldn’t I manage to do that more often?)

At this point in the story I ask you to please imagine moaning, complaining, yawning and overall general pathetic suffering on the morning of Mother’s Day. When we finally got into the car for this horrid, unfair trip—I handed each of them a gift wrapped in spring-like flowered paper. I’m a big fan of themes.

Chastising me they said, “Mom! This is Mother’s Day you’re not supposed to give us a gift—we’re supposed to give you a gift! And you said no gifts!”

Smiling I replied, “You are giving me a gift, you are traveling to the four Dutchmen to get seedling flats—these will be the most beautiful flowers we have ever planted! I gave you each a gift for making me a Mom, because without you—I wouldn’t be one!” (I channeled Doris Day for that response!)

Corny always pushes them over the edge and after all it was my day—and pushing them over the edge? Well, that was just a little gift to myself!

Obligingly they opened their respective gifts; for her—a pair of pink gardening gloves (her least favorite color at the time) and for him—a pair of blue gardening gloves (he would have preferred rugged leather.) Ahhhh, payback!

To which they sarcastically exclaimed, “Oh, wow, Mom, just what we always wanted…”

I smiled and said “You’re welcome!”

As a sophomore in high school my daughter had her driving permit, in an effort to placate them, I acquiesced to being relegated to the back seat. The 8th grader inserted a never-ending continuous flow of CD’s—his preassigned position (unknown to me) was to serve as the official DJ during our road trip. It was a reallllllly long ride—two hours can realllllly seem like an eternity!

After our drive (torture) was completed, we arrived at the home of one of the four Dutchmen. As we approached the house I reminded them to be courteous. We were being invited into someone’s home and we were being welcomed to share in their wonderful tradition of growing flowers.

Shocked that an additional request was being made of them (to be socially appropriate-how dare I?) they responded with, “What? Are you kidding? We thought we were coming to a store?!”

With great reverence I responded, “Oh no, this is one of the original, four Dutchmen families, this is very special.”

As we knocked, the door opened and we were greeting by a lovely woman who graciously stepped aside welcoming us to enter, “Please come in, I’ve been expecting you.”

As we entered the foyer, from another room, came a bounty running down a long hallway towards us—14 adorable, romping, bumping, rolling and yapping Golden Retriever Puppies! At the sight of all of this fluffy joy, two teenagers dropped to the floor to greet the puppies and in doing so, assumed their true roles—as children. (Mission accomplished.)

In childhood glee I heard, “Mom, look at the puppies! Did you know they had puppies here? I can’t believe it! They’re so cute!”

And I said, “Pick a flower.”

With confusion and possibly a hint of slight annoyance they responded, “What do you mean, we are here to pick flowers!”

“No we’re not, we’re here to pick a puppy-flower!”

There is no greater pleasure (well there is…but at this moment, there was not) than to render a teenager speechless, to be able to surprise, truly shock the all-knowing-ness of a teen! (I am victorious!)

We spent over an hour in the charming back corral of this gorgeous farm—playing with puppies—as we were being relished with licks, soft fur and playful nips as we picked our flower. The drive home was very different from the one which had brought us to this place. I was asked if I minded driving and the back seat was requested to enable turns to be taken to hold our flower. Gleeful, adorable discussions followed; a name needed to be chosen, when and how did I orchestrate my master plan, they wanted to know everything as they began to appreciate the nuance of the details I had constructed; the story of the four Dutchmen and the gloves I had given them. They questioned if we had food and supplies at home for our new family member and I assured them everything was prepared for our new arrival. As our journey ended, we pulled into the driveway of our home with our new puppy, and yet, the best moment was still to come.

With realization they asked, “What about the flowers? We didn’t plant any flowers this year!”

Was I hearing disappointment? That Mother’s Day, I received the best gift in the years I have been graced with the privilege to be their Mom, when they said—

“Let’s plant flowers next weekend.”

Lucas, our Mother’s Day flower, is now eight years old. He stepped in with an abundance of unconditional love and playfulness. Lucas has been part of our family for two high school graduations and two college graduations! During the six college years of my daughter and son participating in the to-and-from college departures and arrivals, the most outwardly enthusiastic greeting on every one of their returns came from Lucas.

This Mother’s Day the flowers will be planted without my children being present, who are now young adults. My daughter is on an amazing adventure in South America and my son is on location as he begins his promising career. I am not disheartened that they will not be able to join me this year, to me their absence represents that they are blooming—just as flowers do. I believe, in this summer-time of their lives they have all they will require to grow abundantly. To keep me company as I plant our flowers on Mother’s Day, I have twenty years of joyous memories to share the planting with—and of course Lucas!

When my daughter and son return this summer I know we will look at the Mother’s Day flowers together. I anticipate that they will appreciate the beauty of the flowers and acknowledge how magnificently they are growing. And I, will be looking at them—and agree, yes, they are growing beautifully and magnificently—their garden is thriving.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Joy Surrounds!

Water from New Orleans

After (finally) completing the post; Brick by Brick (1206 words—sorry!) the story of the Vintage Bricks at Rooster Ridge and the kitchen floor in the The House at Rooster Ridge—we would be remiss not to mention one last detail!

The process for utilizing the Vintage Bricks for the kitchen floor involved creating brick tiles—as we needed to keep the height of the floor consistent to the adjoining rooms. The depth was not available between the sub-floor and the required floor height to be able to use whole bricks as we had in The Cottage at Rooster Ridge. A wet-saw was used to slice each brick horizontally into thirds. (imagine red and orange clay dust everywhere!) The center section was removed and the two outer slices were now “tile thickness” for installation. By using the exterior pieces only, each tile was complete with the desired patina depicting the history of the bricks.

Many of the bricks had the molded name of the original brick-maker which was a goal of ours. The names were then carefully choreographed into a seemingly haphazard pattern in order to create a multi-directional view. The final step was sealing the Vintage Bricks. After a somewhat long and arduous process we had, at long last, arrived at the outcome we had aimed for. The warmth and comfort of the Vintage Brick floor was now complete!

The next step we took might surprise some—what did we do next?

We cut two 12 inch circular holes into the bricks! Crazy? Maybe.

I’m uncertain exactly what came over us—oops—I mean to say…we were deeply inspired—when we decided to install two Vintage Water Meter Caps from the streets of New Orleans.

The (newly installed) Vintage Brick floor seemed to beckon the need of, well, an indication that a water pipe was vintage-ly running under this floor!

This quirky detail adds interest to the eclectic appeal of the kitchen in The House at Rooster Ridge, and if needed—the Water Meter Caps often serve as a conversation starter!

We encourage you to allow the beauty of your personality to resonate within—and in the walls (and floor) of your cottage.

In the unique design of each individual person, we find that—

Joy Surrounds!

Happy Easter—Post-Mommy Blog Vol #1: Issue #4

I am the younger of two children, both girls, in my family—which means—I have a big sister! Naturally, she proceeded me in just about everything. The fact that she became a Mom before me was in keeping with our pattern and in the correct sequence of our shared lives. When my first child was born, she arrived with a wonderful six-year-old cousin, a girl, in place—good job sis!

The second Spring after my daughter was born she had reached the age that she would be able to participate in her first Easter Egg Hunt. My sister and I live miles apart and have for many years—so our family interactions are often shared through stories and conversations on the telephone. As I was approaching my first Easter-Egg-Hunt-Worthy-Easter as a new Mom, my sister announced that she would be supplying the Easter Basket for my daughter. It was sort of like “calling shotgun” for the front seat of the car—it seems the older sibling always has a leg-up on the younger sibling. As I hadn’t given the basket any thought—I graciously acquiesced to her request (statement.)

My sister, the self-proclaimed non-creative one in the family, had beat me to the symbolic Easter Basket front seat. As she explained to me there was more to this important self-assigned task—there was a lesson involved. In a big-sister to little sister voice, I was informed that a permanent basket needed to be obtained, one made preferably out of fabric—one that would last—for years. A lasting basket.

In reflecting back, I now realize she was describing a Christmas Stocking version of an Easter Basket. This was a bit of a surprise to me—I didn’t even know that fabric baskets existed, additionally as this had not been one of our family traditions growing up—where did she come up with this idea? I left that detail as a mystery—as it certainly seemed like a worthy endeavor—especially for my little one!

The Pink Bunny basket arrived prior to Easter and I dutifully began the instructions of “how to” hunt for Easter Eggs. We had a wonderfully adorable time! The kind of joyful and precious time that seems to almost magically happen when the ingredients are Children, Baskets, Springtime and Bunnies!

That first Easter Egg hunt was twenty-five years ago—my son was born two years later and perfectly on cue my sister called dibs on providing his Easter Basket—a Yellow Ducky! She had now furthered her tradition by assigning this important responsibility exclusively to the Aunt of these children.

For the last twenty-five and twenty-three years the Pink Bunny and Yellow Ducky Easter Baskets have been filled with goodies then emptied and subsequently used for the hunt! Clearly, my sister had done an excellent job in selecting lasting baskets.

Time moves along—and before I knew it the magic of placing late-night hopping-bunny tracks made with flour on the kitchen floor and morning Easter Egg Hunts had lost their wonder. However, the Easter Baskets were filled and left waiting on the foot of a bed or on a kitchen table.

Through the years the contents of the baskets evolved—Jelly Beans gave way to Chocolate Bunnies for her and Chocolate Bunnies were replaced with Peeps for him—as they developed their own individual gourmet Easter tastes.

The Pink Bunny and Yellow Ducky baskets have been filled, boxed and shipped to college, hidden in suitcases as they journeyed to Spring Break (woo-hoo!) and they have been sent to Barcelona (Pink Bunny) and Florence (Yellow Ducky) for semesters abroad.

Hanky-Panky undies have been stuffed into plastic eggs for her and Under Armour running socks have been rolled up, wrapped with orange tissue paper and tied with green ric-rack ribbons to imitate carrots for him. We’ve had years in which candy was replaced with a much more coveted Starbucks card—appropriately wrapped in Jelly Bean printed cellophane paper.

During my daughter’s sophomore year in college I was (kindly) advised that sending the Pink Bunny was no longer necessary, in fact, it was preferred that it not be sent. I respectfully obliged, as I wanted to allow for independent choices and decisions. My quiet disappointment was quelled with several Chocolate Bunnies of my own!

The following year, in keeping with the theme of “I’m too old for that” I sent only the Yellow Ducky to college. I received a charmingly disappointed telephone call from my daughter questioning why she had not received her Pink Bunny Basket. I (kindly) reminded her of the previous year’s request, to which she responded,

“Oh that? I was much younger then! I didn’t get it—I was being ridiculous. You can always send me my basket.”

During her senior year and his sophomore year the Pink Bunny and the Yellow Ducky were shipped off to college—and with loving care they were returned to me at the end of the school year. All was well in bunny-dom.

Twenty-five Easters have come and gone and the wisdom of my sister still resonates in my heart.

The original Pink Bunny and Yellow Ducky are still here, ready and waiting to be filled. This year, I am sending this virtual version of the Pink Bunny with all of my heartfelt love to my daughter as she is off on an amazing adventure!  The thought to hide it in her back-pack six months ago when she headed for the mountains of Peru was missed by me—the Yellow Ducky will be heading to the West Coast as my son begins his exciting and promising career!

As a post-mommy, I can only encourage you—if you are a current-mommy or daddy, to embrace these days with all of the love, earnestness and joy you can muster. (I understand you are tired.) The precious and adorable days of Easter Egg Hunts do come to an appropriate end and left in their place are the most treasured and delightful memories. And, if you wish to follow my big sister’s advice, you will have a lasting basket in which to store those memories!

Happy Easter!

Joy Surrounds!

The Barn at Rooster Ridge

Spring is arriving at The Cottage at Rooster Ridge! We are getting busy with the traditional Springtime chores and clean-up! The center for this kind of activity centers around The Barn at Rooster Ridge! Although the trees have not yet grown their leaves—we have pink and white blossoms on many of them!

In the evening the front of The Barn is softly illuminated with two Classic Reproduction Carriage Lights and our Vintage 1930’s Mobilgas gravity fed gas pump.

Wherever the work is being done at Rooster Ridge you can be certain that our ever-present foreman, Lucas, is nearby overseeing our tasks! He is dutifully in charge of quality control!

The sides and back of The Barn are enhanced with the charming detail of four Copper Radial Wave Barn Lights from our friends at http://www.barnlightelectric.com/

We selected frosted glass and a metal cage to complete the industrial barn appearance. In the evening these lights cast a warm glow while serving to illuminate the walkway along the side of The Barn. When Summer comes the hydrangea vine which grows up and along the side of The Barn will be in majestic bloom—we will be certain to share some evening photographs of The Barn in its illuminated glory!

A barn would not be complete without a “manure door” it seems only fitting that a plain white door should be transformed into a canvas for a painting of—what else? A Rooster!

We believe the mixing of materials creates the wonderful details that enrich design and create visual interest. This photograph demonstrates the commitment to our attention to detail that has become the signature look at Rooster Ridge. The four sliding barn doors were handcrafted in mahogany and have seeded glass windows.

Last year we added Vintage Bricks to the lower portion of The Barn—carefully placing some of the various names facing outward for all to enjoy! The original ship-lap board still remains—while the introduction of the Vintage bricks added new structural security to this over 100-year-old building. As a cap to the bricks blue stone was cut and the exposed end torched to add the hand chiseled look. The final detail is a strip of copper weather-guard which was bent and installed between the blue stone and the wood.

As of this writing there are two decorative stars on The Barn—a weathered white star made from Vintage Tin on the side of The Barn—and on the front of the barn a copper star is hung.

Rumors have been circulating regarding a plan to create a tribute to Old Glory on the back of the barn…hmm…I believe that there are some red metal stars that are just waiting to be painted blue! Memorial Day sounds like an appropriate premiere! Do we have any blue paint?

The Barn at Rooster Ridge is an excellent example of taking the opportunity to bring enjoyment and fun to the discovery of the simple joys of life!

Happy Spring!

Joy Surrounds!

The Art of Dining—Baby Edition!

Swoon & Gush

The days of having young children and babies as residents at Rooster Ridge are—well, let’s just say—Vintage!

However, this does not mean one should not be prepared—to welcome little ones with the same charming style afforded to our adult guests! Enter—the Dining-in-Style high chair! Swoon & Gush!

Without the appropriate babies immediately on hand, we could not completely justify the purchase of this beautiful solid wood Vintage high chair, however—my “antique mentor” aka Steven, has taught me many lessons with regard to making selections.

As a young grasshopper, I have willingly absorbed the lessons and moved past my days of the need to legitimize each purchase. Some of our most compelling additions have been obtained without a clue as to what would become of them! This is part of the adventure and the creative spirit which comes from Vintage Re-Purposing!

What we find to be more important than the precise historical information (unless you are planning a museum) is the pervasive and effervescent attitude of encouraging the following of ones heart! The most prominent lesson that I cherish is; “When you see it, buy it. There is no such thing as over-paying for something Vintage or an Antique—never too much, only too soon.”

The beauty of this high chair with its artistically curved graceful lines and the traditional cane seat and back was undeniable. As a bonus, the design included incredible industrial gearing and wheels—babies or not, this high chair was coming to Rooster Ridge!

In addition to beauty, the high chair has a wonderful mechanical function! By pulling the knob on the back, the legs begin their movement. The second position is a lower version of the high chair. This allows for various feeding heights with or without the tray, turning the high chair into an elevated small dining chair for a toddler.

You are not going to believe what this inventive design of yesteryear does next!

With the next pull of the knob the legs swing outward and ta-da a rocking chair!

Swoon & Gush! We did!

Since the purchase of this wonderful high chair we have in joyously hosted the marvelous Madeleine for luncheons and dinners! As good students—we are quite pleased that we followed our Vintage and Antique purchasing lessons!

If you love something, bring it to a place of love—your cottage!

Joy Surrounds!

The Dream of Owning a Vintage Typewriter—Check!

My dream of owning a Vintage Typewriter; Check!

As an author and as a writer—as well as a lover of—all things Vintage what better way to coalesce the two than owning a Vintage Typewriter. I love to communicate via writing—it is, quite honestly, my most comfortable comfort zone—in the arena of interacting with others. Although I struggle at times with the process of placing my thoughts and feelings into formatted sentences in print, without the pressure (aka fear) of diction, correct pronunciations and of distraction (causing me to lose my thought) the written word is my preference. Graciousness flows effortlessly when thoughts are presented in a well-crafted sentence, which is not always guaranteed when the words are spoken. And, the person speaking is given time to think. I like that.

Granted, while writing Lessons from the Trumpet Vine, the ability to effortlessly move words, sentences, paragraphs and at times—entire chapters from one location to another made the experience far less taxing. I cannot fathom the one-letter-at-a-time approach to an entire manuscript, and yet I am humbly aware that many such manuscripts, which still stand the test of time, were born of that method.

There is something organic in the physicality of typing on one of these relics of the past. The keys need to be struck; firmly and succinctly. To achieve an even distribution of ink from letter-to-letter, a consistency of striking those keys is desirable—a flow needs to be achieved. Writing on a Vintage Typewriter creates a musical rhythm of thoughts, tapping one key-strike at a time. The manual movement of the carriage as you gently press the lever—and slide—as you advance to the next line creating a feeling of accomplishment as you are physically moving to the next group of words. Job well done, time to pause, and your next thought?

Then, of course, there is the ding. DING! The lovely bell chimes a calm alert to you, as you are about to approach the end of a line. Pay attention now, please.

I also experience a kind of connectedness to the legions of women who came before me a generation or two ago. Depending on the era of the typewriter, I believe, most often it was women who sat before these machines. Multitudes of letters, contracts and invoices which most probably, almost always, began with Dear Sir. Women were just entering the work force (outside of the home) and were infrequently business owners or property owners. The times have changed—I thank my sisters of yesteryear for the hard work they did, bringing us to this point of having far more options.

I also feel a closer relationship to the person to whom I am writing to—as if we will share a common place once the paper is held within their hands. Handwritten notes of course provide the most intimate of written communications and I do love handwritten notes. However, similar to the spoken word, the handwritten word has a set of obstacles; penmanship, ink smears and straight lines come to mind. All challenges to this writer.

The Vintage Typewriter with its iconic print speaks volumes simply through the choice of using one. The reader, if they wish, is able to imagine the scene of the writer—sitting upright, as they work to combine the individual letters together to form a message to the reader.

I have brought all of my self here, to this place—my mind, my thoughts, my heart and my hands as I to write this to you—

I love you.

Joy Surrounds!

postscript: Thank you for the wonderful gift St.

Post-Mommy-Blog: Vol #1: Issue #3 Mommy is the first Valentine…

My children are grown. The days of milk-carton-post-office-boxes and little children returning home with handmade-heart-shaped-envelopes filled with Valentines, which had been reciprocally exchanged with school-mates is, for me, a Valentine’s Day of the past. Although most may consider Valentine’s Day an adult event—there is nothing more loving or amazingly adorable than little children celebrating love on Valentine’s Day!

Little hands practice dexterity as they carefully paint elbow-macaroni and with all of their heartfelt earnestness make a courageous effort to string each noodle onto yarn—creating a necklace. Eye and hand coordination is improved as they attempt to position buttons just where their little hearts desire on hand-made Valentines. As a Post-Mommy, I felt a heart-tug to connect with all of the Current Day Mommies, envy was only my first thought—it soon abated as I was washed with the joyful memories of my very own Valentine’s Days with my children.

Recalling that I added food coloring to everything I could think of; we celebrated with pink cream cheese on bagels, pink pancakes shaped into hearts and pink mashed potatoes—I realize I live in fear of an FDA announcement that my magic-food-coloring will be discovered as a cause of some horrific health issue…I’m just sayin’…we even ate green eggs and ham!

Long before glitter became a key ingredient in the cosmetic industry Mommies could be seen wearing glimmering specks upon their smiling faces (in their hair, on their clothes…for days.) It seemed glitter, on or around Valentine’s Day, traveled in the wind, on the wings of little-cupid-angel-children—and, it flew home—to Mommy.

Note to Current Day Mommies;

Once your children are grown and as you (silently) observe, as they venture out into the world—to—yes, love someone else…(remember that’s the goal) please know, you were their very first Valentine. The love between a parent and a child can be beautifully witnessed on a holiday like Valentine’s Day. That love, followed to fruition, is the seedling for your children to become adults, who love beautifully and who can be loved.

Mommy is the first Valentine…

Happy Valentine’s Day!