oh hello

Just thought I'd pop in and say hello.  I've been taking the word relaxation to a whole new level. I've cut my computer time down to about 1/4 of what it used to be.  Forcing myself to not turn it on first thing in the morning is getting easier.  When I do come on-line, I try to quickly attend to emails and then go cruising through my reader list to see how everyone is doing. Glad to know you are all fine.:)

I've been having afternoon tea with my neighbor Mrs. Howell.  I've known her for many years as her daughter was our neighbor in our old home.  My sons and her grandsons all grew up together so we have lots to talk about and I love sitting and chatting with her.  We sit by her pool and gossip for about an hour before her/our afternoon nap.  Yes, I've been taking a nap.

This morning I was in the rose garden having a bit of a walkabout when I began to notice the interior structure of these roses.  Far away they look ordinary but up close it's like a symphony of petals, each one working with the next to create such beauty.

I've added 2 Yin yoga classes to my weekly schedule too.  If you've never taken a Yin class I highly recommend. The part that sold me was that the whole class is either sitting or lying down. For instance in a 1 hr class you will hold maybe 4 poses.  It sounds a heck of a lot easier than it is. It's about relaxing into the pose and letting go of expectations. The expectation of a typical yoga flow isn't there.  It's about being still and quieting the mind.  It's incredibly calming and somewhat emotional and I'm quite in love with it.

Ok, so what on earth have you guys been doing?  Fill me in.


garden walk

I have always felt a little bad that the name of my blog is The Gardener's Cottage.  It implies that I am a some sort of great gardener.  Most of you know that this blog was named after the house and its past tenants, not me.  But I am glad that we were able to get this place growing again. The truth is that it mostly involved watering things and bringing them back to life and then lots of clearing debris. The end effect is that there are stunning antique roses here and I get to take care of them. This garden will never be a neat and tidy place.  It's old, quirky and pretty messy and to be honest I've had to get used to that.  I've always had a neat, trimmed and buttoned up landscape.  There is no hope of that here which is part of its charm I suppose.  It really has taught me how to relax...about a lot of things, not just gardening.

This past week has been long and lazy and pretty perfect.  We got much needed rain which is so nice since we only have 2 sprinklers here.  Thank you Mother Nature.

The roses are still not quite at their peak yet.  I think by this time next week every bud will be in bloom. In the early morning and late evening the scent dominates all the others in the air.

This unidentified rose has a scent that will literally overwhelm the house.  I have to put it on the porch after only a few minutes inside.  Wish I knew its name.

Front beds are filling in too.

The entrance to the yoga garden.

It's slowly coming along in here. I seeded the grass and the next day it rained so I'll have to put some more down.

The scent of roses competes with this huge honeysuckle vine and the orange blossoms in the grove across the street which explains my allergies.

So it has been really nice taking this internet break.  Initially I was shocked at how compulsive my internet use was but now that I've stepped back, the relief is flooding in. If you have a blog maybe you can relate?  Normally, even when I'm not actively blogging, I'm still thinking about blogging. Thinking about what would make a good post or cursing myself that I had forgotten my camera or thinking of recipes to share.  It really was something I needed to step away from.  So I hope you will bear with me until I get this figured out.  In the meantime, I hope you liked this little garden walk and I hope you are all well. x


good bye march - hello april

Strawberries with soy yogurt and pecans

Time seems to be flying.  I'm so happy I decided to share with you our desire to pay off our mortgage as aggressively as we can.  It has changed the way I look at everything and kept me focused.  Showing you all the ways I live has made me realize that I may be addicted to having less. I find myself dreaming of ways to make do with less.  Also, someone in the comments mentioned the TV show Hoarders.  I had never seen it before and so I watched it.  Seeing the pain and agony people go through all created by stuff is heartbreaking isn't it?  It seems worse for those who inherited a lot of stuff. They are so emotionally conflicted over it and wind up doing so much damage to themselves and their loved ones.  It's all so tragic.  It just strengthens my resolve to live as lightly as possible.

Creamy Broccoli Soup

2 cups chopped broccoli
1 small potato
1/2 onion
Bring to boil in 4 cups of vegetable stock or water and 2 veggies cubes
Puree and serve

Pasta with mushrooms

Saute 2 cups of sliced mushrooms, season with s and p
Add 1 15oz can chopped tomato
Season with basil and garlic
Toss in spaghetti

Breakfast Parfait

1/4 cup raw oatmeal then layered with fruit and soy yogurt.  I used berries, bananas and oranges

Easy Vegan Lasagna - again

This isn't the most appetizing looking dish but it is delicious.  For those of you who have made the lasagna, this is the same filling just put into a saute pan and browned.  Delish with a side salad.

Fresh salad greens with strawberries and pecans drizzled with Balsamic Vinegar

So for the month of April my focus is going to be to step away from the computer.  I am spending way too much time online and need to recharge.  I'll be around, just less. Please have a wonderful April and thank you so so much for all the love and support you give me.  You truly are the best readers any blog could ever ask for.

Mucho Love,


organizing the house - part 4 the bedroom

So the last part in this house organizing series is the bedroom.  Ours is small but super comfy.  I know it sounds cheesy but it really is my refuge.

We don't keep any electronics in our bedroom.  Many scientific studies say that even charging cell phones in the bedroom is a bad idea if you want a good nights sleep.  My sleep is so precious to me that I try my best to make our bedroom like a cocoon, so no tv, computers or cell phones in ours. I've read that people will actually check their emails during the sex if their cell phone is nearby. Really? Really? REALLY.

Not much to report here.  I'm obviously not much of a jewelry person. I like it in theory but wearing it drives me mad.  Nothing like posting real life evidence of just how dull you are.

I keep my woolens in one drawer with lavender drawer liners and lavender sachets.  While they smell good they apparently do nothing to detract moths.  I have a lot to learn about storing woolens safely.  Here is some of the skinny on that.  Thank you anon reader who supplied that link.

This is the only closet in the house and I'm sure that if we called in a closet organizing company, it would give us more storage but I'd rather have less than figure out ways to make room for more.

I'll shut up about this any day now but participating in Project 333 pretty much changed the way I looked at my wardrobe.  I was always stuck on the buy, donate, buy, donate road and the Project helped get me off that bus. Now being able to look in the closet and drawers and be able to see everything easily and know that I feel confident and comfortable in every single thing...well it's pretty good.  April 1st starts a new season with the Project so if you are interested, check it out.

These are the baskets inside my armoire.  They hold 5 pairs of jeans, 2 pair of yoga pants, 3 yoga tank tops, a hoody and 3 t shirts.  The seasonal basket is a place for me to stick scarves, hats, etc. depending on the weather.  The beauty basket holds my Clairsonic charger, my small blow dryer, hairbrushes, etc.  Larry uses the 2 super large drawers below these baskets and hangs a few things in the closet.  Compared to him I am a clotheshorse.

So that is that.  Next month I really want to address what appears to be my addiction to the internet. I've been reading articles on how to reduce your time online and guess what?  You have to reduce your time online.  This will be way way harder for me than giving up wine or chips.  It's going to be very interesting. x