It’s the little touches that make a cottage charming.


I’m hooked on Downton Abbey at the present.  Grannie has all six seasons and has been encouraging me to watch them with her.  I resisted.  I had seen a piece here and part there when it was popular on PBS.  I had found it dull.  So, I would politely put her off.  Then one evening I had been cornered into the land of “I haven’t one more excuse”.  Fine, I would watch one to please that grannie.

It turns out that if you start from the beginning and really pay attention you get hooked.  Who would have thought I would fall like all the rest of those fools.  I would probably neglect my family to bing on this series if I had no sense of priority.  See, I’ve begun speaking like them.  I’ll have an accent by season four.

I’ve also taken to having all candlelight in the kitchen and my office in the mornings with my coffee and writing.  I enjoy that warmth and I’m surprised at how well a couple big candles light up the room.

We are getting into baking a lot of bread now that the weather has cooled.  We have new wheat recipes and french bread recipes, bran muffins and blueberry muffins.  Oh my.  Grannie is making bran muffins for the morning as I type.  And the pots of vegan soups are simmering.  She is trying all sorts of recipes.  It’s not that easy for a meat eater to be thrown into managing an almost vegan kitchen.


The coffee or tea is always brewing and there is always our music.  Grannie likes the Patsy Cline and old Willie Nelson.  I have everything from classic, country love songs, movie theme music, Celtic, Krishna Dass, Christian, Pit Bull or whatever his name is, Norah Jones, Katy Perry, children Indie station, Disney, Gypsy Kings, Gospel Classics…I love it all!  The hipper top 40 dance hits are for my boys (not really) they call it “dinosaur music”.

Warm lighting is my thing as well as music and a busy kitchen filled with stewing, simmering, and baking.  I have this wonderful Himalayan Salt lamp in the bathroom.  It’s supposed to balance the energy with its negative ions.  Where else better than the bathroom?


I have the flameless candles in the bedroom for at night because it’s cozy and easy to see when one has to get up for the loo in the middle of the night and the boys feel safe with the orange glow.  The salt lamp is always on in the bathroom. These are safe ways to have those warm lights without setting fire to the house or child…or dog tail.

I have plenty of flowers in our front yard and vines in the back so we can make bouquets anytime we feel like some flower power.  Another natural and free thing I do to make our home charming is open all the windows and doors as much as possible.  The Fall weather here is in the 80’s degree wise and I love that sunshine, warmth and fresh air flowing in and filling the home.

Sweeping and making tortillas daily is another way we make it cozy here.  I know I talk about tortillas constantly but I tell you when I’m in the kitchen making lunch and there is a big pot of something on the stove cooking and I’m rolling out thick, chewy tortillas for the meal it just has this down-home charm.  Grannie and I laugh because it seems the Latin music always comes on my Pandora about the time I’m making the tortillas.  We call it Mama Lopez’s kitchen around here.

Sweeping feels like one of those old-fashioned lost arts.  My floor vacuum broke down and I’m in no hurry to fix it.  I enjoy sweeping all my old wood floors.  We also wash dishes by hand.  I won’t deny missing a dishwasher but we have no place in the kitchen without some major remodeling and that is another lost art.  Sweeping and dishwashing are times of reflection.

It’s getting colder so I’ve thrown some rag rugs and area rugs in the hall, kitchen, and laundry/office room.  They brighten and warm the place.

We have our stacks of library books and I have 4 more seasons of Downton Abby to go.  Books and wholesome movies are something to look forward to during the down times after chores and before the next shift in the kitchen.

Plants, I love my plants and I just keep trimming branches off my Ivies and sticking them in water to take root.  They grow so fast and lush and are so easy.  I have all sorts of new plants just in the few months we have been here.  I have stacks of clay pots a former neighbor gave me for free years ago.  I have hauled those pots from home to home and now it’s paid off because I’ve planted all new house plants and some mini roses.


Making your home charming and cozy is easy and can be free.  Enjoy what you have been blessed with.



31 thoughts on “It’s the little touches that make a cottage charming.

      1. me tooooo!( The baking I mean). I am doing lots of vegan pizzas and focaccias these days.
        Funny, I picture you first thing in the morning, with your coffee, writing…. and here I am, first thing in the morning (the other side of the world) with my tea, reading your diary…. What a lovely way to start a day. ❤


  1. It should me on KET HERE that’s our educational channels here. This is what we use and very seldom well get a Redbox movie I’M a reader, reader, reader! I’m gonna,have to see if I can find a guide on line I’ll let you know!


  2. It’s in the 40’s here today to me that’s cold! I would settle for 60’s. I knkw,yiu write about how got and humid it gets there. Although I have air I hardly had to even turn it on This,year and where I’m not used to it in no time I’m cold! Plus its,cheaper not to run it! He,he! Where are they in Downtown Abby I lovecthe,scenery in other countries in shows lime,that it’s lovely and beautiful!


      1. I ordered Sharon Whites book,and Stephen Kings “On Writing” you’ve raved about it so much I had to and i thought it’ll help my writing and I got your new inspirational God book I am really enjoying it. My nephew bought me and my sister “The Secret” one year for Christmas I haven’t seen the movie though
        Have a blessed day with the kiddies!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I am so sorry! I dont see how any one could ever say a bad word about your writing! Its fabulous and always draws me in and encourages me to do better and be better! I guess I should prepare myself for this though! Dont lwt it get to you Kate! God says we all have an unused talent, yours is writing! Keep on keepin on! Phooey on them! I was goi ng to message you today.
        I have a favor for you and Evelyn please: I have a very close lady friend we message via internet she lives in England. I hadnt spoken to her and I had a message when I woke this morning. I hadnt seen her online in quite some time. She tild me as,I cried at 49 years old her husband suffered a,stroke and she has had to quit her job to be his caregiver. It will be a long road. I am going to tell her about your blog she needs uplifting down to earth encouragement! Her name is Vanessa Banting she went to school and got a degree at age 40 in Psychology. Her and her husband are so full of life! Its a shame she thinks he may not recover. I cried so dearly for her! Its beautiful there she has sent me photos. I told her I will lift them up in prayer Gods not done and we will see him move! Your writing is superb continue on with your blessed day and be joyful! I cant wait for your next one!


  3. I’m listening to Christmas music today and hope to have a nice day at home. I love how you describe your day and your home. It makes me remember to be thankful that I can stay home and enjoy my home, too. Funny that you are one of ‘those’ people now…. hooked on Downton Abbey! Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love my garden, it was planted in memory of my father and all the loved ones we have lost over the years. Every time I am out in it planting new plants or cleaning up and I see butterflies I call them little gifts visiting from heaven. I like to think that our loved ones are up there looking down on us and smiling when they see us happy, and my garden always makes me happy. Our dishwasher is also gone, it was one of those appliances that caught on fire that there is a lawsuit for. I kept telling my husband that there was something up with that machine and then one night it wouldn’t stop smoking and there was a fire in the motor, we were lucky we caught it in time. Since then we wash our dishes by hand and have been doing that for years now.


    1. I’m reading Extreme Simplicity Homesteading in the City by Christopher and Dolores Lynn Nyerges and they purposely remove the dishwasher for environmental reasons and saving on water and electric. I don’t have a garbage disposal either and that is also green…so they say. I think some of our family may even stay with us for a bit in the spirit realm to make sure we are doing well.


    2. My mother passed away last August for years,didnt have,best,relationship we made our peace I knew I needed to do it for myself. I love my mother i just,dont agree with alot of what we went through she was an impeccable top knotch housewife for 14 years my father stepped out then she did this is how I wad raised the wife stays home takes care of the home the husband and father provides. My mother always told us i did the best i could. For 14 yrs thats all she knew amd when the rig gets pulled out from under you at 52 I see now as i have for years it coudlnt have been easy. Its leaving our times every day woman are in a,hurry to get into the work force and into a career. Im happiest at home. i love reading blogs about the real old fashion housewives about how like i was raised that do things the old fashion way. Id use a ringer washer any day if i had one. But point being 2 days after my mother passed i was sitting on her porch and a butterfly landed on my thigh it was,in the summer and it gave me such peace and calmness its like she said I’m okay go on and do well in life and my hope is that you will! Its been said butterflies are visits from Heaven!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh yes, its cold here and just started raining and my crock pot is going! I scored a chicken for 2 bucks and Ive made,several,meals from it! Stew tonight of some type! Ha ha! All of our creativity! I love to cook and bake always jave just recently mastered bread thank s to your inspiration and enouragement! Kate!


  6. What lovely sentiments! “Making your home charming and cozy is easy and can be free. Enjoy what you have been blessed with.” Often times we forget to see the potential in what we are blessed with, and you put it into such wonderful words. Thank you for sharing – now if only there was a way to taste that gorgeous loaf of bread through virtual reality!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That bread remark gave me a good chuckle. I often see many dishes I wish I could get just a spoonfull. Now, I have spent some money lately to do a little redecorating (future blog) but I only spent less than $300 for all of it. Stay tuned, it involves a new living room and Christmas.

      Liked by 1 person

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