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.