The Gathering Table

The  Gathering Table is near the kitchen and has given  many warm memories of Thanksgiving, Christmas, Birthdays and other family meals. It’s sole purpose is to give a place to celebrate something wonderful. Our family is known for looking for something to celebrate. We use the Gathering Table, along with the Dining Room table  for our  extended family and friends get- togethers. Any other time you will find Mr. Finely Done and I eating our meals at the large kitchen bar.

One of the neat features about the Gathering Table is  the two sides that can fold up out of the way when the table is not being used.


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The Gathering Table below dressed up for Christmas before the family arrives.



After the red and green is put away,  the Gathering Table becomes a place for me to bring nature inside.

One of our favorite ways to exercise is hiking. When I’m hiking, I forget I need to move faster to burn more calories.

Instead, I stop to gather acorns, leaves, pine cones, nuts or even twigs. The master designer and decorator above has provided endless and timeless beauty that is nothing short of awesome and magnificent.  I never get tired of it. I want to bring it all indoors with me. I can always find a place for it.


Doesn’t the table look wonderful all decked out with dried Magnolia leaves, dried pods and even a few twigs? The chair toppers add warmth and are so easy to make.

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The January Gathering Table ready for a winter  celebration.












Holiday Flags

My obsession with holiday flags to display outside Brown Brick  Cottage has resulted in a delimma during special holiday seasons.  Nothing says welcome to a particular season like flying a holiday flag.  Even when there’s no special holiday, a state flag, U.S. flag or a seasonal flag can be seen flying beside the side door. A few years back we replaced an old lamp post in front of the house with a new one that has a bar at the top for a garden flag. So now I have to match the small front flag with the large flag at the side door.

When we travel, Mr. Finely Done and  I are always on the lookout for new flags.  Sometimes our souvenir of a place will be a flag. Also there is a nearby shop that I can always count on to have many choices in flags.  I have a plastic bin in the basement full of flags. My delimma is sometimes I have too many choices.

As I was decorating for Valentine’s Day,  I went to the basement to  find a flag. I found 3 choices. In the end my decision was made simply because I could find only one flag that had a match……………HAPPY VALENTINE’S  SEASON!

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Very rare snowfall after I put up the Valentine’s Day flag a couple of winter’s ago,


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My Brown Brick Cottage

I moved into  Brown Brick Cottage 21 years ago. It was adorable looking with it’s charm and character. But looks are so deceiving. Although it had good bones, it has been a work in progress to keep the character alive. Sometimes the charm is just not there for me anymore, I whisper. I wouldn’t want to hurt Brown Brick Cottage’s feeling. .

My brown brick cottage and I have a love/hate relationship. I want it to be something different and it fights me most of the time.  It scream’s “I’m not wired for that or there is no outlet for that.” And it’s favorite is “there is no room for that project in this house.'” Surely it appreciates the TLC I have given it??  Build in the late 1940’s or early 50’s, it had not been renovated in a long, long time when I moved in. Does the color “turquoise” in the kitchen mean anything to anybody?. How about gold “shag” carpeting in the living room?  If only I had some “before” pictures you would see what I mean.

But I was in a hurry to change what I could and taking pictures didn’t enter my mind in 1991.  Since I mentioned the kitchen I will tell you the turquoise appliances were first to go. I could not afford all new appliances which meant I would be painting the remaining ones. The new white refrigerator was delivered, the stainless sink installed and several cans of white epoxy spray paint later, I had an updated kitchen.  The stovetop, oven and dishwasher didn’t seem to mind their new color.  Did I mention the cabinets and walls were pine paneling?   I hired a painter to help paint the entire first floor of the house. I told him to paint everything white and I would change colors later on.  The house had been sitting vacant for 2 years. Brown brick cottage was being brought to life again.

A few years later, I once again  decided an update was needed. This update involved painting the cabinets a sage green, painting the dishwasher stainless and buying a new wall oven.The old oven door fell off when I was putting in our Thanksgiving turkey.  I was cooking for the entire family and we have a big family.  We were expecting 25 guests and I couldn’t let a little thing like an oven door change the plans,  The Early Pilgrim’s can do spirit came alive in me. Mr Finely Done found a bungee cord to hold the oven door in place while the turkey cooked. We had a lot be thankful that year as we enjoyed the food and fellowship.

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That small kitchen reno was enought until January 2003. Then came the big, big reno.  The kitchen was moved, from the front of the house to the back part of the house.  A wall  was taken down and now a kitchen replaces a den. At least that’s what they used to be called. Now you would call it a family room.  I have maple cabinets and granite countertops. Yipee.  After tackling the demolition with Mr. Finely Done, we were ready for the contractor. Three months and thousands of dollars later, we were enjoying our new kitchen in Brown Brick Cottage.  Fast forward ten years. We are still enjoying our “new” kitchen, but something in my blood urges me to think about an update. Don’t tell Mr. Finely Done. He doesn’t share my enthusiam for renovations.


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updated kitchen

updated kitchen

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