Weekly Photo Challenge – Comfortable and Cozy

….thanks to Travelling at Wit’s End for this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge

When thinking of comfortable and cozy I immediately think of a big puffy blanket or an oversize sweater. It can also be how a place makes you feel when walk into it or an oversized armchair or sofa that you can sink into. What makes you comfortable and cozy?

The Inn in Prince Edward County


A Fire

Reading with Papa

Snuggling with Mom on the Hammock

Cuddling Some of her Favourite Stuffs

The Library at WAAC

Comfort Food – Old Fashion Trifle

Cozy Chair

Pyjama Day at School

How I Keep Warm on Cold Rainy Days

….last Tuesday it poured at the cottage and it was cool

There’s always plenty to do in the cottage but when it’s cold outside it does limit my choice of activities. Last week we had one of those days. Luckily the rain held off until noon so I was able to cook a nice warm breakfast on the BBQ. I should have gone out for a long walk but I didn’t so I didn’t reach my walking goal of 10 000 steps.

The inside of my cottage holds whatever heat there is fairly well and when the windows and doors are closed there are no drafts to worry about. I did a lot of reading on Tuesday and when I felt cool I put on an extra sweater and covered myself with a blanket.

Close to supper time the rain ceased but the temperatures remained cool. I walked over to CH’s cottage, four roads over, with D and we found her unpacking her car. She had just arrived from Toronto with her 10 year old granddaughter, from Norway. I stayed for a cup of tea and I was then invited for dinner. Wonderful!

CH’s cottage is small and has electricity so it was nice and cozy warm inside. When I returned to D’s cottage, however, it had cooled off even more. D turned the electric heater on but you had to sit right in front of it and then it felt like you were starting to bake. If you moved back a cool draft hit the rest of your body. There was only one solution to really warm up and that was go into the sauna.

Now this sauna is something else. As with most projects done up here it was over engineered but it works like a charm. D’s father did an amazing job with the finishing details. It’s big enough to seat 6 adults comfortably and right next door is an outdoor shower with hot and cold water. What a luxury! Not only did I warm up but I also washed my hair. Heavenly! It’s the things we take for granted that bring me so much joy up here!

A Bit of Cleaning, Some Reading, Making Bean Soup and Visiting Friends

….Monday, July 6, 2015

People often wonder what I do at the cottage all day, especially when I’m up here alone. Well there’s lots to do but no pressure as to when I do it. I like that.

Instead of spending two days of solid cleaning when I first open the cottage I like to spread it out and do a little bit every day. I take care of the absolute essentials when I first arrive, like fill up the water barrel, start the fridge, make the bed, uncover the furniture and wipe down all the surfaces that I’ll be using right away.


On subsequent days, I’ve washed all the dishes, even though they were clean when I left in October, wiped out the cupboards and restocked them and organized my clothes and put them back into the dresser. All of this is necessary because at some point in the months when we’re away a few rodents manage to find their way into the cottage, looking for warmth, food and shelter. Unfortunately for some of them they don’t survive and I usually find a few carcasses lying about and of course evidence that they’ve been around. Luckily this year the evidence has been minimal and a few of them had drowned in a bucket of water that was inside the cottage.

One of my goals this summer is to finish reading the books that I started this year and then didn’t finish before I picked up another to read. I’m happy to report that I’ve finished two of them and am concurrently reading two more. I also started a new book and I finished that as well. I think I will report on those books in a future post.

Another goal is to do a little bit of art everyday or at least a couple of times a week. I completed one art assignment this week and I started sketching in my art journal. Another goal well on it’s way!


I didn’t bring up a lot of food on this visit but enough to get me through the week. When I was cleaning out the cupboards I noticed that I had left a container of dried beans here over the winter. I decided to make soup from scratch. I turned on the side burner on the BBQ and cooked onions, celery and carrots in a large soup pot. I added a chopped clove of garlic and then 4 cups of broth, 2 cups of water, a tin of diced tomatoes and 1 cup of dried beans. I added salt and pepper to taste and then I let it cook for 2 hours. After the two hours I looked in the fridge to see what else I could add and I found some chick peas, cooked hamburger and fresh mushrooms. I chopped up the burgers and the mushrooms and added everything to the pot. I let it cook for a few more minutes and dinner was ready. I grated in some fresh parmesan cheese. Delicious!

Of course I had way more soup than I could eat so I put the rest into container and froze it for future meals and I kept some in the fridge for another dinner this week.

While I was cooking I got a phone call from a friend who has a cottage four roads over from mine. She invited me to come to her place for a chat, a glass of wine and to see the finished renovations on her cottage. The soup had pretty much finished cooking, so I turned it off and walked over (1500 steps). The cottage looked fantastic and since we hadn’t seen each other since January we had a nice long gab and got caught up on each other’s lives.

When I finally left it was going on 8:00 and I ended up having a late dinner. The nice part was that it was already cooked, I just had to reheat it. Even though it was getting dark I ventured down to the beach for one last walk and just managed to get in my 10,000 steps for the day. I did decide though that leaving my walk for that late wasn’t the best decision because the mosquitoes also come out at that time. Note to self, walk before the sun sets.


So that’s my day in a nutshell. Everyday I read a little, do art a little, cook, clean and visit friends, either in person or on the phone. I hope all of you enjoy your days as much as I do. Cheers!

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Share Your World – Week 43

….talk about last minute for this post

What is your favorite time of day?

I love early mornings when the sun first comes up but here in the Northern Hemisphere that is happening later and later. So I’d have to say that in the summer mornings are my favourite time of day and in the winter I’m more of a night person. I seem to get re-energized late at night and it’s when my creative juices flow. I’m trying to get to bed earlier so this is a bit of an inner conflict that I have.IMG_2752

What’s your favorite charitable cause and why?

I’ve never really thought about a favourite cause. I like to donate to the Daily Food Bank and support causes that help the hungry and homeless but I also am very actively involved in the Heart and Stroke campaign called Jump Rope for Heart. This is where we encourage children to get active by skipping to promote a healthy heart and at the same time raise funds for heart and stroke research. P1020206

How do you like to spend a rainy day?

Curled up with a good book and a cup of tea.

When writing by hand do you prefer to use a pencil or pen?

I prefer a nice pen to write with, one that doesn’t smear or leave my fingers blue. I find that with pencil my fingers always smudge the lead as I write. I’m left handed.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

As some of you may know my aunt passed away earlier today so I’m grateful that her suffering has finally ended and that she’s in a better place. I’m also grateful that the book fair is over and that we raised a substantial amount of money for the library and classroom libraries. IMG_3004IMG_3005IMG_3006


This coming week I’m looking forward to getting my library back but even more I’m looking forward to seeing my son when he comes for a short visit on Sunday. I haven’t seen him since last Christmas.

For more Share Your World posts click here.

Share Your World 2014 – Week 23

….a lot of questions involving tight spaces

Would your rather be stuck in a small plane with mild turbulence for 2 hours or be a passenger in a car racing the Daytona 500?

This is a difficult question because I dislike any kind of turbulence on a plane and I suspect a small plane would be worse but I also would not be a good passenger in a racing car. I would constantly be stepping on the imaginary brake, hanging on to the overhead strap for dear life and covering my eyes for most of the race. If I had to choose I think I would take the small plane. At least I might enjoy the aerial views of the landscape below.

Would you rather be alone with nobody in the vicinity for one month or never be alone not even for a minute for one month?

Again another difficult question. I enjoy moments of solitude but I also like being around people. If I was well stocked and had plans to be very productive for one month I might enjoy that more than never having a moment to myself. At the very least I’d need a phone so that I could talk to loved ones and friends once in awhile just to make sure everyone is well.

Would you like to sleep in a human size nest in a tree or be snuggled in a burrowed spot underground?

Definitely in a human size nest in a tree. I remember watching the movie Swiss Family Robinson as a kid and I thought it would be really neat to live in the trees. I like the thought of being able to see who’s approaching the nest, the openness and fresh air and the breeze that would waft through the branches. Underground would be too claustrophobic and the air would be stale and damp.

In a car would you rather drive or be a passenger?

It depends on the situation and who’s driving. I like driving but on long trips I enjoy being able to sit back and take in the scenery. My husband very much dislikes driving in the city now so there are times when I would rather drive than listen to his complaints about the traffic.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am grateful that I’ve finished writing my comments for the report cards. This is probably one of my least favourite things in the world to do. I’m also grateful for time spent with old friends last week.

I’m looking forward to this week’s soccer game where the girls are competing for the city championships. I’ve been there a few times but we’ve never managed to secure the title. I’m also looking forward to catching up on the painting assignments that I’ve had to put on the back burner because of report card writing and numerous social engagements that took place last week.

Here are a few things I would enjoy if I had a month alone.

Reading the collection of books that I bid on at the silent auction.

Reading the collection of books that I bid on at the silent auction.

Puttering around in the garden and enjoying the fruits of my labour.

Puttering around in the garden and enjoying the fruits of my labour.

Painting, painting, painting. These are the first two assignments out of 4 from lesson one. Lesson four arrived today. I have a lot of catching up to do.

Painting, painting, painting. These are the first two assignments out of 4 from lesson one. Lesson four arrived today. I have a lot of catching up to do.

For those of you who read my post from Saturday you might be interested in knowing that we went back the next day to the yard sale and bought the mandolin. It's a beauty and we got it for a good price.

For those of you who read my post from Saturday you might be interested in knowing that we went back the next day to the yard sale and bought the mandolin. It’s a beauty and we got it for a good price.

For more answers to this week’s Share Your World  check out Cee’s blog http://ceenphotography.com/2014/06/09/share-your-world-2014-week-23/

Reading, Playing My Uke, Gardening and Partying


….the only thing missing is painting

What a perfect day. I woke up early and started reading the book The Silent Wife. After a couple of chapters I made myself a cup of coffee and then started practising Somewhere Over the Rainbow on my ukulele. I’m hoping I can play it well enough to accompany the kindergarten class at this years school concert at the end of June. I then made myself an omelet and prepared fresh berries for breakfast.

photo 5-116

My husband wanted to start planting in his new raised bed but we decided that it needed more soil and it needed to be sectioned off with string. So I made a quick trip to the dollar store for twine and the nursery for more soil.  When I returned home I found that the front lawn had been mowed but now I could see where the dandelions were starting to expose their yellow heads. I donned my gardening gloves and pulled the weeds from the flower beds and the dandelions from the lawn. Then I took my trimming shears and trimmed away the long  grass around the tree, at the edges of the flower beds, sidewalk and driveway and around the telephone pole…..all the areas that were missed by the lawn mower. photo 2-161

It took me hours but it felt good to get out in the sun and fresh air and the yard looked so lovely and groomed. It was almost 3:00 before I finished and I had a party to attend at 4:00. I quickly showered, washed my hair, blew it dry and dressed for the afternoon birthday celebration.

It was a perfect day for a backyard get together. It was warm enough for people to sit outside and I got to meet M’s sisters and friends. M was celebrating her 70th birthday. She looked stunning and her son did a fantastic job organizing the entire affair. His friends did all the serving and bar tending. A great time was had by all.

The day’s not over yet, Maybe I’ll get a little painting in as well.


Book Fair Mania!

….it’s that time of year again

You would have thought it was Christmas at our school today.

Just before lunch today the book company delivered 7 large cases of books and numerous boxes of more books and accessories. As the children passed the library they let out shouts of joy. Many wanted to come in and start spending money they didn’t have.

I have numerous student volunteers for the library this year. Many join just so they can help out with the book fair. The steel book cases, however, are so large and awkward that I move them and position them on my own or with the help of another adult. I let the students open the smaller boxes but they get so excited that they want to open everything, even though many of the items are duplicated and don’t need to come out right away.

Sometimes I think it’s more work for me to delegate jobs for my eager workers but they love it and in the end they do get the job done. I think I’m going to have to make a schedule and assign specific days and times for my volunteers, otherwise I will have 20 bodies at my door every day asking if they can help and there won’t be any room for our paying customers.

For the next 7 school days our somewhat quiet library will become a bustling hive of activity with children and parents looking to purchase one or two special books, posters and accessories from the boutique case. The benefit of doing a book fair, of course, is that a sizeable percentage of the sales comes back into the library in the form of new books and classrooms also receive books and teaching aids. It’s a great community activity that brings people together and promotes reading.ImageImageImageImage

Gone for a Week

….I’m heading up to the cottage for one last long stay

It seems like I haven’t spent very much time at the cottage this summer and the fact is I haven’t compared to previous years. So I’m leaving in the next couple of hours for my paradise up North and as many of you know I don’t have electricity. That of course means that I won’t be posting for awhile.

I will however write articles and save them, paint and take photographs. Hopefully I will have a lot to share when I return next Saturday. If I’m really desperate I could go to the store in the village and pay $5.00 to use the WiFi but I think I may be too busy just laying back and resting up before the school doors open for another year.

Here’s what a typical day at the cottage might look like:

  • wake up at 7:30 or there about
  • go for a walk or run along the beach with my camera in handP1020396P1020874IMG_0373
  • make coffee and a ‘wheat free’ breakfast
  • spend 20 minutes tidying up and filling the water barrel
  • reading the next book for our book club The Head Master’s Wager by Vincent Lam
  • rake around the cottage
  • prepare a salad for lunch and enjoy it
  • visit with my neighbour and enjoy a game of scrabble
  • experiment with a new recipe that I can prepare on the BBQ (probably from my Wheat Belly Cookbook)
  • go for a swim
  • prepare dinner
  • draw in my journal or set up for printing or painting
  • do the dishes from the last two meals
  • read for a couple more hours
  • go to bed around 10:30

That’s pretty much it. I’m really looking forward to a week of healthy eating, walking, swimming, reading and exploring my creative side. See you in a week (maybe sooner).


January 2013 Photo a Day – What You Do

…. do you go to school? Train elephants at the circus? Write at home? Play mum to your kids? Act as CEO to a big business? Paint in your spare time? Dance when no one is looking? Take a photo of what you do {something that makes you ‘you’} and share

In my professional life I teach library and art in a junior school. 






ImageIn my personal life I love to read, paint, walk, shop, craft, can and take photographs.







Taking photographs while walking with my husband and dog

For more photographs of what other people do check out http://www.nolagirlatheart.wordpress.com