Ms. Yearwood is coming to dinner


sunflowers on my kitchen window sill

After draining the tomato cans of their contents for the following recipe, I plop in some sunshine from my sweetie.

So maybe she isn’t coming in person, but her Black Bean Lasagna is.

From Trisha Yearwood’s  first cookbook.

trisha yearwood cookbook

 She has an updated healthier version, which is made with tofu and cashew nuts in place of the ricotta – since I am allergic to cashew nuts, I had to stick with the original version.


While the lasagna cooks I head out for some winter white photos.


Mr. Cottage shovels paths in the snow so that the fur babies can get around.

We had about 10 inches – in some places more with the drifting and all.  Then rain set in for a while and flattened the fluffy.



Shoveling the driveway.


Grape arbor looking back toward the cottage and the studio.


Quiet snow surrounds the studio.


The brilliant blue of the wine bottle glows.

I like the sparse rose bushes against the stark whiteness of the snow.


A few rose hips remain.


Yucca poking through.

The pond is ice and snow-covered and still.



A view of Coral Cottage from the back side of the pond.  On grey days like this, our cheerfully painted  little cottage makes my heart very happy.



We are expecting a few more inches of snow tonight.

The lasagna was warm and yummy on this cold snowy night.

Courtesy The Food Channel

Photo Courtesy Ms. Yearwood

See you later,



secret garden – no GMO’s

Morning glory vines are the bane of  Mr. Cottage’s existence.

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Up the flag pole over the studio sign; intertwined through the chimes.

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Over the rooster.

Don’t sit too long Betsy, the weeds will swallow you!


Last gardening season was a bummer, in so many ways.  The weather didn’t cooperate and quite frankly early morning or early evening when I wanted to do gardening chores, the mosquitos were thick as thieves and I did not want to be outside.

 My garden became so overrun with weeds that it looked like it had been abandoned.  In reality it had.



When the weeds reached knee-high, I knew I was licked.  They eventually grew above my head and at that point I pretended like it was an old English cottage garden that had turned to ruins and was  The Secret Garden. 

By the way, I love the 1949 movie version.






How can you not think those heart shaped leaves are charming?


I enjoy old fashioned flowers, like grandmom grew.

Zinna’s are a favorite.  I can’t remember what the above was called – peppermint stripe?  Overall it didn’t perform that well.   But then most of the others didn’t either.  Maybe it was because they were choked out by morning-glory vines? 


Late in the season, I waded through the head high weeds and managed to collect a few flowers for bouquets.


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Look closely and you will see that something chewed a heart shape into the bottom petal.



Wonder if it was this guy?

I am looking forward to spring and a new growing season, I have placed an order for all heirloom seeds, and no GMO’s please.  After all today is my birthday and a little self-indulgence is in order.  Gift money is going to seeds for Zinna’s, cleome, sunflowers, globe amaranth, rose campion, and Chinese five color pepper plants.  I can’t wait till they arrive.

What will you be growing in your garden this year?

See you later,



fly strong


I’ve been waiting for my new year, one word mantra to come to me.  I was afraid I wasn’t going to receive it.  However, as I sat talking with my doctor last week, it hit me.

Strength. Strong.

1. The state, property, or quality of being strong.
2. The power to resist attack; impregnability.
3. The power to resist strain or stress; durability.
4. The ability to maintain a moral or intellectual position firmly.
5. Capacity or potential for effective action: a show of strength.

I want the whole package, Body, Mind and Soul.

My doctor says that my entire body has become unconditioned. That is a polite way of saying I am fat and out of shape.

 I will be starting physical therapy again very soon, and then on to an exercise program.  I am so looking forward to this.

Not because I am an exercise nut, no ugh I hate to exercise, but my body wants to be healthy.

My desire for myself is to become physically stronger, and for my creative endeavors to be reflective of this too.

I want to convey a sense of strength and fortitude,  and the hope of what is possible, even when I create a gentle humble object.

Strength, strong and assured.  On that note, a peak at a new design I have completed and added to my shop.  I hope that it expresses the strength that is found in delicate beauty.

I have sewn vintage seam binding and new vibrant blue burlap together to form a background for the vintage image of a Lazuli Bunting.  Remember those cigarette cards I scored the other week?  I’ve transferred them to fabric.

I’ll apologize for the poor quality photos, it is dark and dreary today.


A twig, a wire nest with eggs and a feather for accent.


I have spring on my mind – can you tell?

See you later,