under the magic blanket


These seed packets jumped into my shopping cart the other day.  I’ve been reading the seed catalogs and dreaming about what I will plant in the garden this year.  Ah spring, I’m looking forward to welcoming you.

Right now, though, it is very cold out and we are under a blanket of snow.  Our pipes are frozen and it is a wee bit cold in the house.

Don’t you agree that there is something so special about the first snow of the season?  We had ours on Saturday.  Everything is covered in a sparkly blanket,  surely magic is responsible for all that glitter.  Right?

In chicken land – ain’t nobody happy.


There was a chicken convention inside the covered run.


Sweet Pea stood high up on the ledge speaking to the audience.  She declared that snow should be outlawed.


They all agreed.

The other girls inside the hen-house said they were not under any circumstances going out in that white stuff.  It was way too scary!


Boo went inside and mingled with the girls for a bit.




I’ve been concerned for my feathered friends, these temperatures are so low.  This morning I made warm oatmeal with apples, blueberries, tomatoes a bit of left-over pasta and yogurt.  It warms their crops and that is a good thing.

The peas came out of their house for a little while.



Papaya came out first and then, Mango and eventually Coconut.  They loved the sun shining on their bodies.  Hated the snow on their feet.




They did a stroll around the house, checked on all the hens and then headed back to their house for warmth.

Boo and I took a short walk, he wanted to smell all the footprints he came across and roll endlessly in the snow, making dog angels.  I wanted to take a few photos.  But that didn’t last too long, my feet were freezing.  So I snapped a few and headed back in to the warmth.




Bear prints

I thought our Virginia Black Bears hibernate all winter, I recently heard in a news article, that in fact, they do not.  Especially the young.


Deer tracks

There were surprisingly few wildlife tracks in the snow.  Even they say it is too cold to be out.


This fancy store-bought birdhouse was given to me. The side panel opens to plexiglass so you can view the birds inside.  Never a bird has lived in it.  Wasp, however, believe it is grand.


This house and all the others that Father Cottage has built are always occupied.


This house sitting on the picnic bench was placed there temporarily until I figured out where I wanted it.  It sat there all summer, and it too remained occupied.  So I left it there.





Sunday supper we filled our bellies with warm beans and country ham, that had simmered in the crock pot all day.  I made jalapeno cornbread that was a disappointment, the peppers didn’t have much heat, nonetheless, they were gobbled up and enjoyed.

That was our weekend, under a blanket of magic.

I hope your weekend was lovely.

Thank you for being here today.

xo kim

flying nuts and black bears

We had just come in from working out in the yard.  I started making dinner, mixed myself an evening cocktail grabbed a handful of nuts and sat down to relax for a minute.  I looked out the window and saw the shepherds hook go crashing to the ground.

bear 1

I jumped up screamed BEAR! I can’t really explain why, but I threw my handful of nuts into the air – they went flying like confetti in every direction.  You’d think with all that drama Mr. Cottage would at least get up out of the recliner.

You’d think wrong.

His response was “what in the world are you talking about?”

I grabbed my camera, and took these photos through the cat door.

bear 2

bear 3

About this time Mr. Cottage steps outside the door and starts  yelling and banging together pots and pans.

bear 4

bear 5

The bear ran about four steps,  seemingly unfazed moseyed over to another pole with a feeder and WHACK!  He took that one down and proceeded to sit next to the picnic tables and have his own private picnic.

bear 6

bear 7

bear 8

It took a few warning shots from a 22 to get him to leave.  We have been having trouble with a bear coming in the night the past month or two.  I bring the bird seed in at night and make sure everything is secured.  I never expected he would show up in daylight, and then not be afraid when we yelled and banged the pots and pans together.

We called game control, they don’t work weekends.

We spent the rest of the weekend looking over our shoulders while we worked in the yard.  Isn’t he/she scary amazing?

What an exciting weekend.  How was yours?

 xo Kim

blog-hop 2

wild pheasant and brussel sprouts

Sunrise at Coral Cottage this morning.


Driving down the road the other morning, I spotted a pheasant.  Screech.  I slammed on my brakes put it in reverse, pulled out the old point and shoot, snap and happy was I. What is the big deal?  Around here, we don’t see pheasants walking around willy nilly;  so it was a big deal to me.   Not to mention, that I lose my mind over birds, at the drop of a hat.  He has the most amazing colors that sparkle and shine in the sunlight, don’t you think?



Early Saturday morning I was out watering the cat, when I heard this loud raspy honking noise.  I went to investigate in the direction from which it came.  The cat shot off towards the door in a hurry – scared to death.  There at the foot of the driveway was the pheasant.  I quickly ran in, got the camera and back out in a flash. The pheasant was gone when I returned.  I walked around looking for him.  I couldn’t see him, but I could hear him down in the woods calling and foraging.

Do you have a vegetable or other food, that you thought you didn’t care for – only to find out otherwise?

Brussel Sprouts – ICK!

 I spent my life not liking brussel sprouts.  I probably had them once, they were over-cooked mushy and they stunk.  Then one night recently at a friend’s house, she cooked brussels sprouts.  She is a great cook, but even so my first thought was how was I going to get them down, as though I liked them.  I was honest, told her I didn’t care for them, but would give it a try.  I did.  They were good.  Soon after, my sister made a brussel sprout dish that I liked as well.  Go figure I spent all those years hating them, and it turns out, they aren’t so bad.  Last night I made some for the first time.


I decided to make up my recipe, loosely based on Ina Garten’s roasted brussel sprouts.

On a roasting pan in an oven set at 400 degrees I tossed:

Sliced sprouts, and then every thing is better with bacon.  Olive oil, onions, s&p, garlic, and hot hungarian paprika.  Roast for 30 mins, then a drizzle of balsamic vinegar,  tossed in a few raisins and roasted for another 5-10  mins.

I over cooked them, because I was so busy getting caught up in pheasant hunting.   The pheasant showed up again, and I got completely distracted watching him and trying to take photos.  He didn’t seem to be too bothered by me, but he wouldn’t let me get close enough for a good shot.  The natural camouflage is amazing.

pheasant inwoods.jpg

Warm weather on Friday allowed me to set up a work station outside and do some soldering with my copper jewelry.  The pieces still aren’t finished, I have some equipment on the fritz so until another time; they remain incomplete.

copper solder

That’s life at Coral Cottage.

See you later, Bye!



Here we go again.


Obviously, the company that supplies the oil which we burn in our furnace is involved in the conspiracy to keep spring away.




Last week was all hustle and bustle.  We had company coming, and I had cleaning and cooking to do.  You know the kind of cleaning that you put off doing until you are expecting visitors, and then you panic.

 Yeah, that kind of cleaning.

I didn’t find even a minute for sewing,  jewelry making or any kind of creative endeavors.

Today, we are turning it down a notch,  Mr. Cottage and I are enjoying a snow day together.

Mr. Cottage is the breakfast chef in our house.  This morning he made us Irish waffles.


Bisquick brand gluten-free waffles, which the chef adds a splash of vanilla and a dash of cinnamon, and this morning a drop of green food coloring for fun.


The snow feels welcome after a weekend filled with high winds, and low humidity.  Amazingly with all the snow, and ice we have had, our area was issued a fire warning.  We heard sirens all weekend, fire trucks blaring past, and the forestry bulldozers rumbled down the road.  It has been about 17 years since Mr. Cottage worked for the Virginia Department of Forestry, yet when one of the employees drive by they still throw up a hand or toot a hello honk.   We are saddened there have been so many fires around us, and thankful for those on the job.


I hope you have the luck of  the Irish on your side on this St. Patrick’s Day!

I’ve had a dream for as long as I can remember, of  someday going to Ireland.

Four days until the calendar says spring!

See you later, Bye!




First obstacle is making it through the never-ending winter.




Trying to find beauty in everyday objects.








The fur babies are feeling very challenged by all the winter weather and they are keeping an eye on the calendar for spring to arrive.  I’m pretty sure it is just around the corner.  The snow is quickly melting with the warm temps we had yesterday and are expected to have today.

 It was suggested by my health care team, that I try a gluten-free diet.

 I wearily dived into this challenge by purchasing these items.


All the cool weather and snow, ice and freezing rain has me craving comfort food.

The first thing I made, was baked macaroni and cheese.  I love this simple easy recipe, from Trisha Yearwood.


Baked Macaroni and Cheese from Trisha Yearwood

Baked Macaroni and Cheese from Trisha Yearwood

 I used the Heartland fusilli, and yes the pasta did taste like corn bread; as mentioned in the article below.  I happen to like corn bread, so I didn’t find it to be awful – just different.

I found this review of  gluten-free pasta from Cooks Illustrated  – after I purchased my pasta.

If you have positive experience with gluten-free products that you care to share with me, please do.

In the craft department,  I’ve been challenging myself to learn new techniques.   I’m having a blast making a mess, and stumbling along in my world of creativity.


What is challenging you these days?

See you later, Bye!


weekend at Coral Cottage

Weekends have taken on a new meaning for me.

Switzerland arrives on Sundays with

food for the soul.

Vegetable Soup and corn bread

Vegetable Soup and corn bread


Somebody got into the pound cake before their dinner.  I’m not naming any names, but that isn’t my hand – just sayin’.

I had mine with my morning coffee – awesome.

Apple cake – I’ll have that with my afternoon tea.


A new thrift store opened near us a bit ago, I’ve been anxious to go.

 Mr. Cottage took me there on the way to the grocery store on Saturday.

Fire-up the Singer.



Among my many scores was this skirt.

I removed the zipper, and cut it straight down the middle.


A piece of black binding with orange rickrack machine stitched, and  a big bold green button.  I’m embellishing with a few embroidery stitches.  This will go around the top of the wrap.

Playing with the design.


I’ve pinned into place an old zipper, for extra funkiness, and some green pom-pom fringe.

I’m not done yet.

When finished, I will have a one of  a kind new wrap cape, all made with scrap materials.

Switzerland agreed to model it when the project was complete, she just didn’t know what she was agreeing to.  Ha the laugh is on you – girlfriend!

My holiday spirit is usually brimming over by this point.  Not so much this year.

Plugging in the little snowman to my usb – easy and  sweet.

He changes color as the glittery snow falls around him.


Giving up my 25 year tradition of cooking and hosting Thanksgiving at my house.

That’s a tough one to swallow.  The rest of the family is taking over this year.

 At least this year I won’t have to worry about any of the jokes about turning the oven on –  that’s another story.

The sun is shinning brightly today and it looks as though all things are possible.

My friends embellished my cornbread plate will little inspirational quotes.


I like this one for today:

Determination is the wake-up call to the human will.

Hope y’all had a lovely weekend.

See you later, Bye!



A few simple weekend pleasures here at Coral Cottage.

Making homemade granola, recipe from Staci over at Life at Cobble Hill Farm  reading her farm blog and recipes are like taking a trip to the farm.  It makes me happy.  She has a nice recipe blog too.

Recipe Here.

Mixing Pumpkin Spice Granola

Mixing Pumpkin Spice Granola

Watching a Titmouse







Collecting dried chives from the garden for the seeds


Watching the ferocious attack by That Cat to a blade of grass.




A gathering of gourds for our table.


Tomorrow that Acorn squash will be our dinner.

A colorful cluck of silly birds.

Scan 132800010-1 Scan 132800010

Thank you to Jen at Winter Owls for encouraging me to use creativity to work through the tough stuff.

Thank you to those folks that popped by this week to read the blog.

I hope you all had a weekend full of simple pleasures.

See you later, Bye!