All the little nisse have been tucked away until next Christmas. Every space has been dusted, swept up and mopped and there is now a bareness to our home. But that has been softened by greenery and twinkle lights still peeking out here and there.
To me, we have now moved into the darkest time of winter and we need all the warmth and magic that we can bring to a space.
But there is a beauty to sparseness, a beauty to stripping something back to the bone and enjoying it in its simplicity. There is a certain magic to this time of year not to let go unappreciated. Each season holds its own enchantment.
January is passing us by all too quickly for my liking. My opportunities to visit here have been few. I’m hoping that changes with the onset of February.
We hit the ground running into this New Year. I’ve been busy organizing, cleaning and decluttering small areas here and there. I don’t mind the bareness of space. We’re savouring all the quiet moments that we can. I’m not wishing winter away yet. I like each season to have it’s time and place. I’m enjoying winter on the coast. I love watching the sea rolling in calmness, crashing in anger and changing colour with its mood. There is a power and an awe to her beauty.
Today has been misty, rainy and damp. Patsy Cline is crooning in the background, a cup of tea is steeping next to me, a loaf of bread is rising on the counter and my candles are lit. I’m attempting to ease into the week.
After working through the morning, I’m now patiently waiting for a glass delivery to arrive. I’m taking an evening stained glass class this winter. I had my idea narrowed down to three designs, then two and the design that made the final cut, simply came down to being able to find the glass colours that I wanted to use. It will be more of a contemporary design with the focus being on colour and a play on movement. I’m excited to see the glass in person as I was having to do my best in choosing my colours from online websites. So fingers crossed they will all work as I have envisioned them.
I took down our Christmas decorations today. I don’t think I’m ever ready to do that. But, it was high time to do it! Now, the cottage feels sparse, but not in a bad way. I don’t mind the clean bleakness of it all. There is something refreshing about the inside of the cottage mimicking the winter environment beyond its walls.
A mini “spring cleaning” session took place this afternoon, with every surface being wiped and scrubbed down, dusted and mopped and vacuumed too. The candles are lit, there are still twinkle lights glowing from little spots here and there and dinner is simmering away on the stove. So, life is good!
The weekend is here at last and I am so happy. The cottage has been topsy turvy with all the goings on of washing machine woes, burst pipes where our kitchen was briefly turned into a tropical paradise complete with a waterfall and a den that looks like a disaster zone because everything has been piled up in it from the kitchen.
But, we have a brand new washing machine, who has become my new best friend! The pipes have been fixed and the holes in the ceiling patched and painted. All of this has given us an opportunity to start our spring cleaning a bit early, which is a good thing. I moved our dresser yesterday and discovered that there wasn’t dust bunnies behind it, but dust elephants! Quite scary! I love deep cleaning and getting everything refreshed.
So, the house is coming back to itself and this weekend we will put everything right again. I picked up some milk yesterday evening on my way home and noticed that the grocery store had flats of pansies out front in all different glorious shades of yellow, orange and plum. So if the weather holds, I’m thinking that some sunshine yellow ones might just jump into my hands this weekend and we can cheer up a few spots in our little street garden.
Our washing machine decided that for the New Year it was calling it quits! After waiting for a week on a repairman to come, only to be told saving it wasn’t a viable option; we waited another week for a new machine. It arrived today and I’m so excited that I don’t have to haul bags of laundry to the laundromat in rainy weather again.
I’ve got my first load going as I write. The house has a happy hum to it and Mr. Michie won’t have to go to work naked tomorrow. So, it’s a win, win all around.
The house got a quick “spit and a polish” yesterday. Things were put away and tidied up. Christmas is still up and will remain that way until the weekend. We always keep things up till after Epiphany. To be honest, I normally keep them up a bit longer. But not this year, I will have to be good and put everything away till next Christmas as we have some New Year’s work to be done in the cottage. That’s what happens when a pipe bursts! Luckily the damage appears minimal, but we’ll have to wait and see.
We didn’t sleep a wink last night with “Storm Eleanor”. We had wind gusts of over 70mph. We watched things fly by from our window. I saw a neighbours gutter get ripped off and fly down the street. Garbage cans were rolling down the road like they were in some kind of race and the wind was so hard, it sounded like someone was punching down the door. But our little cottage held her own.
Today was back to school day. I don’t think I was ready. I never am. So here’s to a short work week and here’s to the weekend, may it arrive quicker than I can blink!
Since my last post about reorganising the closets, we’ve given away a whole lot more! The grand total now stands at 10 garbage bags and one large shopping bag worth of clothing, fabric, towels and home accessories. Decluttering is an amazing thing, it frees the space and it frees you. I haven’t missed anything that we have donated. I’m truly enjoying the bits and pieces we decided to keep. I took great pleasure in making a loaf of bread yesterday, on countertops that were practically devoid of clutter. It’s very cathartic and something this little dollhouse and us were desperately in need of.
Six bags. Six garbage bags: each one filled to the brim with clothes that are now too big for us, since we started running. Six garbage bags filled with clothes, shoes and winter coats that were swallowing us whole. Six garbage bags that we’ve donated to charity.
The house feels empty; in an odd way. No one but us ever sees what’s behind the closet doors or inside the dresser. Now, they are incredibly streamlined. Everything has been organised so it is easily visible when you open the drawer. It feels empty, but it feels so good. And we have a list of a few items that need to be replaced, in smaller sizes. It was a mentally and physically exhausting process that took us two days to complete.
I’m late out for my walk this morning. I normally go when it’s still dark, but I got caught up in doing things around the house. I’ve mopped the bathroom and kitchen floors and replied to a few e-mails and chit-chatted with my postmen after he knocked on our door with a bundle of parcels in his hands for us. It is one of those days where I can’t seem to get ahead. I’m doing things, but that creates another pile of items to be sorted. I’ll get there in the end.
It’s damp outside and raining, it feels like a Friday. The air has that feeling. I’ve been singing along to Christmas tunes while I clean. It makes my heart happy. The weekend is up for grabs. We have a few errands to run on Saturday and I’m working on a grocery list for the week ahead. I have a new recipe that I want to try from a cookbook that Mr. Michie surprised me with.
Mr. Michie had a late school night last night and so when he got home, we ate breakfast for dinner. I made brown sugar and maple syrup roasted apples and sausages with clementine zest, cheese grits and a pan of buttermilk biscuits. He was very happy. After dinner we cozied up on the couch and watched Love Actually. That movie always puts me in a good mood.
Well, it’s a Thursday alright! We’re doing a major overhaul in the cottage. Cleaning, gutting and downsizing. I made two trips to one charity store this morning to bring them two side tables we were getting rid of. Mr. Michie helped me make the other trip before work, to a different charity shop, that will take electrical items. I’ve dusted high up places and low down underneath places that haven’t been dusted in awhile and in doing this my vacuum broke. It hasn’t been very happy for a bit, so I guess it thought today was a good day to go.
Well, I just had to laugh, because this would only happen to me. So, even though it is just the first of December and not the first day of Christmas, I started singing, as I often sing and talk to myself: “On the first day of Christmas my true love bought for meeeee, a new-eww vaa-ac-uuummm!”
I’ve been a very good girl this year, so there is one winging it’s way to me now as I type. So, I thought I shall take a five minute break, catch my breath, re-work my plan of attack for the day and share something with all of you. I saw this gem on Monday and it is just pure Wes Anderson happiness. So, here’s to the first of the month and here’s to Thursdays, let them be short, so we can move on to Fridays and then on to the merry weekend! And, wherever that train is going, I want to ride within it’s mint green walls and rattle down the tracks.