Archives for December 2012

January 6, 2013

Hi everyone! I’m going to be off the blog until Sunday, January 6. I’ve got to focus on a few other activities!

Thank you so much for reading RiverCliff Cottage. Have a very happy New Year!

And let’s keep hoping that it snows in Mendota, Virginia!

Let It Snow Chalkboard


Where’s My Snow?

Drat…still no snow in Mendota, Virginia!

I have a girlfriend who used to work in Mendota. She says that she thinks it may be close to Hell because it never snows here. I’ve tried to disagree. It’s about 1500-1800 ft. in elevation…that probably has more to do with it.

There’s a weather blog that I follow called the Roanoke Weather Journal. Nurse Snow, one of the snow-loving contributors, says we should all put ice in the commode and turn our pj’s inside out.

Mike thinks I’m going to clean the commodes with something strange I’ve found on the internet (that happens around here…imagine!). I’m just going to stir a few cubes in the bowl.

Ya never know!


After Christmas!

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas.   I love Christmas…but the day after, I am thinking about one thing–putting the decorations away! If you drove by my house this morning, you would have seen me down at the gate (in shorts of all things) taking down the greenery.  I left the wreaths up for a while longer, but the garland was turning brown and driving me crazy.   The wreaths are still holding their own.   And the pretty garland on my porch from this picture taken in early December?

Porch Decorated

Gone! It had turned brown, too. I took care in removing my bows…I’ll use them again next year. I wired them to a coathanger and they’ll hang in the attic.

Bows Hanging

I’m not suggesting that Christmas be put away…it should remain inside of us all year long. However, for me…it’s time to replace decorations with something else. Snow!

Let It Snow

Mendota did not have a Christmas snow required to build a really pretty snowman…so I had to improvise. Do you like him?

Mr. Snowman

He’s not too tall. He’s rather plain. He could be Amish, but no…the red scarf is too sassy for that! He’s just an ordinary Mendota snowman made of three grapevine wreaths and a fleece scarf I made last year with doggy paw prints.

Snowman Wreaths

And do you think I’m organized since I’m putting the decorations away early? If you do, you might want to join us at our dining room table for dinner. Nice, isn’t it?

Messy Dining Room Table

Somewhere in that messy picture above, there are Christmas cards I addressed but did not mail. I meant to mail them but Patsy was out of Christmas stamps. I could not mail these cards without Christmas stamps, and I would never, ever buy a stamp at any other place than the Mendota Post Office.

Nope…I’m not organizing or cleaning. I’m reading. I went by the Mendota Library last week with just this day in mind. I’m reading “The Giving Quilt” by Jennifer Chiaverini, and it has not let me down. I highly recommend this author. She writes about strong, imperfect women and their lasting friendships. She writes the Elm Creek Quilt series. They are set in Waterford, Pennsylvania, and there is a “red thread” which ties the books together. After reading all of her books, I feel that I know the characters very well. They are like friends!

The Giving Quilt

Are you reading anything good?



It’s Christmas Eve!

Merry Christmas! It is not snowing in Southwest Virginia this Christmas. It’s raining. Bah Humbug!

Mike and I tried and tried to think of what we should get each other for Christmas, and since we could not think of one thing we needed or even wanted, we decided not to exchange gifts. We are that blessed.

It’s a different Christmas than in year’s past. For the past few years, my husband’s youngest son, Aaron, and his family have arrived sometime on Christmas and this year they are staying in Northern Virginia. We totally understand this, but it still seems a little quiet! I’m actually glad it didn’t snow, as the granddaughters love snow, and had we had snow and not them, well, that would have been sad!

However, with candles lit and our extended family nearby, we are still having a wonderful Christmas.  Of course, a Christmas visit to my True Love had to happen today!

Mike and I are regulars at Lowe’s…that is why I call Lowe’s my True Love. I would imagine that one of us is in that store five-six times per week. We were in the Kingsport Lowe’s two nights ago, and I saw a little lamp I liked. I didn’t buy it because I didn’t want to pay the 10 percent sales tax. I thought I’d find the lamp in the Bristol, Virginia Lowe’s–with only a 5 percent sales tax.

Today, I had to go to town, and I had that lamp on my mind. I went to both Bristol Lowe’s stores. No lamp.  Rats!   So…I drove back to Kingsport, and even in my gas-sipping Prius, I spent way more on gas than the sales tax would have been.

Here’s the lamp…it was $19. Nice and clean looking.

New Kitchen Light

It replaces this old one which had been in our foyer in a house that we had 20 years ago.  Although it looks like a fat, squatty little lady, I’m keeping her.   With new paint and a new shade, she’ll look good elsewhere.

Kitchen Light New

I’m writing this post and watching Lifetime Christmas movies. Perfectly happy and content. And then…surprise visitors…

It’s Betty Butterbutt wanting a dog treat and a ride back home.
Betty Butterbutt

And her sidekick, the Colonel, (as in Colonel Poopsie)…also hitchhikng and wanting a treat.  Who trained them to do this?

Colonel Poopsie

Christmas has gone to the dogs!  But that is okay…I’m thinking barns, stables, mangers, animals, sherpherds and stars…and the sweetness of a new baby that changed the world.


Who Is Guilty?

So…a few days ago I posted this picture of the wreath I made for the side door.

Grapevine Wreath

And today…it looks like this. Can you see what happened? See the streaks on the door?

Christmas Wreath With Bird Poop

I spoke with the suspects. Gangs are always suspicious…especially when they wear colors.

Cardinal Gang on the Ground

But this little friend looks innocent…

Suspect No. 3

Who knows?


A Brilliant Idea

Mike and I were sitting in the living room about four nights ago, and I popped up and said “I have a brilliant idea.” Oh no, he thought.

I was looking at my doors in the living room and thinking about when someone told me I needed a dried flower arrangement over the door. “Not in my lifetime,” is what I thought but didn’t say.

But…how about a little something using my very favorite thing this December? How about some burlap covered blocks with Mod Podge? Maybe something like this?

I know I have a problem. I’ve gathered all of my friends around to discuss the situation. Here’s a picture of a few of the gang…some are hanging out in other rooms!

It is a rainy evening in Mendota, Virginia. I believe it is time for pajamas and bed. Good night!


Wreaths Going Up and…Oh No…Mod Podge!

It’s me.   You know the one…the loser who had a wreath party and left one of her wreaths lying in the garage floor. The wreath party was over ten days ago. Maybe longer.

But today, that all changed.

I know it’s not a fancy wreath. It’s like me…a little askew here and there. It used to look like this…

Every time I see this picture and look at those two little pumpkins, I think Victoria’s Secret, Playtex and Vanity Fair.

It’s nice to use what you have. That’s what happened here…just stuff from the yard and some ribbon.

And lest you think that I’ve moved on from Mod Podge, I offer you this…

And one in the planning stages..

If I come across an easy craft that I can do, I work it to death!



Christmas Spirit

I was headed into the Bristol, Virginia Exit 7 area this evening.    As I entered the Walmart/Lowe’s/Sam’s Club area (going to see my True Love), someone took my “spot” when I was supposed to be having “my turn”  going through the four-way stop.    Obviously, this person, I’ll call “Rude Boy”  did not know how to drive!!

I went after him and grimaced as I realized Rude Boy and I were both headed toward Lowe’s.    Destiny.    We then met again at check out.  More destiny.  

While in the check out line, another shopper offered to let me move ahead since I had only one item.  I thanked her and said “Merry Christmas.”  It felt good.   Almost at the same moment, another customer asked the check out clerk to call for assistance as an item was “up too high for her to reach.”   Rude Boy, who just completed his purchase said “I’ll go back and help you.”   The lady said “thank you, and Merry Christmas!”   He said “Merry Christmas” to her…and nodded to me.   I went from looking like a skulking Grinch to ashamed Grinch.    I hate mean people…especially when they are me!!

Time for a turnaround.  My good mood switch turned on.  Immediately.  All these “Merry Christmas” words.    It’s that feeling I had last night when I was looking…and thinking…about this.


I sang Christmas carols all the way home.   No one heard or saw me, but I’m pretty sure I was  really good!

I skipped into the house and looked at last night’s Mod Podge work.    Do you think my niece, Jennifer, will like this?   Her twin babies keep her way too busy to read the blog.

I’ll finish  these tomorrow!






So Long to My Gooseneck Gourd

One of the first things I grew when we built our house back in 1999 was gooseneck gourds. I still have one of those gourds.

Until today.

It fell. It almost hit me in the head.

I kept some of the seeds. We’ll plant next year and see if they are still good!


What To Do With Your Old Direct TV Dish

Here’s our old Dish tv thing.   It annoys me that there is no recycling plan in place for these when you opt for another company.

However, Mike is making pretty good use of part of it…a new mailbox mount for our neighbor…

Rather than spend its final days in a landfill…it’s a practical reuse for this mount.

I wish I had thought of this. He also kept another part of the Dish mount. This will be a new flag mount.

My responsibility is to now come up with something for the “dish” part. It will either be a birdbath or a pretty barn red thing mounted on the shop or the barn. I’ve been on Pinterest!

I was present for all this ingenuity because I’m getting ready to ModgePodge RiverCliff Cottage blocks. I think I am anyway. Hope it turns out!


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