Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas in my kitchen

Nope, no recipes here.  Although I do have a few special holiday recipes I'll share down the road.  Today is all about my kitchen, my holiday kitchen.

My everyday kitchen is white, with a lot of green and a little red.  So of course, it is easy to decorate for the Christmas holidays.

A Set of little Santas,

a Santa that sings...

Santa as cups...

Cups for Santa...

Santas to save...

And Santas that wave...

Here's a wish from my little red and green cottage kitchen...

a bright and shiney holiday season to you and to yours!

Chris at Red Gate Farm

To celebrate "red" I'm linking up to Rednesday

at It's a Very Cherry World

Monday, November 29, 2010

Collecting Christmas

I will admit, when it comes to decorating for Christmas, I am a bit of a crazed decorator an over achiever.

Yes, I have 21 bins of holiday decorations... but only 19 of them are full of Christmas decorations.  Two of them are for all of the other holidays.  And one of them is just the actual tree ornaments... so it doesn't count, right?  I mean really, that's not over doing it is it?  I have different themes and colors for every room, including the bathroom, but that's not over doing it, right?

Some decorations don't come out every year but I hang onto most everything for a future Christmas.  Of course some of them are the ones you never get rid of. The ones handed down through your family or of course, the macaroni wreaths, the cut-outs of preschooler's hands made into reindeer antler's, the salt dough tree shaped ornament, something made of felt and clothespins... the really special ones. Those you keep forever.

I spent the Friday after Thanksgiving, hauling box after box of decorations up from the basement.  I managed to get most of my decorations up to my satisfaction.  I still haven't actually decorated either of my trees.  At this point, I'm happy just to have the lights glittering and reflecting in the windows.

Slowly, throughout this week I'll get the trees decorated and the last little touches done here and there.... then, I'll share.  Room by room if you'd like.

And I'll really be able to sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds of the season.

Let the count down begin,
Chris at Red Gate Farm

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Like many of you, I am thankful for my family and friends. 

Old friends, new friends from close and afar. 

For a warm, cozy place to come to at the end of my day.

A warm meal to share.

The Happiest of Thanksgivings to you all.

And if you have to brave weather like ours today, travel safely.
Chris at Red Gate Farm

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 55 and I'm Thankful

I'm thankful that one room is completely done at the Peach Palace.  The half bathroom.

I'm also thankful that many of the other rooms are almost there.  Other than the flooring that will be replaced, the only major projects left are the new stairs, the small back bedroom and the upstairs bedroom... which are still mostly untouched.   All of the other rooms are down to final painting projects, well and the above mentioned flooring.  And speaking of paint.  We've used 4 gallons of primer, 3 gallons of ceiling paint, 8 1/2 gallons of "regular" paint and almost 2 gallons of oil based paint (for the cabinets and trim).  No wonder my hands ache.

I thought we'd be done with the Peach Palace long ago... like October... now I'm hoping for an early December finale.

To my fellow American bloggers, enjoy your Thanksgiving tomorrow.  And if you are traveling, be safe.

Looking forward to a LONG weekend of family, food, Christmas decorating and of course painting,
Chris at Red Gate Farm

Monday, November 22, 2010

Baby, it's cold outside

I had plans to get some holiday decorating done tonight, maybe put up a few pictures.  But I've gotten sidetracked. 

I'm not sure who ordered this weather up, but it can go ahead and skid-daddle any time now.  It is COLD here.  Somebody please tell Old Man Winter that he is a tad bit early.  We got a little snow over the weekend, but it's the cold temperatures and wind that are putting me over the edge.  On my drive home from work it was all I could do to stay on the road!  Gusts of up to 60 mph are predicted until 4:00 am.

Temperature at my house at a little after 5:00 pm, today..... really, 5:00 pm!

and with windchill factored in... And for my Canadian friends... that is NOT Celsius! 

Hopefully the power stays on long enough to get this posted and dinner finished.  Maybe my priorities are backwards there, I suppose it should be dinner then blogging.  After dinner, I think it's time to hunker down with a nice fire.  Maybe my warm afghan and a good book.  I have my candles at the ready....

And just in case, we'll get the generator out.

Keeping warm and keeping the home fires a burnin'

Chris at Red Gate Farm

Friday, November 19, 2010

Never give up

It may only compare to a small/medium egg on my egg scale,

but the lemon tree is in full production.... I actually have a harvest of four lemons this year! 

A number of years ago at a local nursery, I came across a lemon tree.  It was beautiful.  With glossy, dark green leaves.  But it was rather expensive for a house plant... $50.00.  Much to my surprise, my husband and kids gave it to me for Mother's Day that year.  A few weeks later it was covered with white, fuzzy things.  The nursery said to dab rubbing alcohol onto each fuzzy growth, that it was some kind of mites.  To my dismay it kept going downhill.  Fast forward to summer's end and all the leaves were gone, just a collection of bare sticks remained.  Sadly, I placed the pot of dirt and the sticks outside.  The following spring I decided to reuse the pot that had sat outdoors all winter and cut off what was left of the plant to just above the dirt line.  A few weeks later, when I was about to dump out the left over dirt and the "stump", I was shocked to notice a small growth of green!  The lemon tree was recovering! 

Years later, it produces up to a half dozen lemons a year.... and when it blossoms, well lets just say you can smell the fragrance throughout the house.  It is amazing.   I really like the look of all citrus plants and have also acquired an orange tree, a lime tree and a kumquat topiary over the years.  But that spindly lemon tree, well it is still a favorite.  And when it, like life, gives me lemons...  I do make lemonade.

Enjoy your weekend,
Chris at Red Gate Farm

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A step back in time

Does it...

look familiar??

My little farm cottage at Red Gate Farm.  The top photo was taken sometime in the 40's.  After the front "porch" was enclosed, but before the back "porch" was totally enclosed.   Why is it that old photographs seem to look a little stark, even barren.  Is it the black and white?  The lack of large trees?  I'm not sure why, but it seems a little sad or lonely.

In the recent photo, to the left of the back porch door is the "breakfast nook".  We don't breakfast there, but it is where I blog.  In the top photo, it is totally enclosed because it was the milk room or a cool room.  Where the milk was stored, no windows, no access from inside the house.   You may also note that there are no little dormer windows in the roof, originally the upstairs was just attic space.  It's amazing that a fairly large family lived here, with no inside plumbing!

Almost the weekend,
Chris at Red Gate Farm

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Playing hooky

I played hooky from work yesterday, well actually it was a vacation day... and I asked for it off so maybe that really doesn't count as playing hooky.

My mom and I went to a local thrift store were the proceeds go to the humane society.  Every year, they save all of their Christmas donations and put them out at the same time.  That time was yesterday, at 9:30 am on the dot.  We had a great time and I found all sorts of treasures.  Most items were .25, .75, or $1.00.  A few items were of the more expensive variety, they might set you back $5.00 or $7.50.

I love the Shiny Brite boxes, just for their graphics... and they were all FULL of ornaments.  Five of the boxes were .75 cents each and the other two boxes were $1.00 each.

These remind me of my childhood.  My mom gave me her set of little pastel angels a few years ago, she used to put them out by her manager scene for the holidays.  Now I have some more to add to my collection.

This cute little... angel?? elf?? choir person?? was one whole dollar, but I couldn't resist... he or she was "made in Japan".

This cute fabric stocking, complete with fabulous Santa face, $2.00.

This fabulous apron was $4.00.

A wonderful old tablecloth for $1.00!!

Can't pass up a winking Santa mug.

A bunch of cool old Christmas cards, unused.

Some vintage gift tags, .25 cents.

Tree toppers, at $1.00, $2.00 and $3.00 respectively.

Some miscellaneous items, not really sure what I'll do with these but the bag was only .25 cents.

An old light up wreath, complete with box... it came out of the expensive case... it was $4.00.

And the ultimate, these two little dioramas... both "made in Japan"... they were $2.00, each.  I gotta say I love the little toadstools on the one to the right!

Obviously I have a "thing" for vintagey Christmas items... I guess now I'll have to stay out of the antique, junk, thrift stores until after the holidays.  I may have some storage issues with my newest Christmas acquisitions, but the money went to a good cause.

And speaking of Christmas, be sure to check out Lisa over at Suburban Retreat.  She's having a fabulous, Christmas holiday giveaway!  She's a wonderful, thoughtful person with a very charming blog!  Check it out.

And "thanks" to Cindy of Cottage Instincts... for Red Gate Farm's being in the Top Ten for last weeks "Make it 4 Monday"!  I'll have to figure out how to "grab the button"!

Enjoying my short work week,
Chris at Red Gate Farm

Monday, November 15, 2010

Our farm cottage, six years in the making

Next month, it will be 6 years since we came to live at Red Gate Farm.  We've worked hard to improve our home, inside and out.  Hopefully, you can see some of the improvements.



before - from east, notice dilapidated barn

after - from east, notice rebuilt barn

before - southeast

after - southeast

Although you may still be blue, you've come a long way baby....

Enjoying the beginning of a new week,
Chris at Red Gate Farm