Here it is - the day after Christmas - and I have a horrible head cold, with the accompanying headache, pressure, runny nose and sneezing.

There is nothing to do except:

1) Consume copious amounts of homemade chicken noodle soup made with very strong chicken broth. The chicken stewed for 30 hours, pulling the minerals from the bones, resulting in therapeutic broth!

2) Fritos to accompany the soup

3) A Clementine, or two

4) Hot tea

5) Young Living's Essential Oils: R.C. and Breathe Again. Contact me for more information.

and the most important of all Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy in Arts & Entertainment's Pride and Prejudice!

I'm certain I shall quickly recover. . .

How are you spending the day after Christmas?



Merry Christmas!

I have two favorite Christmas Carols. . .

One is written by Dolly Parton and performed by her and Kenny Rogers,

The other is is written and performed by Selah,

I hope your day is filled with made-just-for-you miracles!



. . . all is bright


I have rearranged the Nature Room one more time because I just LOVE this memory board made from one of my all-time favorite fabrics & a picture frame I picked up from a thrift store years ago.

I'm almost through decorating this gentle place we call home & had not found the perfect place for it, SO the sunflower picture that WAS here is now on the porch, & here is my memory board. Hopefully I'm through with this little corner of the room!

Sunflower pic now over the little table.
There are many reason I haven't been blogging regularly. . . . but the most enjoyable distraction I've had is sewing this Prairie dress & pinafore for my youngest grand daughter. Oh I had sew much fun!

Photo by Simon Smith - Editing by me, Vera Smith
Doesn't she have the most delicate hands? I just love this shot of her that my son took with his camera phone!

This is going to be a very busy week for me, so I'm not making any promises that I'll be blogging. . . . I so very much admire those of you who are faithful to do so! Have a great, great week!


Outside My Window. . .the sun is coming up and it is raining. We are in a flash flood watch until 4 PM. It's been many, many months since we've gotten that warning.

I Am Thinking. . .that we need to leave earlier than usual for church today. We attend about 30 miles away and take a 2-lane road most of the way. A 2-lane road with no shoulders and the posted speed is 70mph. It's especially unsafe today.

I Am Grateful. . . that I got to attend the local production of The Greatest Christmas Pageant Ever with my daughter, her hubby, their crew and my other (unofficially adopted)children, Tim & Christiy.

Anyway - year after year we read "TGCPE" and sometimes rent the DVD as it just isn't Christmas without some rendition of The Greatest Christmas Pageant Ever!

In The Kitchen
. . . is not much going on! Breakfast will be light. Very light. Probably a protein shake and banana and other fruit. I guess we need to go shopping, which is one of my least favorite things to do and especially this time of year.

I Am Going. . .to come home from church and shopping and edit photos. I had two photo shoots this past week and need to get them edited and ready!

I Am Reading . . . the blogs that I follow. I am especially enjoying the ones by Swedish and Norwegian authors. I really like their way of decorating, especially for Christmas-time.

I Am Hoping . . .to get much accomplished today.

I Am Hearing . . .the EdenPure heater humming. The little cabin doesn't have central heat. I'm not at all certain it has any insulation! I guess I should add that I'm grateful for the EdenPure heaters!

I'm also hearing the rain on the metal roof, which is truly one of the loveliest sounds there is!

Around The House
. . .are signs of the Christmas Season.

And fragrant, blooming paperwhites.

I Am Wearing. . . a pink gown.

I Am Thinking
. . . that I need to get ready for church. We leave in about an hour.

I Am Wondering . . . if my husband will volunteer to do the shopping himself. He doesn't mind grocery shopping, while I detest it. Especially on a December Sunday. Especially at WalMart. I don't mind the little Mexican grocery or the health food store. . . but I can't handle WM!

One Of My Favorite Things. . . well, I've already mentioned it: the sound of rain on a metal roof.

About Today's Photos. . .

This is our "big" tree.
Remember, we live in a little home and there is no room for a bigger tree,
unless we put it on the porch,
which we may do someday.
But not this year.

Week two of Advent.

I am using my husband's cousin's Advent Devotional, found here.

Across from the tree.
The quote is especially meaningful to me.
The Paperwhites smell wonderful.
Although my husband think they smell
like ham.
And my daughter think they stink!
What do they know!

Not enough tree to hang all the ornaments.
They are displayed in other ways
around the house.

Linking up to the Simple Woman's Daybook


Well, here it is December and I've barely started decorating for Christmas. Even though my heart's desire is to keep it simple, I'm finding it difficult to scale back. My heart says, "not so much. . . keep it simple. . . you don't have to use all that you have." It seems to me that it should be easy. But over 42 years of marriage has resulted in a lot of stuff; 10 Rubbermaid totes to be exact!

In an effort to scale back and weed out some things, I've looked over my Pinterest Christmas Board to determine what I'm drawn to, which is lots of white and neutral colors; lots of candles, both skinny & chunky; wreaths in windows and scrawny little Charlie Brown Christmas trees. Over and over again that's what I've pinned to my {beautiful} Christmas board. Everything is so simple, beautiful and serene. Beautiful, simple and serene.

In some small part I've accomplished that in the dining room. For the most part it reflects beauty, simplicity and serenity. Here's the top of the china cabinet. Simple, beautiful and serene.

No, it doesn't look like the photos on my Pinterest board, but it does have some of the same emotional elements: serenity, beauty, simplicity.

Included in other areas of the dining room are more nativities, and lots of paperwhites, and some garland and boughs, although no wreaths in there. I'll be sure to post photos of those areas later on. But for now you'll have to trust me that even though I may not have all the physical elements of my Pinterest board, I do have lots of the emotional elements.

While going through all the decorations {did I mention there are ten huge Rubbermaid totes?} I came across the many nativities we've collected through the years. One little set has a missing Joseph. He's completely gone - I can't find him anywhere. And the shepherd has lost his head. It too is missing in action! But since I like the little set I decided I should just improvise.

I apologize for the poor photo quality. . . but the natural lighting in that bathroom is non-existent.

I readily admit there is nothing on my Pinterest Board that looks like this. Not. At. All. But I like it and I think I know why. Like I've already said,my Christmas Board includes lots of photos with lots of white/neutral colors and there's nothing whiter than Jack! My board has lots of simple elements and is there anything simpler than a round ball with a goofy smile pasted on it? Hmmm? And serenity: well, just take a close look at Mary - have your ever seen a more serene face? I doubt it! And if Mary can be so serene with that Jack Shepherd near her baby Jesus. . . well I guess I've accomplished what my heart has been desiring all along: beauty (for this little Mary is simply beautiful), simplicity and serenity. PLUS - a bit of humor for everyone to enjoy because this little scene is right behind the toilet! LOL

Good night. . .

PS - I must admit that this reminds me of that Sesame Street Song, One of These Things.

One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn't belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?

Do you remember it?


I Love This Man, originally uploaded by Vera*Smith.
Thanksgiving has come and gone. It was a wonderful day, but didn't last nearly long enough. It never does.

All of my husband's siblings were here with their spouses and my daughter and her crew were here, too. And my mama; my sweet 90 year old mama. I didn't take many photos and since I don't have permission from my in-laws, think it's best not to post the pix of them. But what a joy to have all six of them together in a picture.

Unfortunately Friday and Saturday found me flat on my back. I've never suffered with back problems, but I must have done something wrong because I could barely move.

All day Friday. All day Saturday. I suffered with severe back pain. I felt just find except for my lower back and hips and I was miserable in bed. And I discovered I'm not a very good patient.

But this man. This man took such good care of me; coming and asking from time to time if I needed anything. Rubbing essential oils on my back and making up capsules for me. Preparing the bath for me. He did whatever I wanted or needed. In that regard I am a good patient. I'm not very demanding. I prefer to be left alone. But I REALLY prefer to be pain-free!

Guess what else he did - he even put away all the Thanksgiving decorations, without me asking or hinting for him to do so! Yep - he put them all away in the Rubbermaid totes and put them in the attic. And you must remember, we live in a very old place and the access to the attic is nothing more than drop down stairs on the porch!

And you know what else? He brought down all the Christmas totes! All 10 of them! (I thought there were 14, but he only found 10). He wiped them clean and sorted them by room so they are all ready for me when I'm ready to deal with them. Isn't that pretty wonderful of him?

And the wonderfulness continued. I woke up, once again barely able to move and stayed home from church, spending more time on the couch than in bed and really started feeling much better. I was very glad because I had a Christmas photo shoot scheduled for 2 o'clock and it involved folks who were in town only for the holidays. And what did Mr. Wonderful do? He offered to be my assistant and carry the camera bag, step-stool and props! I didn't even have to ask - he offered to be the pack mule!

All because of him, I was able to keep my obligation and hopefully grandparents will get a wonderful photo of their precious granddaughters!

So, that's what has been going on at the Cozy Little Cabin. I've been an invalid and he is still, after all these years, my hero. My very own Mr. Wonderful




This is a rather disjointed post, but I'm feeling rather disjointed and with good reason!

For starters I decided to rearrange the dining room. Because of all the windows looking out into the trees, I always assumed it would be my favorite room, but it hasn't been. I decided what needed to be done was to move the armoire and chairs. Christy came and helped me and made some very good suggestions; one being that since the armoire wouldn't fit nicely between the windows, to place it at the end of the dining table instead, and move the tall, slim rosewood piece between the windows instead. Voila! That did the trick. I don't have many photos to post - hopefully will take care of that soon! I'm beginning to understand why I'm more and more drawn to very neutral/white rooms. . . just look at the busy-ness of the windows and trees!
But even so - I still very much like the new arrangement

details of hutch moved between windows

So - I spent much of the week rearranging and moving pix, etc. Instead of preparing for Thanksgiving!

AND, get this, hubby brought home 10 GALLONS of pears. Yep - he sure did! So besides rearranging a room, I also made up 15 jars of pear preserves! Instead of preparing for Thanksgiving!

Monday was youngest son's birthday and because of the weather, didn't have internet access in his part of Norway. I think it was the first time I have NOT been able to talk to him on his birthday. The first time in 28 years and I couldn't talk to him. So I was sad. Sad and disorganized with a messy kitchen for much of the week!

And there was a haircut and time spent w/my mom and some volunteer business I had to take care of. And of course I had to mop floors and shampoo carpet! The point being - I haven't done any cooking and no real holiday preparation.

But today id different. I'm cooking: baking cornbread so I can make my 90 year old mom's dressing recipe. Sauteing onions and celery and an apple. Eggs are hard-boiled to stuff them tomorrow. Turkey is thawing. . . hubby is going to deep-fry it tomorrow. Doesn't a fried turkey sound disgusting? Well, it did to me, too, until our oldest son prepared last year's turkey that way. Like he said when we recently skyped - "it's now a tradition" - so we're deep frying! And there's ham. And lots of folks are coming and they're all bringing food with them.

I'm most excited because all of my husband's siblings and their spouses will be here. We're all in our 50s and 60s and it will be good to all be together. So much better than waiting to get together at someone's funeral! AND my daughter and son-in-law will be bringing their 3 foster boys with them. It's always nice to have young people around!

To top it off - the weather is suppose to be sunny and 70 degrees, which is so much better than last year, which started out cold and rainy. In spite of that, it will cool down fast and we're planning to have a campfire and have a wienie roast.

Oh - and hubby came home today with - - - you want to take a guess? More pears! 5 gallons! OK - time to go find a pear cobbler recipe!

May your Thanksgiving Day be blessed . . .



I wrote yesterday about how much I enjoyed having the windows open during the day.

It was a wonderful treat, considering how miserably hot the summer was.

Now, don't get me wrong, I LOVE warm weather and I do NOT, do NOT , do NOT like being cold, but this past summer was just awful with an unbearable combination of record-breaking temps (50+ consecutive days of 100+ temps) combined with a 100 year drought. I don't like it hot and I don't like it cold; I guess you can say I'm sorta' like Goldilocks when it comes to the weather!

Because of the hot and dry summer we've been in a burn ban for many months now and since we live in a rural area we usually do quite a bit of burning. We pay for once a week garbage removal, but branches, shrubs, trees, and leaves (oh - do we have leaves) just get burned. And since we recently took down one fence and moved it near the street, we have more than the usual amount of branches, brush, and "stuff" to burn. I gotta' admit it - the cozy little cabin hasn't been looking too spiffy with brush piles all over the place.

But then yesterday I saw a beautiful sight. No, not the beautiful autumnal trees here in east TX,

See how most of the State is in a burn ban? It is desperate here, folks. But, but, but our little county is NOT in red! The burn ban was lifted yesterday and I did dances and whoops and all kinds of celebrating because I was SO EXCITED! I called our county judge's office to make sure. Yep - the County Commissioners had lifted ban yesterday morning. Oh the rejoicing Peggy (judge's secretary) and I did over the phone!

So you know what we did when my husband came home. . . we burned, baby, burned! The trash barrel got torched. The campfire pit got set ablaze. And more brush was added to it throughout the evening. Of course we had the water hose at the ready - - - and wet down the tree canopy which is most likely pretty darn dry. But we got rid of a sizable amount of brush and I am just so excited! Oh we still have plenty to burn, but it was so nice to be able to make a start!

And guess what? During the night we got the tiniest amount of rain which is supposedly a prelude to a good thunderstorm later on today. Here's hoping and praying the weathermen are right because Thanksgiving just isn't Thanksgiving without a campfire in the evening!

Rejoicing right here in the cozy little cabin in my neck of the woods!



After the dreadfully hot summer we had, which included many, many weeks of 100+ temps, even getting to 114 one day, I'm really enjoying this mild November day. Here it is, the 14th, and the house is opened up because it's going to be close to 80 degrees today.

A breeze is blowing through the windows. And the autumn leaves are fluttering to the ground.

And there's lunch on the stove. . . and I got to sit at the little kitchen table in my little kitchen with my husband.

And enjoy lunch together.

In the midst of preparing a hot lunch, I was rearranging furniture and rooms.

And doing laundry.

And the cat wanted to go out.

And I was overcome with joy at the very thought of how perfect my life is.

Of course it is dotted with sorrows and disappointments, but all in all, I live a blessed life and I started humming "Our House". Do you remember it? Hubby and I sang it to each other when it came out in 1970.

And we're still singing it.

It's even more true today than way back then.

And remember - the song isn't about the house.

It's about the home.



Oh yes, I've been gone for a L O N G time! I'll catch up later, but for now, with the temperatures getting oh-so-chilly, I want to share something with you: a recipe for homemade Cream Of Something Soups. So many casseroles call for a cream soup, which I don't always have on hand. I also don't much care for all the ingredients I can't pronounce and quite frankly, it doesn't really taste all that good to me if I were to eat it all by itself!

So along comes with an easy recipe which calls for ingredients I usually have on hand! And it has an easy to read chart to assist in making dietary changes.

I made the Cream of Mushroom Recipe, using portabello mushrooms; almond milk and Earth Balance instead of dairy; and Frontier Herb's *Beef* broth instead of a meat broth, making it completely vegan. This was without a doubt the very best Mushroom Soup I've ever eaten!

I'm not familiar with copyrights and all that so instead of providing you with the recipe, just hop on over to her website and give it a try. And while there, check out all her other great recipes and tips.

Here it is for the soup recipe:



These two bowls belonged to my maternal grandmother.

I never knew her as she died before I turned two years old.

There are bits and pieces of her here in the Cozy Little Cabin.

I wonder how I can miss her, having never known her?
A Japanese website that ages photos. . . fun!


There's not much to say about the weather here at the Cozy Little Cabin, other than it's HOT.

Oh - I guess there's one more thing to add, it's DRY.

We are experiencing record-breaking heat AND drought.

Please pray for TX


My daughter over at is hosting her first linky party and I'm thrilled to be part of it! Woohoo!

OK - let's get started with iLove {around the house}!

There are many things iLove about my house. . . mainly the quirky charming little house itself, an old dog-trot.
iLove its wonky charming porch that has 3 sections to it.

iLove gently swinging in it with my hubby and I've also enjoyed times with my 90 year old mom; old friends; children, grandchildren, etc.

iLove listening to the birds; rain; leaves falling; cows mooing and donkeys braying while in that swing.

iLove shelling peas; shucking corn.

and iLove taking business calls there; or sometimes taking a nap!

Yep - this little spot on the porch is very special to me with the quilt made by my dearest friend; day lilies in pitcher transplanted from my mom's yard years ago and moved with me numerous times and other little treasures, special to no one but my hubby and me.

There area lots of memories here but I won't bore you with them. But I must add that the slapping of the screen door almost brings about tears of joy and contentment!

Like I said, there are many things iLove about this home but one that I really appreciate is the lighting inside. Every room that has a window has marvelous lighting.

Come inside and I'll show you what I mean.
Here's a wee bit of the living room. See what I mean?
Glorious light!

The insect boxes are on shelves in the living room and never get direct sun, which is a good thing as they are very special treasures to me, along with the old Stetson that belonged to my Grandpa. See the can of Prince Albert? That's what he smoked in his pipe. Youngest son actually smoked some of it for me so I could recall the exact same smell of my childhood.

Beyond the living room is the Nature Room, with the majority of it decorated with naturey stuff. I'm grateful that my husband agreed that twigs would make good drawer pulls. iLove this room that has somehow morphed into my home office

Our bedroom has since been rearranged with the bed now between the two large windows but here's a glimpse of the great light in there. . . .

A quick peek into the dining/computer/sitting room which has six large windows!

What can I tell you about my kitchen? It is small, really small. I mean tiny! But iLove it anyway. Do you see those two upper cabinets? Yep - those are the ONLY ones I have! There is no dishwasher, but that's okay with me because most days as it's just hubby and me. When there are lots of folks here, well we just all pitch in and wash and dry them and put them away! It's little - but it works and iLove it!

Only a few more things about home to write about. . . . but one I really, really love is the guest bathroom in the L'Hotel. I'll write later about why it's called that. Anyway - when the house was first built the kitchen was separate from the main house, to keep from adding any extra heat to it. Somewhere along the line things got "modernized" and now it's our guest room and 2nd bath. I'm too tired to find any pictures of what it looked like when we moved in. . . . but Bates Motel definitely comes to mind! It had a horrible cabinet and flooring and walls and was just awful. Awful. You practically needed a seat belt to keep from falling off the toilet! Anyway - hubby did all this himself, putting up the bead-board and new flooring and sink, etc. It came with one of those horrid old rusted metal medicine cabinets which got replaced by a spray-painted top of the line mirror! LOL I am so pleased with it all. It is still one of the world's smallest bathrooms (the length of the room is the length of a standard tub) . . . but it is clean and neat and bright. iLove it!
And yes, the tub is pink!

OK- finally coming to the end! iLove the fact that my husband takes care of things that may go wrong and as money and time allow, fixes up the place. He works hard; almost always preferring to just do things himself.

I'm posting this photo of him jerry-rigging the ladder! I didn't say he always did things the safest way, now did I?

We're in the middle of the worst heat-wave/drought Texas has seen in a long, long time. Yesterday a freak little 10 minute storm blew through and broke limbs and branches, most of which landed all around the property. But do you see that really, really big one? That one landed on the roof! I was SO GLAD that Tim and Christiy stopped by and even though he wasn't wearing work clothes, and had gotten only 3-4 hours sleep the night before, Tim jumped right in, offering to help. What a blessing. iLove Tim!
But what iLove most about my home is that I get to share it with that crazy handsome man on the ladder. We've been married 42 years and HE is was iLove most about this house.
He is what makes it all so very special to me.

DAES of Our Lives



Some Mornings. . . ., originally uploaded by Vera*Smith.
The lighting is so vibrant and soft and dreamy all at the same time.

Always new.

Always illusive.

This is the most recent attempt to capture it. . . .

One day I will.

I hope I will.