1. A mat-forming, evergreen shrub (Vaccinium macrocarpum) of eastern North America, having pink flowers and tart, red, edible berries.
2. The berries of this plant, used in sauces, jellies, relishes, and beverages.
1. A small, single-storied house, especially in the country.
2. A small vacation house.
cran·ber·ry cot·tage
1. A tiny house in the woods in the north of Holland.
2. Peace, quiet, paradise.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


pas·tor·al  (pstr-l, p-stôr-, -str-)
a. Of or relating to shepherds or herders.
b. Of, relating to, or used for animal husbandry.
a. Of or relating to the country or country life; rural.
b. Charmingly simple and serene; idyllic. See Synonyms at rural.
3. Of, relating to, or being a literary or other artistic work that portrays or evokes rural life, usually in an idealized way.
4. Of or relating to a pastor or the duties of a pastor: pastoral duties; a pastoral letter.
1. A literary or other artistic work that portrays or evokes rural life, usually in an idealized way.
2. Music A pastorale.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin pstrlis, from pstorshepherd; see pastor.]

pastor·al·ly adv.

It seems I have been seeing many scenes which evoke the images reminding you of toile de jouy fabric. While on vacation this year in France, Belgium and Holland, I enjoyed these scenes of simple country pleasure. Whether a windmill on a hilltop with cows grazing (photo 1) in Holland or a small orchard beside L'Abbaye du Val Dieu (photos 2 and 3) in Belguim, they make you pause and sigh. A peace falls over you. 

In spring, we visited the Chateau de Rambures and I spotted the cows grazing way off the side of the castle grounds. They are in the farmer's field near the castle but just visible as you come near the walkway. Again...a pause to sigh...a reminder to slow really see what is around you...


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Autumn starts to show her colors.....

There is a buzz in the garden that autumn has come...

Our New York Asters (Symphyotrichum novi-belgii) are in glorious bloom. They have taken over a large area and put on a great show to say goodbye to summer and herald in autumn. The bees are enjoying a final summer feast of nectar.

There is such an overflow of flowers that I even put them in a vase to create an instant autumn table on the terrace just outside the living room. 

And our hydrangeas put on a great show over the summer but are not quite done showing off now with pretty rose tints to welcome the fall. 

There are touches of autumn in our front garden too. I love opening the bedroom curtains in the morning as this table display greets me as I start a new day...


Monday, September 15, 2014

Vacation is hard but fun work.....

Our summer vacation has ended and was wonderful from start to finish. We started with a long stay at Cranberry Cottage. It was so quiet and peaceful which is something we needed. Our goal was to do a project which was inspired by something I saw on Pinterest leading me to this blog post. Thank you Ronda for sharing your brilliant idea! It worked a treat on a wall we were unhappy with at the cottage.

We have a great deal of sunlight that shines on this wall. After wallpapering, we found out that direct sunlight will cause vinyl wallpaper to shrink and pull away from the wall while the paste is drying out. The same wallpaper in the guest room was no problem but here it has gaps and a few bubbles. But my problem is that I LOVE this wallpaper and do not have enough to redo it. It is not a paper that is available any longer. So how to fix the problem and be able to salvage something I love??? 

Ronda's idea of creating a grid was just right! We painted thin wooden slats. We sanded them after painting to give them a worn look. Then measuring first the vertical lengths, we divided the wall into four sections. The horizontals were then glued into place creating 5 sections. We were lucky that we did not have to created the trim around the wall as it already had a trim. We simply painted it to match the slats. 

Both Jos and I are thrilled with the results. It really creates a nice feature wall. We got rid of a couch that was far too large for the room and brought our sheep leather chair to take its place. Our next project is a mantle for the fireplace. Humm...time to look around on Pinterest once again.....


Saturday, August 16, 2014

A visitor came calling at Cranberry Cottage.....

I was watching Jos saw some wood for a project in the cottage when I realized straight across from me, this cute mouse was also watching Jos too!

"Once upon a time there was a woodmouse, and her name was Mrs. Tittlemouse.
She lived in a bank under a hedge.
Such a funny house! There were yards and yards of sandy passages, leading to store-rooms and nut cellars and seed cellars, all amongst the roots of the hedge."

“Tiddly, widdly, widdly! Your very good health, Mrs. Tittlemouse!”

Quotes from The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse by Beatrix Potter

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Garden inspiration.....

We love to visit gardens for inspiration. Visiting the tiny city of Gerberoy in France to see the garden of the French painter Henri Le Sidaner did not disappoint us. The addition of this beautiful ornament, which if you look closely in the photo collages, you will find in the artist's garden too. When I found this ornament in at a Dutch farm that sells ornaments, I knew it was the perfect way to remember our visit to Henri's garden...

To enter the gardens, you walk around the outside of the village along the old medieval walls. There is a door in the arch of one wall that enters into the garden. The day we went there was noone else there and it helped create the magic of the world where Henri painted.....

Click to enlarge the photos and get a closer look. 

I love this photo I shot of Jos sitting in the quiet garden enjoying the morning sun.....

Ornaments and statues were everywhere throughout the garden.....

What a privilege to be able to stand in front of the little summerhouse/atelier he painted. And what a summerhouse! I loved all the details in this tiny building. During the exhibit, this was one if my favorite paintings which came to life in the garden.....

The gazebo built on the foundations of a medieval tower allows you to take in the beautiful views of the landscape in and around Gerberoy..... 

Henri Le Sidaner passed away 75 years ago today 16 July in 1939. But his spirit lives on in his timeless paintings but also in the magical gardens he created in Gerberoy, France. 


For those interested in seeing more, here is a YouTube film of his time spent in Gerberoy. It is in Dutch but well worth watching even if you cannot understand the language. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A little well kept secret in France.....

In December, I went to an art exhibit of the paintings of an (to me) unknown painter. It was close by at the Singer Museum. I felt like I was able to slip away to France on a late spring afternoon in the dead of winter. Roses and wine around me.....I loved it so much that I made my husband go back with me another time before the exhibit ended. 

In december 2013 heb ik een tentoonstelling in het Singer Museum in Laren bezocht  om het werk van een (voor mij) onbekende schilder te kunnen zie. Ik voelde alsof ik in Frankrijk was op een late lente middag , terwijl het hier winter was. Met Rozen en wijn om me heen in Frankrijk...... Ik vond het zo leuk dat ik samen met mijn man nog een keer deze tentoonstelling heb bezocht.

All this because of this man...Henri Le Sidaner. He was noted for his intimate style and capturing atmospheric light in his paintings. I was so entranced by his work! Part of the exhibit was reading about his life and listening to the story as you went along. There I heard about his house and garden. 

Dit alles vanwege deze man ... Henri Le Sidaner. Hij staat bekend om zijn intieme stijl en het vastleggen van licht in zijn sfeervolle schilderijen. Ik was helemaal in de ban van zijn werk! Een deel van de tentoonstelling ging over zijn leven waarbij ik ook hoorde over zijn huis en tuin.

There is a tiny village in the Picardie region of France. This tiny village is Gerberoy and was where Henri Le Sidaner first rented and then bought a house in 1910. When researching the painter, I discovered that the village still contained this house and his gardens which were also open to the public. We just had to visit and see it all ourselves! 

The medieval village celebrates the rose each year and like walking in a museum. It is considered one of the most beautiful villages in France. In this picturesque place there is one bed and breakfast. Above is a photo of Le Logis de Gerberoy which is every bit as enchanting as it looks in the photo. We were so warmly welcomed by Cécile when we rang the bell to her home. 

Er is heel een klein stadje in de Picardië (Noord Frankrijk.) Deze kleine stad is Gerberoy en was de plaats waar Henri Sidaner eerst gehuurd en daarna het huis gekocht heeft in 1910. Ik ontdekte dat het  huis en zijn tuinen opengesteld zijnvoor het publiek. We besloten toen om zelf te gaan kijken in Gerberoy.  

De middeleeuwse stad viert elk jaar een mooi rozenfeest  en lijkt  een openlucht museum. Het wordt beschouwd als een van de mooiste dorpen van Frankrijk. In deze schilderachtige plek is er ook een bed and breakfast. Boven is een foto van Le Logis de Gerberoy te vinden, in het echt net zo betoverend als het eruit ziet in de foto. We werden hartelijk ontvangen door Cecile  nadat we onderstaande bel gebruikt hadden:.

She and her husband having been lovingly restoring their old home. They have created a warm and relaxing atmosphere to spend your time in Gerberoy. We loved it so much that we asked Cécile if we could stay an extra night. We were so glad she was able to give us the room for a third night. The rooms are comfortable and we slept like on a bed of roses only to be awakened to a delicious breakfast and walks in the lovely village. 

Zij en haar man hebben deze oude herberg weer gerestaureerd.. Ze hebben een warme en ontspannen sfeer gecreëerd om je tijd door te brengen in Gerberoy. We vonden het zo leuk dat we Cecile vroegen of we een extra nacht konden blijven. We waren blij dat er ruimte voor een derde nacht was. De kamers zijn comfortabel en we sliepen als op een bed van rozen , om wakker te worden met een heerlijk ontbijt en wandelingen in het mooie dorp.

I enjoyed taking some detailed photos of things around the bed and breakfast to give you an impression of this magical house. Thank you Cécile for a memorable stay in your home. 

We did however go to Gerberoy for a specific visit les jardin des Henri le Sidaner. Come back for my next blog post to visit the gardens with me.....

Ik heb genoten van het nemen van detailfoto's  rond de bed and breakfast. Deze foto's geven een goede indruk van dit magische huis. Dank je Cecilia voor een onvergetelijk verblijf in jouw huis. 

We zijn  echter wel gaan naar Gerberoy voor een reden: specifiek om de tuin van Henry le Sidaner te bezoeken. Kom s.v.p. terug voor mijn volgende blog post zodat je ook de tuinen met mij kunt bezoeken .....

Note: Thank you so much for the comforting thoughts sent our way over the tragic loss of Elwin in my previous blog post. Your thoughts and concerns have really picked me up and helped soften the hurt I felt over his sad passing. 

Opmerking: Dank je wel voor de troostende gedachten over het tragische verlies van Elwin in mijn vorige blog post. Jullie gedachten hielpen de pijn te verzachten die ik voelde over zijn trieste heengaan.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A sad goodbye all too soon.....

Jos and I have been searching for a new kitten lately. The loss of Dagi was hard for us but we have so much love to share with another kitty. In May, I saw the photo below that a breeder posted online. Meet Elwin...a red oriental short hair. He was adorable and it was love at first sight. We arranged to bring him home the day after we returned from a week's vacation in May.  

Jos en ik hebben lang gezocht naar een nieuwe kitten. Het verlies van Dagi was wel zwaar voor ons maar we kunnen heel veel geven aan een nieuwe kitten. In Mei zag ik de foto hieronder die een fokker op internet gezet had.
Ontmoet Elwin: een roodharige orientaalse kat. Hij was erg leuk en we waren op slag verliefd. We hebben afgesproken om hem direct na onze vakantie naar ons huis te brengen.

The big day arrived and we drove the hour to pick up Elwin. His brother Joep climbed up on my lap and looked at me as if to say "You are not going to take Elwin and leave me here, are you?". So Joep came home to live with us too. 
It quickly became apparent that Joep needed a man's strong guiding hand. I was not able to cope with his and he was constantly playing so hard with Elwin that it left Elwin with scabbed scratches. We made the difficult decision after a vet looked at Joep and said his aggression would probably not deminish as he became an adult cat. He was all personality so this was a hard decision to make but he was returned to the breeder.

Elwin was sad the first 24 hours and would not eat or drink. He was missing the breeder and his partner. But finally he turned around and he ate very well and followed us all over the house talking away wherever we went. He had the funniest meow which sounded like those friction wind up flash lights. He cuddled day and night. His favorite sleeping spot was laid over my should with his little sweet head on my chest. He went happily back and forth between Jos and I.

I am using past tense as this is not a story with a happy ending. Sunday he started to get lethargic and stopped eating.  He did still drink when we took him to his water. Monday morning, when I awoke he was laying between Jos and I and at first I though he had died. He was alive but breathing very badly. Then I saw his little belly looked strange. I knew it was serious and he was very ill. 

We called the vet and she had us bring him in. His breathing was more and more distressed and the assistant let me wait with his in a well cooled room. The vet drew stomach fluid to test and came back with horrible news. Elwin had FIP. It is viral disease and was in his stomach and lungs. Cats cannot survive this illness. We had to make the decision to put down a beautiful kitten that was not even 4 months old yet yesterday. It seems so wrong that this little life has passed too soon. He should have had many years here with us. 

Elwin is buried our under the bench in our garden. He is right next to Dagi where we can go and sit with them. I am totally heartbroken. I miss him so much even though he was such a short time in our home. He fit in! He was instantly part of the family. 
Sweet dreams little Elwin out there with Dagi among the roses.........
Elwin was de eerste 24 uren droevig, hij wilde niet eten of drinken, hij was te gehecht aan de fokker en zijn partner. Echter dit veranderde al snel en werd een echt cuddlebeestje.  

Ik gebruik verleden tijd want afgelopen zondag werd hij helemaal lusteloos and stopte met eten. Maandag ochtend dacht ik dat hij dood was, ik wist dat hij erg ziek was.
Op maandag tweede pinksterdag zijn wij naar de dierenarts geweest. Hij kon eigenlijk niet goed meer ademen, wij mochten wachten in een kamer met Airco de hitte kon hij niet meer aan. De dierenarts heeft vloeistof afgetapt uit zijn veel te dikke buik. Daarop heeft ze ons het slechte nieuws gegeven dat Elwin FIP had. Dit is een ongeneeslijke virus infectie. Helaas hebben we op advies van de dierenarts moeten besluiten hem te laten inslapen.
Elwin is begraven onder onze tuinbank. Hij ligt naast Dagi waar ik soms naar ze toe kunnen gaan. Ik ben gebroken... Ik mis hem heel erg ook al was hij maar kort bij ons. Hij past perfect bij ons.

Droom zacht lieve Elwin samen met Dagi en de rozen.