I’ve taken down all the Christmas decor that were on my kitchen shelves and put them away. Now I have food and kitchen things back on the shelves.

I took the opportunity to clean the dust off the shelves while I was up on the step stool.

I have more food on the shelves now. It’s so much easier to see what you have on open shelves. I tucked in decor here and there just to pretty things up.

kitchen shelves

One of my favorite bits of decor in here is the red kitchen sign. I’m so glad I found it at Tuesday Morning. It provides a focus for the shelves.

I decorate more with red in the kitchen than any other room now. I find the combination of red and white so cheerful in a kitchen.

I’ve never been into the stainless steel look. Too cold and commercial looking for me. I like white appliances.

kitchen shelves

Ivy is spending more time around her cat tree now that I nailed a few toys on the roof of it.

She likes to sleep down below for some reason. But occasionally I will see her hopping into the house portion or playing with something inside it.

Ivy and cat tree

This morning she is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as usual. She’s playing with her toys and scooting them around. Jumping up and down when the notion hits her.

But soon she will start clamoring for her lunch, then settle down to take her nap.

ivy in dining room chair

She’s becoming such a big girl. More to love.

Ivy has been one of the high points of 2018. And the lowest point was of course losing Abi.

charlie on pet bed

Charlie is deputy dog. When he hears a crash coming from somewhere, he barks as if to alert me. Like I don’t hear it myself!

His bark means “Mama, Ivy’s causing trouble again.”

What else is new?

Ivy in dining chair

There are certain areas where Ivy does not jump. One is the kitchen counter top or the big rolling cart in the kitchen below the shelves.

I haven’t seen paw prints on the bathroom vanity in weeks, but she loves to get in the bath tub with her toys.

She doesn’t get on my desk or the green sideboard next to it with my TV on it.

Ivy in dining chair

Today is a cold and gray day. There is beauty in the stark bare limbs of the trees in the distance against the background of blue sky. But other than that, there isn’t much to write home about.

Nature calls to me with the yard birds and the wind waving the dry ornamental grass plumes.

But otherwise I look out to my patio and just see an area that I love that will need a lot of cleaning to get it in shape for spring.

bare tree branches

Leaves on the cement. Dried up plants jutting up out of the pots. My raised garden is one big brown dead place.

However there are spots of green here and there. This distracts from the garden of dead things.

Some ground cover, sedum, the licorice plant and the eucalyptus are still alive. Lemon balm and a bit of mint still prevails.

After January 1, I will be thinking of my garden for springtime. By March I will be watching my pots to see if the daffodils I planted are coming up.

I will go out there and clean things up for a new season. Start to sit outside again and watch the birds flying in and out of the tree in the corner.

Chinese proverb graphic

And do what a gardener does: Wait for the warmth of the sun to heat up the earth so I can begin to plant my gardens.

I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose, I would always greet it in a garden. – Ruth Stout

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31 Comments

  1. Brenda! I’ve been with you a long time, so I have the right to say this: Do Not Fall Off that Step Stool!!! I can’t bear it if you get hurt again. Please be careful!

  2. Two little siblings telling on each other…I love it! I also love your kitchen shelves…the red is beautiful! I can’t wait to get home and start getting our Christmas things put away and doing a little rearranging myself! Happy New Year! Love and hugs!

  3. That’s so funny that Charlie ‘tells on’ Ivy! Monkey does the very same thing – she tells on my old girl Lily when she has an accident….and she tells on Molly if she thinks she’s doing something I won’t like! She’ll actually come and get me and lead me to the spot where there’s an issue. Funny little critters, aren’t they? Hope you have a peaceful New Year, Brenda!

  4. Well, it seems that I am in good company with all of you who are not fond of stainless steel appliances. I don’t like them at all. Too commercial-looking. I actually have kind of a mish-mash of appliance colors–dishwasher, sink and fridge are “biscuit” as it’s now called and which I like and black cook top and oven. Since the cook top and the oven are on one side of the room and the sink, dishwasher and fridge are on the other, it doesn’t look too mismatched. But if I were doing the kitchen over I would go with all white. I just don’t get what people see in the stainless. Some marketing person tho’t it up and the manufacturers and ad folks promoted it probably and then everyone tho’t it was cool. Isn’t that the way trends start? Something like that, anyway.

    My family had Christmas at my house today. I felt pushed and stressed getting all the food ready. Didn’t do a lot of the decorating I would have liked to nor the house cleaning. But nobody seemed to care, least of all the children. We all had a pretty low-key and fun time but I’m glad it’s over–always am! Now I can think about some crafting and decorating I’ve been wanting to do. And the flower and seed catalogs are starting to arrive so I will begin to plan what I want to plant. Spring can’t come too soon for me but I fear we have quite a bit of cold and maybe snow to get through here in Michigan. Patience, patience.

    The photo of Charlie in profile today is so charming. He’s such a handsome boy. Ivy is getting to be a big girl. Will she get bigger than Charlie, I wonder? He might not be so happy if she does! Or he may not notice or care. But she sure has grown.

    I am looking forward to tomorrow with my daughter going back to work, her boys at their dad’s and time by myself after not having much with everybody on Christmas and New Year’s vacation. I am feeling so unsettled about my living situation and every day think how much I want to live alone again. Doesn’t seem possible at present and it stresses me greatly. I guess we’ll see what the New Year brings.

    I think I must close and go to bed so I can get up at a reasonable time and enjoy my solitude instead of sleeping it away.

    Happy New Year to the three of you, Brenda!

      1. Yes, retired. But I don’t think since I own this house I could qualify for senior housing and I don’t want to sell it because I want my grandsons to continue at the neighborhood school and remain in this safe neighborhood until they are out of elementary school. It’s kind of a Catch 22 I’ve found myself in. But, you are 100% right when you say a woman needs her space. We’ll see what happens in this new year. Right now I am trying not to stress too much about it and hope to explore some new options for myself along the way. Your blog certainly is a helpful part of my life right now, for sure.

      2. Yes, retired. But I don’t think since I own this house I could qualify for senior housing and I don’t want to sell it because I want my grandsons to continue at the neighborhood school and remain in this safe neighborhood until they are out of elementary school at least. It’s kind of a Catch 22 I’ve found myself in. But, you are 100% right when you say a woman needs her space. We’ll see what happens in this new year. Right now I am trying not to stress too much about it and hope to explore some new options for myself along the way. Your blog certainly is a helpful part of my life right now, for sure.

  5. I’m hoping “some day” if we ever have our kitchen cabinets redone (they’re 1980’s oak and I’d love to have them painted white or a cream color), that I can either have some cabinets torn down and open shelving put in or else maybe have some glass doors on some of the upper cabinets. I like your open, cheery look in the kitchen. Like you, I do not care for SS appliances and prefer white. We just had to get a new dishwasher and I purposely chose white. The white appliances go well with my oak cabinets, too. I think stainless would look awful with oak cabinets.

    1. If I were you I’d have the cabinets torn out and just have simple shelves. It can’t be very expensive to just put up shelves. The cost would be tearing the cabinetry down I’d think.

  6. I’m doing my kitchen in red also – with some chickens and tipsters tucked in there. I started several years ago but it is an on going process to find just the right things to go in there. I enjoy your decor. I LOVE fall and winter , it’s hot here most of the year. Happy New Year !

  7. Our deck containers were looking so bleak with dead leaves and dead and dying plants so yesterday was the day to tackle them. Removed all the debris and now only a lone hibiscus is left. The bare dark clean soil looks much nicer and is much like a blank canvas.

    1. I keep thinking I will go out there and work on the patio, but it’s been cold. I don’t want to cut back all the plants because sometimes if I leave them be they will come back when it warms up. Plus the foliage is a place for birds. I will get to it by and by. Just don’t move as fast on things as I used to.

  8. Your kitchen looks lovely! So fresh and delightful. I’m in a new apartment so I have stainless steel appliances. Not crazy about them at first but they’re growing on me. LOL

  9. I love how the touches of red in your kitchen add such a bright and cheery look! How funny that you called Charlie Deputy Dog watching out for Ivy to get in trouble. Our female cat does that with her brother who is more likely to get in trouble than her.

    We ordered a cat tree from the Cat Condo store you told us about and I think I might know what is the trouble with Ivy using it while it is new. When we unboxed our tree it had a very strong new carpet smell that even bothered me. And you know animals have a sense of smell much better than humans so I bet that could be keeping Ivy away from the tree at first. Our cats love these trees and they got on the new one at first but since then they have only been on it a few times. I put catnip all over it but I still smell that new carpet smell. It is getting a little better each day and the cats get on it once in awhile so I’m hoping once the smell goes away they will use it as much as they did their old one.

  10. I am rather unfashionable in that I like white appliances and oak cabinets. Unfortunately, my kitchen has very dark fake wood cabinets and stainless…and worse, black!!!appliances. Combined with tan ceramic tile floors and counters. It’s also not just open to the living room, but it’s practically part of the living room. However, we bought the house two years ago for its proximity to family, and since it’s only two years old, my husband – and my own common sense – says it will have to be what it is.

  11. Your kitchen always looks so cheerful. I’m with you on the stainless appliances. When we had cats, we had a climbing pole that was on a tension rod. It stayed in place and the cats would leap up to a shelf.

    Wishing you the very best for 2019.

    1. If you’ve ever been to the morgue (I was as a journalist) all you see is stainless steel. So a stainless steel kitchen reminds me of the morgue.

  12. Love your kitchen Brenda with the open shelves, I agree so much better to see what you have, I was a bit dismayed when we moved into this house because there is all white appliances in the kitchen but now I love them, they seem to stay so much cleaner than stainless steel or is it that my husband cleans them every morning! I must say he keeps the stove top spotless. I feel bad if I mess it up when cooking! As I told you we moved so that my father in law who had Alzeimers could move in but unfortunately he died before we could get him here. We loved the city we were in before we moved which is about 20 minutes drive away so now we are longing to go back! We do love this bungalow, it has a lovely garden, not too big and because Dexter doesn’t climb the fences we can let him out and feel comfortable he won’t wonder. Not sure what we will do now.
    Your Ivy is a gorgeous cat, so lovely when they are young and mischievous. Dexter must be about 14 years old now and is in good health, still likes to play. He got a warming mat for Christmas which he loves. Charlie is looking good, no doubt due to your tender loving care. I do hope your neck and shoulders are feeling better now.

    in very good health but we did buy him a warming mat which he loves

  13. Our sweet Gertie ( cat) died this morning lying next to me in bed. She was an old girl (found on the streets and brought to the shelter) so I’m not sure how old she was. Gertie was being treated for a thyroid disease and I truly thought she was getting better. We still have 2 dogs and another cat but there is a hole in my heart.

    1. I’m so sorry for your loss! My great-grandmother’s name was Gertie. You gave her a good life. Yes, there will be a hole in your heart. Take care of yourself, okay? Grieve as needed. She was part of your family.

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