My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant


Friday, January 13, 2012

Come on in! (Part 2)


Well, once again it's taken me longer than I anticipated ~ these "open houses" are a lot of work! :-) But I'm finally ready to resume and conclude our tour of Dragonfly Cottage (with a few decor side-trips), starting with the tall and wide - but boring - hallway. :-) The master bedroom is to our back, the kitchen entrance and half bath (behind the closed door and too small to photograph effectively) are on the right, and the main bath and the linen/laundry closet is to our left. That's the tiny second bedroom at the end of the hall, which we're using as an office (as always, click on the photos for larger versions)...


I'm not sure if other people use kites as window treatments, but it works for me! It's very pretty when the southern sun shines through my butterfly kite. (Besides, I had nowhere else to store it!) The bookcase is our most recent, and final, furniture purchase, and I consider it my other birthday gift from BW since I have always wanted a bookcase I can take with me (not a built-in I have to leave behind someday!) This one is made of mango wood, and matches the new desk we bought last fall...

(Iain & Sophie - if you click on this photo,
you'll be able to see your wedding photo!) :-)

Here's decor side trip #1: if you clicked on the photo, you may have noticed the tea party scene in the display case on the bottom shelf. That is my favorite scene from one of my favorite books, so when I was in college my mother commissioned it from a pair of local Maine artists who created scenes on driftwood using carved wood figures covered in dyed corn husks, had my dad build the case for it, and they gave it to me as a Christmas gift...

(Notice the set of books displayed beside it?)

This next photo, taken just inside the office door, isn't very interesting but I'm including it as a teaser because on the dresser (one of my first furniture purchases when I was a brand new grown up in my first apartment) is another of my mother's miniature scenes: a one-room schoolhouse decorated for Halloween. She just sent it home with me during my last visit in November, and I plan to feature it in its own post next October. So you'll just have to wait till then to see closeups of all the goodies ~ neener, neener! ;-)


And here's where all my blogging action (such as it is, lol) takes place ~ at my beloved iMac on the mango desk that matches the bookcase...

(See anything familiar on the desk, Rose?) ;-)

The east-facing transom window above the desk, which frames some beautiful sun and moon rises...


Okay, I know most of you are just acting politely interested while it's the kitchen you're most curious to see (it's always kitchens for me too!) So here's our kitchen as you enter from the hallway...


See the illuminated grapes in the basket atop the refrigerator? I ordered them as a housewarming gift to myself shortly after we moved in (not knowing or caring if rentals warrant housewarming gifts to oneself!), with the intention of putting them in that big empty space above the windows. But they looked awkward there, in part because the grape bunches hang 9" below the vine ~ and the vine had just one lone grape leaf on it! So we used it and some artificial grapevines I already had to decorate the basket, and it's now up to that lone wooden folk-art chicken to do his best to liven up the big space above the windows. :-)


The 5-burner Wolf gas range may be our favorite feature in this house. We really love cooking on gas...


Here's a closeup of the stained glass chicken light in the corner. A holdover from the days when our kitchen and dining room were decorated entirely in chickens (an amusing but long story), I've had it so long I can't even remember when or where I got it. But it always gets pride of place in our kitchen, despite our switch a few years ago to a Tuscan-themed decor...


Where the cookbook shelves are (with the living room just beyond) is where the original chimney used to be. Well, it's still there, just not in use and now sheetrocked over with the shelves added. I love the shelves, but wish they'd left the old exposed brick! (I love old exposed brick in a house, especially in a kitchen!) That double oven is the one whose timer tried to trick me into burning my mishap muffins, and to the right of it is an under-counter roll-out island that BW likes to use when he makes bread and pizza dough...


Backing up a bit we find ourselves in the dining area, too small for a regular dining set so we bought this fun pub table. Both the bedroom/office and this dining area are part of a new addition, so neither has the 9' ceilings of the rest of the house...


Here's a closeup of the plaque between the dining area and kitchen...

"Live well, love often, laugh a lot"

This piece of cherry furniture, which I designed and had custom made many years ago to hold all our stereo equipment and CDs, has been repurposed since we got rid of all our stereo equipment during our downsizing. Here it comes in very handy for storing kitchen gadgets like food processors, waffle iron and popcorn popper, and makes a nice display area since it's the first thing you see when you walk in the back door. I fell in love with the old mirror on the wall to the right during our first visit to Red Lodge, MT in the early 90's but talked myself out of buying it, then had the opposite of buyer's remorse when we got back home. So I called the store and had them ship it, kicking myself black and blue for the additional expense but never regretting for a moment that I went ahead and bought it...


Preferring how I had the erstwhile stereo cabinet decorated for Autumn (and for Christmas, too, but failing to photograph it then - how did that happen?), I'm including this photo. I intended to continue displaying the pheasant painting (done by my mother on a piece of slate that fell off a neighbor's roof in a storm), but can't for the life of me find it since putting it away when I decorated for Christmas! (I'm certain this has more to do with living in a tiny space requiring creative storage uses than with advancing age!)...


And here's the dining area with the kitchen to our backs. To the right of the pub table is one of my least favorite features of this house, the trap door to the tiny cellar (which used to be the house's coal storage room, back in the day). Very heavy and awkward to raise and lower, it inconveniently requires two people to open it, and going down the narrow wooden steps with that heavy beast propped up against the wall above your head can be nerve-wracking. So we only store stuff down there that we need access to no more than once a month, since BW has to go down there that often to change the furnace filter...


The back door leads to a covered deck where the dogs often like to sit on hot days, and this is where our tour concludes! Thank you so much for coming to visit! Willow and Josie are already waiting by the back gate in eager anticipation of your return! :-)


24 comments:

  1. Sorry....couldn't see a bloomin' thing because I was blinded by the glare from your shiny fridge!! Please come and clean/arrange/decorate my home.
    Jane xx

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  2. How gorgeous! And we have matching IMACs too (and don't your pics look fab on my shiny new screen) :O) You have so many beautiful items I don't know where to start (although that miniature halloween decorated room needs a mention). I am so loving those grapes but my absolute FAVOURITE thing is the chicken lamp. I have a chicken chalk board and chicken cups and plates and am FROTHING AT THE MOUTH with jealousy that you have such a thing. I also love that last image and the way the pooches are engrossed with something beyond view :O) Is it a squirrel, is it a cat hurling insults at them? I think we should be told!

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  3. once again. i'm jealous of your house! if it only got more sunlight inside, it sounds like it would be perfect.

    great use of the kite and what a gorgeous bookcase (and desk!). the book scene was such a wonderful, thoughtful gift- i love that you have the books next to it.

    i'm also jealous of your mac- once my stepsons move out, we'll be getting a macbook and giving them our pc and laptop. i'm looking forward to it!

    love the kitchen, especially your grapes and chicken lights. so cool!

    we have a sign that says that same thing in english over the fireplace :)

    the girls are quite adorable, as always <3

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  4. Howdy, TW! Thanks for showing us around ;-). Your place looks so cozy and inviting. There is so much neat stuff, that I don't know what to single out. So...I'll just comment on the stained-glass chicken. CG has one almost like it!! Kudos for the tour....well worth the wait ;-). xoxo

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  5. Jane~ LOL! Thank you for noticing, because I got out the stainless steel cleaner and cleaned and polished and buffed and honed to a luster all the appliances before taking the photos. Didn't really think my efforts would show up in the pictures, but figured my photo shoot was an inspired excuse to shine them up. I know a lot of people lust after s/s appliances, but good grief - what a pain to keep clean! Give me white appliances any day. Anyway, I will come clean/arrange/decorate your home in exchange for a year's supply of maple syrup and as many apples as you can spare. :-)

    Barbara ~ Thank you! I'm tickled that you got Mac the Knife so that we now have matching iMacs! I definitely think my blog looks way better on my Mac than on the library's PCs.

    Can't wait to share the Halloween school room when it's close to Halloween - you'll love it! Oh, so you have a few chicken items in your kitchen too, eh? (Making mental note). Wish I could tell you where you could get a chicken lamp like mine! I'm glad you love it, because it's a cherished possession, but I'm sorry I made you froth at the mouth because that probably alarmed poor Pepper. ;-) As for my engrossed girls, I can't for the life of me recall what had them so captivated. Could have been a duck, a squirrel, the neighbor dogs, or some miscreant skulking about in the alley. My money is on the duck or squirrel, though. They'd be going nuts if it were a cat, especially one hurling insults. No way would they sit so placidly and let that go on! :-)

    Jeannelle ~ Thank you, I'm glad you came along on it and enjoyed it! :-)

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  6. Molly ~ Wow, girl, look at you, writing up a storm even with your busted wing! You're getting good at that one-fingered typing! :-)

    More sunlight inside would be a good start on the road to perfection! BW was even remarking the other day that although it was a bright sunny day and the sunlight was coming in the southern (dining area) windows, we still had to have our kitchen lights on. It's mystifying. I think that low beam that divides the 8' new addition ceiling from the 9' original ceiling in the kitchen must block some of it, and maybe the dark floors and cupboards just - I dunno, absorb the rest? Whatever, on a cloudy day it's dark as night in every room but the office (the one room I'd like it to be dim!)

    Glad you like my kite curtain! :-) And the mango wood furniture, too. I'd never heard of mango wood before but I fell in love with it when I saw the desk. We couldn't afford that desk till the store manager made us an incredible deal on it. Then I was afraid it would be too big for the room, but it's just right. I'm really glad to have the bookcase now, too, and was tickled when the Tea Party scene fit so perfectly in it! It used to be in the living room (on a little antique foot stool under a window) but it got lost in there. Mom had that same couple make a scene of me with my horse Sassy from a photograph, but there's no room in this house to display it (it's in a bigger case).

    I'm glad that the things you love best about the kitchen are things that will move with us when the time comes! :-) And I'm not surprised to hear you have that same sentiment over your fireplace, or that you definitely take its good advice. :-)

    I thought of you when I took that photo of Josie and Willow, because it reminded me a lot of some of your photos of Emma and Rowan!

    Spudly ~ Thank you! It's especially cozy in here today - very cloudy and really gusty out there. I took the girls on two walks today, the second one a long one that started out sunny and warm, but by the time we got home I was chilled and windblown so I "built" a fire! :-) I'm glad you enjoyed the tour and appreciate your patience. I can't believe how long it took me to get it put together. As Barbara in the UK would say, "I'm rubbish!"

    Speaking of whom... so CG has a chicken lamp almost exactly like mine, does she? Cool! Does she remember where she got hers? Maybe we can round one up for Barbara so she can stop frothing at the mouth, poor thing! :-)

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  7. Such a charming cottage, filled with the eclectic mixture of things which say HOME. And so much nicer and more welcoming than any designer place. Are you sure that Willow and Josie are not looking intently down the street to make sure that the visitors have gone, and that they finally get you to themselves?

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  8. Oh Laurie,

    What a lovely home! It's perfectly charming, and I want to move in. The Mad Tea Party is wonderful. You know that's my fav book of all time too! I love the idea of the kite in the window, I'm sure it's really pretty with the light coming through, but my favorite nook is the window sill with the vases and jars--soo pretty!

    Your kitchen is gorgeous, and it's safe to say that I'm duly jealous! Thanks for showing us your home. I love to see where other people live, and yes, the kitchen is the part I'm always most curious about. Yours does not disappoint!

    Oh, and I love the lighted grape vines too!

    Happy Weekend Laurie!

    PS, I do see the Foxy Love! :D

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  9. I forgot the kite at the window! It's gorgeous - David promised to buy me a kite years ago and never got around to it - and he's really rubbish :O) TWO people who have chicken lamps... I think the foam is coming from my nose as well now. I am going to google it and see where these beasties come from!

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  10. What a nice cottage! Thanks for sharing!

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  11. Ellie C ~ Thank you very much! I do have an eclectic collection (and taste). I inherited (or learned) my taste from my mother and maternal greandmother, whose homes were eclectic and cozy and nearly everything they had came with a story. :-) I once had a friend whose home was very lovely and inviting. She was more of a purist, her decor being almost exclusively Shaker style and American folk art. After visiting my jumble of Colonial, Victorian, folk art, art deco, homespun, unclassifiable, and even a touch of Asian here and there, she said she didn't understand how such different elements could work so well together. I hadn't thought about it before, but I decided that if you only have what you really love and what speaks to you, it'll probably all go together just fine. :-)

    Knowing Willow and Josie, they were probably hoping our guests were merely leaving to go pick up some goodies at "Dog Treats R Us" and will be returning promptly! ;-)

    Rose ~ Many thanks, dear Rose, and if you don't mind sleeping on the sofa, you're welcome to move in any time. You can even take over the kitchen. :-) I knew you especially would love that tea party scene! And I'm glad you love the window sill with my glass treasures. All of them were gifts, and all but one (the cranberry jar in the middle) are antiques, most of them belonging to my grandmother and great-grandmother. So they're very special, and it's wonderful to have such a perfect (and safe!) spot to display them. It's the only deep windowsill in the house (I love deep windowsills!), so I'm glad it's both up high and facing east!

    I'm exactly the same, a total voyeur when it comes to seeing people's houses. I often get great ideas and inspiration. And what is it about kitchens that draws us in? Well, it's understandable in your case, you are a true and accomplished artist in the kitchen! :-)

    I'm happy to hear that my grapevine lights are a hit, because I really enjoy them. These are the ones I got, in case anyone else might be interested (Amazon has several others, too). I first saw some like them (only they were glass and way more expensive) in a beautiful florist shop in Fort Collins, and knew my Tuscan kitchen neeeeeeded some! LOL

    I LOVE having Foxy Love here beside my computer where I can enjoy it so often! (In fact, it just occurred to me to put that link in the post, that print and her other pieces are so darned cute!) It always makes me think of you, and I thank you again for the gift of it!

    Happy weekend to you too, Rose! :-) xoxo

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  12. Barbara ~ Thanks, I love my butterfly kite and really enjoy flying it! David truly iS rubbish, and he MUST get you a kite, especially since he promised! I wish you could visit Into the Wind in Boulder, you'd have a blast. Do you have such kite stores in the UK?

    Uh-oh, I hope a third person doesn't report having that chicken lamp, or your ears and eyeballs are in jeopardy! I wish you success in your Googling endeavor since the only sources I managed to find are "out of stock" (permanently in one case, it seems). Bummer!

    Tami ~ Thank you! I'm glad you visited! :-)

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  13. What a great idea with your kite. Your place has such charm -- I could move easily into a place such as yours -- barbara

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  14. Well...we got our chicken at a now closed (like everything else in the area!) little antique shop in the village of Bellville. The former shop is now an insurance office or something. CG's chick is put up somewhere at the moment, but we sometimes put it out on the back porch in the Summer. NOW she'll want me to get it out and find a nice place for it in the house. Thanks a lot!...lol...;-).

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  15. Barbara (KY) ~ Thanks, we really enjoy the kite there, and you can see it through the transom window from the walking path on a sunny day - I often wonder if anyone using the walking path notices, and if they realize it's a kite they're seeing! :-)

    I'm glad our home makes you feel that comfy. I figured you'd especially enjoy the handmade/folk art pieces, like the Tea Party and the little chicken doing the job that was supposed to be assigned to the grape lights! :-)

    Spud ~ Oh ugh, hate to hear of a little antique shop closing its doors (and being replaced by an insurance office, no less! Salt in the wound!) CG darn well SHOULD demand her beautiful chicken light be displayed in a place of honor and enjoyed the year 'round! (Barbara in the UK is going to blow an artery if she reads that CG's got one, but it's packed away!)

    Oh, and you're welcome. :-)

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  16. Dragonfly is charmingly outfitted, as I knew it would be. And so neat! Your desk makes me feel so disorganized — mine's a disaster. I do hope all the inconveniences are working themselves out, and you can enjoy living in your beautiful cottage.

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  17. Yay!!! I am so excited to finally get to see the whole place. You've done a great job decorating and buying furniture that fits the place because it looks bigger than it actually is.

    I'd love to hang out in your dining area and kitchen. Those were my favorite rooms. The kitchen is so pretty with those warm cabinets, wood floor and granite countertop - I love it!

    I really like your new desk and bookcase, what pretty wood. Is it the wood or the way that they did the staining that causes it to look darke on the edges? I love that!

    What a fun story about the mirror. I did the same thing once over a framed photo I saw in Shipshewana. I didn't buy it and kicked myself for months. I went back a whole year later and they still had them and you can bet I jumped on that. I think you were smart to have it shipped and not wait a year!

    I can't wait to see your new miniature. I'm so glad you got to take another one home. They are so special, I'm glad you'll have a few of them. I'm sure I'll forget by October so I hope you don't!

    I don't remember ever seeing the tea party. I know I'm not observant but it's so sweet, you'd think I would. So I'm glad you featured it here. That was a nice story to with it too and I love how you have the book right next to it.

    I would have never thought of using a kite for a window treatment. I think it's clever and it works! It adds color and interest to the room.

    It was a lovely tour. Thanks for inviting me in over lunch!!

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  18. Andrea ~ It is (for the most part), and it definitely has a "flash" kitchen. We try to keep the whole place neat all the time, it being too small to get away with clutter. But the kitchen and pub table take the most diligence - those surfaces can fill up in a hurry with the flotsam and jetsam of life in the house's busiest room. :-) As for my desk, believe me - it bore no resemblance to that tidily organized alien creature in the photo till I cleaned it all up for the photo! Though I must say, I was so pleased with its new, clutter-free look that I have managed to keep it looking that way ever since. (Please ignore the clipboard full of paperwork that is now leaned against the nearby wall. LOL)

    I fear the inconveniences have only escalated and our enjoyment of living here is soon coming to an end. I'll fill you in on the latest via email soon. But I thank you for those good wishes!

    Jo ~ Thank you, Jo! The kitchen is pretty (though the living room is my favorite room in the house), but for some reason I never have gotten very comfortable using it. I miss my long, uninterrupted span of counter that this one lacks, and have never adjusted to all the space this one has. It's a long way from the sink to the ovens! It would be a perfect kitchen for an island, except that you have to pass through the kitchen to get to the rest of the house, so it would impede traffic. That's why the roly-poly under-the-counter island is so clever. It's just not very big. Anyway, BW took to this kitchen's ergonomics better than I have, so he gets to do most of the cooking. :-)

    The mango wood furniture is made to look antique, so it's slightly distressed and a bit rustic. I don't know if they stained it to add to that look or if that's just how the wood accepts stain, but we love the look of it. It's a rich, warm color. I'm glad you like them!

    Hey, wasn't I with you in Shipshewana when you found that picture and bought it? Because that feels very familiar! Maybe I was with you when you talked yourself out of buying it, but I know I was with you on one leg of that experience. :-) Was it a picture of an Amish girl?

    I won't forget to post the Halloween school room in October, I promise! :-) It's one of Mom's mini rooms I doubt you've ever seen before. She's wanting me to take what we call "The Bicentennial Room," too, but I just don't have room for it in this cottage. Maybe in the next place! That would make a fun 4th of July post! I also have scanned some photos of Mom's general store (which she GAVE AWAY!), and hope to post those some day too. I just wish I could have gotten in there with my digital camera and gotten some photos before it was sent on its merry way, because the prints Mom had were older and grainy. As for the Tea Party, I had that on the bookcases in the den of the old place, so it was pretty easy to miss. And when it comes to using the kite as a window treatment, Necessity was definitely the Mother of Invention! I just had no clue where or how to store that kite, and knew how pretty it looks with the sunlight coming through it! I agree that it adds color and interest to the room. I will have to do that with it again in our next place, even if there's room to store it. :-)

    Thank you for your fun comment, and for spending your lunch hour in Dragonfly Cottage ~ at least virtually! :-)

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  19. I don't want to spend all my lunch on replies to replies but I HAD to go and see your replies because they are always so fun. I'm so glad BW was there when you read the prodigal goat reply!

    On this one I wanted to say that you were with me when I bought the Amish girl print but it was the print I keep in the laundry room that this was about. It's a little boy sitting between two little girls and the look on one of the little girl's faces is so humerous, I still enjoy it when I see it all these years later. My friend Sharon was was with me both times and the reason I remember this is that on trip #2, I told her I wanted to go back to this one store where we had seen the print. Not only did she remember which of the 50+ stores in Shipshewana we had seen it, but she remembered which wall it was on. As you know this is a skill I lack COMPLETELY so it really amazed me and that's why I still remember. If not for Sharon's amazing memory, I would not own this print!!

    And given your good memory, I'm thinking it's a Capricorn thing. Her birthday is on Jan 2. Either that or it's my self-preservation instinct that makes me find friends with good memories to balance my poor one!

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  20. I like your kite in the window idea. And I LOVE that mango wood.
    As for stainless steel appliances they are a bitch to keep clean. I much prefer the white or, even better, coloured porcelain enamel. I read a report on the comparisons and enamel won hands down for durability, is more heat resistant and is easier to clean, harder to scratch. Of course people still shudder when they think of those 70s harvest gold and avocado stoves and fridges.

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  21. Jo ~ Thanks for taking the time to answer my question! Sharon's memory is astounding. That picture must have made quite an impression on her, too, for her to remember its location in such detail! Obviously, the closer to New Year's Day a Capricorn is born, the longer their memory lasts, since mine is only about half as good as Sharon's. :-)

    Lesley ~ Thanks! And right on, sister, about stainless steel appliances. Not only are they bitchly to clean, they show EVERYTHING. Very interesting what you wrote about the report on porcelain enamel. We wonder when this odd obsession with s/s appliances will end because people finally decide the toil isn't worth it, and what the next craze might be. I've often puzzled over the lack of colored appliances anymore. Why just black or white? You'd think the only other colors their surfaces can accept are avocado green and harvest gold! (And what was that hideous 70's brown color called - bronze?) When we went to England for the first time, we became smitten with our friends' Aga, and all the colors the Aga ranges and cookers came in, and decided something like that may be the next trend. And then I saw a range on an HGTV show that was cobalt blue, but they said the colored panel can be swapped out with a different color. Perfect. They didn't mention the brand, but I went looking online and found this, which is what I'd love to have in a kitchen someday! So many colors! I especially like the Taupe. Neutral enough it wouldn't grow tiresome, but still quite snazzy and classy.

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  22. my other comment got lost - probably with the word verification thingy....
    anyway, have you seen the Smeg fridges?
    http://www.smeguk.com/Catalogue/Fridges.aspx

    i so want one...or two...

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  23. Lesley ~ No, I'd never heard of Smeg (a rather unfortunate brand name, if you ask me! lol) fridges, but the link you provided had me doing some searches on my own for more photos till I hit the jackpot! If I were wanting a fun retro 1950s kitchen, I'd definitely want one of these... or, some of these!! We saw one of these stoves (in pink) on a kitchen remodel on HGTV and thought it was so cool, and when you shared the Smeg fridges I wanted to tell you about them. But I didn't know the brand name - all I knew is that they are made in Colorado. I finally found the company late last night, which is why it's taken me this long to reply to you! Anyway, scary prices, but such fun colors! Some of those Smeg fridge colors make them look like lipstick tubes. LOL!

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SOME CURRENT & RECENT READING...

SOME CURRENT & RECENT READING...

  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman
There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"