Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Christmas Tour



I wouldn't blame you if you were tired of seeing Christmas splashed all over blogs. We've been enjoying the decorations for weeks now.  I have to say though, this isn't your normal tour. I'm not a decorating blog, I don't claim any amazing design skills or fancy pants ideas to make you run right out and copy, not that there is time for that now.  Most of you have been visiting for years. We are old friends. Do you know I've been writing this blog coming up on 10 years?

Yes, I think you know what to expect by now. This is just real life.  Well, cleaned up real life with all the junk stashed in the room you won't see, just like it would be if you came for coffee. ;)

So grab a cup and take the tour. we'll visit like the old friends we are. And if we are new friends, welcome!  I don't put on any airs, grab a mug and lets take a look at Christmas here in the cottage.
 We can start in the kitchen. I made some gingerbread boys this afternoon. I wish you could smell the gingerbread baking. truth be told, I baked them for the smell as much as the taste. It smells like Christmas :)
 I found the cutest little cheap tree at Walmart this year. $18 and it fits in the corner of the kitchen just perfectly.  I also found the most awesome rice lights to go on it. There is no plug over there so I needed some battery operated lights. I found these on amazon and they come with a remote so I don't have to fiddle around digging for the on and off switch.  I used them on the birch star Earl made me last year too. I love that thing.  You'll see a lot of stars in the house as we go through. See the cookies cooling on the stove?

 Over by the fridge I just added some bright red accents to the shelves full of Jadeite.  I lit the shelves with some more rice lights to brighten the dark corner and add a little sparkle.
 If you turn around and look from the kitchen you'll see the dining room.  I love my flocked tree in the corner. Earl has it covered in the bird ornaments he has collected for years.  Since we spend so much time in the kitchen and dining room I like to have a tree out here where we can see it.
 My eldest daughter gave me the table runner as an early Christmas gift. I had these lighted galvanized stars from last year and thought they would look cute woven into the greenery.
 The living room is next. I had a stash of plaid flannel so I whipped up some pillow covers for winter. They are so soft and bright and cozy.
 Across the room is the table top tree we cut last Saturday.  We had the best time! It was a crisp winter morning but not so cold that we were uncomfortable. We rode the wagon into the field and found our tree.  Then we stopped at a beautiful inn built in 1850 for lunch.  It was a perfect day, and we decided it would be our new Christmas tradition.  That large bookshelf on the left will be leaving soon. We are joining the 21st century and replacing our old tv with a flat screen.  We are going to need that wall!
 Come into the bedroom.  I dug an old quilt, that my great grandmother made, out of storage and used it on the bed.  It's pretty fragile, some might consider it a cutter, but I plan to mend it where I can and use it gently.  The tartan pillow came from a craft store, but my favorite part of the Christmas d├ęcor in here are these...
I hung these paper stars over the bed, illuminated with 3 watt nightlight bulbs they glow so beautifully at night!
Ahhhh, I will be leaving these up for a couple months just because I love the light. And that's the tour! Stars and lights and trees, and cozy plaid flannel. Here in Michigan it's a VERY white Christmas so far and until January 2 I'm loving it. After that I want to spend the rest of the winter somewhere tropical.  I hope you enjoyed the visit and I hope you are tucked snug in your homes surrounded by Christmas lights and things that make you smile.  If I don't see you before Sunday,
Printable Christmas Greeting Card - Watercolor Wreath





Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Tree

Well not THE tree, The live tree is still loitering on the back porch waiting to be trimmed and popped in a stand.  I like to have a tree in the dining room though and I needed a new one.  The last tree I used in here was a curbside rescue about 20 years ago and finally discarded last year.  It was no prize when I snagged it but you know with lights and ornaments it's harder to see the imperfections.
Enter this 6 foot flocked tree. $30 from Walmart, I think I got the last one in the store.  It looks pretty darn good for a $30 fake, certainly better than the dusty, crusty I discarded last year.  I raced home and couldn't wait to put it up. I'm in full on decorating mode now. I can't be stopped. So I pulled it out and started fluffing and forgot I was wearing a black sweater.  I looked down and I was flocked.  The tree and I? We match.  I expected a little shedding when I set it up, aside from the pile I'm wearing and the pile on the floor, the tree still has plenty so I'm happy. I got the lights on and now I'm forcing myself to change my sweater and get busy on dinner before I do any more.   I'm also loving my table runner and that silver mercury glass lighted tree. I got the last one of those too, at Homegoods. If you live in my neck of the woods you're out of luck. Sorry. Both were purchased with a gift card from my eldest daughter. She knows what mama likes :)  I'm off to get dinner started, then more decorating!  And I know, two posts within two days? Whaaaaat?  I'm on a roll.



Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A little Christmas Decorating

Finally, a moment to visit! I have been crazy busy, (emphasis on crazy) since mid-November.  We spent most of the week of Thanksgiving with our kids in Pennsylvania. What a wonderful time having all of us together for the holiday!  That doesn't happen much any more so I treasure it when it does.

The following week our youngest daughter came home on Saturday for a daddy & daughter baking day. I love that they share those special times with their father. I get to hang out and chat and then we get to sample the results! What could be better?  On this day they tried a recipe from a new magazine.  It's a vegan chocolate tart with salted oat crust.  Rich, decadent and so yummy!  We aren't vegan, but we don't turn up our nose at recipes like that! I would make it again, but tiny pieces are all it takes to satisfy any one's sweet tooth. You can find the recipe here.
 As soon as we came home from Thanksgiving I hit the ground running for our church's annual women's ministries Christmas dinner.  Over 100 ladies attended and I cooked the main course because, A. I am cheap and I KNEW I could make it for less than catering prices, and B. That little voice that is supposed to be inside your head asking, "do you think that is really a good idea?" was napping.  It all came out fine but it seriously took up my whole week and when all was said and done the house looked like it had been hit by a tornado. 

All that to say, I am just now getting things in order, catching up on the mountain of laundry and starting to decorate for Christmas.  Yesterday I saw on someones blog that there are two more Monday's before Christmas and I almost fainted.  Why does this season go so lightning fast?! 
 So I started bringing up decorations one armload at a time from the basement. I'm not bringing everything up at once, the mess overwhelms me.  I would rather make numerous trips for some reason than look at it all at once.  I have tucked a few Christmas touches in among the Jadeite on the kitchen shelves.  I also discovered rice lights this year and I can't get enough.  Battery operated, I even found some that are remote controlled so I don't have to fumble for the little control boxes tucked out of sight. LOVE!  They add a little sparkle to so many places, and no cords to deal with. Winning!
 I also hung some big lighted stars in the bedroom, they are lit by very low watt night light bulbs so they just have a soft, romantic glow.  They look so pretty even on an overcast day. Excuse the bad photo, it was taken with my phone, which does not have the best camera.
 To the left of the bed is a floor to ceiling shelf. At one time I had all my sewing fabrics and accoutrements in these shelves. Since the girls got married and moved out, and I have a craft room, I finally got the sewing stuff out of here and it is just our bedroom. Yay!  I still needed to store some trims and various things, and I solved that problem with covered baskets in various shapes and sizes from Salvation Army.  I love the look, and everything is contained.
 I tucked a few little domed Christmas houses on the shelves along with some flocked branches. I love how they look with the texture of the baskets.
This cute little dome came from Home Goods, and I couldn't resist it because of the oval shape and rustic wood base.   I'll be sharing more  about these shelves soon.

Have you finished your decorating or are you just getting started?  Remember, only two more Monday's before Christmas! (Gahhh!!!)

P.S. I know its a little late, but if you are looking for some cute advent printables or boxes for tiny gifts, check out my Santa Box pattern found here .  They are loads of fun and easy to make :)
http://kathyscottage.blogspot.com/2011/12/merry-christmas-from-kathys-cottage.html

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Homekeeping 101 - The Pantry

I'm going to start this post with some lovely photos of Autumnal beauty. The golden maple outside our front porch as I mowed the lawn for the last time this year on a sunny 73 degree day...
 These darling sunflowers my sweetheart had waiting for me after a weekend trip away to visit my precious daughter, Lauren, in Pennsylvania...Love!  Ok, now for the not beautiful part.  You may have noticed the name of this post. Homekeeping 101 - The Pantry.  It turns out that my daughter has some friends who would like me to do some posts on some of the things I have learned over the years on that subject.  I'm sure we can all look back and come to the conclusion that we have learned a LOT since those first few years of marriage and learning to manage our own homes! So, I promised to do a series on some of those things. Meal planning, keeping a pantry, easy meals with basic ingredients.  The next photo is not so pinterest worthy as the first two, unless it's as an example of a "before" remodeling project. I can't believe I'm putting it up here but for all it's ugliness, it is one of the hardest working areas in our home and you've been my friends a loooong time:)
 I present to you the dungeon,, er, basement pantry.  Yeah, it's in an unfinished basement circa 1945.  In the 35 years we have lived here it has had a few minor water issues so it is just not feasible to finish it.  Earl built these shelves years and years ago and as much as I hate how they look, I love how they work!
Excuse the board leaning against the wall in this photo. It was left there by the chief woodworker and head of building projects in this house. Aka, Earl.
This pantry saves us loads of money in so many ways.

First, when we see an item that we use regularly on a deep discount we can stock up.  We do rotate and put newer items to the back to keep things fresh. Let me tell you, this is like having a mini grocery store in our basement. 

Secondly, when I'm in the middle of baking and run out of flour, sugar, commonly used spices or extracts, I don't have to go to the store, I go to the basement.  This is especially nice in the winter.  It not only saves gas, but it keeps you from going into a store and picking up all those things that catch your eye that weren't really on your list.

Third, when everyone else is standing in line buying emergency supplies for that big Michigan winter storm, I'm snug on the sofa with a hot cuppa, reading a book.  I know I'm stocked with essentials.

I think the best things to stock in your pantry are  the basics of every day cooking. I know I've seen lists in magazines that made me scratch my head in wonder for all the strange oils, condiments and ingredients that I have never in my life used. Start with what you use most!  Canned broths, tomato products, (crushed, sauce, paste), pasta sauce and pasta, beans, and home canned fruits, vegetables and jams, basic oils like sunflower and vegetable oil, ketchup, mustard and mayo, baking essentials like flour, sugar (white and brown) salt, soda, baking powder, cocoa , and your most used spices. Don't forget vanilla, wines and liqueurs for flavoring your cooking. We don't drink, but we cook with wine, and the liqueurs are often used in holiday baking as a flavoring.

We have a shelf for paper plates, cups and plastic utensils, a shelf for foil, saran wrap and sandwich and freezer bags. 

If you are just starting a pantry don't expect to fill it all at once.  Pick up a few items every time you shop. Yes, at first it may stretch your budget, but as you build up a good selection of regularly used items you will find that you have the freedom to buy when they are on sale rather than when you need them immediately.  You will also find that, if you have it stocked properly, you can throw together soups, chili, and a lot of other easy and low cost meals just by shopping the pantry. 

Earl and I often bake and cook for large groups of people.  We shop the after Christmas sales for really great prices on chocolate chips (I have gotten name brand for 69 cents a bag!), nuts, dried cherries and craisins, and other dried fruits.  We use these throughout the year to add flavor and a little something extra to our baking.  Keep an eye open for great baking deals as the Christmas baking season approaches, but most of the above items show up in deep discounts in January when the stores need to get rid of the leftovers.  Be prepared to buy in bulk. When you get nestle chocolate chips at 75% off you can stock up for the year! They keep just fine.

I know a lot of my readers don't need this advice, but I bet you have some great advice to give! Do you keep a pantry? What do you keep in it?  Lets leave some great homekeeping tips for the next generation!













Wednesday, October 26, 2016

This and That

October is drawing to a close. The trees are finally reaching their peak color around here and it is so beautiful.  I wish the lovely days of  Autumn lasted longer because it was 34 degrees when I woke up this morning and the high is only supposed to reach into the low 40's. It's been blustery and grey for days and I have to say, in spite of the mums and trees and pumpkin fun, I have to admit fall is not my favorite season. Don't get me wrong, I love aspects of it all to pieces, but I need sunshine, a growing garden and the promise of fireflies and crickets. Mostly I need sunshine and the shorter days do not thrill me.  Winter in Michigan can be brutal. Time to hunker down and count the days until the winter solstice when the days get longer.
 In the meantime, I will be busying myself with baking, and decorating.  I plan to have a pie baking party sometime in November to show some friends the finer points of pie crust.  It isn't hard once you understand the process. My mother hated to cook and bake, so she always asked me to do pie crusts. I watched my little grandmother on the farm as she baked pies and everything else.  That dear woman still ranks as one of the best cooks and bakers I ever met. At 7 years old I became the maker of crusts. I was too young to know it was supposed to be difficult so I wasn't intimidated.  Teach your kids to cook and bake early so they have the confidence of youth!  I used leaf shaped cookie cutters that I got on clearance from William Sonoma a few years ago to make the top crusts on these fresh peach pies, but I just saw a similar set at Michaels for a good price.  If you use a coupon it would be a great price!
 My main decorating project will be this, the back entryway.  It is tiny. Super tiny even.  Really just enough room for the door to swing open but it is right off the kitchen and it's the door we use most often.  I looked back at old posts and this photo is from 2007, (my first year of blogging!) and I said the wallpaper was put up a couple years before that.  So 2005? Ready for a change? Yes!  The green trim will be painted a bright white and the wallpaper will be replaced with....
This. An anaglypta, or raised design that can be painted. It will give some texture and pretty pattern to the entry but I will be able to update the color easily without stripping the paper, as an added bonus it is fairly inexpensive.  I haven't decided whether to keep the blackboard paint or beadboard over it or maybe just use the wallpaper there too. I know I have seen lots of opinions that blackboard paint is still going strong, I think I might just be ready for a change.  What do you think?  Is blackboard a trend that has seen better days?
So here is my next question, when do you switch out the fall decorating for Christmas?  November 1 or after Thanksgiving? I already feel the siren call of Christmas. Maybe just a little here and there in November?

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

October

The year is flying past! I don't do as much seasonal decorating as I used to, but I like to decorate the front porch and a few areas inside.  I wanted to keep the beautiful red geranium and bacopa baskets my daughter, Victoria, made for me for Mother's day. They have weathered this hot dry summer so beautifully!  
 Adding some orange accents did the trick. True to form I have a hard time passing up the seasonal flowers at the farmer's market, so the orange mums came home to join everything else on the porch. The pumpkin came from Kroger and I added a pumpkin accent pillow to the front porch chair.  The birch branches were cut and brought home by Earl last year after he visited the family cabin up north for the annual family hunting party.  The branches stay tucked into an old copper pot season to season and I decorate around them.
 The basket on my front door gets a few fresh seasonal flowers, leaves and a little pumpkin pick.  It is so easy to change out and I always love the new look.
Inside, I gathered the pumpkins that grow year to year on our compost heap and piled them into a dough bowl that my sweetheart carved.  That man is so talented! I tucked in some sweet autumn clematis, lemon verbena and rosemary from the herb garden along with some teeny battery operated fairy lights on copper wire.  The greens were tucked into some floral water tubes. You know those little green tubes the florist uses to keep flowers fresh until you can get them into water? I had a small collection and they really helped keep the herbs fresh longer. The pumpkins and greens helped hide them.

And that is about the extent of the decorating around here.  I'm mostly drinking coffee, working on etsy orders and working up the gumption to strip wallpaper off the tiny back entry so I can redecorate. I also want to cover the old living room love seat, make new throw pillows, finish the quilt I'm working on for my son in law, finish the quilt I started for a sweet little great niece, finish planning the annual women's ministry Christmas dinner for our church,,, hmmm, I think I see why I'm not getting everything done.
But it all will, so time to put down the coffee, er maybe I'll take it with me, and get crackin'.
Wish me luck and lots of energy! ;)



Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Autumn in England

It's no secret, visiting England and the British Isles has always been a dream of mine.  I'm not going, but I know someone who is.  I am torn between being incredibly happy for her and wanting to pout in a corner because I'm not going.  Happiness will win out... eventually.

In the mean time, I thought it would be fun to make a list of things that I just adore that might make fabulous souvenirs. You know, Christmas is right around the corner, (and that is the last time I'll be mentioning THAT for a few months!) and vacationing in the land of my dreams makes a great opportunity to get those things that are a little harder to come by on this side of the pond.

There are several European designers that I have always admired.  I came upon some of Emma Bridgewater's beautiful ceramics years and years ago. I love them to pieces. Granted you can get a few pieces on Amazon, but the selection is very limited.  If you have been reading this blog for very long, you also know I have a dish addiction.  There are so many beautiful patterns and designs available, my only problem is storage, but I have a basement with shelves and I am not afraid to fill it. Give me all the crockery please!

This is one of her oldest lines and I loved it the moment I saw it so many years ago.
 The blue and white is gorgeous, and that Daddy mug, so sweet!
 Earl and I seriously love watching the birds at our feeder. We have one that hangs outside our living room window and the sound of their songs and chirps as they eat is so sweet and relaxing.  So it's no surprise that I love these bird mugs.
 But then again, I love my chickens too. Morning coffee in these? Yes!
 Would this fit in a carry on? *sigh*
I know some of these are no doubt discontinued, but I KNOW this traveler knows what I love :)

What is your dream destination? Have you been there?


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Summers End

Well as much as I want to hang on to summer just a little longer I see the end clearly. The sunshine is a little more golden, the days a little shorter and I've seen my first wash of red in the trees.  I think I'm ready to give in to the changes I see around me. It's not that I don't love Autumn, I just don't love what comes after Autumn, but if you've been around for any amount of time you know that about me.
I'm deep in the work of summers end. I have a table full of ripe peaches that will be frozen and made into jam and I see a few pies in my very near future.

I have already made a batch of peach jam and it is good! Nothing can beat the fruit from the orchard, it ripens properly instead of going from hard to mush like the grocery store varieties.  With the golden light of early Autumn spilling in my kitchen windows it's no work at all to turn ripe fruit into something amazing.  I always say, if you don't like cooking and baking you aren't making the right recipes!

Using leaf cookie cutters for the top crust is even easier than lattice and it just feels like fall
Earl and I grabbed a quick weekend away the weekend before last. We found a b&b right on the Au Sable River. It turned out the forecast wasn't conducive to canoeing so we headed to Traverse City to look around.  We hid out in antique stores while it rained and looked around at a huge old asylum that has been turned into retail stores and condos. Such a great use for amazing Victorian architecture.  We found some cozy, fun little places for lunch and dinner and then headed back to the b&b to enjoy some coffee on the big porch while we watched the rain.
And then we got up early the next morning and spent more time on the porch. Feet up, hot coffee chasing the chill, and watched the rain come down and the river flow by.  So amazingly relaxing! I now need a very large porch added to our house. Some day....
The garden is mostly ready to pick.  The first tomato was eaten the day it was ripe by some garden bandit with 4 legs, but we have high hopes of getting the next one, We have harvested the onions, and most of the green beans, (we didn't plant enough!), and are working our way through the beets. I like to roast them in the oven, peel them and make fresh Greek salads for dinner.  Thank goodness most of the flowers are hanging on as we slowly harvest everything else.  It's too late to plant anything else and empty spots in the raised beds would be so sad. This is our first year growing brussels sprouts and I just can't wait to see how they turn out. I can see the little buds forming but they don't seem nearly big enough for this far along in the season. Fingers crossed that they amount to anything!

That's about the extent of the excitement around here. It must be nearly fall because I feel my focus shifting from the garden to the house.  I'm looking around and planning some freshening up in the kitchen, back entry and master bedroom. Now all I need is the gumption to get going :)  How about you, any big fall decorating / nesting plans?




Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Brown Butter Peach Tart

This is a quick post.  A public service announcement if you will.  Last night Earl made a Brown Butter Peach Tart for me to share with a friend over coffee this morning. I know, he's a keeper!  Anyways, this is the butteriest, most wonderful recipe ever. I mean ever!  It's a Pinterest keeper and I found the recipe here. With fresh peaches just coming into season you are going to want to make this.  It's really easy and really, really good.  You all know the easy way to peel peaches is to dunk them in boiling water for 30-40 seconds and then into ice water right?  Good.  Let me know if you make this, what you think.  You're welcome. Carry on.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Making Summer Last

I don't know about you, but this summer has flown by at record speed for me.  I can't even say I have done anything fascinating or been particularly busy.  I am starting to see so many who are over this hot summer and longing for fall, but as much as I love Autumn I hang on to the longer days of summer and the warmth with a tight grip.  We are making plans for a few weekends away and I shake my head as I realize I'm already filling my October calendar!

One way to make summer last is to make sure we don't miss out on any of those sights and sounds and beautiful things that only summer brings.  Like hitting the farmers market and taking in all those beautiful flowers.
Our youngest daughter went with us this weekend and I came away with this beautiful bouquet of flowers that she bought me.  $6 gets you some amazing deals at the farmers market, what do you think you would pay for these from a florist?  $50-$75?

After the farmer's market, we headed to a local orchard hoping to find some fresh peaches.  It's peach season and the ones I get from the grocery store never seem to ripen as well as they should. They go straight from green to mush.  We came away with this.
I'll be turning these into peach jam and peach pie this week!

How are you spending the last days of summer?

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Story of My Life, Part 5

That kiss just melted me.

 After that date we were inseparable.  As I got to know him, his faith became more and more evident and it was clear that I had found someone who loved God as much as I do. He turned out to be one of the kindest and most unselfish men I have ever met, always putting others before himself.  He surprised me time after time with romantic gestures like the time we went for pizza and he pulled me onto the floor to dance to a funny song on the jukebox, or the time he ran toward me on the campus lawn, dipped me in the moonlight and started singing "Temptation" to me.  He had a campus security job and I would join him on his night time rounds as we explored all the little hidden back rooms and secret places on campus. we laugh together every day.

He proposed on our second date and I said, "whoa! lets take this a little slower."   He was sure way before I was!  For the next few months he would ask me to marry him every few weeks, sometimes I would say yes and then back out the next day, sometimes I would ask for more time to think. It all seemed to be moving so fast!
I know, scandalous isn't it!?  Keep in mind, a friend took this picture, the door was open and we were chaperoned as the school's rules demanded.
He continued to ask me to marry him every few weeks, and I continued to stall, until one evening in May when I said yes once and for all.  We were married in August the following year at my little country church that sat by a river.  I wore a wedding dress made by my Aunt and the reception was a simple cake and punch affair.  That was a fairly typical country wedding back then. I have often wished I could do the wedding over, I know a lot more about weddings now! But I wouldn't trade the groom for all the gold in Fort Knox.

I can only assume God was in heaven looking down, laughing and shaking his head and saying, "I love that girl but she's a little slow."  He put the perfect boy in front of me, repeatedly, and it took forever to break down my resistance.  At some point, after we started to date, that list fell out of my bible and I realized Earl was every single thing on my list with a few extra happy things thrown in.  I have never regretted loving him for one moment and have thanked God over and over again for bringing us together.  Earl has a great capacity for love and I love him back with all my heart. The story of "my" life became the story of "our" life, including two beautiful daughters who adore their dad just as much as I do.  He has made my life heaven on earth and I can only thank God that Earl never gave up on me.

Writing this has brought back so many happy memories.  I hope you enjoyed our story as much as I enjoyed writing it. I would happily recommend taking a trip of your own down memory lane.  If you have a beautiful story don't hesitate to document it, even if no one sees it but you and your spouse!  It is so good to remember all the little ways your story is special and beautiful.
Because I know you want to see the dress :)





Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Story of My Life, Part 4

So there I was feeling a little confused.  I actually liked the kiss, but I'm a girl who sticks to her guns. I wasn't going out with him and that was final!
Here I am in that same crazy gingham tube top again,  I think most of these photos were taken on the same day. Probably using up the rest of a roll of film. Thank heaven we now have digital cameras!

Fast forward to February and my old Chevy Nova needed an oil change.  I happened to say something about it to some friends and the next thing I know Earl is volunteering to change my oil for me.  For pity's sake the man would just not give up!  Of course, my thought was if he wanted to crawl under the car in the snow and change the oil he was welcome to do it.  And he did!  That dark haired, blue eyed boy changed the oil in biting cold and snow. In fact, he forgot to put the oil plug back in after draining the oil and had to run to the store for more oil and crawl under the car a second time!

 I can't believe I didn't anticipate what came next. I should have seen it coming a mile away.  Nothing had deterred Earl from asking me out over and over again for 6 months.  What made me think he wasn't going to do that again? I don't know. You would think he would be so over me by now, but of course he does something sweet like working on my car in the freezing cold and then shows up at my door again with a smile and the offer of dinner.

Now while I may sound like a cold and heartless girl so far in this story, (and later in this story!) I really am not.  I felt a twinge of guilt for allowing him to change the oil in those conditions and I just couldn't bring myself to say no this time.  I thought I would give him one date and be done with it. We would be even and that would be that.

Later that week he picked me up at the door of the dorm, I wore a black satin shirt that I had borrowed from a friend and jeans. I had actually gone to the trouble to wear make up and fix my hair, Why? Well the poor guy had worked so hard to get a date I thought I owed it to him to look my best right?  He took me to a nice steak house in town and we sat over dinner for a very long time discussing where we saw our lives going, what we wanted out of life, what kind of house we each liked best, and so many other things.  It turned out we really liked a lot of the same things.

We eventually headed back to the college, he parked the car and we talked for a little while, and then he leaned over and kissed me good night.

And just like that, things changed.

To be continued....  The Story of My Life, the end...and the beginning.