Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Wednesday Gratitude #10 at Heart and Home: "Reading"


"Feeling grateful or appreciative of someone or something in your life actually attracts more of the things that you appreciate and value into your life." -Christiane Northrup

Hi everyone! Thanks for stopping by today. If you're new here, or just visiting from the Katillac Shack, welcome!  (I'm a proud new "shackster.") I hope you'll stay awhile and have a look around. Remember to leave me a comment when you're done!

Every Wednesday I host Wednesday Gratitude, which gives me an opportunity to slow down and appreciate my many blessings. I get the chance to focus on something that is really special to me, and to see what you love and value in your lives, too. It's the time to post about anything that makes you happy and makes your heart sing! MckLinky with thumbnail photos will be up by 6:00 pm Tuesday PST. Make sure to link to your Gratitude post, and link back to Heart and Home in your post! Thanks!

I love books, and I love to read. I'm always grateful for the time of day when things finally settle down and I have a few minutes to curl up in my favorite chair with a cup of jasmine green tea, and read one of my favorite home design books, or a new magazine that's just arrived in the mail.  I have stacks of books all over the house, and I love my old, musty ones the most! (For more of those go here.) I love to spend time at the book store downtown, lazily browsing from shelf to shelf, picking up any book that interests me and making a mental list of the ones I'd like to bring home with me someday.  During the summer break my girls and I head to the library every week or two and come home with our arms loaded full of books. We spend long, quiet summer hours sprawled out in various locations on the chaises on our covered deck, or in the cool rooms downstairs, reading and daydreaming! I'm so thankful for that time, and I can't think of a more relaxing way to spend a few hours. Or a few days.....

One of the fun things about blogging is that sometimes opportunities come my way that are interesting and surprising. A couple of weeks ago I was given the chance to review a newly released book called A Very Modest Cottage by Tereasa Surratt (a Country Living Book from Hearst Books/Sterling/April 2010/$24.95).  When the gingham-paper wrapped package arrived from the publisher I was delighted to find not just the book but also some items that represent the style and times of the quaint little cabin that is the "modest cottage" and the subject of the book.  To me it felt a bit like opening an old family trunk, and finding mementos of a time long ago.  A vintage postcard, a box of wooden matches, a guest log (with a DVD!) and a rusty old room key from days gone by help tell the story of the cottage and it's history.

A Very Modest Cottage is the story of a woman who rescues a "run-down century-old log cabin and move(s) it 245 miles across two states from her hometown in Illinois to her new home in Wisconsin. To her, this cottage was not just a building, but a precious piece of her childhood that she was determined to keep alive. Tereasa saw potential  where others saw junk, and knew that with hope and a hammer there is always a way"

The book chronicles the journey Tereasa, her husband, friends and family undertook as they "set out to uncover the cabin's past" and give it new life on a piece of land near a lake two states away from it's original location.  Inspiring photographs compliment the story, which is told from Tereasa's perspective, as she sands, paints, hammers, rewires and replumbs the little cabin. She shares her secrets for "dumpster diving", flea market bargaining and second-hand, vintage-store shopping. With patience and perserverance, Tereasa was able to furnish the little one-room cabin in about three months on a budget of only around $300! That aspect of the book alone should appeal to all of us bargain hunters! It made me want to go out and find a little cottage of my own to rescue!

Presented much like a scrap book, the detailed drawings, sketches, colorful and lively photographs, mementos, historical artifacts, and even gardening tips compliment the story of the renovation from beginning to end. I love the pictures of the cottage during different seasons: sun dappled in Summer, surrounded by pumpkins and fall leaves in Autumn, and blanketed with snow in the Winter. As I read, I got the impression that the project became much more than just a renovation, but rather a renewal of life for the little cottage. Along the way, Tereasa uncovered stories about the cottage's history which added another dimension to the project.

I've enjoyed Country Living magazine for years - they've been around for more that 30! I remember getting my first copy when I was setting up house in one of my first homes in the rolling hills of San Luis Obispo county. I tore out page after page of great ideas for my inspiration binder, and I still have many of those same pages tucked away in a file. If you're like me and you like to dream about renovating a space, if you enjoy country living and casual interior design, if you love shopping for vintage items and looking for the bargains, I think you will enjoy Tereasa Surratt's renovation memoir A Very Modest Cottage. 

It was a pleasure spending time with this book, I can imagine tackling a similar project myself someday! That's one of the things I love most about reading: there are no boundaries to the amount of inspiration and new ideas I can absorb. I can form dreams for my future without having to take reality into consideration! It's one of the best ways for me to renew my spirit and to revive my imagination.

What are your favorite ways to spark your imagination? Besides surfing Blog-land, of course. Cause that sure does it for me, too!

Thanks for coming by today, I hope you'll be back again soon. Remember to stop by at the Katillac Shack for Kelee's  give-away this week!

Until next time,

If you'd like more information about the book, visit http://averymodestcottage.com, or to go to Amazon for a sneak peak. (I'm not getting paid for this, I just think you'd like the book!)

Try out the new MckLinky, with pictures! Let me know what you think....


Kristin @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia said...

Hi Heidi-
It's so nice to meet you, thanks for coming and paying me a visit! Loving your blog so far. Can't wait to have a few more minutes in my day so I can sit down and enjoy! Thanks for your kind comments! Hope your having a great week!
Take care-

vignette design said...

Hi Heidi,
I joined Wednesday Gratitude! "A Very Modest Cottage" sounds very intriguing. I will have to check it out. I love books, and am an avid reader myself. Mostly novels. Currently reading The Heretic's Daughter about the Salem witch trials. A very good read. Give me a book any day over television!

Unknown said...

Hi Heidi,
Great post this week! I also have books all over...stashed here and there! I'm going to check out "A Very Modest Cottage", as it looks dreamy!
I'm up very early this morning praying for my husband who is supposed to be coming home from China tomorrow and the news this morning is talking about an earthquake.

Denise Marie said...

Awesome for you girl to get to see all the cottage lovelies. I loved watching Lynette Jennings shows a few yrs back. I saw her book in a shot. I'm having a 100 followers give-away this week.

I'm grateful for ya!!


Tracy F. @ Honeysuckle and Hissy Fits said...

Loved this post! Sorry I put your button instead of one of my pictures on the McLinky thing. To say that I'm technologically-impaired is an understatement!

Melissa Miller said...

Heidi you are so kind! It is really nice to meet you my friend. I really appreciate that you took the time to leave me such an encouraging comment. Thank you! You're the best. I'm sure I will snap out of my blog block very soon. *Smiles*

Your blog and your home are just beautiful! I will be back again soon.

~Blessings, ~Melissa :)

The Single Nester said...

I LOVE BOOKS!! They take me away . . .