Saturday Spotlight: Life Behind the Blogger

Susan from Must Love Junk, and myself wanted to do a regular feature on our blogs, something unique that hasn't been done before.   So we came up with an idea to 'spotlight the real life behind the blogger' in a more personal way.
There is so much talent and inspiration in blogland, and we thought it would be fun to bring you a closer look at the person behind the blog.

Every week on Saturday we will spotlight a blogger and have them tell us a little bit about themselves and their blogs.  You will be able to see and read about each of the bloggers on both Susan's and my blog. 
May 3rd

Happy Saturday.  I have a very sweet blogger to introduce you to this week.  It is Judy from Gold Country Cottage.  So enjoy reading and getting to know Judy on a more personal level.  I know you will love meeting her family and seeing her adorable victorian  cottage.  Enjoy.

Hi, I'm Judy, mistress of Gold Country Cottage.

I am so thankful to:

for featuring me today as part of her Saturday Spotlight:  Life Behind the Blogger series.

I certainly am not one for hiding my light under a basket, so to speak, so I want to apologize right now to those of you who have heard this same old story at least once before, and to welcome those of you who haven't.

My husband, Jerry, aka the Captain, is a big part of Gold Country Cottage.  Not only is he captain of our ship team, he is the brawn behind all the renovations that are constantly going on around here.  We have been a team for almost 54 years.

We nest in our little blue Victorian cottage in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in northern California.

Main Street, Grass Valley, CA

Our small town is ripe with heritage of the California Gold Rush era and a good example of the comfortable living that California has to offer, with just the right amount of seasonal changes, and we thoroughly enjoy the simple lifestyle we have found here.

Our good little cat, Maggie May, also makes her home here...

...and our sweet boy, Buddy, just completed his journey here with us, last month.  He was such an integral part of our life and will always hold a very special place in our hearts.  Each room of the Cottage is filled up with beautiful, loving and lasting memories of him.

From left to right: Moi, sister, Sid and brother, Bruce

I grew up in Soquel, CA, a small town in the Santa Cruz mountains, south of San Francisco.  I am the oldest of three...

...I graduated from Santa Cruz High School in 1957.

My first job the summer I graduated was as an elf at Santa's Village amusement park.

 I then went on to spend two years at a local business school and then went to work for the assemblyman from our district as his personal secretary. Later I moved to San Francisco and worked as a secretary for Western Greyhound Lines until the Captain and I were married.

I was a stay-at-home wife and mom for many years and also cleaned houses, once the kids started school, for extra spending money, which I spent on decorating items for our home.

The Captain and I have been married for almost 54 years and were blessed with two beautiful children...

Tami and Tim on their wedding day .... Jake on his graduation from high school

Tami, our beautiful daughter, also lives in northern California, along with our wonderful SIL, Tim, and the light of our lives, our grandson, Jake.

Tami is a breast cancer survivor.  She and I have participated in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in San Francisco for the last ten years.

We lost our loving son, Brent, almost fourteen years ago.  He was an outstanding young man and we were so proud of him.  His star shines as brightly as ever in everything we do.

We moved to Grass Valley after the kids were grown, and on their own, where we both went to work for the Grass Valley School District until retirement a few years ago.

The Cottage kitchen

The guest room

We are constantly working on the Cottage.
Of course:
I say:  We are constantly working..
The Captain says: We are constantly changing!


I also love to tend (and I use that term loosely) my garden...

"To be overcome by the fragrance of flowers is a delectable form of defeat."

Beverley Nichols

You will also notice, when you read most of my posts, that I am very fond of inserting quotes and poems.

A rare shot of a fairy at rest

The garden is an enchanting space where fairies reside among the flowers...

...and teddy bears have picnics on the front green...

...usually with not much help from me, I might add.  Most of the plants and flowers come back on their own year after year and, once the Captain mows the grass, the magic just seems to happen.

We also have our own Secret Garden that I'm sure Mary Lennox and Master Colin would approve of and feel quite at home in.

The large mirror with the gold frame is one of our first antiques. The blue flowered bowl: Gay Day, Wood & Sons, England

We have collected antiques for most of our married life.  We operated an antique booth, in a co-op, while living in the Bay Area, where the Captain refinished furniture and I crafted country accessories.  One of our good clients was June Allyson, a popular actress back in the 1940's and 50's.

All of the pieces we own started their afterlife as bits of wood in a basket.  The Captain became quite proficient in refinishing and putting them back together.  Nothing we have is too fancy but they are all well loved and fit perfectly into our cottage lifestyle.

The dining room table set for Thanksgiving dinner

Our little cottage was built in 1879 and is living a long and happy life.  We are the fourth family that it has sheltered and it is the foremost reason that I started blogging two years ago.

I have always loved decorating, even as a young girl, and would arrange and re-arrange the bedroom I shared with my younger sister and brother.  I can still see that small room with the Disney characters on the linoleum flooring...

...and bouquets of fresh flowers from my mother's garden, in small pitchers and vases, setting on every available surface.  I certainly inherited that gene from my mom, as we kids never knew where the furniture was going to be in our home at the end of each day!

Christmas in the parlor

I have met so many lovely and caring friends because of this journey and I am hopeful that it will be possible to continue a long and happy life of its own...

Tea time in the Secret Garden

...with huge thanks to Kris, and all of you, for being a part of those possibilities.

I'd like to take this opportunity to invite you all to stop by the Cottage for a visit...

...and maybe sit a spell on the back porch.

Mantle in the guest room featuring my grandmother's sewing basket.

Thank you Judy.  It was so much fun to get to know you on a more personal level.  I just swoon over your garden.  Now that you have gotten to know Judy.  Please hop over to Susan's blog and meet Katie from Let's Add Sprinkles.  Have a wonderful week end.


  1. Thanks so much for featuring Judy. She is a wonderful person and has a fabulous blog. I'm proud to call her a friend!
    I love getting to know more about, and meet new bloggers. This is such a great segment!

  2. I just might stop by someday! How wonderful this is to meet a new blogger whom does not live far from me. I know all of the places you have lived because I grew up in Livermore. I graduated from CSUS and that is when I met my Husband of 26yrs. He grew up in Sacramento. One of my daughters is at UC Berkeley right now and her boyfriend is at UC Santa Cruz. Its a small world. We took our four children on field trips to Grass Valley when they were in grade school. We have not been there in over 15 yrs. But it is so beautiful. I enjoyed reading your story and now I will go visit your blog. xxo Kerrie

  3. Oh, Judy, love your cottage style!! Esp. the kitchen and the crockery, thanks for inviting us in your home!!!

  4. Great idea, Kris and Susan. Judy, I love your Victorian. It' so whimsical! I lived eighteen years in California from San Diego, to Bay Area, to Sacramento Delta, and then to the delta, so I am familiar with Grass Valley. What a great place for retirement. xoxo

  5. Thank you so much, Kris. This is such a special gift you give to all of us and I really appreciate it. I'm looking forward to making some new friends and maybe catching up with some old ones that I haven't visited for awhile. Hope you are having a wonderful weekend and thanks again..Judy

  6. Oh I just knew this would be such fun - I already adore Judy's blog and have been a faithful follower for a while now. This was a wonderful look at the little blue cottage - thank you all.

  7. A mostly lovely post from such a precious lady. I can't believe that Judy and her husband have celebrated over 50 years of marriage. She looks much too young for that! Beautiful home.

  8. How very nice to meet Judy. I will go and visit her blog right now.

  9. Judy, it's so nice learning more about you! Your cottage and gardens are so charming! Thanks for sharing :)

  10. Thank you for sharing valuable information. Nice post. I enjoyed reading this post. The whole blog is very nice found some good stuff and good information here Thanks..Also visit my page Best Western electronics Curvehospitality provides extensive range of Casegoods,Seating,Lighting,Artwork,Bathroom fixtures,Electronics,Drapery and Flooring.

  11. I just love Judy's cottage! It is the picture perfect home that comes to mind when you think of the word "cottage"! It was so nice to meet Judy and learn about her and her family.

  12. Wow, Judy, first of all, congratulations on 54 years with your Captain! Your cottage, your GARDEN!, your antiques (that flower bowl, oh my!) - all look enchanting. I'll be over to visit, certainly! Kris, thank you again for another great blogger introduction. I love meeting all the bloggers, and what better way, than through another blogging friend. Have a great Saturday, both of you!
    Rita C at Panoply

  13. Thanks, Kris for the invitation to be a part of your series. I enjoyed reading about Judy. I'm struck that we both have endured loss and have come through it with faith and family firmly in place. I had tears in my eyes as I read about her dear son. Praise on her daughter's fight with breast cancer. This series is such a great opportunity to know other bloggers on another level. Have a great day.

  14. Kris, I feel that Judy's story has touched me in so many ways. I love her beautiful cottage so much. Sad that she lost a son and a family dog. Glad she has her wonderful husband by her side for so many years. Thank you Kris for featuring Judy. xoxo,Susie

  15. Judy is such a lovely person, and I adore her charming cottage! Her gardens are gorgeous...would love to sit a spell!!
    Mary Alice

  16. Such fun, Judy has such a wonderful blog and this was such a nice way to get to know her better. Thank you!

  17. Such a sweetheart! I'm so happy to learn about Judy today and see her lovely cottage & garden. Puts a smile on my face this Saturday.
    What a loving couple - married over 50 years. Gosh!
    Thanks for all the great features, Kris and Susan!

  18. Loved reading this profile and I am headed over now to become Kris' latest follower!

  19. Kris I so enjoy Saturday spotlights that you and Susan feature. Thanks for running them. Judy your enchanting blue cottage and gardens are truly magical. I understand and relate to the loss of your son, my son Chris and only child passed suddenly 6 months ago. Moving ahead sharing your love of family and home, your marriage of 54 years sprinkling your days with whimsy and kindness ... oh Judy you are an inspirational soul. Wonderful to meet you today.

  20. I found Judy shortly after she started blogging and love her AND her blog. What wonderful life you bring to that sweet little cottage. xo Diana

  21. Oh I'm so excited! I don't think I've ever visited Judy's cottage. I can tell already that she's wonderful. Her love of life, family, and home just shines right through. Heading over now! :)

    Happy Saturday Kris.

  22. That was a wonderful post about Judy and Jerry and their beautiful cottage. I've been following Judy for a little while now and always enjoy visiting and seeing her gardens and lovely home. Have a great weekend Kris.

  23. I am regular at Judy's and Jerry's blog but have to admit that i have learn so much more about them from your spotlight .Thank you for the wonderful presentation. Have a nice day Ella.

  24. What a wonderful blog!! I will be following Judy asap.....her cottage is beautiful and I wanna live there!! My heart goes out to her with the sadness in her life but what a wonderful inspiration she is~~~Blessings~~~Roxie

  25. Oh, I think I'm going to have fun getting to know Judy! Such a charming cottage and I'm quite familiar with Grass Valley. In fact I will be driving through their this summer on a trip I'm taking, maybe I'll have to look her up! Thanks for introducing her! Blessings, Cindy

  26. Such a sweet cottage Judy. Thanks for having me...,
    happy weekend ladies!

  27. picked a wonderful blogger this week...I know in part because of her gorgeous gardens!! Thank you!!

    Judy...I had tears of joy and heartbreak in my eyes as I read you story, but a smile on my face because you and The Captain persevere. You are both inspiring as you travel through life and find beauty all around you. I am swooning over your beautiful home and your lush gardens. I am off to visit your blog...what a great blessing and joy to have found you! :)


  28. Oh Judy this was filled to the brim with details - just loved reading it ( I DID know a lot of it - but you write in such a way that I think I could reread this many many times )
    Such a treat to see yester - photos too :)
    Much love,

  29. I am so far behind in reading. Thanks for featuring Judy - I have followed her for quite awhile.

  30. Love reading the life behind the blogger....what a beautiful family and so sorry for the loss of your son...congrats on being married for 54 years...quite an accomplishment!!....I adore the cottage!!!...thanks Kris for presenting Judy's story today!!!...

  31. I so enjoyed learning all about Judy. I do follow her and love her home and gardens. Judy is such a lovely person and feel like I have know her for a long time. Thanks so much Kris.

  32. judy is so sweet and i enjoy reading her blog so much:) tfs, kris!

  33. Wonderful post. Such a pleasant read and gorgeous pictures. I do enjoy reading Judys blog always.