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.