Latest from the blog

August 3, 2020

• LIFE • A Childs Imagination (repost)

  This post was inspired by my precious grandson (Devyn) and his imagination.

 In this day and age of technology we rarely see children use their unbridled imagination. Most of their time is spent playing video games, watching t.v. or participating in some sort of organized activity.

 Now, I was an active child but I had the free time to let my imagination take over. My children were always allowed this time to create/imagine. Out of all three of my children, my youngest was the one with the most vivid imagination. Now when all three were together, all though there would be fights, they could create a wonderful world. They were allowed to bring all there toys out and just go to town, just like I was.

 Imagine the shock, when DH told me that when he was little he was only allowed to have ONE toy out at a time!! "You have got to be kidding me!?".... was what came out of my mouth, he replied yes.

 Anyways, fast forward about 9 years, one day when we were visiting his parents, my kids started pulling out all the toys they brought, asking if they could use this and that, so they could create, and guess what? That's right.........his mother informed then only ONE toy...My kids, being so much like me, looked at their grandmother in disbelief and asked "WHY?" Her response, " There is no reason to make a big mess, plus you can only play with one toy at a time."

 They put ALL of their toys away, then sat with me on the couch. After about 15 minutes my middle child , who was always brutally honest, looked at me and said, "I want to go to grandma & grandpa V's house, it is more fun there." (No, DH mother did not hear this.) We stayed for a few minutes longer, packed the kids up and headed to my parents. No sooner did they walk in the door and out came the toys.

 I had just finished telling my mother and sister of the one toy rule, when my kids and my nephew come out of my dad's office with all kinds of knick knacks and treasures to use.

I sat down on the couch and for a moment I was an uninvited guest into my children's world, where a pile of books become mountains, the stripes in a rug become a road, where anything and everything is possible.

 For sometime, as my kids got older, I was no longer able to be that uninvited guest.

 But thankfully my precious Devyn has unknowingly allowed me to visit once more, a place where the unbridled imagination of a child is free to expand beyond the universe..................  

UPDATE: My precious is now 16 and the place of unbridled imagination is now in the mind of my precious 8yr old grandson "J" when visiting with least for a time.....

Thank you for visiting.
Enjoy your day,
Tina ♡ Tarenley  House

May 25, 2020

• DID YOU KNOW? • Red Poppies & Memorial Day (first posted 5/26/14)

Follow my blog with Bloglovin   How many of you know the history behind the red poppies veterans hand out when you give a donation?
Many people don't and many have probably never thought about it.

"REMEMBER...Freedom has a price
A Poppy, in tribute to all the brave veterans who risked their lives in past and present, so we might have a future.

So, in honor of Memorial Day, I am going to pass on a little info about how those little red flowers and Veterans came together.
You see, it all started in 1915 with a poem written by John McCrea:

"In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow
Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields."

A woman by the name of Moina Michaels responded with this:

"We cherish too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies."

This gave her the idea of wearing poppies on Memorial Day, to honor those who have fallen. She began selling them to her family and friends. The money she raised would then be given to those service members in need. Some time later a woman from France, Madam Guerin, while visiting the U.S, heard the story of the red poppies. 

When Madam Guerin returned to France she adopted Miss Michaels idea, she made faux poppies and began selling them. The money was then used for orphans and widows of fallen French service members. In 1921, the Franco-American Children's League was founded; the selling of poppies spread throughout France and Belgium. However, the league disbanded almost a year later. Madam Geurin contacted the VFW, hoping they could help. Just before Memorial day 1922, the VFW agreed to help and became the first veterans group to sell them nationally. In 1924 the selling of poppies made by disabled veterans, known as "Buddy Poppy" program, was started and continues to this day.

So, the next time you see a poppy in the hand of a veteran, remember the people above and give thanks.

**Memorial Day Facts**
  • Memorial day was originally celebrated on the 30th of May. No matter what day of the week it landed on.That changed in 1971 with the inception of the National Holiday Act.
  • 2004 Washington DC held a Memorial Day Parade; it had been over 60 years since the last parade.
  • There are over 260,000 flags adorning the graves at Arlington Cemetery, and since the 1950's the 3rd U.S. Infantry has been responsible for placing and maintaining the upright position of the flags. They patrol day and night for the full three day weekend. 

To learn more about the beginning of Arlington Cemetary, click here... and here..... 

Enjoy your day, 
♡ Tina ♡

March 2, 2020

• RECIPES • Mini Alabama Firecrackers - tarenley cottage

How many of ya'll have ever heard of Alabama Firecrackers? If you have then you know how addictive they can be! If you haven't, then you're in for a treat!

These are usually made with regular saltine crackers but I use the mini ones. They are the perfect size for popping in your mouth.



  • gallon size ziploc bag
  • 1 - 1oz pig ranch dressing mix
  • ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1½ tablespoons red pepper flakes
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 11oz box mini Saltine crackers



  1. In ziploc bag pour in ranch mix, garlic, onion,black pepper, red pepper flakes and oil.
  2. Close bag and mush ingredients around with your hand to combine
  3. Open bag pour in crackers, close bag
  4. Roll and flip bag carefully (do not crush the crackers) making sure to get all the crackers covered
  5. Lay flat for 1 hour then turn over and lay flat another hour, repeat this step 2 more times then let sit over night
  6. I added a step, because they still seemed a little oily - I laid 4 layers of paper towels on a baking sheet and spread the crackers out in a single layer.
  7. Take 4 more paper towels and lightly pat crackers.
  8. Then let sit for about 2 hours before putting in a bowl to serve.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Thank you for visiting.
Enjoy your day,

www.tinaathome - tarenley cottage

sharing: (sunday) silver pennies sunday  snickerdoodle create bake make  (monday) inspire me monday  all about home  make it pretty   (tuesday) tuesday turn about   tuesday at our home  (wednesday) wonderful wednesday blog hop  artsy fartsy party (thursday) home & garden thursday  thursday favorite things (friday) friday favorites  (monthly) best of the month

February 16, 2020

• READING NOOK • What I've Read, 12 pt.2

VIRGINIA WOOLF - "The only advice … that one person can give another about reading is to take no advice, to follow your own instincts, to use your own reason, to come to your own conclusions. If this is agreed between us, then I feel at the liberty to put forward a few ideas and suggestions because you will not allow them to fetter that independence which is the most important quality that a reader can possess. After all, what laws can be laid down about books? The battle of Waterloo was certainly fought on a certain day; but is Hamlet a better play than Lear? Nobody can say. Each must decide that question for himself. To admit authorities, however heavily furred and gowned, into our libraries and let them tell us how to read, what to read, what value to place upon what we read, is to destroy the spirit of freedom which is the breath of those sanctuaries. Everywhere else we may be bound by laws and conventions — there we have none."
Hello there! Well here I am with part 2 of a post that was written/posted in 2018 and was reposted HERE.  I'm going to share few of the books I'm currently reading/listening too. If you would like to see my full list of books read to want to read visit my Goodreads profile.

LISTENING & READING: (no affiliation to any of the Businesses provided in links) 

Audio Books 
  • Magpie Murders (love a good who done it)
Masterful, clever, and relentlessly suspenseful, Magpie Murders is a deviously dark take on vintage English crime fiction in which the reader becomes the detective.
  • If You Tell (I finished this one the other day. WARNING this book is very disturbing)
No. 1 New York Times best-selling author Gregg Olsen's shocking and empowering true-crime story of three sisters determined to survive their mother's house of horrors...

  • The Haunting of Hill House (read this a long, long time ago, decided to read again)
Four seekers have come to the ugly, abandoned old mansion: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of the psychic phenomenon called haunting; Theodora, his lovely and lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a lonely, homeless girl well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the adventurous future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable noises and self-closing doors, but Hill House is gathering its powers and will soon choose one of them to make its own.

  • Cozy Minimalist Home: more style, less stuff

Cozy Minimalism isn’t about going without or achieving a particular new, modern style. Nope. It’s simply a mindset that helps you get whatever style YOU LOVE with the fewest possible items.You want a warm, cozy, inviting home, without using more resources, money, and stuff than needed. Why use more if you don't have to?

  • Dwelling: Simple Ways to Nourish Your Home, Body & Soul 
Melissa Michaels wants to show you how meaningful it can be to live a life that nurtures both your home and body. By making a series of small, intentional choices—from what you bring into your home to how you shape your daily habits and mind-sets—you can create a more rejuvenating environment that equips you to go into the world and accomplish all you set out to do.

Finally a book that's more for reference...Last year I was reading an article or post somewhere, can't remember where and I apparently didn't save it, but a book was mentioned that peaked my curiosity; I clicked the link, read the summary and bought this book HERE (no affiliation)

Celebrate the pleasure of reading and the thrill of discovering new titles in an extraordinary book that’s as compulsively readable, entertaining, surprising, and enlightening as the 1,000-plus titles it recommends.
Covering fiction, poetry, science and science fiction, memoir, travel writing, biography, children’s books, history, and more, 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die ranges across cultures and through time to offer an eclectic collection of works that each deserve to come with the recommendation, You have to read this. But it’s not a proscriptive list of the “great works”—rather, it’s a celebration of the glorious mosaic that is our literary heritage.

When I  received the book I quickly scanned it and in the back of the book is a checklist of all the books mentioned within. I grabbed a pencil and started checking off the books I've read. After that I started reading, plus making a "bucket list" of the books that I was interested in reading. My goal, starting alphabetically, is to read one book off my list every month until complete. I'm going to try to borrow as many books as I can, if not,  then I will buy second hand and then donate them when finished.

Back in February, after neglecting my goodreads profile for almost two years I decided it was time to give it some much needed attention. I'm slowly adding the books on my bucket list. So I will have a paper copy and a digital copy also.

What do you think about a reading bucket list? Have you read any of the above books? Are you interested in any of the above books?

Thank you for visiting.
Enjoy your day,

sharing: (sunday) silver pennies sunday  snickerdoodle create bake make  (monday) inspire me monday  all about home  make it pretty   (tuesday) tuesday turn about   tuesday at our home  (wednesday) wonderful wednesday blog hop  artsy fartsy party (thursday) home & garden thursday  thursday favorite things (friday) friday favorites  (monthly) best of the month

February 9, 2020

• PROJECTS • Large Wood Star

I love the look of metal stars. In fact, I have couple around my house. But out of all of them this star is my favorite. I bought it and a smaller one about 25+ years ago at an antique fair in Nashville, TN. I have always wished that I would have bought the larger one, but I didn't! Oh, well!

Anyway, after seeing one of these wooden stars.

This one is made out of tobacco lathes 

I decided that I wanted one to hang somewhere in my home. I looked and looked. I  found a few, but the price seemed to high. So I decided to make one. They really aren't difficult to make; you just need to make sure it's aligned properly, or it will be lopsided!


  • 5 - thin wood strips (I found mine at hobby lobby, DH didn't have anything in his stash)
  • Wood stain of choice 
  • 5 - clamps
  • Wood glue
  • Sand paper
  • Polyurethane, matte finish (optional)
  • Paper towel 
  • Drill with small drill bit (optional) 
  • Twine
  • Small brass nails

  1. Determine how large you want the star to be. (Mine is 24" because that's the length of the strips)
  2. Sand to round off the edges and corners.
  3. Stain and let dry completely >> (If using polyurethane apply once stain is dry. Let polyurethane dry completely before going to next step)
  4. Lay out star, making sure it's not lopsided and clamp in place
  5. Remove one clamp carefully and glue strips together then replace clamp. REPEAT THIS STEP UNTIL DONE. 
  6. Wipe away excess glue, carefully and let dry
  7. Once dry, hammer in nails >>> at every cross section<<< 
  8. (OPTION: drill small hole in top of star and add twine to hang) or DO NOT add twine and just lean on shelf or tabletop.

And here it is:
Cute, huh?

Thank you for visiting!
Enjoy your day,