My Garden Retreat

My Garden Retreat
photo Gridley Graves for Country Living

When Paths are Treacherous

Winter has been hard this year.
The ice and snow storms ,  and the constant melting and refreezing of both has made our path from the cottage to the house quite treacherous at times.
On more than one occasion...I have slipped and fallen. (Thankfully, without injury.)

I take this very path at least a dozen times each day . Cooking and showers are still done out in the cottage and I have to work hard to keep it free of ice. I don't want to fall again or get off track.
Even though making a new set of tracks usually seems safer...
This is not always the case.
New paths often lead me to distraction. I see things that lead me astray and oftentimes I forget what I was doing to begin with. Does this happen to you too?

This morning, as I made my way down this path, I thought about how hard it has seemed to make our way home.  As you know, our renovation has been ongoing for the last seven years. The first five of which we lived in our tiny cottage.

It was easier then, but we lost focus on the renovation. Weeks would go by without even going into the house other than to check on things and make sure nothing was freezing.
We became distracted, living our daily life by stepping around the hard to navigate path. Or simply not taking it at all.
It was time to take the harder path. Move back home, into the house still under renovation.
Face the hard stuff...everyday!
I have to tell you it IS hard to deal with the constant construction and messes that go along with it.
But were are getting closer to completion everyday that we work towards that goal.
I have dear, sweet hubby and YOU to thank for getting me through.
Your words of encouragement are the bright spots in my day! Thank you!
I don't think I could deal with it without you!

Now,  as we make our way down this little path  each and every day.. It keeps us motivated,  focused on completing our renovation.
The cold air clears my head.
I see that by working on the house each day... our daily treks down this  treacherous path  will become fewer and farther between.
Soon, I will only take this path when I am working in the cottage studio, and probably not on icy mornings!
For now though, I am in need of an easier way...
Without getting distracted!


I did some research this past weekend looking for a solution a better way to break up this icy, dangerous mess.
I found this recipe of sorts and thought I would share it with you.

I can tell you it truly works!

I tried it on the back stairs to the house yesterday and this morning...I didn't have any ice to remove on my way out to the cottage.
Sometimes, making our way home is as simple as looking for ways through the slippery stuff without falling or in this case...
Ways to not have the slippery stuff at all!


This Monday, I want to be defined as someone who found my way down my path and discovered the beauty along the way...
Did not allow it to distract me from what I was supposed to be doing.

At the very end of  this path sits one of my favorite places to spend my days in warmer weather.
If I stay on my path...I will get my tasks completed and get to spend a lot more time in Tinker House.

My path was made clear!
All it took was focusing on the things I was supposed to focus on! Not allowing the lure of an easier path distract me.

Enjoy your day and I hope you can find my discovery of use to you!


  1. Tinker House looks sweet with a dusting of snow on her and especially inviting on your new blog header.

  2. I'll share a trick I play on myself whenever I get distracted and go off course. I plan an event and invite people! Backyard looking messy? (like now) have an outdoor potluck. Need to clean the studio? Schedule a class....
    Perhaps if you and hubs planned events over the next year with certain areas needing to be completed before them it spurs you on... Even if I wait till the very last second to do the task..I get it done because well... People are coming! lol

    Funny how I can trick myself when it is I, doin' the trickin' lol..well you know I'm a little nuts!
    Please be careful on the ice and try to land on butt not knees like I usually do,,, Still have marks from fall in December and no ice as an excuse!

    and go easy on yourself.."slow and steady" is another great adage....
    much love

  3. What an amazing and inspiring post. You pulled no punches, when you said it was hard... and at the same time find ways to push through it. I love the saying by Einstein... I also loved seeing the photos of your sweet little path...


  4. When I had a store with very slippery steps and a ramp an old farmer told me to use fertilizer to melt the ice. It doesn't make as big a mess as salt and it melts very quickly. Just wanted to share that with you...Jan

  5. snow everywhere!
    careful when driving down the road

  6. I love your post! I will read it more than once & try to remember it's wisdom. It has been a rough time for our family & more to deal with lately. I need to get some momentum again & your lovely words have inspired me. Thank you!

  7. What an inspiring post and your photos are so pretty. I understand the issue of distraction! Even with note writing.. you have to remember where the notes are;) Perseverance pays and you WILL get through this. Until one has embarked on DIY projects and home renovations, you can't truly appreciate the energy and time that it takes. You are to be admired! We have just completed hard wood flooring installation and a kitchen/great room re-do. It seems like it's taken forever and I am exhausted.

    (sorry if I've missed some of your posts! i've had some issues with that have resulted in a full re-do of my blog. my first post is coming out over the next day or so)

    Enjoy the start to a new week!


  8. I have enjoyed your post and staying on track is not easy for we creative souls. Thank you for sharing this recipe for melting ice on walkways. We have lots of treacherous icy walkways in Winter. I always adore your home, cottage and Tinker House. Creative Hearts are Happy Hearts...

  9. This is such a wonderful read Donna. Truth in every word of it. I get so distracted at times and it seems the older I get the harder it is for me to stay on task. It was refreshing to read that it isn't just me. You and your husband have accomplished so much and soon it will all be a memory and you can create new paths.
    sending much love...

  10. It is hard to stay motivated in the winter. I know I get that way too. Sometimes we all just need to rest.
    I say that but off I go back to work....errr

    Glad you didn't get hurt on that ice. It's been a real winter this year. Like when I was a know in the dark ages


  11. I know you were in need of encouragement, but your post encouraged ME. Beautiful. I am so easily distracted too, but I'm trying so hard not to hop off down rabbit trails this year. Your home will tell such an awesome story when it's complete. I love the little chapters so far. THANKS for the ice melting recipe. Who would have thought?! Is there anything Dawn doesn't do?


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~Donna Reyné