Tuesday, November 29, 2011

All Dignity Restored...................

..........He has a new tail and he no longer feels naked!  He just needs to not get close to a Christmas candle with his new paper tail!

Thought I would give you one more shot of him because you couldn't see his belt and legs in the other one.

Very frosty this morning. I collected snowmen for several years.  But had to just pick my favorites to use in this small house.  Back when snowmen were the really "in" thing I made many of them to sell in craft sales.

These two were my favorites and I saved one of each to use myself.

I keep tweaking my decorations. Since the frosty morning picture was made I removed the red doves that were hanging in this window and replaced them with these white tree and bell ornaments, also from Dollar Tree - two for $1.  These look better here.  Unfortunately, the view through the window is less than appealing.

Anyone remember this?  In one of my first posts I told you that a really nice pine bough had fallen and I decided to create something with it. I grabbed my grapevine basket and stuck the metal lantern in the middle arranged the pine and put a bow on it - all just to make a picture for today.  Of course the pine dried up and turned brown.

It was pretty for a little while.

I have a small collection of children's books. Some are Christmas ones. I use to have them visible each Christmas but I hadn't seen them for several years until I pulled them down from a closet yesterday.  Do you like children's books? 

I think these fit in quite well with a nostalgic holiday theme.

Something about the Christmas season returns us to the days of our childhood.

I am stalling a bit in not showing much of my room decorations, hoping to get some better pictures with a better camera.  There is a lot more to show!

Old Mother Hubard went to her cupboard for citron, and raisins, and spice.  And when she got there, she said, "I declare! Christmas will come in a trice. "Back to their old home the children will come, dear little grandchildren, too, Sammie and Sadie, and the new baby, sweetest one ever you knew. "Bright the fire burns, and brown to a turn pies, puddings, cakes large and small: Christmas is near, blessed and dear, Christmas! the best time of all!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Has anyone found a reindeer tail????????

................. I have a deer that has lost one. It is sorely missed! I may just have to make one for him. I am going to show you just a sneak peek at how things are beginning to look like Christmas around here. Most of these will be seen again in full shots later. 

You see the second one still has his cute little tail.
They look like they are scouting the place out - looking for santa?

And, there he is just sitting here in deep thought, resting up for the big night.  Many years ago I made things to sell in craft shows in the fall.  I made several of these one year and I am glad I kept one for myself.

It's hard to tell what this is but it will look much different when you see it at a different angle.

The card bucket is hung and ready to receive the first card to arrive.  Wonder who it will be from this year.  Over the years, it has almost always been from the same people. It could be any one of three. 

I don't do much decorating in my "office" but these little guys usually go for a ride here on the bookcase.

He could be my shelf elf but I think he will just sit here in this cubby hole until it is time to return to the box.

Remember this bunch of stuff from the Dollar Tree?  I have figured out how most of it will be used.

These sparkling red doves have already found their place. It is near impossible to take a good picture towards this window.  The fabric shade is white dotted swiss. I just tried to take one now that it is dark outside but it showed a reflection of me and my camera and the messy kitchen behind me. Not a pretty sight.


This is it for now - just a tease of a lot more to come.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Just one more time .............................................

........................................I know Thanksgiving is over and it's not the focus now but wanted to show a few pictures from my house, kitchen work, guests and our meal together.

We have some great cooks in our family and one of my nieces, Sandy did a lot of work putting this family cookbook together.  That's a picture of mom and dad taken in 1919. They are still very much missed.

I used one of Sandy's recipes to make baked beans for my son-in-law.

I used another niece's recipe to make the dressing.  I tried for a long time to make good dressing but, most of the time, I didn't think it was good and had resorted to Pepperidge Farms. My daughter loves it but I think it is yucko compared to a good recipe. A few years back I tried this one and it is great. So glad Trudy put it in our book. I saute the onions and celery with the butter before I mix in the other things.

 All mixed except for adding the broth.

This is a huge bowl and there is more here than it looks like in the picture.

My sour dough bread baked up very nice this time.

Not everyone gets to have a professional chef to carve the turkey.  My son-in-law Mark, played along with me (half way) to wear his hat and chef jacket for a picture.

We are ready for a happy thanksgiving meal!!!

This wish was at the top of each placesetting.  I got these frames at Target's after christmas sale last year.

The pilgrims have arrived. This little couple is present at every Thanksgiving meal.

They are a pair of salt & pepper shakers - a keepsake from Publix grocery store. I was given them by my friend Berry several years ago. It always makes my day when they come out.

Most of this was from my yard.

He's ready!!!

I can't ever get away without making these rolls.

Guests are ready.  That's me, always the shortest one at 5'2".

This is the only "around the table" shot I got. We took some timed pictures that didn't turn out. That means there are no pictures of my daughter.  I wish I would have had the presence of mind to take a few of the picture taker, Carrie.

pumpkin dessert

Cherry pie for Carrie. There was another dessert that didn't get pictured - hello dolly bars.

I am well on the way to having the house decorated for Christmas. The next posting will reveal at least part of it.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A dusting of snow, cold temperatures, Christmas pictures.........................

...............I have been hearing about all of the above on blogs and facebook which will cause this posting to seem so out of season.  I took a slow walk around my yard yesterday with my camera and this is what I saw......................

Starting in the front yard, I do see a few acorns and fall leaves but I also have lots of things blooming. I have several new pansies and snapdragons planted among the perennials but will save that area until  the new plants mature a bit.

This plectranthus is blooming fuller than I have ever had before. And, it seems like it is a brighter color.

This is my favorite stepping stone. I recently cut shapes out of sealing tape to cover each piece that is not black and spray painted the rest. It had faded and worn off.  That took awhile but, was worth it. Might have looked better if I had dried it off.

 This is Ducher. It is a great performer!  Blooms off and on all year, has less black spot than any of my roses and is easy to keep under control as far as size goes.

We have had a few cold nights and chilly days and that always gives the roses a renewal from the hot summer.  Almost all mine are blooming and with larger blossoms.

Now, down the west side of the yard I have this Clair Matin, a rambler.  Never the best looking bush but its clusters of roses are always so nice.  They make me think of fruit tree blossoms.

Clair Matin,  and a neighbors very tall palm.

Last week I completely redid this raised bed with new soil, and some cold weather herbs - parsley, cilantro, dill, thyme, and swiss chard.

Resident rabbit is just licking his chops!  Oh, yes I put an arugula in here also. I like them just to let them flower. I love their ivory blossoms.  If everything grows well this bed will be full!

This is the second raised bed and still has established plants but I added arugula in here too and set my new tub of red sails lettuce in an empty spot. There is an upright rosemary in the back corner and a prostrate one in the front. And, you can see a culantro (tastes just like cilantro) in the left front.  The "boots" have thyme which is starting its third year, unusual because thyme is very hard to keep through the summer here.

Not in the raised bed but showing to the right is my bay.  It would probably be about eight feet tall if I had not been cutting it back.  It's not in a good spot to allow for full growth.

Blooms on the rosemary.

We are now looking just below the raised beds at another favorite rose - Marie Van Houte.  It starts out almost white but as the blossoms mature gets a very pretty pink around the edges.

White Cleome - spider flower.

Duchesse De Brabant

Berries on nandina.  Not many this year but will still use them in an arrangement later this week for Thanksgiving.

I also like to use the turning nandina leaves for bouquets.

The foliage on this marigold has the most pungent fragrance of any flower I know.  Some people hate it and others love it.  I grew to like the smell. I love to stand and water here.  The air becomes filled with different aromas.

Varigated jasmine. The picture just doesn't do it justice. That's what I'm thinking about a lot of these pictures. You are not seeing what I see! The flowers are a nice cream color and more showey than it appears here.

An overview of one area with the marigold, purple mexican bacthelor buttons and several other plants in the background.

White penta.

Flax lily

Paddle plant with mexican batchelor button on the ground.

My back yard gets a lot of shade.  The potato vine is still lighting it up. The strawberry pot which is planted with garden gnomes and toadstools is sitting on the stump where a tree was recently removed. You can see a bay tree in the back?  Some of these leaves will probably be in a Christmas arrangement.


Red penta.  The butterflies just love these.

I could keep on going and going but this is a lot of plant looking, and I have probably lost some viewers already,  so will save the rest for another day.

It is in the low eighties this afternoon, no sign of snow, the chilly north wind is not blowing. It does look very fall-like inside and I have the turkey in the refrigerator. The next post will look more seasonal and after that - BRING ON CHRISTMAS!