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Monday, December 31, 2012

Remembering the Garden, 2012

Once Christmas is over, my mind quickly turns to the garden.  The gray, blustery days we've had recently have lent themselves well to Lazyboy sitting and picture gazing. I should probably be running a vacuum, but there is plenty of time for that, I only have a few days left of my Christmas vacation! I certainly don't want to ruin it all with housework! I had a lot of good in my garden this year, and one REALLY bad thing.  Lets start with the good!
I loved this combination of evergreen, salvia and iris. It was a real winner.

I have a few lilies, and they were lovely, blooming at the same time as the hydrangeas.
 This was the first year for the blooms on the daisy. I had grown it from seed about 3 years ago. My daylillies all bloomed as well as they will in my shady garden. This is my first year with a deer repellent spray, and it worked beautifully. The year before the deer ate almost every fat bud in the garden.
  The petunias were wonderful. I'm always surprised at how well they do in my shady garden!  I lost a Moonbeam Coreopsis that I had had for years, but simple marigolds gave me the yellow I wanted, and several of them came up from seeds, so I didn't even buy them!

The bad this year was that I got some kind of disease on my impatience and lost all of them. I was so disappointed, and a little scared, too. Impatience are the mainstay of my garden. I get so much color from them and enjoy the pastel colors they come in. I had to replace them with begonias that I had in pots. Luckily, the begonias  had some good size on them by the time I used them for replacement, so the garden didn't suffer big holes.

This coming spring, thanks to the deer spray,  I am expecting tulips! I have not grown tulips since the year the deer came through and feasted on about 200 of them! I didn't plant nearly so many, but I am hoping for a beautiful spring!

I am joining Mosaic Monday at Little Red House.  She has a beautiful winter mosaic, you should pop over for a look!  Thanks so much for stopping by, I hope you have a great New Year celebration!.

Saturday, December 29, 2012


Starting in August, my days are so full. First the return to school, then birthdays come in September and October. Fall comes, then Thanksgiving and finally, Christmas. It seems that it's a constant flash of ideas and celebrations and business. Then the day after Christmas it all just comes to a stop. Calm, quiet, no where to go, nothing to do. Almost immediately my mind goes back to the garden, to nature, to trees and sky-watching, which brings me to the picture above.  I happened to look out the window and saw the dark, dark clouds as a backdrop to the sun shining on the trees. It was so beautiful! I ran to get the camera and  I got one shot before the sun hid itself behind the clouds. I probably wouldn't even have noticed it a week earlier! While this Christmas was one of my most pleasant, I am happy to have the calmer days again. Days where I will find joy in such simple things as dark clouds and sunlight. 

I hope you are having a lovely Saturday. I am joining Favorite Thing Saturday at Mockingbird Hill Cottage. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Hi everyone. I hope your Christmas was wonderful.  Hard to believe it's all over! I thought I would share my Christmas Eve table. It was very simple, just a pretty blue snowflake tablecloth from Kohl's with a few of my snowmen.  Snowy white napkins and Mom's Rose Point silver. Snowflake glasses are from Kroger a few years ago.  We changed it up this year and had ham instead of spaghetti.  The ham is covered with dijon mustard. Next you make a mixture of brown sugar, honey and cinnamon which is slightly warmed until of pouring consistency. You pour it over the ham, then you pour 1 and 1/2 cups of apple juice over it all.  Bake at 325 degrees for 3 hours, basting every 30 minutes.  Yum.  This ham is wonderful, but the next time I make it I'm going to have a turkey baster! It's hard to baste with a spoon.

I have a few more days off before I have to return to work.  I keep trying to talk myself into taking down my decorations, but I have enjoyed them all so much this year that I'm just not ready yet.  Last year I left my wreath on the front porch up until birds built a nest in it! That was such fun!

I'm participating in BNOTP's Tablescape Thursday.  Drop by and look at all the gorgeous Christmas tables that were set this year.  You'll get lots of inspiration for next year! Thanks so much for stopping by!

Saturday, December 22, 2012


 Mom playing Twister, and Mom and Me in the snow.

Today I was at my Dad's and it seemed my Mom was heavy on my mind. I was doing a little sewing and I got Mom's pin cushion to use.  Every time I touch something that I KNOW no one has touched since she did, I get very sentimental.  So it was with every little pull of each pin, knowing that her dear fingers had been the last to touch it. I wondered what was the last thing she used them for.  Maybe the Wizard of Oz ornaments she made, and that now hang on my daughter's tree. Maybe it was the pretty aqua tunic she made for a Christmas party.  I noticed all of her paintings that hang everywhere.  And I noticed the poignant collection of vintage music on the piano that my dad has collected since she died, all with mom's name, Sally, in the title.  Christmastime is bittersweet. I love all the music, lights, brightly wrapped packages, Christmas trees, and parties. But I miss my mother terribly at this time of year. 

Merry Christmas to you!  Thanks so much for stopping by.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


These days are so full and energy depleting, but fun, too.  I'm enjoying the Christmas season so much this year. I love the colored lights and the white lights and the tastefully decorated homes and the overly done homes. We took a little drive around some nearby neighborhoods and saw so many pretty lights. We even saw a house with a blowup reindeer that was as tall as the house! Ok, that was a little much, but I bet the children love it! 

The reindeer cross stitch is a freebie. If you're interested, you can get the pattern here. I enjoy doing the quick ones, and this one was super easy, and only needed two colors!

I have one more day of work and then I'll be off until the New Year. I still have a bit of shopping to do and plan on getting it done very early Friday or Saturday. Most people, even in the holiday rush, will want to sleep in.  I'm not one of them. I'll be heading home just as every one else is getting out.

I hope you are having a great Wednesday! Thanks so much for stopping by!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

4-3-2-1- HURRAY

I'm on the big count down, four days until school is dismissed for Christmas. It will be a tough week as sugar filled, and Santa-crazed children will be galloping down the hallways. This is the time of year that The Chair is occupied by usually well-mannered and in-control students. Countless times the phrase, "Not YOU!!" will be heard from office visitors who will be stunned, even incredulous, by the occupant of The Chair. The Chair sits outside our stern, but loving Principal'S office. Once they move from The Chair to The Office, you will usually hear, "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING??? THIS ISN'T LIKE YOU!", all the while sobs and general hysteria will be heard from said occupant.   Ah, Christmas. 

We have lots of holiday cheer around the house. My house is tiny, and I don't really have a lot of decorating to share, but I will give you a little glimpse of the mantle and of two beloved cross stitch pieces. The top is one my sweet mother did, which my father gifted me with this year, and the other is a favorite cross stitch that I did for her with the first line of Silent Night. When she passed away I found it in her Christmas things. She had it framed and hung it lovingly every year. I think of her every time I see these pieces.

We've had some wonderfully cool weather lately, cool enough for a fire. You can see out the window, behind the Christmas tree, that we still have leaves falling.  The deck is covered, even though we have raked and blown leaves FOUR TIMES so far.  They are EVERYWHERE! I can't wait to be able to get the deck all swept and leafless. I have some greenery to use out there, give it a nice holiday look.

 I hope your plans are coming along nicely. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


I finally finished my little Winter/Christmas cross stitch.  I think it turned out so cute, and just in time for the holiday season! This was a real joy to stitch, I loved each little motif. If I had it to do over again, I would definitely buy the recommended over-dyed thread for the bits of greenery. I'm CHEAP and decided to use two DMC colors and change them out over, and over, and over, and over... argggghhh, what a mistake! For TWO BUCKS I could have just stitched and not worried about changing colors! Dumb, dumb, dumb!  But all's well that ends well! I'll know better on my next project, which is this, Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow.  I ordered the pattern yesterday. The piece calls for silk threads, but I can in no way afford that, so I'll be using DMC.  I hope it will be as pretty.  It's worked on 40ct linen! I hope to start it in January and do one block a month, I believe that was the original intent.

We are moving right along into the Christmas Season.  Unseasonably warm weather has not excited, but the last two days have been wonderfully cold! Today we are enjoying a nice toasty fire. I just love sitting here stitching with all the pretty lights on the mantle and the tree and a fire burning ....oh boy, we are actually getting some sleet!!! It's a Winter Wonderland:)

I hope all your plans are coming together! Thanks so much for stopping by!

Saturday, December 1, 2012


One recent cold afternoon, my daughter and I went to the local coffee shop to make plans for the holiday season.  Every year we talk about all the things we want to do, and then, after it's all over,  as we are putting up the bits and pieces of the now Christmas Past, we realize we didn't do any of the things on our wish list.  This year we took our calendars, ordered some hot chocolate, and got to filling in the blank spaces.  

While we were downtown, we went into the old library that was recently renovated and brought back to it's former beautiful self.  I snapped a few pictures just to show you how pretty it is.  Mostly they just have classics, I think.   

First thing on our calendar was the Christmas Parade. 3:00 today.  We were so excited to be going to our first event! Aren't we just so prepared?! So on the ball?! So organized?!  We gave ourselves plenty of time, knowing there would be so many people, sooooo many children. I wasn't sure where we would park. Luckily, we were early enough to get a nice close parking place. We walked around a bit. Downtown Newnan is really a wonderful place to be.  

 This is the old movie house.  It's now a nightclub. 
We are sitting on a bench here, waiting for the parade to start. 
 There were some vendors there, but we weren't seeing any families. The church bells tolled at 3:00...We waited and waited. No sounds. No children. No parade:(  

Oh well, we had a lovely time together, we kept telling ourselves! We still made memories. We got out of the house! We felt all Christmassy- tingly after seeing The Square all dressed in it's Christmas finery.  But no parade. Sigh.  We went home. I checked my calendar.  Oops! It's Sunday, not Saturday! We get to do it all again tomorrow!!

I hope you've had a great Saturday! Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 26, 2012


Can you believe Thanksgiving has come and gone? Does it seem to you that time has suddenly gone into warp speed?  Having last week off was so nice, and getting back to work is nice, too.  A few more weeks and I'll have a little more time off for Christmas. Seems like I only focus on the next off period:) Tomorrow my dh is having carpal tunnel surgery. We've heard it's not too bad, but it's going to be hard for him to not use his primary hand for 6 weeks.  I just don't think it's possible.  We should be back home before noon, so I'm hoping to get some Christmas decorating done. 

Cold weather has moved in and with it the joy of fires and hot chocolate and yummy warm soup.  We're really cold at night (in the 20's) but warm up nicely in the day. Hard to know how to dress. When I went out to get the mail at work today it felt like spring . Crazy!

I hope you've had a great day. I'm so glad you stopped by!

Saturday, November 24, 2012


 Hello! How are you? Have you switched gears from Fall/Thanksgiving to Christmas yet?  I think I'll be putting a little Christmas Spirit around the house today.  Hopefully I can get my tree up, can't wait for someone to get up so we can get it!

Today I'm sharing  my nature collection and joining the fun at Mockingbird Hill Cottage for Favorite Thing Saturday. This has become a favorite of mine, I hope you'll check it out and join in the fun!
                        Here is a shelf that I've dedicated to my collection.  It's just things I've collected over the years...a rock here, a bird feather there. Once while on vacation we visited a zoo and I followed the Avairy guy around as he fed the exotic birds. Woo-hoo! You should have seen my excitement as he brought out feathers for me! Later in the day he found me and gave me a penguin feather! That was so sweet of him, I've always remembered his kindness.  Another time I got an ostrich feather from a man who had a children's petting event at a school I was working at! Their feathers are surprisingly beautiful. 
 I have loved and collected rocks since I was a child.  I have a few rocks from Nova Scotia that my sister brought me. Did you know there are beautiful rocks there? I didn't! They are pink and blue!  Some rocks were gifts from a rock hound I knew. He would bring me beautiful rocks from the digs he went on. The snake skin is from the ball python my son had.
There is also a couple of  arrowheads, a fossil and a civil war bullet in the mix. I hope you've enjoyed this little viewing of my nature shelf! What are some of your favorite things? 
Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you have a wonderful Saturday!

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Happy Thanksgiving! I'm taking a little break from the preparations to post my tablescape. I'm pretty happy with it. I made a Magnolia wreath, which I think turned out lovely.  I wanted a woodland theme so I cut little circles of moss from my yard and have them on a small plate at each place setting. I then put a few acorns on  the moss and a little woodland animal. Actually, they are jungle animals. I decided to add the animals late in the day and could only find jungle critters. But I thought they would do.  On top of the moss I added a little candle cup.  Napkins are homemade, a pretty fall leaf print. I added some peas to the hurricane glass, and though it doesn't show in these photos, I've raised the candle a bit, so more of it would show. We're having a small celebration  this year, there will just be 6 of us. My dad will be spending the day with his great grandchild - he's very excited about that!  I hope you're enjoying a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family. I'm linking with BNOTP for Tablescape Thursday.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


I have the great pleasure of having the week of Thanksgiving off from work.  It's so wonderful to have the pleasure of lovely, calm mornings to make plans for such a greatly anticipated event.  I have to plan every single thing out in regards to the cooking.  I even draw an oven and pots and pans with notes and times. (Just a little anal:) ) I have a time planner that has 15 minute increments. Tomorrow starts the cooking. I think I've got everything well planned out, so it should go smoothly. The green moss circles are for my table decor.  I have an idea in my head, I hope it will come off.  I did a trial place setting and thought it looked kind of cute, very woodsy. I also have some magnolia leaves that I need to fashion into a wreath.  I forgot to put that on my 15 minute timed increment planner, oops!  I hope your plans are coming together and you're enjoying the preparations! Thanks for stopping by!