Sunday, December 16, 2007

Decking My Halls . . . .

As I write this, there are only ten more days until Christmas. My shopping is all done (nothing wrapped, though) and I hope you've got yours all finished.
Today I decorated the Christmas tree after Steve set it up and started the lights. I love color and I love sparkles so the tree is a huge mass of primary, bright, twinkling lights.
* It is very hard to take pictures of a lit Christmas tree. These are the best of about twenty I took and I think you can see how very full and festive it looks.
Garm and Thea watched (at least Thea did) me from the couch. Guess who loves to be covered by the soft orange blanket?? He was under there for quite a long time.

Isn't this cute? It's a bean filled holiday-themed conglomeration
that is to be put by a door to keep out the drafts. I can't for the life of me think of what it's called. I don't have drafty doors, but I thought it would be neat used as a decoration and it was 60% off! Garm is sure that it's a big, long dog toy and tried to carry it off.
I can just see the wheels turning in his head . . .
After I got this Santa pillow home, I saw that one of his beady eyes was missing. Kind of looks like he's winking, but that's the thread sticking up. Garm likes this guy too. I can only put these two decorations out when company comes otherwise there will be stuffing and felt all over the house.
This was my attempt at a panoramic view of my Santa figurine collection. Every year we've been together Steve has gotten me a Santa. All the little shops he used to go to are closed now so we ordered one on line this year. I hope it arrives by Christmas time.
Love this wreath and isn't it amazing how they can make plastic ornaments look like glass!
These two pictures are of some decorating in our bedroom. I think beaded garland is so pretty to use and gives everything a sumptuous, decadent feeling. The angel and candles are on a very tall chest of drawers and the beads and baubles spilling out are on my jewelry chest.
If you look closely, you can see that the nativity background spells the word "JOY". This is on a narrow shelf in the hallway. The LED candles give this a lovely glow. I got the silver tree (red one in the previous picture) from Crate and Barrel. Even though they are ultra modern, they fit into my traditional-hunting lodge-Victorian home.
More and more Santas.
This bowl of ornaments is in the breezeway and what looks like a little wreath hanging above is a ring to put around a candle.
The snowmen are also in the breezeway and this excellent rustic Christmas tree - made with bits of pine cones - is at the kitchen step - up.
A very glittery tree on the kitchen counter. See the violets blooming in the reflection.
And last, but not least, the fantastically huge poinsettia Steve surprised me with. (He "surprises" me with one every year.) It is actually a more creamy color than the picture shows and since I equate most things with some sort of food, the "flowers" remind me of luscious, butter cream frosting!
As I do each year, I read Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" and then watch the George C. Scott movie version of it on tape. It is always a moving and inspiring story for me, so for my quote this week I will borrow from Mr. Dickens.
' "Business!" cried the ghost, wringing its hands again. "Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!" '
-The Ghost of Jacob Marley
Fine words to live by.
Bye for now,

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Happy Birthday, Ashley! and Snow, Snow, Snow!

Twenty years ago today Ashley was born. It seems like yesterday I was waiting at the hospital for her arrival and today she's a grown young woman.

She's making extra money bar tending part-time now, so, this being a Packer Sunday, she had to work. So a lot of us went to wish her a Happy Birthday! and watch the game. (I don't care for football so I just went to see her! Oh yes, Steve was up North again and couldn't attend.)

She works at a sports bar called Calhoun Station. Aptly named because it was originally a train station and is right by the tracks. Inside was a loud, raucous crowd shouting the Packers on to a win. And I don't think I've ever seen Ashley moving around so fast as I did today as she and two other bartenders served up the "brewskis". She said Packer Sundays are "totally hectic"!
I told her no more goofy faces ...

That's better - listening intently to her Dad.
Handsome and proud father, Kim ...

Father and daughter look-a-likes . . .
with Aunt Candy . . .

and her wonderful , heart-of-gold, Mom (Gramma, too) Mae.
And Shaun, love of her life, was there with his Mom and Dad.

"The Other Gramma" as I sometimes call myself and my little sweet heart. (I remember when I had a chin like that!! Really, I did!)
Kelly, looking much too grown up and lovely, was there with Cindy. I didn't get any pictures that Cindy would allow me to put on the blog. But she was there.

Such a wonderful and sweet young woman she has become. I can't wait to see what the next twenty years will bring . . .
There has been quite a bit of snow the past weeks and I was able to get some very pretty pictures of the gardens.
As you can see, I haven't got the front entrance decorated at all yet. The "Happy Harvest" scarecrow is sticking out of the snow! The Welcome Pug is just about buried and the Welcome Bear looks a little like a panda - if you squint and tilt your head just so .....
Can't even tell that this is the pond . . .
I thought these two pictures, above and below were really neat . . .

like they were taken for a calendar.
The Poodle tree with the ornamental grass in the background. The grass has sprung back up after being covered with ice and snow last week.
Little Metal Pig Gardener looks somewhat forlorn up to her skirt hem in snow. And don't even ask me where the Green Angel is - somewhere under the snow would be my first guess!
There is something about winter
which pares things down to their essentials
a bare tree
a black hedge
hold their own stark throne in our hearts.
Moya Cannon - "Winter Paths" (1997)
Bye for now,

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

No Time ! !

Hi Everyone!
Sorry I won't be able to blog this week, but I'll post some cute Christmas pictures - some vintage, some not. I especially like the one where the Mother and Sisters are decorating the tree. Reminds me of when I was younger. Please enjoy the pictures and I will try to visit you all during the week.

Everyone must row with the oars he has.
--English proverb
Bye for now,