Thursday, December 18, 2014

~December So Far~

 Yes, indeed- this is exactly how December is making me feel!!

The advent garland was hung and filled December 1st . . .

And then ever so slowly the house was festooned . . .
in the livingroom, with a boxwood wreath, paper whites, wonky advent garland and sleeping kitty . . .

and in the kitchen, with more paper whites, and my brand new (early) birthday gift: this awesome shelf from World Market! Thank you, Grammie! :)

I bought this wooden village five or so years ago and bleached the bottle brush trees turning them from a bright emerald green to a more subdued green and golden-white. One of my favorite things!

The decorating continued off the kitchen to the basement entry. . .

Getting to go by this little house all lit up just gives me oodles of joy :) And I go up and down those basement stairs A LOT.

Also in the nook, hanging from my bird hook is one of my most treasured Christmas items- this stocking was my grandfather's from when he was a little boy . . . and then it was mine all the way through my childhood. It's grown so thin and threadbare that I chose not to use it for either of my boys, but instead I display it every year. It has little nursery rhyme scenes all stitched up with blue thread, tied with a red ribbon and some very old jingle bells. <LOVE> 
The snowflake was a gift from our Belgian friend. He knows I have a weakness for blue and white Wedgwood. ;)

And in the diningroom more Christmas abounds . . .

The picture below is the one and only I had time to take on the evening of our annual Caroling Party . . . we worked frantically non-stop all day long to get everything ready- but we think it turned out well despite the crazy. Lots of hot buttered rum does that. ;) 

Our tree was put in a corner by the hall . . .

I was really happy with how it turned out this year . . . we used 1,000 brand new white lights and only the white, silver, clear or gold ornaments in our collection. I say was happy because two days later and those lights suddenly stopped working. Yep- nothing but real life here.

Speaking of real life- there is way more than Christmas in our December . . . I've been kept on my toes with bad cats. . .
school concerts and events, lots of ebay orders (yay!) and lots of birthdays . . . so far my grandfather's- this feltie squirrel is for him...
and the Husband's- the Oldest made him breakfast and I baked him a cake . . .

and then next up is my own birthday and finally my brother-in-law's. So December so far is like every December . . . very, very full. :)
And it won't be too much longer until I can do this . . . !

Happy Holiday everyone!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

~November Living and Thanksgiving~

So, I've been wanting to write a post for about 2 weeks now, but my phone would. not. sync. to my computer and it's taken me this long just to retrieve my photos! 

But, oh, November- you've been crazy. Crazy in lots of good ways. We've had everything from bright, low-angled sunshine to our first snow and a wind storm that knocked our power out for a day. Two weeks ago it was 24 degrees and today it was 65!

I've been enjoying all the fall decorating this year- preserved leaves tucked here and there . . . mini pumpkins and dried hydrangea bunches . . . and the joy of getting out my small collection of brown and white transfereware. Everywhere there are pinecones, some strawflowers, and maybe a stuffed scarecrow sitting in a wee chair. 

I can't tell you how many candles we've already gone through this month- they flicker away the cold and dark and make the house smell just right. There's been lots of kitty cuddles and kitty photo bombs . . . and even a craft fit in there- Loving my sweater pillow cover- idea found over here

Our garage is full of wood and we let the fireplace blaze on Sunday afternoons. We play board games on Sunday evenings and sometimes there are hot baked scones to accompany us. 

This month I was even able to convince my 12 year old to let me read to him from one of my favorite Autumn books, Mousekin's Golden House. 

We are feeling blessed and full of Thanksgiving this month. Thank Full. As we finish up with our last minute Holiday preparations and plans, I just want to leave you with President Lincoln's Proclamation of Thanksgiving as a reminder to us all that it benefits us to give thanks to God in both good times and hard times . . . 
Happy Thanksgiving!
Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863
By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.


Thursday, November 6, 2014

~A Garden Break~

Last week I was able to dodge some rain showers and spend a little time out in the garden. It was a pale sun and all was damp, but still so nice to be outdoors. 

My 'thoughtful spot' tree is in it's prime . . .
bright red above with the leaf shedding only just begun. Poor thing lost some little branches as well. We get some big wind gusts this time of year and it seems like we loose a little more of this tree with each storm.

All the debris from the cedar trees along our alley way is starting to fall, too . . .

like a blanket to tuck all the flower beds in to sleep.

This north-sided hydrangea surprised me with a brand-new flowering at the tail-end of October. :)

Much of the south-side of the garden has been cut-back already. The heather is in bloom and the trees over here are just starting their fall transformation. Time to get the outdoor furniture packed away.

After admiring the garden for awhile, I was fortunate enough to get to take care of the very best of 'chores' fall has to offer . . . bulb planting!! My sweet sister surprised me with two packages of tulip bulbs- 'black hero' (purple) and 'spring green' (white with green). They look beautiful and I am SO excited to see them in their full glory come spring! I can't think of a nicer gift that keeps on giving. :) Thanks, Nina!!

Below is where I planted the 'black hero' bulbs. . . with furry help, of course. The 'spring green' were planted on the north side of the house where I will (hopefully) be able to see them from my studio windows when the time comes.

And then to round out my little garden break, I cut some of the choicest hydrangea (the few not-brown ones) and let them dry in the wee bit of sun we were having. Luckily the weather stayed dry most of the day and I was able to bring them into the house only semi-wet from all the rain we've had.

And now I get to enjoy them constantly- a happy reminder of gardening days. 

Friday, October 31, 2014


I was up to my eyeballs in things to do all weekend (the house was overflowing with teenage boys and even a visiting friend from Belgium), so I was unable to respond directly, but Thank You all for your hurrahs and encouragements on my last post. It was much appreciated- and yes, the cake was delicious, thank goodness! :)

After all the birthday and visitor hoopala, we ended last weekend with some pumpkin carving. I have to say I'm not big on Halloween (for lots of reasons), but I do enjoy pumpkin carving now that the boys are old enough to do it for themselves AND help clean up afterwards (I do not enjoy the aftermath . . .)
The Husband's creation
I think he looks like Frankenstein :)
The Youngest's:
that is suppose to be a cigarette sticking out of it's mouth (no idea) and if you look closely you'll see he wrote 'karen' on it's side- a reference to the movie 'The Watcher in the Woods'- a family favorite
The Oldest's pumpkin:
I was guessing Picasso, but he says it has to do with an anime show he watches
My cat'o lantern
(I was too tired to think of anything more creative)
Twister decided Cat o'Lantern made a good companion- no fleas

Anyway- our creations found their way to the front porch and tonight I will light them up to greet anyone who may come to the door.
I also have these darling tattoos I found at Target to hand out. I picked these up a month ago- I prefer to not hand out candy simply because having it around the house is dangerous for me and my lack of control where sweets are concerned.

  In fact, I already have quite the stash of chocolate of my own- all the way from Belgium, courtesy of our Belgium visitor. I think this may be the first year I will not be raiding the kids' trick or treat loot!!