Monday, November 16, 2020

Pretty Sunsets and Thanksgiving Plans

Late yesterday afternoon Brett & I went out for a walk.  By the time we got home the sun was setting in a spectacular fashion.  It occurred to me that had I stayed inside working on my puzzle I might have missed it entirely.  We've decided that timing our walks around sunset would be a good idea from now on.  

The holiday cactus that spent the summer outside is now in full bloom.  I'm sure it will be done before Thanksgiving so wanted to capture it's beauty while I can.  

Like most people our Thanksgiving will look  a bit different this year.  At first I thought why bother with all of the cooking and baking when it will just be three of us.  Brett suggested ordering the complete meal from the supermarket.  I was briefly tempted until I started thinking about my favorite aspects of our Thanksgiving traditions.  High on that list is the scent of the turkey roasting hours before the meal is served.  To me, it heightens the anticipation of the delicious meal we have to look forward to.  It is also a comforting smell reminding me that even though the people gathered around the table changes through the years, the reason for the celebration remains the same.  While I realize it might be tempting to think that there isn't a lot to be thankful for this year, perhaps it's more important than ever to look for the silver lining.

This week I'm looking forward to finalizing our menu.  The traditional elements will all be there on, perhaps, a smaller scale.
It feels good to have something to plan for.

If you will be celebrating Thanksgiving I'd love to hear about your plans.  

Wishing you all a good week ahead.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Office Views

Here you see my home office.  (try to contain your excitement :).
The window above my desk looks out onto a small hill that has been planted with field grasses and a few trees. Normally while working I keep the blind raised less than halfway to keep the outside light out of my eyes.  It's nice to have a view to the outside, but not a lot changes with field grass from day to day.  It does seem to attract a fair share of butterflies in the summer and field mice love to hide out in there.  Once in a while I see them darting around.  Other than that, not too exciting.

After finishing my work yesterday I went to close the blind when a golden glow caught my eye.  As the sun began to set it illuminated the crest of my little hill.  The sky was turning black and, although it wasn't raining, a beautiful rainbow was forming.  Rather than shut the blind, I raised it higher to get a better look.
I sat a moment and wondered how long this beauty had been developing unbeknownst to me.

 As I knew it would be mere moments before the sunlight was gone completely I decided to sit and gaze out a bit longer.  Out of the corner of my eye I sensed movement and then noticed somebody looking my way.  My first thought was a dog.  


As he made his way down the hill headed back into the woods, his big bushy tail gave away his real identity.


Seems maybe I have underestimated the views on the other side of the blinds.  I'll be paying closer attention from now on.

Monday, November 2, 2020

Early November Garden Notes

Between pandemic fatigue and politics, I think we could all use a little escape.  One of the best escapes for me is nature and the garden.

The summer annuals have been pulled in anticipation of our first frost.  The nights are getting down into the low 30s so it won't be long.
In their place we've planted pansies.
Their cheery little faces are sure to be a bright spot through the winter and into spring.
It's hard to choose a favorite color.  Just when I'm sure it is that violet one above...

I wonder if it might not be the two toned purple one.
Actually, I like the two of them together.

While many plants in the garden are done for the season, the camellias are just getting started.  Loaded with buds with one bloom unfurling.  Yesterday I gave them a sprinkling of fertilizer to help them along.

Last week brought two days of strong winds.  Many of the leaves came down before they reached their peak.
Although my hummingbird feeder is still in place, the sweet little hummers headed for warmer climates in early October.  They will be greatly missed.

My Christmas cactus spent the summer in a shady spot on the patio.  This is how it looked on October 22nd.  Little buds forming on the leaf tips.  How exciting!!

After spending a few nights in the garage, I submerged the pot in a bucket of lukewarm water for 15 minutes.  Supposedly this will make any creepy crawlers come out of the soil.  Then I let it drain well in the garage overnight and sprayed it with insecticidal soap.  This morning I moved it to it's indoor home.  It will bloom before Christmas, but I have found this to be such a surefire way to get it to provide an abundant amount of blooms each year.  This plant was one I picked up at Aldi last year.  It has come a long way since then.

Another houseplant that spent the summer on the patio is my Norfolk Pine.  I have had this for years and years.  It was a little tiny plant I picked up from Lowe's to use as part of a Christmas display.  It's kind of been hanging in there all these years without growing too much.

It seems to have benefitted from it's summer vacation.
I prepared it to come in from the cold the same way as I did the cactus.  This year I may even be able to decorate it for Christmas.


I hesitate to share what's been (ahem) popping up in my side garden.
But every day there seems to be more.
Not quite sure what to say about this.  Although I do think if these made an appearance at a gender reveal party it would be easy to guess the result.
Okay, sorry.  I just couldn't resist.

Moving right along...

Well, that about concludes our garden escape.
That doesn't, however, mean that we can't carry on with escaping from reality a bit longer.
As our presidential election in the U.S. looms on the horizon, the ugliness and division has been hard to get away from.  As much as I am ready for this election to be over, there is a sense of unease at what will happen next.  Our ballots were cast weeks ago.  We each spent the better part of a day researching the candidates and making our best informed decisions.  The ballots were mailed and tracked until we were advised that they had reached their destination.  Not much more we can do now except wait.
While waiting I plan to avoid the news as much as possible in favor of quieter pursuits.


Happy November!