Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Bringing Light To The Dark Days

It sounds like parts of the northeastern USA are preparing for huge amounts of snow.  Apparently we in NC are included in that storm system.  Although we are seeing it in the liquid form of rain.  If you are in the path of the heavy snow, I am thinking of you today.  With all that we are currently dealing with this holiday season, power outages and other storm related issues are the last thing needed.

 In an effort to bring a little light to this dreary day, I went around the house this morning and lit a few candles and overrode a few of the timers to cheer things up a bit.

This little garden snowman has his mower ready to assist those of you who need help clearing your walks and driveways.  Any takers?

I had fun decorating this area for the first time this year.
This is the view from the kitchen into the "smart space".  That's the fancy name for laundry room.  Considering that I do laundry, work my job daily, check my home computer, wrap gifts, pot houseplants and store much of my seasonal home decor, gift wrap, office supplies, laundry supplies, cleaning supplies and books I guess it is a pretty smart use of space : ).  
The door goes into the garage.  The built in bench is a great spot to put on or take off your shoes.

Since I do spend a lot of time in here it seemed an ideal spot to spread a bit of Christmas cheer.  Even better to make it vintage Christmas cheer.  So I selected some of my favorite old ornaments to hang on the tabletop tree.  The wreath hung there a few days when I had a lightbulb moment.  Literally.  Last year my neighbor had given me a strand of battery operated lights with little clothespins attached.
I decided to put them to use on my wreath to display some of my cherished old Christmas cards.

Ah, the good old days when we looked forward to receiving cheerful Christmas greetings in our mailbox all month long.  I'm one of the people who has been holding onto that tradition even though I see it declining more every year.  This year I bought the cards early.  When it came time to prepare them for sending, the motivation was nowhere to be found.  I found every excuse I could think of to avoid the task.  But, since I had bought the cards I was going to send them.
I've been dragging the task along all week.  Most have been mailed and the rest will be done today.  Last night I was reading about how overwhelmed the post office is.  Chances are the last of my cards will be late to arrive.
Bah Humbug!

I know a lot of us have wondered whether it was worthwhile to decorate when the holiday visitors would be in short supply or non-existent.  I'm glad we went ahead and decorated as usual.  There is a certain comfort to be found in the decorations collected through the years.   Plus, the lights are beautiful every day.  Starting in early December I begin the day with my cup of coffee in front of the lighted Christmas tree.  Evenings are often spent watching a Christmas movie with all of the Christmas lights glowing.  Christmas lights will always be magical to me.  Perhaps more than ever this year.


Monday, December 7, 2020

Holly Jolly

While I was getting my outside morning light today, I collected some greenery from the garden.  Rosemary and two types of holly. Back when I chose the plants for my garden space, I put a lot of thought into favorite plants that would serve more than one purpose. In other words, they needed to be not only pretty, but also be something that could provide bouquets, be edible, provide shade, encourage beneficial insects, be food for the birdies...  Well, you get the idea. With such a small garden, it was an exercise in restraint.

Hollies that provided beautiful berries made it onto the list.
We grew many different hollies in our last garden.  They do well in our naturally acidic soil.  Even though there were several varieties, I was usually hard pressed to find berries to use at Christmastime.  Sometimes the birds beat me to them and sometimes the plants didn't produce.  Therefore, I researched a size suitable for this garden and learned they were best planted with a male and female plant in close proximity.  When they were planted last summer they looked a bit scraggly.  But, it seems they did whatever they had to do to produce some beautiful red berries.  I was able to clip enough sprigs for an arrangement and there are still plenty for the birds.


Just the pop of red I was looking for and the rosemary is adding a nice pop of fragrance.

How are your holiday decorating plans progressing?