Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas in the House!

There are no flowers in the house this week - altho I hope to add some next week - but Jane has asked us to share what we've decorated.  And, I am all about decorating!  Well, not nearly as much as some folks, but it's a small house and I don't have a lot of storage space!

A handmade tin and copper star that I cherish.

So, the tree is up ....

... and a wreath on the inside of the front door.

Something festive on the hearth ...

.... as well as on the coffee table. 

For the kitchen I changed out the ribbons to coordinate with the walls [i know!], 

and then a little something on the book shelf.

Still plan to do flowers for the table, but that will be next week.  Hope the weather's good and you're nearly done with all the getting ready so that you can enjoy the holidays!

Be sure to stop by Jane's house to see who else has been busy.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Cookie Day!

One would think that with just two adults in our household and few visitors expected over the holiday season that i would cut back on the Christmas "doing" and i tell myself that i have.  

Well, i still put up wreaths, and a tree, and decorate, and invite a few friends for Christmas dinner.  That seems to pretty much cover the major items, doesn't it?

But the other thing that i simply haven't been able to give up is making Christmas cookies.  It's just too deeply ingrained. 

We don't eat them, of course.  The last thing that we need is dozens of tempting sweets around the house.  So, i make them and send them to my brother's family!  With teenagers and young adults in the house, i assume that they have enough traffic during the holidays that there will be plenty of folks available to devour whatever i send.  And, i tell myself that it means as much to my brother as it does to me.

I have cut back to only three favorites:  Ginger snaps because Mitchell loves the soft ones [not like the hard, crunchy ones you buy], "Janet's Christmas Cookies*" and the sugar cookie-based recipe that came from Grandmother and is made with a cookie press.  

[Small commercial here:  having worn out both my cookie press and Mother's, i had to get a new one a couple of years ago.  The Williams-Sonoma brand is excellent!  Even easier to use than the old ones and it seems to hold up well.  No financial inducement was given for that recommendation.  i really do love it!]

Over the past week i reviewed the recipes and made a shopping list and then took Friday off to bake.  Mixing, pressing, decorating, baking, and packing up to go!  I was a  whirling dervish in the kitchen and it was a wonderful day.  Good smells, good tastes and lots of fun.
So, maybe i did keep a few for home consumption ... with a cup of tea.

Hope you are caught up in whatever you enjoy most about the season - and not stressing too much about it!

*Janet's Christmas Cookies are candied cherries surrounded by a wonderful dough with pecans and orange rind and iced - delicious!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

It Really is Hinting About Fall Around Here

Belinda tells us that the light is changing in England and fall is definitely in the air there.  We are not quite that far into the season here, but there are definitely changes.  The cooler days and increased rain over the past week have started to work their magic.  
The last of the summer flowers have perked up and started to bloom some more. 
 The garden phlox has re-bloomed after a severe cutback last month.
A few spring bloomers have decided to throw a few extra blossoms out of season.
This viburnum only bloomed a little in April - it was too hot then.
And, the first of the harbingers of fall are starting to pop out.
The fall anemones bloomed in July, but they are back.
Phystostigia - Obedient Plant is always one of the first fall bloomers.
 Lady's Mantle
Sedum 'Madrona' is one of my favorites.  A rounder bloom and a darker pink than some other varieties.

This chrysanthemum is ahead of the rest, but many of them bloomed in June and are getting ready to re-bloom now.

An old favorite - Sedum 'Autumn Joy'
All in all, it's lovely!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wednesday Workday

With Mother Nature's help and support the new garden bed is finished.  The long weekend didn't hurt, either. 

Saturday morning on my knees pulling out the last of the hypericum, led to a quick trip to the Big Blue Box for plants - five azaleas and three chrysanthemums - and by Monday voila!  A bit of rain each day didn't hurt a bit, and more is expected this week to help settle them in.

They are small, but they will grow.  It's a philosophical discussion Mitchell and I have every time I plant something.  I prefer to buy many smaller plants and watch them grow, while he would like for me to get a few BIG plants.  I think they are harder to transplant and get going ... and I usually am the one digging the holes.  So, small it is.  Come back next year and suspect it will be very different!