A Different Feel to Christmas

Hi, All.

Yes, IT REALLY IS only two weeks till Christmas Day.

Sounds like ours will a quiet holiday, just the two of us, with a small family celebration between the 25th and New Years. It was that way last year too, and just fine.

The entire season seems somehow different this year. I’m not sure why. The cold and snow have been very severe quite early; Thanksgiving was later than usual; and a family member has been grouchy ever since. All of that may have contributed to this “off” feeling.

Even after pulling out the many tubs of Holiday decorations from the crawl space, neither of us wanted to tackle any big projects.

So … we didn’t.

We long ago discontinued the hours of conquering snowy fields for just the right tree to cut. It isn’t as fun without children along. The cold got colder as we got older, and the trees seemed to grow more heavy and difficult to transport each year..
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Oh we still put a tree up this year. We have a very realistic and easy to assemble, artificial one now. There’s also a smaller, table tree in our family room that made the cut this year. Only because after last season, I wrapped it up in a big old plastic bag, ornaments and all, and found a spot for it on a garage shelf.
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So … 1 – 2 – 3, it’s a done tree!

Most everything else is minimal. Some that know me are shocked that I left the hutch as-is. It’s fine with just a bit of sparkle added here and there. Although, I spruced up the top a bit, placing this old yule santa next to the plants there.

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Isn’t he adorable?  He was a gift from my daughter-in-law (to-be) last Christmas.

For the table, DB brought a big glass bowl up. I washed it, added a live poinsetia plant, and filled around it with more sparkle.
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The table covering is simply a long piece of wrapping paper for festivity, a remnant of silky green fabric for a little depth and texture, and a red plastic charger plate Jessica also gave me last year.

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The big tree takes center stage in the living room, so the credenza moves to the hall wall. All I did here was … you guessed it … add some sparkle to an existing arrangement. I just used pieces in the vignette that tied in to the colors of the painting above.

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I took a different direction in my office/workroom. I worked with the colors already there. More sparkle was added to the window group.

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Then after clearing my bulletin board, I prettied it up with similar colors.

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Well, there ARE still two weeks to add a few more little things.

Next post, I’ll share some “Make-Do”, pretty ideas … all done on NO BUDGET and VERY LITTLE TIME.

Meanwhile, stay warm, stay safe … and don’t stress, just start!

Later – Cheryl

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The Oomph Returns!

Hi and Happy August.

Regulars know that I’ve been bummed and blue after the recent loss of Freddy. Even my crazy cousins’ visit and our fun shopping escapades, didn’t lift the doom cloud completely. I just haven’t found or projected much inspiration lately.

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Energy levels began rising yesterday when Hubs took a mid-week vacation day. Gorgeous weather allowed us to get lots done in the yard. I’m always more energetic when he’s out there working with me! Do you feel like that about your partner? Anyway, look what we cleaned up and hauled to the field.

As is often the case, I forgot about pictures, so no before shots. But you would have just seen “Befores” that were dead trees and shrubs, and big holes in the “Afters”.

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One lilac got moved, to replace a cottoneaster shrub, but otherwise no big changes for photo ops. Several other large bushes did get substantial hair cuts, but again, I never thought about B4 images.

Last year this two-trunk oddity came up in a planting bed by the family room west window. We forgot to pull it and this summer it’s gigantic. I think it’s a cast off root of a former shrub that was removed long ago, but can’t remember the name. We decided to let it continue a few more seasons and see what happens.

It’s sad to have to remove trees. As for shrubs, I always assumed if they remained healthy they were long lasting. I’ve learned that many do have long lifespans. But others, especially some of the more woody stemmed varieties like ninebarks, reach a point where they can no longer be pruned effectively and the roots begin taking all the nourishment from other plants in your bed.

The reddish bush pictured below is a 13 year diablo ninebark that will probably have to go next season.

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On an ending note here are a couple of shots of our front entrance area.

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Here’s a question for you.

Who is Kim Parker and why do I love her book so much?

Find out next time!
Meanwhile, don’t stress, just start.

Later – Cheryl

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