May 20, 2018:


Yesterday Prince Harry married American Meghan Markle and I couldn't get enough of the royal wedding. What a gorgeous dress, the bride was radiantly beautiful and the church at Windsor - oh my goodness, the flowers alone were soooo beautiful. There's nothing like a good love story to make one appreciate how precious we can be (and should be) to each other.

I'm glad the weather was perfect yesterday for the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex's wedding. I can't say the same for around here. Spring keeps teasing and then going away. This morning I woke up to a "balmy" 47 degrees F outside, rain, damp, and I turned the heat back on! It's May 20th, the heat. should. not. be. on. Period.

Last Thursday, however, was beautiful. I was able to get a goodly amount of yard and garden clean-up done over several days last week. I also took some photos of my flowering tree anchoring the north corner of my house and made the current collage. I think it's an ornamental cherry, and on the the other end of the house, I think that's called a purple sand cherry? I'll have to check that. The blossoms on the tree do not have a distinct fragrance, but the purple shrub that wants to be a tree (despite my hacking it back, back and back yearly - I'm losing, by the way) has myriad blossoms with a distinct fragrance. I can't decide if the scent is too beautiful to bear or too awful to smell, it certainly can be overpowering!

This coming week will be the third cut of the grass this season. We had rain late Friday night and then for several hours earlier this morning. This rain, on top of the rain we had over four days the prior weekend, and the grass is growing like nobody's business! I don't mind doing the grass, though, as long as it's not too hot, too cold, not raining, and not too windy. I'm not picky at all, am I...

I still have a lot of raking out of areas that suffered from snow mold over the winter, and have not yet really tackled cleaning out the north flower bed in the backyard. That will be a chore!

But Memorial Day weekend is coming. This coming Saturday I will be out with a friend (who has a nice large van - goody!) stocking up on potting soil, top soil to fill in never-ending low spots in the yard, grass seed, and lots of plants! For some reason, this spring seems busier than those in prior years. I can't figure out why that is...


Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Tree is Done!

It's finished, at last!

Picking up from last night's post, here is what the tree looked like after I put the feather garland on:

I should have bought more!  There are six of them and they had a very distinct character to the tree.  They are long, but flexible.  As you see, they bow out naturally when the ends are tucked into the tree.  I didn't have to use twist ties or clips to anchor the ends -- wonderful!

This year I left off my wine/maroon colored ornaments and only used my clear, white, gold and silver ornaments in addition to the gold French ribbon and the newest addition to my tree decorations, those gorgeous wonderful faux-feathers!

Below are some photos of the finished tree, taken in full daylight before the Packers game came on at noon.  It is beautiful today, feels like it must be close to 60 degrees out there!  Last night there was thunder and lightning but not much rain.  On December 1st!  We will have one more warm day tomorrow, and one of my walking friends and I have a lunch-time excursion already planned, probably it will be the last time we'll be comfortable doing three miles this season.

The magic of a Christmas tree is at its best at night, of course, when all the lights are on and the candles and tea lights are glowing and the lights around the inside of my round top window are aglow.  The room is actually bright enough, probably, to land an airplane by.  But I'm not good at taking night photos.  Perhaps when I retire I will take a course in photography at the local technical college.  I would like to take really beautiful photographs like many I've seen on your blogs. 

I added some snowflake ornaments to the mantle/mantel as a finishing touch.  I am so happy with how it turned out that I'm not changing a thing!  This side of the tree is seen when one is entering through the front door, so I try to make a good impression.

This is the tree viewed from the corner.  Hmmm, a few bare spots.  After I took these photos I added some small floral picks and a few ornaments to fill them in :)

I straightened up the top leader (you can see in the top pictures from yesterday that it was bent) and, stretching on a chair (I don't use my rickety step-ladder for this job) I attached my jerry-rigged star topper, then added some gold-glittered pine cone picks and two gold glittered sticks that remind me of chop sticks.  Last year the pine cones and chop stocks were used as decorations in Dad's plant which normally sits on the right side of the fireplace mantle/mantel.  I also filled in the top of the tree with small floral picks. Overall, much improved over prior year's attempts at a tree topper:

The stars were purchased last year at Walgreens, two for $5, and I've got them tied together with twist ties except at the bottom where I slip the opening over the top tree leader.  The glittered pine cones are sturdy and help anchor it so it doesn't flop over, LOL!

Some close-ups:

The photo below shows the pearl naos (house or shrine for the gods) around Nefertiri and Mr. Don's kilt pin, as well as hearts on either side of it.  Yes, I'm very sentimental!  This vignette is near the love seat where I can see it close by.  Mr. Don passed away unexpectedly on October 12th, so he will be here only in spirit this Christmas and Christmases to come.  His favorite down throw will be on the love seat.

Next weekend I will be helping my sister put up her two trees.  She recently underwent an emergency appendectomy after her appendix burst and she was very ill and put quite a scare into all of us over Thanksgiving.  She is well on the road to recovery now but will be off work for some weeks and is on restricted physical activity, so I imagine she'll be directing me from the sofa and have me running around like a chicken without a head, LOL! 

I will be glad to see 2012 finished, it has been a horrible year for me personally and, indeed, for some of my family and friends too. 

I am already thinking about next year's tree.  Perhaps white ribbon instead of the gold?  More feather garland?  Some clip on birds - in white?  Banishing most of the gold and going with white and clear ornaments, or more silver, instead?  What would the tree look like if it was flocked?  Oy, the mess -- and how would I do that and not cover the lights with spray flock?  Do I really want to buy a flocked tree instead, or one that looks "frosted?"  But this tree is still in excellent shape, how can I justify the expense?  Besides, I don't WANT two trees!!!  Oh, decisions, decisions...

Finally, thanks once again to Laura Orr for her wonderful tree last year being the inspiration for my tree this year!  Mine doesn't look near as pretty as hers but I'm fairly happy with it.

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