May 20, 2018:

Hola!

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...

Jan

Saturday, November 23, 2013

My Cardinal Christmas Tree!

Hola darlings!

My yard work fantasy for this weekend has been blown to smithereens (literally!) by a strong northwest wind bringing temperatures with wind chills of 10 above zero F to zero!  And tonight, down to 10 below zero, brrrrrrr!

My plans for the weekend being blown away, I decorated my Cardinal Christmas Tree instead. Prior post, with pictures.  Here is the finished tree:




I had intended to keep the tree as it was, with pre-wired white lights that are plugged into an outlet.  So, earlier this week, I decorated the tree with ALL of the cardinals (one dozen).  I loved how it looked!  But that cord.  Oh no no no.  I want to use the tree as a centerpiece on my dinette table.  Short of cutting a hole in my tablecloth and running the cord underneath it (with resulting bulge), and then taping a very long extension cord across, underneath the table, down the center support and across the floor to the nearest outlet - well, just wasn't working for moi. 

I briefly thought about putting the tree on the peninsula that separates my kitchen from dinette (there is a convenient outlet), but that's not what I wanted.

And so, Thursday lunch hour I ran to Walgreens downtown and hunted for battery-operated lights.  I did not want to order them on the internet - too expensive (I had done a lot of checking around).  Last year Walgreens had advertised three sets of 15-LED lights, battery-operated, for $10.  And sure enough, Walgreens had them again this year and I found them!  YAY!  I'm not a fan of the blue-ish/grey-ish light of LEDs, but for the price and convenience of being able to move my Cardinal Christmas Tree wherever I want to, I decided I would use them. For the price, it's worth it. And, if I get ambitious, I will pull out my watercolors and paint the outside of the lights with yellow/brown mixed to create a warmer glow of light.


Tree before being decorated, but with burlap wrap trimmed.
 
The mess I made - I tried to take the lights off the tree, but they were glued/
wired on, so in the end I snipped them off.  I saved the bulbs.  I did not want
the clutter of the existing lights in addition to the two sets I intended to add, not
on such a small tree, that's why I cut the original lights off.  As I worked,
tugging and snipping, one of the berry branches came loose and fell off.
Some of the "snow" also came off along with assorted greens that I wasn't
careful enough to poke out of the way of my scissors.
 
Battery-operated LED lights from Walgreens (I used 2 sets, but they were
3 for $10 so I bought 3) and small ornaments I picked up at the downtown
TJ Maxx on the way back to the office, just the right colors I wanted!

Lots of photos of the finished tree (I may tweak the ornaments a bit, you know how that goes):


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The battery packs for the two light-sets I put on the tree are taped underneath the overlap of the burlap wrap and hidden beneath the French wire ribbon I added.  I think next year, or even this year if I can find it, I will look for a suitably sized container (not an urn, they were too expensive!) in which to set the base and also tuck the battery packs, then I won't have to tape them to the burlap-wrapped base of the tree.

I'm very happy with how it turned out, but it really doesn't look much like my inspiration Cardinal Christmas Tree from Gump's (top image):

 

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