December 4, 2016: Hola everyone! Winter has arrived in Milwaukee and there are snow flurries today. Despite several hard freezes remarkably my "spikes" in two of my patio planters have absolutely refused to die. The rosemary and thyme plants I nursed inside the house through last winter spent the summer in their pot outside next to the side stoop off the driveway, where they get plenty of sunshine all day long. I transplanted them into a cozy sheltered spot right next to the stoop in October and they are still green and growing, too! With the delay in getting the drywall patching done in the relatively minor "reconstruction" work I had done in my kitchen, I am way behind my time in getting the house decorated. But yesterday I got my wreath decked out with extra lights and dressed the front door of the house, and my battery-operated traditional candles were put up on the window sills all around the house Friday evening. It becomes a ritual to go around at dusk and turn the tops to the right to turn the candles "on" and at bedtime to go around and turn the tops to the left to turn the candles "off." Today I put some "glittery" throw pillow covers purchased new last month from H&M on three of my sofa pillows to glam things up a bit in the living room and add some sparkle. Later on, after I sufficiently fuel myself up with wine and snacks and probably to distract myself while I listen to the Packers game on the radio, I will huff and puff and pull my artificial tree up from storage in the basement. I will decorate it simply this year. Every year I say that, and every year I end up throwing just about everything except the kitchen sink on the tree. I am very proud of myself this year, though. I did not buy a single new ornament or Christmas doo-dad for the house (throw pillow covers don't count!!!) Happy Holidays to all, with hope and fervent prayers for 2017. I've a feeling we're all going to need a lot of help from Goddess in the coming year. Jan

Monday, October 13, 2014

Fall Color in the Neighborhood

Hola!  Yesterday (Sunday) it was beautiful outside.  The temperature was close to 60, it was sunny, the sky was very blue and the leaves are changing.  When I got back from the hike to the Pick 'n Save I grabbed my camera and took a walk around the neighborhood, snapping photographs.  Several neighbors looked at me like I was nuts.  Well...






There is still some color in my backyard garden, too:




This photo doesn't do this low-lying plant justice.  The flowers are intensely purple!

There are a few daisies left, too:




This hydrangea flower just opened up!  To join this one:


And my million bells hanging planters are still going strong:


Except for the Roses of Sharon setting their seed pods and some plants yellowing (or already gone brown) for the season, I could almost forget that autumn is here.  But I can't avoid seeing what's coming - this is the view out of my patio door:


We haven't had a real hard frost yet, but I've been covering the planters on the front porch at night, and the sheets are wet in the morning.  The African daisies and asparagus ferns in the planters are still going strong, though, which I find absolutely amazing. I don't know how much longer I will have them.  I will miss them.  I am thinking about getting two artificial topiaries to hold the space on either side of the front door through that season that we don't say out loud around here. 

But first, Halloween!  The neighborhood has a big trick or treat at night and already I can see decorations are up - ghouls and goblins and Frankensteins galore -- and skeletons seem to be very big, too.  I don't have anything for Halloween and frankly, not exactly in the mood to turn the inside of my house autumnal or my front yard into a fake graveyard!  I will move the planters before the 31st so there is more room on the small front porch and I've stocked up on lots of candy.  I wonder if I can find an orange lightbulb somewhere for the porch light, and some kind of ghoulish depiction on a sheet of plastic I can tape to the door temporarily -- that will be the extent of my Halloween decorations :) 

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