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

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Christmas Tree Finished In Time! Christmas Tree Reveal

Whew!  Hola everyone.

The 2014 version of our investment club's Christmas get-together came and went successfully!  I'm happy to say that, despite my anxiety over being able to bring a decent-looking tree together yesterday, the Christmas tree was a big hit with young and young at heart.  We had a wonderful breakfast out and then our gift exchange back at my place, seated around the tree.

Gayle's granddaughters got a tour of this new Maison Newton and gave me their seal of approval.  Ahhhhh, vindication!  The older granddaughter, Josie, pronounced "I like it" in a very decided fashion.  I said well, it's not as big as my former house, but it's okay for me.  Josie said "It's bigger than my house."  That took me aback for a second, I have to tell you.  Yes, things must be tight in a 3-bedroom rancher that is less than 1,000 square feet for a family of four with two growing girls.  Dad must feel way outnumbered, too.  I've got an abundance of space by comparison with my 1,073 square feet plus the wreck room and all the extra storage in the garage and covered storage behind the garage, and truly, the former Maison Newton with its two stories and huge yard was getting to be more than I wanted to handle at this stage of my life.  A few years from now, maybe I wouldn't be able to handle it at all!  So, I said to myself, "Self, stop bitching and moaning about your lack of space here, and just deal with it."  Message to Self received.

Without further ado - the GREAT CHRISTMAS TREE REVEAL!   Lots of pictures. I'm not the best photographer, and my camera is "old" (2005) - probably considered an antique by now; I've never learned how to use it properly despite reading the directions many times, and my hands shake sometimes, too.

THE TREE - TA DA!

View of the tree from the dinette/dining area.



Another view of the tree from the dinette area, near the patio door.


One Christmas several years ago (I don't even remember when, me bad!), Mr. Don surprised me with a trinket he'd found on the street near his Montreal apartment.  It was a silouette in stamped metal of the beautiful Egyptian Queen Nefertiti. Nefertiti is still considered one of the most beautiful women to ever have lived, and if you've ever seen a portrait of her bust excavated from the dry sands of Egypt, you'd understand why.  She is a Helen of Troy a thousand years before Helen of Troy was even a gleam in her daddy's eye.  Thousands of people flock each year to the museum in Germany that holds the original sculpture/bust of Nefertiti.  When Mr. Don presented me with this little treasure (he'd even cleaned it up!), I was so touched! He didn't have to say it, I knew then that I was the most beautiful woman in the world to him.

Another Christmas, Mr. Don presented me with a tartan pin that his twin sister bought for him as a souvenir at Castle Duart in Scotland, the ancestral home of the McLeans.  I had done their family tree for them and was able to trace their McLean ancestry back to the 1700s, but no further.  He wanted me to have the tartan pin as a keepsake.  It's been treasured ever since.  

Ach, getting all sentimental here.  Anyway, Nefertiti has been on the tree every year since she was given to me, and when Mr. Don gave me the McLean tartan pin, it was a natural pairing, with a glass heart in between. I really am sentimental :)  It's a little hard to see her in the photo, above, but Nefertiti (me) is there, in front of the sparkly silver snowflake, the heart is center, to the right of "me", and Mr. Don, represented by his tartan pin, is upper right of the glass heart.  I miss you, Mr. Don.  He passed away in his sleep, unexpectedly, on October 12, 2012.

I don't relay this information to be a downer, hope you don't think that, anyone who read this.  He was such a special person in my life for over 13 years, and there's not a day goes by I don't miss him and my heart aches.  But life goes on, and life can be a powerful force for good.  When I see those little trinkets on my tree, I always smile, because our good times were very good.  They're front and center on the tree this year so I am constantly seeing them.

Some close-ups of the rest of the tree:






A close-up of one of the feathered and glittered birds I bought from Gump's on clearance a few years ago.  The faux-filagreed snowflake ornament near the center of the photo is one of four on the tree (one is placed on the "side" of the tree facing each direction) that were hung from the mantel in 2012 and 2013 at Maison Newton II. I bought them during a sale at Boston Store (half off plus another 40% off with coupon) and love, love, love them!  

This year I went all out and put both the feather boas and the long faux partridge feathers on the tree at the same time -- like I said in Saturday night's post -- Sputnik!  But I knew it would work once I was able to get the top of the tree together.  

I knew I wanted to keep the tree "simpler" this year - ha! - and I am proud to tell you that I actually stashed a number of boxes of unused ornaments back down in the basement storage area - miracle! I'm so happy with how it turned out.  Originally I was thinking I'd go more of a "natural/rustic" direction this year - birds, feathers, pinecones, snowflakes.  Not sure this tree qualifies as a natural/rustic look, but it works for me :) and, as I noted way at the beginning, it was a big hit with my guests!  So happy!

Here's the blinged-up tree topper, once I discovered the box that had some gold sprays I used on one (or more) prior year's trees:



I was up really late on December 6, into the early morning hours, trying to pull this all together for the December 7 get-together (which was originally scheduled for December 14!), and very happy with how the tree turned out, especially the topper :)

If you would like to see more of my Christmas decor for Maison Newton III, please check out the next post. (Hint: I explain about the white dove perched on the china hutch/bookcase in the photo above -- you can just make her out in the background).

1 comment:

  1. Hello there! I LOVE your tree! Thanks for visiting The Family Fun Spot and for your kind comment. I wish you the merriest Christmas season!

    ReplyDelete