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, December 9, 2017

Christmas 2017 Tree and Mantle

It's finished!

Hola!  Finished at last (yesterday).  I need to shovel - we got 2 inches of fresh snow overnight:
Looking out from the front door.
Here's the mantle!  You can see the snow blowing outside the window and one of
two pine trees along the driveway.  I am going to add another string of LED lights, and maybe
some ribbon; it's just looking a little bare to me right now.  Maybe I'll remove the clock and
put something else there, too.  The balance is off.  The candles and votives are all lit at night.
The deer are looking up toward the Shining Star.  There's another one hiding underneath
the Norfolk pine on the coffee table, also looking up at the star (not shown).

This was taken the day before yesterday, before I decorated the mantle.
Here's the same shot angle taken this morning, the now decorated
mantle is in the background.  I also added a few extra gold pine cones
here and there and tweaked the French ribbon a bit although it doesn't look like it.
I kept it simple again this year (but not as simple as last year).  I used the French ribbon and decorations I haven't used in several years, along with a collection of hand-blown crystal ornaments purchased at the "Egyptian" store at Southridge Mall on Christmas Eve day in 2008.  Inexpensive gold pine cones, a dozen white frosted "tear drops" (from Oriental Trading Company online), and a dozen silver glitter snowflakes were also used to fill in some gaps (all purchased in past years). The topper is a concoction of five beaded picks, two ancient feather sprays at least forty years old, one each gold glittered "wheat" and "floral" picks and two gold painted pinecones on long picks, purchased in years past from Pick 'n Save supermarket's floral department.

I took my time decorating over two days and tweaked yesterday, enjoying the process while listening to jazzy Christmas classics on Radio Tunes online.

You can probably tell that my "theme" was gold and silver in the living room.  The kitchen and dinette, pictured in previous posts, were done in red, black, gold and green, to accompany my beloved two-foot tall countertop tree decorated with cardinals and my collected cardinal decor.

The rest of the photos are close-ups of the tree.  Warning: I'm not a good photographer and my 5 pixel camera is now 12 years old :)


Champagne colored crowned bird, silver glitter snowflakes, gold pointsettias
and lots of gold French ribbon.

Egyptian hand-blown crystal elephant. He is
one of my favorites.

The tree topper mash-up.  You can see another one of my elephants on top
of the curio cabinet filled with my chess sets in the background.  Yep - chess.
One of four gold birds bought on clearance at Macy's in 2014 or 2015.
The tree looks a bit bare during the day but at night, when the tons of lights are
on, it lights up half the house (rather like an airport runway) and individual
ornaments are then highlighted.
Here's the tree topper at night - see how bright those lights are, wowsers.
This is what you see when you come in the front door.
Acrylic "crystal" beaded snowflake, acrylic snowflake (side profile),
glass frosted tear drops, gold pine cone (tucked in).
Egyptian hand-blown bell and gold-tipped final.
Close-up of my little Egyptian hand-blown glass ornament:
my elephant.  The gold decorations on him really show up.

Here's my little crystal elephant at night.
Another Egyptian hand-blown crystal finial.
Gold-striped Egyptian crystal ornament.

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