HO HO HO

I love Christmas decorations, and I remember the many, many years when every inch of the house, inside and out, was decorated including several trees. Today, you could say my decoration are somewhat scaled back because everything that comes down from the attic must go back up. 🙂

Poinsettias have always been a part of the season for me, and I have really enjoyed attending the annual UNH Poinsettia Open House which benefits the school.

But, December 2018 was the last Poinsettia Open House. 😦 The two-year horticulture degree was cancelled due to low enrollment. Translation – the number of students who enjoy working with their hands in the soil are dwindling.

Outside I put together live branches and winterberry branches to make a spray for the door.

When I was at my grandparents for the Christmas holidays, my Grandfather would go out into the woods and cut branches. My Grandmother and I would then put together sprays – never wreaths, just sprays. To this day if I make a spray of fresh greens, I’m a happy woman.

This time of year also starts the cold season which means we try every concoction out there to get rid of the cold symptoms.

Recently, I learned about Cold Bee Gone which was created by a woman who lives about 16 miles from me.

The only challenge was it was sold out everywhere we went except on Amazon where the shipping was ridiculous. Finally after leaving our name at a local store, we got a call – new shipment in.

I tried it yesterday because I was feeling a few symptoms. It comes out like you would expect honey to, and it smells like honey but with a small kick. As you breathe in, it opens up the sinuses.

Miracle cure? I have no idea, but I do know it’s natural, made in the USA, and it doesn’t come via prescription which is always a plus with me.

As we start the count down to Christmas Day, here’s hoping you’ll enjoy the next couple of weeks, your decorations are shining bright, and you are cold free. 🎄

Posted in New England | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 39 Comments

PC

Political corrections.

It started back in the 1980’s, while I was working in human resources. When I sent out notices regarding employees leaving the company, I was told to use the wording that employees had left to pursue other interests or had been involuntary separated. Was there anyone who questioned that a person who  had been involuntarily separated had been fired?

That was also the start of wishing people Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas so no one would be offended. This time of year, we also hear about people being food insecure. Hmm – I think I’d understand the word hungry if they used it.

Today, when they refer to people who rescue someone who has fallen through the ice, they are swift water rescue technicians instead of divers. And, for years, when someone avoided paying taxes we heard the term tax evasion, but now they are convicted of income misconduct.

Do I support individuals using language that would cause harm to someone? Of course, not. But, are we going too far?

Last week in Kansas, they recalled all the license plates that had the three letters, JAP, in them. These were not vanity plates spewing some kind of negative message. They were plates issued by the state that included random letters and numbers.

This weekend, there is a brouhaha about the story of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer questioning whether he was marginalized or verbally abused, and does the story include racism, and homophobia.

This morning,  the lyrics to the 1944 holiday classic, ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside,’ are being banned on one radio station because it is viewed by someone as decisive and offensive to the #MeToo movement.

Give me a break – please.

What happened to taking responsibility for yourself? Don’t pick up a book if you don’t want to read it, turn off the screen if you don’t want to see it, or turn the volume off if you don’t want to hear it. Are we going to burn every book, every lyric, every everything that one person reads something into?

Let’s face it folks, a spade is still a spade even if one person prefers to call it a shovel. 🙂

Now back to the regularly scheduled holiday celebrations. 🎄🎅🏻🦌⛄️🛍

Posted in New England | Tagged , , , , , | 78 Comments

Thursday Doors

I love a good barn door, so you can imagine how I smiled when I saw this one.

This past fall, a MG friend invited me along as she picked up some plants from a friend. This lady is a GARDENER. She sells plants, and she maintains areas in her town. Everywhere  I looked there was an interesting plant, a piece of garden art, or a fairy house that captured my attention. This door was no exception.

Besides being a gardener in a league all her own, she is also a breast cancer survivor. As we toured her amazing gardens, she talked about her cancer journey.

When she was talking about the many issues surrounding her breast cancer survival journey, she said something that stuck with me – just own it.

We had a great visit, and I came away with a lot of gardening ideas as well as a great thought when life tosses those inevitable curve balls.

When spring arrives, I’m planning a return visit. With cash in hand, I hope I can pick up a few of her interesting plants.

This bonus door was the original tack room in the barn.

Our part of the state lucked out this week and received rain instead of the impressive snow fall that was dropped up north. Those folks moved a lot of snow and many were without power for several days.

Hope you’re having a good week, and Mother Nature is treating you well.

Got to go. I’m off to the Poinsettia Open House this morning. 🙂

Linked to Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors, November 29, 2018

Posted in Photography, Thursday Doors | Tagged , , , , | 35 Comments

Thursday Doors

It’s Thanksgiving here in the US which means turkey dinner and all the fixings including more desserts than we normally indulge in at one time.

Thinking about desserts, which I always am, here are some doors to a local candy store, Lickee’s & Chewy’s Candies & Creamery, that I visited last week. This 5,000 square foot candy store is located in the Cocheco Mills around the corner from the NH Children’s Museum.

Candy stores always call to me. I want to check them out, see how they are arranged, and look at the quality and prices. Why? I grew up next door to a candy store. I’d take soda bottles back for cash, buy penny candy, and sit on the stoop of my apartment and savor the sugary treat. That was life in the city back then.

Lickee’s & Chewy’s reminded me a lot of Chutters candy store in Littleton, NH, but on steroids – lots of bulk candy products poured into baskets. I’m not their intended customer, they are marketing to the families visiting the NH Children’s Museum and the Noggin Factory Toy Store around the corner.

Today, with a grandson with nut allergies, I’m always looking to see if they have a peanut free section. There was a single bookcase with some items from a couple of manufacturers like Vermont Nut Free Chocolates. I thought their prices were high – one item, a single piece of nut-free chocolate, was $10.95.

As our landscape continues to be occupied with gigantic box stores and the dramatic increase in online shopping, I wish them and all small business owners the very best.

Remember:  this Saturday is Small Business Saturday – shop local.

If you’re on the road this holiday weekend, travel safely, and as always thanks for stopping by. 🙂

Linked to Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors – November 22, 2018

Posted in Photography, Thursday Doors | Tagged , , , , , , , | 49 Comments

Winter

The calendar says Winter doesn’t start until December 21. I guess the joke is on us.

On the way back from errands yesterday, I decided to head downtown and see how the water was flowing over the falls and under the mill. It’s rockin’ and rollin’ with plenty of snow piled nearby. I couldn’t get any closer because they have it fenced off because of work needing to be done to reinforce the sides.

We moved about 6″ of snow on Thursday, then what was left on the ground melted a little and turned to ice.

Snow, I do okay with, but ice not so much. So, with my Yaktrax strapped on, the long handle ice scraper, snow pusher and I spent about an hour getting it all cleaned up. Now, there’s more snow in the forecast.

Mother Nature always gets the last laugh on a driveway facing north. 🌨

If you have a two -stage snow blower that you are satisfied with, please drop me a comment. I’m shopping. I know I don’t want an electric cord to deal with because the area is too large, and I’ve tried a single cycle, and it won’t go on the ground where we need paths to the chickens and ducks.

In the meantime, I’ll just keep myself content thinking…

If you’re traveling this week, stay safe, eat lots of delicious food, laugh a lot, and enjoy the holiday. 🦃

Posted in New England | Tagged , , , , , , | 58 Comments

Thursday Doors

14°F and snow is blowing in today so how about some doors from our Pennsylvania trip last month.

We spent a morning at The Berks County Heritage Center historical site in Reading. It honors an era in our history when we built wagons, ground wheat, and used a covered bridge and a chair lift to cross flowing water.

I loved the doors and the garden, but must admit that chair lift fascinated me. There wasn’t a chair there, probably for safety reasons, but the idea of climbing up to the small platform, sitting in a chair, and riding the wire across to the other side certainly did bring a smile.

We had a very interesting morning because in addition to honoring the past they also have a Bicentennial Eagle Memorial, Police and Veteran’s Memorial, a Doctor’s Grove, and a cemetery. With one stop in the beautiful Pennsylvania landscape, you can explore a variety of topics.

If you’re in the path of this storm or heading out this weekend for the holiday, stay safe.

Linked to Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors, November 15, 2018

Posted in Photography, Thursday Doors, Traveling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 56 Comments

Dig out the shovels

It’s 25°F this morning here in southern New Hampshire while up north it has dropped to single digits. There is snow forecasted for tomorrow and Friday. Good thing we put the snow stakes in yesterday.

If you use the orange plastic snow stakes instead of wooden ones, consider this tool my hubby made to help get them in the ground.

He took an 18″ piece of pipe, added a cap, and we fit that over the orange stake and pound away just like a fence post driver. Works great.

But, today the sun is shining so I’ll enjoy that while I do a little quilting.

I’m working on a wall hanging with some history to it. Back in the 1970’s, my Mom made me some candlewick embroidery pieces that I made into throw pillows. Along the way, I cut the panels off and stored them. I ran across them recently and decided I’d better do something with them.

I had five panels, not all in great shape, but they make me smile because I know she put great effort into making them.

I added four panels with pansies appliquéd on them to give me a total of nine to work with. Pansies were her favorite flower, and blue was her favorite color. I’ll be sure to show the finished product.

Transitioning from being outside in  nature every day to enjoying being inside is challenging for me. I even have to work at blogging because this time of year, my idea bank gets kind of low.

I’m busy on the computer every day for hours at a time, but that’s work for Master Gardeners. I’ve been updating the website, doing twice weekly blog posts, handling Instagram and Facebook, working on a logo, and creating a slide show for our December meeting.

But, alas, no real gardening. I know my blogging friends in Australia are gearing up for summer, and those in England and Ireland aren’t totally done, so tell us – are you still gardening or are you transitioning to winter activities as well?

Posted in New England | Tagged , , , , | 63 Comments