Sixty One

No, I’m not turning 61. That would be only in my dreams. 🙂

There’s sixty one days until spring. I can make it. There are seed catalogs to check out, orders to place, seed starting to be planned, and plant sales need to be marked on the calendar.

One Amaryllis is close to blooming, two are just starting to grow, and the Walking Iris are still in bud format. These pretty flowers will help keep me motivated.

I finished up the last of the organizing projects, and did a little machine embroidery. A friend had a birthday so I made a square with ‘Friends Forever’ on it and sent it with her card and also did a gardening journal cover with old jean material. The notebook inside can be switched out when full.

Reading has been good because I just finished Robert Parker’s latest Spenser book by Ace Atkins, “Someone to Watch Over Me.” The mystery part of a Spenser book is never that deep, but the snarky dialogue is ever so appreciated especially with apple crumb pie and coffee.

The weather has been unusual for a New England January – rather mild temps and rain, lots of rain. The rain sure pointed out that I need a load of topsoil for some low areas and some grass seed because of the drought last year.

The new iPhone 12s are up and running. They certainly are fast, and TMobile coverage rocks after Verizon and At&T.

Registration to express interest in the vaccine opens up this Friday for everyone over 65 in NH. 300,000 folks in that category all trying to express interest will probably make for an interesting online experience. 🙂

It’s going to be a quiet winter week here so I think I’ll order some fabric and get started on a quilt top I’ve been thinking about doing. That should keep me out of trouble.

I’m borrowing a closing line from Ginger, one of our more humorous regulars – think positive, test negative. Stay well folks and best wishes for getting a vaccine appointment.

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Old school

We’ve had a couple of technology issues lately.

The trackpad on one of our laptops quit working, and the local computer repair shop is closed due to Covid exposure. While debating whether to wait and fix or buy a new one, we decided to go old school. We ordered a mouse and pad, which surprisingly works quite well as long as you don’t try to use it as a ‘lap’top. 🙂

We also hit the point where we have to change cell phone providers and upgrade our phones from iPhone 6 and 7 to 12. We’ve tried AT&T and Verizon. One bar of service and continual dropping of calls just plain gets old. We’re hoping T-Mobile will be better. If not, we’ll be going old school again and have to reinstate a landline that we got rid of about five years ago. Who knew we’d ever miss the stability of that old landline.

One chuckle was a WordPress post I did for Master Gardeners about ‘crab apple’ trees. Either I fat fingered it or spell check ‘helped’ me because when the email post notice came through it was ‘crap apple.’ 🙂 I was able to fix the post and FB but couldn’t do anything about the email, and I did get a couple of responses to that one.

To finish my weekend off, I had to deal with a troll on the MG Instagram account. With all that is going on around us, I just couldn’t imagine a person taking the time to go off on a tirade about a plant and a historical comment about it. I don’t know if I’m the only one or not, but with Covid and current events I feel mentally tired and don’t go looking for added drama.

On a positive note, I have two plants that are getting ready to bloom on my porch and a completed sewing project.

I’ll finish with this thought – an IN friend’s husband has an appointment this week to get his first vaccine shot. 🎇 Here’s hoping everyone who is interested in the vaccine can get on their state list soon. In the meantime, stay safe. 😷

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Kicked to the curb

In about 88 hours, we will kick 2020 to the curb. Am I counting those hours, you bet. 🙂

Personally, I’m looking forward to a light at the end of this tunnel of nine months of isolation. Was our Christmas okay? Sure. We saw family outside, exchanged gifts, shared holiday goodies, but no hugs. I miss hugs, I really do.

We did a lot of walking down memory lane this holiday. There were some very heartfelt family oriented gifts and some looking at old family photos of previous holiday gatherings. My husband had eight siblings, and for many years we really put the ‘family’ in holiday gatherings. ❤️

Tears, there were a few.

So, I’m looking ahead to 2021, the opportunity to take the vaccine, really see my family and friends, and the biggest grandkid hugs ever.

The day after Christmas we drove through Portsmouth, a beautiful New England town, that attracts a lot of tourists. Things were different though – out of business signs, restaurant ‘hibernation’ signs, plenty of parking spaces, and only a very few people walking around. It was eerie. Sad reminder of the fact that we have a long way to go to recover from this pandemic as a country.

Right now, I’m back to organizing, sewing, and thinking about gardening. Those seed catalogs are calling to me. 🙂

As we end this year, I want to say a sincere thank you to my blogging community friends, bloggers, readers, and those who take time from their day to comment, because you helped us all get through this year. We’ve continued to stay in touch, learn from each other, and share a smile. 💐

I’ll leave you with this shot of Whaleback Lighthouse that sits alone in the Piscataqua River between NH and Maine that I took over the weekend. It’s been standing there buffeted by waves and weather since 1872. Roll model for a pandemic? Maybe. Stay strong and wear a mask because I want all of us to be here to celebrate some sort of return to normal in 2021. 😷

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White Christmas

They say winter officially starts today. I say it started last week when 18″ inches of snow fell here, and about an hour and a half north, our friends cleared between 32-40″ of the white stuff. Ski lodges are happy, where they are reporting it is like skiing in Utah.

As challenging as clearing a driveway and vehicles in a major storm is, it also brings space savers in Boston to the news. Not familiar with that term, check this link. In a nutshell, if you clear the spot where your car is parked on the street, you can mark and claim that spot for 48 hours. Yes, just like you imagine, all kinds of crazy stuff happens as a result. 🙂

I will leave you with a few winter scenes from around here, and wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year. 🎄🎅🏻

 

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Deck the Halls

Are you ready? Ten days left. Lights blinking? Stockings hung? Cookies baked? It’s not quite the same this year as we head into a second holiday for two, but it is what we make of it. So, the grocery list is getting longer, and the menu is getting better including artichoke dip, toffee, raspberry brie, Christmas cookies, and turkey. 🙂

This past week I decided to fill some hanging baskets with two kinds of greenery and winterberries. The winterberry bush actually came from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. We bought it on a trip several years back with our granddaughter. Good memories that come to mind all year long now when I look out my window and see how it has grown.

One out of the three is pretty well proportioned so I get a 33 1/3%. I’m okay with that though because I enjoyed it, and it kept me busy one afternoon.

The big red pickup is hanging on the wall. I also have a lovely new table topper that a friend made me, and I smile every time I look at Snoopy sitting on it. A small tree with matching coasters was given as a gift, and I’m getting ready to work on another tree panel. I must keep busy if I’m going to keep sane. 🙂

Today we’re getting a parking spot ready for the real pickup truck to spend the next three months. Cleaning and moving a truck every time it snows in order to plow the driveway gets really old.

Normally, it sits in the garage while we’re in South Carolina, but not this year. 2020 is going to find us wintering here in New Hampshire so the truck needs to be parked, partially covered, and the battery plugged in. There is snow in the forecast this week so we need to get on this today.

Not much is normal this year and probably won’t be for several months, but the sun will come up, the day will get started, and we have to keep busy mentally and physically because we want to be ready when some normalcy does come our way, right?

Enjoy this last week as we head into Christmas week, and tell us what food item you always have at Christmas. Ours is toffee hands down. 🙂

I’m closing with Darmouth-Hitchcock’s advice – “Stay strong. Masks on.”

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Snow

We had our first snowstorm. We’ve had snow before, but this is the first time it had to be moved. That’s how we measure it – does it have to be move or will it melt. 🙂

In the southeastern part of the state, we only received about 2-3″, but up north they tallied up almost a foot.

Individual homeowners who had to move it most likely weren’t too happy, but the ski resorts were probably quite content.

Skiers, snowmobilers, and snowshoers, were probably all smiling this weekend.

One ugly side effect of the storm was power outages. At one point, over 60,000 homes were without power, and there are still 5,300 out as of this morning. NH is 80%+ covered in trees. Lovely to look at, but when they get covered in heavy wet snow, they come down.

Our power stayed on. Thank you, Steve our power pole, for standing strong. Thank you also to the strong folks in my family who moved the snow while I stayed inside off the ice.

We did have one tree go down but not on anything so that was the plus side. The Craftsman battery operated saw will go out manned by a younger member of my family, and she’ll make quick work of dividing it so it can be removed.

Don’t know what to get the gardener in your life for Christmas? I would highly recommend Craftsman lithium battery tools. Slap that battery in and off you go to do your job. Best investment in tools we ever made, and I have a wall of them. 🙂

The rest of the week’s weather is pretty quiet with temps hitting 50 so the snow will melt.

So, until next time, may your health be good, your weather sunny, and someone who loves you bake you a dessert to keep your mind off all of the above. Me – I’ve got brownies with coconut frosting sitting on the counter. 🙂 Happy Monday!

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Food for thought

I saw this on fellow blogger Mary J. Melange’s Instagram, and it made me stop and think.

Right off the top of my head, I could really work on taking my camera off automatic, practicing free motion quilting, or finally moving the extra photos off my laptop and phone.

How about you? What could you do better with this spare time we have?

Happy and safe Monday as we roll into December. 🎄

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Turkey for Two

There will be turkey for two this Thanksgiving for the first time ever. Then again, 2020 is the first time ever we’ve tried to navigate a pandemic.

Thanksgiving usually means a family gathering to share an extravagant ensemble of dishes followed by several decadent dessert choices amidst good conversation, laughter, and hugs.

This year it will be small but safe.

NH numbers are dramatically increasing as they are in every other state. For eight months, I’ve watched and read the news about the benefit of wearing a mask, washing your hands, social distancing, but the number of cases and deaths kept rising. I was paying attention, I really was.

This past weekend it hit much closer to home because one of those deaths is someone we know. He was a husband, father, grandfather, brother, friend, neighbor, and someone who played a role in making our family what it is today.

It put a name on that death statistic. He is one of those 262,701 Americans who have lost their lives to this virus.

Covid tired? Missing your canceled cruise, mall shopping, dinner out with friends? We’ll be missing this person. Let me tell you, it is much worse.

Stay safe, stay well.

Going small this year, may allow you to go big next year. ❤️

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Let there be light

My mood and the weather have been gray and cool so I decided to do something about my mood at least.

On a warm day last week, I climbed to the attic and picked out some Christmas items, grabbed my tiny fairy lights and set up Christmas. Is it time? No. Do I need it? Yes.

There will be no big tree this year, but I have four small trees with lights, eight bottle brush trees, and two tree wall hangings. It looks festive and when the lights come on, I’m a happy woman.

I was also happy to see that my friend, Laurie Graves at Notes from the Hinterland, had the same idea. 🙂

Barn wall hanging with a red pickup truck and Christmas tree cut out added for the season. It’s amazing what some fray check on fabric and some double faced tape can do. 🙂

I’m working on a few more ornaments and a red pickup truck wall hanging.

Yes, I know I have some strange addiction to holiday red pickup trucks, but I’m not going to seek treatment for it, I’m just going to enjoy it. 🙂

Covid 19 right now is like a deadly fire raging across our nation, and we all have to do what we can to stay safe, keep others safe, but stay mentally healthy.

That’s a tall order, but in my case six sets of fairy lights and a red pickup truck project are really good medicine.

Stay well and do tell what’s helping to keep your mood positive.

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Thank you

Heartfelt thank you
to each and every Veteran for your service.

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