Holiday lights

I love holiday lights, and I’m guessing most of you do too.

A friend, who is a member of the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay, Maine, asked if I wanted to ride up with her to see Gardens Aglow. Road trip to see a light display? Absolutely.

Gardens Aglow is in its fifth year and is expecting well over 100,000 people to visit during its six week display.

650,000 LED lights on 43 miles of cord will definitely draw a crowd. Tickets are required and attendance is capped each night to keep things flowing smoothly.

Boothbay is a pretty straight shot about two hours north along the coast from where I live. The town of Boothbay got into the season as well by having plenty of lights and also some of the most beautiful wreaths, swags, and window box greenery displays I’ve ever seen.

We were extremely lucky that it didn’t snow and there was no wind, but it was 19°F. It was cold, and I had so many layers of clothing on I could hardly move.

It was a spectacular display, and my iPhone photos definitely don’t do it justice.

Over 37M tourists visit Maine each year. It is truly a beautiful state whether you gravitate toward their rocky shores, mountains,  flatlands, or spectacular Acadia National Park.

On a Thursday in December, it is pretty quiet in a tourist town like Boothbay Harbor. Matter of fact, except for the people going to the see the light show, you could say it is was deserted. On the plus side, that makes for easy traffic flow, cost effective rooms, and no waiting at their pubs or restaurants.

As we approach Christmas, I hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season full of  light, joy and peace. 🎄

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15 Days

December is flying by. Are you ready? 15 more days to shop, write, bake, and plan. 🎄

My last project was finishing a panel wall hanging. Who knew I’d be working on it multiple weeks, but it’s done, hanging on the wall, and I still like it.

I wrote some cards. The number gets smaller each year for a variety of reasons. Some kind of depressing, but I won’t go there.

Do you keep special cards? I do. I added to my stash this week when I received one from a friend who does embroidery and wool work and can put those skills to work on creating Christmas greeting cards. Who knew?

Last week I went to a design class on making holiday arrangements. It was not only interesting, but I learned quite a lot. Bringing fresh greens in is always a good thing and learning how to do something besides just plop them in a vase is an even better thing.

Those of us in a certain age bracket also finished up Medicare enrollment this past week. Can I hear a big ‘hallelujah’? My brain needs a rest from thinking so hard.

13″ of snow + rain = a potential problem in NH. So, I grabbed the snow rake and pulled the snow down off the overhang over our door. It’s an interesting process handling a rake that extends 17′, pulling ice and snow down right towards you, and then getting to shovel said snow off the ground, but your roof doesn’t cave in.

We had a great breakfast out last Thursday while doing errands. We’d never seen the restaurant, and it was what one might refer to as a hidden gem because we had difficulty finding the entrance.

The Urban Farmhouse Eatery in North Hampton, NH, serves a great Maple Walnut French Toast. Just don’t make the mistake we did of ordering a side order of eggs and bacon because the portion was huge. The leftovers heated up just fine though.

It’s going to hit almost 60°F here today and then drop like a rock. I see ice in my future. 🥶

Take care, stay safe and warm, and enjoy the week.

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Knock Knock

Who’s there?

Old Man Winter, and I thought I’d bring two storms to start the season off right. 🌨❄️⛄️

It’s cold, we’ve got 13″ of snow on the ground, and it’s still coming down.  No, I’m not going to mention the ‘name’ of the storm because I think naming every snowstorm is ridiculous, kind of like having four meteorologists cover a snowstorm in NH.

I always wonder who they think is watching a 6 a.m. local news and weather report? Retired folks, and they’ve spent a lifetime understanding how snow falls from the sky and accumulates on hard surfaces. Besides, anyone with a smart phone can check an app and know how many minutes until the next flake falls.

Here are a few shots from yesterday, but right now I need to grab some protein and go out and contribute to round three of the clean up process. While I’m out there, I’ll be hoping there’s no need for round four.  Maybe we can drive over it? I’ve got four-wheel drive.  ❄️ Stay safe, warm, and I hope there no shoveling required where you are. 🙂

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Seasons

The Holiday Season is upon us. Family, friends, an amazing variety of food, lights, special decorations, and all the good things associated with the upcoming month.

This week we celebrate Thanksgiving here in the US. Many will worship, others will cook for days, some will fix a simple meal, while others will have to work. As to the last option, I wish everyone had the choice as to how to spend Thanksgiving, and it didn’t include working.

We’ll have dinner with family, and the company and the conversation will be the highpoint. I know whatever the menu includes I will enjoy it and not go away hungry, but I may go away with some wonderful leftovers.

Leading up to this week,  I’ve decorated a little bit by bringing down the small trees. I love small trees.

This is a tree made out of the mounted patrol horse shoes. I’ve added some tiny lights on it so it’s spreading holiday cheer right now. No, the wall isn’t black, but there was glass behind it, and I couldn’t get a decent photo without the backdrop. 🙂

It’s sitting on a simple buffalo plaid runner I made this year.

I also brought the small wooden nativity set down and created a simple but sparkly white runner for under it. I have a large ceramic set our family made many years ago. Each piece is a work of art, but it takes two men and a boy to get it down from the attic.

I finished a few mug rugs and a table topper, and I’m working on a holiday wall hanging right now. I like to send small gifts meant to express my friendship. They’re no great work of art, just some time spent thinking about special people.

The weather here has certainly provided plenty of moisture recently. I wish we could send some to our friends in Australia as they fight those devastating fires. I pray they all stay safe.

Today, Mother Nature has gifted us with a beautiful and sunny day, so I’ll head back to the sewing machine and work on quilting that wall hanging.

Before I go, I send you the very best of wishes for a great week and a Happy, Happy Thanksgiving.

It is always good to stop and take a moment this week and give thanks for our many blessings and one of mine is the blogging community and all the creative and interesting friends I’ve made here. Thank you for being you. ❤️

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Here we go again

As we approach the holiday season, political correctness has raised its ugly head again.

Our neighboring town, Durham, was the first in the area to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day.

Then, last winter they had issues with the word, Christmas, so they set up a committee to work on making a ‘Winter Celebration’ that was more inclusive.

This year instead of a Christmas celebration, they are holding a Frost Fest.

Photo credit: Town of Durham

Frost Fest will still include the tree pictured at the left with lights, but it’s now referred to as the ‘Evergreen Tree‘ instead of the Christmas Tree, and instead of a lighting ceremony, the tree will be ‘energized.’

Okay, I’m sorry, but if this blog wasn’t PG rated, I’d probably insert a flippant comment here.

Santa Claus will be at the Frost Fest, but he won’t make an entrance because they don’t want to draw attention to him. “Santa will be present but not presented.” So, he can be standing there and available to see children, but he can’t ride into town as usual on his sleigh. That’s an interesting distinction.

The green wreaths with lights that were hung from the light poles throughout town, were voted down by the Committee because they could have been ‘perceived to include Christmas or religious overtones.’ The cost of new stars or snowflakes to replace the wreaths will cost $10,000 to be paid for by the residents. Personally, I’ve never perceived a green wreath with lights as having a hidden meaning, but if you have the budget and want snowflakes or stars, go for it.

As you can imagine, there have been some funny and some nasty responses to this in the local paper and online.

The last line of the Town Administrator’s editorial to keep things civil was “this is not Washington, DC. We are Durham, NH.”

I’m glad he put that in writing because I was confused – New Hampshire BS doesn’t sound that much different than DC’s.

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Bundle Up

Nightime temperatures in the low teens and snow are in the forecast for this coming week. Old Man Winter is knock, knock, knocking.

The last two Knockout Roses (no pun intended) have been pruned and covered with leaves. They have been blooming right up until we had the first hard frost so I had to wait to prune them. Everything is as settled as it can be for the upcoming winter months, and, yes, I ate that last frozen raspberry. It was cold and crunchy, but it still made me smile.

The sewing machine has been humming for a couple of hours most days while I work on small holiday items – table runners, mug rugs, table toppers, and a wall hanging. For some reason, I’m hooked on buffalo plaid and the red pickup truck with the Christmas tree this year. Are you creating or crafting? Baking something yummy this pumpkin season?

I’ve read a couple of books including John Sanford’s “Bloody Genius,” Michael Connelly’s ‘The Night Fire,” and James Patterson and Howard Roughan’s “Killer Instinct.”  Virgil Flowers and Harry Bosch are always enjoyable reads, but Flowers, in this case, was kind of dry, and Harry seems to be on the way out. Sad state of reading affairs when you love Sandford’s normal sarcastic, snappy dialogue and Harry’s dogged determination. “Killer Instinct” is a heck of a story about terrorism in NYC. Three current books, zero cost, no storage – I love my library. Read a good mystery lately?

Today is Veterans Day so I send a sincere thank you to each and every Veteran and the families who supported them.

Freedom is never free but earned by the very brave.

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A walk in the woods

I’m struggling with not being outdoors. I know – get over it.

It was 29°F this morning when I brewed coffee, and Killington Ski Resort in VT opened up this past weekend. 🙂

Our property borders a wooded area so the other day, I put on my boots, grabbed a real camera and headed out for a short walk.

I can’t hike the area because there are way two many downed trees and vines. But, I could walk a ways and check out Mother Nature’s unseen gifts.

Nature really is beautiful if you can only take the time to look all around and enjoy the little things.

Then there is the part of nature that is left by us humans, and it is quite embarrassing. I don’t think rebar growing into a tree, DD cups or five gallon plastic buckets were intended to be part of our natural environment.

I’ve done some raking and the wind did some more. I have a couple of beds that get buried in leaves from a neighbor’s oaks so if I take some off in the fall, I can work for hours and not days in the spring.

Have you adjusted to the time change? It takes me a while. I wish they’d just decide to leave it one way or the other. But, hey, no one asks me what I think because they probably have heard about my daylight savings time rant. 🙂

Happy first Monday in November.

This is a special day on my calendar – it’s my grandson’s 14th birthday. Oh, but ‘grandchildren time’ certainly flies by. Happy Birthday big guy!

Posted in Gardening | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 76 Comments