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Monday, December 30, 2013

Snow, Beautiful Snow!

 
This morning I headed out to see my dad in rehab. Yes, he's still there...17 days so far and still unable to go home. He's recovering from his broken hip, but ,oh so slowly! Anyway, when I got in the car, look what I saw on the windshield...SNOW...it finally snowed.
 
When I left dad I quickly walked through a small garden near the rehab center. The garden is called the Psalm 31 Garden. It's a pretty little garden with a small waterfall and a few benches and tables to sit and relax. Today was a little too cold for that.

A dusting of snow made the pansies bow their heads, almost like they were praying.
 

 
It trapped leaves,
 

filled acorn shells,
 
 
and covered the benches.

 
It wasn't a lot, but it was enough to make my day.
I wonder if we'll be getting any more.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas


Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 23, 2013

From My House To Yours

 
 
I'm back for a short visit and to post a few more images from Christmas at my house.
 

Christmas cards are arriving and, of course, a few sweets are being eaten.
The decorating is finished with lots of Christmas trees and snowmen.


I love the shine and shimmer of vintage ornaments scattered around.
 
 
So many of my ornaments have special meanings, like this one. My daughter and her family have a tradition of bringing us Christmas ornaments when they travel.


I finally have all the presents wrapped and under the tree.


It's been a rough December with my dad's surgery and rehabilitation, but we're getting through this and looking forward to the new year. We've been grabbing every little bit of joy and light we can. Speaking of lights, this string of lights was in a tree skirt that I made for our first Christmas tree way back in the 70's. I can't believe they still work!!
 
I hope your Christmas is filled with joy and peace.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Quick Hello

 
Christmas is getting closer and closer! My decorations are up and I'm through shopping, but I haven't begun to get those presents wrapped! Speaking of decorations...the ornament above was on our very first Christmas tree way back in 1972. I think that qualifies it to be a true antique!  The glitter is even beginning to tarnish! I bought two boxes of ornaments at Sears that year. Both sets included six different colors; one set with candles and one with a swirly design. The candles were my favorite. I always get a little nostalgic when I add them to the tree.
 
Okay, the picture and the above paragraph really has nothing to do with what I was going to post about. I just thought there ought to be a picture and then thought there ought to be an explanation.
 
Now, to the real reason I'm posting. Life has once again hit our family pretty hard. This has just not been our year and I, for one, will be so glad when 2013 is over. We not superstitious about that 13 thing, but after this year, I'm leaning more toward avoiding the number 13. On Friday, which was Friday the 13th of 2013, my dad fell and broke his hip. He had a hip replacement later that night. The surgery went fine, but I'm afraid there's going to be some really rough weeks ahead. He's 84 and has Alzheimer's, which does complicate things. He's very confused and pretty down, so my mother, my sister, and I have been staying with him round the clock.
 
I just wanted you to know why I've been absent from flickr groups, classes, and reading blogs. I don't know when I'll get back in the grove. I'm sure things will settle down in a few days and we'll get into a better routine. Until then, I'll miss you! 
 
Have a great week!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas Made Simple

Last week was a busy week as I tried to get my house decorated. I decided to put up less decorations...simplify...no stressing. It worked, everything is dressed in holiday spirit and I'm enjoying the season.
 
I've been keeping up with Picture The Holidays with Big Picture Classes. I just haven't been keeping up with posting them here, so now I have to play catch up!

Sometimes we become so caught up in the commercial aspect, in the hustle and bustle, and trying to have the perfect holiday that we overstress ourselves and take the joy right out of Christmas. It only took a visit to see my grandson, Aaron, to remind me of that. He was showing me his room decorated for Christmas when I spotted this little craft he had made at Sunday School. A very simple manger made out of a brown lunch sack holding Baby Jesus. It hit me so hard, that I've been over thinking and over working the holidays. I need to step back and rethink this holiday thing. Find a simpler and more holy way to celebrate Christmas.
 
 
 
I'm celebrating by being more aware of nature. It's so cold we sometimes rush to get in the warmth of our homes and miss the delights of winter. I found I could enjoy winter through glass and still stay warm.
 
 
 
I'm celebrating with each ornament I hang on the tree. This year I put on less ornaments which gave me time to go hold each one and relive the memories. Stars are a big part of holiday decorations. I have several; sparkly, dazzling, and shiny. This simple homespun one brings simplicity back to Christmas.

 
 
Mr. H has his own special ornaments like cute little tools and this tiny replica of our 1940 Ford truck, Old Red.
 


I can't celebrate without Santa. Even though I try to keep the Birth of Christ foremost in my thoughts, I also enjoy having some Santas around.

 
 
My Christmas decorations are very colorful. I love the nostalgic look of Christmas trees with multi-colored lights. My tree is full of them, probably about 1,000 bulbs twined among the branches. I was surprised how much I liked this bowl of vintage ornaments in black and white. I love the way it brings out all the sparkle.


I'm glad I decided to simplify my decorations this year. l have more time to enjoy the moments of Christmas. I hope you're enjoying this holiday season as well!

Don't forget to breathe!!

Big Picture Classes

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A Walk In The Ice

I have thoroughly enjoying looking at all the snow pictures on FB, blogs, and flickr. They are gorgeous! My daughter who lives three hours away has about 6" in her yard. I'm a little envious, Okay, I'm a lot envious! It is white here, it could be mistaken as snow, but it's not...it's sleet! There were a few snowflakes that fell, but they were few and tiny and you had to look really hard to see them.
 
 
Ice is almost as pretty as snow until you look at the trees. Sleet doesn't stick to trees very well!  Isn't this quite a contrast...fall leaves still on the trees and ice on the ground.
 
 
Another sign of fall lingering.
 
 
After capturing the big picture, I decided to zoom in for a closer look.
 
 
 
Look at the size of the ice around these little blades of grass. This area was under the corner of the house where it was dripping off the roof.
 
 
A little lichen and ice on a rotten limb that fell from one of our trees.

 
Icicles hanging in front of the headlight on my SUV creates a pretty cool abstract.
 

Ice is not what you want for winter precipitation, but when it falls as sleet it's not quite as bad. Sleet doesn't stick to power lines and trees, so the power usually stays on. Ours was off for about three hours, but we have a backup gas heater and had plenty of food. The roads did become quite slick, but we didn't have anywhere to go. We were inside safe and warm watching it turn white.  When the sun came out for a little while today, I couldn't resist bundling up and walking around in the crunchy ice.
 
I'm praying that wherever you are, you're safe and warm.
 
Linking with Helen's Weekend Walk at A Flash Of Inspiration.
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Monday, December 2, 2013

It's Here!

December has arrived with it's reds and greens, hustle and bustle, good food, and precious memories.  Absolutely my favorite time of the year!  I'm taking Picture The Holidays with Tracey Clark at Big Picture Classes, where we find an image to go with her prompts. It's delightful to spend a few minutes each taking searching for the right photo and then seeing what others have shared. I'd like to share this little bit of my December with you. Just a few small things that bring joy to my heart. 
 
 
The red veins and the green vine put me in the Christmas mood.
 


I look at things different around Christmas.
I like to find nature's beauty which brings
joy, and contentment to my life.
 
"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world,
and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful."
~Norman Vincent Peale