Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas Around Here
Oh boy, oh boy...you know how much I love this time of year, right? And, this year has been even more exciting, as we have a new yard to decorate. Duke Power rejoiceth!
We started right after we'd begun to digest the turkey and trimmings. Put away the pumpkins. Hauled out the holly. As you can see in the photos, we are well-lit here on Wesseck Road.
We had purchased six 25' strands of C7 lights a couple of years ago during the after-Christmas sale at the O'Fallon True Value (which has since gone out of business, sad to say). We also got 6 packages of yard stakes as we were trying to avoid having to hang lights on the house. Of course, with the move to NC, we'd never used them...this would be our first year. Well, amazingly, this yard seemed to be designed perfectly for this scheme. We lined our natural area (the part of the yard under the trees...mulched in pine straw, without any grass) with the stakes and lights, starting with the lighted reindeer in the front, circling around the sidewalk past the lighted bushes, up to the front porch. Along the way, we staked out Pop-Up Santa and his Chimney. He's been a real hit in the neighborhood, for sure. We get several lookers, stopping on their dog-walks or in their cars, every night, and several neighbors have complemented us on the lights.
We also propped up the Santa Nutcrackers (AKA: The Mens) to guard the front steps. We did the math and dated them to the Collierville Era (1985-88), meaning they are about 22-23 years old. Every year, we say the same thing: we MUST paint these things before next Christmas. We never seem to get around to it...yet, we can't seem to leave them out of the decorating scheme, either. Let's just say The Mens bear the battle scars of multiple moves and continue to report for duty every December. BTW, after I took these photos on Sunday night, November 29th, we located the candles for the windows, so the wreaths now show up a bit better.
Of course, the porch wouldn't be complete without Rhonda and Rudy Reindeer to greet our guests. This year, they have comfortable seats in the rockers, well-protected under the broad roof and well-lit by both the wreath on the dining room window (photo, right) and the snowflakes and stars hanging from the eaves. It's hard to tell from the picture, but I used a pair of Missy M's little-girl Garfield house slippers and a Christmas onesy-pajama on Rudy, along with one of her little-girl footy-pajamas and a Christmas gown on Rhonda. A great way to keep those memories. (Their faces were made by stuffing thick work-socks and embroidering the noses with black thread; his antlers are a pair of stuffed brown cotton work gloves; and her hair peeping from the nightcap is a bulky yarn.)
This weekend, while we watched "Miracle on 34th Street" (the original B&W version), "White Christmas," and a couple of football games, we worked on unpacking and setting up the inside Nutcrackers. We now have 47 in our collection. The good news: we also now have TWO mantles for display purposes...plus the sofa table, the entertainment center, and the tops of two bookcases. Lastly, we got the Sheep Tree up...that's the small artificial tree that I decorate with my collection of sheepie ornaments. Sorry about how dark that photo (left) of the mantle and Sheep Tree turned out...if I turn on the flash, it drowns out the little lights. And, I do so love to see the little lights...:)
UPDATE: Pop-Up Santa is taking a breather in order to dry his fan out...he got filled with water during the rains of last week and kept throwing the GFCI breaker. Hopefully he'll be back in commission soon...although, rain is predicted twice for the coming week. Hmmmm. Previously, the only thing we've worried about for him is that he doesn't operate when the temps are below 14 degrees (as they often were in MO).
Speaking of rain...we had some cold, wet stuff falling this weekend that turned to ice on the deck, making it difficult for Duchess and Gus to go walk-about in the back yard, but no measurable white stuff yet here in HPNC.
Other parts of the Piedmont have reported a different story, and this morning we got photos from Missy M showing the first snowfall of the season for her house (photo to right). Maybe not enough for a snowman, but still enough to get out the windshield scaper, right? Makes me want to make a big pot of soup...bake some bread and some cookies...and stir up some spiced tea. Winter's on its way!
It's the first day of the month of April...no foolin'! Also, it's the first day that we are no longer residents of North Carolina. And, as that 60's saying attributed to Charles Dederich goes: "Today is the first day of the rest of your life." Truth be told, I'm still in recovery mode from the last 365+ days of my life. After the marathon of moving activities that began in earnest a little over a year ago, yesterday's closing on our HPNC house seemed, well, almost anticlimactic. We had made a trip to GA at the beginning of the week, using the opportunity to take a carload of "stuff" (meaning some of the odds and ends that didn't make it onto the movers truck and into storage) to Missy M's. On our return to Casa 3917, we packed the rest of the "stuff" either in one of our cars or in the garbage cans. And then we took a final walk around the yard and into the Way Back. The pink dogwood (pictured) is just beginning to bloom in…
Whew! Let me catch my breath. Hard to believe another month is almost history. Before we turn the page on the calendar, I should attempt a recap.
First, though, here’s a photo of the boyz to bring a smile to your face:
Ok, so we started the month of October off right by celebrating Missy M’s birthday.
I cannot tell you how much we are enjoying being close to her. We have brunch together almost every Sunday, although today’s meal was supper of M’s yummy potato soup...which was perfect on this first truly chilly day of Fall.
That same week, I got to attend my first Georgia Master Gardener Association’s annual conference in nearby Buford. Spent a great couple of days devoted to classes, workshops, and meeting new folks. Even had some good fortune with the Silent Auction items. Fun!
I think I told you that we have joined the Oscher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of Georgia. I signed up for several classes this Fall, and we joined several of the Special Interest Group…
As Maggie, our GPS-controlled voice would say "we have arrived!" Of course, once the moving vans left, the next Big Job on the To Do List bubbled up: unpacking. Sure it's tough, but there is no time limit on this one. Missy M asked "are you setting yourself goals, like 'unpack 10 boxes every day'?" Uh...no...we are retired**, dear, so our schedule is our own. The only real "goal" I have is to make this house feel like our home as quickly as possible. That, and to get out of the "moving mode" into the "settling in mode" by getting our things in place in the new place. Every time we have moved (19 times in 41+ years!), I am reminded of a quote from my favorite John Wayne movie, "The Quiet Man"...said by the marvelous actress Maureen O'Hara in character as Irish lass, Mary Kate Danaher: "Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of having my own things about me. My spinnet over there, and a table here, and my…