Sara wanted you to know she will not be blogging until she gets her computer fixed. Who knew a foot of snow could blow up a computer? I'm sure she will tell the story when she is back online. Hopefully soon.
Snow in the morning was almost gone by evening. More on the way mid-week. Hope everyone that needed to travel got home safely. Looks like a real mess on the East coast. General family chaos at gift exchange. Fun to have babies there as neices and nephews are now in their late teens or older. Now what? Well, the greenhouses need clean-up. We bought some blueberry bushes that need their homes. There is junk here and there to organize and I am just the woman to do it! I need to work on second draft of book. What book? Never mind, I'll tell you later. Make some pottery? Maybe...
Went for a ride up to the top of the property where the fire came across in 2002. Good to see all the young trees growing there. Saw this deer/elk rub. The male deer rub the crooks of their horns when they are growing or coming off because they itch. This time of year, they are just feeling frisky and want to mark their territory. Someone has no idea that tomorrow is Christmas, but she likes how there have been some recurring themes, Jingle Bells, an old man in a red suit, trees in the houses, and smiles around. If you eat carrots, be careful when driving!
Enjoying time with family and friends. Harvested some parsnips and carrots for roasted vegetable combo of potatoes, carrots, and parsnips, cut in 1/4 inch slices. Brushed oil on and sprinkled with rosemary and sage. No parsley or thyme, sorry Simon and Garfinkel, and a pinch of salt. Baked 350, 25 minutes or till soft. Pretty tasty and easy.
Had an M.C.Escher moment today while walking Garden Dog. I became interested in all the reflections in the puddles around. The white sky helped to make them show up. I just clicked my digital camera, while M.C. etched what he drew of these reflections and then made prints of them in reverse, I will be doing none of that. We did see the same thing, I think. Had to water in the greenhouse. High forties here and sort of pleasant though gloomier and gloomier as if something is coming. Not sure.
Happy Winter Solstice! Climbed out of bed onto icy walk to see eclipse a couple time last night. Looked kinda like a copper penny from here. Making pies. You'd think we had company coming, but no, just wanted some pie! Still getting some help with the Christmas tree decorations. Gopher hunter has become ornament molester. "Huh? What ornament?"
Three inches of snow yesterday evening looks beautiful on the trees this morning. I love the tourquoise look snow gets in the pale light of morning or evening. The only thing better is when the sky gets yellow or pink just after a storm. I have tried to paint such colors 47 times. I also love the yellow of lights inside a house or cabin shing out on the snow ala Thomas Kincaid. Just gives me a cozy feeling. Feel crafty? Check out paper Poinsettias on Garden Question Lady (me) blog.
Snow just up the hill from here. 1.1 inches of rain here since this storm arrived. It has stopped raining at this point and cooling down, but more rain on its way. Lunar eclipse on Monday night between 9:30 and 10:30. Hope we have some clear skies to see it. Finished putting the decorations on the tree. The lower ornaments on the tree are all not breakable. They received some minor rearranging today. I selected a couple that could be removed and "replaced" on the tree. Someone is vouching for many ornaments to have this option. I am trying to hold a firm line, though.
Cold start to the day at 22 degrees. I know that isn't that cold to some parts of the country, but it is cold enough for here. Unlike some places, it is not a "dry" cold, whatever that means. It is the "goes to the bones" cold that is making me think about staying inside and making some hot liquids. Hmmm-rum toddies, anyone?
Town day. Tying up some loose ends and a bit more shopping. Dr. appt for annual check-up showed no ear infection or any concerns. Numbers are all good. Lucky! One week until Christmas, but not really counting. Rain starts tomorrow for a week. Wishing for a little snow, but may be idle wish.
Sunny day, nice break from rain and dreariness, though cold. Got a few outdoor things done like cleaning up the overflowing recycle stuff. I will haul it all off to center tomorrow. Going out to the garden is not easy for me this time of year. It can be so desolate out there. Found some pleasant surprises though. Johnny jump-up violas were blooming tucked under a work bench in the corner as if spring were just around the corner. We won't tell them, will we? Then I found the strawberries. No flavor, but strawberries all the same. There are even white ones and flowers, hmmm?
After a great party with friends on Sunday full of love and camaraderie, I woke up in the night to a queasy tummy. Spent the night in between bed and bathroom. Lost 6 pounds and all my strength. Recovery went slow yesterday with Gatorade and Ritz crackers. Ate oatmeal today, and though not 100 percent, I do feel much better. Rainy and cold outside, I will work on finishing packages to go out and maybe get some ornaments on the tree.
So far so good on putting up the tree. First attempt was not so great as I put the gallon and a half of water in a leaking stand and then had to get it back out, one dish towel's worth at a time. Soak...squeeze, soak...squeeze. Now,with a different stand and some trimming of branches, it got its lights today. I did have some expert help. There are some rules to be established. I am not sure about what other decorations are going to work out this year with a 14 month old as a regular visitor.
Three more wreaths down the road. Got to play Santa as none of the recipients were home, so hung them on their doors as a surprise when they get home from? or tomorrow morning or whenever they are noticed!
Being a good girl, resting and drinking PLENTY of liquids before cold turns into something else. Wrapping presents and getting boxes together for out of town packages. Made some gift tags, something I love to do. I am addicted to glitter glue, it is a fun medium to play with...
Took it easy today, trying to recover from cough and cold. Garden Dog is very bored. He went in and out the front door numerous times trying to get me to come along. He only got a short walk out of me. He is in for more of the same as there are 3 days of rain ahead. With all the greens, greys, and browns out in the woods and garden, it is a treat to find a bright spot of red here and there.
Finished a couple wreaths to send off to folks. Not easy to photograph, but here is one of them. Taking herbs like crazy to fight off pending cough and cold. I was gonna go to town tomorrow, but think I better stay home and get my health in line, also not be exposed to something new. Big wind storm coming tonight. I just got the branches off the driveway from the wet snow...I will get coffee ground and water drawn tonight in case the power goes out with downed trees. Country life-gotta love it.
Wreath Making 101. The frame you use can be made out lots of different things. They sell them at craft stores these days, but when I first made wreaths, I used to wind metal coat hangers together to make the frames. The method I use came from Martha Stewart many moons ago. I take the greens and pile them in my hand with a nice looking one on top, then tie up with a piece of jute. Lay these on your frame, shingle style, over-lapping the ends with the next bunch to give you an idea how many bunches you are going to need. When you think you have made enough bunches, start a wire wrap by hooking the wire to your frame firmly so that you can pull against it. Lay a bunch on the frame and wrap the ends three time around. Then add another bunch covering and hiding the ends of the previous bunch, wrapping wire around it three times again. Proceed around the wreath until you are at the final bunch, where the first bunch was placed. It is a little tricky getting that last bunch in, and sometimes you have to tuck a couple more pieces of greens in to cover up the space. Now, the fun part, decorating!
Here is a picture of the bulk of the wreaths and their proud makers. We had a great time, and there were definitely some beautiful creations. I need to make a couple wreaths, swags, whatevers tomorrow, now that I am fueled by what I have seen the other gals make.
Bluebird day though still cool. Nice to see the sun after so many rainy days. Collected greenery for wreath making party on Sunday with Teri and Cheryl, friends and fellow wreath makers. I provide the greens and the place. Friends come with frames, ribbon and additions, make wreaths, visit, eat finger foods, and drink mulled wine and citrus punch. If you want to come, come on from 11-5. We have spare frames and a large box of ribbons the group has collected over the 15 years we have been doing this, so you don't have to bring anything. Found some blooming cedar, the golden tips against the chartreuse green makes a beautiful accent on the greens of White and Douglas Fir branches. Pruned the holly bush, only one with berries this year. Also pruned the variegated holly bush, I bought it as a small plant in a holiday foil planter. Now it is about 3 feet by 3 feet, though it has yet to ever have berries, hopefully someday.
Yeah, it's wet. We're famous for that here in Oregon. .7 inches overnight and another .3 inches out there already today. Not like Georgia, but still wet. The creek is getting noisier. I can see a slice of it now that the leaves are off the trees between me here on the hill and the water moving down there. Still, with an inch of rain melting the snow up to 4500 feet, the creek is still pretty well behaved, so the trees and the soil are taking a good amount of this rain in. Good sized Douglas Fir trees are able to store 700 gallons of water. That is where they get the term "watershed" in that the water is stored to release later. The more foliage and soil web, the better storage. After the forest fire in '02, the water came down the creeks so fast because there was no longer anything to hold it back. Now, with some replanting and natural succession of new plants, the water is slowing down and less fluctuating.
Yep, December already. Seems like we just finished summer. Ah well, all is slowing down here with a bit of a break for farmers. This morning's visitor was quietly pruning the blackberry bushes. They are in need of a good pruning or maybe even elimination, so I don't mind. He(notice the barely there horns) is a Blacktail deer spike, probably born last year. He became very nervous when I took his picture, perhaps he is on a data base somewhere, he could be the same guy who ate my strawberries this spring. We'll be in touch with each other again, no doubt.