Archive | December 2012

Brrrrrrrrr……

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No Ice On My Citrus…Yet!

It’s a bit nippy out today, for this part of the world.  Temps went down into the low 40’s last night, and are not expected out of the 60’s today.  That’s actually my idea of perfect weather.  Cool enough to feel really good to me, but not so cold as to kill my plants, many of which can’t take anything in the mid-30’s, much less a hard freeze.  I can see some leaf damage on things like my firespike and the banana plants, but nothing is dead so far, and of course, temps will be back up into the 70’s by tomorrow.  That’s how it will be most of the winter, I imagine.  Highs in the mid 70’s to low 80’s, and low’s in the 60’s most of the time, with the occasional day or two of near-freezing temps, followed by an immediate warm up.  And at some point, we will probably have at least one or two nights that put ice in the birdbaths and leave local oranges looking like those above.

The good news is, the cold isn’t unrelenting and miserable for weeks on end.  The bad news is, you never know quite what to expect.  One day you are wearing shorts, the next, earmuffs. Then it’s back to shorts again.  That’s winter in central Florida.

Hope those of you in colder climes are keeping warm and building snowmen.  Or at least your kids are!  And here’s to a Happy and Prosperous New Year for all!

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Thought I’d add this post over here, as well, for those who don’t visit Bookin’ It very often.

Bookin' It

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One of the most familiar carols of the Christmas Season, most people don’t know the story of Longfellow’s poem.  When I first learned what lay behind it, I listened to the carol in a whole new way. 

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Christmas At Granny’s House Part 3

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A few more pictures from my living room and dining room.  I do them in shades of blue, silver and white, in contrast to the rest of the house, which is more traditional multi-color, and heavy on reds and greens.  My living room tree, which is being backlit by the big window in this picture, and thus not nearly as pretty as it is after dark. But you can get an idea.  

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A close up of some of the blue and silver oraments.  Also not the greatest picture, sorry.

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A tabletop vignette with some cool little forest trees and a beautiful Father Christmas given to me by my sweet DIL.

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Another little vignette with white papier mache church and Santas.

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Dining room wall.  Mark put up the bead board and plate shelf, and I used it to display in vintage FiestaWare until my MIL gave me her stunning set of Blue Danube china.  Now that resides there all year long, and at Christmas, gets the addition of greenery, mercury glass votives, and other silver bits.

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Close up for the Blue Danube, and a mercury glass container.

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A little corner hutch I inherited from my grandmother, and which I love.  Some of the pretties pieces of the china fit in there perfectly, and it lends itself well to Christmasy touches, too.

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In particular, I love the graceful curves of the gravy boat.  It looks like it should house a djinn, or something!

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Okay, that’s enough for today.  I’m afraid I’ll send you all into Toxic Santa Shock or something.  But since I have virtually nothing up yet this year, it made me feel good to go through these photos from last year.  Lots of memories, here.  Hope you enjoyed seeing some of them!

Christmas At Granny’s House Part 2

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Here are a few more pictures from last year’s Christmas, just for the heck of it.  Hope you enjoy them.

 This first one is part of my entryway village.  Tabitha decided to give it a name.  I guess The Village wasn’t quite creative enough for her, so I found this sign posted a day after she came to stay with us for our regular holiday visit. I packed it away so I can use it from now on.

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This is the pass through from my library to the kitchen, and my Holly Jolly Santa Shelf. Every bookshelf gets some Santas, too.

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These next two are closer views of the pass through decorations, from the kitchen side. The white wooden tree holds a collection of small Santas, many very old. The mugs are mostly vintage ones from the 50’s, as well.

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One of my library bookshelves.  Even Bob The Skull, a character in The Dresden Files books, gets into the act. His girlfriend, Boberta, is going to get a hat this year, too, when I get to it. 

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Santas and more Santas.  Country style Black Santas, Chinese Santas, African Santas, Patriotic Santas and more, on every shelf in my library and family room. And thanks to Mark, I have a LOT of bookshelves.

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Christmas At Granny’s House

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One of my Handpainted Santa Ornaments

Our Big Oak Tree Catastrophe has put us way behind on our Christmas decorations this year.  As I see the lights up and down my street, I feel sad that we have none outside yet, and might not get things cleaned up in time to do much in our yard.  And because I’ve been working outside on that Hot Mess, I haven’t done anything inside yet, either.  For me, this is a first in my entire adult life.  Normally, our outside lights go up the Friday after Thanksgiving, and all the boxes (53) are brought down from the attic and left in the appropriate room, so I can work on the inside stuff for the next ten days to two weeks.  This year, nothing…yet. But I’m not giving up.  I’m giving myself a week to do it, and whatever isn’t up by next Tuesday will go back into the attic until next year.  It’s all I can do.

I have been in love with Christmas all my life…the lights, the magic, the whole spirit and feeling of it all.  I love the church pageants and the open houses and the family visits.  But most of all, I love Santa Claus.  In my heart, I still believe, you know.

I’ve been collecting Santas for over 40 years, and I have a lot of them. A. Lot. Over 300 at last count, from one inch tall to life sized, and in every type of costume and guise. I thought it might be fun to share a few photos with you, since my garden is in Down Mode, so here goes:

Our family room mantel is where I like to put my collection of Old World Santas.  Some of these were handpainted by me, others were collected over the years ,or gifts from friends and family who indulge my obsession.  (You know you are in serious trouble when your two favorite men in the world are Santa Claus and The Wizard of Oz!) Don’t forget to click on the images to see them full sized, and in detail.

My Mantel Santas
Mantel and more of family room from a distance.  See my life-sized boy?  That was a Christmas present from my daughter a couple of years ago.  She sweet talked the Publix manager into giving her the Coca Cola display.  Don’t tell anyone.  I don’t think it’s allowed. But isn’t he beautiful?  He’s pointing at my library tree, which has mostly Santas on it, too.  (Ignore the white floor fan.  Not a decoration…just a sometimes necessity during a Florida Christmas!)
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A closer look at the Big Boy.  He makes me smile all over!
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Close up of some of the Santa ornaments on the library tree.  The one in the center with the blue cap is one of my hand-painted ones.  I used to do so much of that, but haven’t been painting a lot lately.  I need to get back to it.  Just as soon as I finish writing my book. 
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My granddaughter, Tabitha, showing off the Wizard of Oz tree, which she decorated mostly by herself last year. She’s a hambone! *grin*
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Tabitha again, being all Vanna White by my blue & silver living room tree. It’s her favorite.
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I’ll put up a few more pictures later in another post.  I have to get back to THIS year’s decorating.  Hope this was fun for you, and maybe got you to feeling all Christmasy! 

Interesting…

I had no trouble at all displaying the Beautiful Blogger Award “badge.” I still don’t know why the other one won’t show up in my sidebar like this one does.  I’ll try again later.  Gotta get some things done now, in the Real World!

In An Excess of Riches…

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…Jennifer at My Life As A Single Mom has nominated me for the Beautiful Blogger Award.  Thank you so much, Jennifer!  This has been an exciting 24 hours in my blogging life.  I really appreciate receiving this!

In order to accept this award I must post seven interesting things about me, then nominate seven other bloggers who I feel deserve the award.  I don’t know how “interesting” they are, but here are seven things about me.

1. I was an Army brat, and never finished a single year of school in the same school until I was in high school.  I went to a total of 23 different ones before graduation.

2. I would rather buy books or plants than clothes, any day, consequently whenever any special occasion comes up where my usual daily attire of old shorts and tee shirts would not be acceptable, I have to race around like a thing possessed, shopping for something decent to wear.  Luckily, we lead pretty quiet lives, and this doesn’t happen often.

3. For anyone who doesn’t know already, I am writing my first book, a romance novel–with a ghost.  Because romance by itself just won’t do it for me, I guess. It is turning into a real learning experience, whether it ever gets published or not. And it was about time, too, since I announced to the world at five that all I wanted to be when I grew up was a writer.

4. I’m tall. 5’10-1/2″ to be exact. I have no friends as tall as I am.  Not even men. Hahaha.  Maybe I’m not REALLY tall.  Maybe I just hang around with short people?

5. I have never lived a day in my life that I can remember without cats. I’ve loved them since I was very young, and apparently my son and now my granddaughter are exactly the same. (My daughter likes them, but prefers dogs.) We currently have four.

6. I don’t know how I would live without a computer in my life.  After going the first 55 years without one, turns out I’m a latent computer geek of some sort, even though I don’t understand all of the technology.  I don’t understand internal combustion engines, either, but I can drive a car.

7. I paint. I’ve painted all my life. I’ve made a living at times, selling various painted things, and I’ve taught painting. If I could actually squeeze past all the stuff that’s currently stored in my studio, I’d be painting stuff for Christmas right now. If I were going to add an 8th item here, it would be that I hate housework, which explains why my studio is crammed full of things that don’t belong there.

Okay, that’s my seven things about me.  Now for seven blogs for you to check out:

1. Everyday Explanations

2. Tracy Loves History

3.  Candace Knoeble

4. This World Through My Eyes

5. Leaf and Twig

6. J. C. Conway

7. My Life Is Really In The Garden

There you have it.  An assortment of writers, photographers and gardeners.  Hope you find one or two you really enjoy!

Thanks again to Jennifer for this lovely award! 

Another Star!

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Carolyn of ABC of Spirit Talk has just awarded me another Blog of the Year award, which means I can add a new star to the one I got yesterday. Thank you so much, Carolyn.  It’s fun to add to an award like this.  And I appreciate the additional star.  Folks, check out her blog when you get a chance.  You’ll enjoy yourself there.  In keeping with the rules, and because I love to laugh more than anything else in the world, here is probably my very favorite blog of all, for those who haven’t visited there yet:

23 Thorns

23 is just about the funniest blog I’ve ever read.  (I can call him 23, because we are on a first name basis now.  That, and I have no idea what his REAL name might be.)  No matter which of his many posts you click on, you will find yourself laughing throughout.  He is writing a book, and I plan to buy it FOR SURE when it is published.  Check him out!

Awards List

Okay, on the off chance that I get more awards, and since I can’t make my sidebar display any pictures of them…gah!!!…I’m resorting to a post under the Category of “Awards” and I will keep my new one there, and any future ones that Who’s Your Granny might win.  It’s the only thing I know how to do for now.  At least I can click on the Awards category and see them there.  (Notice how optimistic I am about getting more some day??  Hehehe.)

Who’s Your Granny’s first award:

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Sorry…

No matter how I try to save the images, I can’t get them to appear in my sidebar, as the award images do on Bookin’ It.  I’m not sure what the problem is, but for now, the only place I can display the image is in my original post.  I’ll keep working on it later on.  I have some other things to attend to for now.  But please know that I do plan to display it permanently somehow, when I can figure it out.

An Award for WYG? Wow!

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I’m so excited to think this little blog has won its first award!  Thank you so much to my favorite tech-for-non-techies blogger, Sharechair, for this honor.  And for me, it really is an honor.  To be singled out, especially for my second blog, where I don’t get to spend nearly enough time these days, is really a fun thing, and makes me feel very good. I think it’s because she was afraid the stress of losing my late, lamented oaks was going to cause me to deconstruct in a singularly spectacular fashion before the clean up was finally over, but I don’t care!  I’ll take it anyway, and I thank SC so much for the recognition. I find that when I can manage to get new posts UP on this blog (which I promise to do a better job of in the future), it is very rewarding, because I can talk about anything I want, rather than limiting it to books-related themes.  So I’m excited to have my very first award to display here, and I’m looking forward to more fun in the weeks ahead.  I just have to make a bit more time for it.  Be sure to stop by Sharechair’s always interesting and informative blog, yourself, especially if you have questions about any of the technical gadgets you have probably acquired lately.  Her posts explain in the easiest of ways how to do things with your computer, your iPhone, your iPads, and other gadgets that you probably aren’t using to the fullest.

Now as to the award.  This is slightly different from the ones I’ve received on Bookin’ It (which are the only ones I really know anything about, at this point), in that you can add extra stars to it every time someone nominates you for it.  That’s a fun variation.  Here are the rules, as explained by the creator of the award, and my nominations for other bloggers, as well.

The ‘rules’ for this award are simple:

1 Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award

 2 Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.

 3 Please include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award – http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/our-awards/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/ and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)

 4 Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them

 5 You can now also join our Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience

 6 As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…

 

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Yes – that’s right – there are stars to collect!  Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once – this award is different.  When you begin you will receive the ‘1 star’ award – and every time you are given this award by another blog – you can add another star!

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There are a total of 6 stars to collect.  Which means that you can check out your favourite blogs – and even if they have already been given the award by someone else – you can still bestow it on them again and help them to reach the maximum 6 stars!

 Need to know more? Check out our FAQ page

 And Congratulations! on being chosen for the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award.

 Nominees: Here are the 6 awards in thumbnail size for your sidebar – feel free to Right Click and save any of the images on this page:

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Okay, now to fulfill the only real rule for receiving the award–my nominations for Blog of the Year.  Hope you guys have time to collect all six stars before the year is up!  To help some of you do that, I’m going to nominate the other winners of Sharechair’s nomination, so they can add another star to their award.  These are new blogs for me, so I haven’t had time to read them yet, but if Sharechair recommends them, then I know they will be fun to explore:

Lantern Post  Looks VERY interesting and diverse.

ABC Spirit of Talk   Any blog that manages to have both Judy Garland and Boston Terriers in it looks like fun to me. Check out the adorable picture of the Boston Terrier puppy!)

Misifusa’s Blog  Looks really interesting, too, with well written posts on a variety of things.

A New Day This looks to be a very inspiring blog about a woman making a life for herself in spite of physical challenges.  I look forward to reading more here.

Now for some blogs I’d like to add to the list, myself:

Sharechair First and foremost, I’d like to include Sharechair whose blog has taught me so much.  If she’s not at six stars yet, this will help her get there, and she deserves it. Not only have I learned from her blog, but I have really enjoyed having her visit both of mine as often as she does.  Thanks, SC.  You’ve made my blogging lots more fun!

Garden Muse  Some very interesting and detailed information here on plants and gardens. I especially love the photos and info on the Gingko Grove.  I’ve always liked the look of these trees.

Ellisnelson  Since I am writing my first book myself (a story for another day), I find I am drawn to blogs of other writers.  It’s amazing how many of them share their time, ideas, and experiences with fellow would-be authors, in addition to their written works. 

My Life As A Single Mom  Another writer who is not only a published author, but who has been a steadfast follower of my blogs, and always makes helpful and interesting comments on them.  Thanks, Jennifer! 

Backyard Biology  My favorite place to visit for nature photography and information.  Sue always does her homework, and I learn something new about her corner of the world every time I visit her blog, which is pretty often.  Thanks, Sue!

And there you have it.  Hope you will check out some of these blogs soon.  They aren’t all of the ones I stop by frequently, but they are a good selection, and if you do visit them, but sure to let them know you enjoyed their posts and photos.  They’ll appreciate hearing from you.

I will be putting my award up in its permanent home a little later, and notifying each of my nominees at that time, as well. 

Have a great Moon’s Day, y’all!!  Later!

Who Was THAT???

Who WAS that harridan, that shrieking fishwife, that hag-like viper who appeared in my yard this afternoon, under the guise of helping her husband clean up yet more tree waste?  Surely, that couldn’t have been MOI?  Stomping her feet and growling and swearing like the proverbial drunken sailor (apologies to sailors everywhere)?  Why, I don’t act like that.  Ever. Well, maybe just this once.  SINCE I HAVE A FREAKIN’ MOUNTAIN OF DEAD TREE IN MY YARD TO BE HAND CUT AND JAMMED INTO FIFTEEN CONTAINERS AT A TIME, WHICH BY THE WAY, IS ALL WASTE MANAGEMENT WILL PICK UP AT A TIME, BUT WHICH MAKES ALMOST NO DIFFERENCE IN THE SIZE OF THE PILE!!!  Ooooops.  Am I yelling again, she asks meekly?

Oh, I tell you, folks…this is the gift that just keeps on giving.  Giving you nightmares, that is.  Not to mention blisters on your hands, fire ant bites on your ankles, sawdust up your nose, and a really foul temper to cap it all off. 

Where is that rainbow when I need it?  As I sit here with an ice pack on my foot–because of course when I tripped, I smacked the foot with the serious nerve damage in it on a tree limb and set off blowtorch-level burning pain–I’m having to dig way down deep for the memory of that “rainbow where one should never have been” miracle.  But it’s still in my Memory Banks somewhere (talk about miracles), so I am working on accessing how I felt that day in order to get me through the rest of this one.  Isn’t that what miracles are for?  To help us through those days when we are so mad our teeth itch and lightning shoots out of our eye sockets?  Yeah.  A good miracle can get you through some pretty nasty stuff.  But a flame thrower would be better.  First, I’d burn down this mountain of debris in my yard, and then I’d go all Chuck Norris on the tree contractor’s backside.   Now THAT would be a mood changer!

Hope you guys are all having a nicer Sunday than I am.  But the good news is, I WILL live through it, the Good Lord willin’ (as my granny used to say), and tomorrow WILL be a better day.  If for no other reason than Mark will be back at work, and the chainsaw will be back in the garage until next weekend.  And that harridan of a shrieking fishwife will probably be gone, too.  Mostly.