Saturday, December 29, 2012

Revisiting Christmas 2012

 This is a photo of a weathered barn in Virginia, upon which the owners thoughtfully hung a lovely be-ribboned  wreath.
 The holidays started with helping out at a house tour for the local historical society.
 This re-purposed Chapel was filled with wonderful decorations including
 many, many Annalee Dolls
 The homeowner did an outstanding job of decorating with urns and live twinkle lit outdoor trees.
 There were Byer Dolls too.
Down on the farm, crocheted Christmas stockings made over the years hung over the fireplace.
 A John Deer toy tractor found at a local baby consignment shop, with the cut offs from the live tree.
The real tractor on the farm.
 The outdoor tree.
 We decided to go traditional with a live tree, but when we couldn't find one with a root ball that we could plant for the future, we bought a live cut tree.
  A galvanized tub and some  pieces of wood for a stand worked well.  We placed a plastic cloth under the woolen blanket and looked for leaks which never materialized.  I cut the star from two pieces of white paper.
We added wooden Nut Crackers and Jumping Jacks, and candy canes.
 Baked a few banana breads,
drew a silly scene on the large slate and recycled barn fencing framed chalk board,
 planted a Calicarpa from the nursery that didn't have a balled Christmas tree, and protected it from marauding deer,
 visited the folks next door and saw their Pug,
 looked at old and new photos of Christmas mall memories,
 looked at the mall decorations and
 silly hats,
and added to the Advent calendar.
 Back on Long Island went to the beautifully traditional Cathedral of the Incarnation, Garden City, New York where they had a  large nativity.
 Made several lemon cakes,
 saw the wreath that someone placed on the door of the Dove Cottage,
 saw another fantastic outdoor tree in Centerport,
 loved the variegated Poinsettia,
 finally discovered that all the while the Lenten Roses were coming out even in the coldest weather!  Happy New Year!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Leftovers Piles of Storm Debris, Late Bloomers, Thanksgiving Leftovers, and Recycling after the Holiday

 It has been a very busy month here on Long Island. 
We had Sandy the mega Hurricane, then a nor easter storm shortly after that.
 The winds from both of these storms created a big mess for all of us to clean up.
 Weeks later,  there are giant piles of debris from fallen trees and stacks of branches at the ends of almost every driveway in our neighborhoods.
 The town is using every available open paved space to pile up the stumps and branches.  Later they will be moved and be recycled into mulch.
 This auto has been the subject of many photographs!  It was outside the body shop near our thrift shop.  Hard to miss it!
 Believe it or not, there are still flowers blooming in the Jarvis garden, even after these awful storms.  Chrysanthemums are resilient.
Herbs and a wonderful droopy plant remain.
Knock Outs, and
Marigolds are blooming as late as this.
Today I repaired an American flag for a friend, then
worked on the leftovers from Thanksgiving weekend, turkey, and Shepard's Pie.
Volunteering in a thrift shop has its advantages.  I am able to purchase small oven proof  dishes which I use to make smaller portion sized meals for reheating.
I start by covering the meals with waxed paper, then plastic wrap,
finally slipping the dishes into plastic bags for the freezer with notes containing the dates and the contents.
Leftover turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and green beans look pretty.
Extra stuffing and potatoes can be used as sides for other meals.
Everything wrapped up, and
ready for the freezer.  Careful when taking these out, the plastic bags make the dishes slippery and you wouldn't want to drop one on your foot or break any dishes.
Recycled plastic and glass remains from the parties.
Now we get to the entertainment.  Bread crumbs are cast out on the beach for the Sea Gulls, as the starter.
Their special treat is the turkey carcase.
Gulls make a lot of racket and are pretty aggressive with each other.
The largest ones dominate the scene.
Finally these lovely  annual  Salvias were still putting on a show in their tree stump planter.