Friday, November 23, 2012


So I took the day off before Thanksgiving to clean my house. This is a big deal for me as I only "clean" before relatives visit or if I'm hosting dinner, as I was this year. I woke up full of energy to clean bathrooms, but got sidetracked immediately when I decided I needed something festive on the front porch table to welcome guests. I wandered around the yard snipping evergreen boughs and stuck them in this planter which also holds a dead buddleia. I figured the boughs would cover it up okay, and added a few peacock feathers for good measure.

Ready to clean the bathrooms, but wait, I'd better do the pies first because what's more important? Doorbell rings, and its the UPS man with the cute little pie cutters I ordered from Williams-Sonoma. I didn't expect to see them before next week. I'm so excited I start cutting out acorns, maple leaves, pumpkins, and turkeys. How cute is that?

Here's the pie ready to go in the oven.

Finished baking pie, then look at the instructions for the pie cutouts. Oops, I was supposed to brush them with a wash of eggwhite and water mix, and bake them SEPARATELY on a cookie sheet and then place them on the finished pie. Oh well, it still looks pretty good, but maybe a little brown. Good thing I put those tinfoil-piecrust-cover-things over the edges before I put the pie in the oven.

I still can't get excited about the bathrooms as I'd rather work on the dining room table decorations and figure out what plates to use. Hmm, the only tablecloth that will work with all three leaves in the table is a Christmas tablecloth. I'm sure I have a plain white one but I can't find it so this will have to do. And what about the dinner plates? They're a little small for a feast so I decide to use chargers under them to hopefully catch the overflow. I go to the basement and look for chargers. I seem to have them in red, brass, and also silver. I must have gotten a good deal on these after-Xmas some year. I decide on the deep red.

Gourds and pumpkins are the centerpiece, with a few pheasant feathers thrown in. Why not?

At the top of each charger I add a glittery acorn. Now, I realize I could have used these for napkin holders, but seriously that would have taken a lot of time. Besides, I used paper napkins (the store brand calls them "elegant" napkins) and they don't deserve the effort.

At midnight, I clean the bathrooms and give thanks that I got it done.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Lighten up

I've always wanted a chandelier in the garden and I found one last summer for 50 cents at a garage sale. Pretty simple but the price was right so I put some green candles in it and enjoyed the whimsy of it the rest of the summer. And the squirrels didn't bother it so it was a huge success all around.

Now that I've put so many things away for the winter it ocurred to me that I could keep my chandelier up and put battery operated candles in it and I would be able to enjoy it every winter's eve when I came home from work. Since it's pitch black at 5:30PM. Here it is.

It hangs near all the birdfeeders which is the preferred gathering place for the neighborhood squirrels. Actually I might as well call them MY squirrels since they all congregate at my house. Hmm, I thought, maybe this isn't the best place for it. Just because they ignored green candles, wouldn't they think the lighted candles would be wonderful for illuminating a midnight snack? And shouldn't they go ahead and chew on the candles since they chew everything?

So I moved it up to the overhang of the patio roof. It will keep my skyrocket junipers company. And maybe the squirrels will leave it alone. Or maybe I should lighten up on the squirrels? I don't think so.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

All tied up

The Skyrocket junipers normally live out in the yard in the summertime. So I don't forget to water them in the winter I haul them up to the back porch and line them up like sentinels. I tie them up too. Otherwise the snow will weigh down the branches and they will never have their pencil-shape again. I know because I was too lazy to tie up a big one a couple of years ago. It no longer looks like a pencil. Since I took this picture I did finish tying up the other two.

I thought it would look pretty cool to add pinecones around the base of these. The squirrels thought so too and everyday when I come home from work I find a few cones scattered around the ground. Would I expect anything less?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Fall on the front porch

This is what it looked like before the mums and ornamental kale started fading (well, before I got tired of watering the potted plants).

Nice pumpkins, huh? And I do like that crow.
Uh-oh, a pumpkin smasher on the loose? That also eats Indian corn?
Uh, no, just my usual nemesis.