Sunday, December 14, 2014

Signs of snow and Christmas

I like to read decorating blogs to see how out of touch I am. Right now they're all showing their winter mantels. Here's mine.

What's different about my mantel is that I don't change it. It's my winter, spring, summer, and fall mantel. It's suitable for all Colorado seasons except summer and then I'm out in the garden anyway. If I should happen to notice it in the summer heat the sight of the snow-tipped branches makes me feel slightly cooler. Once in awhile I dust it, too.

The very summery chaise with its big pink and rose floral design gets a furry shrug for winter. Nice and cozy for TV watching and book reading. Easy to whip off when the warm breezes blow again.

If you've been reading my blog for awhile now you know I have a humongous Christmas village that lives in the basement. One of my Adorable Grandchildren has been helping me put it all away so some work can be done down there. But I couldn't celebrate the season without at least a part of a village so I grabbed a few houses and made them the centerpiece of my dining room table.

Behind that is the hutch with all my seashell stuff. It's year-round too. So I stuck some juniper and spruce branches from my trees into the mix to make it blend in. It will be very ouchy to remove.
Back in the living room, here's a tree. Undecorated by choice. I don't want to have to put all those ornaments away in January. Easy-peasy.
And another snow-tipped tree mirrored by the snowfall outdoors.
I am attracted to shiny. Shiny pillow, shiny pointy tree.
And more shiny next to a minimally decorated tree. With a little leopard thrown in for good measure.
Outside, the Bushtits heard there was snow coming and mobbed the suet feeder. They must have seen the snowbirds arriving (Juncos) as they've been here all week. A sure sign of snow.


Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Winter sun

Early morning sun in the living room.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Fine and Feathery

Here's what happened this week. It got really cold. I mean really, really cold. It hasn't been this cold here at this time of year since 1916. What the heck. But...I watch the weather report, I was ready. I raced around the garden on the last morning of nice weather, tucking ceramic pots and birdbaths away safe from freezing and thawing destruction, wrapping the standing wall fountain in a big blue tarp. The cold front blew in, the temperature dropped, the snow came, twice. But I was ready. Amazing!

The miscanthus standing tall a few weeks ago.

And the snow didn't beat it down. It still looks fine and feathery. Before I shovel my walks and driveway I brush the snow off the ornamental grasses. I have my priorities.


Friday, October 31, 2014


Getting ready for spooks and goblins tonight. Or more likely, Batman, Elsa and Anna, and assorted princesses.

Pre-retirement I shared the fun duties of Halloween party planner extraordinaire with a co-worker. Together we planned the day-long festivities with costume contests, endless food, and decorations galore. It took hours to transform our workroom into a spooky cobwebby witchy space to celebrate Halloween. The whole department pitched in. Costumes were discussed or kept secret. The day of the big event everyone from mail clerk to chief executive joined in the festivities. The costumes! Some people were unrecognizable. Some were glamorous, others funny or scary. We outdid ourselves. But what do you expect from a building full of library staff? It was great fun. It was exhausting. Now I'm happy to hang a ghost or two on my front porch.

I was going to stretch some fake cobwebs across the window but discovered I have real ones. Done.

Oh, here's a pretty miniature rose I noticed while hanging ghosts. Not scary.

So while I'm done coming up with costumes like Mary Queen of Scots, Pocahontas, Gypsy fortune-teller, Tourist in Hawaii, Cowgirl, Sacajawea and many others I still feel the need to do a little something. Okay, this is scaring me. I hope Batman and the princesses don't trick instead of treat.


Sunday, October 26, 2014


Every blog I look at is featuring some fall decorating. Mantles are big, so are front porches. I did stick a little pumpkin on my porch thus depriving the squirrels of their usual carnage on the large display of pumpkins and gourds. But I decided that probably wasn't quite enough. Maybe a centerpiece for the table? I rooted around in the storage room and found this stuff.

I cut the heads off my red hydrangeas, now a dusty rose.
These antlers have been sitting around forever. Can't think where I got them. Probably at a garage sale.
I must have packed up these gourds and pumpkins from last year. I wanted to add some Indian corn but then remembered the squirrels ate them all last fall.
Add some bittersweet.
Now for something to put them in. I rescued this from the garage - it had been on its way to Goodwill. This will save me a trip to Goodwill to buy it back.
So I plunked the antlers and a big pine cone in there and started adding stuff like little wooden acorns. Aren't they cute? I'd like to see a squirrel bite into one of those. Who am I kidding? They'd still eat it.

And here's what I came up with.

I liked it a lot better before the antlers started reminding me of a stegosaurus. Maybe I should start over? Naw, I'm done. Happy fall!


Sunday, October 05, 2014

Baby lettuce

I have a teeny tiny pond. Each year I buy one water lettuce to float around in it. Then the lettuce starts making baby lettuce. They invariably get as big (just like baby birds) as their parents in a very short time. By the end of summer there is no water visible.

I wait patiently for the first baby lettuce so I can pinch it off and place it in one of several small water pots around the terrace. It will get as big as its parent and fill the water pot. But not this time.

In this small pot the baby made lots of babies that stayed small all summer.

Babies having babies!

My friend, the Expert Gardener, has a large pond where the water lettuce reproduce so prolifically that they shove each other out of the pond by summer's end! Mine aren't quite that pushy. Soon they'll all be dead anyway.


Sunday, September 14, 2014


This time of year I want to save everything in my garden. I hate to think of my plants crispy and dead so I have a tendency to think I can overwinter my favorites. I'm usually wrong but I try it every fall anyway.

Like this pretty little abutilon. This might be Temple Bells but even if it's not I'm calling it that anyway. It goes with the Buddha. It's now on my kitchen table under the skylight.

I know better than to try to save the dwarf papyrus. I killed one last winter.
I hauled in most of the succulents before the temps went down to 33 degrees the other night. This tray is supposedly water-tight. I'll find out.
I love that big echeveria. The older leaves are hail-pitted several times over. Thank you, Rocky Mountain weather.
You can almost spot one of those cobwebby-looking cacti. Kind of creepy but it matches my decor.
I should be thinking about getting the "fern room" ready in the basement. It's an empty room with two bright windows. With a tarp on the floor it serves as a winter nursery for a dozen ferns, a couple of hibiscus and some jasmine. By the middle of winter it's a huge mess with dead leaves littering the tarp and me losing all ambition to keep them watered.

Just thinking about it makes me tired. I'll put my feet up instead and work on it tomorrow.


Friday, September 12, 2014


I think these morning glories got zapped during our low temps last night. They were pretty while they lasted but I never got a ton of blooms at once. Late bloomers.

I can only hope these nasty Japanese beetles got zapped too. Japanese beetles in Colorado? A first for me. Good thing I retired in time to drown them in soapy water twice a day. Actually they're quite pretty, but not when they're devouring Graham Thomas.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Fun with Waterlogue

It looks like Monet just painted my garden. I love this app called "Waterlogue." I'm sure I'll be bored with it soon but for now here are the watercolor renderings followed by the real thing.

Cool, huh? So if you want to be an artist, apparently there's an app for that!