Tag Archives: appreciation

Holiday Decorations 2021

This is the first year since leaving Wisconsin that we have a Christmas tree inside the house. Our Colorado years sported a dressed tree on the deck outside our dining area. Sturdy ornaments able to withstand the elements donned the tree. Many of the years, dustings of snow graced the branches and sometimes birds would land in the tree. All those years our fragile ornaments hid in boxes wrapped in tissue. It was a treat to open those boxes and see treasures stored away.

The decorating process unleashed memories from years back, memories of family events, memories of friends. The nativity set I grew up seeing at my grandparent’s house now lives at mine. Unwrapping each piece stirs memories from my childhood, when its home was a corner table in their living room. I treasure the story of how the set was acquired. First the stable with the holy family, then, as finances allowed, they added to the collection. The pieces don’t match, but they warm my heart as it’s part of my history. Several years back, my husband purchased a new stable for the set. It was our way of putting our own touch on this set.

Antique Nativity

The other set comes from hubby’s family and was purchased by his parents many years ago on a trip to Italy. The pieces all have exquisite facial features, all are in the same style. It is a simplistic piece that finds its home on an end-table each Christmas. I love both sets, and unwrapping them is our introduction to the holiday season.

Italian Nativity

Unpacked ornaments lay on the table, ready for the tree. Hubby picked up a piece and said, “Is there a history here? I see so many snowmen.”

I chuckle. “Yes. I have a friend who knew I liked snowmen and for many years, she gave me an ornament or two for my tree.”

I’m grateful he asked. It brought back so many pleasant holiday memories after my children were adults and I lived alone. Friends are so important in life.

He asked about other ornaments or decorations. Some were from my mom; some made by children; some purchased on travels; some, I don’t remember. Then we talked about some ornaments he brought.

I have many things my mother gave to me over the years. So much has changed since last year when we were absorbed with cleaning, unpacking and getting settled in our new home. There were no Christmas decorations. In retrospect, I recognize that may have been healthier for me. This year, I’m able to pick up a piece and enjoy the thought of my mom giving the ornament or decoration to me. Many of the items reflected her personality. The simple styles, or elegant lines, reflected who she was and how much care she gave in selecting gifts for others. Last year, I wasn’t ready to appreciate the memories associated with those items. 

Time is a healer.

Still learning…

Fall 2021

Almost a year of tending a rose garden

No prior experience

Gaging water and fertilizer needs

Spraying insects

Pruning for shape and plant health

Always guessing

Questioning decisions

You think you have learned

Then the seasons change 

So do the needs of the plants

Sigh!

Cooler temperatures arrived

Buds abound

First cutting this season

I know way more than last year

Yet know there is more to learn.

A Morning in My Life

…By Shamu

I uncurl from my sleep and stretch, allowing my front paws to touch your arm. You’re still sound asleep and I’m hungry. I knead on your arm, but you just roll away. That will never do. I stretch a few more times and jump to my feet and come up by your face. I butt my head against yours. With groggy eyes you glance at me and rub my ears. Still you don’t arise. I decide you must be told what to do, so I start to talk to you.

“Oh, Shamu, why do you insist on such early mornings? Okay. I’ll get up.”

You slowly grab your robe to head downstairs. I’m way ahead of you, talking all the way. You set out fresh food for me then fix your coffee. I pick at my food, then saunter around the kitchen looking out the patio door. I know you’ll never let me outside. How I would like to get out, but only if you’ll come with me. 

Waiting for you
…by Felicia Marie

I stretch out on the couch and watch you until you come and also sit on the couch. I roll over and approach to sit on your lap. You know I want to be close to you, but you never sit still for very long. 

Your daughter arrives, and I approach her. She will pick me up and cuddle with me. I purr and butt my head against her. She’s grand and I love her, but you are still my preference. 

In Charge
….by Felicia Marie

Some People Say…

…2020 was the lost year.

I disagree

2020 was the year… 

I became focused

I got serious about my writing

Enjoyed contact with writers from around the world

Was challenged and encouraged

To be bold

To let the words out

To trust my voice

Learned the peace of spending time with my thoughts

Found joy in simple pleasures

Around my house

With my husband

Enjoyed time to read

And then read some more

Cooked some amazing meals

Wrote, and wrote and wrote some more

Became comfortable with Zoom and its limitations

Met other creatives who were open about their struggles during this time

Up rooted myself

Moved

Settled in to find myself surrounded by unknown plants

Doors opened to new learning 

Writing continues

Meeting neighbors and others

Continue Zoom meetings with writers

Projects progressing…

2020 was the year that continues in 2021!

Amazing Agave or Dr. Seuss Tree

Crescendo

The blue agave is still reaching for the heavens.

Still Growing

Branches to hold some of the blossoms are forming.

Branching out

For some who’ve witnessed an agave bloom, you may wonder why I’m doing this.

My fascination with the new and different vegetation of this area is getting the better of me – and I’ve never seen anything like this before. So, I’m sharing…

Perspective…

Can you see the excitement building?

Stay Tuned…

Change is coming. Last week I thought this plant looked different. Then decided, maybe not. By Saturday, I knew a bloom was coming. The gardener remembers planting this agave 30 years ago.

April 17th

I’ve heard the bloom growth is phenomenally fast. The following displays what can happen in only two days.

April 19th

Besides growing fast, the blooms are supposed to be spectacular. Expect periodic photo updates.

It will be fun to watch, and a wee bit bittersweet. With the bloom, comes death. It will be sad to loose this plant as it is a showcase specimen on the pathway to a patio area. Perhaps it’ll spawn another.

I Love Living Here…

Frequently, I’m asked how I’m enjoying my new home.

My response flows.

“I’m loving it more every day.”

They come in all shapes and sizes
New Cacti & Succulent Bed

Perhaps I’m under the influence of the intoxicating fragrances that waft through the air. Depending upon where I stand on the property today, I might smell orange blossoms, or alyssum, or eucalyptus, or other yet to be identified scents. Each offers aromas I enjoy, and I savor those moments of fragrance.

Regularly, I’m learning something new about the plantings on the property. The former owners enjoyed the diversity found in this locale, so there’s a variety of mature plantings to enjoy. Our styles may be different, but our love of plants and being outdoors to enjoy them is something we share with those owners. We’re grateful they invested in the property. We’ve relocated and moved some things to create different spaces or zones; this visually opened the approach to the house; yet maintained almost all the species we worked with. It’s a process and we’re comfortable knowing that it will all take time. I wake up, look outdoors and say,

“I love living here.”

Spring is in the air…

Lantana Surrounded by Alyssum

It’s February

Yet spring abounds

The birds are busy

Calling from one to another

We watch them building nests

Or scavenging in the garden

Buried plants have broken the earth’s crust

Then released their blooms

With these blooms, comes color

Fragrances fill the air

Sweet alyssum flows down the hillside

While the aroma wafts back to the patio

Citrus trees share their harvest

While setting blossoms for next year’s crop

It’s all part of the cycle

The invigorating cycle of life

It feels so good to be in the middle of this

All in a morning walk…

Goodbye / Hello…

2020 – I join with friends around the globe to say “Adieu”
Your stories will be told for years to come
No need for more
…and now I direct my gaze forward

2021 – enter
Open our eyes to see fresh things
Teach us to see beauty in the little as well as the grand 
Remind us there is nothing new under the sun
And that peace comes through faith
Let that faith grow in our lives 
As we recognize all of mankind is suffering
We make a difference one step at a time
Give us courage to take those individual steps

Welcome 2021
The world is ready for a change
How about you?

Winter Rose

Best wishes to all in this new year!