Monday, November 28, 2016

A Good Start

I did get Autumn put away and spaces clear off on Saturday like I said I would. We also got out during a gap in the rain to pick greens in our garden. 
All of my pottery collection is stored away to make way for the Santa collection

Sunday morning we made a wreath using greens we picked on Saturday. 

Much of Sunday was taken up watching sports. The Seahawks and the Sounders were both playing a 1:00. The football game was just another in the regular season, so we kept track of it but put our full attention on the soccer game. The Sounders were playing for the Western Conference Championship, and a chance to go to the final, the MLS Cup. 

The Sounders won! They play for the Cup on December 10th, opponent yet to be decided. The Seahawks lost to Tampa Bay. 

In the evening I unpacked the Santa collection and put them in place. 

Today the rain let up and we were able to get our exercise walk in, and then we worked outside. In order to put lights in the  house, Tom needs to clean the roof first. He takes the blower onto the roof to remove the moss and fir needles and cedar droppings. Then I do the clean up on the ground while puts up the lights. 
 It was getting dark by the time I finished the cleaning up at 4:30.  The patio and driveway and front entrance are all cleaned up. the house lights are up. More yard lights are yet to come. 
 I pulled out summer plants from the porch planters and filled them with greens. 
 Now the front entrance is looking ready for the holidays.
It's a good start. 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Reporting In

I'm a little late in checking in with a Thanksgiving report. 

We got home about 6:00 Friday evening, unpacked and got stuff put away, then, too tired to cook, we went out for a quick meal. We spent the evening in our recliners, reading our devices and watching Hallmark Christmas movies. 

Tom's niece Julie and her family, who live in San Jose, CA,  were here in August for the Phosie-Gertie reunion and she formed a vision in her mind of having Thanksgiving here at the Whidbey cabin. We all contributed to make her dream come true. 

We live close to the Seatte-Tacoma airport, so we provide taxi service for the comings and goings of family members. Jill and the kids flew out to Colorado, Ann flew out to  California and left her car here. Tom's brother Dave and SIL Vicki flew in and picked up Ann's car. Julie, Dave and the kids Brian and Sarah flew in late Tuesday night  and took a taxi to Jill's house, stayed overnight, and borrowed her car. 

On Wednesday morning Tom and I packed up the pies I baked the day before, other contributions to the dinner and our gear and headed off through the city north to Whidbey Island. 

Wednesday we all settled in as the weather deteriorated, revving up for a big Pacific wind and rain storm. 

Thanksgiving morning we were thankful that the power was still on as the wind and rain pelted the windows and ruffled the bay.
Some of us sat around and visited while sort of watching the Macy's parade. 
Julie and Dave were in charge of the turkey, so they had early work to do. 
Of course everyone had their device, and even a few real books, to read. 

While the wind still blew, the rain let up enough to get out for a short walk. The surf was up on Useless Bay. 
The kitchen got busy as everyone prepared their contribution to the feast. 
Dave did an expert job of carving the turkey. 
The table was set with contributions from Jan, Vicki and me, and we dined off cabin china that was handed down from grandmothers long passed on. 
We were happy that Jake could join us for dinner, having the day off from the USPS, before being back at work on Friday morning. 
It was a feast to be thankful for, and for Julie, who is taking this photo, I hope it was a fulfillment of her dream. 

In the evening we had fun playing Heads Up, Ellen DeGeneres' game that uses an iPad. No need for games boards and pieces to put out and pick up when you have technology. 

By Friday everyone was doing their own thing. Julie and family packed up and left for Seattle to spend time in the city and then go back to Jill's house to stay. The weather was beautiful, a one day respite that we needed, and Tom and I went to Langley to do a bit of gift shopping. Here I am enjoying the view with my buddies Boy and Dog. 
In the afternoon we watched the Apple cup, the college rivalry game between the University of Washingtonian Huskies and the Washington State Cougars. Our favorite Cougars got blown out and we packed up and came home. 

Today, Saturday, we are back to rain. After a very slow start, we plan to put away autumn decorations, clear off spaces, and begin the process of decorating for Christmas. 

'Tis the Holiday Season and I must get myself into the spirit. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Field Trip

We needed some plants to fill in where we have been removing old, overgrown and misshapen shrubs in the garden.  After going to Irene's soccer game Saturday morning, and then making the first of numerous taxi service runs to or from the airport that we will provide for family members in the coming week, we decided to run away. Plant shopping gave us an excuse. 

We had heard about Branches Garden Center just the previous morning. Hard to believe there was a nursery with a gift shop somewhat nearby that we didn't know about! 

The gift shop is quite extensive, and of course it was decked out for Christmas. I decided I wasn't quite ready for Christmas yet, but enjoyed it anyway.  I didn't take a camera, but when I got to some of the cute garden ornaments, I got out my old iPhone to capture a few fun pics. We all need some fun.

These faux birch planters are fun. 
 So are these bottle bugs, or whatever they are. 
 These owls rock!
 Is this a tooled out wolf, or a cat, or....? The lamb seems unconcerned. 
 Their quack seems a bit metallic. 
 Well, hello!
 Is there an attraction? They seem to have stars in their eyes. 
Branches was fun, but they didn't have the plants we needed so we drove on to Watson's Greenhouse and Nursery. Frist we looked at the plants outside, and didn't find what we wanted, but we did find these guys. 
 Reindeer are petite animals, but they sure do have impressive racks of antlers. 

We found pretty flowers and fun plant friends in the outdoor covered area. 

 Wood doesn't melt, and is more likely to be in abundance for snowmen than snow will be around here. 

Then we went inside, where one side of the very large indoor plant and gift shop area was bursting with Christmas cheer. We went the other way. 
 The bromeliads were beauteous. 
 So much lovely foliage. 
 I like orchids, but they don't like my house. They were happier here. 
 Oh, Christmas must be coming.
We looked at all of the Christmas displays too, but I didn't take any photos. It isn't even Thanksgiving yet. There will be plenty of time for that later. 

Since we didn't find what we were looking for in these places, we returned to Furney's, our local nursery, where I had stopped on the way home from breakfast Friday morning and found the shrubs I thought might do. We bought them. 

There was an old Cedar Rheingold in this hole. 

 We are now filling it with a golden euonymus
 and a laurestina.
 Tom got them planted Sunday afternoon while I watched football. The old shrub is reduced to firewood and compost. 

And since I can't end on an ugly photo, here is one of several the winter jasmine that are doing their thing on our rock walls. 

There's usually something in bloom year round around here.