Sunday, December 31, 2023

December Holidays

 It doesn't seem much like December this year, there's still no sign of snow. But the holidays came and went without the snow. Whatever holiday you celebrate, or none at all, I hope you were able to be with loved ones. I know it can be a tough time of year for some. And I hope the New Year is good to you! We'll have a quiet night at home, as we usually do. We've already had our New Year's lunch date, to avoid the crowds. Our beloved family has already been here to celebrate the season, so all is quiet.  

Despite the mild weather, the only life I see outdoors is this pot of pansies, and a single scabiosa, better known as pincushion flower. Perhaps this will be the year that my pansy pot lives through the entire winter. Personally, I'd like a bit of real winter, particularly some pretty white snow. But most people here don't agree with me. 

Christmas keeps me busy with preparations, but I did finish one crochet project, this matching set of colorful wrap shawls. One is for my own use, and one was gifted to a friend. The dolls are something I made LONG ago for my daughter. But they were recently rescued from the basement, and refurbished. I kept one for myself, but the rest were returned to my grown daughter. I had forgotten how much detail I put into my handmade dolls! Besides giving them as gifts, I used to sell them at craft fairs, along with handmade teddy bears. They were always such fun projects to complete. 

I always start my holiday decorating with the outdoors.  I think the reason that I enjoy decorating outside so much is because it feels a little like gardening, at a time when there's no gardening left to do. I'll leave most of this greenery in place until March, although the red touches will have to go. 

I'm one of those people we loves her Christmas decorations, but loves even more when it's time to put them away! I find holiday decorations to be cluttered, even though I remove the regular items before putting them out. But once I put them all away, the whole house feels fresh and clean, and ready for the new year. I completed this task just yesterday. Ahhhhh. 

And so we say goodbye to 2023 by admiring a few sunsets and sunrises. May the coming year be filled with magic, and an endless stream of beautiful skies to watch! I appreciate those of you who come to visit my little blog each month. Hope to see you here again next year! 

Thursday, November 30, 2023

November Chill

 As November comes to a close, I find it's also time for autumn to come to a close. The trees are bare now, with leaves skittering across the roads. And today, there are even a few snow flakes in the air. I'm having a hard time finding pretty spots to show off here. But early in the month, I did enjoy the end of the fall colors at my favorite parks. Plus we went to Florida to see my parents, and of course I found beauty there. 

Blacklick Woods and Chestnut Ridge are my favorite nature spots during the months when summer turns into fall. My last visit to them on November 7 was my final view of autumn here in Ohio. I'm always a little sad when my favorite season is over. When autumn comes to an end, it means that the next time I'll catch interesting nature photos will be the first snow. But when will that be? Our winters have gotten milder here, like they have in so many areas. We don't get much snow, and when we do, it doesn't last long. I suppose that's why I go running outside whenever snow does arrive. In the meantime, here's what I saw at fall's finale. 

I have two sets of parents living in Florida, so we visit fairly often. In Sarasota, we see coastal views and eat seafood. 

In central Florida, we see orange groves, marshes, and rolling hills. They each have their own beauty. 

With Thanksgiving behind us, it's time to get serious about my Christmas preparations. It's time to remove all the pumpkins outside, and buy holiday greenery to take their place. Inside, it's time to remove all the fall decorations, and break out my Christmas goodies. I do have some of my gifts already purchased, but I'll need to finish that chore. I will send out a few Christmas cards, and bake some cookies. I used to bake mountains of cookies when the kids were small, when we had various places to share them. Now I just make a few favorites for my immediate family. I also need to plan holiday meals for visiting family, but we decided to go casual this year and have a taco bar. Can't wait! Here's a little sneak preview of my decorations. 

Here at the end of the month, I tried to find any possible flowers outside, and didn't find much. It must have been quite cold while we were in Florida, as even my roses are gone, and they usually last past a few frosts. I did plant about half of my tulip bulbs before the weather got extra cold. I'll have to find a window of warmth to complete that task. We did clean out the veggie garden earlier in the month, and harvested these carrots and watermelon radishes. 

I'll leave you as usual with a sunrise and two sunsets. Not sure how much else there will be to see during the quieter months, but I do appreciate you stopping by regardless. See you again next month when I'll have holiday decorations to display, and maybe some snow.