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Posts Tagged ‘nature’

A Special Order for Christmas

Someone must have put in an order for Christmas snow, because on December 23 we woke up to this:

 

 

We enjoyed this snow (and more!) right through Christmas until this morning, when I woke up to green grass and rain.

Oh how I love a white Christmas!  Everything just looks prettier when it is covered by a layer of fresh white snow!

Did anyone else enjoy a Christmas that was white?

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Last year I shared with you how my mother-in-law taught me how to make an evergreen wreath.  This year we gathered with the whole family (my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, too!) to make them again.  We started our outing at our land to gather the evergreen boughs, and after a long (and somewhat wet!) hike we finally found the perfect branches.  After lunch we had a wonderful time creating our wreaths, and then going through the bags of flowers and pinecones that my mother-in-law has kept for just this purpose in order to decorate them. 

Creating an evergreen wreath is super easy and fun!  Here’s how:

1.  Gather a bucket of fresh evergreen boughs.  We found fir trees to work best for this because their needles lie flat and aren’t prickly.  I think other branches would work, but you might want to wear gloves to keep from getting poked by the needles. 

 

2.  Find or make a wire wreath frame.  You could make one out of a wire coat hanger, and the bonus is you will already have a hook for hanging!  You will also need some florist wire.

3.  Cut your boughs into lengths about as long as your hand.

4.  Gather these “hands” into a group of three or four (depending on how full your boughs are).

5.  Secure your wire to the wreath frame.  Wire the greens onto the front of your wreath frame by wrapping the wire around the wreath and greenery several times.

6.  Gather another group of “hands” and wire them to the back of your wreath frame, a small distance away from the group you just wired to the front.

7.  Continue to wire groups of branches alternately to the front and back until your whole wreath is covered.

8.  Twist the end of the wire to secure, and cut it off.  If you need a hanger, twist the wire into a hanging loop before cutting.

9.  You now have a beautiful evergreen wreath!  If the shape is a little wild, trim the boughs until you are happy with it. 

10.  Decorate as you wish!  When I purchased wreaths in years past I only ever decorated them with a long velvet bow that I reused year after year.  I can’t resist my mother-in-law’s collection of decorations though, and love the way the flowers and pinecones look on the greenery.  These are attached with a glue gun, and they pull easily off the wreath at the end of the season to reuse next year.

Happy wreath making!

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Yesterday, I was outside enjoying the sunshine while I harvested more lettuce, herbs, celery and beans from the garden.

I even took some time to do a photo shoot with a  new sweater friend on such a beautiful sunny day:

This morning I woke up to this:

By lunchtime it looked like this:

Winter is here.  Perhaps this was why I had dreams I was sewing hats and mittens and scarves last night??

No complaints though.  We’ve had a beautiful fall.  And there is something special about the first snowfall – even when it sweeps in like a lion!

Has winter arrived where you live?

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Simple Beauty

Hubby and I have discovered a new place to walk.  It’s a bit unconventional for this girl, but it’s quiet (except for the odd woodpecker and rooster) and it has some beautiful scenery.

Sometimes it pays to walk off the beaten track.  This “trail” starts a 5 minute jaunt from our house and we’ve walked the bridge over it more times than I can count.  And then one day we decided to walk beside it.  It’s amazing the beauty you can find when you aren’t necessarily looking for it. 

Where is there beauty around you today?

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Absolutely nothing but snow! 

We haven’t seen snow like this in a while.  Usually it snows and melts snows and melts.   But this year it snows and snows and snows some more.

That’s the picnic table under there.  Anyone up for an alfresco dinner?

What’s that?  You’re up for a snow picnic?  Well…first we have to get out the door! 

It’s the perfect weather for building a snowman, snowshoeing and snowball fights.    We’ll be giggling and smiling in the cold air as our boots crunch in the snow, snowflakes tickle our faces and our cheeks turn rosy red.    And then we’ll put another log in the wood stove and cuddle under a blanket with a good book. 

Today I am relishing the joys of a winter wonderland.   How about you?

Winter came down to our home one night
Quietly pirouetting in on silvery-toed slippers of snow,
And we, we were children once again.
~Bill Morgan, Jr.

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Winter Has Come Early

These are pictures I took on Saturday morning. 

 On Saturday afternoon I looked out and saw this:

Winter has come early this year, not with a whisper but with a shout! 

Anyone want to come and build a snowman?

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On a busy day – watching the rain

On a very busy day, at the end of a very busy week, when my head was swimming and my to-do list seemed to be growing exponentially, and I am not sure I could have told you my own name if you had asked, I stopped to watch the rain form puddles on the deck.

 

Just for a minute.  While dinner lay half-created on the counter I slipped out the kitchen door and just stood there.

And reminded myself to breathe.

And paid attention to the feel of the little droplets falling on my face.

And allowed the rushing thoughts in my head to slow down enough to take in the sight of the garden and all the green leaves reaching up towards the rain.

 

I want to be like them.  Reaching up in thankfulness when the rain falls.

The busy fall season has started.  My students and I are getting reacquainted.  I am trying to wrap my head around new technologies, new curriculums and new teaching approaches.  I have garden produce to preserve, a lawn to mow, weeds taking up permanent residence, and a half-empty stall of sewn objects at a local store waiting to be filled. 

And I need to take time to breathe.

Do you make time to breathe in your busy days?  How do you carve out these small moments of peace?

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