Category: Life in New York (Page 1 of 2)

Weekly Overview 10.31.17

Outside My Window…  the Bradford pear tree is beginning to show some red leaves way up near the top.

I am thinking… about how I am really not ready for winter and cold weather.  I had to turn the heat on again this morning, the second morning this week.  I’m not impressed.

I am thankful for… Copper on my lap, keeping me warm!

I am hoping… to find some motivation and tackle the long list of inside things to be done today.  Outside chores will be saved for later in the week when it warms back up again.

 I am reading…

  • Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom by Condoleeza Rice
  • A Day Late And A Dollar Short by Terry McMillan
  • Fast Food Genocide by Dr. Joel Fuhrman
  • Cashelmara by Susan Howatch

I am busy creating… plans for outside gardens.  I worked with a fellow Master Gardener classmate yesterday – she has a landscape design program that she’s learning to use and offered to help me plan my gardens as a way to learn her program better.  I’m her guinea pig!

I am hearing… the morning news on the television.  The upstairs shower (David).  Bill on a conference call.

 Around the house… vacuuming needs to be done.  There is cat here everywhere!  I also need to put out the fall decor – after all, it is the last day of October.  If I get the fall decor out, I’ll be able to enjoy it for about a month before it’s time to put out Christmas flowers.

Around the garden…  plants need to be cleaned up to bring inside for the winter and other plants need to be settled into winter homes outside.  I’d like to try to save many of the mints and herbs that I started this summer.  I need to continue working on the north end of the back fence flower bed.  There’s some daffodil and other spring bulbs to plant in the front bed.  I need to finish emptying the one compost bin – it’s got some really nice compost in the bottom!  We had a frost last Friday night, but most of my plants came through unscathed, including this coneflower:

In other news…  I’m in that in-between stage mentally — finishing up the growing season, readying the outside for winter, and shifting to thinking about indoor projects.  The bonus room has to be cleaned up.  The wall is up, the door is up, and we’re to the mudding stage of the drywall, which is where it’s likely going to stay until after Christmas.  But the room needs to be gotten ready for company coming later this month and the delivery of the loveseat / sleeper bed.  I’m thinking about doing a wall mural of some sort on each side of that new wall and not doing the same drywall finish as is throughout the rest of the house.  And I’m considering colors – I’d like more color in the house, so thinking about painting one small room just to get my feet wet.  Again, though, that’s likely not going to happen until after Christmas.

I also got my haircut shorter last week and can now wear my combs again.  It’s taking me a bit to get used to it shorter, what to do with it, etc., but I do like it and really need to remember that the shorter length is nicer for sleeping.  Here’s a selfie I took yesterday:

One of my favorite things…  Skechers shoes.  I bought a new pair yesterday, slip-on house shoe type.  I think they call them “walking shoes” or some such.  They are so very comfortable.

Our Weekly Overview… 

Karen:  This week’s focus is a mixed bag of indoor and outdoor – continuing readying for winter, a bit of housework, and getting office work. I met with a friend yesterday morning, working on gardening plans, then ran errands in the afternoon.  So hopefully the rest of the week I am home, concentrating on prepping for our trip to Alabama later in the month and then house guests for the last third of November.

Bill:  Bill is working from home all week, at least that’s the plan today.  Lately his schedule seems to change hourly, so I’m never quite sure if he’ll be working from home or commuting.  This weekend he will be putting a trailer hitch on the Dart so we can haul a small trailer – part of the plan in bringing a few items home from storage when we go to Alabama.

David:  David quit his job a week ago, but he’s going to go in today and visit, check out everyone’s Halloween costumes.  He’s supposed to be working at getting himself enrolled in college for January start.  The plan is to get that all done before his friends arrive on the 18th of November for their stay.

Here’s a picture thought I am sharing …  

Last week I went on a Master Gardener tour of Chandor Gardens in Weatherford, Texas.  It was a beautiful day and some lovely gardens with a very Eastern theme.  This door struck my fancy.

Christmas Centerpiece

In the continuing quest for contentment, I decided to do more decorating for the holiday season. Christmas used to be my favorite time of year as a child, and not for the gifts. It was more the general feeling of happiness and joy that people seemed to have during this time of year. Of course, as a child, I wasn’t aware of the stress and sadness that adults often feel at Christmas time.

What I remember with the rose-colored glasses of time are the sights and smells and sounds of Christmas: the decorations, inside and outside, that turned a normal house into a twinkling wonderland; the smells of homemade cookies and pies and candies; the sounds of Christmas music everywhere. I especially remember Christmases on Nutt Road, the house where I lived as a teen. My stepmother Norma always went all out for Christmas.

In an effort to recreate some of that nostalgic feeling, I wanted a centerpiece for my dining room table and not just a poinsettia, which seems to be what I always end up with. I wanted something that I could use year after year. I spent a couple of hours last Saturday wandering the stores in town trying to find what I was picturing in my mind – something with a hurricane candle and greenery – with no luck. Then I spent another hour on Google and discovered that I could have what I was picturing, for a hefty price! But some time spent on Pinterest looking at centerpieces and I decided I had most of what I needed to make my own, albeit not with a hurricane candle. All I needed to buy was some candy canes, which I buy each year anyway.

I took my clear glass trifle dish, filled it with several strings of beads, and then stuck candy canes into it.
What do you think?

I suspect by the end of December that the centerpiece will have fewer candy canes, especially with David coming home next week!
Candy canes go very well in mocha, don’t ya know?

On my walk yesterday I noticed several pyracantha bushes. We had a huge pyracantha growing at the house I lived in during my teen years in New York.
It grew right outside our kitchen eating area and the birds loved it during the winter!

It’s funny, though. I remember the Christmases of my teen years with great fondness and nostalgia, and yet those Christmases were precisely why I purposely toned down my Christmas efforts as an adult. It always seemed like my younger siblings had a hard time coping with all the build-up of Christmas and by mid-Christmas day, after all the presents had been opened, there was a pervasive feeling of disappointment, as if the reality could never quite match the fantasy. Sometimes, though, I really miss that full-blown fantasy!

Decluttering Progress

I am still working on the big August Project of decluttering the spare room, which turned into decluttering two spare rooms as I moved stuff from one room to another. The good news is that the smaller of the two rooms is done.

The bad news is that the overflow went to the second spare bedroom.

This is manageable, though. Much of it is pictures and family memorabilia that I just need to box properly and store. Someday I will sort and copy and deal with it all, but that is not now. Now I just need to sort out what does not get saved and rebox and store what does get saved.

While sorting through one box this morning, I came across this picture:

From left to right, Charles (with Teddy Freddy), David and Kat, perhaps about 1992 or 1993, in the front yard play area on our farm in Dundee, New York. I will have to do some comparing to other pictures to figure out how old Charles looks. Seeing this picture brought my whole sorting to a standstill, as I had to go make a copy and blog about it! That’s my dad’s old traveling truck in the background, loaded with a car to take back to Alabama.

The good ole days!

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