Snow Day

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While I adore all the snow we got last night (I think it was about five inches), I don’t think my cherub likes snow here in Maryland any more than he did in Montana.  He almost looks like he’s shivering, poor thing!  Snow in winter makes me feel at home, gives me a chance to wear my favorite vintage faux fur coat, and ensures that I step away from my desk and get at least a little fresh air while shoveling and cleaning off the car.  And I think it’s vastly preferable to the continuous drizzle at 35 degrees F that we had last winter.  I think most of the people around here agree with my cherub, though.  How about you?

Wishing you all warmth and a lovely start to your weekend!

Diane

An Ode to Christmas Decor

Since I started blogging after the new year, I totally missed the boat on posting Christmas decor pictures.  However, on the theory of better late than never, and to work on my “adding pictures to the blog post” skills, here are a few from this year anyway.  For those of you who are thoroughly sick of Christmas decor and have already put yours away, sorry!  Next year hopefully I will be more timely.  But with our fresh coating of several inches of new snow, it’s feeling pretty festive around here today.  Well, to me anyway, although my fellow mid-Atlantic dwellers probably don’t agree.  Since I have the advantage of working from home and don’t need to go out on the roads today, I do have it pretty easy (although that also means I don’t get to take the snow days my colleagues do).

But back to Christmas decorations.  First and foremost, we have Cecil, who obviously adorns our house year round, but who absolutely adores the holidays.  How could he not, with a real tree to sit under, shiny things to abscond with and bat around in the middle of the night, and bows, bows, bows (his favorite cat toy)?

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Last Christmas was our first in this (rental) house after a cross-country move from Montana to Maryland, and we had been here less than a month before Christmas decorating time came around.  Overwhelming much?  So I pinned lots of pictures of decorated chandeliers, but never got around to actually decorating ours.  This year I had some fun with them, and I decorated both the dining room and kitchen chandeliers.  I like the crystals I added to the kitchen chandelier so much that they may stay up even after the holidays!

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Under the picture of narcissus in the dining room seemed the perfect place to put paperwhites.  My committed domestic partner (or CDP, for short) absolutely abhors the strong perfumey smell of paperwhites.  The first year we lived together, I grew some paperwhites and the complaints were endless, so I haven’t grown them since then.  This year I wanted them anyway, and (thus far) he hasn’t complained.  Progress?  Probably not, more likely forbearance on his part!

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And a few more odds and ends:  the top of the bookcase in the sun room (with my favorite new Christmas lights — the starry starry lights from amazon.com), and the wreath I put together after our inspiring trip to Williamsburg in early December.  I dried the orange slices myself, but the quince slices came from Williamsburg.  I want to practice my drying techniques and do more of this next year.

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So, now I know how to post pictures.  One of the biggest things on my 2014 to-do list is to improve my photography and photo-editing skills.  I am researching DSLRs and looking for classes to take, and I am very excited to finally be pursuing this dream that I have been talking about for years.  But, lest you worry that my post-Christmas Christmas decor post means I will always be behind the 8-ball, my content will hopefully become more timely.  And I promise, it will be diverse. So many ideas percolating, but first there is the learning curve to start heading up! What’s on your learning agenda?

Happy Friday to you all.

New Year’s Resolutions

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I am not normally one for making resolutions at the beginning of a new year.  Instead, when I get the feeling that I need to change something to enrich my life, I start then and there, rather than on the calendar’s artificial timeline.  And honestly, none of the changes and enhancements I have been working to implement had starting a blog as a component.  And yet here I am, doing just that.  My goals these past several months have centered around creativity and finding new forms of expression as I find myself living in and adjusting to a new location across the country from family, friends, and familiar pursuits, and I have made progress in implementing these goals.  It struck me when a friend mentioned she is starting a blog that doing the same myself might be just what I need to push myself to do more, learn more, create more, and share more.  In the coming months, I hope to cook new and different things, take more photographs (and learn how to edit them well), learn more about gardening in Zone 7 (as opposed to my Zone 4 comfort zone), tackle some projects that have sat for too long undone or incomplete, and draw inspiration from others of you doing the same.

I hope to make this blog a place where creativity and beauty reign, while still keeping things real.  I’ve started planning some posts and projects, and I am excited to see where this journey takes me, even if only my mother and children wind up reading this blog.

Wishing all who may see this a great start to 2014!

Diane