Sunday, January 29, 2012

54 vases yet only 5 dresses later....

I'm kind of thinking you'll all be tired of the wedding planning in a bit under 7 months...

I'll try to keep it down to just a post or two a month... everything is moving full steam ahead.  Many decisions have been made... and of course, many dollars have been spent... but this little decision is an inexpensive one. The tables for dinner will have 3 to 5 bud vases... some of my large collection of milk glass.  A collection that got just a wee bit bigger this past Friday.

My mom scored an additional 20 vases... for FREE!  With my recent 3 and the ones I already have we're now up to 54.  A few more to go since we'll have 18 or 19 tables to "top".  I'll be hunting down a few more... I'm picky... I won't pay more than $.49 to $.79 cents a piece.  Our local Goodwill is WAY over priced on these babies, they're asking over $2 or $3 a piece!  Another savings is that with the bud vases we figure we'll be able to keep flowers to a minimum... many home grown and from Pike Place Market in Seattle.... their prices and selection are amazing!

And the dress shopping yesterday in Seattle?  Well number 5 was the lucky number of the day.... and a lifetime!  Of course, there is a bit of sparkle.... and froth.  And I must say,  I cannot believe that she found "the dress" in such a short time!  And on budget too!

It was a fabulous day that we shared with her future mother-in-law and sister-in-law.  The staff at the bridal shop were wonderful and so knowledgeable!  I'm not allowed to share any pictures yet... so you just get a couple of close ups of some details... and I caught one of the ring too!  The setting is new but the diamond is from a ring from the fiance's grandfather.

And a final, fleeting glimpse of the princess dress, for a princess kind of girl.

And now I'm off to recount my vases... to be sure I'm working with an accurate count...

And maybe rest my weary shopping feet too,

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

May the force be with you...

Did you think I was talking "Star Wars"?  Nope, I'm talking bulbs for the indoors...

Of course we could talk about the movies... but then I'd have to confess that I'm one of the approximately 5 people that has never seen "Star Wars"... I did see the "Empire Strikes Back" but never felt the need to go back and see the first or third or the prequels or the sequels or whatever they all were.

And I must say, I did purchase the Blu-Ray set for my soon to be son-in-law as a recent holiday gift... he was very excited... he went on to say how he can still remember the first time he saw them and couldn't wait to watch them again... does this make me a cool soon to be mother-in law?  I hope so... who says money can't buy love?  Of course I can't let on that I've only seen number 2, which probably isn't one of the better ones... I'd probably loose some points.

But obviously I've really, really digressed here.... I started out wanting to say a bit about forcing bulbs and ended up talking about movies from the 70's, 80's and 90's with spaceships, robots, hairy beasts and women with donut hair (yes, I do know some of the characters).

So before I get off topic again.... I've been forcing paper whites for the last 4 or 5 years.  So very easy and such an inexpensive way to brighten up the indoors when not much else is happening.

I do purchase new bulbs for forcing... I also like to change up the containers.... but I always put them on the dining room table.  This year the container is a galvanized tin container with another galvanized mold, vintage of course, inside holding just one of the bulbs.

I don't usually get my gravel/rocks at a garden store when I pick up the bulbs.  I like to use aquarium gravel from the pet store instead... it's cheap and it comes in a variety of colors, sizes and shapes.

This year my flowers grew and blossomed quicker than ever... maybe it was the cold snap and the heat wave indoors from running the furnace and gas stove a bit more that got them going so quickly.

No matter, they certainly have brightened the place up... which is exactly what I need during a cold, grey and sometimes white month.  And now I need to get over to Netflix and add "Star Wars" to my queue... don't want to mess up my "MIL" status before the wedding!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Careful what you wish for...

This past weekend was a long weekend for me... a holiday from work on Monday.  Snow was in the forecast and I was dreaming of a little white and a bit of glitter.

We don't always get snow in this part of the country... and the forecasts can be notoriously inaccurate.  We heard we'd get tons of snow, just a little snow, a northeaster, no snow.... it ran the gamut.

With no plans to go anywhere other than dinner on Friday night, well I was kind of hoping for a little snow.

Saturday morning we, and when I say we I mean just a little pocket right around us, woke up to a couple of inches of snow.  The clouds gave way to blue skies in the afternoon and it was downright pretty out.  Exactly my kind of "winter event".

I went out to snap a few photos....however, the forecast for the next few days was still up in the air.

Sunday morning brought an additional 4 or 5 inches.... hmmm... maybe I should have kept my wishes to myself.  Now I know most of you that live in places that actually get snow every winter are thinking, come on, this is nothing!  Well around here even a couple of inches can just about shut down cities.  We along the Puget Sound have hills, lots and lots of hills.  We also do not have much in the way of snow removal equipment, aka snowplows.... many of our local cities don't believe in salting or de-icing the roads either so then we get to deal with snow, ice and hills... not the best combination.... I'm just saying.

But it was still pretty, especially if you could stay at home.

Monday, a state and federal holiday, and I had no plans to go anywhere.  Schools were already closed for the holiday so no worrying about "will it be cancelled or not".  I didn't do much, just a bit of puttering around the house, but  I did get out and get a few pictures... I even managed to catch some snowflakes as they fell ever so gently.

The walnut tree always looks rather majestic when it is covered in snow instead of leaves.

And since it was fairly cold, this snow was even nice and fluffy... not the wet gloppy mess we usually get.

This little rose bud won't be opening...

By Monday evening I was hoping for a snow day on Tuesday... but no luck.  Snow continued to fall on Tuesday and the temperatures plummeted as the cold air dropped down from British Columbia and the Fraser Valley... it looked like that Northeaster was going to happen after all.  By the time we got home around 6:00 pm the temperature was 9.3 degrees and yes, that is Fahrenheit.  No wind yet so no wind chill factor.

Wednesday morning the wind had started to blow... it was cold... so cold that ice had formed on the kitchen window.  One of the few windows in the house that doesn't sport a storm window in the winter months...

Not very energy efficient but it does look rather pretty...

And much to my delight!  A snow day after all, my office was closed.... a day to cozy up with the dogs and have the gas fireplace running all day long... perhaps a blanket or two may have been used.

And the temps?  Well it was 11.3 degrees Fahrenheit at 8:16 am...

With wind chill?  Negative 15! (sorry about the pic... blogger wasn't cooperating with me on this)

Needless to say, I didn't spend any time outside today....or even in my semi frozen front porch... although it does look rather pretty in a Dr. Zhivago kind of way.

A place chilly enough for this guy since there's no storm windows... or insulation... or heat out there!

Keeping the home fires burning... and thinking about what I'm wishing for now,

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Getting back to normal...

The Christmas cactus has lost it's blooms... and my home sweet home is finally getting back to normal.

I'm not sure why, but this past holiday season really did slow me down.  I don't know if it was the usual holiday happenings or the curve ball of changes that has been thrown my way for 2012...  Or maybe it was just the 400 pieces of these pecan bars that I ate that did me in....

No matter, I'm getting back on track.  Christmas is finally packed away in the basement, in 19 or so bins and counting.  The normal has been brought out of the closet and dusted off... put back in it's spot.

The decks are cleared again, both mentally and in reality... after all, there's a wedding in just 8 months 7 months and 7 days (are you sick of me mentioning this yet?).  I've got a new notebook on order, one to use for planning... and list making.  I'm an expert list maker... just ask my husband.  I may not get everything accomplished off my list but it will be in a pretty notebook or two.

And speaking of list making and notebooks, well the 2012 garden journal is under way as well.  The seed catalogs have been arriving in the mail like clockwork so the selecting and ordering can begin... Soon I will fill up my front porch with little seedlings of impatiens and wave petunias, a virtual little sea of green will sprout just like last year.  And of course, I'll be planting extra lime green and white zinnias for the big day in August.

And what on this chilly January day do I have to remind me of the blooms that are soon to come?  Well my little, beat up and straggly lemon tree is in bloom again on the front porch.

The lemons that were started last year are ready to pick... I've got a crop of ten beauties this year!

Perhaps enough for a glass of lemonade and a quite evening... you know, a little bit of sunshine in a glass.  Who says it can only be enjoyed in the summer.... and after all, I need to perfect my homemade lemonade recipe for August's big day.

I could enjoy it here on the porch, but it is a bit chilly this evening.  Believe it or not we've had blue skies here in Washington, which for us usually means cold temperatures....

And beautiful sunsets...

Looking forward to the long weekend, list making and maybe a little bit of that sunshine in a glass.... and if the weather forecast is right, even a bit of snow.

Monday, January 9, 2012

New beginnings....

This past few days we flipped the calendar to a new month… and a new year.  New beginnings all around.  Here in Washington January can be a dark, damp, gray month.  But it can also be a time for a little bit of life to burst forth.

It’s a time to stretch our minds, our hearts and our homes a bit….

A time when perhaps we need to create our own spark and sparkle to sweep away the drab and dreary...

A time to appreciate the old yet not forget the new.

January is a good time to plan for the year.  For my garden planting, home projects, a wedding….

And to celebrate not only the births of both my son and my daughter, but also our soon to be son-in-law.

So here is to a gray and dreary month, full of promise… and of course, a good time to look forward to the sunnier days to come.