Saturday, December 9, 2017

The season of light. . . . . . . . .

As mentioned previously, the cottage had a face lift this autumn.
We addressed the needed wood repairs and re-painting with a total
 re-siding with HardiePlank - and are thrilled with the fresh look.
Of course the shrubs had to be cut down and it will be a while before
 they fill in again around the foundation - another spring/summer
 without the beautiful blue hydrangeas perhaps.
Leaves, from mostly oaks, continue to fall. We've raked tons and have
 tons more to come down over the coming weeks.

The pots contain spring blooming tulip bulbs topped with pansies - those hardy
lovelies which over-winter so well.
This photo is just at dusk so you can see the Christmas decor a little better. . . . . . 
once darkness takes over the flood lights we have installed on the grass are
 rather bright for good photos.

The restoration of the back deck and gazebo was, as I've moaned and
 groaned about a lot lately, a job which was not expected to last so long!
All the cedar was replaced around the gazebo and deck base, the three  
sets of steps were re-built, a couple of deck posts replaced, everything
washed, sanded back to raw wood, then re-stained - he even sanded all
 the edges of the cedar roof shakes so they would look smooth again.
A thorough job by a very good carpenter.
It's now completed, and just in time as much colder weather has arrived,
 including some rain which turned to a light snow today - but nothing
stuck and tomorrow the sunshine should return.

The Christmas tree is up and decorated. . . . . . all looks really bright
 and cheery for the holidays.

I missed my cottage Christmas last year when we traveled to Europe. . . . . . so this
 year I'm enjoying having time to do all the traditional things which make Christmas
 at home so special.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Dreaming of a White Christmas. . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . and holiday decorating. . . . .  

Now enjoying all that is part of preparing for
 Christmas. . . . . . . . at last.

The recent cacophony of saws, drills and hammers emanating from the back 
of the house, along with clouds of sanding dust coating everything, almost put
 me over the top!  
Now the workmen are gone and feel I have my life back.

Early mornings, waiting with bated breath - will he come today?
 Will he be late again and lose the best part of the day?
Will he have a helper. . . . . to actually help move things along, or will
 Bob have to run to Lowe's or Home Depot for supplies.
 Did I put water bottles to chill and remember to move our cars from
 driveway to street, yet again?
 Why did we agree to additional work which ended up as 3 weeks of 
upheaval instead of a simple 3 day project? 
 Was it worth all the mess?
Yes, yes, yes!!!! Deck and gazebo look almost new again.

Our home is looking spiffy now and I finished the outdoor
Christmas decor yesterday, including the Christmas tree in the
 gazebo. We may get light snow falling during the night or, more
 likely, just a cold rain. Wood is brought in and the hearth is ready.
The seasons are definitely changing.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Scribble Picnic. . . . . Finland/Scandinavian

Happy Finland Day today!
"Hei" to my Finnish blog friends.

Sadly, I've never visited Finland - it remains on
 my travel list though, especially as I have friends there.

 I have however visited all the other lovely Scandinavian countries
including Sweden where I spent time searching for my Dala horse! 
I hope this will meet the challenge Finland/Scandinavian Michael
 gave us this week. 

When pulling out the Christmas decorations yesterday I found the
 little wooden Dala ornament wrapped in tissue. . . . .the big horse
stands on the shelf in the kitchen year round.

I edited the photo to a sketch and added some watercolors - that's all I have time
for this week as things are crazy busy around here. . . . . . . new great grandson
arrived, holiday concerts, raking millions of leaves ready for the city pick-up,
completing the exterior cottage renovation to deck and gazebo, Christmas
shopping, decorating and more!

If interested to learn more about the Dala horse go HERE to my post
 on Stockholm and scroll to the end to read the history of the 
Kingdom of Sweden symbol.

SCRIBBLE PICNIC today should be interesting - hope you stop 
by Michael's to see what our group comes up with.
Meanwhile happy holiday preparations to all. . . . . . . . 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Comfy in grey. . . . . . . .

I love black clothing, however I really love grey more!
This week I have to go through my wardrobe yet again. . . .  
to prepare for colder weather at long last.
We just may get a dusting of snow later in the week,
but if not it will be much more chilly than the beautiful
weekend we've just had - topped off by that spectacular 
'super moon' we viewed in awe last night. Did you see it?

We raked and moved a trillion leaves to the street over
 the past two days - hard work but great exercise in the
 warm sunshine. 
Still have to complete the deck work in back of the cottage -
then I can put up my tree in the gazebo - however I did
get the outside holiday decor completed in the front and it
 looks very festive at night when the lights are sparkling.

Have you started your Christmas decorating?

Friday, December 1, 2017

Sand in my flip flops. . . . . . . . . . .

As always, Bob and I really enjoyed our little break at the beach.
This year we thought the weather might disappoint, however the meteorologists
 were wrong - doesn't that seem to happen a lot!  It was just about perfect. 
Sunny days made it into the 60's with barely a wind, skies were mostly clear and 
'Carolina blue', and the water was quite warm allowing the little kids and surfers
 to enjoy the waves. . . . . . . . .even the sand felt warm when I kicked off my flip flops.
We enjoyed the usual Christmas tree and board walk lighting festivities, chatted 
with old 'beach friends' at our favorite coffee shop, sat on the balcony with an
 evening glass of wine watching the pelicans and gulls follow the shrimp 
boats home before sunset, and took leisurely beach walks in the fresh air. . . . . 
. . . . . . . . . .and, as always, I blew a kiss and sent it across the Atlantic to family
 and friends on the opposite shore! 

Time now for other things - namely Christmas preparations!
 I've yet to start outdoor decorating - outside work is still slowly coming
 along as the back deck and gazebo are renovated and refinished - he's
 doing a nice job but it's taking so long!
Inside, all I've done is move the Christmas storage boxes from the attic 
into the office. . . . . . and it's a horrible mess!
This morning's stiff breeze is bringing down the leaves non-stop - 
somehow we need to get out there and rake, blow, and move
them. It's mild and sunny so off I go, then perhaps I can start 
on my Christmas decorating.

I'm way behind on comments, forgive me and I will do my best 
to stop by soon and catch up.

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