Beyond Clothed Trees

Did you hear it? Did you see?

What hides amongst clothed trees

Wind whipped branches striped of leaves

Let’s us peek through unclothed trees

Near the ground out of sight Ready for a long cold night

One last leaf swirling round – CAUGHT

Letting Go of Christmas

Most people count down the days until Christmas, I on the other hand count the number of days I have until the last decoration is placed gently into it’s designated bin. As of today I sit have one tree fully decorated and floral and pine accents adorning the house. From year to year I usually follow a set pattern for decorating relying on photographs of past Christmases to help my memory.  This year  I chose to mix it up. I tried to create vignettes that would gracefully flow into a winter theme. I found the most challenging aspect of this holiday season was NOT buying into the year-end treasure trove of holiday decorating sales. I’m still visualizing the white pine bough garland that I could have bought for $6.00 a bough to change next year’s theme. But alas, storage eventually becomes a challenge!


Christmas 2019
Welcome, Come in…

Christmas 2019
The door into the dining room

Christmas 2019
Walk through the door into the living room

Christmas 2019
The fireplace mantel and living room tree The door on the right leads in to the master bedroom

Christmas 2019
The master bedroom

Christmas 2019
Upstairs guest bedroom

Christmas 2019
Upstairs guest bedroom

Christmas 2019
Family room Christmas tree – Tinsel and vintage ornaments

Christmas 2019
Santa’s workshop


Winter’s Waning

13 days and still Gaia is blanketed by white

The earth refuses to give up her cover and allow spring’s flowers to stretch and bloom

After the storm
After the storm

Early March snows melt quickly creating vignettes that are etched into my mind

But still I count down the days until spring

Snowdrops in snow
Snowdrops in snow

Sumac berries in the snow
Sumac berries in the snow

A dusting of snow on the Witch hazel
A dusting of snow on the Witch hazel

The Christmas Closet Yard sales, thrift store finds, hand-me-downs and year-end sales

I grew up in Bethlehem Pennsylvania a town dedicated to the spirit of Christmas.  The house I lived in was a modest story and a half cottage style home built by my father over a period of years. Cut into the wall and hidden by a panel of wood was the Christmas closet.  All of my parents Christmas treasures were stored there only to be opened the weekend after Thanksgiving when for me, the festivities began.  Fast forward to the adult “child” who by a convergence of circumstances still lived in the home raising her own children who excitedly waited for the weekend after Thanksgiving to open the hidden Christmas closet.  Christmases came and went and our daughters grew. Then in 2004 a flash flood swept through the neighborhood and the home with its Christmas closet content became just another casualty. But for us there was a silver lining in what at the time was a devastating loss. We moved to the country and began the task of rebuilding our Christmas “closet”. The add-on country farmhouse was bigger than the home my father built.  Years of stalking local thrift stores, perusing end of year-end sales and anxiously accepting the occasional Christmas hand-me-down has allowed me to fill my “Christmas closet”.  This year arrived with an additional blessing, both our daughters with their husbands came home for Christmas.  The first time in ten years we were all together. The home had to honor the Christmas closet.

Kitchen at Christmas

In the kitchen are trash day rescues.  A wooden high chair, small stove, enamel table and four chairs. The chest is a $9.00 thrift store find and the Hoosier a $297.00 antique store rescue.

White NOEL Christmas wreath

The white NOEL is a yard sale find, the little red car was my fathers’ and I made the Christmas trees.

Banjo and Santas at Christmas

The Santa’s were a gift from my daughter, the banjo my fathers’ the house my father built and the angel NOEL a yard sale find.

Tinsel Christmas tree

The Tinsel tree and kaleidoscope  lamp were my mother-in-law finds. Both cost less than $5.00.  

Santas and sled at Christmas

The Santa’s and sled were thrift store finds.

Bethany's Room at Christmas

The dresser was a freebie from a yard sale, the green slipper chair a $2.00 find, The Christmas tree a $1.00 find and the bed the first we bought as a couple!

Becca's room at Christmas

The metal bed was a $65.00 thriftstore find. The curtains were made from a tablecloth and the red chair and skates were yard sale finds. 

Living room at Christmas

The leather sofa was a $40.00 yard sale find, the cedar chest was my grandmother’s the tree an $18.00 triftstore find.

Thriftstore Christmas tree

All the vintage ornaments and beads were yard sale and thrift store finds.  None cost more than $4.00 a box or bag. 

Dream Christmas tree

The artificial tree was a freebie, the dream catchers are from a non-profit trying to solicit donations, the brown garland is packing material the pinecones are from my garden.

Family room Christmas tree

Nothing on the main tree was full price. The ribbon was free from a craft store that was closing. The apple garland a thrift store find. Dried flowers were from the gardens. 

Dining room at Christmas

Even a small dining room holds hidden treasures.  Each item was chosen with care and placed with love. Christmas is indeed a magical time in our home.

A Walk Beyond the Garden

The garden has become familiar.

I know it’s rock walls, the plants who have made it their home.

I’ve shared it’s life, death and rebirth cycles.

Today I walked beyond it’s boundaries and this is what I saw…

A local CSA, Terra Fauna, had planted a plot of Indian corn. Neighbors respect one another and the corn is waiting to be harvested.

Further down the road is the sheep farm. Lambs born this past February and March reach out for freshly cut hay.

Across the street, next to the homestead,

a cow rests in the barn.

Scattered around the property are remnants of farm implements.

Continuing on I pass the silos of a dairy farm. They and the milk tank are all that remain of a once vibrant local industry.

As I make the turn onto Hillside I look back upon  the dairy  farm

and pass homes decorated for Halloween.

My last turn onto Valley View brings my home into view. Once again I will work in the gardens and continue to co-create with Gaia.