Hi guys! Mo and I just came in from battening down the deck and yard! It's unexpectedly cold here and a storm is on its way, coming early tomorrow morning. A nor'easter with high winds can cause as much havoc as a blizzard or a small hurricane. This one is due to hit us from the north so even though 60 MPH winds and floods are predicted, it shouldn't be too bad. But we don't want the deck chairs to blow away. I've left one of the chairs out because on sunny mornings Mo likes to sit in ''his'' chair and enjoy the warm sun and the view of the ocean and birds, while I do boring, he thinks and I agree, chores. I bungeed everything up tight and all should be fine.
I actually removed about six of the largest, heaviest hand-blown Christmas orbs. I feared their weight might compromise the old glass windows.
If the storm blows hard I'll remove all, as the vibration ruins the hold of the suction cups and the glass balls fall and break sometimes. These have been collected for many, many years, most from Cape Cod and Providence RI glassblowers. They are gifts from family and friends mostly--- with a few flea babies added in.
Earlier I dressed in many layers and we went for our long noon walk. We usually walk at least 1.25 miles at noon.
To stay warm.
Mo is invigorated by the cold and wind. I don't make him wear his little parka unless it is raining or snowing. During our walk it snowed! Mo's first snow. [he was oblivious.]
We still spend our walks snooping at the neighbors' gardens. In the evenings it has been so fun to watch all the wonderful happy Christmas lights and wreaths and trees appear. I also enjoy looking at the winter shrubbery. How I wish I dared snip a few branches! We found out the koi are still in their pond! Will they stay all winter?
This is the euonymus whose berries were pink in the fall.
Beautiful evergreens...some sort of yew or juniper? Two different shades of chartreuse.
Holly, a seaside staple.
Juniper, traditional with pretty blue grey berries.
And this is so odd! Everyone's forsythia is blooming. The warm damp fall has fooled the shrubs into thinking it's spring.
Even the rhododendrons want to bloom.
But no, I resist temptation. No snipping, I am not a garden thief. Inside the house I am using mostly faux berries, because of Mo.
A friend brought me gorgeous fresh holly and I didn't have the heart to throw it out. It is carefully up on the sideboard, where Mo can't reach. I found out holly is very poisonous to dogs.
Inside the house, a big dusting job awaited me. High winds make the drifts of fine sand, aka dust, appear in quantity. I had to plant this batch of paperwhites. The bulbs came in the mail on Saturday, ordered for my January indoor planting.
But they are so exuberant, so ready and healthy---their stalks bright chartreuse and ready to grow. Too sad to hide these sprouts in a bag and perhaps damage them. I used a thrifted fish bowl and some of my treasured beach pebbles. The high sides and narrow neck should help keep the flower stems upright. I'll have paperwhites in bloom for Christmas and, sigh, all my guests will complain their scent sets off their allergies. Too bad.
I also made a dried pineapple, How-To here. It will go in my big wooden bowl with pomegranates and tiny oranges or kumquats, some pine sprigs and cinnamon sticks.
This guy was hard to dry! It took about 5 days of every afternoon and evening setting it into a 200* oven to dry. Pineapples are a symbol of hospitality, a big part of my Christmas tradition and cheer.
I hope you're having fun with the holidays, too.
Wish us luck with the storm! (yes, Mel, I have food, and blankets, and batteries, I am all prepared. :-) I'll put up the storm windows first thing tomorrow! The storm will bring warmer weather too, high 40s / no snow.)
PS Tuesday, noon: Mo and I put on our rain gear and ventured out. Just another rainy day here. But the access to the beach is under 2 or 3 feet of water, high tide and runoff. All is well, gonna bake a cake!
gone to the beach...