Tuesday, December 29, 2015

I Support Trees, But One Can't Plant Them in December in the Northwest

I adore trees. I love trees. I want to have my own personal Hundred Acre Wood.

Our first summer in our new home, we planted 6 new trees. We've since added 2 more very large trees.

Our tree selection and planting usually occurs in early spring or late fall.

It has NEVER taken place in December. When there is several feet of snow on the ground. And said ground is frozen. Shoveled drifts stand all along the perimeter of our yard.

There. Is. No. Access. To. Dirt.

So tell me Tree Experts, aka Arbor Day Foundation, why would you ship my new baby trees to me (in Washington state, in winter, in December, in a very snowy year) right now?

Sure, I would love to plant them. I would have fun heeling them in to grow for a few years before transplanting them to their new location in the yard.

But that is not going to happen right now. In fact, it won't happen for several months. I'm pretty sure the snow will not melt within the 2-3 days of approved wait time to plant. I'm actually confident that even if the snow melts in January, the ground will still stay cold enough to be undiggable. That is also true about February as well.

So here we go. What to do with my lovely little sad baby trees. And such nice varieties, too.

I am fortunate that I never got around to putting away a large clay pot. Dirt is a different matter. Come on honey, bring me those dead poinsettias so I can steal the dirt.

We are all going to be cozy baby trees and snuggle up in the same pot until the ground is actually ready for planting. What, maybe 3-4-5 months?

I hope they like each other.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Wrapped in Love Success

Wrapped in Love was a cozy success.

Project stats:

~ 9 adults (including 1 teen) traveled to Landmark Care Facility

~ over 150 items were made or purchased and given to Wrapped in Love

~ 2 utility carts + 1 red wagon hauled goodies up and down the hallways, in and out of rooms

~ between 80-85 residents accepted a warm cozy item; a few were convinced to take matching items, ornaments, or bookmarks

~ 1.5 hours spent visiting residents and distributing gifts

~ at least 1 case of joyful tears from a resident who had no one to visit her, accompanied by the tears of volunteers

~ one 67th anniversary celebrated with family members of a husband and wife sharing a room

~ too-many-to-count hugs and Christmas greetings

~ 3 = number of volunteers who missed the photo op

~ buckets of smiles

~ 1 grouchy guy who didn't want more stuff (at least he was honest)

~ several residents who already had gifts and visits from family urged us to give the goods to others who had nothing

~ 30 minutes to set-up conference table with donations before loading carts

~ 3 = # of times teen willingly gave up own hat (and replacement) to residents

~ many treat sacks and bags of carmel corn were given to staff members

~ remaining gifts were left for staff members to choose from and to be put in a storage closet for new residents who arrive with nothing

~ numerous volunteers donating supplies and completed projects

~ hours, days, and weeks spent knitting, crocheting, and creating items

~ joy > hours sacrificed on Christmas Day

Thank you, volunteers! All of you who helped in any way were a part of our Christmas Day visit to senior residents at Landmark.

Thank you!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Eggs Benedict Delight

break the fast mouthful
lemon yellow saucy bite
egg and ham divine

~ Angie Quantrell

My first EVER attempt to make Eggs Benedict. This was a treat for my honey, who loves this dish. Too lemony was the hollandaise sauce, so back to adjusting the recipe I go. But there were no curdled eggs and a nice rich sauce covered the poached eggs and ham. I consider my maiden voyage on the ship named Hollandaise & Poached Eggs a success.

For me, this was Boxing Day - cooking outside our usual breakfast rut.

Happy Boxing Day to those who celebrate in more traditional ways!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Meowy Christmas!

Meowy Christmas!

May your fur be thick enough, the fire warm enough, and the food dish always filled!
Purrs, snuggles, and furballs!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Writing Distractions

Blurry white buckets
Silently build pristine hills
Mystery mountains

~ Haiku, by Angie Quantrell 2015

This is what I am writing about now.

But I am distracted by this happening out my window.

Snow, lovely, snow!

Somehow snow and Phoenix do not mix.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Gingerbread Delight

wafts of spice tickle
quivering noses and tongues
gingerbread delight

~ Angie Quantrell

There is most decidedly a reason that gingerbread has become synonomous with Christmas.

The scent.

The fragrance of warm spices, the steam of a hot oven, the soft melting of toasted cookies melting in your mouth...

Welcome, gingerbread. Welcome, Christmas.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Christmas Tree Skirt

I can't imagine why the Christmas tree skirt looks like this. Or why the ornaments are falling down.

- House with 2 Cats

Meow-y Christmas!

How about you? Who are your special helpers this year?

On with the Dance! | Susan Branch Blog

On with the Dance! | Susan Branch Blog

Christmas fun with Susan Branch! Aunt Rae gave me one of her books, Christmas From the Heart of the Home, back in 1900! It's such a wonderful book with its recipes, crafts, illustrations, and hand written pages!

Susan Branch is still creating. :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Stack (of Paper)

The completed manuscript with sources, sketches, and documents
This is what I've been up to. Instead of blogging.

There is not much time left in my days (weeks, months) after planning, writing, editing, printing, sourcing, compiling, emailing, packaging, and mailing this baby.

Oh, yes. This is my baby. The first half of a 12-month activity book for preschoolers and missions has been delivered (emailed and mailed) to my faithful preschool resource team at Woman's Missionary Union.
The completed manuscript package and its twin - the emergency copy that can be mailed if the PO loses the original
Now they get to do their huge part.

And I will continue on with the above steps for the second half of the book.

The writing life is grand.   
A glimpse of the chaos that is my office, including desk, side table, and floor