Monday, February 11, 2019

Winter White, Black, and Gray

Hello Friends. I took some time this morning to go out and photograph the yard. Seems that Jack Frost spent some time in the garden last night flocking most everything. As most of the nation, we have been very cold here, sub zero and hovering around zero for days. Now as I write, the sun has emerged and probably even at 24 F. the frost will melt away. My weather app shows that wind will begin around noon. I don't enjoy the wind. 

Inside I have kept busy.My main obligation was to finish Lily's Dollhouse. I gave it to her for Christmas, but since it wasn't quite finished she left it here, so I worked hard to get it done and delivered. 

You can see more photos at Ann' Dollhouse Dreams.

It is pretty cute. 

This is the master bedroom. The girls furnished the house as soon as it was delivered. Note that I said 'girls'. All three girls had their hands in arranging the rooms. It was such fun to see them so excited after all of my hard work. Lily's favorite thing? The framed picture of POP the pony on the dresser.

Love the kitchen.

Meanwhile in the Big World--the real world, we have had a very dry winter. We keep hearing the weather women use the dreaded word 'drought.' Not what we want to hear. 

Dry as it is, it is also cold. Cold enough to freeze the KOI pond.

As absorbed as I am working with my miniatures (you can't imagine) I still can't resist day dreaming as the garden catalogs arrive. I have selected my favorite things. I love the patio pots and had good results last year, so I'll plant more this year. 

 These are favorites, especially the hostas. The Head Gardener raised the skirts on the pine trees in what we call the barn circle where I can plant another Hosta garden. Good ideas in the White Flower Farms catalog.

Today's mosaic shows my photo mission this morning: a crystal flocked fence, Froggie wondering when it warm up; the center circle looking frosty and glittery; with red dried crab apples still clinging to the branch.

Not really a harbinger of Spring, this robin has been here all winter with a few of his friends.

I edited some photos to black and white for the post using Noir in iPhoto editor. Black and white seemed suitable, though the the trees and fence are already shades of gray.

We had a pond catestrphy. The HG discovered that the filter and frozen and instead of recycling the water, it over flowed, pumping water out of the pond. It was so heavily iced over that we had no idea. He tried to add some hot water, which cracked the ice and we were shocked to see how thick it was!

All is well. He fixed the problem, added more water and found that my two large Koi were still alive. 

From my bathroom window I can see my dwarf cherry tree and I have wanted to photograph it all winter and make a black and white photo. However the trees in the background spoil the effect that I had in mind.

There's Froggie. We usually drain this little water garden in the front court yard, but it is just as easy to put a heater in it. 

Frosty glass flower

Glittered fence.

Looks cold--and it is.

So cold that even bunnies need bonnets. Lily took Midnight to a rabbit show Saturday. He placed second of two in his class and won first for color of two. Ellie showed her rabbit, too. She was disqualified in one class and I think won a blue ribbon in another class. 

So that's what's going on here at the Garden Spot. What's going on with you? 

Thanks for dropping by. Join me at Mosaic Monday.

Want to see more of my miniatures? Visit Ann's Dollhouse Dreams. 

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Walking the Dog

January doesn't have much to offer. I seem to start the year the same, especially now that I am retired, by going on a cleaning binge, which doesn't seem to last long. The house gets stripped bare to put up all of the Christmas decorations and then when it is time to put the decorations away, I leave it pretty bare with out putting out all of the decor that I usually have out the rest of the year. I like the uncluttered, simple look. The mood to decorate came over me this morning, so I dug out my shoe box sized tub with the Valentines in it. Before I was obsessed with the dollhouses, I'd occupy my time with various craft projects, and one year I made Valentines. Using odds and ends of scrapbook paper, button, and spare ribbons I made a Valentine bunting that I drape across the mantle of the fireplace. I put it in place then I went around the house gathering up my favorite red and pink things to put on the mantle to make it look festive for Love.

By noon I had a couple of loads of laundry done and the Valentines were hung and I was ready to go for our walk.

As a child, I liked Valentine's Day. My mom always gave us a bit of chocolate as her gift of love. I liked writing out the valentines for my classmates and loved the Valentine's parties each year that included seeing who gave me a Valentine.

My youngest daughter made this table runner for me. 

One year when the girls were small they enjoyed making Valentines--for grandma.

I even made some cloth hearts. The sugar bowl holds plastic hearts instead of candy, which is too tempting.

I lit the candles too.

Don't look too closely or you will see that they are fake candles, battery operated.

Brody, now ten months old, has been with us for five months. We were told that he was shy and timid, and he is. To make life even more difficult for him, he lived in a dog run until we brought him home. Because he was at a hunting dog training and breeding facility and the trainer decided because of his timidity he wouldn't make a good hunting dog, he was pretty much left alone--we think-- not worth the effort to train. I suspect that he didn't do what was expected of good hunting dog.

So Brody hasn't done a lot of things that dogs his age will have done; he hadn't even been in a house or gone on a walk.

Our favorite walking path is the Poudre trail that runs along the Cache La Poudre River. We park at in the parking lot at dog park and then begin our walk. 

It's a busy trail used by hikers, bikers, and even roller blade-ers, now of whom Brody liked. By the end of the walk, he wasn't barking at bikers anymore. 

I took this distant photo of a nest that I am thinking is great blue heron's for there is supposed to be a rookery along the river. I expected to see more nests, but perhaps we didn't walk far enough.

The weather was great, too mild, actually for this time of year. The snow capped Rocky Mountains always make a spectacular view.

The Canada geese have found a perfect winter refuge. They were busy preening, cleaning, and napping, unconcerned that we were near.

It is just so satisfying to walk along the river and enjoy nature, taking in the fresh air.

It was good day. Brody learned a little more today. It's a big world out there for this young dog to explore. 


The biggest thing that happens in Colorado January is National Western Stock Show. It has been years since I've gone. We used to go every year. So Jennifer and I are taking the girls the rodeo. I'm excited to watch them enjoy the horses and livestock. I'll take pictures to share next week.

Thanks for stopping by. I always enjoy your  visits. 

Linking up with Angie for Mosaic Monday. Join us there. 

PS I'm on Instagram now, look me up there, too. 

Monday, January 14, 2019

Things to Do In the Winter When You Can't Garden

I didn't used to be a coffee drinker, but somewhere in my 50s I decided that if I added enough milk and sugar to it, it was palatable. Nor can I tolerate much caffeine, so I limit myself to once cup a day, unless I think I need a cup of coffee in the late afternoon then I fix a decaf coffee pod. The Head Gardner, on the other hand, drinks a lot of coffee. Providing space for coffee making then can get complicated. For some reason brewing coffee is not as easy as it used to be: a coffee pot and a tin can of coffee nicely stored in the cupboard. Now coffee drinks have so many choices. Just look on Pinterest and find a plethora of coffee brewing machines and the accoutrements that go along with the habit of coffee drinking. Along with all of the flavored coffees and blends and roasts, there are choices for making the coffee taste less like coffee such as the flavored syrups, powders, and liquid creamers. All of which has to be stored.

 For my one cup a day, I seem to have gone to a lot trouble; however, it is not all about me. The HG loves his coffee and drinks plenty of it on some days. I ended up with two coffee makers and coffee and creamer and so on taking up real estate on the kitchen counter, and I hated the mess.

Worse, the steam from the 10 cup coffee maker was beginning to damage the finish on my wood cabinet, so I needed to make a change. You can barely see it on the lower edge of the door, a whitening of the finish.

I came up with the idea of creating a coffee bar in the wasted space in the kitchen. I've spent two days on the project looking for a suitable cabinet. Yesterday the HG and I when to two furniture stores look for such  a cabinet. They were either outrageously prices or just didn't have the right look: Early Marriage Hand-Me-Down.

(Visitors come to the house and admire my antique furniture. I laugh and tell them that when we were first married we were so poor that we scavenged any discarded pieces that family had parked in garages, spare bedrooms, and barns. Today these pieces are family heirlooms and some of them are priced out of my budget in the antique stores.

Then my daughter called this morning. She, too, is on a clean, organize, and purge campaign in her house and she offered me a little dresser that she says I bought off of Craig's for one of her babies and it is perfect. In fact similar dressers appear as coffee bars on Pinterest. So FREE is the best price. She was happy to get ride of it, and the HG who goes for coffee with his friends every Monday was in her neighborhood and brought it home to me.

Everything coffee is stored here, now; including tea. I even have more storage now for table clothes and aprons and sundry other things. Moving my teas has freed up space in another drawer for utensils.

I store my coffee, decaf and regular in quart Mason Jars so that I don't have dig in the pantry every morning and the powdered creamer that I buy in bulk is also stored in a canning jar.

On the left I have Trivia with sugar on the right, and some sweets left over from Christmas in between

My coffee pod maker along with the coffee bean grinder and my special Chi tea bags.

And empty space on the counter. I like my counters clear with as little as possible stored on them and the coffee bar was simple solution to an over crowded area that I needed to clean up.

This wasted space has been home to a variety of different pieces of furniture. I used to keep a child size cabinet full of make believe children's tea sets for them to play with, but they are all outgrowing the play space.

I even worked on this cabinet today. Now this is one those discarded,  stored in the barn pieces that was in my grandmother's house down in the basement in the coal room. Then it was in my mother cellar, now it holds family treasures, including my small teapot collection. I took out the miscellaneous things today and organized my tea pots. On the bottom shelf is the set from my mother's wedding china. On the next shelf is my snowman set, a birthday gift last year. I love the large cups that I use during the winter.

The third tea pot is a Lenox that I found in an antique store then I went on and found the sugar and creamer set. The top teapots have the cardinal on them. So now I have my little collection nicely displayed.

So that is what one does on a winter's day. Clean, organize, and purge.

Looks like I need to do the same with the pet supplies. 

Thanks for stopping by the Garden Spot. Hopefully there will be some gardening going on sometime soon.

I'll be joining Angie for Mosaic Monday. See you there.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Happy New Year

Happy New Year, Friends

Mo say's "hi" too.
So glad that the holiday rush is over and I can quietly sit and read or blog or piddle with my little projects. I am NOT taking blog break; it's just that there isn't much to write about here right now and sometimes my photos and my musings seem so repetitive. August 2019 I will celebrate my 10th year as a blogger. The end of February we will have been here at the Garden Spot for 10 years, so I have so much to be thankful for, and especially for you my dear friends, some who have been with me nearly since the beginning. 

We all seem to go through phases with our blogs where we lack inspiration and cool things to write about, but we carry on, don't we? Calmly. If you want to know what's going on,  you can visit me at Ann's Dollhouse Dreams. That would be nice. In the meantime, I've posted from there for Mosaic Monday. See you over at Angie's. 

Monday, December 10, 2018

Finding the Spirit

Christmas is finally beginning to happen. I was in a panic last week, seriously lacking the spirit--the spirit to decorate. With everyone in such a rush to get their trees up, I feel like I'm not keeping up with the pace. I don't know what the hurry is all about or why I should even worry about it. In my past life--like a lifetime ago--the Christmas tree was fresh cut tree. The family would drive to my grandmother's cabin west of Denver where we'd tromp through waist deep snow to find the perfect tree. It went up December 20th, my birthday and came down on December 31st, my mother's birthday.

Now with many using an artificial tree, they go up even before Thanksgiving, so it is little wonder that some of us have anxiety if we are not keeping up with the crowd. Not so long ago this is the week that I'd be buried in a mountain of college English essays to grade then I'd have to figure grades, and finally post them. Now that was stress and Christmas did not happen until my work was done.

The decorating began yesterday. I'm not quite done yet, so here is the progress so far.

After the tree went up and was decorated I realized that this was Brody's first Christmas, so I decided that we needed to take the official First Christmas photo.

Brody knows sit-stay; he just has to be in the mood.

Sometimes he is easily bribed with a treat.

We have to wonder what he is thinking. Note: watch the sock monkey.

He loves soft toys, so we held our breath hoping that he wouldn't rip the Sock Monkey ornament off the tree.

The angel looked temping, too.

Actually, he has left all of the decorations along. He's been a very good boy.

You can't see them, but this tree is loaded with birds.

I always have two poinsettias, too. They arrived today.

Oops. Not quite done. I usually put my collection of snowmen here, but decided to relocate them.

The snow people show better here. Yep that's Brody photobombing.

I love my nutcracker. He's a thrift store rescue.

I'm not done with the dining table scape yet. Just playing around now.

The village is in place

and so is the  paper village that I made using my Circuit. I've collected some little vintage cars and trucks. Oddly they are all green, except for the little black one. The Head Gardener dug it up outside someplace. I kept it. 

The basement staging area. 

Christmas has even come to the one dollhouse. 

So there you have it. I am starting to get into the mood. Most of the shopping is done thanks to the Head Gardener who like to shop with the click of a mouse. 

Thanks so much for visiting. Join me at Mosaic Monday. I think I'm at the bottom of the list.