Sunday, December 31, 2006

Office Hours

I spend a lot of time in my office. Mostly because the @$(**% dial up internet service is so slow that it takes me a long time to get anything accomplished. I dream of DSL and Broad Band, but alas, until our illustrious legislature recognizes the fact that they need to be thrown kicking and screaming into the 21st century in order to keep up with the rest of the nation, we will be destined to keep falling behind and I will keep getting irritated every time I log on.

However, rant over, while I wait for the maddeningly slow dialup to update my various websites and blog, I look dreamily out my office window, enjoying the ever changing view of the seasons. Today dawned beautiful with a rosy hue in the blue sky and the crystalline white twinkling of new fallen snow. What a sight to behold first thing in the morning! As I sit here, updating my blog with the radio behind me quietly playing soothing classical music, it's difficult to be too irritated about anything. I think I'll spend much of today sitting in my office enjoying the mood du jour.

We stopped by Home Depot yesterday for some light clips and ended up purchasing some things for next year's Christmas decorating along with a few totes in which to store them and a few other things that needed to be taken out of the cardboard boxes in which they have been stored for the past 4 years.

In keeping with my minimalist lifestyle, my Christmas decorations did not quite fill up one tote, so I have several left over for other things! I think it will take several decades for my garage to look like Zoey's storage area. "-)

I stepped outside to get a look at the beautiful snow we had yesterday and I while I love the snow, I couldn't help but look longingly at the two Adirondack chairs in the yard and remember the wonderful summer afternoons lounging after a hard day's work in the garden. Sigh.

Monday, December 25, 2006

I'm Thankful for All My Blessings

The list of things for which I am truly blessed is so long that I cannot possibly mention them all in one sitting.

So, to begin -
  • I am blessed with a wonderful, loving and supportive family.
  • I am blessed to still have both my parents who are in excellent health and very active. I can only hope to have inherited their genes.
  • I am blessed with two grown sons who are healthy, happy, hardworking (and handsome, I might add)
  • I am blessed with two beautiful daughters-in-law
  • I am blessed with two beautiful, lively grandchildren
  • I am blessed with a husband who has been my soul mate for over 40 years
  • I am blessed with good health
  • I am blessed to be living in the most beautiful place on earth (Maine, in my opinion)

May you all be abundantly blessed, as well

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve

After much frustration and trying to get Blogger to let me post photos, I finally gave up the ghost and tried Firefox browser and voila! I can once again post photos. So, my blogger gardening friends, here is my Christmas wish to all!

Santa, Santa, wish implanter, how does your garden grow? With Jingle Bells and Merry Elves and lots of Hoe, Hoe, Hoe!

Wishing you all things green and beautiful in the coming year,

The Giddy Garden Gnome

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Winter Sunset

I've been a bit busy with Christmas preparations and trying to get my annual Christmas Newsletter out, so I haven't had much time to blog. However, last night's sunset was just spectacular! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 09, 2006

What to Bring?

The round of annual holiday parties is beginning and I usually try to take a little something to add to the goodies table. Today, I'm bringing a Cranberry Almond Baked Brie.
Roll out a sheet of puff pastry into a rectangle and cut off the amount needed to make a square. On a baking sheet, place the brie into the middle of the square, top with whole cranberry sauce

and chopped or slivered almonds and pull up the corners of the pastry. Squeeze the middle of the "crown" and arrange the tops of the corners decoratively. Cut out as many leaf shapes as you can out of the remaining pastry dough and score with the back of a knife to look like the veins in leaves. Chill in fridge for about an hour. With pastry brush, glaze with an egg wash of one egg and one tsp water beaten together. Bake in 400 degree oven til golden brown. Serve with crackers of choice. It looked a whole lot better in person! And, it was quite tasty!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

More Christmas Decorating

Being minimalist by nature, I don't do a lot of decorating for the holidays, however, I do have my favorite things that I bring out for the occasion; the big green ceramic Christmas tree my mother made in her ceramic crafting days, the small white, glittery one she made, the pair of angels, and lots of white lights on the deck and on the ficus tree (we leave the tree ones up all year and call them our "happy lights")!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Winter Has Finally Arrived In Maine!

Last weekend, I was still hanging out my laundry to dry in the fresh ocean breeze. I'll bet I didn't use the dryer more than three times since April! It's not that I need to save electricity, but I like the fact that I'm using sunshine and fresh air to dry the laundry; that and I just love the way the clothes smell, especially the sheets. There's something very special about getting into a freshly made bed with sheets that have hung out in the air all day long. Makes for a really good night's sleep and reminds me of my youth.However, yesterday brought our first snowfall and what a beautiful one it was. I was at work, and unable to get any good photos of the event. We had about 2 inches of a freezing snow; the tree limbs all looked as though they were hung with crystal ornaments. My office looks out over a small lake (or "pond" as they call them up here), and yesterday I had to gather all my coworkers together to look outside at the setting sun shining over the pond. It was truly a picture perfect sight to behold with the golden sun shining on the snow crystals. I only wish I had my camera with me at work. I think I'll do that from now on! I did get a quick picture of the yard decked out in it's first snowcoat.

I also put up a few Christmas decorations this weekend. We don't do much decorating, but we like to have lights. Here's my front porch decorations with the snowman greeting everyone!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Lost Toolbar

Blogger has not allowed me to post for the past several days, so I have a lot of catching up to do! Seems that my "cache" was full, or whatever, and I lost my toolbar. I have it back now, so here goes!

My son, the Florida gardener, sent me a Red Dwarf Banana pup last May and I dutifully potted her up and waited til things warmed up a bit before putting her outside on the deck, where she promptly pouted and refused to grow. With the warmer weather, however, she slowly began to grow and by the time I was ready to bring the plants in for the winter, she had grown considerably and produced three, count 'em, three pups! She is now over 2 1/2 feet tall and I have once again transplanted her into a yet larger pot. This one takes both H and I to pick up and move.My usual daily breakfast is a small container of yogurt, 1/3 cup of Fiber One cereal and two tablespoons of roasted sunflower seeds, however, on rare occasion, H will say, "How about a few eggs and sausage for breakfast"? Sounded good this morning and since I knew we were going to have lots of exercise between cleaning the house and going for our traditional 3 mile walk, I agreed. We owned a bed and breakfast for 8 years and, well, just plain 'ole eggs and sausage are kind of dull, so I stepped out into the 26 degree cold this morning to snip some of the last of the parsley in the garden and added it, chopped of course, to the 8 eggs, 3/4 cup of milk, 1 tsp Dijon Mustard and the left over bits of cheddar, American Cheese and the last of the Pepper Jack chees. Salt and pepper to taste, mix the whole thing up, put it into a buttered tart pan and sprinkled the top with paprika. Into the oven at 350 for about 25 minutes and by the time the sausages were nicely crisp, the Cheese Puff was ready to eat. YUM!!!!

Ah, yes, I remember the good old days when we arose at 4:30 in order to get the guest's breakfast ready! Now we awake at 4:30, have coffee in bed and read the newspaper til it's time to roust ourselves out and get going. Life is Good! "-)