Tuesday, December 12, 2017


We live in a community 
surrounded by trees.
  We are privileged to have
 oaks, pines and Sequoia redwoods 
in abundance but,
 if we were to make a count,
 I believe that cedar 
would be 
in the majority.

Cedars are a perfect tree. 
They are so elegant in nature 
and, in my opinion,
they are the best to decorate with
at Christmas.  
They drape beautifully 
when used in a garland and 
they smell wonderful and 
keep their shape and color
throughout the season. 

 We used to have 
a sweet little man 
that lived around the corner,
 with a big cedar tree 
next to his home, and
 he would kindly 
share his clippings,
 but he no longer lives there and
 since it is frowned upon 
to cut from 
the forest...

...I was just so thrilled 
to be invited
 to share with you 
my thoughts on this 
beautiful cedar wreath (here) 
from Museum Trees (here).

 Museum Trees offers a wide selection 
of outdoor, custom artificial plants and trees 
and is the wholesale part of the business.  
 Silk Plants Direct (here) 
is the retail part of the business. 

 To be perfectly honest with you,
 I wrote most of this post 
based off of the picture on their website. 
 I thought I might have to change 
some of the wording 
when the actual wreath arrived,
 but I didn't.

  Everything I have said 
stands true...

  ...it is a gorgeous statement piece
 of such generous size and thickness, 
a full 24 inches, and 
the texture and color is very realistic.

 I wanted to show you
 some of the ways that I think 
this wreath could be styled 
to its best advantage:

As a greeting to all
 coming through the front door
 stating the warm Christmas welcome 
that awaits inside...

...or when the cold winds of
 January blow and
 the snowmen
 visit the Cottage...

...or even when 
the apple blossoms are in abundance and 
the birds are nesting 
on a warm spring day.

  A beautiful wreath, 
such as this, 
should not be hidden away 
after the Christmas festivities are done.
It would be right for
 any time of the year
 or any type 
of celebration...

...but, for now, 
it will be gracing our mantle shelf
 with just the biggest of cheery bows and 
a few festive berries 
to let us know that
 it is time for Christmas,
 pure and simple.

I would like to send 
a special thanks to 
Craig from Museum Trees 
for his generosity 
and to tell you, my friends,
 that he is also sending you
 a unique offer from

 If you use this code:
you will receive 
10% off of any of their products
 with the exception of custom.

  Merry Christmas to you!

I was compensated 
for this blog post but 
the words, 
thoughts and
 pure Christmas joy 
are all mine.


I am sharing today with:

Tuesday, December 5, 2017


It was just before Christmas 
and all through the house,
 not a creature was stirring...

...not even a  mouse. 

 Although Bitty Morsel 
has left her usual place of honor
 to stand beside
 Olde Scrooge 
to offer him some 
Christmas spirit.

Stockings were hung 
by the chimney
 with care...

...the children's bed 
was all ready for

Away to the windows,
 and open the shutters, 
to catch a fleeting glimpse 
of sunlight...

...while a small tree
 gives a luster of midday to...

...objects below.

A few tiny reindeer 
greet all who come through 
the front door.

There is Dasher and Dancer
 and the rest of 
the gang...

...and, of course,

A bowl and pretty garland 
await some festive touches...

...while a bouquet of fresh flowers
 always brightens up 
the day...

...and a pretty place setting 
is awaiting
 Christmas morning.

A jolly old elf,
 he was chubby and plump...

...and you have to laugh
 when you see him 
in spite of yourself.

He filled all the stockings 
and then turned 
with a wink...

"Merry Christmas to all
and to all 
a Good Night"...

...I swear
 I heard him say that
 as he drove 
out of sight...

I hope you enjoyed
some small glimpses of Christmas
 all through the house.
We will return 
next week with more.

We are heading back down
 to Santa Cruz on Friday
 to celebrate Jake's birthday 
and then we will be delivering
 he and Jacenda 
to the San Francisco airport 
for their trip to 
Ireland and Scotland.

 what fun 
it is to dash 
through life 
with these two!!


This post
 was brought to you
 with a little help from 
Clement Clarke Moore 
and a lot of 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017


I showed this picture last week 
of our new faux tree.

 How many of you thought
 this was the actual tree set up? 

 my daughter did,
 so I just wanted to 
set the record straight.

  This is not the real tree. 
 This is only a picture on the box
that the tree came in.
Just let me say right off 
that I am not 
being compensated 
for this post in any way. 

 I just wanted to tell you how
 special and remarkable 
this tree is. 

 It is not only 
big, and full and realistically pretty, 
it also does tricks
 and was priced
under $200.


We have not had
 a large faux tree
 for a few years.
We always had a large tree 
when the kids were growing up, 
and it was always a real one 
that we cut down ourselves,
 but the last few years
 we had a small faux one
 that sat
 on a table...


...then we had a white one
 that also sat
 on a table...


...the first year
we decided to have a real tree again
 and it was found 
on a lot...


...we thought it turned out
 pretty well 
so we thought we would 
do it again...

...I think I mentioned
 that after that
 we decided 
it was an experience 
that we did not want
 to have 

 now back to the story of 
this amazing tree 
that does tricks.

 The tree comes in three sections 
that are easily marked. 
 They click together 
with no problem 
and if you are looking for a place
 to hook the lights together 
at each section 
(like the last one we had)
 there isn't any. 
 The wires are all concealed 
in the trunk of 
each section.

When the tree is put together
 you have to fluff the needles 
at the back of each branch. 
 They are made of 
something like paper and 
are easily moved
 to fill in blank spaces.
  The tips of the branches are 
hard and not easily moved and 
really look like
 real needles.

There is no getting down
 on your hands and knees to find
 the on and off switch.  
Just a tap of your toe
 gets that job done, 
and this is where the
 amazing tricks 
come into play.

  You can tap your toe 
nine times, 
and each time the lights change.

  It goes from
 white lights to colored,
 to white lights blinking,
 to colored lights blinking,
 to white and colored lights blinking, 
slow, fast or not at all.

 You get the picture.

 did I mention 
that you get all of the above
for under $200?

You will notice 
the paper lanterns that I put together 
and I'm still waiting for
 the larger lanterns to arrive
 which will fill in 
any blank spaces you might see.

 after all the bragging I have done, 
there is only one thing 
that I don't like about this tree.

 I may be alone 
in my thinking 
and could, possibly,
 be putting my neck 
on the chopping block, if some
 die hard environmentalist
 heard me say this: 


They are too bright and
 the white ones have a yellow cast...
I have seen white ones 
with a blue cast, 
and I don't love those either, 
and I find them all 
very hard 
to photograph.

 2017 to infinity

 the Captain or I 
like any of the flashing tricks. 

 I prefer the white lights
 and he likes the colored ones.
So we have compromised:

  We leave the white lights on 
during the day
 and tap it to the 
colored ones 
at night.

Even though 
I don't love the LED lights, 
I don't not love them 
to turn them off and...

...don't tell the Captain,
 but I am really enjoying them
 at night time


We bought the tree at
 and it was on sale for
 under $200.