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North Texas’ Snow-pocalypse/Snowmageddon!!! ~ A Photo Retrospective

“Welcome to Texas weather! Just wait 10 minutes and it’ll change…” I heard this phrase a lot when we first moved here to North Texas in late 2016, and long-time residents weren’t kidding!!! That first year we experienced snow right after Christmas with temps in the teens (in our very thin-walled first trailer ~ not a four-season trailer!), biting “chiggers” (which are really a type of mite), puss caterpillars (a nasty stinging creature which looks like a white cocoon in the grass ~ treat with rubbing alcohol on the skin, btw), stinging nettles and poison ivy…

One of two puppies out on the front porch…
Love the snow on these guys!! Here is the other cement puppy following our real pup, Mr. Yoda, who actually really enjoys snowdays!!! This old tea pot is now used for watering plants ~ a good recycle idea. 😉
Yoda also really enjoys racing back inside for his rub-down with a towel to dry his paws, belly and cheeks, which always get snowy from sniffing for squirrels… ;)’
“It’s cold, Mama!”

Five years on, we are finally getting used to Texas’ swinging weather patterns and even the summer heat and humidity we are warming up to…

With this week’s crazy cold snowstorms across much of Texas, I thought I’d share some of our amazingly beautiful snowy weather with you that we’ve had on this Valentine’s Day and throughout this past week! And I have to tell you, I am so glad to be back up and running with internet. I cleaned around the house on Sunday afternoon, and I could work on crafts, I just haven’t felt like doing much, really. This winter has been all about rest for me and it’s enough to just work in the garden when the weather is nice and to create a few vignettes to share with you.

Have you felt the same this winter season?

Anyway, with notifications about the coming polar vortex broadcast the previous weekend, it was good to finish up planting the hollies and boxwood and get back inside! The garden was as prepped as it could be for this “Snow-pocalypse,” as my friend Kristen called it at school one day.

Snowmageddon for Valentine’s Day and beyond

I haven’t been able to get on the internet since early Sunday morning, so… All the posts I wanted to share for this week are getting out to you late. However, it has been a peaceful, restful week with schools closed down, most businesses throughout North Texas are also closed, no trash pick-up or mail service because they can’t get through, and interruptions in electricity a reality.

Many people are still without any source of heating due to power lines being down, so we are fortunate to have had only a few power outages here in our area. Our main issue is now unsafe drinking water, so we must boil for the time being… Really, a minor inconvenience if there ever was one!

Great job, Ferrell Gas!!! This was Tuesday, 2/16/21.

I did go driving around two days ago to get our 30# propane tank filled in case we needed it for heating (Hubby will set up the tent heater inside our fireplace WITH the flue open!) and/or for cooking outside on the grill. We haven’t needed it, but kuddos major to Ferrell Gas here in Denton, Texas, for their employees! These young men stayed long past their shifts had ended and kept filling bottle-after-bottle of propane for customers!!!

This was only half of the bottles… More were lined up around the corner to my left (where my bottle was). I came back to Ferrell Gas after 7:00pm, after getting some groceries and having some dinner, to see how far my bottle had moved (several customers had stayed most of the day and had helped move bottles forward throughout the day). I helped move bottles forward for the rest of the evening.

Ferrell Gas would get their power on in 1 hour blocks, so the young men could only fill during that golden hour, then they would have to wait until the next time the power was switched on. They needed power to run the gas pumps, but otherwise the gas was flowing just fine!

For those of us still at Ferrell Gas at 8:00pm when the power went off, if you stayed until 9:00pm when the power came on again, the two men filled our bottles as the last for the night, and everyone stayed and helped move ALL of the remaining unfilled canisters inside the barbed wire-enclosed area, keeping them in order of drop-off.

I think this was pretty cool as customers had written their names and telephone numbers on each of their propane tanks and everyone present kept these canisters in order as they were being trudged over, passed forward and moved behind the gated area. The men would fill them all beginning at 7:00am the next morning. There were well over 100 propane canisters left to fill…

City of Denton water trucks fitted with the few snowplows they have. Woot!!!

At the time I was out, Mr. Ethereal kept me updated with power losses so I decided to try and find fast food to bring home… McD had been open but their power was cycling, too (my guess) so I got out of that line, checked Jack in the Box next door but it, too, was cycled off.

KFC was open across the street and doing a booming business ~ it took an hour to get food but everyone waited patiently in line to order. Only a few selections were available, but hey! This beggar wasn’t choosey!!! The chicken was hot and tasty!

One no-no photo when I was slowly driving home… (No one was around…) It was 9:30pm. and the snow was beautiful!!! I couldn’t resist…
A car came into view just as I was taking the time-lapsed photo so the tail end of his lights appear center-back, which I love.

The first big snow…

I can’t remember now if this was Sunday, Valentine’s night (I think so) or the next night, Monday, 2/15/21, but I bundled up and trekked outside to shoot some photos in the 12 degree F weather. The wind wasn’t blowing so the cold wasn’t as biting and it was beautiful…

***ps I found another use for our PPD masks!!! They are great for keeping your face from freezing!

Our backyard (the test photo) under the first snows…
Shooting up the adjacent street in our subdivision… If I’d had a pair of 170cm skiis, boots, bindings and poles, I’d have come down this “bunny hill” for hours!!!
A visitor to our new birdfeeder… Hubby went out Monday around noon and picked up some new birdseed and a bag of sunflower seeds (after this was taken). The cardinals, pyrrhuloxia (a much larger cardinal), sparrows and chickadees are now really happy!
See? It’s a monster bird, these pyrrhuloxia! Must be 8-9″ in length though my bird book says it is a “medium sized bird.” Not these guys! Maybe it is a junco of sorts??
(Taken with my iPhone 7; blown up/resaved)

The Backyard

The first snow storm was a lot of fun and this is what we woke up to on Valentine’s Day with a few flurries throughout the day… Just a few inches of powered sugar snow, which when the sun came out on Monday, it sparkled!

Tuesday afternoon after the night’s second big snowfall.

It’ll be a few weeks before I know if I need to cut down any canes on the roses and what plants didn’t make it, but the roses should be fine. They have been covered with straw or leaves since Saturday and Sunday morning.

Most of the plants I purchased this fall are all cold-hardy down to -20 to -30 degrees, even the new hydrangea. I do have one lavender under straw and under a frost blanket along with the three camellias in the planter under our MBR window. It may or may not make it. I just didn’t have time that last Sunday to dig it up as it was getting dark…

This is partly why I put in the French fence here… To put this urn next to it with its sweet boxwood ball. <3 I hope to find another fencing piece identical to it to put in opposite along the fence, to create an entryway to this garden area.

The lavenders and smaller hydrangeas planted in pots, Mr. Ethereal helped me truck those indoors to the garage on Saturday ahead of the storms. The bougainvillea I already had in the garage along with the two unplanted rosemary plants.

The rosemary topiary and two mini agapanthus are inside the dining room near the windows. I sure hope we can build a new garden shed/greenhouse this year! It’d be a lot easier to haul them in there. 😉

This was definitely the first stormy day as the snow was low in the bowl. Now it looks like a bubble on top!

Our little angel’s head wreath crown is now the brim of her wintertime bun hat! So fun to go out and photograph when it sunny!

Love this photograph of our big girl… Wish I had thought to move the carpet junk out to the trash area just beyond the gate, but oh well!

Going out for milk

Tuesday was bright and cheery! I took Yoda for the shortest of walks around the house but he didn’t want to go far on Valentine’s Day, so he has only gone out for restroom breaks.

Me? I am ready for a hike, friends!!!

Well, this is getting long so I’ll stop here for now!

Hope you have enjoyed this small tour of North Texas snows. It is the coldest it has been here in Texas since 1898 when settlers began keeping records, from one story I heard on the radio.

This IS still considered prairie country so no doubt there have been many, many years of really cold weather before 1898, when these were just windswept prairies… Before all the buildings were built and towns and cities grew up, when just cowboys and cattle roamed the small hills and valleys of Denton County…

Someday when you come to the D/FW area of Texas, come check out the Stockyards down in Fort Worth! Lots of history about Texas’ early cattle-driving days…

Keep warm, friends!

Barb 🙂

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Winter Decorating in the China Hutch

Here’s where we left off this last time with our blue and white decorating…

I had picked out a mishmash of the only blue and white pieces I own and began filling the china hutch little by little. Today I thought I’d share the whole hutch with you and what other pieces I placed on it for a nice wintertime display!

I was concurrently taking down all of the Christmas pieces, dusting then putting up the new decor right at New Year’s since I had to be finished for $10 on the 10th and most of the pieces on the dining room table were used to create this winter look.

I brought out the bright white Italian plate I found at HomeGoods in 2017 (upper left, back) from once we were settled up in Sanger at Wagon Master RV park (and weren’t driving either of the RV’s around rattling dishes!). Layered with it is the more ornate serving plate which goes with my favorite white plates, and two old creamware creamers found while thrifting at Twice As Nice here in Denton, Texas.

The butter dish is also from HomeGoods and I found it about a year ago. We only had the Butter Lady (dishware from Polland, and brought back from England in 2005 ~ not shown, I need to remedy that!). The blue and white planting pot is new and was found on Amazon. The French plate was another find from the thriftshop.

I kept out the Christmas trees I decorated while we were still in our last home in California and set them here for a little wintertime sparkle alongside my favorite (and only!) creamware teapot. I had this sweet blue and white cat drip stopper and thought I’d add her to the festivities…

This little kitty reminds me of my daughter’s cat, Dorian, who is a gorgeous long-haired Ragdoll cat but really looks nothing like this sweet pawing kitty! Just a nice reminder…

Did you notice the tiny bird keeping a close eye on the cat??

There are a few other birdies perched around the hutch also keeping their wary eyes out for this cat’s antics. No flying feathers here, thank you!

Three small cups are stacked which also are a close match to my favorite plates along with with a small cake plate and a Pottery Barn mercury glass candleholder. The shelves in this hutch are narrow but I love stacking plates and items in here!

Here is a photograph from our last home in our dining room tucked into the right corner. I like using this plate stacker from Target. It used to be all gold but I got a wild hair and dry-brush painted it white one day. Still wish I had bought two!!! Target only had a few of these more ethereal pieces, ever… Then they were gone. Today’s young folks want something more “modern” but I still prefer things a little more twee. 😉

I like this wintertime blue and white styling! I kept the barn painting on the top of the hutch and added a favorite tin with the girl sipping tea alongside plus added a duck basket from my Christmas totes that I’ve had since my late 20’s/early 30’s (the 1990’s). The duck carries Christmas ornaments in his back basket some years but right now it has a little greenery tucked inside. The angel blowing kisses is a Southern Living hostess piece I was able to pick up when I held a decor party back during that same time period.

Of course!

One thing begat another… I got excited creating the hutch, which then made me think of a cup of tea (an ADD thing! which I don’t think I have but you never know…) so then I thought about:

What if the buffet part became a place for guest to come and pick up a cup of tea? (I was thinking of bed & breakfast idea.) The breakfast tray idea jelled when I remembered staying at The Beverly Hills Hilton and having tea in bed (was great fun and the waitress who delivered the tray thought I was cute because I was sooo excited about the tray!) when I went to the Design Bloggers Conference ~ this was when I went in 2016 to Atlanta ~ and here is where I went to L.A. (now Design Influencers Conference) ~ in Los Angeles a few years ago. If you’ve never been to a design influencers conference, they are a lot of fun and sooooo inspirational! I always wanted to meet up with friends at Haven, too!*

*Okay, was that a run-on sentence/thought or what?!!

Miss Kitty reaching a paw out to say Hello!

I went kinda overboard taking photos but that’s because it is so fun to share each styled vignette with you all!!! I need to pull out the serving platter more often…

On the opposite side of the buffet line… We have all of the Independence Day dishes stacked for guests to use plus a couple of mugs and teacups for tea…

One last look at the tea tray… Love finding those small jars of honey and jams! Winco carried them before Christmas, of all things!! Winco is my usual grocery store and we started going to get groceries there while we were living in So Cal.

Happy tea to you,

Barb

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How to Decorate with Wintertime Blues and Whites

Welcome to this month’s $10 on the 10th and this month is all about Blue and White decor. Decorating using wintertime blues and creamy white china is a favorite way to decorate for many people, but really it is almost a first for me!

A jumble of blue and white pieces we have laid out whilly-nilly on the antique oak table…

How sweet to be a cloud floating in the blue.”

A. A. Milne

I’d like to thank our hosts Ann of Apple Street Cottage and Tammy of Patina and Paint for bringing us all together and for creating this month’s blue and white decor theme. Thank you, Ladies!! <3

Image may contain: text that says 'UNDER $10 on the 10th Lifestyle bloggers sharing ideas Join us each month on the 10th when we share ideas that cost less than $10! *********** Home decor, tablescapes, crafts, gardening. recipes, gift giving beauty, fashion, party ideas, DIy and so much more, all under $10'

Now let’s check out how we worked some magic here… 😉 And don’t you just love this sweet quote I found from A. A. Milne? A small thought from Winnie the Pooh on this wintery Sunday… Perfect for our blue and white theme!

How to begin

For this $10 on the 10th challenge, I began by pulling everything out that we had in blue and white then spreading it all out on our dining room table. I found this very old antique French soup plate (back) while thrift-shopping ($4.00) and have used it a few times in posts, so I set it in this cubby along with the German teacup my sister-in-law found on trash day when she and my brother were stationed there.

The three whiteware saucers ($2.00 for all three) are all thriftshop orphans with no cups and the pitcher came from HomeGoods several years ago. The sweet birdie I found at Michael’s, I think. (about $4.00) 😉

But this is what I started with: a big stack of dishes, a few tchotchkes and a set of three new pots for planting. The ceramic girl with flowers was a birthday present from my mom and dad when I was 7 years old, I think. It is a music box and used to sit on a wooden piece, which I think I pulled off… years and years ago. The piece was too small and she never stood up right, so I think that is why she doesn’t have her stand. Now she just sits on the metal turning piece and leans a bit because of this. Crazy what we do when we are young, huh?

*Well this week also was a birthday week and I’ll share the nice cookware piece Mr. Ethereal picked up for me later this week. I’ve just started cooking with it… 😉

Also in this picture, our Christmas cactus is loving its new home in this big pot and I am really happy with this blue and white pot set! You can find it on Amazon, and I am not sponsored but it was packaged really well and each is a little different. They come with the dotted saucer you see underneath the main pot, too ~ a good deal for the price, I thought.

Here are two of the three pots. We had just had some good rain and the Christmas cactus had been sitting outside enjoying a good bath, hence why it is soaking wet. I forgot I had wanted it for pictures so I went and grabbed it for a few!

By putting everything out on the table, it was fairly easy to then set a few things in the china cabinet and see what worked, and what didn’t. I like this approach because I am so visual and kinda have to “see” how something looks before a vignette is set in stone, and you may like this approach also.

Our china cabinet is really small and was handmade by a man in Riverside, California who would find pretty picture frames (during the late-1990’s/early 2000’s) and then build cabinets around them. I found this one at a cute antique/gift shop in Temecula when I first began having teas.

The hardest part for me to decorate is always this sweet angel-framed door area (because it is small), but it is perfect for dollhouse ideas especially at Christmas!

Someday I would like to find a larger dresser but this small china cabinet works well in this small dining room. And I do find it really fun to stack dishes upright along this long shelf! If you have never been over to visit Amber of Follow the Yellow Brick Home, she is a master at stacking… I love coming over and checking out everyone’s blog sites; it is where I get inspired, too!

Basically, just keep adding in and moving pieces around until you find an arrangement that you are happy with… I find that is what works best for me. Also, work in “heights” with ups and downs bringing visual interest. Groups of threes also add their pop of interest. Here you can see the “three” effect with the blue pieces in a triangle shape popping out…

So, that’s it for me today!

I’ll share some other photos later on, but this post would get really long… Please hop on by to visit the other ladies on today’s $10 on the 10th Blue and White Decor hop and check out their wintertime decorating ideas! You know that’s where I’m going. <3

Ann – The Apple Street Cottage

Allyson – Southern Sunflowers

Barb – French Ethereal

Patti – Pandora’s Box

Tammy – Patina & Paint

Happy decorating, friends!

Barb

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Share Your Style #234

Welcome to Share Your Style #234! This link party is for home decor, DIY, crafts, recipes and the like, but you are more than welcome to share your family-friendly posts with us all! As always I am glad that you are here and there are so many great posts to choose from to share with all y’all… 

I’ve also come up with a new holiday banner for the party!! What do you think about it? Leave me a comment and let me know. 
🙂
I am Barbara Chapman your host and I’d love it if you’d follow me here on my blog and on any of my other social media sites, too. I appreciate your support! Thank you!


Here’s what I shared this week at

French Ethereal…

A Cozy Hot Chocolate Bar for Christmas ~ A Pinterest Challenge. Stop by to see all the great ideas shared by my friends for this warm winter challenge! Thank you to Cindy of County Road 407 for hosting us all! 

Just one post for me as I took a break to get well and visit with family for Thanksgiving…

Here are this week’s featured posts filled with
tons of holiday spirit…
Penny of Penny’s Treasures shared your bright and sunny laundry room all decorated for Christmas (check out her desk in there, too!). Love love love it!!!

Debra at Common Ground shared her collection of turkeys and platters and a turkey disaster story I know you’ll empathize over. Do check it out! ~ Turkey Talk in the Cupboard.

DIY Thanksgiving Table Family Photo Place Cards

These just crack me up!!! And although I am still sharing some Thanksgiving “leftovers,” there is no reason why this idea couldn’t be adapted to Santa and Mrs. Claus hats for Christmas (or Hanukkah dreidels, etc.). Love this post from Debbee at Debbee’s Buzz ~ DIY Thanksgiving Table Family Photo Place Cards.
🙂



It’s all about Porch Decor at Follow the Yellow Brick Home with Amber and this blog hop. Check out Amber’s beautiful 100 year old farmhouse porch and others for wonderful holiday ideas!

Pheasant Merriment Tablescape over at Panopoly with Rita may have been a Thanksgiving post but with so much deep red it easily transitions to Christmas. Beautiful!!!

Santa stop here outdoor Christmas sign


Here’s a fun DIY Craft Santa Stops Here post by Unique Creations by Anita. Easy to follow instructions included.

🙂


The perfect side dish for your holiday dinner, this Fresh Cranberry Salad recipe is flavorful and delicious!  Mandarin oranges, fresh cranberries, goat cheese crumbles and pecans make this Cranberry Citrus Salad incredible.


And lastly this cheery Citrus Salad by Erin at Delightful-E-Made will tempt your tastebuds. Yum!!!


Thank you to everyone who linked up this week and a special thank you to everyone who posts about the link party Share Your Style on your blog ~ I do see it when I stop over and I appreciate your support!  Without you, there’d be no party.

If you’ve been featured here at Share Your Style 

Here is a button to share and copy to your site and your featured posts, thank you!



I’d love it if you’d follow my  Share Your Style board

on Pinterest, thank you. 


Many holiday blessings to y’all…
Now let’s party!




You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

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Winter Gardening Plus Tips

Winter gardening is sometimes tough in that as a gardener one can’t really get outside and do much in many parts of the country. This winter has been fairly mild as winters go in North Texas, so…

I have been outside quite a bit ~ tidying up here and there after the ice melts and cleaning the yard plus feeding our feathered friends.  Let’s go check out our little yard and see what’s up! 🙂


One sweet bright red Cardinal and a sparrow friend.  Their mates are around but just didn’t get in the photograph this time.


Here is one of our feathered friends now ~ we have several pairs of cardinals visit our scattered birdseed and eat out of the angel feeder each winter and into late spring since we have moved to Texas.

With our coming house, I do hope there will still be cardinals visiting down in Denton but they are field birds… so we will have to wait and see. 

I found this sweet juniper ball around Thanksgiving at our local Calloway’s Nursery and brought it home to replace some of the annuals which had succumbed to last summer’s heat.
The tiny narcissus I found at Walmart, I think. They are so sweet and really brighten up the wintertime garden, don’t you think?  Such a happy flower!
Shot through the door screen.
I have been talking about digging up a few daffodils or gladiolus for two years outfront of a friend’s place. So finally I did!
Sorry to be so vague about these tubers ~ what type they are ~ but it’s because I don’t have a photo of them blooming over the past two years, but I did remember that I wanted to help thin them out and to pot some up.  🙂

Some winter gardening tips

Since temps will still get below freezing just be sure to wrap up tender plants or move them inside. The lead photo shows the two plants I keep bringing indoors at night when I know it will get below 32 degrees.

I actually started doing this because I wanted to see if the little pinks would re-bloom from last spring ~ and they have!

Another tip: get some gardening cloth at your garden center to wrap big groups of pots. That’s what I do with this cluster of pots out front of our Prairie Home.
Yoda has enjoyed this winter sitting outside and he is interested in being with me when I am outdoors. He loves checking out what I am doing ~ he’s quite interested in whatever I am doing, really. And he loves just sitting outside and enjoying the warm sunshine!
Here you can see more of these gladiolus, I believe. There were two types, one white and the other yellow, and I tried to separate the two.  It’ll be fun to see what blooms where!  
The roses are already putting out tiny branch buds with this mild winter.  The one on the left replaces the one David Austin rose which died also last summer. 🙁
I am happy that this one is doing well so far.
Our winter is running along the lines of a Southern California winter this year, of which I am really happy! I love being out in the garden playing in the dirt and repotting plants.  It was a favorite thing for me back in Murrieta and it is nice to have a bit of this here in North Texas.  Oh, our new house will be in a slightly warmer area just south of here ~ less of the direct influence of midwest cold winds ~ so I’ll try planting hydrangeas again and see how they do.
One lady here at the park has a camellia and it is blooming fiercely!  Will try to get a photo for you and put up on Instagram.  🙂
Just a couple of last photos for today…
😉
An incredible sunset last week…
And it is early for these guys ~ Scottish thistles ~ but they were on my camera card and I thought you’d like to see them. They will be out blooming late March or April.
Gorgeous puffy blooms which always look so soft but aren’t at all. Prickles for days!
There’s Mr. Cardinal’s again and some other
feathered friends…
😉 {chirp!}
Happy gardening,

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California Dreaming…

California Dreaming…
It’s definitely a dream trip to be able to accompany my husband
out here for the better part of two weeks here in January.
While it is still snowy and cold across much of the United States
and still getting down into the 20 degree temps where we live in
North Texas, this is a welcome vacation…
This is just a quick post today as I’ll write more over the weekend
sharing some photos from my travels back down the California
coast from Nipomo through Ventura.
 
These two photographs are just as you’d come into Santa Barbara
area and it was about 4:00 or 4:30pm PST or so and it was
66 degrees outside with a light wind blowing so that it was brisk but not cold on your skin.
I love this time of year in Southern California before late spring
and summer’s heat really start kicking in!
It was my favorite time to garden as you could stay outside and
play in the yard all day then take a nap in a favorite patio chair.
{with your feet propped up on a chair opposite for extra comfort}
There’s a photo I took while I was outside reading at our big house
at just about this same time of year and it is a favorite.
 
 
And speaking of gardens… I posted a few photos on Instagram
as I travelled about this week and one of those places I visited
was my friend Kathy’s home up in Nipomo about a half-hour
north of Solvang and an hour or so above Santa Barbara.
 
She is my garden mentor!  Kathy can grow anything and together
with her husband Ken they create the most beautiful gardens!!!
This house they moved into about a year and a half ago now and
this garden is still in its infancy ~ but look at how far it has come!
 
Here is a photograph Kathy took of our tea group a number of years ago at their former home in Escondido, California.
You can see how drop dead gorgeous their garden was there!
 
L-R:  Friends Carolyn, Sandy, Julie {foreground ~ she’s the sweet friend whose bathroom I shared the other day!}, Sandy,
me {looking much thinner then… working on it! Lol!}, and Gloria {in the white blouse}.

Here is a photograph of Kathy and Julie at my snowman tea
however the post that went with this no longer exists ~ probably
a casualty of moving from Weebly to Blogger back when…
 
But here is another tea with the gang of girls at my home if
you’d like to check it out.
😉
 
I’ll be sharing more next time I post… until then enjoy
this last photo from Kathy’s lovely garden.
 
Sunrise in Nipomo, California… Wouldn’t you like to wake up to this view everyday?
 
 
Sharing with
Feathered Nest Friday ~ French Country Cottage
Thursday Favorite Things ~ Katherine’s Corner
Friday at the Firestation ~ A Fireman’s Wife
 
 
 
 

Well, that’s it for today, folks!
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How to Winterize and Protect Your Garden

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Winterizing your garden  is fairly easy to do and should be done whenever the temperatures will drop to or below
32 degrees Fahrenheit/0 degrees Celsius
in your geographic area.


Not the prettiest pictures but you might like my
crazy ingenuity here with the towels!
😉


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This was probably taken in January/February when my mandarin oranges were ready to eat.  The rose in the urn was just putting out leaves so this could even be late February/early March.  Hard to tell… Southern California has weird winters
with a lot of Santa Ana warm spells kicking in that cause plants to come out of hibernation early.
When it was just getting down to 32 degrees here
in North Texas this year in late October into November
I began wrapping my plants in beach towels at sundown.
This is the same thing I did to the potted plants we
kept out on our back patio in California as those were the
only ones which were really exposed to tougher winds and
cold weather each year.


Each winter I would move the plants over on the patio table on the right over to the left of the front doors ~ just beyond far left in this photograph.  Here I was in the middle of repotting the big overgrown ivy into these twin garage sale lion pots and creating a second ivy topiary with a bunch of cuttings.

Tip #1 – Use your clothes dryer

The plants out-front at our last house were underneath
a large covered front porch and they seemed to
do pretty well there ~ it helped that our dryer vent was
right there, too, and the two potted ivy plants
loved the warm air there!

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It was  great trick to start the dryer at 5:00am getting
double the benefit of that heat as I’d have put in clothes
to wash the night before and in the early morning
that gentle warm air venting outside would be
just warm enough
to help keep the plants on the patio and in the
front planter bed from freezing.
🙂


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Toweling around the back porch plants was
just enough protection to keep the dewy cold night air
off of those plants’ leaves and off the tender canes of
the potted rose bushes to prevent them
from freezing.


Tip #2 – Use your old blankets and quilts

If you have any bouguainvillas or hydrangeas you’ll want to
cover those with towels and/or blankets, too,
depending upon the size of the plants.
Each winter in California we had that one or two weeks
of temps down in the 20’s and it would be enough to
freeze the oranges and ruin the whole crop.
Invariably the bouguainvilla would
always be blooming
at this time of year since we would have had these
misleadingly named warm “Santa Ana” winds
come in from the south and west which would
trick all of our plants into thinking that
spring had arrived.
These really warm dry winds would then be
fatally followed by freezing cold arctic winds
blowing down from Canada ~ never failed.
But…
taking a little extra care with some old quilts
and a bunch of clothespins ~ covering all exposed leaves
branches and vines on these plants that are
subtropicals {do okay to 30 degrees}
really helped these plants to survive and thrive.

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The roses  planted out in the yard I never covered but
would make sure to prune back their canes and strip
their leaves by late November/early December
or sometimes even as late as January
each year.
I wrote about pruning roses a few years ago
if you might need a few tips on
how to do so.
🙂



With nighttime temps dropping into the 20’s here
from mid-December onwards more radical protection
was needed from the elements than where we came from
in So Cal.
A bag of wood shavings or bark is enough
to protect the plants themselves
plus those towels.
🙂

Rose bushes can stand pretty low temperatures but with
the windchill getting down to 0-degrees F. at night
the addition of the wood shavings really helps to keep
{that big bag of pine shavings you see lying on its side ~ adding an extra
wind break around my hydrangea and some of the potted violets.}
plants’ roots and main bodies
from deep freezing.

Tips #3 – Winterizing roses in colder climates

In Southern California we were in the high desert areas in
growing Zone 10 according to Sunset Garden Magazines
guidelines.  Here in North Texas, our city of Sanger is
considered Zone 7 ~ quite a bit colder than
what I’m used to gardening in previously.

Pruning roses for areas even farther north
{Zone 6 and below}
which have temperatures dropping to less than
0-degrees F. each winter
you’ll want to:

1. Cut your rose canes all the way down to 1/3 the
original height or even to the root ball.
Strip all leaves like normal, too.
{Don’t worry as your rose will put out lovely new shoots next spring
when it preps for its late spring and summer showings.}
🙂
2. Bury your roses with bark or wood shavings
like I’ve done here and also pile dirt on top
of each bush.

3. With any roses but especially climbing roses,
strip the canes free of any leaves and bring the canes
down off of any structures.
Lay the canes down to the ground digging a trough
and then pile bark and dirt on top essentially
burying the bushes.


Uncover roses and tender bushes in the springtime in
these extreme growing areas only after the danger of
hard freezes is over for the winter season.


You can see the crepe myrtle here snugged up against the cold.

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Around the camp there are a number of crepe myrtle
bushes and trees so I knew my baby one would do alright
if I just coddled its base with shavings and a towel.

On days when its warm or at least the sun is shining
I’ve been unwrapping my plants to let them synthesize
chlorophyll and do what they do naturally.


Tip #4 – Water regularly if no rain

Do remember to water your plants in winter when there
are drought conditions as this helps roses and all plants
deal better with freezing temperatures.


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Native plants  tolerate extreme temperatures
well and better than ornamental plants do
{my usual plants and probably a lot of your plants, too. ;)}
as you can see in these bushes planted
by the park’s pool area.

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Well, I hope this little guide will help
you with winterizing your gardens.


Next – I’ll be talking about winterizing your RV ~
the joys and experiences we’ve gone through just
this past week and over the last two years of
living the RV life.


Sharing with
Wow Us Wednesday ~ Savvy Southern Style
Talk of the Town ~ Love My Simple Home
Totally Terrific Tuesday ~ The Savvy Apron
Feathered Nest Friday ~ French Country Cottage
Friday Features ~ Oh, My Heartsie Girl!

Enjoy,
Uncategorized

Transitioning Your Decor into the New Year

Transitioning your decor  from Christmas
through New Year’s and into winter is easily done when you
take some of the decorations you are already using and
continue using them in your next
winter decor vignettes…


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This year  I’ve taken away the little Christmas trees
which were in the window previously and reused some of the
pearl garlands here which were formerly draped on the main 
Christmas trees.
The sparkling white lamé fabric was wrapped around
the one Christmas tree here in the window and now gives an essence of snow ~ mimicking the
real snow dusting we had outside
earlier this morning.
🙂

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Bringing back the ironstone soup tureen with a gold-dotted sparkly candle in it is just perfect for ringing in the New Year!
The candles adds their own Nordic touch ~ 
continuing but changing the Nordic look of the reds and
whites and pinks of Christmas-time ~ 
to the simple bright Nordic whites with just touches of
pink in the dried roses and with an addition of
a pink faceted crystal ornament
laid neatly near a potted faux juniper 
decorated with its
own berries.


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Outside  the theme continues with touches of
real snow dusting the new head wreaths adorning
The Girls…

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These are just  a few simple things you can do
to keep out some of the Christmas decorations you love
but make your winter scenes a little more
just wintery…

Will be sharing a bit more of the “sparkly” as
we finally get the new chandy up…
Stay tuned!
Sharing with
Dishing It and Digging It ~ Rustic and Refined
Saturday Sparks ~ Pieced Pastimes
Inspire Me Monday ~ Create with Joy
Friday Features ~ Oh, My Heartsie Girl
Style Showcase 12 ~ Designthusiasm and Shabbyfufu


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Thank you!
🙂



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Happy New Year, Everyone!
Uncategorized

Peonies and Pink for Christmas…

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Pink peonies and Christmas
With touches of red in a plaid tablecloth
and matching napkins
is just a lovely soft way to decorate
for the holidays…


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Mixing in just some touches of blush pink
with Christmasy transferware mugs
holding chocolaty cocoa goodness,
cups of holiday tea or a
frothy coffee drink
along with your favorite holiday dishes
create a relaxed atmosphere for hosting
small parties when guests drop by.


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This Christmas I have been baking
muffins and breads to give as gifts to friends
where we live.
These goodies were found at Starbucks
but most of the time I bake my own.

When I picked up these peonies a
couple of weeks ago
thoughts of a small tea party
danced around like sugarplums
in my head.

This little breakfast tea included a cranberry scone
a cinnamon muffin, and another of blueberry
to make the party extra special.

Other touches of pink were sprinkled
thoughout
making things
merry and bright!

Like this rose strewn stocking and
dried and faux roses tucked in like a child at bedtime
nestled amongst the greenery.

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And little pink Christmas trees

 decorated with silvery baubles
in a later display…
Saving the best for last!
For my disclosure, please click Here.


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How are you decorating this year?
Uncategorized

"Here Comes Santa Claus…"

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“Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells…”
Last week a friend called and asked if I would like to go
Christmas shopping with her and then out to lunch so off
we went to the
Vista Ridge Mall
in the city of Lewisville.
There we found…

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Santa Claus…

Did you know there are Santa Schools??  In order to be Santa, one must attend. 🙂 This lovely
gentleman began his time as Santa following a visit to a school in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
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Even with  having finished our decorating
for Christmas at home
I still wasn’t feeling too Christmassy,
until this wonder happened.
A little Christmas magic…

“Santa” and his gentle and genuine love for children
spending just a few minutes with this little girl
making her a holiday crown
and how happy she was upon receiving it
the wonderment on her bright and earnest face
helped make this season
a little brighter.
*<🙂

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In all the hectic craziness of the holiday season
we are often so stressed that we need a reason to remember
why we are doing all of this shopping and decorating
in the first place.

I’d kinda lost my Christmas spirit…

This little girl was finding hers…

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Taking a few moments to stand and watch
your children, your grandchildren or in this case
a stranger’s child meeting someone so beloved and
standing in as a messenger of
Love and Hope
from Above
sometimes is just what is needed.


 Capturing her joy  and being able to snap a
few photos for her grandmother to send to her parents
was a great gift…
🙂

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{Peggy insisted I get a photo with Santa.}

I took this photo of Peggy visiting with Santa’s Helper and Santa just before our youngster arrived.

She decided not to, however, we all enjoyed this merry time!



Have you visited Santa yet this year??
Are you in need of a little bah humbug removal?

Our view as we came into Vista Ridge Mall ~ a player piano merrily playing holiday tunes!
“Happy Christmas to you!”
😉


Sharing with


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Stop by and visit with Santa…
that will surely help you get
into the 
Christmas spirit!