Partridge Berry Wreath

I was recently gifted a New England treasure — a partridge berry wreath.

A partridge berry wreath needs to be soaked in water to stay fresh.

It is about 7 inches in diameter.

Hand-painted Noritake bowl with pink roses.

It fits perfectly in my mother’s china bowl.

Partridge berry ground cover has white flowers in spring.

Partridgeberry (Mitchella repens) is one of the lowest growing evergreen plants on the forest floor, hardly growing more than 3 or 4 inches high. Plants have a vining habit but do not climb. Instead they form dense mats by spreading their trailing stems out to about a foot from the crown. Roots will often form at leaf nodes along the stems and start new plants. The 4 petaled, pinkish, fringed, fragrant, half inch long flowers appear in June and July. The berries remain on the plant for long periods unless eaten, and can often still be found the following spring.

Perhaps I’ll try a terrarium in my glass apothecary jar from my alma mater — Penn State.

I am told I might be able to propagate partridge berry in a terrarium.

Do you have a favorite Christmas plant?


Shopping for Christmas

Truthfully my Christmas gift shopping is finished.  However I have a lot of food to buy.

I’ll use our cream soup cups for shrimp bisque on Christmas Eve.

Since I’m having a small diner party on Christmas Eve and a bigger Open House on New Year’s Day I’ll need lots of food.

I receive a frozen turkey every year just before Thanksgiving.

I have plenty of meat in the freezer so I only have to remember to thaw it out in time for cooking.

Trader Joe’s is my first stop for food shopping.

I’m planning to make a master grocery list to have ready whenever I can get a chance to do a big shopping.  Shopping is not my idea of fun but Christmas is only 13 days away and lots of unscheduled events might keep me busy.

I think I’ll use my “Annapolis Blue” china by Lenox.


And my big dilemma is that Trader Joe’s has stopped selling Hansen’s ginger ale which is the basis for my signature party drink — The Glade Fizz.

Do you have a special food that says holiday celebration to you?

Snow Country

Charlie and I were called away for a few days to a funeral in upstate New York.

A coffin was laid on a sleigh and drawn to the graveyard by 2 draft horses: one black and one white.

The ground was covered with snow and the weather was chilled and beautiful.

The fireplaces in the lodge are enormous but wood is plentiful.

Charlie took it upon himself to keep the multiple fireplaces ablaze in the old lodge.

These 3 ladies created beautiful meals all weekend.

The kitchen staff created simple yet elegant food to feed the 50+ guests who had come to honor the deceased.

A variety of cheese served with crispy flatbread and hot cider was welcome after a long walk in the snow.

We helped ourselves to multiple courses beginning with cheese trays.

A colorful buffet luncheon was set up in the breakfast room.

Then we enjoyed a salad course which included tomatoes and mozzarella with light olive oil dressing.

The dining room was lit with candles and vintage lamps.

The main course was also served buffet style which we carried to a table with beautiful flowers and candles.

A large, casual flower arrangement graced the front hall.

Other exquisite flower arrangements were scattered throughout the lodge. Charlie and I were grateful to be included in such a beautiful and poignant affair.

Have you been to a recent event that touched your heart?

A New Window in The Cottage

Recently Sug, who lives in Glade Cottage, determined that a stained glass window would look nice in the small window near the kitchen sink that overlooks the woods.

The window in the kitchen area has a sylvan view.

The color scheme in The Cottage is generally aqua blue and ruby red with heavy doses of white.

The hummingbird from Cuba can be taken apart in 4 pieces — wings and beak come off.

For no particular reason I had started getting hummingbird items for Sug because we have both become fascinated by them. When I saw this stained glass window at Plow and Hearth on sale I texted it to Sug.

The window package.

Sug ordered it and it came in a few days very well-packed in styrofoam.

Plow and Hearth window.

When she unpacked it we were both excited to see that the window (18″ by 24″) was in the colors of The Cottage.

Well-built stained glass window with hummingbirds.

And it fit the window almost perfectly.

The window is bright and beautiful.

Ultimately the plan is to hang the stained glass in the top of the window.

What is your color scheme?

We Have a Tree

Today Charlie was intent on getting a Christmas tree.

The trees were tagged with different color ribbons denoting size range.

Happily there is a new Christmas tree lot about 1.5 miles down the hill.

Charlie inspected all sides of the tree to make sure it was full all around.

We looked all around at the Fraser firs, white pines, and Douglas firs. Charlie always likes the biggest tree he can find.  I am the voice of reason.

Santa wanted to know if Charlie has been naughty or nice.

While we were at the tree lot Charlie was able to get a message to Santa about gifts he was looking forward to receiving.

An electric chain saw makes quick work of a cut to the trunk.

When we got back to selecting a tree we finally chose a Douglas fir which has soft short needles. The lot manager cut off some bottom limbs and fresh cut the bottom of the trunk.

The lot manager helped Charlie tie the tree to the top of his car.

The tree was then wrapped in mesh to hold it together for the short ride home on top of Charlie’s car.

Our Douglas fir Christmas tree for 2018.

We’ll keep the tree in a bucket of water on the porch for a few days until we have time to set it up properly in the living room.

Is your tree already up? Are you planning for a different holiday?

Moving Things Around

Number 7 of my 101 in 1001 is to get rid of 50 books.

There are some very good books in this pile.

I was planning to give away a pile of children’s books.

The book pile is finally diminished.

Recently I answered an ad on from a pediatric doctor at Johns Hopkins requesting children’s books in good condition. They are getting at least 50 books.

We brought in the Greek olive tree first because it was the smallest and the closest.

We also brought the olive trees in the house during the cold weather.

Three trees are lined up behind a loveseat in the conservatory.

They have grown significantly since we bought them in 2013 and are much more difficult to move.

What are you discarding? Or growing?

Thanksgiving Day on the Severn River

Our Thanksgiving road trip started with a an almost serious incident.

The red sled has a busted light and a cracked bumper.

About 5 miles away from home a deer hit Sug’s car and broke a headlight.  Fortunately no one was hurt and her car still ran. Whew!

We stayed overnight near Annapolis, Maryland’s capital.

We had a beautiful time at our AirBnB on the Severn River in Maryland.

Charlie and I walked down the road at our hostess’s suggestion to see the sun rise above the horizon.

The weather was cold so we didn’t actually get on the water but the sunrise was stunning.

Looking southward on the Severn River about 8 miles north of the Chesapeake Bay.

The view from the deck of our accommodations was calm and serene this morning.

Every house has its own boat dock.

We enjoyed coffee with our hosts’ parents and found ourselves simpatico in many areas.

The Severn River, tributary to the Chesapeake Bay.

We would certainly stay here again in warmer weather.

How was your holiday?