Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Inevitable Has Arrived

I'm sure, from this title, you can already tell just how excited I was (Not!) that we got our first measurable (4 in) snow from late Saturday through Sunday night....

So in great part, chalk that attitude up to yet another intestinal bugaboo that decided to attack my stomach this past weekend! Losing two days in bed during a holiday weekend just wasn't my idea of a good time ... then to top it off, very cold temperatures and snow ... just the thing to get you in the (some kind of) spirit, eh? Fortunately, Fernymoss actually enjoys the first few real snows (until the serious shoveling starts), so while I laid low in bed, he ventured out to capture some scenes around Casa IVG. So here are couple to start with:

This first shot is, obviously, the as yet un-removed decimated maple in back (now nicknamed the "Sleepy Hollow Tree") against the background of other snowy trees and a clearly heavy sky. I like this shot a lot, and oddly enough, to my eye it seems to resemble a certain character from The Nightmare Before Christmas ... can you say/suggest who that might be? Then again, I may still be burned out from that virus --and seeing things-- that finally started to give up on me earlier this evening ... decide for yourself.





















This second shot is one of a number of close ups Fernymoss took of various plants around the garden (more to come soon). This detail is the Miscanthus sinensis (Porcupine Grass) laid low by recent winds and now snow. Though a good portion of the stand is still upright, some has inevitably fallen down and will remain that way until we cut it all back in early Spring (oh so far away, Spring!). Having said all that, I do think this is a lovely shot Fernymoss captured here ... there are some advantages to dead plants in winter bearing snow (ever notice how cool Coneflower cones look with a topping of snow?). In the next few posts, we'll be choosing some of the other 'make the best of winter' pictures we got from this first snow.

Ok, so I'm not adjusting well to Winter just yet and I'd better get with the program, eh? Oh, I will eventually when things thaw just a bit before the Christmas rush, which we both vow we're going to ramp down significantly this year. We, as I'm sure a lot of other folks, are scaling back our usual holiday gift giving and extravagances in these uncertain economic times. After all, it's probably a good thing to get back to less consumerist ways (something I've always agreed with in principle) and just remind ourselves modestly (via material things) that what really counts is our togetherness in a shared journey (upon which no one can place a price). That's our goal, at least....

Of course we intend to celebrate in our own modest yet festive way ... we're just going to buy a smaller tree this year, not spend much (if anything) on decorations (besides we have way too many already!), and take back accumulated cans and bottles for the refund to fund our "Christmas Fund" for buying gifts. Pay cash for almost everything we do buy (though I'll probably shop some at Amazon, but the card will be paid off before it accumulates interest, 'deadbeat' that I am), and limit ourselves to a single, fixed amount. I see no problems with that, as that is how we usually do things, but this year we're cutting the budget by at least half of what we have spent in the past, when, honestly, we've both overdone it to the degree of excess.

I think we can still have a memorable, warm and meaningful holiday season despite it all ... and in more moderation than in years past. Who knows? All the stress we usually put ourselves through just might tone down or disappear this year! I'm not going to bake for all the neighbors and friends this year (so there go a few really busy stress-filled days and nights), though I do enjoy some of it. Just a few batches of cookies for family, some candy perhaps, but nothing more than one night's work... I might even want to eat some of the stuff I bake this time around! (Believe me, when you're making 20 or so cookie/candy trays, the appetite is the first thing to go.) We can have our usual quiet Christmas Eve dinner together (probably a turkey breast and sides), seeing my sister and her friend and exchanging a few small gifts, topped off by some champagne and a well chosen movie to end the night. But I get ahead of myself, after all it's only December 2, but that's kind of how we envision dialing things down this year, but still enjoying ourselves.... Simple. Sweet. At home, where we're happiest. Isn't that what we all aspire to every year, but so frequently don't achieve?

Anyway, Christmas Ornament Blogging will arrive in a week or two here! So stay tuned for more to come....

Photos by Fernymoss, taken on 30 November, 2008.

18 comments:

Shady Gardener said...

So sorry you're still not feeling well. I was going to say "Under the Weather..." but decided not to. ;-)

Anticipating good activities and memory-making events is a good way to ease through doldrums. As you anticipate your future posts, Ferny's photos, ornaments, and good times... keep us posted!! Just remember we'll be enjoying it all, too! :-)

Here's hoping you lick that viral bug before long!!!

FARfetched said...

Hope you get to feeling better, IVG. That's you, Maria, and Mrs. Fetched not going 100% at the moment.

We've got to get our tree up too. Had a little snow yesterday, which helps to get me in the mood. Maybe Daughter Dearest will come back for the weekend & she'll help Mrs. Fetched put it up — I like to see some tree, and they like to load the sucker up 'til it's groaning. Plus, I keep putting the six-pack ornament on, and they keep taking it off. Spoilsports. :-P

boran2 said...

I hope that you feel better soon, IVG. We are also keeping things a bit smaller this year. I pulled out the menorah just yesterday.

BTW, nice photos!

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Shady,
LOL, I was a bit more than under the weather, more like subterranean! :-) I'm hoping that this will be the last round of such bugs for quite some time... I've had way more than my share the past few months.

Don't worry, I'll cook up something to post about regularly if work/life will just cooperate a bit more than lately. We've both been putting in very long hours for what seems forever without much of a break.

We hope to have simpler holidays as I said, so we can just relax a few brief days and enjoy them....

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hey FAR,
Sounds like the bugs are going around down your way too, with Mrs. Fetched down for the count as well.

You're welcome to our snow! We are supposed to get 3-5 in. more tomorrow, blecch! We might go get a tree this weekend, but it's not going to be very warm at all (highs in the 20s) so we'll have to pick one out quick!

We tend to really pack our tree too, but always leave tree visible...it's the lights we can't really resist. We're going all LED this year, which can be pricey, but they seem to be the smarter, longer lived way to go these days.

Put your Seigneurial foot down about that ornament! Threaten them to put it somewhere really prominent if they don't leave it alone, hehe. We like to tuck funky ornaments like our Wine Bottle and Champagne fountain in those little nooks our trees usually have, just as a surprise.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hey B2,
Thanks, I'm on the mend now (at least for the moment)! Hope you don't find this weird, because even though I'm not Jewish (or even religious) I've always wanted a Menorah. I just think they're really cool, and I like the whole candle lighting ritual that goes with them. I love seeing the huge Menorah that the Jewish Center/School puts up not far from here ... it's about 25 ft tall! Quite bright too!

olivia said...

Hi toots ... *sigh* ... yeah, that grey sky ... :/

Fernymoss' pix are lovely. I can't think of the character from Nightmare before Christmas -- have only seen it once. (I know, I know!) :D

Get feeling better!

Annie in Austin said...

A question from Aunt Annie: What the heck did you put in that cheeseball, IVG? Are you sure you have a bug and not a touch of food poisoning?

The tree has its own beauty, even if you're not ready for real snow.

Down here we could get frost tomorrow, but should be 75+ today before the cold front arrives. It's windy and dangerously dry with some fire danger. Not too Christmasy!

Perhaps watching Pushing Daisies tonight will further your return to health ;-]

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Manuél said...

hope you're feeling better today, IVG

i'm thinking Oogie Boogie

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hey Toots,
I'm sure you're done with grey snowy skies already after last year! Pardon my whining so much :-)>

Check out that newly remastered Nightmare it's magnificent, and I bet it would really shine on your big screen set up. *jealous*

Feeling better every day, now if I could just stop working 10-11 hrs/day, I could avoid the next bug in the pipeline...

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Well hi there, Aunt Annie!

I'm pretty sure it wasn't the cheese ball because I'm the only who ate it who got sick. I think the stomach cramps are part bug/part work stress, but either way, it's no fun.

I think we'll do more pictures of the tree, at least until we finally get rid of it, because it does look cool.

We got another 2 in. of snow today and now into the bitter cold mode (I'm sure you know it well!). Sorry to hear you're getting frost, and being so dry too!

I have Daisies recorded on the DVR, but we haven't watched it yet. The story sounded fun ... death at a Comfort Food Fest? Hmmm

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hola Manny!

Qué tal en tu rincón del mundo? Espero que tu vayas bien, y Bud también! Me voy mucho mejor hoy, gracias.

You nailed it, amigo! Precisely Oogie Boogie, congrats! I'm glad someone besides me made that connection, but up against that sky....

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Oogie Boogie? I thought it looked like the mad scientist (with his head thrown back). (And I'm not even sick.) At least the snow looks nice.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi MMD,
Oogie Boogie it was! You know your Nightmare, eh? :-)

Looks like we have another 5-8 in. on the way starting tomorrow night into Tuesday, *sigh.* I am so not into this so far! Guess we'll have to scramble to get our tree tomorrow night, since that didn't happen today (see most recent post).

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