Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A View From the Top

Tonight, let's take a look at what's going on at the top of the tree, and as you can see, there's quite a bit! In fact, the tops of our trees are always really densely packed with all sorts of stuff ... faux fruit and berries and dried plants and whatever else strikes Fernymoss' fancy. He's fully in charge of the top, since I can't reach up that far anyway, so I just let him go wild....
Now, I'm sure you're wondering what on earth a witch is doing at the top of our tree ... it's simple, she's flying by the Blue Moon seen just to her left in this shot. Of course the witch has her story ... several years ago we were shopping at World Market near Christmas and Fernymoss spotted this one and immediately fell in love with her. He was, however, daunted by the price (I think it was about $15 or so), feeling a bit tapped out, so I convinced him to pass it by. Then, while he wasn't looking, I snuck back and concealed it in my cart so he wouldn't see it. Later, during the same trip, he decided to go back and spring for it, but alas, she was gone! (They only had one on display.) So he was a bit disappointed, but resigned to missing his chance ... I gave him my best 'Maybe we'll find one next year' (or some such subterfuge) and that settled that. All the rest of time in the store I was sure he'd spot it in the cart, but fortunately he didn't see her, even when I checked out in a separate lane from him.

So, I wrapped her up and saved her for Christmas Eve, when we allow each other to open one gift early ... when he got through the wrapping and found her, he was overjoyed to have her on board, but wondered how I'd managed to pull this off without him noticing (same reaction I had!) ... so now, she always has her place of honor flying by our Blue Moon for a few weeks every year. What was odd, was that year, World Market had all sorts of Halloween themed ornaments, such as Jack O'Lanterns, Pumpkin Scarecrows and Ghosts ... I didn't quite get it, but thought they were fun. This is, however, the only one who got to come home with us and we hope she'll stay for many years!

This shot is a view slightly down from where the witch is, and of course the mushroom commands all the attention here, but you can also get a good idea of what other organic sorts of ornaments we have packed in there.... That bit of feather you can see is the butt end of one of our many birds, in case you were wondering! We should get some better shots of the birds because I could do a whole post alone on the several types of birds that land in our tree ... that might still happen, but time is getting short and I can't be ornament blogging all the way into January, lol. Later tonight I'll have some more shots of the tree and the loot underneath it, as well as what we're having for our Christmas Eve Nosh-Fest ... maybe even a recipe if I still have any energy left after a day of cooking and baking!

In years past, I spent days baking
cookies and making candy to give to friends and neighbors as gifts, but this year, I just don't have the energy or motivation, and since we've dialed down and have been strictly controlling our spending, we just decided to skip it this year. I feel a bit guilty about that, but I'll still struggle with the cookie press to make a batch of buttery Spritz cookies (the best!) and a batch of "Snowballs" (aka: Mexican Wedding Cakes), because I do like making them, but just not in the usual mega quantities I have in the past, so I'm hoping it will be fun this year. We're hopinig that 2009 will be a better year for us, less dark and unsettling than 2008, and when Christmas rolls around next year, with any luck I'll be in a better state of mind and energy to go back to my older, more generous ways.... And, with any luck, we'll also have a new, lovable pup in our lives come next December to bring joy and spirit to the season ... I'd be lying if I didn't say that is something that is sorely missing this year, the first time in 11 years together we haven't had dogs celebrating with us at Christmas. So, we'll mark this transitional period as best we can this year and look forward to the coming year, where at some point, the scurrying pitter pat of little paws will be heard in the house again....

More snow on the way tonight, after last night's new snow, so if predictions are correct, we should have over 6" on the ground by Christmas ... not a huge amount by Iowa standards, but these little storms have just been too regular of late that they've been wearing us down with all the shoveling taking time away from the more enjoyable holiday preparations. But, as I constantly remind myself, that's winter in Iowa!


Annie in Austin said...

Happy Christmas Eve, IVG and Fernymoss - there's been little time for blog-visits lately, so I'm seeing your tree-blogging all at once and am finding it both lovely and overwhelming. It's obvious that for you, the tree really is a both a personal expression and a form of art, and that you've put your wallet where where your tastes lie when choosing ornaments.

I bought the white lights, and every couple of years pick up more plain glass balls to add some shine, but both Philo & I come from fairly large families, had 4 kids, more than one flooded basement and have moved several times. Most of what ornaments survived were chosen by relatives and friends and given to us over the last 40+ years. There are a lot of glass santas and bears, some garden-type ornaments and a few feet of what remains of heirloom glass beads. And three pickles in slightly different shades of green ;-]

Hope you have a wonderful holiday!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Gail said...

Didn't Annie capture so well the spirit of your tree! It is a beautiful expression of you and Fernymoss! Your tree is beautiful...the witch is perfect and the story of how you snuck it home for Fernymoss is delightful!

A new puppy in this very loving household will be will know your friend as soon as you meet him or her!

Take care, have lovely evening and may Santa surprise you tomorrow!


Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Merry Christmas, Annie!
What a wonderful way to describe how we view the whole endeavor, and you're absolutely right, too! I shudder to think of the real "wallet impact" over the last 11 years, lol.

That's too bad you've lost much over the years, but that sort of thing is inevitable, I suppose. Did you put your pickles on the tree this year?

Hope you had a great day today too! I got a cold that hit me last night, but otherwise it was a very nice day. Just had to drag my grocery bag and box of kleenex with me everywhere!

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Gail,
Yes indeed she did! Glad you liked the story about the witch, it was almost more fun to recount than it actually was to accomplish!

We got to spend the afternoon with Lacey, the big old Golden love sponge, so that was really nice to have a loving dog around if only for a few hours. Was tough coming home to a quiet, empty house though.

Despite my new cold (just what I wanted for Christmas!), it was a very relaxing day.