CHRISTMAS TIME

Sometimes we get so caught up in the crazy rush of the holiday season, that we lose sense of time.  Adults feel there aren’t enough minutes to the day; children feel that Christmas day will never arrive. The expectation of Christmas morning is overwhelming.  It is Christmas time.  IMG_2917 Last week, I took a step back in time when I volunteered at a historic home, the Reinhard House, built in 1840 and one of only two pre- Civil War  farm houses surviving in Savannah.  Now owned and maintained by the Savannah Area Council of Garden Clubs, the home and garden are open to visitors.    This  fireplace reminds you of the many hours spent tending the fires for cooking and heating water.  I wrote about visiting the garden behind this house in a July post to this blog, when it was over 100 degrees!  The air was cooler on this December morning, but  the roses are still blooming. (In December!)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA This friendly feline is still greeting visitors in the garden. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The quiet in the garden was welcome and I was grateful for the undisturbed time.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Nature was showing her Winter colors. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASpeaking of Nature, I joined a boat trip through the Savannah Wildlife Refuge on the Savannah River yesterday.  It began as a very cold gray morning, IMG_2939but ended on a sunny note.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  What a wonderful way to escape the usual madness of the holidays!  With the rise and fall of the tides,  Nature reminds us of her power.  There is no way to rush or slow the tides.  She needs no twinkling lights or grand design schemes to make the season bright.  The countdown to Christmas is a stopwatch we set ourselves;  be assured that out in the marshes of coastal Georgia, there is no such measure.

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PALM TREES AND Pansies

Christmas is coming , play the music!

Christmas in Connecticut often saw  a sprinkling of snow, but almost always chill weather,  but when it was too balmy, getting out the Christmas decorations and turning up the volume on the Christmas carols was

sure to put you in the spirit!  IMG_2876

This will be our first Christmas in the South.  Instead of seeing bright flashes of red cardinals against a snowy landscape, we see our friends of the slithery type checking out the warm temperatures!IMG_2857

The landscape has changed but the holiday sights and sounds are similar.  Christmas trees with twinkly lights and imaginative ornaments IMG_2873spark the warm holiday spirit, but in coastal Georgia we don’t need a roaring fire to get those warm feelings!  (Chilly nights here do call for a gas lit fire and a glass of bourbon, don’t get me wrong – this isn’t Florida!!)

Changing out the urns with evergreens and red bows seemed right, but adding the pansies was something different!   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Palm trees and pansies!

I will be observing the Southern traditions of Christmas, and hoping to incorporate them into our family traditions!  In the meantime, stockings

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will be hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas will soon be here!

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I won’t be dreaming of a White Christmas, but there is much to said for a GREEN CHRISTMAS!

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Dog Snoods In GEORGIA

All across our country, a cold front has brought plunging temperatures in the last week.  Coastal Georgia was not spared!  Moving to temperate Georgia, I thought that the beautiful snoods that my sister knitted for the spoiled girls, would be put away in case there were any Wintry trips North.  But we had plunging temperatures in the 30’s!  Two of my all time popular blog posts are about snoods for the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, so it seemed time to revisit the subject.  Put the light fabric snoods away and get out the wool!  This is what the Cavaliers had to say about that!

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Oh no, here she comes with the PRETTY snood that I’m not supposed to dip in the food bowl!  P.S.  When is the needlepoint pillow of ME going to be finished?

Sister, what do you think about this?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Just smile, let her take the picture, and we’re out of here!

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It’s never that easy!  She wants everything PERFECT!

Psst, here’s my plan……..

You are going where?  Escape?  Oh no!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Just because she has the camera in front of her face, doesn’t mean she can’t see what we’re up to!!!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Okay, run!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Wait, I almost forgot the magic ball!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Wishing all my readers a Happy Thanksgiving!  May your  week ahead  be filled with food, fun, family, dogs  and thanks!   At the heart of the controversy over immigration reform, I think we can accept, with the exception of the native North American Indians, that we are ALL descended from immigrants.  Open your heart, be part of the discussion, but never forget the blessings  immigrants have brought our nation.  THANK YOU to my  family – some came on one of the first ships to arrive, true Pilgrims in a strange land, and others followed from England, France and Germany.  Wherever you are from, remember to be thankful for your ancestors who bravely came to this land for a better life.   Giving Thanks!

 

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Skidaway goes to SCAD

Another adventure in Savannah today.  Sunny and 70’s, and we stepped out from Skidaway Island on to the Savannah brick IMG_2610to get a taste of SCAD.  The Savannah College of Art & Design has an incredible “campus” mostly within the Savannah historic district.  The excitement and creativity of the students and faculty is everywhere! IMG_2553 The growth of this world-renowned college has coincided with the rebirth of one of the oldest cities in the United States.  As I have explored the many layers of Savannah, this has been one of the most exciting places to discover.  We met at the Welcome Center on Bull Street where new life was painted on even the most venerable of structures. IMG_2559 Paintings greeted the visitors at every turn. IMG_2557 A fabulous sculpture invited prospective students to create a card with a few short lines describing what they aspired to and what inspires them.  The cards were then tied on to the hanging cords, pulled and a light bulb turns on – with hopes that SCAD would, in the future, throw light on those aspirations!  IMG_2552Love that!

Because this is the week of the Savannah Film Festival, we toured the area of the school that related to those areas of study.   A theater,IMG_2603 a sound studio, IMG_2602film making, IMG_2591photography….I was absolutely dizzy with the possibilities offered to young minds and creative spirits.  The areas created for students to work and to gather were just incredible!  IMG_2600 IMG_2598 IMG_2594 IMG_2588 IMG_2583Do you know a young artist or student interested in architectural history, cinema, design, fashion, fibers, IMG_2568jewelry, film & t.v., industrial design, photography, sound, sequential art, urban design, writing……?  This is the place to be!  The sky is the limit!

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The morning ended with a great lunch at Gryphon. IMG_2612The tour left us hungry, for food, but not for inspiration – we had a mountain of that!IMG_2606

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Savannah Treat – Cohen’s Retreat for Review

I went off the beaten path on this beautiful afternoon in Savannah.  Sunny skies and temperatures in the 70’s made it the perfect afternoon to explore.  Since I am meeting someone for lunch next week at Cohen’s Retreat, I decided to take a trip in that direction to be sure I knew my way.  I drove past twice as I was not expecting the large brick building behind an iron fence to be a restaurant.  Indeed I later did a little research and discovered that this was formerly a home for old men.  A Mr. Cohen of Savannah gave his fortune to securing a place for elderly men so that they would receive good care and not have to die alone.  The old age home closed in the 90’s, and the building has now become a center for artisans and the newest spot to dine on the outskirts of Savannah.  IMG_2498There is a coffee/juice bar and a fabulous restaurant, and some lovely private dining areas. IMG_2500Also housed in this mammoth building:  Katherine Mathis Van Tosh’s marketing and branding business, Revolver Studios: Evelyn Scott’s upholstery business, FOWD (Fish Out of Water Designs); Elizabeth Demos’ event planning and photo styling studio; and an urban farming business, Victory Gardens, owned and operated by Reid Archer, Kerry Shay and David Hislop.   Just opened in June, this  augurs to be a destination spot for Savannah residents as well as the many visitors to this fine city who want to go off the beaten path.  Today, I took a quick whirl through so let me show you a small sampling of what I found there!  First, you enter through the front door, beautifully decorated with Autumn’s offerings. IMG_2487  As you enter the main space, you are drawn to the comfort of this sitting area and foyer.

Cohen's Retreat entry

Cohen’s Retreat entry

They are ready for Halloween, which isn’t my favorite holiday, but they were clever and I had to smile at the entrance to the dining room. IMG_2501 For the blue & white lovers out there, surely you would find something begging to be purchased in this room.  IMG_2488

IMG_2495 Dog lovers will enjoy this room!  Below are some well priced art/craft works;  I’d love to purchase them to hang in our guest room! IMG_2499Each room had its own personality and everything was displayed with style, IMG_2497and curated well.IMG_2498Truly, something for everyone!   IMG_2489IMG_2491IMG_2492IMG_2493

SOMETHING had to go home with me, so it was a dahlia plate from this room.  Readers, you know how the flowers call out!  Just buying this little plate made me want to entertainIMG_2494 – time to get out the invitations! IMG_2483As I had flowers in the car and groceries that needed to get home, I couldn’t explore all the spaces, but soon after lunch at Cohen’s Retreat next week, I will be drawn back here again and again!

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Fall Farming, Organically Speaking

Renting a small garden plot at Skidaway Farm makes us farmers, I guess.  I certainly don’t feel like a farmer when gardening next to so many accomplished vegetable gardeners.

Skidaway farm

Skidaway farm

IMG_0436 Give me a flower seed, tuber or bulb and I can grow with the best of them, but vegetables have always been a mystery. We chose a plot in the organic section, rather than the “conventional” section. I saw dahlias growing in the organic section,IMG_0449 and their vegetables look healthy,IMG_0438 though never as over sized as in the conventional section!   IMG_0439So, I guess I made it harder for us from the start.   When the baby snails showed up, we had to hand pick, and when the caterpillars arrived, we tried Dipel and soap and water spray.  But the conventional gardeners must use bad stuff that insures  flawless leavesIMG_0447 because they sure don’t get chewed like my poor broccoli rabe or lettuce.  IMG_0444 Here are some scenes from the fall gardening going on in Georgia this morning!IMG_0445 IMG_0437 IMG_0440 IMG_0441 IMG_0442What are you planting in your fall vegetable garden?  Are you trying to go ORGANIC?

 

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Autumn Turnings

This week I entered a photo in a class called Turn, turn, turn.

‘There is a season – turn, turn, turn.” Pete Seeger

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Ultimately I used an older photo, but the assignment gave me reason to get outside on a perfect Autumn day in Georgia to see what was turning.  Camera in basket, I set off on my bicycle.   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs a recent transplant here in the South, when my thoughts turn to Autumn, expressions from the New England area  are what come to mind.  But here in Georgia, OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthe sun is still very warm and strong.  People still sit by the pool, and my flip-flops still wait by the back door.  The sign that October is really here is often seen at my neighbors’ door steps.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPumpkins, mums, and crotons mean we have turned the page over on Summer.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe canna still bloom, but it is against a deeper, richer glow of the sun, which no longer climbs so high overhead.  The shadows are remarkable.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My thoughts turned not so much to the Summer just past, but to a year past, and I reflected on where I was last October.  Last year Home was in a place far North of Georgia, and my circle of friends and family were in a safe and stable place.  How life can turn things upside down and over and out, every which way!  When  Autumn taps you on the shoulder with her outrageous colors, where do your thoughts turn?

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NEON NOTEPADS!!!

Jayne on Weed Street:

My daughter is way ahead of me – thinking ahead to the holidays. And when it comes to personalized and monogrammed gifts, you need to be ahead of the rush!  I have reflagged her post from her fabulous blog.  Be in touch with her for your early Christmas orders!!

Her business, Smallfield Papers is growing by leaps and bounds!

http://www.smallfieldpapers.wordpress.com

 

 

Originally posted on Small Field Papers Blog:

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I’m in LOVE with these new NEON notepads by Haute Papier!!
Not only are the colors amazing, but the fonts are incredible as well!  It’s going to be so hard to figure out which color, font and size I will want to order for myself!
These make such fun gifts!!  They will dress up and make any desk a little more colorful and fun!!
Definitely be in touch with me to place your Holiday orders!

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Never Enough Nantucket

 

Nantucket is a place that has many faces.  I can never get enough of it.   Though it is a small island 30 miles out to sea,  there is DSC_3889something for everyone.  Nantucket history can be found in the buildingsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand over the cobblestone streets.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADSC_3681One needs only to hop a bicycle or even go by foot to see the wide Atlantic ocean from a nearby beach. IMG_2249 Fishing, sailing, surfing DSC_3703and swimming make this an active summer place.  Book shops, art galleries, museums and shops abound, for every taste.  IMG_2215Shoppers won’t leave empty handed.IMG_2219 I found an Anne Packard painting that I wanted to take home,

Anne Packard

Anne Packard

but how to get it home in the car with two cavaliers in tow?  DSC_3753The restaurants are world class and you never know who may be at the table next to yours!

two titans of the antique world at Chanticleer Restaurant

two titans of the antique world at
Chanticleer Restaurant

September is a beautiful time to visit.  Many of the roses are beginning to producing hips, but some still bloom.  DSC_3728The wide range of late blooming flowersDSC_3805 make up for any June bloomer you may be missing!  DSC_3733 The window boxes never cease to amaze me.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  The variety is appealing and each one is more beautiful that the last!  IMG_2209The September skies produce sunsets that know no rival.

Dionis Beach

Dionis Beach

Nantucket is the kind of place that makes you think you could write a novel, or paint a masterpiece, or weave a basket. DSC_3856 Each year that I leave, I am thankful that such a place exists, and grateful that there are good people in the world that work hard to make sure she stays so pristine.

Sconset Beach

Sconset Beach

This is a place that never loses its charm for my family.  It is etched in the soul for many who step upon her shores.IMG_2173

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Nantucket, Beyond Summer

I wonder how many summer visitors to the island of NantucketDSC_3891 have fantasized about not returning to their year round homes. DSC_3703 As Summer slips away and the summer tourists and visitors leave by ferry and plane, how many of those who have fallen in love with this small island, actually stay through Autumn?  I found out that September is a very beautiful time to be on Nantucket. DSC_3856 I’ve just returned and wish I could have stayed on and on. DSC_3825 I’d like to continue my daily walks around Brant Point, wander the cobblestone streetsDSC_3887 and end the day with golden sunsets. DSC_3762 I am tired from a long 3 day drive, and have hundreds of images to cull through, but I want to give you just a hint of the magic she shows…

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