The Happy New Year Blog!
Morning After Blog
Good Morning! Nothing like a pick-me-up after a party, so help yourselves and dig in.
And for those of you that might need it:
Wed. Night Drop In @ 8 P.M.
OK, guys, we're gonna party outside in the backyard tonight! So, if you get here early, just gather round the bonfire, make yourself at home and pop open a cold one of your choice. Got some tables set up for the food, coolers for the drinks. We're gonna need to carry some of the stuff over here from the previous blog. I wasn't expecting to have anything dropped off quite that early! LOL
(Looks like the last one to leave DID put the bonfire out!
Bring your lawn chairs, and if you have some wood laying around, you can haul it over and throw it on the heap behind the shed, in case we need it.
I'll be back at 8 sharp. Have some last minute preparations to finish up in the kitchen.
Updated: 12:40 PM GMT on December 28, 2006
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Merry Christmas From Me to You
Adoration of the Magi by Gerard David
Since I will not be home for Christmas Eve and most of Christmas Day, I will not be able to make the rounds and post my greetings to all of you individually. This entry will have to suffice. I hope you will all forgive me!
When I joined WU in October of last year, I had no idea that I would be finding so many good friends. It still amazes me that I can care so much about people that I haven't met face to face. We've partied, laughed and joked together. We've provided shoulders to cry on, prayers and support for each other during rough times. We've cheered each other on, with our various endeavors. Many of us have become more than friends; we've become family, whether we've met or not.
From our house, to yours: I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.
Updated: 2:24 AM GMT on December 24, 2006
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Christmas Has Gone To The Birds!
As you decorate for the holidays, consider creating a Christmas tree for the birds. This is a fun project for the entire family. You may already have a suitable tree in your existing landscaping. Any small tree, evergreen or deciduous, can be used. It would probably be best to select one no taller than 6 or 8 feet, for ease in reaching the entire thing. Be sure to select a tree close to a window, so that your visitors can be observed.
There are all kinds of things that can be used as decorations. Here are some basic suggestions. Links to recipes and other sites on decorating outdoor trees for the birds are provided below. Most of them are pretty similiar but may mention something that the others don't.
*String pop corn or cranberries. (Note: Do not use fishing line or thread as birds could become tangled in it) Use thin twine or ribbon. Use plain unbuttered popcorn.
*Mix 1/2 part peanut butter and 1/2 part yellow corn meal, then spread it on pinecones and attach them to your tree.
*Spread bagels thinly with peanut butter, then sprinkle with small seeds such as millet, thistle, or a finch mix.
*Ears of dried corn attached to the tree.
*String unsalted peanuts in the shell with thin twine or ribbon.
*Whole, dried sunflower heads attached with thin twine or ribbon.
*Use holiday cookie cutters to cut shapes from white or whole wheat bread. Make a hole on top before bread dries. When dried out, spread with peanut butter, sprinkle with bird seed, and pull thin twine or ribbon through hole. Attach to tree.
If you do not have a suitable live tree in your yard, consider recycling your indoor tree after the holidays, rather than placing it on the curb as trash.
And think about adding some plants, shrubs and trees to your existing landscaping that will provide food for the birds next winter.
From Birds and Blooms, Extra January 2007 issue:
Here are some "Berry Good" choices:
Barberry (Berberis species) Zones 3-8 (Invasive in some areas)
Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana) Zones 2-8
Coffeeberry (Rhamnus californica) Zones 7-9
Crabapple (Malus species) Zones 3-8
Highbush cranberry (Viburnum trilobum) Zones 2-7
Manzanita (Arctostaphylos species) Zones 8-10
Mountain Ash (Sorbus species) Zones 2-7
Mulberry (Morus species) Zones 4-8
Pagoda Dogwood (Cornus alternifolia) Zones 3-7
Serviceberry (Amelanchier species) Zones 2-9
Southern Waxmyrtle (Myrica cerifera) Zones 7-9
Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) Zones 4-9
Sweetbay (Magnolia virginiana) Zones 5-9
Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) Zones 3-9
Washington Hawthorn (Crataegus phaenopyrum) Zones 3-8
Winterberry (Ilex verticillata) Zones 3-9
Recycling Your Holiday Tree For The Birds
Christmas Trees and More
A Christmas Tree For The Birds
Don't Throw Out Your Christmas Tree
Christmas Treats For The Birds
Recipes For The Birds
More Recipes For The Birds
Dawned on me that it might be helpful if I provided a Zone map, so that ya'll could see which of the plants I listed are suitable for your area: Zone Finder from ArborDay.Org
And don't forget to put out some water! If you don't have a birdbath, any shallow container placed on the ground will do. Garbage can lids or those saucers you place under potted plants. If they freeze overnight, be sure to pour some hot tap water in them to thaw them out. For those of you that live in areas with ice and snow, you can buy heated birdbaths and birdbath heaters that will keep the water from freezing.
Updated: 11:35 PM GMT on December 10, 2006
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The tradition of decorating indoors with greenery and trees dates back thousands of years, usually as a celebration of the winter solstice. The Egyptians brought in green date palm leaves to celebrate life's triumph over death. The Romans also marked the winter solstice with a festival called Saturnalia, in honor of the God of Agriculture. Druids in Great Britain used holly and mistletoe as symbols of eternal life and to keep away evil spirits.
In Germany and Scandinavia during the Middle Ages, evergreen trees were placed inside, or just outside, homes in hopes of the coming spring. Martin Luther is credited with beginning the tradition of decorating trees to celebrate Christmas. Hessian soldiers fighting in the American Revolution most likely introduced the Christmas tree tradition to what was to become the United States.
The tradition spread slowly but took off during the Victorian Era. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, both of whom were German, put up the first Christmas tree at Windsor Castle in 1841. It became very fashionable to set up and decorate trees at Christmas. Trees were decorated with candles, fruit, nuts, small wrapped gifts and paper cut-outs.
F.W. Woolworth is credited with introducing the first glass ornaments to the U.S. in 1890. The best glass ornaments were produced in Germany from the 1870's to the 1930's. Glass ornament production declined in Germany after WWII. Quantity, rather than quality, became the norm.
There are many different styles of tree decorating. Some people go for all-out, load it up with everything you can, styles. Some opt for Victorian or other old fashioned themes. Some choose ultra modern or choose a color theme. How many of you remember those aluminum trees from the 60's? There are even upside down Christmas trees, which actually have their origin in 12th century Central Europe, and represented the Trinity.
Today, Christmas trees are displayed with the tip pointing to heaven. Some think an upside down Christmas tree is disrespectful or sacrilegious.
Then there are lights. No one uses candles today, as they are a definite fire hazard. Arguments abound on the subject of lights. All white? One color or mixed colors? Big bulbs or little ones? Flashing or non-flashing? Personally, I love those old fashioned bubble lights, if I ever decide to go back to color. Otherwise, I prefer all white, flashing mini-lights.
And there are so many types of ornaments. Bought and homemade. Paper and glass. Religous and secular. Wooden and plastic. Modern or vintage. Some people spend a lot of money, collecting those old German glass ornaments.
Whether you go with traditional or modern, fake or real, table top or 12 footers, palm trees, firs or bare-bones branches, Christmas trees reflect the personality of their owners and decorators. Share with us your tree decorating styles and/or themes. Make your own ornaments? How about sharing some crafting suggestions for tree ornaments?
Christmas Tree from Wikipedia.
Traditions: Christmas Trees and Ornaments
Christmas Tree Traditions
Symbols, Customs and Traditions
Christmas Tree Traditions from Around the World
How To Decorate An Old Fashioned Christmas Tree
Homemade Christmas Ornaments
Family Fun Christmas Ornaments
Christmas Tree Decorating
Homemade Ornaments from Crafty Chic
Victorian Decorating Ideas
Updated: 8:56 PM GMT on December 03, 2006
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