Saturday, December 31, 2011

And, a Happy New Year!

Very best wishes to everyone for a lovely New Year's Eve - doing what you want with the ones you love best.

While we're at it, let's hope for more peace and tranquility in 2012; more troops stationed in North Carolina, Texas and California and many fewer in Afghanistan and Iraq.  (Yes, we still do have troops there.  Easy to forget them.)

Let's also hope for prosperity; an easing of the financial markets, more jobs, better pay and fewer people on unemployment insurance.  (It is insurance, not a giveaway.  All employers pay a portion based on their payroll.  If you've worked, you've earned your coverage.

And, how about a Congress that does something other than argue.  One that realizes that cooperation and collaboration are not dirty words.  One that remembers that they work for the people and not the special interests.

I'd also like to see a world  where it's fun again to fly.  Not thinking that will happen in 2012, tho.

And, finally, a world filled with flowers and the folks who grow them, arrange them, give them and love them.  If the mud boots fit, please wear them with pride!

Let's lift a glass [filled with the beverage of your choice, of course] to 2011. It was a good year, but one we have definitely worn out and used up. 

And then lift it again to 2012 - full of good food and flowers, and also full of hope, full of promise, full of exciting days to come!

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Lesson Learned

I mentioned a couple of days ago that I was not happy with my centerpiece, and actually that is not true.  I was rather satisfied  [ok, smug] that it turned out pretty much as I had envisioned it.  But there was a problem.

How it looked on December 23rd.
Had carefully planned my week so that Friday [when I did not have to work] I would be finished with everything else and only need to arrange the flowers.  Seemed like a good plan, given my stage fright when faced with cut flowers and a bowl.

Went to the florist on Thursday afternoon to get the flowers.  Passed up my grocery store - where I most often pick up flowers on the fly, and where the nice young lady was unpacking case after case of incoming flowers.  "Not fresh enough.  Been sitting in a box for a week. " I said to myself.  Instead, I went to my favorite florist where I had a wide variety of choices and where they let me wander in the cold room and choose what I wanted.

What I actually wanted was ranunculus - preferably red, white or green - but I would have taken any color they had.  They had no ranunculus at all.

Plan B.  I found a pre-made bunch of chrysanthemums, alstroemeria and greenery that was burgundy, green and white - perfect colors for my house, for the dish, and just exactly what I would have chosen given total freedom of choice.  I added a few white Gerberas and additional white and green mums and headed home very proud of my choices and pleased with my luck.  Oh, and they were less expensive than the ones I ofter get at the above-mentioned grocery store.  [More smugness!]

Back at home I recut the stems, put everything in a tall container of water with the food stuff and left it on the back porch until dark, then moving it into the kitchen for the night - next to the door where it was coolest.  I also cut many pieces of myrtle, rosemary and nandina to provide the basic greenery.
About half looked like this on Friday, and all of them by Monday.
Friday morning I found that the flowers were actually well past their peak.  I threw away at least half of the pre-packaged bunch, and used all of the extra flowers that I had picked out one-at-the-time.  I hear some of you [you know who you are!] yelling at me, "take them back for a refund", but it's Friday.  I don't want to drive all the way to the florist to see what they still have left.

The rest came out fine, well, at least ok.  They looked nice on the table and all my guests were men - I'm just saying ...  But, by Monday, they had to go.  And yes, I did continue to add water.  They were just old!  Fortunately, I had enough alstroemeria and nandina to fill a small vase and they still look good today.

But, I [hope] I learned to look more carefully next time and not get sucked in by finding what I thought I wanted without spending sufficient time to be sure that it was in good condition to start.  You all would have been smarter. 

And now, on toward New Year's Eve!

Monday, December 26, 2011

My 12 Days of Christmas

Day 12 - Christmas Dinner

Finally, the piece de resistance!  Dinner for three on Christmas Day with all the trimmings.

 Hope your day was filled with good friends and family, good food, good times, and a little something special in your stocking!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Noel!  Wishing you and yours all the good things of the season.  
You've all made my year a happier one.  
Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and providing support when I needed it. 

Hope today is a lovely day for you and those whom you love.  xoxo