Posted in Christmas, family, grandkids, loreeebee.ca, online purchases

It’s Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas

To steal a line from that famous carol, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in my home. With the pandemic sucking most of the fun out of 2020, many are decorating earlier than usual this year. Me too, as soon as remembrance day was over, I hauled out my decorations.

Outside Decorations

It helped too that the weather outside was not so frightening, so hubby was coerced into putting up the outdoor lights. This becomes trickier each season as the trees we adorn with multicoloured lights get bigger and bigger. This blue spruce was purchased more than thirty years ago, as a dwarf variety, supposed to achieve a height of five feet at maturity. Currently it sits at around 15 feet, no dwarf for sure, but hopefully as mature as it’s going to get. It sure does look pretty though when all lit up, even from way down the street. So my neighbours tell me.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Moving Inside

Moving inside, our artificial (due to hubby’s allergies) Christmas tree is up in our front window with more lights twinkling on it. My almost four year old grandson helped me add the ornaments, three per branch in many instances. It’s the thought that counts, right? I wonder if he will notice that I could not resist moving them around a bit to fill in some needier spots…

Last year, during a Florida vacation, I purchased these four beautiful Harvey Lewis ornaments, embellished with Swarovski crystals, one for each grandchild I had at the time…

This season I tried to order another “J” for our newest family member, the grandson that was lucky enough to be born at the beginning of the pandemic. Unfortunately, it seems lots of J babies were born this year as that letter is now unavailable. I will keep trying, my fingers are crossed hoping more will become available soon. As my sister in Texas is a little closer to Florida than I am in Ottawa, I have her looking for me within the USA.

My oldest granddaughter helped me unpack decorations from their designated buckets (yes, all labelled with the room they go in) and add them to the holiday decor, during her breaks from her online school lessons. Some decorations are very old (the bulbs in a vase on the dining room table belonged to my hubby’s grandmother!), some brand new, most somewhere in between. Many were handcrafted, like the wooden snowman-like guy at the bottom that my middle son made in grade two. He is now pushing twenty-nine years old. The point is that all have special meaning to us. Another example is the fibre-optic tree that was rescued from my Dad’s crawlspace just before his house sold after his passing…

I had to remove and relocate the (fake) poinsettia plants I had inside my fireplace, as my granddaughter was very concerned they might deter Santa…

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

A beautiful, real poinsettia, received from a friend, looks awesome on my kitchen table. The white blooms pop against the colourful tablecloth…

it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Holiday Crafts

Both of my granddaughters love crafts. I knew I held onto my craft bucket (for many years) for a reason, or two. We made snowflakes, a la Martha Stewart, ensuring every one is unique, just as nature intended…

My younger, almost 3 year old granddaughter helped me make loops of red and green paper to decorate the doorways.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

I’m sure when she sees the snowflakes crafted by her older cousin, I will have a few more to add to my windows. I won’t tell her that I am counting on it. I also saw a neat (and kid friendly) craft on the Marilyn show I know she will love. A Christmas tree made of a paper cone and plastic spoons, decorated with glitter sounds right up her alley.

New Decorations for 2020

Shopping on Amazon recently for ideas on crafty decoration kits I could purchase to make with my granddaughters, I saw these really cute, very 2020, customizable Christmas tree ornaments. Spoiler alert to any family members reading this, I ordered some for each of our families!

It's Beginning to look a lot like Christmas
customizable for your family!

Supporting our local shops, I purchased a few items from Wood N Delights & The Country Cottage out of Frankville, Ontario. Lots to choose from, visit their site for yourself for more ideas…

I settled on some stocking stuffers and a little something to add to my Christmas decorating. I am in love with the sweet cardinal-inspired salt and pepper shakers, now on my dining room table…

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Where are you in your decorating this year? Have you started early or are you still waiting to get motivated?

Posted in lorieb.wordpress.com, weather

Pussy Willows and Double Digits: Signs of Spring

Yesterday (Monday) the temperature rose into the double digits here in Ottawa. That’s incredible (although not unheard of) for early March. Although, as forecast, this spring-like weather is already less exciting today…

While the sunshine and warm temperature teased us of things to come, I changed up the décor in my urns flanking my garage and the milk can (from my grandparents’ farm) on my front porch. The evergreen boughs that looked so nice late last fall, have looked a little sad lately, not the lush green their name implies…

not so evergreen boughs

I also removed the Christmas/winter decorations (shiny bulbs, pinecones and a very cute owl), but saved them in my seasonal stash for next winter, leaving the (still attractive) red dogwood twigs in place. I found a few (artificial) sprigs of forsythia in said stash and tucked them into the dogwood twigs, then promptly texted my neighbour to brag that my forsythia is blooming before hers…

At my local grocery store I was delighted to discover bunches of pussy willows in the floral department. I can never avoid perusing any floral department, in any store, especially in spring. The pussy willows were calling my name, or maybe my spring fever was running rampant. Whatever, they created an awesome addition to my spring displays at home…

The rain in the forecast should help melt the still-existent snowbanks away. Every (rain) cloud has its silver lining I say. With colder weather (back) in the forecast later this week, I may have to bring some of these floral harbingers of spring indoors for some temporary respite.

I’m sure later this week I will be reminiscing the too fleeting sneak peak at spring.

Posted in current events, lorieb.com, parenting

Decorating the Christmas tree always makes me nostalgic

Decorating the Christmas tree always makes me nostalgic, bringing back memories of past Christmases and the loved ones we shared them with. Especially poignant are the decorations made or cherished by loved ones that are no longer with us.

Due to my husband’s allergies, I had to settle for an artificial tree years ago when we first began celebrating Christmas together.  As a compromise, we purchased the most beautiful, real looking tree we could find.  It is a six foot, realistic looking, blue spruce version, still going strong 26 years later.

The lights have been changed/updated a few times, but the decorations we have collected over the years are irreplaceable….

handmade by the kids:

 

handmade by friends & family:

 

cherished by my parents:

(the only time you will see me advertise for the Toronto Maple Leafs is in reference to my father)

 

unbreakable, kid-proof favourites:

 

gifted from a dear friend:

the three angels (far right) came after the birth of my third son

 

light reflectors:

 

and to top off the tree, a white dove to reflect my wish for peace on earth, so significant with all the unease in the world today:

 

9d

 

Merry Christmas; wishing you all peace, health and happiness in 2016 and always!