Moon Gates


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Image result for moon gate bermuda

image via pinterest, originally from is a project by ‘The Stone Man’ aka

While all garden gates practically beg you to peek over, around or through them because what lies beyond is a secret space, a private place, a MOON GATE is a rather special one. The moon gate invites you to step through, it beckons you come enter this magic world.  Continue reading


Moss In My Garden?


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“You might be asking the wrong question,” I recently heard a Master Gardener say. “Instead of asking how do I get moss out of my grass? Why are you not asking how do I get the grass out of my moss?”

Moss Lawn

image from southern living

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A Man Called Ove – Book Club


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A Man Called Ove: A Novel by [Backman, Fredrik]


Read it for yourself – read it for book club – give it as a gift! When your friends ask how to pronounce Ove ask how they think it is pronounced – worth a few minutes of laughing. Which is what my book club did after agreeing to read for next month. Finally, we watched a youtube  on the correct pronunciation. I downloaded the story that night onto my kindle and quickly became engrossed in Ove’s personality and actions, which can be at odds sometimes.

The basics of the book are this: it is the story of a grumpy man named Ove. Well, actually it is composed of the backstory that slowly changes our perception of Ove’s true character and what made him who he is, AND the current events and interactions that offer that perception change to others. Keep reading below for a brief synopsis.  Continue reading

Lentil Soup the Easy Way


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It was snowing yesterday and I had not planned ahead like all the other pre-snow shoppers, who loot northern Virginia grocery stores each time snow is forecast. Usually I am right there with them because I always make a soup or chili for lunch on snow days, sometimes experimenting with new recipes.

So, realizing I was unprepared, I surveyed the pantry and refrigerator and was lucky enough to find a bag of lentils, a can of tomato paste and some fresh spinach leaves. I threw it all together with some seasoning and achieved a satisfying soup.

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Best Way To Overcome The Post-Christmas Blues


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Adopt a dog on New Years day!


So I was going to post about putting up my brand new mirror and redecorating my mantle with a winter theme on Saturday, but then…all the post Christmas Blues were suddenly gone. We were notified that we were selected from several eager candidates to be the new family for a 2.5 year old pure-bred Chocolate Lab. Well that is enough right there to want to get Christmas decorations put away and get on with making her (and our) transition as stress free as possible. Continue reading

No Fail Cookie Exchange Cookies


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Image result for christmas free clip art


When presented with Christmas Cookie Exchange parties I have three go to Christmas recipes, and the fourth is a new addition from a friend. I have tried several other cookies for doubling, tripling or even quadrupling (depending on how many cookies the host has requested) and have had some truly terrible results, so I plan to stick with these four no-fail recipes from here on out, not just for cookie exchanges, but any time I am baking cookies under pressure.  Continue reading

“Sausage” Bread for Christmas Morning


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img_5738I make “Sausage” Bread for Thanksgiving morning and again Christmas morning. It is tradition, and you don’t mess with tradition. If you are a lacto-ovo-vegetarian (eat eggs and dairy) keep reading, there are options for you too. Continue reading

Christmas Tree!


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Christmas Tree Day.JPG

We picked out our family tree the weekend after Thanksgiving. Though we have gone to cut your own lots, we decided to  take a short cut this year. We were all showered but no one was “picture ready.” Luckily they let me take a few pictures, sans makeup even.

We just rolled up the road a short ways to the  Knights of Columbus lot in Fairfax Station, to historic St Mary of Sorrows, and received plenty of cheerful help picking out the tree.

St. Mary of Sorrows in Fairfax Station, dedicated in 1860, has staged an annual picnic and festival since about 1876.

I did not take a picture of the church myself, but the image and full story of this church are credited to the Washington Post link below. Please follow the link to read the amazing history of this church.  In short, during the civil war the church was located smack in the middle of surrounding forces from both sides. Used as a field hospital more than once by union forces, and where Clara Barton (the founder of the Red Cross got her start), it amazingly survived the war. Not so with many of the soldiers buried in the Church cemetery.

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Mixing In Decor from Christmas Past


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My grandparent’s Christmas tree stood proudly year after year in a big living room window. Somewhere along the way between the late 1940s to early 2000s the street in front of their house became a highway and the real tree gave way to a fat faux one. When Grandpa started to grumble in their much later years that the tree was too big and too much trouble, grandma insisted they had more people to see it now and had to put it up, “just imagine all those truck drivers far from their homes passing by and seeing it, how happy it must make them to see those lights.” Her argument was irrefutable and so until he was 91 years of age he was pulling that tree out and setting it up for her. (see the story of their first date …here) Continue reading