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Pre-Christmas Goings On

 Master Gardeners tree 

The month of December is a time for getting out and enjoying the many pleasures of the Christmas season.  It’s also a time to think of those less fortunate in our area.  During the summer time, I tend to pass up going to some of the plays and other things going on around the area as my three and half acre yard and garden are needy.   This December, I’ve just plain worn myself out. Some of it may be due to getting over my knee surgery, but I haven’t let a sore knee keep me from running.  Well maybe not running.   My biggest problem is that there are several things going on at the same time, and can’t go to everything I want to do.  

   Winter magic with paper 

First up were the trees of Christmas at the Tennessee Valley Art Association.  Various schools, businesses and groups sponsor a decorated Christmas tree not Holiday tree here, it’s a Christmas tree.  Funds are used for the art in schools and for preserving a historical Ritz theater owned by the TVAA.  Verborie a high school friend and her daughter Uyladia now living in Atlanta, had a tree that I wanted to see called ‘History of Color’.   My mistake was going during the opening reception.  I had taken my Ram to get a nail removed from a tire and had a little time to kill before going to Florence to the Audubon meeting.  Everyone was dressed up and here I was in my jeans, a T-shirt with a long sleeve flannel shirt as a light jacket and a camera hanging around my neck.  A photographer for Shoals Woman magazine walks up wanting Verborie & my picture.   I was so embarrassed.  Then the media relations person of the art center, also a friend of mine and fellow blogger, Cathy Woods wanted a picture of us.  I answered that we’d break her camera which turns out we really did.  Verborie explained to Cathy that we’d been friends since high school and I piped in that we were sisters, to which Verborie added that she took after Dad and I took after Mom.   The Shoals Master Gardeners out did themselves with a tree called ‘Bountiful Harvest’ decorated in dried flowers and the bounty of the harvest.  Another tree was decorated in hand cut paper snowflakes.    

   paper snowflake 

   Belle Mont 

   Next was the Plantation Christmas at the Belle Mont mansion in Tuscumbia.  The yearly fundraiser for this home snatched from ruins a few years back goes for the restoration of Belle Mont.  The home is decorated in the style of the 1800’s with characters and dancers and music players and civil war soldiers to match.  I spent a couple of days taking pictures of the decorations and decorators, and day three of the activities.    

   decorating one of the mantels 


   IMG 5485 




 This past weekend, Tuscumbia had its first annual Dickens Christmas Ya’ll festival for down town redevelopment.  Friday night festivities included a Dickens Feast and reading of the Dickens classic along with all the Scrooge characters present at the head table.  Saturday downtown was alive with Dickens characters, carolers, horse drawn sleigh rides, and vendors with hand made crafts.   Sunday I was in a dilemma between going on the home tours, the symphony’s Christmas concert and the production ‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever’ at the Ritz.  The home tour won out as some of the homes were open for the first time for the tour.  It was dark by the time we finished the last home and I swung back by Locust Hills, one of the historical homes on the tour to take a night time shot. 



   he said not to tell his name 

   img 5789 

   horse drawn sleigh 


Scientists say that dogs can’t tell time, I think mine can. When I got home that night, the hooligans were having a fit and ran to the barn after I pulled in the garage. First I had to get the key to the barn. Blackie stood outside the door impatiently barking at me to hurry.  Santa is going to bring one less stick and a lump of coal in her stocking.   Next week, I’ll post this year’s Christmas card and the hooligans’ letter to Santa. 

Lastly, my high school class ladies still gets together monthly after all these years.  We had our Christmas get together last night at Peggy & George Willich’s home.  When we got ready to leave, Peggy’s Dad Border collie was waiting to ‘herd’ us.  The poor dog is a natural born heeler and has no cows to herd.  He got in front of Verborie’s car and refused to let her out of the driveway and down the road. Every time she tooted her horn at Buddy, he would nip her front tires. Julie got out of her car and distracted him so Verborie could escape.   The hooligans were very perturbed when I came home smelling from another dog.  

On my gardening blog, I’m reviewing some of my favorite daylilies of 2011part one.  My top favorite tall beardedirises of 2011 were posted in July.   

I close the Christmas festivities with my night time shot of Locust Hills. 

   Locust Hills