Monday, January 9, 2017

Holding Time and a Home Together

There is something about saying, 'We always do this,' which helps keep the years together... Tradition is a good gift intended to guard the best gifts.
~Edith Schaeffer


When I was a young bride way back in the Dark Ages, one of my friends read everything that she could get her hands on that Edith and her husband Frances Schaeffer wrote. They who founded L'Abri in 1955.



  Apparently, it was all a little too deep for me then because I didn't pay much attention. Janet would go on and on and on and I'd hmmmm...hmmmm...hmmm. Fast forward 30 years, nearly a decade ago, and another friend of mine was chatting away on her blog about the concepts that Edith Schaeffer taught. I began to pay a little more attention. That beautiful yellow book on my book shelf on the left was a gift from Brenda. You can still find Brenda chatting about these precious things. In fact, her most recent post is about living life on purpose, which brings to mind another quote of Edith's: We foolish mortals sometimes live through years not realizing how short life is, and that TODAY is your life.

know that many of you have already joined Brenda in the discussion. I would so love to interest three young women I love in these things.

~after the tree~

I want to chat a little about why I bother to decorate my home when I am often the only one who sees it for days at a time. (And I sincerely hope that I can translate this to meal preparation going forward as well.) Am I not still myself? Still in need of beauty? Comfort? Proper nutrition? Of course!


 I never feel that my home looks as lovely as it does decorated for Christmas. What about your home? Do you think that way, too? I've been thinking about this a lot because I do not want to give up the beauty of my home just because I must pack Christmas decor away. This may mean keeping some lights going, some sparkle, some coziness, some unexpected delights that spark the senses.

A new Pinterest folder titled Winter Decor After Christmas was created for the task. You will find it here and then you can see the bloggers I have been copying. ☺

Let me share what I have been doing with some Edith quotes interspersed.

~before~

My great-great grandparents' anniversary trophy looked smashing with the red berries; it's looking subdued now. See it above in "after the tree."


It's still winter and I do decorate seasonally. (John used to say that it was because I had been a teacher. It may be. I surely hope that his last years here at this haven, which he built, were aesthetically pleasing for him.) I see that I forgot to pull those red berries from the books, but the fact of the matter is that there are lots of red berries out in the real world and they look so beautiful against the snow. This is where the twinkle of winter lights also comes in because the wreath above has some small battery operated lights on it and the birch candle holders that John made me do as well. I also kept out some trees from my Christmas village. I dragged in my childhood sled from the barn and put it to good use inside. Remember: this is what my real world looks like.

Speaking of real world...


New snow makes everything beautiful. The Christmas village has been put away. Needing some light, I placed my grandparents' wedding gift on display...the mail carrier on his route. 

There needs to be a homemaker exercising some measure of skill, imagination, creativity, desire to fulfill needs and give pleasure to others in the family. How precious a thing is the human family. Is it not worth some sacrifice in time, energy, safety, discomfort, work? Does anything come forth without work?



Happy to copy a dear blogging buddy with this bit of sparkle on my dining room light plus key ornaments (thank you, Abby) and a Blessing sign. Now that I see this photo, I'll be removing the sign. This decorating of the light amuses me because I did not decorate it for Christmas. 

The following series of pictures could be a discussion on cropping. I can't decide which I like best so am showing them all.





~wool blankets~


I am not terribly artful with color and pattern, but I enjoy trying. I do also enjoy the cozy factor. 

If you have been afraid that your love of beautiful flowers and the flickering flame of the candle is somehow less spiritual than living in starkness and ugliness, remember that He who created you to be creative gave you the things with which to make beauty and the sensitivity to appreciate and respond to His creation.

So tell me, what else might I do to add winter charm? I'll allow all those below the Mason-Dixon line a pass because I realize that seasonal decor is different depending on location. But for those of you who live in the land of the North...what say you?



It seems to me that whether it is recognized or not, there is a terrific frustration which increases in intensity and harmfulness as time goes on, when people are always daydreaming of the kind of place in which they would like to live, yet never making the place where they do live into anything artistically satisfying to them. Always to dream of a cottage by a brook while never doing anything to the stuffy house in the city is to waste creativity in this very basic area, and to hinder future creativity by not allowing it to grow and develop through use.





Amen!

61 comments:

  1. Good Morning, Vee. Your post really hits home with me. I think it's important to surround ourselves with pretty and sentimental items. I love the warm glow of lights in unexpected places and the scent of a candle. As you know my late mom was blind. However, she had 7 Christmas trees, each with a different theme. In the 10 years she lived with John and me after daddy died, I would hand her each ornament so she could "see" it and we would discuss the memory behind the ornament before I placed it on the tree. Even without "sight" it's important to be surrounded by the things you love. I sure love the birch candles John made for you. So pretty. As you know, I have always loved the coziness and wonder of visiting with you here. God bless your day. I'm up early and making the 2 hr. drive to surgery this a.m.

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    1. Will be keeping you in prayer, Mildred. I love this story of keeping a lovely home even if one can not see it.

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  2. Your house looks great! Beautiful Christmas decorations. Our house also twinkled with many lights and looked beautiful withe different decorations!

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  3. A thought provoking post today Vee, certainly making me think about seasonal décor in a whole new way. I love some of your little touches, you are blessed with a beautiful home.

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  4. This is "right up my alley," Vee. I do feel better when beauty is around me, no matter how simple or small. And of course things that have meaning make it all the more so. I visit a home often where everything is beautiful and nicely accessorized but to me it isn't warm because there is no sense of family history there, or things with meaning. I still have some of my red berries out because, as you say, they are outside on our holly bushes. I like to decorate with red and white in January and February--I guess because of valentine's and snow, but somehow I associate red with the birthdays of Lincoln and Washington. Maybe just patriotism. What a thought-provoking post.

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    1. Thank you, Dotsie! That does it, I am going right back upstairs and digging out a few more red berries for the anniversary trophy. It just looks too stark without a touch of color.

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  5. I admire your "want and effort" to keep your home cozy and welcoming Vee. I can tell you with the long winter months we experienced in our little New England Village, most everyone kept the window candles brightly lit. How beautiful to ride through the Maine night countryside and see all the homes aglow with candles in the windows. It was the look of colonial days and just gave you such a warm feeling of content! Lovely idea!

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    1. Yes, that is a good one. I have one in my kitchen window, but I can say that those who leave their lights on in the early morning hours when I am traveling (once weekly) make my way along ever so much more cheerful.

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  6. Your home looks cozy and pretty Vee. I am horribly challenged in winter decorating because winter is my least favorite season. I tend to skip it and head straight for Spring by filling the house with bright primroses, ($1.19 each right now at Home Depot!) and as many plants as I can keep alive. I usually spend the winter organizing, purging and just trying to keep things cleaned up. I am very interested in this book, I have never heard of this writer but she certainly sounds like a kindred spirit!

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    1. I love primroses! They come to my haven in February and only because John couldn't resist a bargain for Valentine's Day. 🙂

      Your home is beautiful and I don't believe that you must incorporate a season you dislike into your decor. To each her own!

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  7. A very thought provoking post Vee! We foolish mortals and the last quote hit me ... I love your "cropped" photos - you have a wonderful eye for coziness. Your haven looks wonderful always! I have left out a few light strings and decorations as well. You have encouraged me to do some more "winter" decorating!!!

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  8. Lovely, lovely post, Vee. I have a couple of Edith Schaeffer's books -- "Common Sense Christian Living", and "The Hidden Art of Homemaking" and often return to re-read sections of them. What a wise and God-honoring woman she was!

    I have felt for some time that decorating our homes seasonally is a good reminder of God's provision of specific seasons. Having that continuity of things that we do seasonally (including decorating) is an important reminder to me and I think it is a good testimony and encouragement to those who visit or inhabit our homes, even virtually as visitors to our blogs.

    I think John had something there when he thought your seasonal decorating tendencies had to do with being a teacher. With me (I was simply a teachers' aide, basically, but I also took responsibility for designing and changing bulletin boards) there is a pull with every changing season to celebrate it.

    Light and sparkle is necessary to get me through the winter. Really, when you stop to consider all that God's Word has to say about shining our light in a dark world, about walking as children of light, surely our homes are to be shining that light as well.

    Our tree was put up and decorated very late (a few days before Christmas) and so we plan to enjoy it for another week or so. Likewise with the Christmas cards. I'm enjoying the glitter and sparkle and the smiling faces of friends and family, so they will stay up for awhile.

    As for winter decorating, I love white lights, candles, glittery snowflakes and icicles, little glittery houses, my lighted village ... yes, and red berries. You are right, there are still loads of red berries out there in the snowy woods, and there's nothing to prevent us using them in our decorating for winter either. I do have a few snowmen, too, but not a lot. Birch is a nice idea, and pine cones too. One other thing I do is to change out my Christmas ribbon board for one in a neutral color, and add all manner of wintry items to it. You know so many Christmas cards just have a pretty, snowy scene on the front, and are not specifically Christmasy looking. I put those on my ribbon board, plus some wintry tags that I have made, maybe a couple of snowflakes and a skate or sled ornament. For more ideas just click "winter" in my label cloud. I did a lot of posts last winter about winter decorating.

    Hope you won't mind if I borrow your idea to create a Pinterest board just for this sort of decorating. I have a "Winter" board but it has everything on it from winter scenes to hot cocoa recipes. I think one just for winter decorating is a fantastic idea.

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  9. A beautiful post, Vee, and one that I needed to read. I do need to fight against depression this time of year when the daylight hours are so much shorter. I'm still packing away the Christmas ornaments but need to make some touches that will lift my spirits. Flowering plants do that for me. Two of my orchids are just coming back into bloom and I think I will buy some primroses. I love the yellow ones because they are the most fragrant. I like to decorate the hutch cupboard (which was my mother's) in the family room with different plates. I've had the Thanksgiving turkey plates from my grandmother, and the Christmas plates from my Mom and need to decide what to use now. Usually I use Hungarian plates I collected when we lived in Budapest, but I think I need to figure out something different just now. It will be ten years now since the death of my husband. I know I used to do a lot of things for his reaction to them. But my son still lives with me, and my daughters and their families are often here. I do need to wake up and create more beauty. I'm beginning another Artist's Way course this Thursday. That will help, I think. And Tuesday and Thursday I go to free exercise classes at a cancer center nearby. And Wednesdays I do water exercises with my sister in law. This may not sound as though it relates to home decorating but I think I have a tendency to go into the doldrums after the holidays and getting busy does help everything. My daughter Alice has a long kitchen table and built a long narrow box for it. She changes it often to decorate for the season...I think it will have several primroses soon. I have a round table, but I think I can adapt this idea someway....My son gave me a diffuser for aromatherapy for Christmas and I like to use the lavender, and sometimes the pine scents. You definitely have a gift from God for creating beauty in your home and inspiring others to do the same. Be well!

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  10. Loved reading this post, Vee. As someone who has always decorated seasonally, I sometimes wonder why I'm still doing it with the kids gone. You and Edith Schaeffer have confirmed the importance of it all at any stage of life.
    Winter decorating after Christmas has always been a challenge. This year I'm leaning toward paperwhites, pine cones and lots of candles. Your new Pinterest board sounds like a great idea. I'll pop over to see if I can learn some new ideas.
    Your winter décor looks lovely to me. The fact that you own a trophy belonging to your great-great grandparents is amazing to me. It is a beauty and looks especially lovely with the red berries. They look very much like the natural landscape at this time of year. I'd be tempted to leave them at least through Valentine's Day.
    Love your childhood sled too. Looks great the way you have displayed it.

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  11. BTW (as if I had not rambled on enough already) I really like the pillow with the plaid patchwork. Did you make it? It makes me happy just to look at it.

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    1. Yes, Kristi, I made it...don't look too closely or it will become perfectly obvious that I did. ☺️
      By the way, I loved reading your comment above...lots of wisdom there.

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  12. I think you have done a wonderful job to make your home a cozy winter retreat! I have watched several blogs, add more candles to their homes this time of the year. Now I have to do some research on Edith!

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  13. I say a huge AMEN! to this post! I have long said that if I was the only one in my house, I'd still decorate and beautify it for me! I am made in my creator's image and I was made to respond to beauty!

    I think you're doing a great job with your haven! I'd leave all the red berries for now as that is what is out in nature, and not just a Christmas decoration!

    I love Edith's books too. I'm collecting Hidden Art for my girls. Your one quote from here reminds me of Melissa Michaels' book "Love The Home You Have."

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  14. Vee I enjoyed this post immensely! I've always felt that God gave us the gifts that grow in our own back yards to enjoy. Bring those berries back in to give color to that lovely silver trophy. Even though I live south of the Mason Dixon line, decorating for winter is quite important for me. Your beautiful woolen blankets are just lovely on your deacon's bench. Enjoy feathering your winter nest, my friend. ♥

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  15. I had trouble getting into the Schaeffer books back in the day. Maybe I should try again now that I'm olden. I did enjoy the quotes you shared. That last one is a good one for sure. I'm reminded of my mom and pop who always opened their home for meals at a table with broken chairs and torn upholstery. Sometimes they just put a towel over the torn part of the chairs. We seemed not to notice because of all the good food on the table! I like all the croppings btw...

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    1. Ellen, you are among the finest creators of home that I know. You would definitely appreciate Edith's books on homemaking now. I know it!

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  16. The silver trophy is a treasure. I think adding back the berries would be a good thing. I also love the wool blankets and the last cropped photo of them is my favorite. I'm still trying to get the Christmas things put away and pondering some changes that need to be made. I'm off now to check out your Pinterest page for some ideas. Lovely post!

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  17. Well shocker, lol, ANOTHER post I SO identify with. I too think it's really important to keep things "decorated" and pretty, and cozy and warm and meaningful and sentimental and on and on...And there are many, many a day no one sees a thing here but us. I too love to decorate for seasons. I so enjoyed making my fabric Christmas trees this year, and I made fabric Fall trees last year, and now I am wondering is it weird to make fabric spring trees? I could use all kinds of pinks and light blues and greens and make up a few? What do you think? Too weird? lol Have a good week Vee. Oh, and btw LOVE the little red berries and can't wait to pop onto the sight where they decorate after Christmas, because yes, my home ALWAYS looks best at Christmas time.

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    1. Not at all weird, Debbie. Your spring trees sound inspired.

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  18. What a warm, inviting, encouraging post - both words and photos.
    Now, more than ever (both because of winter and the harsh realities in the world in which we live), our homes' environments when reflective of our warm, inviting, and encouraging hearts are needed...♥

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  19. Came back by to enjoy the comments and your responses. I happened to remember that here in the South in Jan./Feb. we "force" forsythia (aka yellow bells or January Jasmine) by cutting long branches and putting them in vases to bloom. The bright yellow is very uplifting!

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    1. We do that considerably later...March and, horrors, in bad years, even in April.

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  20. Heck,darn,cripes and jeepers! Now I was going to tell
    you my winter charms. But I live be low the Mason-Dixon
    line.
    I do love your blog any way. I'll be back for more wisdom.

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    1. Patsy, I am very happy to hear your winter charms. Do they involve snow and ice? LOL!

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  21. The picture of your light fixture gave me a big smile. It is so clean! Mine is dusty and I do not take pictures of it. :) Also noticed (with glee!) your ice skates hanging in the background. I LOVE to skate, though I haven't done it much lately.

    Thank you for a wonderful, sweet blog moment here. Love the tree and the serene atmosphere!

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  22. Each cropped picture highlights different things in the same picture. I can understand why you can't choose. I always find peace in your posts. I'm sure John found comfort and peace in creating alongside you. It always seemed that when you had an idea, he was quite happy to build it. I'm off to look at your links.

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  23. My home is my castle, I like it to be safe warm and cosy and am always happy to walk in the door if away for a while.
    Merle.........

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  24. I am feeling much more like I can handle life now that the task of taking down decorations is no longer looming ahead of me like some gray monster in the hall closet. I love the brightness of the Christmas decor, but I also love the calmness of the after-Christmas decor. I do love your thought of a Pinterest page form after-Christmas decor, though. I still have my crystal Christmas trees and candles on my dining table, my flameless candles all across my mantel, and a few flourishes -- blankets, art, candles, etc. -- here and there to make the rooms feel cozy. But, I need to be productive and, as much as I love the beauty of it, the crowding of the rooms that happens with Christmas decor just does not help my ADD self be productive. I will have to check your Pinterest page for further inspiration!

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    1. Oh, you're one of those! LOL! ( I had heard rumors of your existence.) You need a folder about a minimalist Christmas. 🙂 I do believe that it would be well received.

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  25. Oh, this might be one of my very favorite of your posts!! I am cheering you on as you create and enjoy beauty!!

    I love the Edith Schaefer quotes. She had such wisdom in her views on creating a home. I love your winter decor. I totally concur with your thoughts about decorating seasonable after Christmas. We need lovely and cheerful surroundings in the bleak midwinter. Those birch candle holders made by John are perfect. Any candlelight or strings of light or twinkle lights are cozy.

    "Today is your life." Absolutely. I am glad to know that you are living yours with intention.

    I'll be back to read this again . . . and again . . .

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  26. I am not a seasonal decorator and really don't do much for Christmas. I do like a cozy home and surround myself with things I like looking at year round. I think sometimes my house looks like a shop. : )
    I always like the way you house looks, cozy and inviting.

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  27. I always decorate seasonally - and I tend to go overboard. My own set of challenges is doing less. And it is a work in progress.

    You have your home warm and welcoming and YOU. And we never stop changing and learning as we go, either, do we, Vee?

    Love the quotes and may need to look up the author couple - what wise counsel!

    Hope your new year is full of fun adventures of self-discovery. Hugs.

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    1. You are right, Michele, it is not so much about more or less decor, it is about creating home for yourself and your family.

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  28. I am not familiar with Edith or her husband but oh my...she is deep... but I like the way she thinks. Those quotes really speak to the heart and mind. I think it is very fulfilling AND important to make our homes and surroundings a place that can be exactly what you have named your blog, our HAVENS. I love being surrounded by special things that are pleasing to the eye, not to say have sentimental value to them...whether anyone else is there to see it or not. Your home is so very cozy and warm...love all of the lovely wood paneling, I especially noticed it on the ceiling. I think it's a perfect thing to do to keep up the bits of the winter season after Christmas has passed and yes, those red berries could definitely stay for a while. As far as the cropped photos go, I like #1 and #4 the best :) You have wonderful taste, my dear :)

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  29. I once read in a magazine, a woman said that even if she was the last person on earth, she'd still decorate for herself. That's how I feel, too. I do what's pleasing to me, to satisfy my creativity and to be able to enjoy my cozy home. I love changing things out seasonally, and keeping lights on timers year round for some warmth and glow. Your home always exudes coziness, Vee, and I have to tell you that I loved the third blanket photo the best.

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  30. I think you've covered the winter, after-Christmas decor topic very well. I'm fascinated, and in agreement, with the mug on your Pinterest site, "All you need is tea and warm socks."

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  31. What a great post, Vee; your words and thoughts interspersed with those of Edith Schaeffer's make a perfect match. I think your home looks warm and welcoming. The blankets on your old bench add layers of warmth and texture. Love what you did with your light fixture! :)
    I like puttering around my home and doing things to make it pretty, but these days I don't seem to have much time or energy for that. This semester ends at the end of the month and my schedule will lighten up. I'm hoping to spend more time here at home. It could certainly do with some cleaning, much less decorating!

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    1. Glad that you picked up on that, Lorrie. ☺️

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  32. When I lived in San Diego I would use bowls of lemons and yellow flowers with blue accents to ease the after Christmas blandness. But in San Diego it is likely to be 80 degrees by then; the blue/white/yellow pallet was refreshing. Curiously, to me at least, was traveling in Mexico and seeing gaudy reds, green, fuchsias, purple, turquoise and metalic Christmas decorations still up until the end of January. Go figure with their heat.
    This year I can not bring myself to end the Christmas tide. Everything is still up! And I think it will stay up another week since the tree is still very fresh. I was pleased to see a church with its decorations still up yesterday; some denominations keep it all up until the Sunday after Ephiphany.
    With snow and ice about I am really fine with red, lights, cozy textures, candles, and plants. I'll add some pinks in for Valentines! March shifts to greens and yellow, daffodils and St. Pats and then more pastels are added for Easter. Every season has white pots (IKEA has such great white pots!) and green plants...those two work for in every season.

    God could have had the earth function without seasonal colors and elements but He didn't. If God wanted seasonal changes I don't think she minds if I take joy in what He created...seasons!

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  33. When I take down all the Christmas decorations the house feels very empty. I went into a cleaning frenzy after Christmas and polished all the woodwork, mopped and polished all the floors, and went through my closet bagging up 2 bags for charity. I did leave a Christmas wreath on my front door and I'm keeping two poinsettias alive that add color. I like to use pine cones around the house as natural decorations and pretty rocks and petrified wood that I pick up on my hikes. Since my house is full of big windows the outside snow this time of the year is like a decoration--I love looking out at it!

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    1. What is it about a New Year that sends so many of us into a cleaning mode? It's all good. My wreath is still up and will be through to spring. And thank you for mentioning poinsettias. I still have one from several years ago and the pastor's wife called to say that the memorial poinsettia for John was still blooming beautifully and would I like it back. Yessum, I would, and will keep it as long as it is willing to hang out here. Thanks for popping by!

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  34. Hi Vee! It's always rather sad to take down the beautiful decor of Christmas. I like getting my house back to normal order but I always have to dig around to find something to make things look festive. So sometimes hints of Valentines day creep into view before February hits! When you have that yearning to create in your blood you've just got to go with it and let it flow. So nice to see your blog today Vee. I haven't been blogging for some time now. Life warranted other things. Blessings for a wonderful 2017! Sherry (Edie Marie's Attic)

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    1. Hi Sherry! So nice to have you drop in. I'll be looking for you here shortly...

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  35. I find that sticking to tradition grounds me and gets me through my worse times. I'm sad I haven't decorated our home like I use to because of three lively cats that were dropped on our property two years ago. Then, I remember how much pleasure they bring and try to resolve that although I don't have a tree, I saved three lives. Keep to your traditions, my friend, XOXO

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    1. Those cats are going to calm down and you will be able to get back to your traditions, Susan. Oh how my Fioré loved the tree as in lying beneath it and soaking up the lights. ☺

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  36. Your decorations look lovely. I will have to try to do more. I am taking down Christmas now and it certainly is not as pretty as when each room is screaming Christmas.

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  37. What a beautiful post with words of wisdom... I am in love with your library photos... I made one in this house in the smallest room... I do agree that my home is prettiest at Christmas, but I make a seasonal display at least in one spot. I am always cutting things in the yard and bringing them in. It's the traditional colors that often don't work here given our weather. On the other hand, I have always loved what Scandinavians do with their homes in winter... candles, greens, berries, twinkle lights, lace in the windows to go with the ice... I am unfamiliar with that writer, I think that I might enjoy, so I will have to look for it. I try to live each day for today... My home is nothing grand, but it makes me happy, and I love working in the garden and pursuing my interests... xoxo

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  38. Oh I love those quotes Vee. I've not read the 'yellow' book but have heard of the author way back when. I also love your winter decorating and think you are doing it right. Those of us in the northlands need sparkle, candlelight and colour inside during the long white winter months and I happily use these in my winter decor. I love the vignette on your bench with the wool blankets and afghan. All these elements are called Hygge - a Danish word that refers to a mental state of coziness, conviviality, and togetherness in the heart of winter. The latest craze in decor in this part of the world. :) (I'm sure you knew that.) The clouds have rolled in here covering up the beautiful sunny blue sky so I have lit some candles to create a warm ambience in the living/dining room. Snow tonight and rain tomorrow. Have a cozy week.

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  39. I always think of Maureen O'Hara in The Quiet Man saying the house was not her home without her own things about her. This pretty much sums it up for me, I like my pretties displayed and they have a part in making our house look cozy. You've kept your home cozy with love too, why not have decor that brings you joy surround you?
    The large window in our kitchen has icicle lights hung with snowflakes, recently I added some red berry faux evergreen boughs and the Christmas tree in the living room has become a Valentine tree. lol
    Winter is a season to keep a little sparkle within in the home, don't you think?

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  40. Bee , this is such a sweet post . I love all the pictures and quote . I've never read the yellow book but would love too . Hugs and blessings , Cindy

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  41. Just catching up on the few blogs I still follow. I decided there would be a theme for my non-review reading through the remainder of Winter. I'm going "back to the basics", revisiting authors who meant a lot to me in my youth. The first is, you guessed it, Dear Edith!

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  42. Hi Vee,

    I so enjoyed this post; I like that you gave us some things to think about, and I also enjoyed reading the comments from other bloggers. I do find something to love about all four seasons, and thankfully we live in a place that does have four seasons. I'm still taking my Christmas decs down, so not sure how much inspiration I can provide, but I usually put out a few of my favorite snowmen at this time of year. They're cheerful and add a bit of whimsy to our winter home. I also like lots of blankets and throws, candles, and tartan plaid. I love the blankets you have folded on the wooden bench in your family room. The other thing I love to "decorate" with -- books! I see that you are like me in that regard, and I'm sure we both like to read those books, too. :)

    I agree with you that new snow makes everything beautiful, and I have really enjoyed our snow here. It's just now starting to melt today, so we've had several days to appreciate its quiet beauty. Thanks for sharing your inspirational ideas today, Vee. Also, thank you for your visits earlier; I'm really glad you liked the Christmas kitchen. I don't often share it because it's hard to keep it that tidy all the time. ;)

    Have a great week!

    Hugs,

    Denise at Forest Manor

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  43. This is a most enjoyable post and a good example of how many times we think alike...a lot of us do. The comments are good too. I NEVER feel like my house looks right after I remove the decorations. It looks so plain and boring! But you have lots of great ideas and I can't think of anything 'unique' to say. I've put out more candles, warm throws on the backs of chairs, snowmen on the bookcases....and books here and there. I do sometimes think I need more twinkle lights though. My favorite photo is the close up of the blankets...perfection! Hugs!

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  44. What a beautiful read this was, Vee.
    I've said it before, but your Christmas tree is so beautiful and that view out your window looking at your neighbors home is so sweet.
    Our Christmas decorations will remain up for the month of January.
    They bring such beauty and glow during a gloomy month. I'm a little saddened that we are nearly half way through the month. Soon they will come down leaving the rooms strangly bare.
    The houses we live in are our HOMES, and it's what we do, such as decorating, that makes our home beautiful and comfortable. Why long for what we may never have when we can make what we already have glorious.
    I liked your wool blanket photos. The third was my favorite.

    Have a terrific weekend~

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