Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year!

After my take on 'Twas the Night Before Christmas,
my friend Faye challenged me to come up with a poem
for each new holiday.
I make no promises, but this one is just for her.
(Sung to the tune of "Happy Birthday to You")
Everybody, sing!

daisy's ditty
by daisy

Happy New Year to you!
May your wishes come true.
Be blessed on this new day,
And the rest of them too!

May twenty-sixteen
Bring you tasty cuisine 
Eat well and be certain
That your plate's always clean. 

May you keep yourself well,
In your efforts, excel.
Take care of your body
And you'll feel just swell.

Take time for yourself
You're an important elf.
Do something exciting,
Don't sit on the shelf.

Your garden will grow,
As you may well know.
If tended with fervor,
The veggies will show.

Some silence is key
But not often free.
Be sure to enjoy it,
Before it does flee.

Happy 2016!
I have a feeling it's gonna be a banner year!
Continued blessings in the New Year!
~daisy & crew~

Simple Saturdays Blog Hop

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Maple Hill Hop 113

Maple Hill Hop

Welcome to 
The Maple Hill Hop.
This is a hop for folks who love the outdoors.
Feel free to post about anything that's going on
in your neck of the woods,
no matter the season.
(Please share only outdoor posts.)
*Grab the button above to link back to Maple Hill 101.*

Thanks to all of you who have visited or joined us this year
on The Maple Hill Hop!
We appreciate you sharing your outdoor posts! 

Along with a warmer than usual winter season,
our humidity has been up,
creating foggy conditions each morning.
On my morning walks,
each and every mailbox in the neighborhood
is graced with the remnants of some very skilled spinners.
While the fog is not good for most activities,
it's great for discovering some natural works of art in the garden.
Here's what we found one winter morning, 
courtesy of Mother Nature.
(Click on pix to enlarge.)

Even if you're not a fan of spiders,
I hope you can appreciate the craftsmanship involved
in creating these daily masterpieces.

What have you recently discovered outside?
HOP on!



Thursday, December 24, 2015

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Maple Hill Hop 112

Maple Hill Hop

Welcome to 
The Maple Hill Hop.
This is a hop for folks who love the outdoors.
Feel free to post about anything that's going on
in your neck of the woods,
no matter the season.
(Please share only outdoor posts.)
*Grab the button above to link back to Maple Hill 101.*

Pansies are one of my all-time favorite flowers.
They are just so delicate, sweet and cheery.
Winter is the perfect time to add them to the garden
for a bright pop of color. 

This roasting pan had grown over with native petunias,
salvia and (ahem) weeds.
With our house recently listed with a realtor,
we are doing small things to entice buyers.
(Okay, this project was mostly to raise my spirits.)

 A good deal was had on these beauties.
The purple and yellow variety are also known as
"johnny jump-ups".
I look forward to getting them every winter. 

It must have been my lucky day,
because this cell pack of pansies wouldn't ring up at the register,
so I got it for free!

The blues and purples are my favorite shade in the garden.
The sharp contrast of bright yellow in the center
really helps them stand out.  

I think they will all be very happy together.
What a great way to kick off the season!

What are y'all doin' to celebrate the Winter Solstice?
Let's HOP!


Friday, December 18, 2015

'Twas the Week Before Christmas

Twas the Week Before Christmas
by daisy
'Twas the week before Christmas and all through the home
Not a creature was ready, not even our gnome.
The tree, freshly bought, was barren and green
The ornaments, still packed, have yet to be seen.

No lights on the windows, no glow from the eaves
No cookies yet baked for Santa when he leaves.
Not one blow-up snow globe adorns our fine yard
And folks will have to settle for a Christmas e-card.

The mild winter weather has not helped at all
It's still in the 70's when we hit nightfall.
Where's that Yuletide feeling, the magic, the wonder
I think Mother Nature may have made a blunder.

Though things may not be merry and bright
We'll enjoy the time we have on this special night.
To celebrate our loved ones ever so dear
And the time we have together at this time of year.

Wishing you Happy Holidays, one and all
From our home to yours, peace and joy, y'all!
~daisy & crew~

Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop

Simple Saturdays Blog Hop

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Maple Hill Hop 111

Maple Hill Hop

Welcome to 
The Maple Hill Hop.
This is a hop for folks who love the outdoors.
Feel free to post about anything that's going on
in your neck of the woods,
no matter the season.
(Please share only outdoor posts.)
*Grab the button above to link back to Maple Hill 101.*

 Not much going on here lately,
except for the three of us recovering from a nasty virus.
It was a rough weekend, but we made it through.
We had planned to get our tree and put up our lights,
but that just wasn't gonna happen.

So, here it is 10 days before Christmas,
and it's looking like a real hum-bug around here.  
Before the bug struck me, I was able to get one small project done for the holidays. 

I found this idea on Mindie's blog.
For Thanksgiving, she decorated her front door 
with a giant turkey.
We loved the idea and made one for our house.
Then I started thinking about using the same idea for other holidays.

We have a large etched window on our front door,
so I wanted to incorporate it into the idea.
I thought about Santa's workshop
and the visitors who would love to sneak a peek
at the progress the elves were making.
  I'm no artist, but it was a fun project
and it keeps us from being the Scrooges of the block. 

With just some butcher paper (we used the paper that comes in our Amazon orders), 
a marker, scissors and some recycled white paper,
you can "holidize" your own front door!

Only 10 days until Christmas.
What's going on outside where you are?
HOP on!



Friday, December 11, 2015

Oh, The Weather Outside is Frightful...

Not really.
I just love that song.

It's been a mild winter here in Central Florida.
No cold fronts to speak of so far.
Most days our highs reach the high 70's.
That suits me just fine.
The skies have been a brilliant blue 
and a smattering of wispy clouds loom overhead.
We're sharing some of the beauties from our fall garden
and a couple of surprises too!

This Mexican sunflower has been blooming non-stop since summer.
It brings a smile to my face every single time I walk past.
The blooms are sometimes cut for kitchen bouquets.

Sunflowers in December?
Whodathunk it?

The thryallis seems exceptionally happy.
The blooms just keep on comin'.

It's a hedge-in-the-making
and makes its home here on the east side of the house.
Sweet potato vines grow underneath and add a vibrant pop of chartreuse.

The native milkweed has been producing seeds like crazy.

The breezes scatter seeds all through the garden.
Some have been saved for sharing.

We are happily inundated with caterpillars.
Here, two (of many) monarchs share some milkweed leaves.
We are proud to be a Certified Monarch Way Station.

Another milkweed lover is the queen caterpillar.
You may notice that the coloring is a bit different,
and queens have 3 sets of tubercles (spikes),
while monarchs have only two.
It's a joy to watch the parade of butterflies 
fluttering through the garden on a sunny, fall day.

The grackles have been visiting more frequently.
We use a bird seed mix to entice blue jays, cardinals, doves, 
Carolina wrens and other species to our yard.
The grackles and blue jays also enjoy the peanuts 
that are sprinkled near the main bird bath twice weekly.

While noticing the abundant blooms on the passionflower vine,
something caught my eye...

In case you're having a hard time spotting him...

time for your close-up!
This lil' guy is a frequent visitor.  
He (or his kin) have been observed many times through the years.

Imagine our surprise a few hours later 
when we spied this duo.
These critters are harmless and we welcome them in our yard.
Big K is not a fan, but we'll just keep this between us, huh?
They really are beneficial to have in the garden,
as they keep the population of rodents and lizards under control.
They also serve as prey for many wild birds,
and are quite fascinating to watch.
Even though we live in suburbia,
we have worked to create a welcoming habitat for God's creatures.

Although I do appreciate a good, solid blast of cooler temperatures,
it's been pleasant enough that more time is being spent outdoors.
After a long, sweltering summer, it's delightful.
I hope you have some interesting developments that lure you outside.
Enjoy your weekend, y'all.