Christmas is in the air. The older children should be home from hither and yon soon (college and some place overseas which shall remain nameless). Time to prepare for the big onslaught! I can’t wait for all to be home!!!!

Ok~ wreath making first. I LOVE to make our wreaths au naturel and all wild looking. We are so lucky to be surrounded by greens and green items so instead of running to the store, I stroll out to my “greens grocery” (IE: our east woods :)). Many years we already have quite a bit of snow by this time and strolling into the woods is not an easy prospect. But this year the snow we had at the beginning of November has melted. So a quick trip into the woods is a fairly easy adventure. PLUS, and this is important, I’M OFF CRUTCHES AND CAN ACTUALLY STROLL!

Saunter. Amble. Wander. Meander. Drift.

All lovely words that describe walking-without-crutches. And now I can do that too! My knee has almost completely healed. It just tires more easily. Nothing several days of vigorous Christmas shopping won’t cure!

Of course, I didn’t get any pictures of the woods. Hmmfph. That was dumb. So just know that the dogs and I ventured into the woods to collect greens and other pretties from nature to add to our Christmas wreaths.

To streamline the process, I make an assembly line. I like to use grapevine wreaths for a base. It holds up well through the season giving the wreath a more stable base. This is important because these guys are often exposed to bad winter weather but the first to cheerfully welcome guests and travelers into our home. These are big, significant tasks. And the grape vine wreaths are sturdy. Plus they are pretty cheap. At least the same expense as a wire wreath base. And I like the way they look.

Ok so first a grapevine wreath. (I’m making some for my neighbors too.) DSC01005

Gloves are important. These are a kind of fake leather that the boys use around the farm a lot. They protect from pokey- sticky jobs like moving hay. Or making Christmas wreaths from pokey tree branches.

A thermos of coffee is a must. It’s the go- juice.

DSC01006.JPGA pile of assorted greens cut into small-ish pieces.

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Clippers. And floral wire. I tried to use the 26 gauge wire but it kept breaking on me. Grrrrr. Ever try to find the end of a piece of green hair wrapped around lots of other green hairs? Very frustrating. And time consuming. Now I use 24 or 22 gauge wire: much more sturdy, doesn’t break as easily and if it does break, much easier to tease the broken end away from the wrapped wire.

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Annnnd, my ATV in case I need to sit down while the process is in process. I’m 8 weeks post-jumping-down-the-stairs-giving-me-a-compression-fracture-of-my-right-knee and it’s feeling strong.

DSC01018The finished products! Not bad for an hour of work!

This one is for our neighbor.

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This one is for our door.DSC01060

This one was an experiment. I’m not sure greens and feathers go along together. DSC01086 (2).JPGI wish I had some red berries (other than the cranberries I threaded onto a piece of wire and tucked into the first wreath). Real berries from the real woods would look nice.

Wreath making is hard work! This is just the beginning! Bring on Christmas!!!!

Whew! I need me some banana bread! With chocolate chips and walnuts please!

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What I’m reading: Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. Lovely.

What’s for supper: Chicken and rice with carrots in the crock pot.

Weather: Areas of freezing fog. Cloudy, with a high near 25. Calm wind. Tonight patchy freezing fog. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 21. Calm wind.

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