Jan 7, 2016

A Few Things

We packed up all our Christmas decorations right after New Year’s. After the holiday is over, all the decorations that brought me so much joy become clutter. A few days after Christmas it starts (I'm not sure why), and by New Year’s I can’t take it anymore. I wish I could keep up the Christmas cheer longer, but suddenly I start longing for clean clear spaces again in the house. Once the boxes were packed away, I pulled out a few things for winter and January. Is it me or do dark blue, white and metallics seem like the perfect January colors? (Also I don't bother to iron my table cloths or runners - they smooth out on their own after a day or two.)

Oliver’s Christmas lights are still out in his bedroom. He was a great sport about taking them down during the day and even helped put them away. Then that night his room was “too dark” and “too scary” without them. He couldn’t sleep. We dug them out of the Christmas tub in a hurry and put them back up. I think they will probably remain up until he moves into his new room. At least it makes his bedroom look warm and cozy for the winter.

I did a major pruning of the citrus trees. They were covered in aphids again and a ton of leaves were falling off. We had enough mild days in late December to spray them again, which helped but didn’t totally get rid of all the bugs (like every other year). They are perpetually a pest. However the pruning did seem to help the tree’s overall health - they are now growing lots of new leaves and there are lots of flower buds forming. I’m relieved they are coming back - every time I give them a good trimming I worry I’ve done irreparable damage.

It’s been so unseasonably warm outside, some of our plants are confused. The quince next to the deck keeps blooming. The hellaboris thinks it’s late winter and has two flowers coming up. The irises think spring is coming soon and I see a few daffodils poking through. Around our town trees are blooming. It’s going to be a lackluster spring if things continue to pop.

In anticipation of the winter weather and snow that the forecasters are warning will arrive soon enough, Mike wrapped Oliver’s blue playhouse to protect it. We thought that ice and snow might damage the paint. The fig trees grew too tall this year to wrap in burlap, but I did wrap the bases of both and stuffed them with leaves to protect the roots. Every year so far the trees have died back to the ground anyway, so at least I'm protecting the important part. We also put all our deck and patio furniture away in the garage (with toys and chairs accessible in the front for nice days).

Lastly, I’m learning how to play the ukelele! Mike and Oliver got me one for Christmas. Fun fact: when I was younger I wanted to learn how to play the guitar but my hands were too small (they are also too small for the piano). A few years ago we realized the ukelele would be the right size for me, but it was one of those “someday it would be fun…” things. Well now someday is today and currently I’m learning how to play the different chords. It’s really fun and something totally different for me - I haven’t played an instrument since I was 14.

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