Thursday, November 21, 2013

Berries, Bins...and the Beach

It was Open House last weekend at Skillins, a favorite local nursery and gift shop. It was fun shopping for ideas while enjoying the holiday lights, hot coffee, and scent of pine.

I love this simple place setting idea...just balsam and berries tied with kitchen twine.

And this one...with a pine cone as a place card holder.
I think either could be adapted for the Thanksgiving table.
Hundreds of wreathes and planters were being crafted in the back room, which was heavy with the scent of Maine balsam.
Having downsized and promised ourselves not to fill Applegate Lane with more "stuff",  I enjoyed the day through the lens of my camera.
Last week, we got all of the Christmas bins out of the attic. Determined to keep only what we actually use at the holidays, we gave away about half of our "Christmas stuff" to nieces and nephews just starting out. It felt good.
After a year at Applegate, we'll have celebrated each holiday here once and should finally have our collections of skeletons, turkeys, Santa's, and Easter eggs under control.
It's so easy to get caught up in the shopping frenzy at the holidays. I'm working hard to resist it.  
In this season of excess, I'm determined to simplify.
I want to spend less time in stores and more time with family and friends...

 Less time buying and more time creating.


  I did break down and but just one ornament at the Open House...couldn't resist this little vintage camper. When I look at it on the tree, I'm already anticipating next year's adventures in the Casita.

Which reminds me (going off topic a bit here)...I found a fascinating new blog last night...rv sue and her canine crew...about yet another 60-ish woman who has retired to her Casita, full-time, with just her two dogs. She is currently boondogging through the American West. These women are so brave; I love following their adventures.

With Thanksgiving and Hanukkah overlapping this year and Christmas less than a month away, I think we're all a little confused about how and when to celebrate..

Some of our neighbors appear to have compromised and put everything out at once...wreathes and pumpkins seem to be happily coexisting at many a front door.


 After all this thinking about how to decorate for the holidays and downsize at the same time,  uploading this last photo from the Open House gives me an idea...I think I'll just forget about the holidays for awhile and take a quiet walk on the beach.
Nothing more simple than that!


  1. I bought some of that red and white twine to wrap around the mouth of mason jars with candles in them. I must do that! I'm not buying anything new. I'm not buying anything new. Repeat….. I love winterberries! None around here though. I found some at the market one year though. Paid $5.00 for a small bunch!! Your trailer ornament is really cute Cheryl. I may get the tree up on the weekend. If I have the energy. Take care and enjoy your holiday week coming up. Pam

  2. Well the theme must be universal for us in our 60's. I have downsized but it still took a couple of days to finish decorating. I'm trying to create new vignettes out of what I have and I'm determined not to buy any new decorations this year. Like your new blog also, congrats on your retirement.

  3. I'm glad I found you again, but to be honest I'm not online much anymore. In fact, today is the first day I've read any blogs since July! I've been busy moving too, but I love to see a little bit of New England through your blog. Someday I want to go to the Machias Blueberry Festival. Are you familiar with it? Probably 7 or 8 years ago I went to the movies in Houston and they showed an advertisement for the Machias Blueberry Festival. It didn't say what state, but I knew it wasn't Texas because our blueberry season is over in June and it was August. I believe it was mistakenly sent to our theater. I came home and googled Machias Blueberry Festival and found out it's in Maine. I visit their website every year and keep saying I'm going to go someday. The Blueberry Festival and the Norman Rockwell Museum are on my bucket list. I'll be back!


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