We decorated our Christmas tree tonight.
On Wednesday I made a round-trip to North Carolina to pick up our house plants.
I left DC at 8.30 am and just after lunch I dropped off my laptop at my old work. It was nice to say hello there, and we had coffee together. Then I drove to Esteban’s house in Durham; it was great to catch up. Our plants had stayed there for a week (thank you guys!).
Around 4.00 pm I left again, with the car full of our plants. There were eight plants in total, three small ones and five large. They filled the entire car and I couldn’t use the rear view mirror on the way home.
The plants survived the four hour journey pretty well, except for a few branches that were exposed to the sun at the rear window and got too hot and burned. The last two hours I put the air conditioning very cold, and I think that helped.
The plants are now in our home again, and they cheer up the apartment.
Yesterday evening I took down our Christmas tree.
We decorated the tree six weeks ago and it is still in amazingly good shape; hardly any needles came off when I took it outside.
In the afternoon I visited Petra and Ron for a nice cup of coffee.
Our Christmas tree this year.
We still have no top yet… next year!
Today we decorated our Christmas tree. We’re not completely done yet because we don’t have the small hangers for the balls, but we’ve put the lights and the garlands.
I’m very happy that we have a tree; it’s the first time since 2006. It’s been a long time since we celebrated Christmas at home (last year we were in Somerset) and I really enjoyed going out and buying a tree.
Friday night we went to Macy’s and we bought two new ornaments, including a kabouter!
More pictures when we have the balls and other ornaments in the tree.
The plant that I had at work for a while but then brought home, was sick 18 months years ago, but it doing much better now. The other day we noticed it is budding a completely new branch.
Yesterday afternoon I helped someone move house.
When we lived in Haarlem, the Netherlands we had a beautiful cactus; a present from my grandmother. The full name is Stapelia Grandiflora, or Starfish for short.
I’m going to the Netherlands in a few weeks and when making my list of things I’d like to bring back to the States I regretted once again that I couldn’t bring the starfish. I searched for starfish on-line and found it at the Tucson Gardener, a store in Arizona.
The plants arrived yesterday, with a very nice letter from Dave, the owner, and the plants are healthy and strong. I’ve put them in water for the roots to develop.
Almost all my chervil plants died this week when I forgot to water them.
It is safe to say that growing herbs has been unsuccessful for me, and for the herbs.
Perhaps I’ll find chervil soup when I’m in the Netherlands for a week at the end of November.
We’re both under the weather — colds and that sort of thing. It’s tiring since we don’t sleep very well; hopefully it will be over soon.
Anyway, it gives me time to do some homey things. Two years ago I tried growing some herbs. That went well until most of them died when I forgot to water them. I’m trying it again. I’m growing only 1 herb this time, to minimize confusion. It’s chervil, or kervel in Dutch, which is a popular cooking herb in the Netherlands. A few weeks ago I actually dreamt of chervil soup.
Today I spent quite some time on my French. I’m reading my first real French book in years, Salut et Liberté, which is a nice challenge. It’s a detective story, 45 pages long, and it’s good way of getting (re)started with a language. There is a lot of dialogue, and a story that makes you want to turn the page to see what’s going on.
In the last 6 months we’ve traveled quite a lot for work, mostly between North Carolina and New Jersey. The plants in our apartment in Durham have survived quite well, thanks to help from friends.
We bought a few plants for the apartment in New Jersey also, to make it a little more cozy.
They are are tough enough so survive a week without water, although they look like this after that week (a few hours after getting water they will be fine again).