Sometimes the VERY BEST gifts are FREE
(except for shipping)
My sister lives in Tahoe - yeah that Tahoe. It's waaaaay too far away, especially since I'm unable to fly (due to my lung problems). Since she missed me sooo much (and who wouldn't???), two weeks before we moved, my sister and her toddler flew East for a visit. She brought with her a dvd she created of many of the videos she's taken of my nephew since the last time they visited. It was a wonderful idea - I got to be part of what I missed out on! One of the video clips was of (then two-year old) Paul playing street hockey with his father using ginormous pine cones. Pine cones. Yeah. It was an amazing video!
Well, my mind immediately started turning, and I told her what I wanted for my birthday (which was the following month). I wanted PINE CONES - lots and lots of huge pine cones! So, sure enough - after returning home, she went out in the back yard and grabbed a bunch. Since they were filled with ooey-gooey sap and probably nasty little bugs (I detest bugs!), she baked them in the oven. This turned the sticky sap into a beautiful shiny glaze. Then she packed them in a box with lots of padding and went to UPS. Soon after we moved they showed up on my doorstep, and I was uber excited!
My birthday's right around Thanksgiving, so it was soon time to take down my autumn decorations, and put up Christmas ones. So, they went into a basket by my fireplace. You can see it here in one of our Christmas Photo out-takes...
Christmas decorations eventually came down too, and I didn't want to put away my beauties. So, they found their way to our mantle.
Aren't they simply gorgeous? They must be at least seven inches tall! But, they're not quite substantial enough to fill the whole mantle all by themselves.
When we moved in, I vowed I wouldn't hang pictures/art until after we painted the corresponding room. I thought there was no point spackling two sets of holes. So, there's a corner of the basement devoted to the lonely framed treasures. But, a week or two ago I got so sick of seeing the white walls (I'm decidedly NOT a "white walls person"!), so I pulled out four pieces of art to hang. As I was going through the collection, I decided to pull out a couple framed photos also. So, some also found themselves on the mantle.
My sister and nephew
Aaron's nephew handing me a flower that dropped off my bouquet at our wedding reception
Young Aaron with his father and older brother
(When they were Amish)
(When they were Amish)
Our engagement photo
And the whole mantle
Now before you criticize too much - the sconces (which are totally "fine" - just not me) came with the house and we haven't "dealt with them" yet. And the mirror that I wanted to go over the mantle got broken during the move - and I haven't bought a new one yet. The picture is temporary, I want it to hang elsewhere in the house. But I think it's an acceptable fill-in for the time being.
So, there you have it - my be-au-ti-ful birthday pine cones and a couple treasured photos.
Thank you, Robbi! I'd love more again next year!
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