It is always a challenge this time of the year to decorate the outside areas of the house.  I want to take advantage of the mild temperatures we are having this week to get holiday greens, swags, lights and arrangements in place,  yet I don’t quite want it to be all Christmas outside when we still haven’t had Thanksgiving.  Unfortunately, the weather forecast for tomorrow and through the weekend involves our first snow storm and wind so the decision has been made for me to at least get a head start today on Christmas.

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This year I am turning to greens, red twigged dogwood stems and birch logs for the basis of my decorations.  I like the natural look and they all look right at home in my yard in this part of the country.  The snow and cold temperatures do not allow things like magnolia leaves and fruit for outdoor wreathes.  I love how they look, but we must be practical here.  To bridge the gap between Thanksgiving and Christmas I had a few fall like elements to my evergreen arrangements and display with white pumpkins.  Then when Thanksgiving is over, the pumpkins are tossed and all fall foliage is removed and Christmas baubles will appear.

Last week, Neil and I spent a few days in St. Helena in  northern California…a lovely, relaxing trip.  A nice break between our busy summer and fall schedule this year and the upcoming holidays.

This was the beginning of a particularly beautiful sunset that all happened in just a matter of minutes.


img_0460 img_0464So many restaurants now have their own organic gardens, even if it means growing greens and herbs along with their flowers in the landscape around the building.  No wonder things taste for fresh and dishes look so good.img_0469

One of favorite wine tasting rooms is on the Frog’s Leap  property.  I think everything tastes good there because of the setting.

The challenge this week is to make the Thanksgiving fare as lovely as some of the food we had on our vacation.




  1. Gail Katzenmaier
    November 23, 2016 at 11:38 pm (4 years ago)

    thank you for sharing your beautiful out door ideas! I look forward to seeing how you decorate for our Minnesota seasons!

  2. Martha Wells
    November 22, 2016 at 7:21 am (4 years ago)

    Lovely landscapes, both in Minnesota and California!

  3. Lana H.
    November 22, 2016 at 12:32 am (4 years ago)

    Hi, I very much enjoy your newsletters and lovely photos, but I wanted to let you know that some past photos have been arriving sideways & in today’s letter the first three were upside down. Take Care :))

    • thimbleberries
      November 22, 2016 at 2:33 am (4 years ago)

      This always puzzles me…the pictures appear correctly on my laptop, but not on a mobile device as a phone. Are you viewing the blog on a phone or iPad? I took the picture with my iPad and maybe that is the problem. I am going to reshoot the pictures this afternoon and reload them to see if that makes a difference.
      Thanks for letting me know.

  4. Margaret
    November 21, 2016 at 7:32 pm (4 years ago)

    I hope you compost your pumpkins when you are finished using them as decorations. Compost is the best soil amendment, and a great fertilizer for your lovely gardens.

    • thimbleberries
      November 21, 2016 at 9:34 pm (4 years ago)

      I do compost them, but at our local community compost site. Our landfill has a great business that turns all yard and garden composts into a number of yard products under the brand name Creekside that gets sold to wholesale businesses for mulch and for compost. The city here picks up all leaves that are raked to the curb in the fall and also accepts all grass and plant waste and brush cuttings. It is such a wonderful service and obviously really encourages recycling.

  5. Willodean Minor
    November 21, 2016 at 11:30 am (4 years ago)

    Lynette, where can I find the fabric for Autumn Star Shine featured in the Sept/Oct. Love of Quilting? I have looked and looked. I find the fabric,
    but no way to order. Thank you so much for any help you can give me. I love the Quilt.

    • thimbleberries
      November 21, 2016 at 9:30 pm (4 years ago)

      Please call Quilt Haven on Main at 888-843-8215 or 320-587-8341. They did have the group recently, unless all sold out. Let me know if they could help.

  6. Bonnie Claus McMann
    November 21, 2016 at 10:28 am (4 years ago)

    Your photos are upside down, other wise lovely.

    • thimbleberries
      November 24, 2016 at 4:53 am (4 years ago)

      I took new ones with my phone instead of my iPad. I think they are okay now.


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