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posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 10:56pm on 02/02/2010 under next door neighbor has put a lighted red heart in her window for Valentine's day. The guy down the street who always decorates for (each) holiday has not only decorated his home with red lights and hearts, he's put up a Valentine's Day tree in the front window with hearts and red lights, and a pair of romancing snow figures (not made from snow, mind you, ours has all melted) grace the bench that sits in his front yard.
Mood:: 'amused' amused
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posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 08:06pm on 10/01/2010 under , ,
I took down my Christmas decorations today. Usually I do this sometime after January 1 when my door wreath has dried out so much that it's turned brown, but this year's wreath could have lasted a couple of days longer. Most of the other decorations on the block are down (including my next door neighbor's lighted bushes) so I figured it would make me sadder leaving them up. It makes me a little sad to take down my Christmas decorations, but leaving them up when all the rest of the world has gone back to the drab busyness of winter makes me sadder still.

On the bright side, I bought some duck breast this weekend so that I could experiment a bit with a recipe I have that is based on Anglo-Saxon cuisine. It's a game stew with barley (I chose to use duck instead of rabbit, though my local butcher sells rabbit also). I added a bit of bacon to the duck and barley for flavor. The other ingredients include broth (chicken bouillon in this case, though the Anglo-Saxons would probably have made broth from the duck itself and used that), leeks, and mushrooms sauteed in butter. It is seasoned with dill salt, mustard powder, sage, garlic, and bay leaves. The smell as it slowly simmers in my crockpot is indescribably wonderful; I hope it tastes as good as it smells when it's done.

EDIT: I decided to write about my duck and barley stew in my food blog; you can find that post here.
Mood:: 'blah' blah
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posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 09:35pm on 06/01/2010 under
 My neighbor down the street--he who decorates his home for each and every holiday, no matter how minor--has already taken his Christmas decorations down. 

This might seem a bit surprising, since many of my other fellow Malvernites still have their Christmas lights and decorations up (including yours truly).  However, my neighbor has not left his home undecorated.  Oh, no.

He has merely replaced his Christmas tree, and other Christmas window decorations, with large snowflake-shaped decorations studded with white Christmas lights.  Since his bushes were already covered with white Christmas lights, he has left those lights up.  The effect is rather pretty.  Though if we get a heavy blizzard in the next few weeks, his neighbors may well be cursing his foray into sympathetic magic.  :-)
Mood:: 'amused' amused
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posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 09:44pm on 20/12/2009 under , ,
I've posted quite a few entries about my neighbor down the street who makes a hobby of decorating his home and yard for each holiday, no matter how minor.

However, I can't make fun of him for decorating his home for Christmas, because Christmas is the one holiday on which nearly everybody decorates here, and many homeowners are even more extravagant than my neighbor is. So tonight, after the season's first big snow has made our town look like a picture postcard even without decoration, I roamed outside with my digital camera, looking for homes to photograph.

I found plenty of homes, but my skill with a digital camera is insufficient to show the blaze of glory some of these homes are when seen by the naked human eye. (Deplorably, the photo I took of my eccentric neighbor's home came out particularly badly, and thus is not featured here.) Still, some of the photos may give you an idea of the spectrum of Malvernian decorating efforts. I'm too cheap to have an account that would allow me to post the pictures here, but you can view them in my Picasa album through the links provided.

First, here is my own pathetic modest effort.

Here is the home of my next-door neighbor (the one who's given up trying to get me to trim my carnivorous bushes). Her son-in-law helped plow my driveway this weekend with his front-end loader after our 18-inches of blizzard, so I can't complain about her anymore, really. I just wish the photo captured the beauty of the colored lights all over her front yard bushes better.

Here, here and here are some more homes on Karen Drive, arrayed in various degrees of complexity and brightness.

And here and here are a few decorations on nearby King Street of which I got passable photos. I wish I could have captured the willow trees hung with multicolored lights better.
Mood:: 'touched' touched
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posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 03:40pm on 18/10/2008 under ,
I just got to see the home with the Halloween tree by daylight.

In addition to the orange lights (which were turned off because it was daytime), it has little plastic jack o' lanterns and skeletons hanging on it.

Dear God.
Mood:: 'astonished' astonished
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posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 09:08pm on 16/10/2008 under ,
I spoke prematurely, in my last post.

My neighbor has put up more Halloween decorations. There are ghost witches, pumpkinheads, and ghost-ghosts hanging on his trees. He's strung orange lights on his shrubs. And, yes, there *is* a Halloween tree in his front window, just aglow with orange lights.

Arrrgh. At this rate, I can hardly wait for Thanksgiving.
Mood:: 'baffled' baffled
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posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 11:21pm on 12/10/2008 under
After a summer during which he had cut yard decorations to a minimum, my neighbor down the street has recommenced decorating his yard.

This year's decorations are much more tasteful than last. No "ghosts" or ghost-style witches. No Halloween tree. Only a few bales of hay, some pumpkins, some jack-o-lantern cutouts to hang in the trees, a few orange lights. Last, but not least, the centerpiece--a pair of scarecrows, sitting on some stacked haybales, with some pumpkins around them. (There's a spotlight on them at night, of course.)

I know that may sound pretty absurd, but compared to some of his prior excesses, it's quiet, and tasteful.
Mood:: 'pleased' pleased
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posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 11:00pm on 20/02/2008 under ,
The last home on my street is occupied by a very house-proud man and his family. They're so house-proud that they decorate for every major, and some minor, holidays.

This year, he put lighted hearts in his windows, and red and pink and white lights around his windows and on his bushes, for Valentine's Day. On closer inspection, I noticed that there is still a "Christmas tree" in the front window, lighted with red and pink and white for Cupid's favorite day.

Late last week, he took down the Valentine's Day lights. He put up green and white ones instead, and put neon shamrocks in the windows. And the tree? Yup, you've guessed it, it's now a St. Patrick's Day tree. Probably he'll hang eggs on it for Easter--as he did on the outside shrubbery, last year.

Now, all I can think of is this; whatever is he going to do between Easter and the end of May?
Music:: name it and it's yours
Mood:: 'amused' amused