Listening to the rhythm of the falling rain…

A face book friend reminded me of this day’s weather in the year 2011. I was living in CT and I well remember receiving a rare October snowfall sometime near Halloween! I found a web site that shares weather history for any given date and my friend’s reminder was confirmed! Following is copied from WeatherForYou.com:

2011 – New York City received one inch of snow, the earliest they had received that much snow since records began. It was also only the fourth times since the Civil War snow had fallen in New York City in October. The storm also left over three million people without power including 62% of the customers of Connecticut Light and Power.

Today in central PA we are being deluged with rain, which I love to listen to and to watch. I went to church this morning but am now quite happy to be ‘holed up’ in my home relaxing and watching the rainfall.  I’m also VERY glad it’s not snow!

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Though it’s not April, this poem conveys my thoughts today.

April Rain Song

Let the rain kiss you
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops
Let the rain sing you a lullaby
The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk
The rain makes running pools in the gutter
The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night
And I love the rain.

Langston Hughes

James Mercer Langston Hughes (February 1, 1902 – May 22, 1967) was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist from Joplin, Missouri.

He was one of the earliest innovators of the then-new literary art form called jazz poetry. Hughes is best known as a leader of the Harlem Renaissance in New York City.

 

 

 

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Bittersweet…

I moved to my new house last August and was surprised, last fall, to find some bittersweet vine growing amid a honeysuckle bush in my yard! I harvested the bittersweet and used it in a wall decoration for my laundry room.

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This year I searched once again to find the same bittersweet vine and though there were not as many vines as last year, I was able to harvest a few trails of vine that I could use for fall decorating.

If you have bittersweet growing in your yard, in my opinion, you are lucky! The fall berries of the bittersweet vine are beautiful and little else compares to it’s use as a natural decorating element. If the berries are left on the vines, your winter birds will be grateful as they love the berries for winter fuel!

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Writing this post prompted me to do a little research. Turns out, there are three different varieties of the bittersweet vine and people are often confused when discussing the plant.

  • One variety,  (Oriental bittersweet) you probably DO NOT want in your yard as it is very invasive and more of a headache than a benefit.
  • The second type, which is what I have, (“American bittersweet” or false bittersweet) is the variety you WANT to have in your yard or in a nearby landscape. This variety is much more rare and in some places is deemed a protected species.
  • The third variety, (Bittersweet nightshade) is actually not a TRUE bittersweet but was so named before the other two varieties were classified. This plant is not even related to the other two varieties of bittersweet and is poisonous if ingested…at the least will make you very sick!

For an excellent article on bittersweet origins, uses and growing tips, visit gardenguides.com website.

Now, I just need to study more to learn how to protect and encourage my American bittersweet vine to grow so I have even more next year!

Do any of you know where there is an abundant growth of wild bittersweet in central PA? Please share with me, if you dare! Most people, understandably, will keep the location a secret and save the stash for their own use!

If you want to decorate the ‘no hassle’ way…here’s a link to some bittersweet from Factory Direct Outlet (available through Amazon.com) that will last for years! Check it out and add some bittersweet to your Thanksgiving decorations!

Painted Porch Steps!

One year and two months since I moved to this house and yesterday I finally got the front porch steps painted! (porch floor is just plywood now…waiting ‘to be determined’!) I chose the paint colors of the steps based on what paint was ‘leftover’ at the house when I moved in! That makes the total cost of the painting project…FREE! (Except an achy body today!)

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Here’s what the unpainted steps looked like (September) before I tackled the job yesterday.

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Searching for a ‘before’ photo of the steps, I found a few photos from August 2016 when I moved to this house. Here are some “before and after” photos!

I’ve definitely made this house ‘my own’ over the course of this past year. I love how different people have different tastes and we each have a little corner of the world to claim and call our own. I love my corner and I hope you are as comfortable and cozy in your corner as I am in mine! I am very thankful, grateful and blessed!