Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Purple Aspirations

Art washes away from the soul
the dust of everyday life.
- Pablo Picasso

'Twas a nutty Christmas to say the very least. Kicked it off at a glorious vintage holiday festival in the quaint village of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. 

Where my dear friend lives in this storybook purple cottage. I'm way impressed with creative types who have the good sense to doll up a one hundred year old home. When you get to be this old, it's cool to strut your stuff.

My friend's darling New Hampshire cottage.
This New England town is home to Strawberry Banke. Settled by colonial types in 1623 ~ where I learned how to make pretty wreaths from natural goodies collected in the woods nearby. We saw the Nutcracker Ballet and did all things vintage Christmas. It was very special.

And then... I hopped on a plane, squished in like sardines, seated next to a woman who was very ill, should NOT have been flying. 

She gifted me with her illness 2 days before our own celebrations began.

Persimmons in the wreaths
So that slowed me down a bit but it didn't stop any of the festivities. You can't exactly call off Christmas, now can you?

Living in a ski resort we're guaranteed to have our own storybook setting ~ fluffy white snowflakes and a winter wonderland. But, not this year. It was warm as toast. A brown Christmas in a ski resort? Strange days.

We cooked and cooked in anticipation of the big Christmas Eve party. The second everyone arrived, the power went off. And, stayed off for hours. Until most of the partiers gave in, gave up, and went home.

Sounds awful, doesn't it?

Oh, it wasn't so bad. Relying on dim flashlights and plentiful holiday candles, we sat quietly by a cozy fire and welcomed in the big day.

Took this week off to recuperate. I am clearly in the minority on this, but I kind of like December's short days and early sunsets.

Spent my evenings curled up on the couch reading The Deep Middle Blogger's book: Sleep, Creep, Leap

Between his great book (3 years of ups and downs in a Nebraska garden) and M's fancy purple cottage, I'm bursting with big ideas to make some colorful changes in my own garden during the new year.

So... how was your holiday? Here's hoping you had a warm and wonderful celebration, complete with working electricity so you could enjoy the tree!

Portsmouth, NH Holiday Stroll
Best wishes for a Very Happy New Year!


Yael said...


What a lovely setting for the holidays. The purple house is wonderful.

Have a Happy New Year! And one where you are fully recouperated.


Rilly said...

Our Christmas was quiet except for the wind and rain...a perfect day for reading. Received your card, thank you and Happy New Year.

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Thanks Yael! And, a Happy New Year to you, too. :))

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Happy New Year, Rilly!

Sounds like a good day to stay indoors and relax. But, knowing you... I'll bet you also cooked up a super yummy feast!

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

* On the subject of Christmas cards -- Rilly, I'm glad you got yours..

I TRIED to send them to everyone but at least half of them bounced back due to spam filters. Oh, well...

Christine B. said...

Power outages up here, too. On the upside, Santa brought a larger generator so we can at least run the heat and fridge if it happens again. What am I saying? When it happens again.

Plenty of snow here.

Christine in Alaska, not sick (yet)

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Happy New Year, Christine!

That Santa is a smart cookie. I'm thinking of investing in one of those. Or, perhaps asking for one 12 months from now. :))

Lona said...

So sorry to hear you caught that old bug and hope you are feeling better. I love the purple house and think it is wonderful. One has to have a vision to pull that off and it looks beautiful. Sounds like you had a holiday for the books. LOL! I bet the skiers are missing the snow fall. It is still warm here so they are constantly making snow for our resorts.
Happy and Blessed New Year Kate.

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Thx, Lona;
Yep ~ I'm on the mend though I'm being quite lazy during this 'week off' between celebrations.

Happy New Year!

Rilly said...

If prime rib and a baked tater for 2 can be considered a fancy feast then I guess I did, but Safeway's peach pie certainly was a dud. ;D

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

I saw your prime rib on FB. Looked pretty dang tasty.

We did Beef Wellington and it was 2 die 4. :))

Anonymous said...

What fantastic photos! Thank you for a view on another world.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What a beautiful purple house. I painted our Yard barn purple several years ago. The neighbors were agast. They got over it. Your holiday sounds good except for the not electricity. Yet, the warm fire and candles sound perfect. I love the short days and long nights. I get rested up for the big spring push. I hope you are feeling well now. Happy New Year. May you have electricity all year. What was their excuse? No snow storm....

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Thx, Patricia
It was a really fun trip. Extra special because out west, where I live, everything is so new. Hard to imagine towns established in the 1600's.

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Happy New Year, Lisa!

Yeah, I felt the say way about that power outage. No winds. No storm. So whatsup??

Marguerite said...

I love anyone who would paint their house purple. That's a colour that simply says look at me! A very cheery home. Christmas was white here but now a few days later it is all rained and blown away and back to brown. nice while it lasted.

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hi, Marguerite;
It has been strangely warm around here. Had doors and windows open this afternoon to air out the joint. I suppose this late start to winter means a long chilly spring.

Oh, well. Whaddya gonna do?

Happy New Year!

Snowcatcher said...

I just knew with a title like that, this was going to be a fabulous post. But I didn't expect you would be feeling ill during Christmas!!! (I had a similar experience, unfortunately...) Lights off at Christmas sounds so romantic, and that purple bike next to the purple cottage is just to die for!

Happy new year!

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

HNY Snowcatcher!
And thank you for the kind compliments. I hope you've got plans to do some biking in UT in 2012. Chez Kate has a guest room all ready for ya!

Gloria Bonde said...

Hi Kate! It is crazy that sometimes it takes a bug to make us rest! I caught a cold and spent at least 2 hours or more sitting in front of the TV sorting itty bity beads into tiny little piles (had a plastic divider)...the sad thing about it is that I found it very entertaining!

Alex aus dem Gwundergarten said...

Hi there
I just found your blog through Monica from Garden faeries. The Cottage looks gorgeous!
Have a great, healthy and funny 2012.
Take care and greetings from Switzerland

Rose said...

This sounds like a wonderful Christmas, Kate...well, not the virus...and not the lack of electricity. But as long as the virus didn't keep you from celebrating, it does sound lovely, especially the days in that quaint purple cottage. Nothing wrong with taking it easy on the couch for awhile to recuperate. I think winter is the best time to dream and get inspired for next year's garden. Hope you're on the mend and have a very Happy New Year!

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Hi, Gloria!

I'm giggling... as I spent some of my 'quiet' days doing things like that, too. Giving stray socks a new life by actually taking the time to find their solemates and pair them together. From the outside looking in it may appear that we've lost it. Perhaps these simple things are 'fun' for busy gardeners who never have a spare minute...

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Happy New Year, Rose!
I'm now dreaming of owning a purple cottage... And, since this old house of mine is in need of painting... my neighbors could be in for quite a shocker come summer time. :))

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Glückliches Neujahr, Alex

I should apologize up front for my sad sack recall of your language. I minored in German in college ~ back when the idea of actually getting a job after graduating never really occured to me.

Es ist nett, Sie zu treffen, und Dank für Besuchen und Kommentieren auf meinem Blog.

And, what I meant by that is...

It's nice to meet you and thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog. :))

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...


I'm at a loss as to how I leave a comment on your blog. It won't sync to twitter and it's demanding that I create a special identity with Livefyre. Which I'm not going to do because I don't have the brain capacity, or patience, to create yet another i.d. (It's kind of a pet peeve of mine that some blog platforms make it so difficult to comment.)

Anyhoo.. I really enjoyed your tutorial on homemade wine.