observed by Diane » photo journal for those who enjoy vignettes of an ordinary life

On Amaryllis, Dinner Parties, and Pinterest

"amaryllis dream" by Diane M Schuller
This is the first year I’ve been able to get my amaryllis bulbs to re-grow and reproduce for me. This white one is a real beauty, though the pink & white striped one is now pushing out of the pot as if desperate to bloom before Christmas. According to Canadian Gardening, “It’s a native of South America, where it still grows wild in some areas. Back in the 1800s, amaryllis bulbs were costly and rare. Luminaries such as Napolean’s wife Empress Josephine and former U.S. president Thomas Jefferson eagerly collected them.”

As you can tell by my sparse blog posts, December is an incredibly busy time for me. The Christmas parties and gatherings have begun and are plentiful. Plus we have all our other activities and interests, not to mention having had company all of last week. Busy it may be, but it’s a good busy to be sure. We attended another Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner on Saturday and had a thoroughly enjoyable time. The hosts put together a raclette for the 8 of us which made for an ideal conversational evening. Speaking of conversation, I am always intrigued when meeting new people and seeing who is obviously quite adept at starting and carry on a conversation. It’s something I’ve had to re-learn since leaving the years of isolation and moving back to an urban setting. There is definitely an art to starting and maintaining conversation. So many good times occur around a dining table.

I can get a better grasp of what is going on in the world from one good Washington dinner party than from all the background information NBC piles on my desk.
– Barbara Walters

I’ve been browsing around Pinterest for more Christmas decor ideas and recipes plus I’ve really found Twitter to be an interesting venue for learning more about local goings-on, not to mention my passion for news (those links take you directly to my account). I also find it interesting over at Pinterest seeing which of my “boards” or individual posts are most popular. Right now the two items that are being re-pinned the most is one cute way of decorating for Christmas using marshmallows (yes, no kidding) and the other one most popular right now is simply a photograph of a pink retro typewriter that I would dearly love to have. Do you Pinterest? What do you find of most use lately at Pinterest?

Last month I wrote a post about buying local but I haven’t yet posted it (wanted to add some relevant photos which I still haven’t mustered up). Let me know if you’d like me to post it anyway; if not, I’ll simply post the occasional update as we butterfly our way through December’s goings-on.

What is your favourite thing to do during December?

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lisa - December 3, 2013 - 3:46 pm

This photograph is really beautiful, Diane.
I’ve never been successful in getting an amaryllis to re-bloom, but you have inspired me to give it another try.

I have a Pinterest account, but have never used it. Always hear lots of neat stuff abut it though.

My favorite things to do in December would be baking Christmas cookies, and decorating.

I hope you’re having a great week.

Kelly @ JAX does design - December 4, 2013 - 9:23 am

I put last year’s amaryllis in the cold room after it finished blooming, and forgot all about it! I think it’s too late to revive it to bloom this year. Oh well, maybe I’ll buy a new one for this year ๐Ÿ™‚

I remember being so fascinated by amaryllis when I was a kid. It’s probably the only plant that you can almost see growing taller! I’m sure mine sometimes grew 1″-2″ in a day!

I’ve mostly use Pinterest for recipes lately. Although to be honest, I don’t use it anywhere near as much now as I used to.

My favourite thing to do in December is take two weeks off from before Christmas to after New Year’s Day!

Sherry at Still and All - December 5, 2013 - 8:11 am

Beautiful image, Diane, and it sure sounds like a fun December has started for you! I love participatory meals like raclette and fondue and such around this time of year. Having gone down south early this year, December is a bit non-traditional for me — no baking, no decorating and not much shopping! But time for getting the boat ready to launch and capturing the loveliness of the simple things around me. I’m really enjoying the Simplicity Project that Kim Manley Ort has started. I’m trying to strip down my images to the essentials as a reflection of life…I am on Twitter and Pinterest too and find them both useful for different things, but I am focusing on other social media this month, otherwise I would spread myself way too thin! Wishing you a joyful lead up to Christmas. Oh yes, my sister launched a neat concept called 5H Giving last year, one of which is to buy local (From Here) and she even has downloadable, adorable gift tags now.

Sherry Smyth - December 6, 2013 - 10:00 am

I am terrible at pinterest…I rarely go there. Even though it’s filled with eye candy and I love me some eye candy…I’m busy elsewhere on the web..sometimes, too much so.

I love this amaryllis shot — it’s magical…it makes me think of fairies and I could see one curled up in that petal…a tiny bed to dream on!

As for conversation starters…that one has never been difficult for me. I was a shy child but I was also very conscious of the fact that until someone breaks the ice, all those “shy” people will just sit there or stand there. So I’ve made it a point to be the ice breaker. And over the years I’ve learned to love this role…opening a conversation and then asking people about themselves. It’s fascinating, it’s interesting and it makes people feel included and cared about. I think of it as one of my gifts. What more could you ask for?

Christine - December 14, 2013 - 6:42 pm

I had fun catching up on your blog tonight ~ so much beauty. I love all of the potluck gift ideas ๐Ÿ™‚