Angel Cloud Of Dreams

december-21-2008-003-2The big day is almost upon us. We are dreaming of angels.december-21-2008-012-2This tree topper was a gift from the Financier to his mother when he was a small child in Pennsylvania. It is unlike any other decoration for this or any holiday. When it was first seen proudly placed at the top of my mother in law’s tree the first Christmas after we were married, it’s beauty was not immediately apparent to a young mother far from her own home in Oklahoma. It was named the brain angel, for what was later explained patiently to be a cloud looked like a blue plastic brain to these cynical eyes.december-21-2008-010-2We have it now as a treasured memento with meaning beyond measure. There is no tree here this year. Weekend trips and just general lack of excitement about getting a tree and decorating it have found us out of time.december-21-2008-005-2A small vignette on the shelf in the addition that is lined in lights and beads holds santas, snowmen and a stuffed manger scene that I made from unbleached muslin copied from a picture in a book about Christmas crafts in the mid 1970’s. A fine pointed sharpie and child’s watercolors have lasted well all these many years. We have bought and given away more decorations than anyone should ever think about owning. Continual downsizing has left us with only those things most precious to us.april-20-2008-007-3We will be spending time with our family, exchanging just a few gifts, eating good food with an emphasis on cookies and and thinking of past Christmases. Furtive glances into the future of next year’s garden will sneak into the mind’s eye. The decidious azaleas that bloom in April and May might be in our dreams.june-5-2008-110-4Or the butterflies of June, with warm flower scented breezes and colors to tantalize human and insect alike.
May your Christmas 2008 be a treasured future memory.

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47 Responses to Angel Cloud Of Dreams

  1. tina says:

    Just beautiful Frances. A very Merry Christmas to you and yours. Stay warm and safe and enjoy the holidays.

    Hi Tina, thanks and the same good wishes to you and yours.

  2. Frances,

    Very beautiful. I love mementos with stories like the Angel.

    Have a wonderful, happy holiday with your family.

    Merry Christmas!

    Hi Cameron, thanks. The angel is now our most prized decoration. May you and your family have a wonderful Christmas.

  3. Randy says:

    Frances, your decorations are wonderful. So there was no time for a tree this year… Just think how quickly you’ll get the decorations put up. 🙂 What is the incredible orange flower? Is it Milkweed? Ours NEVER have huge flower heads like that.

    Hi Randy, thanks, it is sort of sad to not have a tree, but not having to take it down is a bonus. The orange flower is Asclepsias tuberosa, butterfly weed, same family as milkweed but more ornamental flower. The plant is five years old and had a great year this time. Younger plants did not produce that many or as large a flowers, yet. That one may have gotten more water because it was near the birdbath too! 🙂

  4. Joy says:

    Frances : )
    Merry Christmas and a VERY Happy New Year !
    Love the touches with the “brain” angel LOL
    It is very unusual and beautifully unique !
    We have downsized a lot too .. and due to Emma’s curiosity we have very little on our Xmas tree.
    And YES ! .. those creeping thoughts on garden planning are sneaking in and out of my mind too : )

    Hi Joy, thanks and the same good wishes to you and yours. Downsizing is a good thing, I need to do some more too, and not just ornaments! Let us dream of warm weather garden delights in these cold times. 🙂

  5. Gail says:

    Frances, One of the treats of reading your blog is your honesty~~I love your brain angel story! It is especially lovely lit. I can see how it would have been the perfect gift for a beloved mother from an adoring son; and how it has become a treasured ornament to you and the Financier. Love the peak into spring photos~~have a wonderful Christmas my friend! gail

    Hi Gail, thanks so much. The truth shall set us free! 🙂 This angel is treasured above all else, how age and the passage of time makes us so much wiser. Spring, ahhh! Enjoy your family at the festive time!

  6. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    I like the idea of a “treasured future memory”. May you and your family be so blessed. Thank you so much Frances.

    Hi Lisa, thanks so much for your loyal reading, you have been a steady comment leaver from the beginning and I do appreciate it and you. Have a wonderful Christmas!

  7. Merry Christmas. May you have visions of sugarplums (and perhaps a sugarplum tree) dance in your head.

    Hi Jill, thanks and the same good wishes to you and yours. Garden dreams are in the air at this time of year amongst the family and food!

  8. commonweeder says:

    Frances, Christmas, perhaps more than any other holiday, is wrapped up with family history and memories. We treasure our ‘heirloom’ ornaments, and keep adding our own. No tree or shelf can hold them anymore. Merry Christmas to you and all your family. Our Christmas celebrations will hold lots of cookies, fruitcake, greenapple mincemeat and PEOPLE!

    Hi Pat, thanks for stopping by. Your Christmas celebration sounds perfect. It is about our friends and family and seeing everyone laughing and happy that is the most important thing. Memories are made of these things. May you and yours have the best holidays ever!

  9. walk2write says:

    I understand completely the concept of continual downsizing, but for some reason we now have more furniture in our home than we did a year ago! And pots of herbs on the porch too! Love that story of the brain angel, Frances. Did you get an icy stare in response to your naming of it or a roll of the eyes? Sounds like your Christmas will be wonderful: simple, tasteful, and full of laughter. Best wishes to you and your family!

    Hi W2W, thanks and Hooray for pots of herbs! 🙂 No icy stare or eye rolling, ever. My MIL, Jane, aka Grammy was the nicest, sweetest human being ever born. She never treated anyone with anything but the greatest respect and friendliness, no matter what they said or did. She was my best friend and the role model of how a person should behave toward others. I needed lots of help in that department and she always was kind to me, no matter what a snark I was. I miss her as much as my own mother.
    May your own Christmas be the stuff of happy memories to come!

  10. Have a beautiful Christmas, Frances. I love your angel topper, although I can see why you thought she was a “brain angel.” Interesting on how our perspective mellows over the years.~~Dee

    Hi Dee, thanks and the same good wishes to you and yours. You are so right about our perspective changing with age, thank goodness, but my inner Don Rickles does make an appearance every now and then. 🙂

  11. Racquel says:

    What a lovely memento to have from your hubby’s family. Have a Merry Christmas Frances!

    Hi Racquel, thanks, it is highly valued among our ornaments. May you have a wondrful Christmas too!

  12. Debi says:

    Holiday treasures from our past are tangible reminders of how blessed we’ve been. Have a very Merry Christmas with family and friends, Frances.

    Hi Debi, thanks and the same to you and yours. How true about memories and things from the past, so dear to us.

  13. Hi Frances~
    What a strange coincidence…I have that same angel as an ornament, not a tree topper. It was given to me by my mother and it had belonged to her mother. I wonder if it originally was part of a tree topper? It appears to be broken, so maybe it was.

    The Christmas display you created looks nice. We also kept it simple this year.

    Enjoy today~


    Hi Karrita, thanks, this is very exciting! Does your ornament contain the cloud? I can see how that could break apart, the white stand is very flimsy, in fact the whole thing seems like it could break apart quite easily. Thanks for sharing that! May you have a wonderful Christmas!

  14. Brenda Kula says:

    Yes, yes, yes! I’m with you, Frances, with those last photos. I didn’t really care about putting up a tree, but I dragged out a table-top sized one and picked up another similar to it. I created little festive vignettes. But all I can think about (aside from my new precious granddaughter!) is the gardens and when I’ll have blooms again!

  15. Marnie says:

    Frances, your muslin nativity is so charming–more so because you created it yourself.

    Thank you for sharing those vivid garden photos. We’ve had snow and below freezing temps here every single day for weeks. I’ve almost lost my belief that spring will ever come again.
    Merry Christmas

    Hi Marnie, you know you have me singing Christmas carols in my brain? Thanks!!! Thanks for the nice words, the muslin nativity has always made me smile, I love the baby Jesus but those lambs are sure sweet! Spring will come, it has been promised! Have a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones, animal and human!

  16. LindaLunda says:

    Merry MARRY Cristmas Frances !

    Hi Linda, a very Merry Christmas to you too, my friend!

  17. Happy Holidays to your and your family Frances. Stay warm and safe.

    Hi Crafty, thanks and the same good wishes back at you, with more emphasis on the WARM! 🙂

  18. Amy says:

    Have a wonderful, relaxing Christmas Frances. We’re keeping things low-key this year too and going to my parent’s for finger foods on Christmas Eve.

    Hi Amy, thanks so much for stopping by. Let the family take good care of you and nurse you back to health while you dream of Tasha’s garden on your own plot of land! Stay warm and safe and enjoy your family on this Merry Christmas.

  19. TC says:

    Have yourself a merry little Christmas then Ms. Frances.

    Hi TC, my buddy, and the same to you too! 🙂

  20. easygardener says:

    Merry Christmas Frances – I do like the brain angel (lol). Strange how the eyes see something weird and the brain can never forget that original image!

    Hi EG, thanks and the same good wishes to you and yours. I really did not realize that was a cloud until told so, duh!

  21. Aunt Lynn says:

    What a great way to use the Christmas Angel. It is hard to imagine Christmas without her light.
    Merry Christmas

    Hi Lynn, it was hard to get it to stand up on the shelf, it is so top heavy. Her light shines on, never fear! Can’t wait to see you!


  22. A very Merry Christmas to you! Your post is gorgeous, those flowers have me pining for spring! Kim

    Hi Kim, thanks and I hope you had a wonderful holiday. I am ready to think spring, too!

  23. joey says:

    Frances, your top photo is stunning! As always, the rest of your heartfelt post followed though and equaled the beauty of your photos. At this age, I too give away … wishing to give more than I get. You have a gift for capturing the essense of life. It has been a joy knowing you … Christmas Blessings!

    Hi Joey, thanks, what a sweet thing to say! And it has been a joy knowing you also. 🙂

  24. patsi says:

    Love your post !
    Just beautiful !
    Merry Christmas Frances.

    Hi Patsi, thanks so much. I hope you Christmas was wonderful.

  25. Kathleen says:

    Interesting tree topper Frances. I may not have appreciated it either but like a lot of things, it would grow on me and come to have meaning after a time. I like your first photo with the light glowing thru it. As far as not being enthusiastic about decorating a tree, I haven’t had that happen yet. (coming from someone with five trees up!) But yes, your work “cleaning up” the holidays will be short and you can get on with the business of spring flowers a lot quicker than the rest of us. We’ll be sprinting to catch up with you! Love those spring & June dream photos. Merry Christmas dear Frances. You are indeed a treasure and I’ll look forward to admiring your garden in 2009.

    Hi Kathleen, thanks, what nice words! I hope your Christmas was fantastic with your five trees. I was sad to not have a tree and will surely have one next year. Let us look ahead to the gardens of 2009!

  26. Jon says:

    Frances, Just popped by to wish y’all a very Merry Christmas and all the best in 2009!
    Really lovely decorations you have on display particularly the awesome angel in the top photo.
    Jon at Mississippi Garden

    Hi Jon, thanks, hope you are well and happy and had a fantastic Christmas.

  27. Darla says:

    Great post Frances. Love the tree topper, it’s just beautiful lit up. Enjoy your Christmastime, and I too am dreaming of flowers and critters.

    Hi Darla, thanks. I hope your Christmas was great and let us look forward to the gardens of next year.

  28. Have a lovely holiday season Frances.
    Your little manger people are delightful.
    Warm regards

    Hi Karen, thanks. They are a favorite here also. Hope your holidays were relaxing and enjoyable.

  29. VP says:

    Merry Christmas dear Frances and see you in the New Year!


    Hi VP, thanks to you and I hope your holidays were the best ever. Let us look ahead to the coming year and all the wonders it will bring.

  30. joco says:

    Hiya Francis,

    We may lose faith from time to time, but we gardeners never give up hope, do we?

    I hope future garden dreams will come true, yours and mine.

    Best wishes for the season.

    Your Christmas Card is here.

    Hi Joco, yes, let our garden dreams come true, a wonderful wish, thanks.

  31. Ewa says:

    Merry Christmas! Wesolych Swiat, Frances!

    Hi Ewa, thanks and the best wishes for you and yours.

  32. Anne says:

    She’s a lovely angel, Frances, although I see what you mean about the brains… that photo of the butterfly and orange flowers is so gorgeous! Happy Holidays!

    Hi Anne, thanks, we do appreicate her beauty now. I hope your holidays were fabulous and let us dream of spring.

  33. Merry Christmas, Frances!

    Hi Carol, thanks and I hope your Christmas was wonderful.

  34. cheryl says:

    A very Happy Christmas to you and your family Frances. 🙂

    Hi Cheryl, thanks. I hope your Christmas was the best ever.

  35. Pam/Digging says:

    Brain angel! I’m cracking up, Frances. But she is lovely, and I can see why you’ve come to appreciate her. Have a wonderful, peaceful Christmas with your family!

    Hi Pam, thanks, we do laugh at that here too. I hope your Christmas was great.

  36. Philip says:

    Merry Christmas, Frances!
    I love your display. The manger figures are wonderful, as is the “brain angel!I think it is so great you made the manger figures!
    🙂 That view to the upcoming garden looks wonderful!

    Hi Philip, thanks. I used to do a lot of crafting, no money to buy stuff! Now those homemade things are treasured above the rest. I hope your holidays were wonderful and let us dream of gardens to come.

  37. Merry Christmas Frances to you and your Family. An emphasis on cookies is good for the whole year.

    Hi Christopher, thanks. I hope you and your family had a most wonderful Christmas, with plenty of cookies too. We had more than any family should have.

  38. TC says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

    Hi TC, thanks. I hope your Christmas was the best ever.

  39. marmee says:

    now you have grown to love the angel (brain angel) how much our perspectives change as we learn to appreciate the simple things in life. hope your new year will be amazing.

    Hi Marmee, thanks. I hope your Christmas was wonderful too. Growing older does teach us to appreciate what really matters more.

  40. Cosmo says:

    A slightly belated Merry Christmas to you and the Financier. Your decorations are beautiful, and that last photo of the butterfly weed is award winning! Hope you’ve had a happy holiday.

    Hi Cosmo, thanks. I am behind on all things blog related too. I hope your holidays have been the most wonderful ever.

  41. gittan says:

    Merry Christmas Frances even if it’s a bit late. I love your last picture it makes me long for the summer even more.
    If you visit my blog I have made some changes, look on the right side and ther you will find google “välj språk” When you click ther you can chose the languange you want to read my blig in. Hoper it works. If there’s any problem just let me know / gittan

    Hi Gittan, thanks so much. I hope you Christmas was wonderful and fulfilled your every dream. I will check out the new reader as soon as I can get back into the blogdom. I look forward to reading what is happening with your and yours.

  42. gittan says:

    Sorry, me fingers slipped… hope you understand what I meen even if the spelling was terrible / gittan

    Not a problem, Gittan, understood perfectly.

  43. Hilde says:

    A little, late for a merry christmas, but..
    Love your decorations, best wishes from Hilde in Norway 🙂

    Hi Hilde, never too late for good wishes, thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.

  44. Siria says:

    Hi Frances! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your family! I too didn’t have a tree at home since I am in the mountains this Christmas and have a tree here. I hate coming home to a dead tree and decorations to put away (after I have already put everything away in the mountains). I love your decorations, especially the touching story about the angel topper and I also love the manger set you made. The best of Christmas is memories made and treasured for years!

    Hi Siria, thanks. I hope you are enjoying the mountains and your Christmas there was the best one ever. I am thankful to not have a lot to put away, but will definitely have a tree next year. It was a little sad without one.

  45. Rose says:

    Sometimes it takes time and the wisdom of age to see true beauty. The first photo of the angel shows it magnificently. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your family. I am dreaming of spring already, too:)

    Hi Rose, you are so right about that. I hope your Christmas was wonderful, even without your daughter there in body, she was there in spirit. Let us dream and plan for the gardens of 2009.

  46. Phillip says:

    I hope you and your family have a great new year Frances!

    Hi Phillip, thanks and the same good wishes for you and yours.

  47. Pingback: Seasons Greetings from Christmases Past | Fairegarden

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