Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Folderol or Frivolous Friday*

"Mishmash Monday"* was the brainchild of Monica the Garden Faerie some time ago, and thanks to her again, we have some alternatives for those of us who don't "do" Mondays very well. Her suggestion for similar Friday posts was "Frivolous Friday," but I didn't think I was feeling particularly frivolous today. So I brainstormed some ideas for other alliterative adjectives or nouns, considering "Friday Flotsam," but the definition of flotsam is "rubbish." Hmm, I don't think that quite fits my thoughts today. But what about folderol, also spelled falderal? According to, synonyms for folderol are nonsense, trifles . . . or codswallop. Now while I try to figure out the meaning of codswallop, let's look at a few trivial odds and ends left over in the photo files.

Yesterday's sunrise showed a glimmer of promise as the sun tried to peek through, and glory be, we finally had a sunny day! According to the local weatherperson, this was the first sunny day we've had in two and a half weeks. No wonder I've been feeling lethargic. But with the sun, we've also had some snow and Arctic temperatures once again.


On my last post, Wendy commented that she kept looking for a photo of a slug, then realized that the slug I was referring to was yours truly:) But her comment reminded me that I had missed the boat--I had this photo of a slug taken last summer I should have used! This slug incidentally was not in my garden, but in some garden I visited this past summer, perhaps the Idea Garden. Feel free to enlarge the photo if you would like to admire its slimy beauty. I'm ashamed to say I didn't remove the slug and send it to its just reward; all I could think of at the time was getting a good photo.


Before the snow and cold returned, we had a thaw last week which revealed some messes around the yard, including these leaves that were never raked up. I guess I never got around to finishing this job because a.) my garden helpers never returned with rakes in hand; b.) I got involved with preparations for Thanksgiving; and c.) I came down with a case of GADS. For those unfamiliar with this acronym by Carol, GADS refers to the distractions that often afflict gardeners.

In this case, I was busy raking leaves and trying to decide whether to dump them all on the shade garden when I was distracted by the pine trees nearby. As I looked at them, I realized I had the perfect mulch available free of charge right in my own front yard. We have many pine trees bordering our lawn, which means plenty of pine straw. So instead of raking the leaves matting the ground under the maple tree, I began to rake up barrels of pine straw instead.

All the hydrangeas, usually left to fend for themselves over the winter, got a thick blanket of pine needles. Although they did well last summer, I'm hoping they appreciate this extra protection and will bloom even more this year. And before I go buying too many bags of mulch this spring, I'm going to recycle this free material, especially in the shade garden where the pine straw will be perfect for the mostly acid-loving plants.

Seeing the leaves on the ground also reminds me of a post from this past November. If you missed this classic by Monica about "curbside shopping," do take the time to go back to read it. It will give you a good laugh on these dreary winter days.


The temporary thaw last weekend also gave me a chance to finally bring in all the outdoor Christmas decorations. Can you tell what these alien-looking creatures are? They're animated lighted deer--a buck and a doe whose heads move slightly up and down or side to side. I'm not big on gaudy outdoor decorations, but I had admired the illuminated deer or angels I had seen in other yards and was so happy when I found them marked down 75% after Christmas a few years ago. But the idyllic display I envisioned hasn't always been quite so pretty. Here's a little history of these deer:

1st Christmas: The deer are placed in front of the house, clearly visible as you drive up our long lane. The grandchildren are mesmerized as the buck scans the horizon while the doe grazes.

2nd Christmas: A few of the lights go out so that the buck appears to be standing on two legs, and the does' ears are missing. After some careful thought, I begin to suspect the cause might be Older Daughter's pug, Odie, who "christened" each of the deer every time he went outside.

3rd Christmas: After an early December trip to Arizona, the deer are hastily placed outside before Christmas without checking their condition. More lights have gone out, so that now one sees only strange bodies and antlers floating above the ground. Much time is spent after Christmas checking for dead bulbs and deciding the best course of action is to string brand new clear lights all over each deer body part.

4th Christmas (this year): The rejuvenated deer are placed outside in early December with small stakes to keep them upright, clearly looking like deer once again as they are lit up. Two days later, 50 mph winds blow across the fields, and the deer topple over. When the wind finally subsides, I prop them up once again, but the stakes have bent and become frozen in the ground. Without the stakes, the deer are prey for any winter wind that blows through. The process of picking them up and placing them upright occurs several times during the Christmas season. Finally I give up, and when the grandchildren ask about them, I say, "They're sleeping." To add insult to injury, the first snowfall came on Christmas, burying them under a mound of snow and ice. Not until it reached45 degrees last Sunday could I detach them from the ground. Maybe I should consider a new outdoor decoration next Christmas . . .


It's been a very busy week here, and I'm looking forward to having a more relaxing weekend and catching up on all the blog-reading I've missed. I hope you all have a good weekend--and stay warm!


  1. Hi Rose, I loved your falderol! The saga of the deer made me laugh out loud, the floating without feet part especially. Maybe they are angel deer, a combo of the two decorations. HA We have the same duo here, and while not covered in snow, we were unable to get the stakes out of the frozen ground until just recently, and then I had to get The Financier to pull them up. There were bulbs coming up around them, that would have been a real overlap of seasons, wouldn't it? Love the pine straw and the hydrangeas should be much better with it for protection. You can have the slug, however. :-)

  2. Rose girl ! LOL .. I loved the sequence of events with each Christmas and what the heck happened to my deer ??? LOL
    Believe me .. laughing right now like this is great therapy .. even for my chest cold .. I won't go into detail ? haha
    It is -26 with windchill here this morning but the promise of a sunrise that should be clear .. we'll see, I have been fooled before !! haha
    Keep the epic of the deer .. that was a HOOT ! wink wink

  3. It just goes to show that wild deer are difficult to rustle and tame. I learned a new word today Rose. Folderol. It sounds so important too. Isn't it amazing what a little sunshine will do for you??!!

  4. Good morning. I am still trying to figure out what folderol means:) Great shot of the slug. And lucky lucky you to have so many pine needles. The hydrangeas will surely appreciate the mulch.

  5. Hi Rose....lovely finale to that funny, loved the 'deer story'

    Lovely to hear you putting the pine needles to good use. I try to use everything in the garden....either as mulch, for compost, or simply to put on the copse floor....

    I had to smile when I read codswallop.....Mr P detests that word. My maternal grandmother (cockney born and bred) used that word frequently. She always told me it meant rubbish.
    Many a time I heard her say
    "What a load of codswallop"
    I was never allowed to use words like that....father had a better upbringing than mother, so words like that were banned.

    Have a good weekend Rose.

  6. good morning Rose. I'm still laughing... you are quite the story teller. Our outdoor decorations consists of a string of tiny white lights in the gazebo, that stays up year around.

    Speaking of slugs, have you ever seen the banana slug while visiting your daughter here in the Pacific northwest? Now that 6-8 inches in length will make you gulp.

    Hope the sun shines for you and that you have a wonderful weekend Rose.

  7. Lots of folderol! I loved it. I love your blog and that's why I've given you an award.
    Here is what the Kreativ Blogger Award asks you to do. If you can’t do all of it, don’t worry; the award is still yours!
    1. Copy the creative blogger logo from my blog onto a post in your blog.
    2. Link to me in that post.
    3. Mention seven things about you and/or your blog that might be of interest.
    4. Mention (and link to) seven other blogs you like.
    This way readers get introduced to some new and interesting blogs. I hope you'll have as much fun with this as I did.

  8. Well folderol and fiddle dee dee! Very catchy post title Rose!

    I love pine straw mulch - wish we had some pine trees here. Kudos for making good use of it in the garden!

    Loved the deer story - we have one in the basement that's never made it to the lawn. It was a gift from the Lawn Man's co-worker, but he's not big on outdoor Christmas decorations.

    The sunshine yesterday was very welcome. . . the cold temperatures, not so much! It's a whopping 5 degrees here this morning.

  9. Lovely to catch up :)

    Codswallop! A great word, not used here much now, but I remember my mum saying it to me when I was little, 'You're talking a load of codswallop' she'd say, meaning that I was talking a load of rubbish!!!


  10. Quite a lot of very different photos. You always provide lovely ones.

    Folderol is in a folk tune that we used to have to sing when I was at school....... but which one........ ummmmhhhh! Thinking...... Don't think it meant codswhallop though.......

    Could do without a picture of a slug, Rose!

    Nuts in May

  11. Why in the world have we stopped using words like folderol, codswallop? Those are great, colorful words that would surely get more attention than the 4 letter words people love using today. Thanks for providing the first smile of the day:)

  12. Hi Rose
    Great idea and grandly presented!
    I, too, am attempting to catch up with reading all the blogs I follow or wish to be able to follow. Yours is one of them. Have a great weekend,
    aka Bay Area Tendrils Garden Travel via Blotanical!!

  13. Sitting here, giggling, Rose. Others in the coffee shop are wondering what's so funny. I think I'll share the saga of the deer with them!

    Somewhere out there under the snow are a few holiday items of mine.

    And, last night I noticed that a snowdrift was glowing -- so I think I now know where some of the missing solar lights have gone. Our snowplow guy cares little for the actual boundaries of our driveway. :)

  14. Rose, this is HILARIOUS! I just love it. Those deer are really neat, seriously.
    That acidic pine straw may help you get blue blooms on your hydrangeas, too. I tried that one winter and I DID have bluish blooms for a change! Usually they're quite pink.

  15. I am glad you finally got a sunny day. It helps a lot in those long winter days to get some vitamin D!
    Those poor deer. What a crazy story! I admire your stamina!
    I like this idea for Frivolous Friday. Only it may be freaky friday for me.


  16. Oh deer! I had to laugh about your ill fated decorations Rose :) I have been known to use codswallop but folderol is delightful and not heard much any more.

    Now I am going to say 'Oh dear' again, somehow I missed commenting on your previous post although I definitely read and enjoyed it. I know I did because I enjoyed seeing the Opossum, the birds and dear Sophie :)

  17. Rose, your deer deserve another year where they can stand tall and survey their kingdom. Maybe Mr. P can provide studier stakes.

    I like the Foldera Friday as another way to share photos and stories that don't quite merit a post of their own. I have lots of these and you know how jumbled my thoughts can be... although most of the time you follow right along with my train of thought. Hmmm, now what does that say about us? Both crazy or both genius??!!

  18. Our Christmas decorations (lights and garland) are STILL up, mostly because they've been frozen underneath icicles for weeks. Although they finally were freed by the recent thaw, it's so cold now we haven't had the heart to stand out there taking them down!

  19. Frances, "Angel deer"--I like that:) I like the idea of bulbs blooming around them--maybe I should just leave mine up all year?

    Joy, Sorry to hear about your nasty cold; glad the deer saga cheered you up. Maybe I should put some rebar in them next year...but then that might look a little scary:)

    Lisa, Yesterday's sun cheered me right up! I like the sound of folderol, too.

    Tina, My head is full of all kinds of useless information and unusual words:) I don't know why I never thought to use that pine straw before; heaven knows, I have plenty of it.

    Cheryl, The deer story is typical of my life:) I try to compost most things, but I never thought to rake up the pine straw before--I can save a fortune on mulch next year. That's so funny about your mum using "codswallop." When I looked up the definition, a few explanations of its origin were a bit unsavory:)

    Di, I do all the Christmas decorating around here, so my outdoor decorations tend to me minimal or easy to put up. I haven't seen the banana slug before--not sure I want to:)

    Pat, Thank you so much, and thank you for the award. It might take me awhile to get around to fulfilling all of this, but I do appreciate it.

    Garden Girl, I keep wanting to say fiddle-de-dee, too:) The sun was a welcome sight, but it sure is cold! I guess I should be thankful it's not sleeting.

    Suburbia, I thought that was such a funny did sound like British slang to me. Funny that your mother actually used it.

    Maggie May, Those lyrics sound a bit familiar to me, too...maybe that is why folderol was rolling around in my brain. No, a slug is not a pretty sight.

    Marnie, I agree those words are much more colorful than the language we hear so frequently these days. Glad to put a smile on your face.

  20. Folderol is an excellent word. :) I love reading the history of the deer. Very funny!

  21. Bay Area, How nice of you to visit!

    Kate, The end of winter always brings surprises--besides spring blooms there are always lots of odds and ends that wound up buried in the snow. At our house, I think we'll find doggie toys everywhere:)

    Kylee, I'm hoping, too, for some blue blooms--my "Endless Summer" are usually pink, because I forget to add some acidic food to them.

    Rosey, "Freaky Friday" sounds like a great title for a blog post!

    Songbird, How fun to find out that people actually use "codswallop"! Glad you enjoyed Sophie and the possum.

    Beckie, Some stronger stakes sound like a good idea. You know what we've always said, "Great minds think alike":)

    Rose, I empathize completely. If it hadn't reached 45 degrees last Sunday, my decorations would still be up.

    Sweet Bay, I'm beginning to think my deer are jinxed.

  22. Hi Rose,
    I enjoyed your falderal, and I'm surprised my spelling of the word didn't get all red and squiggly, showing me it's misspelled. LOL

    I'm glad you got some great pine mulch. I laughed at the story of the reindeer.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I haven't been keeping up with my blogging this month, first, because of helping our daughter move, and now because of the kitchen. It's been fun and exciting so far. The guy has been great to work with. The open shelving is actually for bowls of potatoes, onions, and other stuff I like to have handy, including some of my collections. It's supposed to take 4 days the third week of March.

    The hard part right now, is picking out the appliances. We had them picked out, but have found some not so positive reviews on some of them, so need to look a little more and decide.

    Oh, great photo of the slug, too! I put them on the edge of a bird bath for the birds to eat.

  23. Hello Rose,

    I love the idea of using pine needles as mulch. I highly recommend them for our area because as they break down, they acidify our alkaline soils. I love the story of the should repost that at Christmas time :^)

  24. Hi Rose,
    I love the word falderol or folderol or however it is spelled. It has been part of my vocabulary for as long as I can remember.
    When I first saw the Christmas lights I was still thinking slug (which I am in the winter) and it looked like an illuminated slug. Long day, what can I say?

  25. What a funny story, Rose! Maybe your deer need the Chicago touch: cement shoes for ballast. Then they would become a permanent fixture in the yard. I can imagine clematis climbing up and covering them with flowers during the summer...

  26. Your 'frivolous Friday' post was hardly 'frivolous', Rose. Lots of good stuff came our way ... you have that gift!

  27. Yikes! I had to go back and read your last post to make sure I didn't say something that wasn't true! Did I really say you were a slug? Happy to read that you'd already said it (whew!).

    I absolutely love colourful words like folderol and codswallop. Snickerdoodle and frizzel-frazzel too. Oh and I love Dr. Seuss, don't you? Words are such fun!

    Laughed at your deer saga! And was happy to see a pic of a real slug. Thanks for the linky.

    Hope things warm up soon.
    Oh, and btw - I never bought a snow blower. We hired a really nice young man to shovel our walk. Not too much snow, so far, but winter is far from over.

  28. The deer aren't dead, they're only resting. (I can't believe Mr. McGregor's Daughter didn't say this already.)

  29. Ooh, I love the term folderol! And, frankly, flotsam! In fact, folderol better fits the idea, but it didn't come up in the thesaurus when I was looking for appropriate "f" words. I like it so much, I'm going back to update my post so it's "officially" Folderol Friday, just for you!! :)

  30. I love the story of the deer! Poor creatures. Especially the 'christening'!

  31. Love the pine straw and the hydrangeas should be much better with it for protection. You can have the slug, however.

    Work from home India


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