January 31, 2018:


Today is the Super Duper Blue Red Full Eclipse Partial Eclipse Moon, depending on where you may be viewing from.

Three years ago this day was my last day of working and I retired after 46 years of full-time work. I've enjoyed every single moment of my retirement since then - three years and hoping for twenty more, we'll see how things go...

February and March can be cruel months in southeastern Wisconsin where I live. January itself was nutso here weather-wise, with two separate thaws. I don't ever remember getting two January thaws before, and many years none happened at all.

Before I know it I'll be headed to Las Vegas to visit my friends and celebrate some sunshine and warm weather, and see a show (I always try to squeeze one in). Meanwhile, I am continuing, slowly, to make this smaller retirement ranch into a home that makes me smile in every room. I still have lots to do, including major painting projects. I keep putting them off. Seems at 66 I'm not so keen on painting as I was at 36. Gee, I wonder why...


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Visiting Debbie-Dabble

I confess to farting around at work earlier today (mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa) and visiting a certain decorating blog that had a certain -- not sure what they're called -- party? -- posted.  It was somewhat before lunch hour, ahem

People with blogs of kith and kindred interests (and some not so much) post a link to their own particular blog.  There are sometimes hundreds of them for each "party" -- and so you get to look over little mini-photographs and little mini-descriptions such as "Living Room Re-do"  and "Dresser Re-do" and click on the link if you want to see more -- or you can pass it by.  If you click on the link, voila, you are instantly transported to someone else's blog to read about that particular project and see photographs.  It's wonderful!  If you like where you are, you can stay and explore, or bookmark the blog and go back later on, when you have more time...

And thus, today, while visiting one such "party" I ended up at Debbie-Dabble's blog.  I believe her post to the "party" was something about "red and green" and pictured a Christmas tree.  Imagine posting a blog entry with a Christmas tree in March?  Well, I just had to find out more.

Let me tell you what hooked me in once I was magically whisked to Debbie's website:  it was a blog entry she did on February 18, 2012:

Do You Ever Think About What You Post on Your Blog May Mean to Those Who Read It?

I have often wondered about this very thing, probably because I'm an historian, researcher and writer by passionate avocation, although none of those things is what I do to support this household (but the skills do come in handy on occasion).

 I know how much the written word can affect people. But even if you do manage to reach out and touch the occasional reader, you don't usually know about it, unless that person leaves a message telling you so.  Nope, you just have to sorta kinda hope that what you're doing may connect with someone else, preferably, thousands of someone elses.

I read what Debbie had to say on the subject, and was so incredibly touched by what she wrote.  She wrote straight from the heart, and what she wrote went straight to my heart.  So, I explored her blog a little bit further, and then left a message.  Because I felt I just had to let her know that I, silly moi, had found her blog and visited, and really really like who she is and what she does. 

It seems to me that Debbie is a woman who spreads joy, light, laughter and love wherever she goes.  I have sometimes (not often, I'll admit, but sometimes) wished that I was that kind of person.  Don't get me wrong, I believe that I am a generous, loving person, and I do express that in my own cock-eyed way, but in translation things usually don't come out quite right -- and besides, I have absolutely no damn patience for people I consider trumped up Donald Trump types or fools!  No, I'm no Debbie-Dabble.  She, well, I know this is going to sound absurd, but Debbie does seem to incorporate into her personality the primary attributes of the Great Mother Goddess, in her most benign aspect.

Now, I consider myself a Goddess, too.  But I'm no Mother, that's for sure. I'm far too temperamental and bitchy to be a good mother and thank Goddess I was smart enough, when I grew up and got over my sentimental 6th grade "Oh, I want to have a DOZEN children - or become a Nun", to not become a parent. Or a Nun. Being a generous Aunty has been more than enough, thank you. That's okay.  The world is more than big enough to hold me and Debbie-Dabble quite comfortably together. 

I won't go so far as to say we're two peas from the same pod, but I feel a definite kinship with elements of her decorating style. Debbie has a flare for the dramatic, and I think I do too.  I like how she puts unexpected things together.  Her feeling is downhome comfortable.  I'm headed more in that direction away from "House Beautiful" myself over the past several years -- when I've had time to even think about it.  Of late, I've been thinking about it (that turning "60" thing...).  "House Beautiful" looks fab in photographs, but how does it really function in day to day living?  It's fine if there's just you in the house (and you can afford a housekeeper to come in once a week, like moi, to do the vacuuming and dusting, etc.) and hardly put a dent in one of those perfectly constructed "vignettes" and 42 pillows piled upon your bed!  But come on, let's get real!  I sure as hell don't want to be messing with removing pillows from my bed when I'm tired and ready to hit the sack!  I sure as hell wouldn't want Mr. Don tripping over any of those same pillows which would, I've no doubt, end up all over the bedroom floor because the "master" bedroom isn't all that "master" in size and the chair isn't large enought to hold 42 pillows.

Debbie-Dabble's "fake" mantel.  Not only does this remind me of my own "Spring mantel",
 I see definite signs of Home Interiors!  I've got lots of Home Interiors items, too.  My friend's sister
sold Home Interiors for many years and when I bought my first house in 1986 I bought many
items, and then in subsequent years.  The wallpaper border reminds me of the border I removed from my
bedroom that had been pink for 19 years (finally repainted in late 2009) and through three different borders
over the years but always the same underlying pink walls and the same curtains (made from sheets).
EEK!  It was beautiful, I have to admit, but past its prime, and I was so tired of the pink. 
Elsewhere at Debbie-Dabble's blog I saw the beautiful print "Roses, Roses" also by Home Interiors, that
hung in my own bedroom for many years and is currently stashed in a closet. I may never use the
print again, but I may use the frame some day, because it is drop dead gorgeous.
In any event, neither of our decorating styles is everyone's cup of tea, to be sure.  I mean, Debbie has had 17 Christmas trees in her house at the same time!  And she still has some of them up, one of them is actually decorated for St. Patty's Day.  It's beautiful!  The green speaks to me of Spring and growth and lushness, and drunken handsome young Irishmen with black hair, rosy cheeks and sparkling blue eyes - and tenors -- but I digress -- that was back in college days.

My decorating style, on the other hand, prominently features pagan goddesses, hopelessly out of "trend" colors and furniture (I still have a 27" tube t.v. in my family room that I watch DVDs on) and my bookcases are nightmares to the decorating queens of the internet because they are utterly unorganized and cluttered with photographs and memorabilia from my travels here and there, and loaded down with pending research stacked haphazardly in teetering piles.  Lighting is - crap.  I don't like bright light unless it's the sun shining in and then I yank back the curtains and let her rip, fading all of my fabrics....  But generally at night, I prefer candle light.  Or those new-fangled "flameless" candles that I never knew existed until recently.  Geez, talk about being hopelessly out of touch!

We need more Debbie-Dabbles in the world. She has achieved her own unique personal style and has a happy-feeling house.  What more can one ask than to have a happy-feeling house?  Isn't that what we're all trying to achieve?  We won't achieve that by being cookie-cutters of each other, because WE are not cookie-cutters of each other.


  1. Jan,
    I was looking through my Blog Roll this morning and I saw the name of my blog, Debbie- Dabble!!I eagerly clicked on to see what this was all about and I have to say that I am speechless! I am not often speechless as you may have already guessed! LOL!
    I am sitting here in total amazement that you took the time to write a post that included my blog and me! OMG!! I am so flattered and honored but enough of that because I see you are not a person that goes for mush, right?? LOL!! Neither am I!
    I think you may have guessed that I am an open book...the good, the bad and the ugly !! I try to be myself and portray that in my blog.And I want my blog to be personal and real.
    Yes, I am over the top and my blogger friend, Martha from Martha's Favorites calls me her Over the Top Friend! I do what makes me happy. 17 trees and my home decorated to the hilt at Christmas makes me very happy. So does decorating for every Holiday and Season. I guess I do march to my own drummer and I have always prided myself at being " different" than everyone else. Heck, I am an Aquarius and they tend to be different!!
    My home, I feel is a reflection of me and all the people in my life that have made me , me!
    I love family treasures from both mine and my hubby's families. I love knowing where pieces came from and I love that I can tell stories about these pieces! I should probably stop babbling now....
    I want to thank you for this post. It has truly touched my heart.
    In the future, I would like to do a post about this and what you are saying about cookie cutter blogs. Will you let me mention your blog and this post?
    Thanks once again..
    Please feel free to email me..

  2. Deb, I'm glad you saw this blog post about your wonderful website. While we have different styles, our approach is the same because we both decorate with what we love most, not necessarily what is on trend at the moment. We surround ourselves not with Pottery Barn and Ikea or designers bought at discount but often with family pieces that have history and deep personal meaning. I love looking at all of the lovely rooms and vignettes that the decorating blogs put out there for our viewing pleasure. I have received much inspiration and acquired new knowledge over the past several months as I have explored this new world of which I had been unware until recently; but at the end of the day, I want to come home not to the most current on-trend, but to comfort, warmth and that indefineable "love in the air" feeling that makes me smile when I walk through my front door after a long, hard day at work.

    I love my house, and that means not tearing it apart every six weeks, or six months or even six months to "do it over better". It's already better in my eyes! I get the same feeling from the photographs of your home, of a well-loved, comfortably appointed haven. We all need havens, not necessarily House Beautiful.

    1. Oops! I meant to say "not tear it apart every six weeks, or six months or even six YEARS to "do it over better." Doh!