December 4, 2016: Hola everyone! Winter has arrived in Milwaukee and there are snow flurries today. Despite several hard freezes remarkably my "spikes" in two of my patio planters have absolutely refused to die. The rosemary and thyme plants I nursed inside the house through last winter spent the summer in their pot outside next to the side stoop off the driveway, where they get plenty of sunshine all day long. I transplanted them into a cozy sheltered spot right next to the stoop in October and they are still green and growing, too! With the delay in getting the drywall patching done in the relatively minor "reconstruction" work I had done in my kitchen, I am way behind my time in getting the house decorated. But yesterday I got my wreath decked out with extra lights and dressed the front door of the house, and my battery-operated traditional candles were put up on the window sills all around the house Friday evening. It becomes a ritual to go around at dusk and turn the tops to the right to turn the candles "on" and at bedtime to go around and turn the tops to the left to turn the candles "off." Today I put some "glittery" throw pillow covers purchased new last month from H&M on three of my sofa pillows to glam things up a bit in the living room and add some sparkle. Later on, after I sufficiently fuel myself up with wine and snacks and probably to distract myself while I listen to the Packers game on the radio, I will huff and puff and pull my artificial tree up from storage in the basement. I will decorate it simply this year. Every year I say that, and every year I end up throwing just about everything except the kitchen sink on the tree. I am very proud of myself this year, though. I did not buy a single new ornament or Christmas doo-dad for the house (throw pillow covers don't count!!!) Happy Holidays to all, with hope and fervent prayers for 2017. I've a feeling we're all going to need a lot of help from Goddess in the coming year. Jan

Monday, March 12, 2012

Working Area in Family Room

Hola!  Here are a couple photos taken yesterday of my working area in the family room.  I have another one in the living room.  I alternate between both spaces depending upon how warm or cold it is and the time of day.  The living room faces east and has gorgeous sun in the early morning; it is cool in all seasons.  In the winter I often have a fire going.

The family room faces west and my work table is set up facing a large window overlooking my backyard.  It's this room that I want to paint this year (it's been the same since 1996 or 1997 and I'm tired of it!).

Yesterday was a beautiful day for this time of year in SE Wisconsin and I worked in this room all day and night.

The carpeting was replaced the same year I "redid" this room -- 1996 or 1997.  There used to be jewel-toned (dark) wallpaper and border on the bottom portion of the walls.  In the "redo" I swapped out the paper for a much lighter tone, the carpeting went from light grey (still in the rest of the house and it's 21 years old) to a medium taupe tone that has held up well.  I stenciled a border around the top of the walls that you can't see in these photographs.

The sofa table on which I have one of my laptops and the printer is tucked behind a queen-size sleeper sofa.  The recliner on the left, above photo, was purchased in 2002 and I use it a lot!  Never thought I'd be a recliner chick but I love it!  The wing chair on the right was purchased in 1996 or 1997 from Sears Home Life, now defunct.  I loved the chair and ottoman when I saw them, it's big and comfy and I happened to come across a fabric that exactly matched what is on the sleeper sofa (1993 purchase from Marshall Fields clearance furniture) so I had it upholstered to match.  Yeah, it's matchy matchy.

I wish the room was larger, but it's not.  My workspace is literally in a "sliver" of the room.  I would like to add another foot to it, but that would entail getting rid of the sleeper sofa.  Wish I could afford to do that -- but new furniture is not on the horizon.  Ideally I would add a small sectional sofa where the two chairs are now and blop a smaller footprint chair where the sofa is now.  I would get a wider "desk" to hold my stuff and move it out a foot or so from the wall.  Ideally I would get rid of the ancient entertainment center and the 27" dinosaur television set that is only used now to watch videos and DVDs, LOL!  Ideally the entire back wall would be built-in bookshelves, not any deeper than 11 inches but would stretch all the way to the ceiling and have infinitely adjustable shelves!

Well, I'll settle for a new paint job and new wall paper with - I hope - a real chair rail added around the room.  Dreading it - all the damn work!  Yech!


  1. Jan,
    Sounds like you will be busy too! I want to repaint our Den this year. We did the Kitchen last year and that was a killer with painting the cabinets and everything.
    I want to go with a deep taupe above the chair rail instead of the cream color I have there now and keep the blue below the Chair rail. I am also looking for a border to put up near the ceiling. Then I want to paint my china cabinet cream and the 2 end tables cream. After Easter, I will start this project. I also want to change the light fixtures that i have on each side of the old kitchen window on the Den side. I want simple sconces that I can put a small lamp shade on.
    Sounds like we both will be busy.


  2. Oh Deb, I am very much afraid I am biting off much more than I can chew in contemplating this project! Scared to death. I painted dark brown kitchen cabinets semi-gloss white in the very first house I bought, in 1986, and it was a BITCH to do. It took five coats and that was after primer/concealer (sounds like the make-up job I do on my fairy face five days a week, heh-heh). Maybe I should do the downstairs 3/4 bath instead. It doesn't really grate on my nerves yet but that sponge painting and the olive green - very outdated now. Sigh. That's a smaller room and maybe it would make more sense to take on a smaller project FIRST and see how I do. These day the get-up-and-go has got-up-and-went, as they say. Damn! But I really AM sick of the family room colors. Well past time to freshening things up in there. Ach - torn torn torn. If I could afford it I would hire painters to come in and do the magic, but with requiring the bottom third of the room to be papered and I want to add a chair-too - way beyond the stretch of my budget. I've been pricing out chair-rails and will probably go with an easy to saw "foam" one that I can order online, if the shipping charges aren't too expensive. Well, this and that, this and that. As you well know, I'm sure! LOL!