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

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Worth Saying Again: To Thine Own Self, Be True

As I was scootching around the internet today visiting some of my favorite decorating blogs and discovering new ones through linky parties and such, along the way, this evening I ended up at Centsational Girl's blog that I really really like.  Note to self:  Add to blog list.

My own "design philosophy" is reflected in my post of March 7, 2012 The Starburt Mirror - OH NO!

My recently discovered decorating "buddy," Debbie at Debbie-Dabble, whom I admire greatly for doing her own decorating thing so freely and fearlessly (I love looking at her photos at her blog, her house is so warm feeling it always makes me smile and happy in a good way, even on the crappiest days when I'm stressed out from work or just so damn tired I don't feel like I can go on another second doing this until I hit "full" retirement age - still more than 5 years away!)  -- Goddess! -- what a run-on sentence this is turning into.  LOL!  As I was saying before I totally lost my brain train for a few seconds there (sigh), Debbie-Dabble read my blog post, thought about it and wrote a beautiful post of her own on March 11, 2012 Are You an Original or a Cookie-Cutter? 

By reading the responses at Debbie's blog to her March 11th post, I realized that there are people - probably lots of people - who agree with us that one's home should reflect one's own true self and be one's haven from the world.  One's home should be filled with things that are meaningful to YOU, who live there -- photographs, souvenirs, funky quirky finds, personal art, collections, hand-made crafts if you are so lucky as to be talented in that direction, and your books, your music, your colors!  Yeah, if I could afford to have House Beautiful or Architectural Digest, would I do it?  Probably not, except to buy a home in a location with an absolutely spectacular view.

If I could afford a home like that, I could also afford a chauffeur 24/7 to haul my non-driving butt around town, or if I actually bought that island I've always fantasized about if I ever married the Sultan of Brunei (ain't happening, ladies, but I can still dream about it, heh heh), I could afford my own fleet of helicopters, speed boats and airplanes!  And tons of servants to do my shopping and such.  All I'd ever have to do is spend my days trying to keep this 60 year old body in decent shape and would even maybe consider doing - GASP - LIPOSUCTION...  Of course I have the face of a 30 years old (well, er, sort of, if you're drunk and don't look too closely...)

But that's just a fantasy.  Living here, in this house, is reality.  I love this house!  It's all mine, I had it built from scratch after falling in love with a model that I saw while taking a local Tour of Model Homes in 1989. 

Recently, the ladies of the investment club to which I belong met again (we usually meet 9 to 10 times a year, sometimes taking off over the T-Day/Christmas holiday season) and a month in the summer).  As we always do, over breakfast at a local restaurant and then here afterwards at the round table in my dinette, we shared all of our news and I filled them in on my latest plans to update the family room.  Their consensus was -- I am NESTING. 

At first I just laughed at that.  But now I realize they are probably absolutely right.  I'm giving this house a go-over that it hasn't received in years while I've been so busy doing other things.  In effect, I'm getting this house ready for my target retirement date, January 1, 2018.  Sort of semi-nesting?  Getting the nest ready for bigger and better things?  Have I conceived at my age through an Immaculate Conception?  Oh, never mind that last comment...

Anyway, I highly recommend that you take a look at Centsational Girl's blog post of March 26, 2012 A Purpose Filled Home, and the comments that came (flowed in) afterward in response. 

There must be LOTS of us who feel the same way.  So glad to be seeing this.  When looking at so many spiffy, stylish and smartly designed blogs, with lots of doo-dads that I have no idea how they do them, how the doo-dads work (afraid to click on most of the buttons and links!) or what the doo-dads mean, and all of the interiors pictured that are perfectly photographed and Photoshopped, designs that often appear to be the work of a professional stylist and/or decorator(s) at the cost of beaucoup $$$$$ (like the $7500 treatment for three fricking windows I blogged about last night) -- well, I wonder -- where are the people like Me? 

Thank Goddess for linky parties!  Through them, I now know that there are people like Me out there! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. 


  1. Jan,
    I just love you to death!! LOL!!
    Thanks , once again , for mentioning me in one of your posts!!I added a link to this post and a bug THANKS to you in my latest post!!
    I love how brutally but refreshingly honest you are when you post!! No phoney anything with you and I love it! I bet if we lived closer we would get in some great big trouble together!! LOL!!

    Have a great weekend, my friend!!!


    1. I wish you lived across the street, actually. Oh, what fun we would have, you got that right! You know, Deb, life is too short to be worried about possibly offending someone with my straightforward views and writing about them. If people are offended, they don't have to read my stuff, and that's fine with me. I'm not trying to make money or millions of fans and followers with this blog and I'm not a politician, a politician's mistress or a politician's wife so I don't have to be politically correct. You probably won't believe it, but I actually did tone down the post above -- deleted the nasty stuff I wrote about how Walmart treats its female employees and that's why I refuse to shop there, along with the fact that my memory is VERY long and I remember when Sam Walton had his company first on t.v. advertising all of their cheap junk as MADE IN THE USA. Yeah, made in the USA my stinking feet! It was a scandal when the truth came out, but people kept shopping there and buying up the crap. Later I learned how Walmart drives small businesses out, particularly in small towns where once a local retailer/business is gone, it's gone forever and then people don't even have a choice anymore but to buy the Walmart crap. Makes me sick to my stomach and if Sam Walton were alive today I'd puke all over him if ever I could get close enough. I can't do that because the man croaked, and I hope the Devil is constantly poking him in his butt with a really big sharp pitchfork. What I can do is not spend a DIME, not a PENNY, in a Walmart store or any Same's Club. There are plenty of other places to buy inexpensive items, including food and necessaries like soap and shampoo, without polluting oneself by walking into a Walton-owned business. I support BUY LOCAL and BUY AMERICAN if at all possible. End of rant. So you see, because I figured some people would probably be offended by my feelings on the subject and my expressing them so openly, I deleted that entire section about Walmart.

      I can't wait to see what you do next in your decorating. Your porch area looks so cozy and I love that furniture you bought. Do you sit out there in the mornings, or the evenings, depending upon where the sun is? Oh, I should write to you at your own blog - not here. I'll pop by --

      You take care of yourself, girlfriend!


    2. Jan,
      Lost your email but here are some links to my garden posts from last year: In this one you can see how high the roof is above the front porch and that i can't really do anything with an awning or anything else.

      I hope I won't bore you with all of these. I can't wait to see how my little Cottage Garden looks this year and what plants will come back and which ones died...


    3. Dear Deb,

      I visited all of the links you sent to me, earlier this evening, and I left a message at each one.

      I most definitely was NOT bored. You have an incredibly beautiful front yard but your back yard area just blew me away completely. There are so many things there I want to copy - if only I can find the time and the $$ to do it all. Just decorating around my decrepid deck would be wonderful.

      I have tried planters but my critters just dig them out! One year I resorted to fencing a three foot tall planter and STILL the critters managed to get into it - must have been the chippies because I don't think the squirrels would have fit thorugh the openings in the fencing I used. So no planters. But putting stuff in the ground, yeah, I can do that. Well, we'll see. Not sure fencing around the deck would work in the context of my large yard, but then again, I would like to screen the view off from the obnoxious people on the right. Sigh. LOL! I'd still be able to hear them but at least I wouldn't have to SEE them anymore. Hoping I outlive them all, even the teenager who, when he was a kid, used to pee on my shrubs. Now he says hello to me in the early mornings (6:30 a.m.) when I'm outside in my PJs putting fresh water in the bird bath. It's a damn crazy world, for sure.