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

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Spring Cleaning Mess!

THE HOUSE IS A TORN APART MESS!

Dinette loaded with stuff from other rooms, dining table overloaded!
 
Things have been conspiring against me getting anything productive done around this house!  There has been family tree work done and much more to do - a Makuski cousin has showered me with tons of information that needs to be incorporated in to the FT and I want to try and have it all ready for Mom's birthday on May 22nd.  EEK!



Then there is the yard work!  Our good weather and lots of rain has meant mowing and more mowing is a must every week!  I Love being outdoors when the weather is clement and I don't mind working up a good sweat and getting grungy and dirt under my nails.  Guess that's the "cultivateur" from Dad's side of the family and the "farmer" from Mom's side.  As they say, "blood will out."  With yard work and gardening, you see the fruits of your labor, and get to eat them too :)  How gratifying to see a mowed lawn with the scent of fresh-cut grass wafting into the house all afternoon as I stretch out on the sofa in the family room to nap for a few hours...

Today is warm and sunny, a small breeze. I am a fresh air person and this time of year is perfect for keeping windows open at night.  Starting about 4:30 a.m. this morning, I was slowly awakened by a symphony of birdsong greeting the new day as the Sun came up over Lake Michigan.  I love that time of early morning.  I roll over and look up at my canopy in the near-darkness, stretch out a body that suddenly feels like it is a foot taller, fluff my feather pillows, and then settle back, close my eyes again, and just let the beauty of Mother Earth's birdsong lull me back to sleep for another hour or so.  It's a little cool in the room so I tuck myself under the comforter (which usually ends up tossed half way to the floor during the night sweats...)  Ahhhh, life is good. 

Up by 6 a.m., my usual time.  A perfect day to have the carpeting throughout the house cleaned and all of the furniture in the family room, too.  I am soooo glad the weather forecast proved correct cuz I scheduled this last week.  I've been using the same carpet/furniture cleaners for the past 21 years.  Am I a creature of habit or what?  Geez Louise!  It cost a small fortune but I only have it done once a year.  Been tearing the house apart since Wednesday night, moving end and side tables, removing area rugs, lamps, other assorted this and that on tables and desks (why do I have three separate computer work stations in this house???)  Everything that I could squeeze into the kitchen and dinette is here, and the rest is stuffed into the upstairs bathroom and overflow is stashed in the garage.


Sofa bed in family room cleaned!  You can see where I'm still
removing wallpaper on the bottom half of the family room walls,
and some of the damage said removal has caused to drywall finish.
Still a lot of work to be done before I can paint and install chair rail.

Now I've got every window and door open that can be opened to try and get the carpeting and furniture dry by tonight and also get rid of that chemical smell, slight though it is, that makes me cough and cough.  Thank Goddess the guys arrived early - just before 8:30 and I was already outside sweating my butt off cutting the front lawn, half of it was already in blazing sunlight.  Whew!  What is it about sweat that makes one's hair curl???

Curtains tossed aside to let in fresh air.  Believe it or not (probably
not) I have started "cleaning" off some of the crap from the bookcase
you see in this photo.  LOL! 

 I have new sheers and new over-drapes for the window in the photo, above, once I finish stripping off the wallpaper, repairing walls, priming, painting, installing chair rail molding and textured-patterned wallpaper on the lower portion of the walls.  Seems like forever since I started this project, and I'm not even half-way finished stripping off the wallpaper!  Sigh.

And starting at 2 p.m. is the final exciting game of the U.S. Women's Chess Championship taking place (concurrently with the Open or "Men's" Championship) in St. Louis, Missouri, at the gorgeous Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis.  So maybe the grass out back won't get cut today unless it's this evening before sundown.  Thank Goddess for these nice long days now! I've got to watch that final round because there is an intense rivalry going on between the two highest-rated chess queens in the USA -- Anna Zatonskih (current U.S. Women's champion) and Irina Krush (a former U.S. Women's champion).  Zatonskih and Krush have been trading the title back and forth for some years now, and it's damn exciting -- well, at least to some of us chess femmes :)

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