May 20, 2018:


Yesterday Prince Harry married American Meghan Markle and I couldn't get enough of the royal wedding. What a gorgeous dress, the bride was radiantly beautiful and the church at Windsor - oh my goodness, the flowers alone were soooo beautiful. There's nothing like a good love story to make one appreciate how precious we can be (and should be) to each other.

I'm glad the weather was perfect yesterday for the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex's wedding. I can't say the same for around here. Spring keeps teasing and then going away. This morning I woke up to a "balmy" 47 degrees F outside, rain, damp, and I turned the heat back on! It's May 20th, the heat. should. not. be. on. Period.

Last Thursday, however, was beautiful. I was able to get a goodly amount of yard and garden clean-up done over several days last week. I also took some photos of my flowering tree anchoring the north corner of my house and made the current collage. I think it's an ornamental cherry, and on the the other end of the house, I think that's called a purple sand cherry? I'll have to check that. The blossoms on the tree do not have a distinct fragrance, but the purple shrub that wants to be a tree (despite my hacking it back, back and back yearly - I'm losing, by the way) has myriad blossoms with a distinct fragrance. I can't decide if the scent is too beautiful to bear or too awful to smell, it certainly can be overpowering!

This coming week will be the third cut of the grass this season. We had rain late Friday night and then for several hours earlier this morning. This rain, on top of the rain we had over four days the prior weekend, and the grass is growing like nobody's business! I don't mind doing the grass, though, as long as it's not too hot, too cold, not raining, and not too windy. I'm not picky at all, am I...

I still have a lot of raking out of areas that suffered from snow mold over the winter, and have not yet really tackled cleaning out the north flower bed in the backyard. That will be a chore!

But Memorial Day weekend is coming. This coming Saturday I will be out with a friend (who has a nice large van - goody!) stocking up on potting soil, top soil to fill in never-ending low spots in the yard, grass seed, and lots of plants! For some reason, this spring seems busier than those in prior years. I can't figure out why that is...


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Feather Decorated Christmas Tree

Hi everyone!

It's far too early for me, yet, to be doing anything about Christmas decorating.  I'll start gearing up for that after Thanksgiving.

Last year, though, the very first time I ever attempted to decorate my tree using that twisty-wide French ribbon thanks to so many beautifully decorated trees I saw at many different blogs when I started looking for inspiration for a "gold and maroon christmas tree," I came across a particular tree that I absolutely fell in love with.  I blogged about the tree and my quest to get the feathers that were used to decorate it at my Goddesschess blog (about Chess, Goddess, and Everything).  I'm just copying those blog entries here rather than trying to recreate them:

Monday, February 6, 2012

Paul Michael Home

Whew - finally! I can write about the Paul Michael Company and how fab, fab, fabulous they were to me in arranging an order of - feathers! Yes, feathers!

But, darlings, not just any kind of feathers. Hell no. These are the most gorgeous feathery things I've ever seen, including on the costumes of those famous Las Vegas Show Girls, Bambi Darling and Kandi Kane, who used to write witty and informative articles related to chess and sex and, er, chess, which is a very very sexy game (you must, of course, give it a chance to develop...). In fact, these are the feathers - HERE!

Okay, just to remind you how absolutely incredibly beautiful Laura Orr's Christmas Tree was -- and the Goddess made sure I stumbled across it :)

I can't sing the praises of the Paul Michael Home Company enough, especially Samantha, who was so wonderful in emails and on the telephone when I finally was able to call her (after the Holiday) to place my small order. She was just wonderful through many emails and one missed phone connect.

In due course, the feathers arrived! In this big long, jerry-rigged box that was perfectly intact despite having traveled from Arkansas via UPS (not exactly the smoothest ride...)

I haven't open the box. I'm going to wait until - CHRISTMAS 2012!!!!

Many many wonderful thank-yous to Samantha and the Paul Michael Company for their great customer service. That's what I love -- real, actual people doing real, actual things for you and being glad to do it -- and I hope you will, too. Please check out their fab website and order some things! There's lots to choose from. You'll be glad you did, darlings!
True to my word, I have yet to open up the box in which the feathers arrived from Paul Michael Home Company.  The box is resting atop two bookcases in the den (spare bedroom) upstairs, and will stay there until next month, unopened!  But that doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about them, darlings!  Ohhh, no no no!  I've been thinking about those feathers the past several days, and what they're going to look like and how I'm going to possibly use them on my Christmas tree...

Friday, December 23, 2011

An Ode to Inspired Christmas Decorating

Hola darlings!

I'm pooped! I had off today. Today is our office equivalent of "Christmas Eve." Back to work on Monday and the final push is on to December 31st at midnight, pant pant pant... In tax and estate planning, this is our busiest time of year, even busier, if that's possible, than income tax season, gasp!

Anyway, I slept in this morning. Ahhhhhh, the wonder of not having to rise out of bed in the cold and dark! I stayed in bed until 8 a.m. EEK! Had a leisurely coffee. Tuned into a smooth jazz station online and played it loud as I had my coffee and perused some decorating magazines I'd not gotten around to reading for over a year. Geez, Jan.

Later I decided that the furniture from the living room needs to go into the family room, and the family room furniture needs to go into the living room. But since there is only me here I did not attempt to start shoving and pushing furniture. First of all, the sofa in the family room is a queen size sleeper sofa and that sucker is HEAVY! Second of all, this furniture is WIDE. It would not make it through the passageway from the living room to the kitchen without being tilted. That means a minimum of two strong men. So, that means if I want to rearrange my furniture for REAL, I'll have to hire some movers.


Well, the thing of it is, I know they'd make short work of it. The family room stuff would go out the service door into the garage and around to the front door (both doors are wider than the passageway to the kitchen). The living room stuff would go out the front door into the garage through the service door into the family room. Voila! Room swap!

Well, we'll see. Right now I've got other things on my mind, such as FINISHING UP THE FURNITURE SHOVING AROUND I started in the family room just for the hell of it. Turned out I was sick of the sofa being where it was (in front of the double window overlooking the backyard) and wanted to move the recliner and the wing chair in front of the window instead. I thought the sofa might be angled and the sofa table (currently residing in my bedroom with a t.v., a laptop and a desktop computer on it) could fit behind with the upstairs laptop, the desktop could got back into the den where it would be except it got bounced off my home network more than a year ago and I never bothered to try and get it back on (major hassle, let me tell you...) --

Well, the sofa did not work on that angle I wanted, nor on any angle whatsoever.


It's now shoved nearly halfway away from "it's" wall into the room but there's plenty of room behind it now for the sofa table to rest and a chair behind that, and it's facing the window, which is important to me. It's a lovely view, especially in the summer. The recliner and the wing chair are in their 'new' old positions (I've had the room set up something like this before over the past 21 years) with a convenient table and lamp in-between. All I have to do is get that desktop computer back on the network but if I can't do it in 10 minutes tomorrow morning the sucker is still going back into the den on it's computer hutch that has been sitting in there useless all this time! I'll pull out the mile-long telephone cord and hook the sucker up that way if I have to, or chop a hole through the wall to shorten the distance to the telephone outlet and use my 30 foot telephone line instead of the 100 footer. Hey, I had this house built in 1990 - who knew THEN about internet and home entertainment systems and crap like that? Not me, that's for sure. There's one telephone hook-up in the kitchen downstairs, and one telephone hook-up upstairs, in my bedroom. That's it, baby.

No cable t.v. or internet service, no satellite, no U-verse. Just a landline and DSL. I did buy a cell phone a few months ago through work for a really cheapy price and pay only $8.99 a month for it and hope to never use it. I have got so far as to remove it from its packaging but I have not read the instructions yet and have no idea what do do with all the "stuff" that came with it. It is supposed to be for emergencies in case I fall on the ice, for instance, and can't get up. Hmmm....

Regardless, tomorrow morning the sofa table is coming back down where it belongs - behind the family room sofa! And my Acer laptop with it. The printer will be tucked behind the sofa out of sight and the footstool it presently rests upon will once again be put to good use as a footstool! I took the newly configured room on a test spin earlier this evening by watching the Patrick Stewart version of Scrooge on my now obsolete 27" wide tube t.v. I've got a converter box for it but who the hell knows how to hook the sucker up to the t.v. - even assuming I could pull it out of the entertainment center by myself (which I cannot, it's too big and too heavy) -- not me! But the t.v. IS hooked up to my VHS/DVD player and I put it to good use watching movies! The room works for me, even if it does look a little strange and I've got an antique t.v.

Geez - this is supposed to be an ode to inspired Christmas decorating. I have to show you this tree - it's just beautiful:

The tree is from Laura Orr's blog, Markham Street Design. Please check out her
other photos of this tree, including the close-ups! It's just drop-dead gorgeous.

Laura fell in love with the feathers she put on the tree, and so did I! I had to have them. I just had to! Egad, is this what pregnant women go through when they have a craving for something???

Now I don't know this for a fact, darlings, but I have been reading blogs for quite a while now and I don't think I've ever seen a comment just come right out and ask someone "where the hell did you buy that?" if the writer has not volunteered that information. I think it must be an unwritten rule or something, you know, like the Ten Commandments of Internet Blog Protocol. No matter how much I'm sure her readers wanted to know, just like I did, no one asked - where the hell did you get those? So I posted a comment at Laura Orr's Markham Street Design blog and asked her - where did you get the feathers from? I was very polite - honest.


Guess what? Laura Orr answered! And not only that, she also told me how much she PAID for the feathers!


So now I will be a faithful follower of Laura Orr's blog until I die or get senile, whichever happens first.

And I have to tell you about this fabulous place where Laura Orr and her gorgeous tree got those feathers from - PAUL MICHAEL COMPANY. But it's after 11 p.m. now and I'm breaking curfew. Plus I'm damn tired, so I'm going to bed.

I have MUCH I want to say about PAUL MICHAEL COMPANY. But for now, I highly recommend you check them out - fabulous, darlings, absolutely fabulous!
I do regularly visit and read Laura Orr's blog, Markham Street Design.   I've no idea whether my tree with the Paul Michael Home feathers will turn out looking anything like Laura's tree did last year, but I'll try my best to make it so!  Meanwhile, I'm going to start scoping out other trees decorated with feathers.  Wonder if there are many?  Any (other than Laura's...)?

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