December 6, 2017:


It's COLD here. Cold and windy. But the Sun has been out for the past 2 days so it's bright, and that helps me to bear the cold and the short days. Only 15 more days to Winter Solstice, and then each day, a few more minutes of daylight will magically begin to be added, and even though the cold and snow will continue, the "worst" will be over because I know we are over the hump and headed toward the Spring Equinox.

Meanwhile, I am busy decorating the tree. I dug out an old collage of photos from the former Maison Newton (above). Gosh, that was a beautiful fireplace. My current gel fuel fireplace is great, but no match for that large and lush gas fireplace in my former home. In my case, downsizing meant not only much less square footage and a single story (which IS nice), but no fireplace until I purchased my gel fuel fireplace. I love it, but there was only one wall I could put it on, and this current living room is much smaller than my former living room, so I sized the fireplace accordingly. (It was also much less expensive and did not need to be installed by professionals).

Yesterday I womaned up and muscled, huffed, puffed, cussed some, breathed heavily and heaved mightily to get my Christmas tree up the basement stairs and dragged into the living room, and then into position in front of the picture window overlooking the front of the house. Whew! Quite the work-out. But I wasn't ready this year to switch to a "single woman of a certain age" (4 foot tall) tree. Maybe next year...NAH!


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Shopping and Thinking About Prepping...

Hmmm...yes, it should probably be thinking first and then shopping.  Duh, Jan! 

But while I usually plan many things well in advance (such as travelling vacations), when it comes to shopping for things for my house, I have a tendency to jump in feet first and think about it later.  This leads to mistakes in purchases sometimes, but fortunately nothing too terribly expensive over the years.  Still, there is probably a better way to do this!  It's not like I have money to burn --

Oh well, I did go shopping.  Online and in person, woo woo! 

Every now and then I visit Kirkland's online because I love their style, I have found their prices to be very good and they sometimes have great sales and clearances.  This recent visit, I was looking for some chessly gifts for the Hales Corners Chess Challenge that will take place in April, 2013.  The gift bags I gave to each of the top female finishers (Open and Reserve sections) in the Hales Corners Chess Challenge held last month were a great hit, and I received lovely thank you emails from each of the recipients.  That was enough to stir me to even greater effort to create great gift bags for the future respective winners in the Open and Reserve sections next April.

So, I was looking for something in a "crown" -- you know, because of the Queen in chess, who is the most powerful piece on the chessboard.  And, sure enough, I found a PERFECT gift at Kirkland's!  I wish they would have had three, that's what I ordered but, unfortunately, there was only ONE left in stock, which I promptly ordered -- a metal and "crystal" candle holder in the shape of a Queen's crown at a great price.  Here is an online image:

I think it's soooo pretty!  I also found at Kirkland's a ceramic crown shaped candle holder at a very good price that I may order.  There is nothing wrong with it at all, it is very pretty but, well, frankly, it doesn't hold a candle (har!) to this metal and "crystal" candle holder!  Still, it has a great shape so I will probably buy it.

While I was looking for chessly items at Kirkland's, I came across a set of three votive holders that have nothing to do with chess, but I fell in love with them, they were on sale and I bought them.  My thinking at the time was that they will look wonderful either on the mantle or on the coffee table as part of my Christmas decor, which I have been busy imagining for the past 10 days or so.  I have Paul Michael feathers that I will be using on my tree, and I am going to restrict my colors this years to gold, clear glass and silver tones.  I have even thought about possibly flocking my tree...  I have a four day weekend over Thanksgiving, and the tree will go up along with my other Christmas decor. 

Oy, I should show you those votive holders -- they are "mercury" glass, but actually, I find it impossible to distinguish these from the "silver" finish:

The Kirkland's box was waiting for me on my front stoop Friday night when I got home from the office.  Woo woo!  I unpacked the freezing cold contents and set the votive lights out to slowly warm up to room temperature before tucking them away the next day.  This is a pic I took of them yesterday morning.  Aren't they pretty!

A closer view:

Yesterday afternoon I once again visited the TJ Maxx that is a mile's walk away from my house.  It was a beautiful day and I wanted to stretch my legs, and I was again on the hunt for chessly gifts.  I remembered from the week before, when I was on the hunt for a gift for Thelma's house-warming party, I'd seen one of those "book" boxes that had a crown on the outside of it.  I didn't know if it would still be there but, IT WAS!  So, I scored another chessly gift:

There was only one of this perfect size, that can be used as a trinket box, or a special treasures box, or even just as a faux book upon which to rest a queenly candle holder.  I would have bought one for myself if there'd been two. 

During this visit, I happened upon a SATIN full size bedding set with FOUR pillow cases in it for $16.99.  In a ruby red color.  Not orange-y red; not fire engine red, not wine red.  Ruby red.  Luscious!  A perfect score for my bedroom!  I'd been on the hunt for awhile for a reasonably priced red set of pillow shams or a sheet set -- without luck.  Until now.

I will add the red pillow cases to my bed in December before I switch over to the really heavy-duty down comforter that is red/white/black floral on one side and red/black/white plaid on the other side.  I haven't had satin bedding for years!  A touch of lux at a great price, and the extra two pillow cases included in the set will be used as "shams" on the two "dress" pillows on my bed.  The satin sheets will be put on the bed in February when I switch back to my lighter weight black and white toile comforter and shams, rather than my usual black and white gingham checked pillow cases. 

I also bought three picture frames - a long story -- will blog about that later.

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