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

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Tackling the Tree...

Good morning everyone!  It's a beautiful sunny day here, and calm too, but cooooollllddddd!  Only 28 degrees F, brrrrr.  It is supposed to get up to 41 today, though, so I may go out back later on when it warms up and do some much-needed raking!

But first things first.  I wonder if I'm turning into one of those "old people" who don't need much sleep?  The past few nights, I've been waking up at very early hours; Friday night I stayed in bed until until 5 a.m.  This morning I got up at 4:15 a.m.  Is this a sign of things to come -- i.e., never getting a good night's sleep again?  What am I saying - I have hardly had a good night's sleep since menopause came and went.

Today is Tree Day!  After I finished up the 2012 Christmas mantle/mantel yesterday, the tree was pulled out and put up in front of the round top window that overlooks the front yard in the front room.  How's that for a lot of fronts!  I cleaned it up and hope that any spiders who took up residence during the summer while the tree rested in its box in the garage have now vacated the premises.  Fair warning:  any spiders caught inside these premises in my living space will get sucked up by my handivac!  Last night I fired up the lights on this baby and boom!  No, the house didn't blow up, thank Goddess!  The entire room was flooded with what seemed like amazingly bright light!  Every year I have the same reaction -- I forget how bright those white lights are.  Here is my holey tree this morning with the early sunlight streaming in:




I briefly toyed with the idea yesterday of putting the tree in front of the staircase, across the room from the window.  In the years I've had this tree (nearly 8) it's never been in that spot; only one year did I move it into the corner NEXT to the window and I didn't like it there very much.  Moving the tree to the staircase wall would entail moving the heavy sofa out of its customary spot and away from the best vantage point for the t.v. on the mantle/mantel.  Because of the short cord on the t.v. and the lack of anything else in the room to place the t.v. on, my options are rather limited as to where it might go.  Well, we'll see.  Maybe next year.  One advantage to having the t.v. on the mantle/mantel is that I don't need to use as many decorations because of the space the t.v. takes up!  It's actually a money saver, come to think of it...

As you can see, plenty of holes in this tree. After spending what seemed like countless hours last year trying to get the sucker shaped perfectly, only to discover wherever I thought I was closing up one hole I was only making another (I think the breed in the dark, too), this year I'm turning over a lazy leaf and after futzing with it for about 20 minutes I said GOOD ENOUGH.  So, after I took a break from reading the Sunday paper earlier this morning (while it was still dark outside!) I started deconstructing the D-I-Y ornament wreath I made last year (my first ever project and quite possibly my last) and using those medium size gold and silver ornaments to begin the tedious process of filling in the holes in my tree, starting from way inside around the "trunk" of the tree and working outward.  Some of those ornaments already placed show up in the photograph above.




Those colored ornaments on my coffee table used to be at the very "top" of my Christmas ornament wreath, because despite using two boxes of gold and one box of silver ornaments from the dollar store I still didn't have enough to quite finish the wreath!  Now I know why so many instructions I'd read on the internet said to use a hot glue gun to glue those ornaments together; as it was, with no hot glue gun in the house, those ornaments kept sliding down further and further on the metal hanger, creating this big puffy FAT wreath with hardly any empty circle space in the center, LOL!  But I was that proud of it anyway, I hung it up.  Here is a not very good photo of it from last year:




I tried to hide the red and green ornaments added to "flesh out" this overweight monstrosity at the top by adding my version of an "elaborate and elegant" bow made out of French ribbon.  Epic Fail!  Then for the heck of it I threw some gold bead garland around it in no discernable pattern.  Guess I've got a thing about gold bead garland and hot messes...

Well, back to work here.  After I use up the ornmanents on my wreath and give the hanger the proper recycling it deserves, I'm going to hike to the Pick 'n Save for groceries and AA batteries and then I'm going to haul down all the boxes of ornaments, decorations and the hanger filled with gold bead garland downstairs and spend hours doing the Decorating the Tree Dance.  About that garland -- it lives in one of the closets upstairs; hooking it on a metal hanger with ornament hangers wrapped around the end beads keeps it nice and neat, not at all like my necklaces in my jewelry box that are forever tangling up with each other!

Oh - a couple pics of the sunlight streaming in through the front window earlier -- I wish I could capture just how pretty it was:


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