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...


Friday, December 14, 2012

Pottery Barn Inspired Christmas Gifts!

Hi, everyone.

I struggled tonight with whether to even post anything now - or maybe forever.  Horror once again struck America today, in the form of a killer of young children in Connecticut.  But I thought that I should go on, but take a day or two off.  I cut this post short, because it doesn't seem right to be writing about Christmas gifts when so much suffering and heartbreak is taking place right now.

Unfortunately, suffering and heartbreak is with us - always.

So, how do we deal with it?  How do we cope?  I don't know.  All I can tell you is that 2012 has been the absolutely worst year of my life, and yet here I am, writing about it.  I just kept putting one foot in front of the other.  My heart kept beating when I thought it might break and die.  It didn't.  My brain kept functioning to keep my mind on an even keel when I might have gone mad.  I didn't go mad.  Maybe I even wanted to go mad, but I didn't.

I have no explanations, no adequate words.  Life can be absolutely unbearable at times and yet - yet - most of us continue the brave journey onward anyway, doing the best we can.  To do otherwise, well, maybe that's just caving in to the terrorists who seem so proliferate among us these days.  And that just makes me angry.  I will never lay down and roll over for any terrorist.  Ever.

And so, tonight I want to share with you a few gifts that I would love, personally, to receive -- there is still time -- email me and I'll send you my delivery address, LOL!  No, seriously -- I selected these because I thought they were great and they are not outrageously expensive -- and they are also generally available. There aren't many featured.

The originals are all at Pottery Barn.  I am offering a look for less from various "go-to" online vendors.  You can also find replicas or facsimiles of these items at TJ Maxx, but TJ Maxx does not sell online, and maybe at your favorite local vendors, too. For some of the items, I have also noted other sources that I saw online but did not offer the items for online sale, only at local stores. 

Faux Fur Throw

I have wanted one for years, but until recently the prices never dropped down low enough to tempt me into buying one for myself.  This is the PB version in grey - reminds me of a wolf's color and it looks spectacularly gorgeous in the PB photographs:

Right now they're on special at $99 (regularly $129).

  • 50 x 60"
  • Woven of acrylic/polyester.
  • Ultraplush 670-gram weight.
  • Reverses to solid polyester.

  • Can be machine washed but dry-cleaning is recommended.  The throw comes in golden brown (looks like a beautiful dark mink color in the photographs), butterscotch (a tawny medium to dark beige, I'd call it a neutral color), caramel, and ivory (both lovely colors).  Golden brown and butterscotch are on sale for $90 right now.  Don't know for how long.

    I found a similar look at Target's online website and had it all set to feature here -- and then I read that it is ONLY available in stores.  Drat!  It was a Threshold offering for $19.99 in the 50" x 60" size and looks great -- very similar to the same type (but not the grey color) that I saw at TJ Maxx a few days ago.  Argh!  Oh what the hey - here it is anyway -- judge for yourself and yes, I'm absolutely cheating right now:

    Target Threshold faux fur throw in grey grey ombre

    At, I found a faux fur silver and white throw from J&S Home that looks very pretty and comes in the 50" x 60" size, but it came with one bad review.  So, buyer beware:

    Amazon offering in grey and white

    It is being offered for $23.99 but is in limited supply (well, at least according to  I had no luck finding anything reasonably priced at Wayfair or Overstock.  And since I will not pay more than $20 for a throw like this since I've seen really nice soft ones in person for $19.99, I am XXX this off of my online shopping list!  I don't have forever to spent hunting for it.

    Silver Plated Hurricanes 

    Blown glass hurricanes with silver-plate base and trim -
    Pottery Barn 2012

    Pottery Barn's offerings are quite beautiful -- blown glass with a silver-plated base.  The etching is extra

  • Small: 4.5” diameter, 5” high
  • Large: 7.5” diameter, 9.75” high
  • Edged with a silver rim along the top.

  • There is a special right at this moment on the smaller size, for $24 (down from $29); and on the large size $49 (down from $59).

    I found some quite lovely hurricanes at K-Mart online, with silver-colored trim (although the bases are not silver-colored), at a price is right!  Check them out:

    This is the smaller size of the Sandra by Sandra Lee, 8-1/2 in. H x 6 in. D, selling for $6.49 on sale right now (regular price is $12.99):

    Sandra hurricane with silver-toned trim
    by Sandra Lee - K-Mart

    The slightly larger size (not pictured here) measures 10 in. H x 6-1/4 in. D, and is on sale now for $7.49 (regular price is $14.99). 

    The Sandra by Sandra Lee hurricanes are made of glass and feature silver-tone trim around the top.  You can see the silver-tone edged rim and also what appears to be a sprayed-on coat of silver color around the top of the hurricane, in an arched pattern. 

    One could always use mirror paint on the foot of this hurricane if one wanted the look...

    Honorable mention goes to this lovely pillar holder that has a base of "antique zinc" -- no shiny silver but ooh la la!
    This is the Stonebriar Collection Grand Fleur de Lis Candleholder for $15.99 at Amazon.  Dimensions: 4.5 x 4.5 x 8.9 inches.  Although the look is not the same as the PB silver-plated hurricanes, the small size is similar.  I found this one so pretty!

    Antique Mercury Glass Pillar Holders

    Antique mercury glass pillar holders - Pottery Barn 2012
    Pottery Barn is sold out on the "medium" and "large" sizes.  Offering now only small and extra large.  The small size is 5.5" square, 6.5" high (square base) and is $19.50.  The extra large size, is 5.5" square and a very tall 21" high, and is $49.50.

    World Market has a nice selection, but available in stores only.  TJMaxx also has some in stock right now, at less than $19.50 for much larger sizes than 6.5" tall.  However, as I restrict myself to online vendors, I didn't have much luck finding anything remotely similar at the same or better price at Amazon or Wayfair, Target or K-Mart!  Wow!  So, Pottery Barn would get my business for the 6.5" tall pillar holder at $19.50.  For the medium and large sizes at $10 more for each (on sale) - see Ballard Designs below.

    Honorable mention: I found a "medium" and a "large" size on sale at Ballard Designs for $29.99 each, regardless of size -- the small is evidently no longer available:

    Large: 22"H X 6 1/2" Diameter
    Medium: 16"H X 5 1/2" Diameter
    Construction: Made from mercury glass.
    Country of Origin: India (Not made in China, I'm sold)

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