January 31, 2018:


Today is the Super Duper Blue Red Full Eclipse Partial Eclipse Moon, depending on where you may be viewing from.

Three years ago this day was my last day of working and I retired after 46 years of full-time work. I've enjoyed every single moment of my retirement since then - three years and hoping for twenty more, we'll see how things go...

February and March can be cruel months in southeastern Wisconsin where I live. January itself was nutso here weather-wise, with two separate thaws. I don't ever remember getting two January thaws before, and many years none happened at all.

Before I know it I'll be headed to Las Vegas to visit my friends and celebrate some sunshine and warm weather, and see a show (I always try to squeeze one in). Meanwhile, I am continuing, slowly, to make this smaller retirement ranch into a home that makes me smile in every room. I still have lots to do, including major painting projects. I keep putting them off. Seems at 66 I'm not so keen on painting as I was at 36. Gee, I wonder why...


Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Tree is Done!

It's finished, at last!

Picking up from last night's post, here is what the tree looked like after I put the feather garland on:

I should have bought more!  There are six of them and they had a very distinct character to the tree.  They are long, but flexible.  As you see, they bow out naturally when the ends are tucked into the tree.  I didn't have to use twist ties or clips to anchor the ends -- wonderful!

This year I left off my wine/maroon colored ornaments and only used my clear, white, gold and silver ornaments in addition to the gold French ribbon and the newest addition to my tree decorations, those gorgeous wonderful faux-feathers!

Below are some photos of the finished tree, taken in full daylight before the Packers game came on at noon.  It is beautiful today, feels like it must be close to 60 degrees out there!  Last night there was thunder and lightning but not much rain.  On December 1st!  We will have one more warm day tomorrow, and one of my walking friends and I have a lunch-time excursion already planned, probably it will be the last time we'll be comfortable doing three miles this season.

The magic of a Christmas tree is at its best at night, of course, when all the lights are on and the candles and tea lights are glowing and the lights around the inside of my round top window are aglow.  The room is actually bright enough, probably, to land an airplane by.  But I'm not good at taking night photos.  Perhaps when I retire I will take a course in photography at the local technical college.  I would like to take really beautiful photographs like many I've seen on your blogs. 

I added some snowflake ornaments to the mantle/mantel as a finishing touch.  I am so happy with how it turned out that I'm not changing a thing!  This side of the tree is seen when one is entering through the front door, so I try to make a good impression.

This is the tree viewed from the corner.  Hmmm, a few bare spots.  After I took these photos I added some small floral picks and a few ornaments to fill them in :)

I straightened up the top leader (you can see in the top pictures from yesterday that it was bent) and, stretching on a chair (I don't use my rickety step-ladder for this job) I attached my jerry-rigged star topper, then added some gold-glittered pine cone picks and two gold glittered sticks that remind me of chop sticks.  Last year the pine cones and chop stocks were used as decorations in Dad's plant which normally sits on the right side of the fireplace mantle/mantel.  I also filled in the top of the tree with small floral picks. Overall, much improved over prior year's attempts at a tree topper:

The stars were purchased last year at Walgreens, two for $5, and I've got them tied together with twist ties except at the bottom where I slip the opening over the top tree leader.  The glittered pine cones are sturdy and help anchor it so it doesn't flop over, LOL!

Some close-ups:

The photo below shows the pearl naos (house or shrine for the gods) around Nefertiri and Mr. Don's kilt pin, as well as hearts on either side of it.  Yes, I'm very sentimental!  This vignette is near the love seat where I can see it close by.  Mr. Don passed away unexpectedly on October 12th, so he will be here only in spirit this Christmas and Christmases to come.  His favorite down throw will be on the love seat.

Next weekend I will be helping my sister put up her two trees.  She recently underwent an emergency appendectomy after her appendix burst and she was very ill and put quite a scare into all of us over Thanksgiving.  She is well on the road to recovery now but will be off work for some weeks and is on restricted physical activity, so I imagine she'll be directing me from the sofa and have me running around like a chicken without a head, LOL! 

I will be glad to see 2012 finished, it has been a horrible year for me personally and, indeed, for some of my family and friends too. 

I am already thinking about next year's tree.  Perhaps white ribbon instead of the gold?  More feather garland?  Some clip on birds - in white?  Banishing most of the gold and going with white and clear ornaments, or more silver, instead?  What would the tree look like if it was flocked?  Oy, the mess -- and how would I do that and not cover the lights with spray flock?  Do I really want to buy a flocked tree instead, or one that looks "frosted?"  But this tree is still in excellent shape, how can I justify the expense?  Besides, I don't WANT two trees!!!  Oh, decisions, decisions...

Finally, thanks once again to Laura Orr for her wonderful tree last year being the inspiration for my tree this year!  Mine doesn't look near as pretty as hers but I'm fairly happy with it.

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