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

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Attacking the Family Room for the Sake of a New Desk

Ohmygoddess!  I got up early this morning (5:30 a.m. ) and after coffee and cookie and checking the news and email, I cleaned out the drawers and shelves of the entertainment center and started shoving furniture around in the family room.  It's still a disaster area that needs to be finished, including removing the rest of the wall paper, spackling damaged drywall, priming, painting, installing the chair rail and new wallpaper.  I only started that project a year ago March.  Geez Louise! I will finish it -- but first...

All this activity was spurred by the purchase of a new desk that I got on close-out online at Kohl's and was delivered two days ago -- a $299 desk for $99 and free shipping.  I like $200 off!  It's the Sonoma life + style Mason desk.  The desk is discontinued evidently, although Kohl's is still offering the same style end-table and console table, at least for the present.  Here's a pic of my new desk:
I've been online window shopping months for a new desk for the family room.  I've been using my old console table as a desk, and it's both too narrow and too short, but tucked behind the sofa the way it used to be, I made do, raising it up to a good height with books under the legs that no one could see unless they were standing behind the sofa and looking down at the floor underneath the console table.  Raised up by the books, I could scootch my chair right up to the table and my legs slid underneath comfortably when I was working.

Comfort and practicality dictated that I buy a new desk despite my current budget constraints (medical bills not covered by insurance have blasted my budget to smithereens). I wanted something that wasn't "bulky" looking but had an adequate work surface, as well as a finish and style that would blend in with all of the finishes and styles residing in harmony at Maison Newton.  I also wanted something that didn't look CHEAP.  You know what I mean.  I thought about buying a second-hand traditionally-styled pedestal desk and refinishing it, possibly by 2032, but realistically everything on Craig's List around here is overpriced and I have no means of hauling a purchase home from a resale shop or rummage sale, or even if I bought something off Craig's List, except on my back.  That ain't happening!  Thus, the many months of looking (off and on) for a desk online that would be delivered to my doorstep.

So happy!  I'm going to put my new desk together, but first I wanted to rearrange the family room to conform to the "vision" inside my brain and also make space to work on the floor to assemble the desk!  After much heaving and shoving and pushing, I got the very heavy queen size sleeper sofa positioned in front of the window.  A few days ago I took the shelves off the mondo bookcases and heaved them into position in the corner, at 90 degrees to each other.  Ideally I would like them situated behind the area where the desk is going, but they are too wide to be centered on the back wall because of an heating vent that throws everything off kilter.  Eventually I would like to replace them with something narrower (the current bookcases are 30.5" wide each) and shallower (15-3/4" deep!)  Narrower bookcases will give me the option of centering them on the back wall despite that inconvenient heating vent!

Eventually I want to replace the furniture, the console table, and that 1980's entertainment center, ugh!  But I must make do with what I have for the foreseeable future.  Onward and upward!  Right now everything is a mess, but these pics give you a very good idea of what I'm dealing with, and the amount of work I have to accomplish before this room is back to something resembling normal:

 Yeah, those bookcases are painted ugly!  But with the shelves in and loaded with my tons of tomes they look presentable - and besides, they "go" with the console table and the entertainment center...

 Fortunately you cannot see the bright brass colored "mod" trim on the door and drawers of the entertainment center :)  But now, sitting here at the dinette table looking across the family room at it, it still appeals.  Perhaps there is something wrong with my eyesight???  Or sense of style?  Probably both...  More later, darlings.  Since starting and stopping the above post several times I've hiked to the Walgreens and Pick 'n Save and back, done more shovelling, did the dishes, and ate lunch.  Now it times to get back to work.

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