Hola everyone! Warning - LONG POST!
I am catching up here. On Wednesday, 2/27, starting the night before with snow that clogged "rush hour" here, the snow started falling. We were supposed to get 5 6 inches. We ended up with twice that amount that, unfortunately, caught the city unawares. The forecast was, you see, for much less snow, because the antiquated models do not take into account "lake effect" snow caused by Lake Michigan when the wind is blowing in a certain direction (i.e. OFF THE LAKE!) and temperature differentials between land and water make a BIG different in snow fall totals as far inland as seven miles. As the crow flies, I'm about five miles inland, so if there is lake effect snow, I get hammered.
And Maison Newton did get hammered, as did most of the rest of Milwaukee County!
I've posted pics of the snow and drifts and snow banks, etc. in the two previous posts (scroll below). What had been a relatively mild and snowless winter abruptly changed when February rolled around. Sigh. February came close to breaking a record, near 30 inches of snow just in one fricking month. I'd rather have gotten it in December and January, when one expects lots of snow in SE Wisconsin, NOT at the end of February when one is waiting for spring to come and thinking the worst is over. We barely had a decent White Christmas here! That's just not right!
Conditions were so crappy early Wednesday mornng I exercised some discretion and stayed home from the office. Soooo glad I did, for it was awful out all day long. As it turned out, at least 50% of our people were unable to make it to work that day, so I was not alone! That doesn't make me any happier about having to waste a PTO day in winter, but so it goes.
I spent a good part of the early to mid-morning (at least 4 hours), cleaning the curio cabinet.
Out came the glass cleaner, water, rags and paper towels. Voila! Eventually it looked presentable again.
I took lots of pictures of the contents, including new pics of my collection of pink elephants. I know, I know -- who the heck collects pink elephants? Well, I do. It all started when my Mom gave me Grandma Newton's pink elephant. Grandma Newton died in 1962, when I was 11. I loved her so dearly, and it still hurts so much to this day to think of her being gone. I was very close to Grandma and Grandpa Newton. But, as an 11 year old, I probably would not have fully appreciated the value of that little pink elephant and may not have taken so good care of it as I do now, so it's a good think Mom kept it put away for a later day. But when I moved out to my first apartment, Mom whipped it out from somewhere (her undy-drawer, I think), and gave it to me.
It's been one of my most prized possessions ever since. It's value is in it's memories and sentiment. It was made in Japan (mark is still legible on the bottom) post-WWII?, and it has some gold paint trim and little red lips(!), and is different in form and style from all of the other pink elephants I've collected (or that have been gifted to me) over the years. But I've no real sense that it is worth any $. Not that it matters. To me, Grandma Newton's pink elephant is priceless. Well, maybe if it was worth $1 million, then I might sell it and fund a Newton/Villeneuve - Bellanger Family Memorial as well as an annual Newton Goddesschess Women's Open Chess Tournament with nice cash prizes! Ah, dream on...
When I moved into my first house in 1986, one of the first pieces that went into place was Grandma Newton's little pink elephant and it held center stage on top of my t.v., and then was showcased inside a built-in bookcase. But it looked lonely. It was the only one, and sort of lost. Once I build Maison Newton and moved in, I started collecting more pink elephants. I wanted Grandma Newton's elephant to have company. Oh I know, that sounds crazy, but that is the reason why, the true reason why, I decided to collect more pink elephants.
Well, you can see from the flash showing up in the photo that I'm no photographer! Damn! That's the curio cabinet. It is made by Pulaski and is a beautiful oriental-style, with solid-brass fittings, in a medium-dark finish but not espresso, it's color is more like a dark rosewood (but I don't think it is real rosewood). There are two old-fashioned fluorescent tube lights inside that have long since stopped working (cords dangle out the back) that I did not replace when they died. Glass doors upper and lower, glass sides, mirrored back. Solid wood, except for the back, unfortunately, which is just plain unfinished fiberboard, ugh!
This baby cost me $700 back in 1986 when I bought it - a TON of money then, or so it seemed at the time, but I seemed to have a ton of money back then. What the hell happened? Yeah yeah, I keep committing the cardinal sins of blogging - one of which is I'm not supposed to mention the price of anything unless I bought it for $1 or at a rummage sale or something like that. Oops. I keep doing it anyway. Call me a slow learner. I shudder to think what such a piece would cost today, if I could even find the equivalent in workmanship and materials. But I fell that in love with it that I pulled out my wallet and never looked back. I've not regretted my decision :) When I think of this beautiful cabinet possibly being painted over in chalk paint some day once I'm gone and one of my relatives sells it at a rummage sale, not knowing its true worth, Oh Goddess, it makes me ill just thinking of it! Incentive enough to live forever, or however the hell long I can, and that's a fact, Jack!
The cabinet anchors the tall wall next to the open staircase to the second floor. The foregoing photo is my view of the cabinet when I work at the desk in this room.
I'm much happier with these photos than previous ones I've taken at night (which may have shown up in prior posts) - they didn't turn out well at all. Today the light was excellent! This is the top shelf. You can see a reflection of the opposite wall in the mirrored back!
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