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, March 3, 2013

The Calm Before the (Next) Storm...

Hola Darlings!

It's a gloriously beautiful Sunday here.  The sky is bright blue and sunny, not a cloud to be seen.  I had my early morning constitutional hiking down to the Walgreens and back.  It's cold but not windy, the Sun's warmth feels so good on my face!

When I got back from my trek to Walgreens I pulled out the trusty old Nikon and took some pictures.  There is still a LOT of snow here, and more is on the way, alas!

Current view out of the front door - I've got a nice path shoveled to the road, except for...

 ...the end of the driveway, where the snow is packed and frozen hard!  Very difficult
to attack with a plastic shovel (plastic but very sturdy).  My plan is to -- let it melt...
The storm that blew in from the northeast this past Wednesday crusted everything with wet, heavy snow.
Many of my shrubs and neighbors' too are still crusted/buried in the heavy snow.

 Of couse, deep snow and cold doesn't stop the critters for very long.  One must eat, after all... 
Tracks from the side of the house to the front -- that's my driveway underneath half a ton of snow.
Big snowbanks, but look at that blue sky.  This is my view toward the north.

Isn't this beautiful!  My view out of my front window, looking due east.  Look at that sky! 
Blue skies, smiling at me, nothing but blue skies do I see...

Bonjour, Maison Newton!  If you look closely, you can see I've got the lace curtain drawn up today
to let the sunshine in.  On the left, you can see a good foot of snow depth in the unshoveled part of the driveway.
A view from the backyard deck, toward the south.  My poor juniper bush!  Can you see the critter path from
underneath the sheltering juniper to my deck (that's where I put the food when the snow is this deep).

Evidence of an alien invasion of massive proportions...

 Storm damage.  I wasn't able to get close enough to determine if the arborvitae's branch is snapped,
though I suspect it is, and will, sadly, have to be cut off.

Hark!  What shells do yonder break?  They are hazelnut, and Maison Newton is the source (pardon me, Shakespeare...)

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