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

Friday, May 24, 2013

Kitchens On My Mind

Hola darlings!

Are you looking forward to your three-day Memorial Day Weekend as much as I am?  Woo woo!

I still have much to do to get the back yard into semi-decent shape, but it it coming along.  Fortunately, last weekend was gorgeous.  But on Wednesday a cold front brought lots of rain, wind and abnormally cold temperatures.  So cold it's been since Wednesday, I've been back into my winter jacket with the hood, and gloves!  Brrrrr.

Last night when I got home the June 2013 print edition of Traditional Home was in the mail, and I dove into it this morning during the bus ride to the office. A great issue!  And a special feature on kitchens this month with a sweepstakes.  The prize is awesome for one lucky winner!  

Which got me thinking about my kitchen - again.  I've been thinking about it for over a year now - and still haven't tackled the repainting that it needs.  Other things I've worked on here and there, and things are coming along, agonizingly slowly! 

Amazingly, even after 22+ years living here, I am still quite happy with my picks for cabinets and laminate countertops, and even the flooring, although it is a bit the worse for wear after all these years. 

There are things I want to change.  I've written about that before here, I'm sure.  It isn't a very long wish list, given my budget constraints and the fact that I'm going to be retiring in less than 5 years (Goddess willing!)  A few changes I think will make a big difference in the overall ambiance of the space while also bringing it out of the late 1980's into the 21st century. 

I've received TONS of inspiration from Traditional Home over the years.  For instance, check out this "10 Steps to a Fab Kitchen" kitchen/dining area remodel.

Kitchen and dining area remodel, Traditional Home May/June 2013 online. Photo.

I LOVE it totally, but I have to be realistic.  Still, there are many points of inspiration and surely many items can be achieved with the "look for less!" 

Many of YOU have done fabulous redos/revamps/updates -- whatever you want to call it -- of your kitchens that have been of great inspiration to moi.  Without doing uber-expensive changing of locations of plumbing and staying within the same basic footprint, I have seen the most amazing updates that I still cannot believe it's the same room in the after photos from the before photos!

I have picked out half a dozen redos from blogs online that I will show you tomorrow.  You may be familiar with many of them.  Each of them is wonderful in its own right and did not cost an arm and a leg!

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