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, November 2, 2013

Grocery Shopping, Lamp Angst, Stuffed Green Peppers and Yearning for a Chain Saw

Hola everyone!  This is a long post, part rant, part news, part whatever.  Settle in with your beverage of choice and (I hope you will) enjoy. 

Just got back from the Pick 'n Save -- what a MOB scene, geez!  I left the house at 3 p.m. figuring it wouldn't be quite so crowded.  WRONG.  Seems no matter what time I go on Saturday it is crowded crowded crowded.  I wouldn't mind so much if people would not block the aisles so that those of us who know exactly what she needs and wants to get in and out of the blasted place with a minimum of hassle (like moi).  You know what I'm talking about -- they stand on one side of the aisle looking for something while their cart is parked on the other side of the aisle.  They ignore you (and countless others) as you approach and unless you shout EXCUSE ME they refuse to move. Sometimes they refuse to move anyway. Extremely irritating.  Screaming children, also extremely irritating.  They should be removed to the car, muzzled or left home with dad.  Infants are one thing; babies will cry and like many other females, when I hear an infant wailing my first instinct is to run toward the sound and find out what is wrong; toddlers and bratty ill-mannered seven year olds are a different thing entirely.  I appreciate that parents are able to block out (as in going totally deaf and blind) even the most horrible obnoxiousness on the part of their precious offspring, but the rest of us bratless are left to suffer.  The little monsters usually steer clear of me though, because I give them the EVIL QUEEN STARE.  In extreme cases, I rub my hands together and lick my lips like I'm going to EAT them as I "pop" my eyes out at them.  Mom doesn't notice, of course.  She's too busy blocking the aisle. 

While I was searching for lemon juice, I came across a little boy who was playing with the Ramin Noodles packages.  He was having a lovely time smashing them together - BANG BANG BANG - and them smashing them back on to the shelves, arranged in an order only he could appreciate.  I saw no evidence of a parent ANYWHERE.  As I stood there watching him for close to a minute, he seemed totally oblivious to me.  I was not only horrified by the boy's behavior, I was horrified at the thought that any pervert could have walked off with him in a matter of seconds and no one would ever know.  Parents, PLEASE leave your kids at home if you are not going to properly take care of them while out and about.

Okay, enough ranting about shopping with idiots.  No doubt I've made countless enemies out of moms who haul their kids to the supermarket and let them loose on an unsuspecting and weary world.  That's fine.  I don't like YOU (or your nasty offspring), either. 

I wrote recently about the "stacked elephants" lamp I recently bought from Kirkland's.  I had purchased the lamp specifically for my desk in the front room.  It arrived.  I unpacked it, put the shade on, popped in a light bulb, and put it on my desk.  First on the left side, but I did not like that because the elephants had their heads turned toward the wall rather than toward the center of the desk; then on the right side, where the elephants were now facing inward toward the desk, but the balance was incredible off!  Here's a picture:




I moved accessories around, and even thought about removing my Medieval map of England from the wall and putting something else up, but in the end I decided it was just easier to move the lamp somehwere else.  The scale of the lamp compared to the area just was not working.

So, after experimenting a bit, here is where the lamp found a new home:


Queen Anne console and stacked elephant lamp in the morning.

Yep, I moved the Queen Anne console from the dinette to my bedroom, and from my bedroom back downstairs to take her place on the right side of the fireplace.  I've probably broken a thousand decorating no-no's not only with my arrangement on the table top but with my arrangements of the furniture and accessories on that wall as well, but it works for me :)  I love my stacked elephants lamp!  I can feast my eyes upon it Sunday mornings when I sit in this room for hours reading nearly every bit of the Sunday newspaper whilst sipping my coffee, and in the evenings when she is lit, she casts an intimate glow through her burlap covered shade up and down the walls in the corner.  Here she is just a few minutes ago (it's 5:15 p.m. as I'm typing this):




This is my view across the room when I turn to the right in my desk chair.  Please ignore the tinfoil underneath the legs of the coffee table.  I gave the table a good cleaning and polishing earlier and put the tinfoil underneath the legs so I wouldn't have to worry about getting stuff on the rug underneath. Look at the glow cast by my elephants! 

Some of you may be familiar with this "I bought a new thing into the room and now the rest of the room needs to be totally redone" syndrome from which I am suffering right now.  Sigh.  I got my lovely stacked elephants lamp after months of thinking about her and now, lo and and behold, after shuffling around the other lamps in the room, I am not happy with them.  Alas, it seems that the lure of Kirkland's lovely lamps has cast a spell upon me...

I have spent an inordinate amount of time lately at Kirkland's online ogling their table lamps.  I have narrowed my choices to two -- both are on sale but won't be for much longer.  One is $19.99 and the other is $24.99 and I like them both.  Maybe I should just buy them both and put the two lamps I have in here now in storage until I can sell them (that is a whole 'nother story worthy of its own post).  I don't know why I'm so reluctant to pull the trigger on the purchase(s).  Perhaps it is the dichotomy of the lamps?  One is light, and one is dark.  I mean - come on!  Am I never to have any piece (pun pun - peace) from the black and white of the chessboard, where the never-ending clash of the alleged battle between evil and good (or good and evil, as you prefer) has raged since the dawn of mankind? 

On the side of the White Queen we have, appropriately enough, Kirkland's Old Cross Ivory Table Lamp:



She is 21-1/4 inches tall and has a hardback shade in white satin, with cross charm.  She is on sale right now for $19.99. The cross charm is shaped like a Crusader's cross (cross of the Knights Templar).  After the Knights Templar were outlawed by the greedy "saintly" King of France in about 1344, that shape of cross was appropriated by pirates who roamed the seven seas.  Some say it was the Templars themselves who roamed the seven seas with their cross anathema boldly flying for all to see.

The Dark Knight makes his appearance with appropriate flourishes:




This is the Isaac bronze lamp from Kirkland's, on sale for $24.99.  He is 22-1/2 inches tall with a hardback bell shade in tan linen.  This lamp also features a gold-toned charm decorating the shade, as well as raised gold-tone decorations on the faux-bronze finish of the lamp, and a fleur de lis finial. 

The shapes of both lamps are classic.  The Dark Knight lamp reminds me of Chinese design in its form and base.  Note how face on, the Dark Knight features a five-point design, five being a number of "masculine" power in ancient Chinese iconography, pre-dating the Han Dynasty (circa 220 BCE - 240 CE).  Around the entire lamp, however, there are probably 12 designs total around the body of the lamp base (4 around the top, 1 centered on each of the 4 sides, and 4 around the bottom).  The White Queen lamp uses an ancient open weave design that has been around since mankind first started making mats and baskets out of grasses, rushes and reeds.  Amazingly, remnants of offering maps woven from rushes have survived in ancient Egyptian tombs dating back about 5,000 years ago.  The ancient Persians were probably the first culture to elevate the art of "the weave" to hardscape tile designs, which were spread throughout much of the ancient Old World through trade in circa 630 to 720 CE. 

Hmmmm, looking at these lamps yet again but close together here, I'm pretty sure that if I buy any lamp,  it will be the Dark Knight. 

Lately, the weather has affected me.  It's made me want to COOK!  So much so, I've written a whole post just about the stuffed green peppers I made last night.  Tonight I'm going to try my hand at lemon chicken.  The idea came over me while I was manuveuring my way through the mobs of obnoxious shoppers earlier today at the Pick 'n Save, talk about INSANE!  I have NO idea how to make lemon chicken.  NONE.  But that didn't stop me.  Read the next posts if you want to dive into my insanity with me.



THIS is the sight that greeted me just before 7 a.m. Monday morning.  Sometime between 4 and 4:30 a.m., there was a big whoosh of wind, strong enough and loud enough to wake me up, and in my half-awake fog I heard a loud THUMP CLUNK.  At first I thought it was the raccoon jumping up on the table to look for hazlenuts (I put them up there for the squirrels, out of the reach of the chipmunks), but then I thought no sensible animal would be out in that storm and it was probably the chairs and/or table blowing over (not yet packed away off the deck for the winter).

I was wrong!  It was this big honking branch that came down and somehow, miraculously, did not take the electric, telephone, U-Verse or cable wires down with it!



So, what's a single woman who works outside the home 40 hours plus a week to do?  She leaves the mess until the weekend, of course!  The weather is NOT cooperating, though.  Today was crappy. Tomorrow is supposed to be dryer, so after our investment club meeting, I'll change into junk clothes and tackle said small tree with my hand-saw, loppers and clippers.  Sigh.  Several hours of work ahead of me.  Well, at least yard waste pick-up is this coming Tuesday so I can get rid of the carcass quickly.  I wish I were not so absolutely terrified of things like chain-saws.  I sure could use one to make short work of this small tree.  Last year I went through much the same thing, slowly hacking away at three large limbs that came down during a series of wind storms that followed one another, just like the past week.

I hate this climate.

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