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

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My Five WORST PERFORMING Posts in 2013

Hola darlings!

NUMBER FIVE!!!!!!! Banana Nut Bread.
Happy New Year's Eve!  It's snowing here and will be through Thursday morning.  Sigh.  We are in the deep freeze, too, with temperatures well below normal for this time of year, windchills down into the minus twenties F at night. 
NUMBER FOUR!!!!!!! Gallery wall.
For the first time in three winter seasons, I pulled out the old tights, an extra button down cotton sweater to wear underneath the down coat, the Sorel heavy-duty boots that weigh at least 20 pounds each, I swear!  Plus extra socks, and turtleneck sweaters underneath extra warm and thick sweaters.  I look and walk like an overweight polar bear when I'm done dressing before heading out -- takes at least 10 minutes to put on the boots, the scarf, the hat, the extra scarf, the extra sweater, fumble around for the coat zipper then do up the snaps, pull up the hood and get that velcroed into place, and the final step is inserting my Hot-Hands packs into my down LL Bean mittens.  Love those mittens, and especially love Hot Hands!  I only learned about them four years ago or so.  How did I ever survive without them?  With lots of cases of near frostbit fingers! 

NUMBER THREE!!!!!!!! Crumble-top apple pie.
I'm home, safe, warm (I will enjoy a fire in the fireplace later on), having a glass of wine and contemplating this end of the year.  The office closed at 2 p.m. and I was able to leave just before 3 p.m.  A friend gave me a lift and I asked her drop me at the Pick 'n Save near where I live, which was an absolute mad house!  I do not recall ever seeing so many people buying so much spirits and beer in my life, Holy Hathor!

NUMBER TWO!!!!!!!!  Naked front room.
It seems that almost everyone in blog land is writing about their top five or top ten posts of 2013.  Well, this little blog doesn't perform like theirs, LOL!  So, I decided to share with you my BOTTOM FIVE 2013 BLOG POSTS!  Ta da!

Many were tied with 9 page views, but there were some that had less -- way less!  And so, without further adieu (drum roll please).....

Worst #5:

February 13, 2013:  My baking banana bread fiasco!  The banana bread ultimately turned out just fine, but what it took to get there -- oh my!  And there was a snow storm, too!  Six (yes, 6) page views.

Worst #4:

June 10, 2013:  Gallery Wall: I Think I Finally Got It (Nearly) Right.  After working so hard to get this right, putting it up, taking it down, putting it up, taking it down, rearranging over and over, it seemed like dozens of times but was probably only six or seven times, I was very happy with the "final" product and I wanted you all to be happy with me.  But at six page views, I realized nobody was interested.  Ugh!  And then there was the patching of all the holes in the wall, LOL!  I have since tweaked the bottom two rows of the gallery wall and swapped out tables, and I'm madly in love highly gratified with it all.  I have to tell you too -- brag brag -- that visitors who are invited to the back of the house (the gallery wall is in the dinette, part of the rooms running across the back of the house) spend lots of time looking at all the photos and asking questions!  I LOVE that reaction, which is exactly what I wanted to happen.  I wanted my precious photos of family and friends to tell a story and evoke curiosity and questions!  Plus I like to talk a lot (can you tell???)

Worst #3:

October 26, 2013: National Apple Day.  Maybe it's the title - B-O-R-I-N-G!  I included my favorite crumble top apple pie recipe that - honest - has gotten rave reviews over the years and is not difficult to make at all.  The "hardest" part of the process (takes the longest) is paring and slicing up the apples!  It has lots of photos, too.  Don't we all love looking at photos in those "how do do this or cook that" kinds of posts?  Well, I do anyway.  But with only six page views, the little tips I learned from my beloved Grandma Newton, who could bake like an angel with NO recipes were seen by practically no one. My apple pie is still damn good, though. 

Worst #2:

November 29, 2013:  Thanksgiving:  Removing All Traces of Fall and Naked Front Room.  This as one of my shortest posts ever.  I thought it would be a big hit because people would think "oh look, she kept it under 10,000 words!"  But nah.  Four page views.

Worst #1:

December 21, 2013:  A Frank Discussion About "Domestic" Violence.  Admittedly not the thing to talk about around the holidays, I suppose, but it was important to me to speak out when I was moved to do so by another blogger's posts about the recent death of a fellow blogger and her teenaged son at the hands of her former husband.  This post had seven views.  I believe that this is one of the most important topics a woman can discuss with other women, and it got seven page views.  This I count as a major failure, and I have to tell you, it's disheartening.

Well, this is no time for a pity party.  One keeps on keeping on!  In 2014 I will continue to try to do what I did in 2013 and in each year of my life since I became a responsible adult:  work to make the lives of others better.

Goddess bless you all, dear two readers (actually, I think I may have twelve readers) -- Goddess bless you all, dear twelve readers.  See you in 2014, woo woo!!!!!

Sharing at Cozy Little House's Tweak It Tuesday.

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