Today it's about 30 degrees F, but it felt very damp as I was walking down to the Pick 'n Save and I though to myself, yep, we're going to get more snow. Sure enough, the snow started while I was doing emergency stock-up shopping along with 50,000 other Greenfielders, or so it seemed! Geez. Nary a spot in the parking lot, and it's not a small parking lot! Just because it may get to 40 below zero F on Monday doesn't mean the end of the world is coming. We haven't had such temperatures around here in more than 15 years, thanks to global climate change. So now everyone is freaking out because we don't remember how cold COLD can get! LOL! I shouldn't laugh, but it's that or cry. It's been damn nasty here weather-wise, and that's a fact. More snow than I can spit at (the spit would hit me right back in the face anyway because of that strong wind out of the southwest today, that is bringing us 24 hours of balmy temperatures for this time of year). Shoveled once already and it looks like I may have to shovel again tonight before I go to bed. I shouldn't be doing shoveling at all because of my heart issues, but that's the way it is.
Early yesterday morning after I got dressed for work, I was standing in my room contemplating changing it around to get the bed off the cold outside wall for what remains of the winter (the next six months, that is), basically just swapping out the position of the bed (with net canopy hanging so prettily above) from the south outside wall to the north interior wall, and stared with dissatisfaction at the bare blank wall opposite the foot of the bed. What, oh what could I put there, I asked myself, if I had my druthers and an unlimited budget.
The answer came to me on what I swear was angels' voices wafting down to me from Heaven: a fireplace, fireplace, fireplace.....
I laughed, because I cannot afford to get a new front door, let alone a fireplace in my bedroom. And I really do need a new front door.
But the idea just - would - not - go - away! All yesterday morning on the bus ride to the office; all yesterday morning, lunch time and afternoon at the office; all the long bus ride home, then the stop at the Pick 'n Save for load #1 of emergency rations, then the long trudge uphill in the cold (it was about 10 below zero F) the nine blocks home. When I finally pushed the front door open and plunked down my 10 lbs. of groceries I think I actually yelled out loud "ENOUGH ALREADY!"
But sometimes an idea grabs you and just won't let go, no matter what. Damn!
So perhaps that urge to try and find new free-view Property Brothers seasons online last night was just an excuse to end up at hgtv online. I wasn't able to find any new free to view Property Brothers seasons that I had not already seen, but I did end up at hgtv. And somehow or other, last night I ended up watching about an hour's worth of 3-4 minute video clips of Candice Olson doing magic to bedroom spaces. Thing is, she always seems to start out with huge bedrooms, a couple with fireplaces already in place. That's not my mistress bedroom at Maison Newton, for sure. It measures a meek 11-1/2' x 14' and there is no en suite! Or fireplace.
The last video clip I watched was the French woman's bedroom redo. A fireplace was installed directly across the room from the foot of the bed, with a series of four framed prints above the head of the bed. Two cushy chairs were situated near the fireplace, but there was enough space between them and the foot of the bed for an easy pass-by to get to the other side of the room. It was just gorgeous. The room to begin with was gorgeous, but it did not have a fireplace! I kept hearing that angelic choir singing to me...
And so, last night, tired and bleary-eyed, and listening, huddled underneath four layers of clothing plus a doubled up afghan (flung over my shoulders, back and arms like a grandma shawl) as the winds cranked up to 30 mph and the house creaked and groaned (and it's only 23 years old, geez), I said what the heck, what would it hurt to just look for an electric fireplace and/or mantle (fireplace surround) and started visiting places like Menards.com, Lowes.com, Homedepot.com. And this morning I visited K-Mart.com, Sears.com, Overstock.com, and Amazon.com, among others.
Just how many electric and gel fueled fireplaces did I look at? Hundreds, darlings, hundreds! Whenever I saw something that I thought might work and was within my "budget" (what a joke!), I would do side-searches on Google to see if I could find something similar for less money.
And today, I did something I thought I'd never do, because I never felt the need to do it before: I signed up at PINTEREST!
Yes, Holy Hathor! Well, it sure beats printing out lots of color images of all those fireplaces that caught my eye, for various reasons, and stuffing them into a manila folder, LOL. That's what I've done for the past 30 plus years, darlings. What a waste of paper!
As I continued to hunt for a fireplace that really spoke to me, my ideas became more defined, thanks to the concentrated dose of images at Pinterest. I was zeroing in on the look I wanted...
It was at Amazon.com that I found HER! Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh - cue angels' voices from Heaven once again cascading down upon me...
A price I might be able to manage if I don't eat for a few weeks and a good enough size that it won't look like a midget on the wall I intend it for... She is the Burbank by Holly & Martin. No longer being offered, she is a close-out. It is 41 and a smidgeon inches tall, 45 inches side, and about 10 inches deep. The inner surround is antiqued mirror, the outside is wood and wood products in a dark cherry finish. The logs are ceramic; mesh firescreen is included. Gel fuel canisters are used to produce flames and heat, sitting behind the faux logs; candles (real or battery-operated) can also be placed behind the logs where the gel canisters normally sit to produce light/flame effect. I watched a video and the logs come right out, so at some future point when the budget allows, I might be able to buy an electric fireplace insert that would produce heat. Or not. What I'm mainly after is the ambiance and romance of actually having a fireplace mantle in my bedroom!
I did look online for just a fireplace surround/mantle. I pinned a photo or two of fireplace surrounds with candles in the firebox (and saw more where the firebox was sometimes mirrored to double the candle-effect), and was gravely disappointed at the prices for the surrounds! Way too expensive for my budget. I didn't check Craig's List locally. But I can't use them anyway, really, because I have no means of picking up potential purchases at the drop of a hat.
I cannot afford her, but I am going to swing it - somehow. And when the budget allows, I am going to add some kind of porcelain tile on top of fiberboard or whatever (I'll have to consult with Kevin the Wonder Handyman about what to use), suitably trimmed out, to rest the fireplace upon and give her some additional height.
Kevin the Wonder Handyman will figure prominently in all of this, as I cannot imagine putting this sucker together myself! But first things first -- I've got to rope up some money and then order it! SOON! Woo woo!
September 24, 2016: I finally removed that Christmas header from last year, oh my! Much of the last half of 2015 and the first half of 2016 was absorbed in family matters. Now I'm returning to making this retirement home into a dream place for moi. The outside has been my passion this summer. There is just something about working with your hands in the earth. I established a new garden along the south side of the driveway and it is doing very well. I will do a feature on it soon. Fall is here, we've been getting too much rain here after a very dry summer that jacked up my water/sewer bill (if you use more water here, they automatically also raise your sewer bill, even if you are a single member household and your sewer usage hasn't increased) because my gardens needed watering and so did my front and backyards. I can't stand to let the grass go brown/dormant, it drives me nuts! And with the sod-web worm epidemic around here, not keeping the parts of the lawn NOT under attack by sod-web worm healthy can actually kill off your lawn altogether. My neighbor across the street three houses down learned that lesson the hard way, oh my! The entire curb-cut area across the front of his house died off from lack of water and no relief from the scorching sun we had all summer, in combination with a severe infestation of sod-web worm. Record temperatures and humidity in SE Wisconsin. May as well be living in southern Florida, for pete's sake! Yuk! Now I've got my Shezebo up, though, and I'm loving it! And too soon it will be time to put away all the summer furniture and accessories. But not yet! The trees are still very green in these parts, so I figure I have maybe another month to enjoy my Shezebo before getting her ready for winter. Meanwhile, I'm loving what the rain and slightly cooler weather has done for my lawns! And in a few weeks my new privacy fence along the north lot line is going to be installed! Whoop whoop! Take care! Jan