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, July 20, 2014

Junking the Junk Drawer(s)!!!

Hola darlings!

I want to be outside soooooo badly on this beautiful summer day in southeast Wisconsin, but I am being a good girl and unpacking an entire BOXLOAD of the contents of two junk drawers from the prior Maison Newton.

Geesh!  I should have taken a picture when that box was full of crap junk stuff items I cannot live without things I rarely need but occasionally use.  But -- the end is near!!!


Look at that sucker - it's gigantic!  It is a copy paper box from the office, one of hundreds dozens people at the office hoarded for me once I put the word out I needed boxes for moving. It was filled TO THE BRIM; what you now see is what is left after working on it for an hour.  I am so proud of myself!  Pat on Jan's back from Jan to herself :) 

I now only have one pitifully small junk drawer and an orphan cabinet in my kitchen peninsula where I am stashing odds and ends that don't fit anywhere else but that I don't want to put on the shelves in the basement as past experience has taught me that I actually do access my "junk" quite a bit.  There are eleven steps to the basement and while the storage is nice, I really don't want to be trekking down there several times a day!

This is what my new junk drawer looks like:


As you can see, this drawer is loaded, but it is actually organized by function (sort of) and everything has its own container -- that is a first for me:  tools; scissors and various forms of hooks and holders; plastic tape, command strips, various thingies for hanging pictures and photos, and tons of push-tacks; glue, a couple of electrical adapter, measuring tape, extra styrofoam blocks (I use them to elevate the rear legs of my laptops); at the far left are rulers and a compass (because you never know when you may need to make a circle); furniture scratch covers and fillers; scotch tape; three little containers filled with various forms of tacks, nails and screws, and hammers across the back of the drawer.

I threw out many items -- things I didn't recognize what the heck they were or what they were used for, for instance.  Why had I saved them to begin with?  I will never know now...

The cabinet is a work in progress (I'm taking a break right now to write this), but it will hold many items from the chaos that is the top of my kitchen counter at the moment:



Oops, not the best picture, shot into the light from the patio door.  I'll never learn...

It looks chaotic right now, but in another hour or so this counter will be clear, pinky swear:



Look ma, crochet hooks and old zippers from the 1980's when I used to do that stuff!  Old shoe strings!  Partially used books of matches!  Three (for pete's sake) night lights!  Tons of Scentsy wax melts (waiting for a new light bulb to arrive for my Scentsy burner so I can start enjoying them again). 


Here's a basket ready to go into the cabinet.  Oh, I also discovered I had three brand new caulk guns -- never used.  And a couple of putty knives, too...


There's my new patio set, ain't she purty!  And that little skimpy yard -- no trees and therefore, no shade; shade cast by the house is just now coming around (about 4:15 p.m.) as the sun swings to the southwest/west.

Okay, back to emptying that box of crap stuff.  Then it's outside with a glass of wine and the sales flyers from the Sunday paper!

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