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, September 14, 2014

Early Cold Spell and Hydrangeas and THIS PLACE IS A FRICKING MESS

Hola everyone.

I promise I will do some more posting soon and catch you up on what I've been doing (trying, anyway) around here, but right now I'm just overwhelmed with too much going on, geez!

I have made some progress around this new old house, but let me tell you, darlings, it's slllooooowwwww going.  I spent this past Saturday, cold and windy, cutting the grass in the back yard and then the front yard, and early this morning in much welcomed sunshine but a good "breeze" (it got into the 60's today and the house actually warmed all the way up to 73, which is good because I have not yet figured out how to de-program the programed thermostat to a temperature lower than 72, so it's been off most of the time during this cold snap), I did the trimming out front.  I use a battery-operated grass shears to do that so it entails a lot of bending over and stooping, and I'm probably showing some underwear every now and then and shocking the bifocals off of some of my neighbors.  I concentrate of making the public space at the front of the house look as nice as I can get it; not so much out back in my private space, but there's also not so much area in the back yard that needs to be trimmed. 

Am I the only lunatic in the United States of America who sweeps her gutters and tries to obliterate all traces of cut-grass residue???

I also vacuumed (much needed) and did laundry (hardly any, which makes me very suspicious I am wearing my underwear far too long),  finished putting the legs back on my larger desk that I moved from the living room into the much smaller space (a bedroom) that will serve as my den/library/study/office, but I was not able to get it back up on its legs.  It was much easier to put the desk on the floor in the living room and take its legs off than to get it standing back up again in its new home.  Damn!  I will need to recruit another person to assist...

So, yesterday, I noticed that my crazy hydrangea shrub is setting MORE blossoms -- in September!  Is that a thank you for my watering it every day since I moved in on July 7th?  Well, if that isn't evidence that this season is a good three to four weeks behind where we should have been, I don't know what is.  But the light is mostly disappeared now shortly after 7 p.m.   I think the hydrangea will run out of warmth and enough day light to set its new blossoms, and that makes me sad.  But I thought, yesterday, maybe if I cut off some of the blooms that are on it right now (since June!!!) it would give the shrub a fighting chance, as it can concentrate on the NEW blossoms instead of sustaining those already opened up and still looking hearty and healthy after a couple of months!  What an amazing little shrub my hydrangea is, to be sure.

So I gulped, and cut five flowers off.  Here are a couple of photos, taken today -- I wasn't sure if they would survive overnight sitting in a bowl of water with some of that powdered "floral preservative," but they did, thank Goddess!  And so beautiful they are --


As you can see, the colors are all over the place, because I haven't been able to sustain a sufficiently acidic environment for the shrub to produce purple/blue-ish blossoms!  The natural color of an hydrangea is, as I learned to my surprise, pink!  But I've also got green-y/white-ish, too.  All over the place color-wise.


So I'm greatly appreciating the beauty of my cut hydrangea blossoms and very grateful to my hydrangea shrub for giving me such gorgeous flowers, and I hope it won't hate me too much for cutting some of the blooms off to enjoy in my kitchen/dinette. 

Oh, I also hauled about 10 boxes of - I can't believe how much stuff I have - down into the basement wreck room, some of which was immediately tucked away and some of which was stashed on the bar pending figuring out what the hell to do with it!  Lots of books, and I've only my china hutch in the living room, and all the stuff in separate boxes stashed in that room that has first dibs on the space, and one two shelf bookcase that will go into the den/library, etc. space 

I seriously need to do some bookcase shopping.  Funds.  I need to come up with some money!  I'm tired of lugging boxes down into the wreck room. 

But the future den/library etc. is painted a dark blue with a black chalk-board race trace painted as a border around the entire room near the ceiling, complete with a chalked-in dashed line to indicate the "lanes."

Real cute.  And it's going to be a REAL BITCH to prime over and then repaint the room.  As if I have the energy to do such a thing, HA!  But there's no money left in the budget to hire someone else to do it, nosirree.

I am NOT a happy camper right now, dear readers.  Nope. 

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