December 19, 2018:


I can't believe we're less than a week away from Christmas and I haven't yet really decorated the kitchen and dinette! I've got the small cardinal tree up on the peninsula counter and my Christmas cards are shaped in the form of a Christmas tree and taped to a wall by the dining table; I put up my colorful teal floral curtains with lots of gold and red, my cardinal prints and added a red tablecloth to the dining table, but that's it! Enough, I suppose.

The tree is done! It seemed to take forever this year to decorate but I am loving the result. It looks like the kind of mish-mash everything on it but the kitchen sink kind of tree I remember from my childhood. The only thing missing is the bubble lights, but I'm too frugal to buy them!

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and that the dreaded Polar Vortex stays away!


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Decorating for Autumn, and a Political Rant (Don't Read if You're Faint of Heart)

Hola Darlings!

Well, it occurred to me just now -- DUH -- that I did not take a single picture of my Halloween decorations, such as they were.

Wired metallic leaf garland from last year wrapped in a wreath form this year
(last year it was on my former fireplace mantle). EPIC FAIL!  I took it down and used
it to add a little sparkle to my front door Family Dollar wreath.
I didn't decorate for Halloween at the former Maison Newton.  This year, at the new Maison Newton, I spent about $5 at Walgreens and bought a full-size not too scary vinyl tape-on front door cover that said "Happy Halloween" in bright colors against a black and orange background with two jack-o-lanterns and some flying bats.  I added a 24" inch long skeletal "phantom" draped in a gauzy gown that I hung from my mail box and she blew in the wind like a banshee!  She even scared me! Photos of the banshee and the door wrap will have to wait for next Halloween.

As in my former neighborhood, this neighborhood hosts a night-time trick or treat on Halloween between 6:30 and. 8:30 p.m.  I did not think any kids would show up at my front door.

But they did.  Despite the weather being extremely windy (gusts up to 40 mph) and quite cold (near freezing temperatures), I had perhaps 30 trick or treaters show up, starting about 6 p.m. with a daddy bringing his little one, she was so cute!  I had posted the orange-colored "announcement" that I was participating in the neighborhood T or T on my front door and splurged a little to buy a $5.99 energy-saver orange light-bulb which cast its glow over my front stoop and front door.  It was plenty dark outside by 6 p.m.

I had a LOT of candy, purchased over several weeks and the last trip to the Pick 'n Save, some of the candy was on sale, five bags for $10.  What a bargain!  I couldn't resist, I bought five more bags of snack size candy bars!  We have trick or treat on my floor at the office, too, and I had stocked in plenty of candy for that, most of which came back home with me.  I was ready. 

Decor from prior years: the three flameless candles bought a few years ago from a bus friend who held a
Party-Lite party; and purchases from The Family Dollar last year:  the sequined pumpkin , the mini-pumpkins
salt and pepper shaker set, and the maple-leaf shaped candy dish.  The candy is fresh!
At one point, though, I was worried that I might run out of candy before the 8:30 p.m. end of T or T came along. But about 8:00 p.m. the last of the kids came through, and I was left with enough candy to make it worthwhile to donate it to a local church food pantry, so the young and the young at heart who draw on that food pantry will get some extra treats this year.  That, and a LOT of Kraft mac and cheese (the traditional recipe).  I buy a couple of boxes each time I go to the Pick 'n Save (which is about every-other day, as I don't drive and hoof it on foot, so I can't carry many groceries at any one time).  When I have enough food loot piled up, I call my friend, Ann, who belongs to the church with the food pantry, and she comes over and picks up the donations.  I am not a churchgoer.  She is.  She is dedicated to the church that her deceased Mom (a truly lovely human being, sadly missed by all who knew her) belonged to.  Ann volunteers to help out with the baking, and cooking, and serving at the suppers that take place at the church regularly to raise funds.  There is so much need in the parish which, years ago, used to be prosperous, but no longer is.  We both do what we can, while worried ourselves that we may run out of money in our old age.  It is a fear that never goes away, it's always lurking there, in the background.

There is soooo much need in this city.  We live in one of the richest countries in the world and yet we have children, working people and elderly folks going to bed hungry every single day.  It is a disgrace! This makes me SO angry!

I am one of those people who tends to see my glass half-filled, rather than half-empty.  So I will be going into retirement (coming soon),  with optimism that somehow, someway, there will be enough money there, to support me for the next 20 or 30 years.  That my savings will outlive me.  We'll see.  I cannot imagine having to go to a food pantry in order to have enough to eat to survive.  That would, indeed, be a bitter pill to swallow after having worked my ass off for the past 44 years.  Having played by all the rules, and did everything I was told would get me to where I needed to be in order to have a "comfortable" retirement.  Well, I can tell you darlings, it may not be be so fricking comfortable.  But it's coming, nevertheless. I'll survive.  By hook or crook.  I never used to understand the meaning of that old old phrase.  But now, I do...

As much as I HATE where we are as a nation right now, with greed, hard-heartedness, selfishness and filth in our political and private worlds prevailing (and it's not because of President Obama although some tell you so), I still have hope, faith, and optimism that WE THE PEOPLE will right ourselves as a whole, as people who WILL see beyond the ugly divisive rhetoric of political parties (whether red or blue), and it won't be because the Republicans have taken over control of the House and the Senate this most recent election, because they're just going to give us more bullshit.  You know it.  I know it.  We, the people, need to take control, and kick those bastards, ALL of them, out of office, once and for all.  And tell the Koch brothers and their ilk to f*** off.  Do you want your children to be peasants (or worse) in the "new world order?"  I wouldn't wish that on them no matter what your political leanings are.  I simply thank the Goddess daily that in this day and age, I have NO children who will inherit the "order" certain well-monied people intend and are actively seeking for us, and for your children (and my grand-nieces and grand-nephews), within our lifetimes.

Okay, NOW is the end of the rant.

I truly MISS having my fireplace mantle to decorate.  I have a large kitchen counter which used to be a breakfast bar which, for the life of me, I can't imagine ever using!  And there is a large "window" that opens the dinette area of the kitchen space to the living room. It has a long countertop, which is generally cluttered with mail and assorted papers waiting to find a home in this as yet unsettled home.

I cleaned up especially to take these pictures, but I'm no "stager:"

The photo above is part of the breakfast bar I don't and won't ever use.  I have a large round dining set and I eat there.  Installing stools to use that counterpsace rather than eating at the table is far too suburban for moi.  I'd rather have the extra space by making that overhanging countertop (and the peninsula underneath it) disappear!  An island constructed out of a drawer cabinet on wheels would make much more sense in this small space. But, for now, that too-wide countertop is a place to throw my canvas shopping bags filled with groceries when I get back from the Pick 'n Save.

These are my 28-year old wooden cannisters (they have hard plastic liners and the tops fit snugly, so flour and sugar store in them well).  The brown, yellow and white "bullseye" pattern painted on the opposite side of each cannister is turned toward the wall and all is well, LOL!  The oak finish on the cannisters works well in this kitchen.  The little googly-eyed squirrel, one of a pair of another set of salt/pepper shakers I bought at the Family Dollar this year (to go with the pumpkin salt and pepper shaker set I bought last year), along with the remains of one of the autumn floral sprays also bought at the Family Dollar this season to dress up the wreath I bought for the front door, dresses up the top of the cannisters a little.

I cleaned the table off just for YOU, darlings!  This is my work station during the weekends and evenings when I get home from the office, as my den/office/library is, as of yet, uninhabitable.  I replaced the summer yellow, gold and grey runner with an autumnal-colored paisley print table cloth (from my stash) and, as you can see in the background, my "new mantle" holds an assortment of seasonal decoratons.  I use the old brass pharmacy lamp when I'm working on the computer at night -- I can pull it close up or angle it to get good light on my keyboard.

Because of the light pouring in through the patio doors, I wasn't able to get a good photo of the autumn drapes I put up in place of the cream and light grey panels that were there over summer, so here is a close-up that gives you an idea of what they look like. I've owned these panels for several years, they were bought at the former Linens 'n Things.  The material is rich, thick, woven in a beautiful tapestry-like, textured design of vines, flowers and leaves.  They are rod pocket and scrape the floor length-wise. They are tied back with shoe-laces (well, the color matches) during the day and untied at night to fully cover over the patio doors -- love the look.

A view from the living room into the dinette, where you can sort of see what the autumn drapes look like.  Hmmm, I see the astrolab on the dining table needs to be skootched over a bit to the right.

I change out the prints that hang on either side of the patio door to go with the seasons.  Now they hold deeper, darker colors than the sunny yellows, whites and pale greys they held in the summer:

Above: seasonal prints framing the right side of the patio door.  I usually go for wallpaper prints.

Prints on the left-side of the patio door. Nope, I did not photograph myself on purpose, it's the lighting.  You can see how cold it is here.  I'm wearing my arctic sweater despite it being 65 degrees F in the house, EEK!  Makes me look like a polar bear.  Wearing glasses and wielding an antique Nikon.  LOL!  The print is actually a gold/orange/red/green large paisely pattern, lovely (not me, the paisley print that you can't see).

In the living room, a floral spray from last year (purchased at the Family Dollar) rests inside fallen wood (found in the backyard of the former Maison Newton) that echos the shape of ancient "deer horns," reminiscent of those that graced the real deal on an ancient Persian Goddess in far antiquity (circa 5000-4000 BCE; predates Islam by many thousands of years).  I brought this particular example of "deer horn" wood with me from the former Maison Newton; I had many more examples that were quite a bit taller and larger, that I had scattered about the gardens, the stout "stems" buried into the ground a good foot or more, but I removed them all and put them into garden recycling when I sold the house, as I knew the new owners would not appreciate the significance of these WINDFALLS from the Goddess.  Literally, they blew down into my back yard from my many trees; I saw them as gifts from the Goddess, but others might think of them as a nuisance or even a danger from the "menancing trees."  I can tell you, though, I never once had anything clunk on my roof or clunk me on the head during my 24 years of residence at the former Maison Newton.  Close calls -- but, as the old saying goes -- no cigar!  Heh heh heh.

Another floral spray and sequined pumpkin purchased last year at the Family Dollar, gracing the front of my elephant lamp.  Got the round table at a year or two ago for about $50.  It was perfect for what I needed at the former Maison Newton and works fine at this latest version of Maison Newton.  I've owned the glass topper for probably 30 plus years, it used to sit on top of one of those wobly four-screw-in-the-legs pressed board tables that I used in exactly the same position -- between my wing chair and my wing chair-look recliner that used to be in my family room, and are now in my living room at the new Maison Newton.

My new "mantle/mantel" (for now):

Above, a look from the living room side of the "window" between living room and dinette.

The ceramic pumpkins:  the short, round one was part of a beautiful floral gift from the firm on my 10th anniversary.  I bought the tall one at the Family Dollar last year for my autumnal mantel display.  It was the first -- sure hope it won't be the last -- autumnal mantel display I'd ever done. But I have to get me a fireplace to have a true mantle/mantel, LOL! [I really have to decide how I'm going to spell it -- mantle or mantel -- once and for all!]

1 comment:

  1. Jan,
    Just wanted to stop by and say Hi!! I am on a Blog Posting break until I get myself together and get my sanity back. I will be returning to posting the week of Thanksgiving with my Christmas posts....

    Take care, my Friend!!