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, November 9, 2014

I'm In An Autumn Frame of Mind

Hola darlings!

Some of you may not know whom the late, great, Nat King Cole was.  I remember watching him on a tiny black and white television (that's all we had back then), when I was a little kid (the mid-1950's).  I was absolutely enthralled by his voice and his presence on stage.  Back then, all t.v. was done LIVE.  There weren't retakes and there was no video and no editing!  This subtle, nuanced performance of "Autumn Leaves," music and lyrics by the wonderful Johnny Mercer, as sung by Nat King Cole, is timeless.  There is just something about his voice that touches the deepest parts of my heart and soul.  I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do. 

This time of year, I am remembering my beloved Mr. Don, who died on October 12, 2012.  So many wonderful , but wistful, memories, and now, this song is imparted with so much more meaning for me.



I didn't think "autumn fever" would strike this year.  But, lo and behold, it did.  I was sitting at the dinette table one morning and decided I needed to bring in the season.  And so I rummaged around in all of my as yet unpacked boxes in the "wreck" room (finished basement area with a man-cave bar and set-up for a massive flat-screen TV on the wall that Mr. Don would have loved) and eventually unearthed my autumnal decorations and decor.

I also made a quick trip to the Family Dollar store just two blocks away, and picked up a wreath, as I wanted to put an autumnal/Thanksgiving themed wreath on my front door this year.  I also picked up a few other items, because I intended to "supplement" the wreath and also add a few dashes of autumnal color around the house.


Above is a more or less 12" diameter "autumnal" wreath I bought at the Family Dollar.  It was $3.99, which I thought pricey for the product (this is NOT an "everything is a dollar" store,) but I did like the faux fruit on the wreath and the pine cones.  Next to it you can see part of the two sprays of autumnal leaves I bought to try and dress the wreath up a bit.

 
Above are the two autumnal sprays I bought; in the upper portion of the photo you can see a little ceramic pumpkin  and part of a glittery (sequined) pumpkin that were purchased last year to dress up the mantle/mantel at the former Maison Newton.  Also present, you can see part of one of three flameless battery-operated wax candles that cast a lovely glow when it's dark outside!


And some votive candles and a spool of gold French ribbon.  I thought I  might use it on the wreath, but in the end, I didn't.  I'm sure I'll use it elsewhere, and you can't beat the price!

I also bought this really cute candy dish/spoon rest in the shape of a squirrel (I am very fond of squirrels):


She will stay out all year on my counter, near the tea kettle. 

I also bought a cute little pair of squirrel salt and pepper shakers which, inexplicably, there is no photo.  But you'll see them soon -- the next post!

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