May 20, 2018:


Yesterday Prince Harry married American Meghan Markle and I couldn't get enough of the royal wedding. What a gorgeous dress, the bride was radiantly beautiful and the church at Windsor - oh my goodness, the flowers alone were soooo beautiful. There's nothing like a good love story to make one appreciate how precious we can be (and should be) to each other.

I'm glad the weather was perfect yesterday for the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex's wedding. I can't say the same for around here. Spring keeps teasing and then going away. This morning I woke up to a "balmy" 47 degrees F outside, rain, damp, and I turned the heat back on! It's May 20th, the heat. should. not. be. on. Period.

Last Thursday, however, was beautiful. I was able to get a goodly amount of yard and garden clean-up done over several days last week. I also took some photos of my flowering tree anchoring the north corner of my house and made the current collage. I think it's an ornamental cherry, and on the the other end of the house, I think that's called a purple sand cherry? I'll have to check that. The blossoms on the tree do not have a distinct fragrance, but the purple shrub that wants to be a tree (despite my hacking it back, back and back yearly - I'm losing, by the way) has myriad blossoms with a distinct fragrance. I can't decide if the scent is too beautiful to bear or too awful to smell, it certainly can be overpowering!

This coming week will be the third cut of the grass this season. We had rain late Friday night and then for several hours earlier this morning. This rain, on top of the rain we had over four days the prior weekend, and the grass is growing like nobody's business! I don't mind doing the grass, though, as long as it's not too hot, too cold, not raining, and not too windy. I'm not picky at all, am I...

I still have a lot of raking out of areas that suffered from snow mold over the winter, and have not yet really tackled cleaning out the north flower bed in the backyard. That will be a chore!

But Memorial Day weekend is coming. This coming Saturday I will be out with a friend (who has a nice large van - goody!) stocking up on potting soil, top soil to fill in never-ending low spots in the yard, grass seed, and lots of plants! For some reason, this spring seems busier than those in prior years. I can't figure out why that is...


Friday, November 28, 2014

Progress in the Mistress Bedroom

Hola everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!  I always look forward to this particular holiday because it reminds me to be thankful and grateful for the good things in my life -- far more good than bad, for sure!

Our office is closed the day after Thanksgiving, giving us a fabulous four-day weekend!  There is something so luxurious about having that extra time off!  So, while yesterday was given over to solitary contemplation, watching NFL football games, cooking, and enjoyment of my "alone" time, today I left the house at 7:35 a.m. to go for my monthly blood draw.  I'm on a blood thinner so the degree of "thinness" has to be checked once a month to make sure my blood doesn't get too "thick" or too "thin," either of which could cause complications since I have heart arrhythmia.  Unfortunately, the vein the technician chose and poked with the needle evidently collapsed in the middle of the blood draw and the poor tech became so flustered, something went wrong with the second draw as well (ouch!), and she called in help.  That's the first time that ever happened in the two plus years I've had to go for these monthly blood draws, and I felt so badly for her.  She not only works a full-time job, she also is attending school full time and, until recently, was a live-in "superintendent" at an apartment building, where she got a break in rent in exchange for cleaning and maintenance duties such as shovelling the sidewalks!

Help arrived, the blood was drawn and soon enough (with bandages on both arms - I matched!) I was on the road back home.  This being a weekday, the buses run much more frequently than on Saturdays (which is when I normally go), and so I had good connections to transfer routes.  I only wish it had been a little bit warmer and NOT snowing during the entire time I was travelling.  But, in less than a few minutes, I was transferring to take the bus ride to the Walgreens half a mile from my home to pick up a prescription and check out the Christmas lights on sale (I shall buy some tomorrow) and from there it was a short walk to the Pick 'n Save and grocery shopping, and then the half mile hike back home.  That's how I keep in shape, and it's been a blessing not only in keeping my weight in check, it's good cardio for my old heart. I get extra points for walking on slippery roads and sidewalks for it takes a special kind of "duck" walk and more muscles to do that in order to keep my balance, LOL!  Bonus points for doing it all in 17 degrees F with a "slight" breeze from the west/northwest too, for those kind of conditions jack-up one's metabolism to an extra calorie-burning level to compensate for the cold.

I arrived home at 9:54 a.m.  I am home free for the day, yippee, except I have to shovel yet more snow that has fallen.  Sigh.

View of the patio.  All those lumps and bumps are drifted snow from the last snowfall I
did not shovel plus myriad squirrel and assorted critter paw prints!

Oh my -- I went out to do the shovelling and before I knew it, 1.5 hours had gone by.  Holy Hathor.  It didn't feel like it took that long, but the clock does not lie.  Wow!  Burn, calories, burn!

Today I want to share with you the status of my mistress bedroom.  I call it that because there is no man in this household so it seems pointless to call it a "master" bedroom, especially since I'm the only one paying the mortgage, har :)  Get ready for several not so good pics, but hopefully you'll see beyond their amateurish nature and see the same beautiful room that I do whenever I walk through its doorway.  I'm so in love with this space!  I think by far it's the best mistress bedroom I've ever had.

Looking into the room from the door:

Oops!  Shadows - didn't see them when I was concentrating on taking the photo!
They're being cast over my shoulder from the bathroom window across the way,
during a brief spurt of sunlight that, fortunately for me, helped soften up the icy residue
of a recent snowfall so I could shovel it off the public sidewalk and my driveway and porches.
Looking to the right from the doorway:

Ikea sheer curtains underneath and semi-sheer curtains draped in front, about 98" long, hang from a
double Ikea rod.  I only used one full rod (the length of it is GIGANTIC) to cover both of these six-foot long "ranch" style windows.  The windows are only about 2 feet tall but six feet long, and framed in a darkish-stained wood 
(prior owners stained over oak woodwork sometime after they got the house in 2003; and did a piss-poor
job of it, I have to tell you. I am seriously considering painting all the woodwork white, or if I hit the
lottery, having it all ripped out and re-done.
The curtain rods were hung near the ceiling - I've read that adds "drama" - yeah, it has!  Love the look of ceiling to floor curtains.  This bedroom is small by today's standards - 10' x 12' -- but running the curtains as I did seemed to visually enlarge the space.

The curtain rods were installed by Kevin, my wonderful handyman, and two of his helpers.  It would have taken me forever and probably would not have been able to do it, to get those rods properly installed (actually, each side is a mere one-half of a giant size Ikea double-rod)!  I was able to put the curtains on the rods easily.  They are quite long and "puddle" on the floor (a bit too much "puddle").  Next spring, when I take everything down for a good wash, I will probably hem them so they barely touch the floor.  It will make them easier to open/close when the windows are open during the summer and much easier to clean the floor, too with the "swiffer" or the "handi-broom."  

Looking further right, to the north wall of the bedroom:

Sorry for the dark photos!  At this particular time the sun was breaking through the grey clouds outside and since I only have 15 watt light bulbs in my lamps, it was no match for the fire-power of Mother Nature when I took these pictures!  Next, looking toward the closet wall (the east wall):

The chest of drawers is pushed over more underneath the window than normal because of a
heating vent; it normally sits half-way offset in front of the extended curtains.  I have plans to have
the inside of the closet remade so the chest of drawers will be hidden away inside it.

Looking at the closet wall and what will be a gallery wall, this is also the entrance wall (east wall):

As you can see above, I've only got two pictures on my gallery wall.  I have more things to go up, but I'm waiting for some "English style" plate/picture hanging hooks to arrive.  I have some things I want to hang but I want to make sure they're secure, and these "English style" plate hangers come highly recommended by many bloggers.  The gold-framed chickadee print on the lower right of the wall was a gift from Mom when I bought my first house in 1986.  Now I have it in House 3 (retirement home).

Above, the view across the room (south wall), coming full circle.  There is my lovely old wing chair, bought for my first home in 1986.  I reinforced the seat because it was sagging after all these years, and now it is as good as new.  I sit in it every morning to put on my socks, and sit in it every night, to remove them, LOL!  I love its color and its soft velvety upholstery.  I used to have it covered in a black slipcover, but removed that when I moved here.  I like how the "rosewood" color (that is the original color description I still remember when I bought this chair at Sears) adds a layer of color and texture to the room.  It's difficult to see because I'm no good at taking close-ups, but the color of the chair is echoed in the four nature prints I recently printed off the internet and hung in frames I purchased some years ago from T.J. Maxx -- you can see two in the photo, above.

I've tried for a harmonious flow of colors about the room.  The main theme is serenity and a sort of "zen" feel within a traditional design aesthetic, in the wood tones, greys, blacks, beiges and whites.

You may have noticed some things hanging from the "canopy" of the French-style campaign canopy bed I scored for a great price at  In the center is "The Hand of the Goddess" which was a gift to me many moons ago from my friend and Goddesschess cohort, Isis a/k/a Georgia.  It is carved in wood, not stained.  It has an eye hook through the top part of the hand (somewhat rusty after all these years) and it hung in other areas of the former Maison Newton throughout the years on a gold chain near the computer in my former den/library. It was a source of inspiration and blessings. It occurred to me - finally (after all these years, duh!) - that it was a no-brainer to hang the Hand of the Goddess from the center part of m bed canopy frame, where the hand of the Goddess can always be showering her blessings upon me as I sleep and dream.

Hanging with the Hand of the Goddess is a natural quartz crystal set in gold, also on a gold chain.  The colors of the crystal are varying shades of grey, black and white and the crystal is banded in 14k gold  -- a natural artifact to display in my mistress bedroom that was already painted this lovely grey color when I bought the house (it is called "Porpoise.")  I intertwined the two chains to try and make it look like the Hand of the Goddess is suspending the crystal over the bed.

According to feng shui, a crystal suspended over the bed is beneficial for focusing positive chi energy.  Long before I knew anything about feng shui, I fell in love with this beautiful natural quartz crystal and bought it in the early 1970's at one of the early Milwaukee celebrations of Bastille Days.

The creamy white stars are a few of many stars and planets I removed from the bedroom ceiling of the former little boy's bedroom that is becoming my den/library (or is that library/den? -- whatever).  When exposed to enough light they glow in the dark.  These days, though, not enough light in the room during the day to make them glow at night.

Close-ups -- captions below the pics describe them more fully:

On the right, front, hard to see, but it's a dragon fly set in sky blue and white crystals framed in gold-metal,
hung from a gold chain.  It is the epitome of summer-time and my gardens!  It was a gift to me  about ten ears ago
from an admirer, and it's so beautiful!  On the right, rear, hangs a delicately-wrought heart in white gold with a
small diamond in the middle, on a white gold chain.  It was a gift to me from a very special man in my life before I graduated from law school, back in the early 1980's.  Ten lifetimes ago, Mr. W, so it seems...

Above, on the upper left, a lovely gift to me from a former employer, an attorney that I worked with for many years both before and while I was going to law school.  It is a "chai' ["living"; "life"] symbol in gold, and the chain holder is a miniature "chai" figure itself -- so it is a double-"chai," both suspended from its gold chain.  Mr. G gave me a double blessing for a fruitful, wonderful life.

The round locket on the left was a gift from my Mr. Don.  It belonged to his mother, Josephine Anne Marie Therese Bouthillier. She passed away in 1980, years before I met Don, so when he gave the locket to me as a keepsake, it was all the more precious.  It is made of copper, and I hung it on a fine gold chain.  It opens up to a tri-fold and bears the symbol of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ on its front.

Some vignettes taken around the Mistress Bedroom:

Night stand on the right of the bed: French style lamp from Kirklands (one of two I bought 5-6 years ago),
holds my Dream Machine wonderful radio/alarm clock that I never have to reset -- it resets itself!
On top is a special "charm" -- a "Queen Bird," which can be a symbol for the Queen in chess
or the Queen of Heaven, Who is often depicted as a crowed Dove or Mourning Dove.
Books underneath: Guide to Madrid (came in handy during Mr. Don's and my two visits to that
wonderful city; and two books on Enochian Chess -- very esoteric reading guaranteed to put one to sleep!
One of my favorite photos of the Three Chess Goddesses!  That's me, Georgia and Michelle, taken
in August 2008 by Mr. Don, on the driveway at the former Maison Newton.  It was sooooo hot that day, in
the 90's and VERY humid.  Georgia and Michelle were visiting from Las Vegas, and they thought it was "cool"!
That day we were on our way to tour the Masonic Hall of the Shriners in Milwaukee, who have raised millions of
dollars each year for many many years to help sick children (not covered by health insurance) through their
support of  hospitals dedicated to the care of children, such as Children's Hospital of Wisconsin and
St. Jude's Hospital  in Illinois.  That Shriners' Hall is a replica in form (not building materials) of the beautiful
Taj Mahal in India, complete with central dome and four corner domes.  It is plunked right in the middle
of Milwaukee's central city and close to downtown Milwaukee.  It so beautiful!  We had a wonderful
personally guided-tour that day around the premises and learned a lot about the charitable work the Shriners do.

In front of the photo of us three chess goddesses  is a cream and 18k gold trimmed porcelain music box that I
purchased during a visit to Las Vegas in August, 1999 to see the World Chess Championship that was being
hosted at Caesar's Palace -- and visited Georgia and Michelle too.   The music box plays "Wind Beneath My Wings."
It always makes me cry, it is SO beautiful.  You may remember, it's the song from "Beaches."

Below, a close-up of my silver and black-framed koi fish. In feng shui, they represent wealth, good fortune and prosperity.  Placement is important: these are oriented toward the east wall, where it is my good fortune to have the entrance to my room, to invite riches in, and doesn't face any mirrors to bounce the "good fortune" away from me.  The gold ceramic Sun box was a gift from Mr. Don.

On the left end of the triple dresser (nearest the door):

A lovely little mirror featuring a pair of birds looking into it, from Home Decorators.  What is that white spot, have no idea, it's not a smut on the dresser, I can tell you that much!  The photo is one of  Mr. Don and I taken in October 2002 on the other side of St. Martin's Bridge, just across the river and gorge that isolates the ancient city of Toledo, Spain.  He was serenading me in a quasi-operatic voice (the scenery definitely called for High Drama). I was nearly falling down laughing, thank goodness he was holding me up when the photo was snapped!

The final photo for this post: a beautiful rosewood and faux jade with real brass trim jewelry box,
complete with Chinese lock (never put on or used, it's still wrapped up inside the box).  Mr. Don purchased
this box for me when I spied it at a booth during one of the early Arabian Festivals held at Milwaukee's
Maier Festival Park on the shores of Lake Michigan downtown Milwaukee in September 1999.
That was a wonderful day.  He also bought me a moonstone "memory" ring that day. I wore it two days ago.
I thought about hanging it on a silver chain from the bed canopy, but since I still wear it, I decided not to.
  So, that's it for now on Mistress Bedroom progress.

I am on the hunt for area rugs.  The room has hardwood floors.  They're cold!  I've got an old area rug on one side of the bed but nothing at the foot of the bed or the other side.  I need to buy three matching, or at least three coordinating area rugs, to fit the design.

I was shocked at how expensive even the cheesiest looking area rugs are these days.  Holy Hathor!  Do I really want to spend $100 or more for three area rugs?  Nope!

Also in the works -- some bed curtains -- see next post.  Stay tuned!

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