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

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Fuel Gel Fireplace I Chose Is...


The Real Flame Silverton model!  [Can't wait for it to get here, so excited I will have this in place well before Christmas and will have a mantel to decorate and real flames to admire on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!

If you take a look at the three finalist fireplaces in my prior post, you can spot some common themes:  (1) all of them have faux pilasters or pillars on either side of the firebox; (2) all are the dark wood finish I love; (3) all of them have a form of "base" that would look good either sitting on a hearth or sitting on flooring or carpeting without a hearth.

The Silverton contains all three features.  I liked its base best of all, because it has nice finish details on it.  I thought that the style of the Sicilian Harvest model would collect a lot more dust than the Silverton.  I liked that both the Silverton and Ashley fireplaces had fireboxes that are raised so one can see the fire better; the Scilian Harvest fireplace had its firebox lower, near the base of the fireplace mantel, and I didn't find that appealing.

I also liked the cleaner, somewhat sleeker lines of Silverton' styling and the cream faux travertine trim around the firebox nicely sets off both the black firebox and the wooden mantel.  I thought the other two fireplace finalists looked dark and a little boring in comparison to that "pop" of contrasting color and material used in the Silverton to set off the firebox. 

The price difference between the least expensive fireplace and the one I ultimately chose is $128.  All things considered, I decided that $128 was not too great a price to pay for a fireplace that I really liked, as opposed to buying the least expensive option and then turning out not to like it so much at all.   All of these fireplaces came with free shipping, a great deal as shipping could add $50 to $60 to the cost!  Let me add that I also felt positive about buying a product from an American company based in my home state. 

And so, after my broken heart because I was not able to buy the beautiful french-styled gel fuel fireplace that I had coveted for my mistress bedroom at the former Maison Newton back in January, that carton of gel fuel I bought and did not return when the fireplace deal fell apart (due to damage to the lone remaining fireplace, the seller did not want to ship it, and I did not want to buy a damaged fireplace, but it was sooooo pretty) will be put to use after all!

BTW, I ended up buying the Silverton model online at amazon.com, for a few dollars less than Wayfair.com was offering the same model.  It pays to shop around, though.  When I first saw the Sicilian Harvest model at amazon.com a few days ago, it was not priced anywhere near $297 and change.  But yesterday, at Wayfair.com, it was!  Then, when I checked last night at amazon.com, the price on the Sicilian Harvest model had dropped to match the price offered at Wayfair.com.  The lesson remains pertinent -- it pays to shop around.

It's amazing how quickly things in one's life can change. In January, I was contemplating staying at the former Maison Newton through retirement, buying a fireplace, planning remodelling and redos! And now, here I am, 10 months later, in a different home, with entirely new sets of issues to face. Holy Hathor!

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