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

Monday, December 8, 2014

And Yet More Christmas Reveals Around Maison Newton

Hola everyone!

I'm home today because overnight we got rain that turned to sleet and then to sheer ice covering the sidewalks.  I made it as far as the end of my driveway, slipping a few times, and knew there was no way I could safely walk the half mile to the bus stop to get to work.  A gal my age has to keep herself safe, first and foremost.  Taking a spill on the ice at 63 isn't something I take lightly.  If I went down and seriously injured myself -- don't even want to think about it.

Anyway, it's dank, dark and dreary out there; the ice is slowly melting but still not 100% gone.


Soon I'll be looking for cardinals online and printing out some vertical prints to replace the autumn-toned prints in the frames flanking the patio door. In this photo is the centerpeice of live greens with a scented candle that I've purchased the past few years from the Boy Scouts.  Candy is held in a glass dish in the shape of a Christmas tree (but the overflowing candy obscures the small dish's shape), framed cardinal greeting card in the background; the copper framed cardinal greeting card has since been replaced with my red, white and black Northwood Cottage cardinal plate; a cardinal snow globe in the shape of a lantern, and my first greeting card of the season.  Resting atop one the largest wood cannister in the background is a little votive holder, Mama snowman and little boy snowman, peering into the "fire."  I tried to get a close-up of it but none of them turned out (too blurry and shaky).






Love this cardinal plate, found at TJ Maxx some years ago.



Squirrels and birds abound in this household.



Another framed cardinal greeting card -- do you see the pair -- one on the park bench, one on the snow next to it?





The main floor bathroom received some Christmas cheer, too:




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