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, December 7, 2014

Christmas Tree Finished In Time! Christmas Tree Reveal

Whew!  Hola everyone.

The 2014 version of our investment club's Christmas get-together came and went successfully!  I'm happy to say that, despite my anxiety over being able to bring a decent-looking tree together yesterday, the Christmas tree was a big hit with young and young at heart.  We had a wonderful breakfast out and then our gift exchange back at my place, seated around the tree.

Gayle's granddaughters got a tour of this new Maison Newton and gave me their seal of approval.  Ahhhhh, vindication!  The older granddaughter, Josie, pronounced "I like it" in a very decided fashion.  I said well, it's not as big as my former house, but it's okay for me.  Josie said "It's bigger than my house."  That took me aback for a second, I have to tell you.  Yes, things must be tight in a 3-bedroom rancher that is less than 1,000 square feet for a family of four with two growing girls.  Dad must feel way outnumbered, too.  I've got an abundance of space by comparison with my 1,073 square feet plus the wreck room and all the extra storage in the garage and covered storage behind the garage, and truly, the former Maison Newton with its two stories and huge yard was getting to be more than I wanted to handle at this stage of my life.  A few years from now, maybe I wouldn't be able to handle it at all!  So, I said to myself, "Self, stop bitching and moaning about your lack of space here, and just deal with it."  Message to Self received.

Without further ado - the GREAT CHRISTMAS TREE REVEAL!   Lots of pictures. I'm not the best photographer, and my camera is "old" (2005) - probably considered an antique by now; I've never learned how to use it properly despite reading the directions many times, and my hands shake sometimes, too.

THE TREE - TA DA!

View of the tree from the dinette/dining area.



Another view of the tree from the dinette area, near the patio door.


One Christmas several years ago (I don't even remember when, me bad!), Mr. Don surprised me with a trinket he'd found on the street near his Montreal apartment.  It was a silouette in stamped metal of the beautiful Egyptian Queen Nefertiti. Nefertiti is still considered one of the most beautiful women to ever have lived, and if you've ever seen a portrait of her bust excavated from the dry sands of Egypt, you'd understand why.  She is a Helen of Troy a thousand years before Helen of Troy was even a gleam in her daddy's eye.  Thousands of people flock each year to the museum in Germany that holds the original sculpture/bust of Nefertiti.  When Mr. Don presented me with this little treasure (he'd even cleaned it up!), I was so touched! He didn't have to say it, I knew then that I was the most beautiful woman in the world to him.

Another Christmas, Mr. Don presented me with a tartan pin that his twin sister bought for him as a souvenir at Castle Duart in Scotland, the ancestral home of the McLeans.  I had done their family tree for them and was able to trace their McLean ancestry back to the 1700s, but no further.  He wanted me to have the tartan pin as a keepsake.  It's been treasured ever since.  

Ach, getting all sentimental here.  Anyway, Nefertiti has been on the tree every year since she was given to me, and when Mr. Don gave me the McLean tartan pin, it was a natural pairing, with a glass heart in between. I really am sentimental :)  It's a little hard to see her in the photo, above, but Nefertiti (me) is there, in front of the sparkly silver snowflake, the heart is center, to the right of "me", and Mr. Don, represented by his tartan pin, is upper right of the glass heart.  I miss you, Mr. Don.  He passed away in his sleep, unexpectedly, on October 12, 2012.

I don't relay this information to be a downer, hope you don't think that, anyone who read this.  He was such a special person in my life for over 13 years, and there's not a day goes by I don't miss him and my heart aches.  But life goes on, and life can be a powerful force for good.  When I see those little trinkets on my tree, I always smile, because our good times were very good.  They're front and center on the tree this year so I am constantly seeing them.

Some close-ups of the rest of the tree:






A close-up of one of the feathered and glittered birds I bought from Gump's on clearance a few years ago.  The faux-filagreed snowflake ornament near the center of the photo is one of four on the tree (one is placed on the "side" of the tree facing each direction) that were hung from the mantel in 2012 and 2013 at Maison Newton II. I bought them during a sale at Boston Store (half off plus another 40% off with coupon) and love, love, love them!  

This year I went all out and put both the feather boas and the long faux partridge feathers on the tree at the same time -- like I said in Saturday night's post -- Sputnik!  But I knew it would work once I was able to get the top of the tree together.  

I knew I wanted to keep the tree "simpler" this year - ha! - and I am proud to tell you that I actually stashed a number of boxes of unused ornaments back down in the basement storage area - miracle! I'm so happy with how it turned out.  Originally I was thinking I'd go more of a "natural/rustic" direction this year - birds, feathers, pinecones, snowflakes.  Not sure this tree qualifies as a natural/rustic look, but it works for me :) and, as I noted way at the beginning, it was a big hit with my guests!  So happy!

Here's the blinged-up tree topper, once I discovered the box that had some gold sprays I used on one (or more) prior year's trees:



I was up really late on December 6, into the early morning hours, trying to pull this all together for the December 7 get-together (which was originally scheduled for December 14!), and very happy with how the tree turned out, especially the topper :)

If you would like to see more of my Christmas decor for Maison Newton III, please check out the next post. (Hint: I explain about the white dove perched on the china hutch/bookcase in the photo above -- you can just make her out in the background).

1 comment:

  1. Hello there! I LOVE your tree! Thanks for visiting The Family Fun Spot and for your kind comment. I wish you the merriest Christmas season!

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