May 20, 2018:

Hola!

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...

Jan

Sunday, December 7, 2014

More Christmas "Reveals" at Maison Newton III

Hola!

I fluffed up the new 4 foot tall artificial trees with lights (in urns, woo woo! -- you caught a glimpse of them hiding out in a corner of my dinette --)


destined for the front porch, and got them looking all spiffy.  Hauled them out to the front stoop, unwrapped the outdoor power cord I bought yesterday at Walgreens, plugged everything in and - voila - NOTHING.

Oh poop.

I was racing against sundown, which comes before 4:30 p.m. in these parts these days, geez.  CAN'T WAIT FOR SOLSTICE when the days will start to get longer, a few minutes each day.  In 30 days of December 21, we'll have gained an hour and a bit more sunlight, thank Goddess!

Didn't work. Not a fricking flicker.  ARRRRGGGGGHHHHH!  The trees are so cute and would look pretty lit up!  I really wanted them to light up this evening and introduce the new neighborhood to Maison Newton style, ahem.  I tried several different things and nothing worked.  I may just resort to battery-operated lights.

Although the big Christmas tree reveal is past, here are  photos of how I decorated the rest of Maison Newton III.  There may be a tweak or two upcoming but, basically, this is it.

P.S.  Decided it's ridiculous to keep referring to the "FORMER" Maison Newton, as if it had died and gone to House Heaven.  So now it's Maison Newton I (first house bought in 1986, sold in 1989), Maison Newton II (second house, stick built and moved into in August 1990, closed on sale June 30, 2014), and Maison Newton III (1956 one story rancher with a smaller lot and much smaller footprint, my retirement home, closed on buy June 30, 2014).

Here come the photos!


Above:  The new gel-fuel fireplace/mantel, decked out for the holidays, and the old coffee table with its minimalistic decorations -- gold pine cone pics amidst the Norfolk pine and the silver-colored ceramic deer I bought last year at Walgreens.



Photo above, the bookcase niche decorated for Christmas with votives, flameless candles, and a few other Christmas trinkets.



A closer look at one of the bookcase niche shelves:  mercury glass votive, a Christmas trinket box holding station underneath Xena Warrior Princess' horse, and an ornament/music box.  The trinket box and the ornament/music box were both gifts from investment club members in prior years.



Above, left side of the mantel.  I took Coz Roxanne's advice and removed the porcelain church and added a low dish of ornaments; I introduced height and rhythm with the tall mercury glass votives.  I bought them at Kirkland's online a few years ago and they were such a deal; I believe I paid $19.99 on sale for the set of three.  Hanging just beneath the mantel are some jingle-bells I picked up at The FamilyDollar last weekend.  The light blue and silvery colors go well in the living room.



The mantel from the right side.  I did not want to put too much on the mantel -- it's smaller than the one I had at Maison Newton II and not as deep.  This mercury glass candle stand is a favorite find from TJ Maxx a few years ago.  It anchors the space with a flameless candle atop but doesn't crowd the t.v., balancing out the trio of tall votive holders on the other side.



A lot of wow for little effort!  There's not much simpler than piling some ornaments in a pretty glass dish, and this worked so well in the space.  They are mini-ornaments in satin white, shiny silver, one satin gold and one shiny gold.  Some of the ornaments have white curling ribbon strung through them -- adds a little frou-frou.  The mini-size ornaments I used to fill the glass dish are just right, I think; 2" diameter ornaments may have been a bit too large for the space and I wouldn't have been able to pile as many of them in the dish.



The tree and the counter, view from patio door (see opening paragraphs, above).

The lantern on the left was purchased at TJ Maxx a few years ago, it was $20.

The deer duo in the center are faux wood and were $9.99 each at Walgreen's.  In design, they are similar to beautiful gilded deer I've seen at Gumps online for $128 for a pair.  Holy Hathor! Soooo glad I added them to my Christmas decor.  I first saw them last Christmas but by the time I made up my mind to spend $10 for each one, they were all gone.  I think the deer look organic with their "wood" finish and work fine on wood countertop, while giving a nod to continuity with some contrast to the little silver-colored ceramic deer trio I bought last year at Walgreen's for my 2013 mantel.  It's hard to make out, but in-between the deer duo is an elegant brass ornament holder and a beautiful blown-glass rainbow-colored finial ornament.  It was a gift from one of our investment club gift swaps a few years ago.

The tall brass candlestick on the right with the glass hurricane cover were purchased more than 25 years ago at the former Gimbels downtown store.  How I miss Gimbels!  The candle is a vanilla-scented pillar -- it's not going to last until Christmas, LOL! It smells so good when lit, but it is burning down quickly as it is lit every night.  Can you believe it started life at 8 inches tall?



The view from the living room into the kitchen.  The former owner, Mrs. "Seller," installed the vinyl print saying above the pass-through:  "In all things of nature, there is something of the MARVELOUS -- Aristotle."  I couldn't agree more.  This view is one of my favorite views in the house. It overlooks the dining table (minus computer and stacks of papers for this day) straight out into my back yard and beyond.  It faces east, so I get good light, especially in the summer.

Below, a photo of the show-stopping tree topper I fretted over and came up with a solution late Saturday evening December 6 by adding the bling -- three gold colored picks from prior years I discovered in a box marked "tree topper stuff."  LOL!  I'm not showing you the tree topper in this photo because I'm crazy about it but this photo shows the bird sitting on top of the bookcase (china) hutch in the background to the right.  She's the Queen of Heaven in her dove form, crowned in gold, and she sits upon the highest perch in the room, surveying all below.  



She sparkles -- tried to get a close up without getting on a ladder -- ssttrreettcchh:



Not such a good photo, it's not all sparkly like she is!



I'm living with the wall color on the living room "accent wall" until spring 2015, then it's sooooo gone...  Oops, I see I caught my reflection in the mirror back of the hutch, geez!  You'd think by now I'd know better.  I look rather like a Peruvian mummy in that reflection, hmmm...

More to come, but not tonight -- it's 9 p.m. and one of my t.v. favorites, Revenge, is coming on.

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