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

Friday, June 19, 2015

Redoing the Living Room - 1

Hola everyone!

I am still here.  The weather has finally turned for the better in southeast Wisconsin and I've been spending quite a bit of time outdoors. The garden beds are full and the flowers have been blooming.  Today the first day lily popped open!  At the former Maison Newton because of the shady areas I would have day lilies blooming throughout the large backyard through mid-July, but here I will be lucky if the blooms last until July 4th.  My yard is full-blown scorching sun from around 9:30 a.m. until about 5:30 p.m. when the sun finally swings around to the west and the house shades most (but not all) of the backyard.  I can tell you this, there will be a LOT of day lilies this year, for sure!  There seem to be twice as many flower stalks as last year.

The hanging plants are up, the pinks and other perennials I added to the garden beds last year all bloomed (I only lost one, and that one I planted out front) and the grass is looking pretty good thanks to the weed control/fertilizing service I hired.  We've also had goodly amounts of rain and the spring was cool, all conducive to growing a good grass crop.

My brother Jeff's oldest son, Cory, is getting married next month.  Megan and Cory are setting up their first place together, and in a fit of genius (I get occasional flashes), because I've been wanting to get new furniture for my living room for some time now, I asked my sister-in-law Heidi if she thought the kids would like my like-new furniture (queen size sleeper sofa, slim line La-z-boy recliner, and a large Simmons wing chair with matching ottoman).  She said YES!

So, last Saturday, my brother and Megan's dad and brother arrived at the house, trailer in tow, to move the furniture.  It was quite a production to get the sofa out of the house -- the doors had to be removed from the front door for the sofa to fit through!  But eventually it was done and I am now the proud owner of this:




Sorry about that last photo.  The sun is blasting in through the picture window right now and I've never taken the time to learn how to adjust for that glaring light on this old camera, a 2009 "antique," I understand.

I'm starting almost completely over, woo woo!  The lace scarf that I threw up on the short but long window on the south wall nearly a year ago (intending always to replace it...) - gonna disappear!  The grandma-esque ice blue embroidered curtain panels on either end of the picture window that looked so fabulously beautiful to me when I bought them from Penney's in 2012 (for the family room in the former Maison Newton), outta here!  The rug, going into hiding in my den/library.  It's 100% wool, thick and soft, it will anchor the small 10x12 room. The coffee table --

Well now, what to do with the coffee table? It is one of my favorite pieces, I've had it since the early 2000's when I bought it on clearance at Marshall Fields (now Macy's).  It is solid wood, has a rustic pine finish and is heavy as a rock (a LARGE rock).

But I am going in a somewhat different direction in my new furniture selections, including a sleeker, smaller coffee table, and there is no place to put the table, save the basement wreck room, which I do not use.  And getting that baby down the narrow basement stairs - oh no no no.

I didn't offer it to the kids because their apartment living room is small and the table is over 35" square on top and even larger at the widest point in the chow style legs, which bow out and then curve back under the table.  So, right now, I'm in a quandry.  I figure I should try to sell it on Craig's List, a solid wood classic styled coffee table should sell for something, I figure.  But I just haven't gotten there mentally yet.

What's staying:  (1) gel fuel fireplace; (2) curio cabinet; (3) china hutch/bookcase and credenza.

I like the main wall color and that is staying; I don't know what the name of it is, but it is a pale greenish-grayish satin finish, very subtle.  The fourth wall, which opens to the front door, the entrance to kitchen and the hallway off of which are the rest of the rooms in my house, is currently painted a metallic sort of pea-soup green (not my doing!), and is going to be painted to match the other walls.  Just as soon as I get around to it.  I have the paint, that's something anyway :)

I am going for full-blown neutral upholstery with no patterns whatsoever this time around, and will spice things up with color in accessories, just like all of you do so beautifully and me, meh, not so much.

So, I am getting all new stuff!  (1) Sofa; (2) coffee table; (3) area rug; (4) one and possibly two occasional chairs; (5) one chair for serious t.v. watching, reading, napping, possibly with an ottoman; (6) one or possibly two small ottomans/footstools if aforesaid chair does not come with one; (7) new curtains; and (8) several throw pillows.

So, the next several posts will be all about this monumental undertaking.  I must be mad, mad I tell you...

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