Still alive, still here. I have much to catch up on here and I will. Just wanted to let you know that I purchased a "Shezebo" to anchor a chunk of my ginormous blob of concrete in the backyard.
I was inspired to call my gazebo a Shezebo because it will be my private get-away that will keep me safe from bugs (I'm one of those people with bug magnet DNA, sigh), and I think the FYE Network show "She Shed/He Shed" is so darn cute! Lots of inspiration there for design ideas.
It should be delivered shortly after 4th of July. Here's a photo, it's a 10x10. For aesthetic/size reasons (in relation to size of house and size of yard), I didn't want to go with anything larger. It will (as you can see from the sale image below) hold seating for 4 comfortably or a nice dining table.
It comes with mosquito screening and a second "rod" for privacy curtains -- but if I want to install them at some future point I will have to buy an extra "kit" of some kind of drapery hardware that goes on the rod during construction, because once the Shezebo is put together, there is no way to detach the rod to add a drapery. Not sure I want to go that route. I may just go with magnetic rods or velcro tape to hang future curtains.
I purchased it from Wayfair. It is Sojag's "Dakota" steel roof/aluminum body gazebo, something strong and sturdy to stand up to the winters in SE Wisconsin. It is a permanent structure that will be anchored to my concrete patio. I won't have to be messing with hiring somebody to put up and take down any covering(s) on a gazebo that is not a "hard top" every season. I can't do it myself, nor would I want to even if I could!
Stay tuned. I STILL want to show you what I did in my living room, and then what I did in Mom's kitchen - lots has happened. I hope some sanity, peace and quiet (which I expected to have once I was retired, geez) will return to my life!
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