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, July 1, 2016

Shezebo: The Setting

Hola!  I'm going up north to visit one of my sisters and B-I-Ls over the 4th of July.  They don't have internet access at their cabin and I don't have one of the smart phone thingies so I'll be unconnected.  I'm taking books along for entertainment - GASP! - what a concept!

My Shezebo was delivered this morning and I am SO happy!  When I get back from my mini-vacation I will begin contacting contractors to get quotes to have the shezebo constructed.

Here are some photos of my backyard (pre-Shezebo) taken a few days ago:




My Shezebo will be squared to the corner where the birdbath is presently sitting, about 10 inches from the edge of the concrete.  A new privacy fence (about 2.5 feet taller) will be installed along the north lot line (see third photo above) and the raised bed is going to be extended to go all the way across the yard to join the raised bed on the east lot line (you can see that bed in the first and second photos above).

I'm going to have a greatly expanded planting area for more perennials and will also be adding planting beds around the patio next year.  I am also thinking about extending the patio out from the north side by using flagstone to fill in the grassy area up to the north planting bed - but we'll see about that.  There is a lot to do before I get to seriously considering that idea pros and cons

One thing is sure: my backyard is going to look a whole lot different once the shezebo is up!

Have a safe and happy 4th of July holiday, everyone!

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