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

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Kitchen Reno Construction Done - Finally! And - SHOPPING SHOPPING SHOPPING!

Woop woop!  Hola everyone.

All the wood trim is up/completed, final layer of drywall mud sanded and the patches primed and ready to paint - done yesterday.

Now I have to get motivated to paint.  Sigh.  It's not fair, somehow -- when I had the energy to do all of this stuff I was working full-time plus running Goddesschess practically as a second full-time job after my day job, at night and on weekends.  Now that I'm retired and have the time, I don't have that energy.  LOL or cry.  I choose to laugh.

During all the frustration of the drywall patching/mudding/sanding/priming not cooperating and wood trim issues, I did a lot of online window shopping.  This wasn't part of the original plan but - oh well.  I bought a new table, four new chairs, a new area rug for underneath, and today I bought a new light fixture to go above the table.  Stop me now before I go bankrupt, please!

Actually, I scored amazing deals on everything, so I am very pleased.  I've no idea for the present what to do with my 56" monster round table that fit beautifully in the former Maison Newton but here it is too massive for the space.  Plus, I realized that I bought the set in 2001 - egoddess! - and while it is still in amazing condition, I've grown tired of the style and want something different, a little more modern/rustic-y mix, scaled down to better suit the size of this dining space and this home.

I managed to get the 4 chairs down to the basement rec room with rather surprising ease by sliding them backwards down the carpeted steps on their backs -- I know, sounds absolutely nutso but it WORKED!  They look gigantically large in the dropped ceiling room but at least they're out of the way until I figure out if I can sell them or give the set to one of my nieces or nephews, but the table is beyond me, too large and too heavy.  I am going to see if I can bribe my young neighbor's muscular hubby into getting he and one of his friends to take it apart and move it downstairs for me -- with baked goodies  Lots of baked goodies.  He's got a sweet-tooth :)

So, this is what things look like right now - a mess still but getting there!

Forgive the plastic sheeting stuffed under the table.  I need to shake it off outside and fold it - it's the heavy-duty kind and perfectly good and did not get too much drywall dust on it, so I'm saving it for painting projects.  Yes, I'm cheap frugal that way :)

Here is what is on the ceiling above the dining table at the moment:

It's humungous (nearly as large as the table!) and it's ugly.  This came out of my bedroom where it was either the fan or my campaign style canopy bed (the bed won) and was installed in the dinette in place of an even uglier but equally large fan when I moved in July two years ago.  I toyed with the idea of keeping a ceiling fan in the dinette for a long time, but in the end I decided nah, I just did not like anything I saw that combined a light with a ceiling fan.  And with central air, I don't really need it.

Now, let me warn you in advance.  I was thinking "buy something sleek and modern."  Something in chrome or polished nickel to go with the new hardware I bought for my cabinets (to be installed after cabinets are painted).  So, what did I do?  After days and days of looking and looking at dozens of different sites and dozens of websearches, TA DA!

Okay, take me out and shoot me now.  NOT MODERN, NOT CHROME OR POLISHED NICKEL.  NOT SLEEK.  It has CRYSTALS, for Pete's sake!  It is by Feiss and described as an "antique silver" candelabra chandelier, LOL!  The crystals are actually clear glass and smokey rock crystal - and only three arms.  It is 20" tall and 19" wide, so a little less wide than the up-to-22" that I was looking for.  But what can I say?  It was love at first sight.  Honestly.  One look and I was totally smitten.  And it could not be more different than the chandelier I had envisioned than how equally different it is from the clunky and too large ceiling fan light it will be replacing.

Cost (at DealYard): $59.95, no sales tax added and free shipping.  What's not to love about that?

New table:

This is by Powell, the Franklin dining table, 45" round with under-shelf, mixes oak wood veneer rustic finish and metal legs with nail-head trim around the table apron.  I won't have to hide an easily scratched MDF smooth table top with this baby and if I don't like the color I'll be able to easily whitewash the wood veneer.  Sort of rustic-chic/industrial.  Something I would never have considered back in 2001 for sure, LOL!  Maybe the style didn't even exist in 2001...

Cost (at Amazon): $213.30 (no sales tax added) and free shipping.  I'll still be able to comfortable seat 4.

New chairs:
This is the Redfield nailhead chair in "white rice paper" textured linen-look Poly blend in a sleek Parson's design, just under 41" tall, 20" seat height, 18.5" seat width.  Amazingly, these dimensions aren't that much different than my 2001 dining chairs, but they couldn't be more different in style and footprint.

Cost (from Wayfair):  $106.99 a pair (2 pair purchased) for a total of $213.98, no sales tax added and free shipping.

New area rug:

I was looking for a round rug and, true to form, ended up purchasing a square rug instead. New rug:

This is from the Amherst collection by Safavieh, indoor/outdoor in cream and light grey, 7 foot square.  I prefer to use indoor/outdoor rugs in this room because I use the side entrance off the driveway into the basement landing that houses the basement stairs and doorless entrance into this room.  It also opens through the slider to the patio.  So I'm constantly tracking stuff into this room, especially from the patio for most of three seasons.  The present rug is also indoor/outdoor and I love it for it's ease of care and hard-wearing nature.  This will give me a chance to swap out the look.  The square rug has a more "elegant" feel to its pattern, I think.

Cost (from Amazon):  $142.89 (including sales tax) and free shipping.

Total cost for room decor:  $630.12.

The new chairs arrived Tuesday evening via UPS.  I will attempt to put them together today :)

That's it for now.  I want to get cracking on this room because I haven't begun to decorate for Christmas.  Normally my tree would be up and fully decorated by now, eek!

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