November 5, 2018:


Daylight Savings Time has come and gone and once again I'm left to struggle with how much just this one hour shift goofs up my internal clock! Sigh.

The new photos in the header are neighborhood trees - they turn so beautifully! And this year my tree planted 2 years out front by the City in my curb area has turned a marvelous red. I should have taken a photo of it on Saturday. Yesterday we got a southeaster with lots of rain and strong winds gusting to 40 and 50 mph most of the day, starting in the pre-dawn hours, and nearly all of the leaves are gone now! So I'll have to wait until next year. I KNEW I should have taken those photos, drat!

Thanksgiving will be with us soon, and then the move toward the Winter Solstice, which is the most important day to me because then the days start getting LONGER AGAIN a few minutes a day, YAY!!! and of course, Christmas , an important holiday for many of us. Those events get me through the dark, the severe cold, the blizzards and the dreariness of weeks without seeing sunshine that southeast Wisconsin winters often bring.

I've got plans for how to get through the dark at 5 p.m. doldrums, people! Plans!


Saturday, December 9, 2017

Christmas 2017 Tree and Mantle

It's finished!

Hola!  Finished at last (yesterday).  I need to shovel - we got 2 inches of fresh snow overnight:
Looking out from the front door.
Here's the mantle!  You can see the snow blowing outside the window and one of
two pine trees along the driveway.  I am going to add another string of LED lights, and maybe
some ribbon; it's just looking a little bare to me right now.  Maybe I'll remove the clock and
put something else there, too.  The balance is off.  The candles and votives are all lit at night.
The deer are looking up toward the Shining Star.  There's another one hiding underneath
the Norfolk pine on the coffee table, also looking up at the star (not shown).

This was taken the day before yesterday, before I decorated the mantle.
Here's the same shot angle taken this morning, the now decorated
mantle is in the background.  I also added a few extra gold pine cones
here and there and tweaked the French ribbon a bit although it doesn't look like it.
I kept it simple again this year (but not as simple as last year).  I used the French ribbon and decorations I haven't used in several years, along with a collection of hand-blown crystal ornaments purchased at the "Egyptian" store at Southridge Mall on Christmas Eve day in 2008.  Inexpensive gold pine cones, a dozen white frosted "tear drops" (from Oriental Trading Company online), and a dozen silver glitter snowflakes were also used to fill in some gaps (all purchased in past years). The topper is a concoction of five beaded picks, two ancient feather sprays at least forty years old, one each gold glittered "wheat" and "floral" picks and two gold painted pinecones on long picks, purchased in years past from Pick 'n Save supermarket's floral department.

I took my time decorating over two days and tweaked yesterday, enjoying the process while listening to jazzy Christmas classics on Radio Tunes online.

You can probably tell that my "theme" was gold and silver in the living room.  The kitchen and dinette, pictured in previous posts, were done in red, black, gold and green, to accompany my beloved two-foot tall countertop tree decorated with cardinals and my collected cardinal decor.

The rest of the photos are close-ups of the tree.  Warning: I'm not a good photographer and my 5 pixel camera is now 12 years old :)

Champagne colored crowned bird, silver glitter snowflakes, gold pointsettias
and lots of gold French ribbon.

Egyptian hand-blown crystal elephant. He is
one of my favorites.

The tree topper mash-up.  You can see another one of my elephants on top
of the curio cabinet filled with my chess sets in the background.  Yep - chess.
One of four gold birds bought on clearance at Macy's in 2014 or 2015.
The tree looks a bit bare during the day but at night, when the tons of lights are
on, it lights up half the house (rather like an airport runway) and individual
ornaments are then highlighted.
Here's the tree topper at night - see how bright those lights are, wowsers.
This is what you see when you come in the front door.
Acrylic "crystal" beaded snowflake, acrylic snowflake (side profile),
glass frosted tear drops, gold pine cone (tucked in).
Egyptian hand-blown bell and gold-tipped final.
Close-up of my little Egyptian hand-blown glass ornament:
my elephant.  The gold decorations on him really show up.

Here's my little crystal elephant at night.
Another Egyptian hand-blown crystal finial.
Gold-striped Egyptian crystal ornament.

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