November 5, 2018:

Hola!

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!

Jan

Monday, November 5, 2018

Planning for Red for Christmas this Year

I will be rearranging the living room soon in preparation for bringing up the Christmas tree from basement storage after Thanksgiving.

One of my close friends has a birthday on November 23rd and I always treat her - and myself - yearly to a night out to see a show at one of our local theatre venues and have a nice dinner.  And then we go to Candy Cane Lane and join in a parade of cars driving slowly through about a 6 square block area of a local neighborhood where the neighbors decorate their houses for Christmas to raise funds for the MACC Fund (Milwaukee Area Childrens' Cancer Fund).  They have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars over the past many years.  That's how I kick off my Christmas season.  This year we're going to see the stage play "Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley" at the Pabst Theatre downtown.  I love all things related to Jane Austen, including off-shoots by other authors from her work. I am really looking forward to seeing this play!  It's gotten good reviews and who can resist a story about one of the most neglected of the Bennet sisters - Mary!

Not sure why, but for some time now I've been stewing on the idea of using some red in my living room decor for the first time.  I have used my red cardinals and red/black/green plaid ribbons, of course, in my kitchen and dining area for decor, but the living room and tree have been decorated primarily in gold, silver, sparkles and glass.

So, I made some modest purchases -- two rich red colored throw cushion covers for the sofa and a chunky knit faux-fur trimmed throw blanket to add to the room for snuggling before the fireplace.

Here is one of the throw pillow covers I scored online from Bed Bath & Beyond Manhattan Square Throw Pillow Cover in red ($14.99).  It's soft and silky feeling with a nice sheen to it.



The second throw pillow, also from Bed Bath & Beyond and also $14.99,is a red velvet with a gold quilted diamond pattern, plush, lush, soft, lux:
MYOP Quilted Diamond Square Throw Pillow Cover in Red
Here is the Nina Campbell throw blanket I scored at Steinmart for 50% off:



I am loving this throw!  It is super-soft and chunky and warm!  It is a deep red but not burgundy, called "Chili Pepper."

Speaking of the fireplace, I had my first fire of the season yesterday.  It was raining, super-windy, damp and dark out all day and I felt chilly in the house although the heat was kicking in on a regular basis.  So I had a 2-can gel fuel fire and it was glorious! It lasted for 2 and 1/2 hours as I sat in one of the wing chairs in the living room with my feet up enjoying the flames and and crackling - because it's actual fire burning in the fireplace behind the faux logs and the real fire screen, and the room warms up.  Lovely! 

Back to the red - I have my nearly 30 year old red and black "Oriental" pattern wool rug to bring up from basement storage for the holiday which this year will be layered over the black and cream chevron pattern area rug in the living room.  The red/black Oriental traditional pattern is a 5 x 7 and much smaller than the 10 x 12 black and cream, so there will certainly be some contrast there!  But I think it will work, and if it doesn't I won't care, as to me decorating is intensely personal and not about appealing to an audience.  I've used the rug in this retirement version of Maison Newton before - in the dining area.  No photos of it on this computer, it will be a "surprise."

I'll probably add some red plaid French ribbon to the Christmas tree decor this year, too for some red color on the tree. I can get it at the Family Dollar for $5 for a large roll.  I do believe I even have a few (a very few) red ornaments but I'll have to unbury them from boxes of Christmas decorations in the basement!

Stay tuned. 

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