April 6, 2019:


The income taxes are finished and were taken to the Post Office yesterday to send out via certified mail, which now costs nearly $16 for two 8 1/2 11 envelopes with return receipt. Yikes! But worth it because I have proof positive once I get the little green cards back that the returns were delivered and received. And just in case, there are tracking numbers that I can also tap the U.S. Post Office for to verify that delivery was made. In these times, it's better to be safe than sorry

I have been working in little bits and pieces outdoors whenever a window in our crappy weather has presented itself. Today, however, was the first day where I was able to spend an extended period of time outside. First, I cleaned up areas on the sidewalk and driveway along the edges where pine cones and branches tiny branches blown off during the seemingly wind storms we endured over fall and winter 2018-2019. After resting for a bit, and removing the winter hat, gloves and jacket, I moved to the back yard because I'm sick of feeling sick to my stomach every time I look at it through the patio doors in the dining room and window above the kitchen sink. This winter left it a true disaster zone. I worked steadily raking small areas and filled two trash can size black trash bags full of debris blown down from my arborvitaes and neighboring trees over the winter, in addition to about half a ton of nut shells. The nut shells are my fault because I feed all the neighborhood squirrels. They are so entertaining, and very smart! I also made a small dent in starting clean-up of the flower beds, where the "mild" (ahem) weather and thawed earth has encourages perennials to start popping through, whether I'm ready for them or not!

All in all, a somewhat decent start to making a larger dent in clean-up operations. I worked outdoors about 4 hours off and on. I didn't want to overdo it, and truth be told, I'm pooped! It's humbling to not be able to work as long or as hard as I used to. I can get it done, but I have to take lots of rest breaks so it takes quite a bit longer now. Good thing I'm retired


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Drowning in a Sea of Mesh Netting!

Hola darlings!

Just a quick blog.  I'm going into the hospital in two days for a heart procedure.  Been running around like a mad woman trying to get the house in order just in case I croak -- well, I'm not planning on it but you never know what may happen.

I recently got this bug to rearrange my bedroom from a perfectly good arrangement that I'm not going to take the time to put pics up here now -- nope -- I went back to the way it was when I began the rearrangement that actually began this blog.  Totally SILLY!  I think my brain has been affected by this heart thing.

So I huffed and I puffed and I rearranged things Friday evening, and spent a little time Saturday puttering around, but not really accomplishing much.  Now I DON'T LIKE IT!  But I don't have time to rearrange it and since I'm committed to using feng shui principles of design, I am limited as to how to arrange the bedroom. For instance, a mirror should NEVER be overlooking your sleeping form in the bed.  Remove the mirror, or block the reflection.  That limits where to put my triple dresser with the big honking 1970's style mirror over it.  It's certainly not the way Dear Genevieve would arrange things! 

Well, I thought it would go one two three and presto change-o, it's done!  Hasn't worked out that way.  Nope.  First of all, for some reason my right ear decided at this particular time to get totally plugged up and I've been trying the Debrox ear-wax removal off and on all day.  It hasn't de-clogged my ear totally and I'm still hearing out of the right ear like I'm 5 feet under water as opposed to 10 feet under water, so that's a good thing. Sort of.  Problem is I fell asleep on the sofa for several hours earlier this afternoon while waiting for the Debrox to work it's magic in my ear.  All of a sudden, it was early evening! 

And then, I've been glued to my computer screen ALL WEEKEND watching HGTV FULL VIDEOS of shows.  A whole new world.  A bad time to discover it.  Damn damn damn.  Grass did not get cut.  House needs a once-through because I do not want to leave a messy house if the worst should happen. 


And so I'm laughing at myself and I really need to shave my legs tonight.  Geez. 

So, back to the bedroom!  EEK!  I had got this idea that it would look great for what's left of the summer (I always seem to be behind the times) to literally "half" the mesh/net canopy I have above my bed.  No problem, says I.  I worked it all out in my head before I took the canopy down and moved the bed.  I rearranged the furniture and spent Friday and Saturday nights in a messed up bedroom.  I meant to get things done today.  Me bad.  I started to hang the dang canopy tonight at 7 p.m.  Now it's nearly 10 and it's a big honking mess!  I screwed up somehow and now it's after 10 and instead of trying to figure out what the heck I did wrong I'm blogging about it.


Pics!  Not very good ones -- it's dark out and I've got my ancient camera set on "scene" (I don't know how to use the camera actually, but that seems like a good setting because when I try to use the flash my hands shake so much all I get is blurry) and the only light is from the three intentionally not bright lamps in the bedroom!  But they sorta kinda give you an idea...

Way too saggy in the middle too  -- you can see the low dip in the back  I figured I'd have to get up there at some point and hammer in a few plastic tacks, but that's going to mean moving the bed!  DUH!  Didn't figure that into my brilliant (NOT) plan.

Somehow I've got one too many tabs, I think, over on the  right side.  And I have yet to put in the second hooky thingy into the ceiling to hold the tabs over the middle of the side of the bed on the left side.  Yep, got to do that next -- after I finish this blog.  Now, is this dedication or what, I ask you?

What a mess!

Help, I'm drowning underneath a sea of mesh mosquito netting!

So, I'm going to quit this now and take a nice long hot bath -- and shave my legs -- and then climb up on the ladder once last time before I call this a night, and see if I can put in the fourth hooky thingy into the ceiling and figure out what canopy tab goes where.  And if by 11:30 it's not finished, I'm sleeping in the guest room tonight.  I've got to work tomorrow, need some sleep!

Updated July 22, 2013:

I got the canopy done after my bath last night.  I think I just needed to step away from it for awhile.  After I went back up the ladder, it went pretty much one-two-three!  I was then all set to go to bed, folding away the ladder when what do I see scurry under the bedroom door from the hallway but a centipede! 

I HATE bugs of any kind, and the feeling is mutual.  Damn centipede scurried so fast I had hardly time to move a hair and it was underneath the tall dresser.  Then it scooted across the floor underneath the bed. I don't know where it went after that - I got the hell out of Dodge and spent the night downstairs in the recliner!  It was nice and cool downstairs with the staircase window on the landing opened, the cool air cascaded down.  Finally got to settle in and get some sleep about 1 a.m.

Here's the now fixed canopy.  I think I still might raise it by pinning up the center at the front and back, just to see if I like it that way:

I have two other pics but they turned out very blurry.  This picture makes the canopy look like it extends all the way to the food of the bed, but it doesn't it ends right about where the sheet is folded, mid-way down the bed.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Summer Mantle/Mantel


A few days after the Summer Solstice, I finally got around to redoing the mantle/mantel with a lighter theme for the summer months.  I'd been thinking about it for a while, but just had not found the time to get to it.  A few days before, I had ordered a Threshold lampshade and a Threshold mirror set (three mirrors) from Target online and the box had arrived.  I was itching to get started on the new arrangement on the wall above the mantle/mantel.  The lampshade -- that's a different story that will be told in another post :)

I knew I wanted something simple and clean with a sort of zen feeling.  I had a general idea what I wanted to do but, as always, it took more time than I thought it would and until I came up with the idea to circle the circle, I didn't think the scheme would come together, and I was that frustrated!  I was thinking in linear terms and had to leap outside the box, so to speak, for things to come together.  When the lightbulb above my head turned on, things went up quickly and I stepped back, well satisfied.

Here are some pics of my 2013 mantle/mantel:

A view of the side table to the right, in its summer dress of gold and blue Chinese styled bird and flower print accompanied by one of my favorite eggs from my small collection, a cloisoned egg with a complementary gold and blue Chinese styled bird and flower print.

A photo of the coffee table, dressed simply with a single candle surrounded by polished pebbles, looking toward the curio cabinet where my Chinese "servant" statue stands proud:

The candles are battery-operated on timers.  You may have noticed a strand a lights across the top of the mantle/mantel -- those are also battery operated but not on a timer -- 15 mini-LED lights that I toned down last Christmas with a coat of brown and yellow water color by Crayola!  The light otherwise was soooo cold looking, like many inexpensive LED lights are.    I love the additional touch of glow they add to the room at night! 

The horizontal scheme I had envisioned, with the Native American winnowing basket sculpture in the center, just didn't look right -- I wasn't able to get the spacing to work.  With the basket already hung up, though, I didn't feel like taking it back down!  Then inspiration occurred and, not wanting to admit defeat just yet, I tried the circle around the circle idea.  It worked! 

The geometry of the arrangement forms a "Star of David" (6-pointed star):  The mirrors form one three-pointed triangle and the Chinese ideograms form a second three-pointed triangle.  The two triangles intersect or, as the song goes, they meet in the middle!  The figures are a little rough because I eye-balled them rather than measuring with straight edge and level (I don't own either tool), but the center of both triangles is more or less centered over the center of the circular winnowing basket.  Ta da!  Mucho good energy flowing from that configuration and the mirrors bounce it all around the room :)

I happened to see this article today at CNN -- all about decorating mantles/mantels -- with many inspiring examples -- nothing too elaborate, just right for summer in the Northern Hemisphere:

Flat Screen or Flowers?  What belongs on your mantel? By Ann Hoevel, July 9, 2013. 

A little divine inspiration for ya:

Blinded by the light...

The Circle of Life...